Glossary

 

Akasha - The fifth element; the power of the Universe.

Altar - A surface, usually flat, that is set aside exclusively for magickal workings and is used as a focus of power.

Amulet - A magickally charged object usually used as protection

Anointing Oil - A skin-safe, scented oil that is dabbed on the body (at chosen pulse points or on the forehead) in order to purify and individual mentally and spiritually.

Asperger - A bundle of herbs used to sprinkle water for purification

Astral plane – The nonphysical, spiritual plane

Astral projection - The act of separating the consciousness from the physical body and moving it at will

Athame – (Ah-THAM-ee) A double-bladed, black-handled knife used much like a wand, to direct energy. It is not used to cut anything on the physical plane.

Balefire - A fire, usually outdoors, lit for magickal purposes.

Bane - That which destroys life

Banish - To send off

Beltane - The Sabat celebrated May 1 celebrating the marriage of the Goddess and God.

Besom - A Witch's broom usually made from birch and willow used to purify spaces.

Blue Moon - When there are two Full Moons in one calendar month, the second is called a Blue Moon.

Bolline - A white-handled knife used to do work in the physical realm such as harvest herbs, inscribe candles and trim wicks.

Book of Shadows - A BOS is a workbook for Witches. It is a place where they keep all their notes, spells, rituals and workings. Entries are handwritten. Sometimes referred to as a Grimoire.

Burning times - A term used by some Witches for the period of persecution in the Middle Ages and later.

Calling the Quarters - Verbal or symbolic acknowledgment of the Four Elements (Earth, Air, Fire Water) in a ritual environment.  

Casting a Circle - Creating a mental magickal sphere that encircles one’s ritual/working space.  The circle enhances one's ability to focus, raise power, and contain that power until the person directing the ritual is ready to release the energy.  

Cauldron - A cast-iron, three-legged pot used to make brews, hold fires, burn incense, holds candles. Represents the Self and is a point of transformation.

Centering - A meditation exercise designed to produce feelings of total calm and oneness with the universe.  As its name suggests, it’s aligning the body and its Chakras for maximum energy flow. It should be preceded by grounding.

Censer – an incense holder/burner

Chakras – Seven  major points of energy in the body. Each is usually associated with a color. These vortexes are: crown - white; forehead (third eye position) - purple; throat - blue; chest - pink or green; navel - yellow; abdomen - orange; groin - red. Smaller vortexes are located in the hands and feet, as well.

Chalice - A blessed cup used in ritual to hold the drink or saltwater. It represents the Goddess.  It is a symbol of potential and is also used in the symbolic Great Rite.

Charge, to - To infuse an object with power.

Circle, sacred - Actually a sphere constructed during ritual or spell working to contain energy and keep out negative energy.

Clan - Any number of covens who have agreed to follow the same kinds of rules, which spring from one central governing source.  A clan has a single leader, and within the democratic clan governing system he or she had the power to veto proposals or actions of the group.

Cleansing - The act of removing any negative energy, vibrations or images from an object or place by utilizing positive, psychic energy.

Consecration- The ritual of purifying items and/or self to be used in the circle.

Correspondence - An item that has a magickal association.  Correspondences include:  days, planets, moon phases, herbs, oils, colors, gemstones, Zodiac signs, hours, etc.

Coven - A small group of people, usually no more than 13, of the same Tradition who work together within the Craft. 

Covenstead - The regular home or meeting place of a coven.

Craft, the - Witchcraft, Wicca

Crescent Moon - Sacred symbol of the Goddess.  Used for Sabbats, women's healings and invocations.

Crystal ball - A ball is made of quartz (you can tell if it is true quartz by its cold feel and the inclusion of irregularities). It is used for divination.

Curse - Purposely directing negative energy at someone. Wiccans do not do this, as it goes against the rules of three.

Dedication - The dedication of a Witch is a ritual where the individual accepts the Craft as their path in life and is "reborn" as a child of the Goddess and God.

Deity – The form(s) The All takes.

Deosil - (pronounced Jess-el)  Moving in a clockwise direction.

Devas - Devas are energies, or spirit forms, that create patterns of reality on higher levels of existence. Anything created naturally or by humans has a deva.

Divination - To foretell events of the future or recount the distant past or clarify the now by using tools or actions such as Tarot cards, dreams, runes, astrology,  pendulums, meditation,etc.

Divine Power - The energy and life force of the Goddess and God

Drawing Down the Moon – A ritual done during the Full Moon to connect with the Goddess by drawing her spirit into you.

Earth Power - Energy that exists within nature and all on Earth.

Eclipse - When one heavenly body obscures another for a short period of time, creating a temporary veil or shadow. 

Elements - Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  Witches believe also in a fifth element - Self, Spirit or Aksha.

Empowering - Also called "charging".  This means to fill an object with divine energy for a specific magickal purpose or manifestation.

Equal-armed Cross (the original Celtic Cross) - A cross symbol with equally sized arms representing the elements.

Esbat - The celebration of the moon phases, mainly the Full or New Moon. 

Evoke - To call upon the spirits or deities.

Familiars - A Witch's pet animal which has been trained to be a magickal helper.

God/Goddess - Blanket titles for the universal male and female energy celebrated by the Witches.  Together, their combined power equals The All.

Great Rite - A powerful Rite that done literally involves sex, but can be symbolized by the lowering of the athame into the chalice.

Grimoire - A magickal workbook or Book of Shadows that contains rituals, magickal meanings of objects, etc.

Grounding - A meditation exercise that allows one to draw or send energy into the Earth.

Handfasting - Wiccan, Pagan or Gypsy wedding.

Hex - Curse.

Holy Water - Blessed, purified water for use in ritual.  Salt or an herb may be added to the water as part of its ritual purification process. 

Imbolc - The Sabat marking The Festival of Lights celebrated Feb. 1. It celebrates the first stirrings of spring and the recovery of the Goddess from giving birth.

Initiation - The process by which a Witch is admitted into a coven.

Infusion - A liquid produced by soaking herbs in hot water.

Invocation - To call a deity or spirit into a circle.

Lady - Title of honor for the Goddess.

Lord - Title of honor for the God.

Lughnasadh: A Sabat held Aug. 1 to celebrate the first harvest.

Mabon - The Sabat held on the Autumn Equinox (around Sept. 21) to celebrate the end of harvest.

Magick - The act of focusing the energies of the Universe to effect needed change on the mundane plane; reflection; contemplation

Meditation - Mental, stress-relieving exercise used to draw body, mind, and spirit into one.

Midsummer - A Sabat held on the Summer Solstice (around June 21) that celebrates the longest day of the year.

Moon Void of Course - An astrological term for when the  Moon leaves one aspect but has not yet entered the next sign. This stage lasts from a few hours to a few days. It is best to avoid any magick workings during this period (you will have trouble drawing energy and will be force to use your own) as well as avoiding making major decisions or planning important events.

Mundane Plane – The physical plane on which we exist

Old Ones, the - The ancient ones, Goddess and God.

Ostra - A Sabat of marking the Spring Equinox (around March 21) and the return of the Sun and the fertility of the Earth.

Pagan - Originally meaning country dweller, than heathen, the modern definition is one who practices a polytheistic, nature-based, magick-embracing religion.

Pendulum: A divination device consisting of a string attached to a heavy object whose movement determines the answer.

Pentacle - The prime magickal symbol of The Craft. A five-point star within a circle with each point representing an element and the fifth representing the Self or Aksha. It is a symbol of protection and power. It is not a symbol of evil or Satan.

Personal Power - The energy you raise within yourself.

Phases of the Moon - The stages of the Moon (new, waxing, full, waning) as it journeys around Earth. One complete orbit of the Moon around the Earth is called a lunar cycle and takes 28 days There are 13 lunar cycles per year.

Planetary Hour - Also called a magickal hour.  Divisions of night and day that are guided by astrological influences and the energies of the various planets.

Projective Hand - Your dominate hand. This is the hand you use to send out and direct energy.

Quarters of the Moon -- Astronomical measurement of the Moon's cycle as it journeys around the Earth.  The first and second quarters encompass the stages from New to Full Moon, while the third and fourth quarters represent the journey back from Full to New.

Receptive hand - Your less dominate hand (if you are right handed, it would be your left hand). This is the hand that energy will flow in through. This is the hand that will sense energy.

Reincarnation - The doctrine of rebirth to allow the evolution of the soul.

Retrograde - When a planet, from the viewpoint of Earth, appears to be moving backward through space. When Mercury goes retrograde, it is a time for difficulty with communication, travel and electronics.

Ritual - A ceremony to mark the Sabats, Esabats, dedications or for magickal workings and to unite with the Deities.

Runes - Stones, bones or wood pieces marked with magickal symbols. Used in divination.

Sabbat -- A Witchcraft ceremony of honor acknowledging the eight segments of the Wiccan year and the cycle of the seasons.  There are eight Sabbats: Yule, Imbolic, Ostra, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasad, Mabon and Samhain.

Sacred Space – A cleansed and consecrated area used for ritual/magickal proposes. A sacred space can be created anywhere, if done properly.

Samhain - The Sabbat marking the Witches' New Year on Oct. 31, which observes the symbolic death of the God as he passes into the Land of the Young.

Scrying - To gaze into or at an object for divination purposes.

Scrying Mirror - A mirror used for divination purposes that is painted black

Sigil --  A type of symbol. A magickally oriented seal, sign, glyph (sculptured character or symbol) or other device used in a magickal working. The most powerful sigils are those that you create yourself

Solstice – Marks the longest day (Summer Solstice) and the longest night (Winter Solstice)

"So Mote It Be" – A popular Witch expression meaning “As I will, so it will be.”

Spell – An act that may use a variety of aids (herbs, string, candles, etc.) to help the a Witch focus energy on his or her desire.

Talisman - An object that has been magickally charged and is then carried or kept near the person it was made for.

Tarot cards - A set of 78 cards, 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana, which carry pictures and symbols used for divination. On one knows the specific origin of the cards.

Tradition - An organized, structured, specific Wiccan subgroup.

The All -- The energy-force that "runs" the universe. Many Wiccans believe that our “All” is the same as other religions’ Gods.

Visualization - Forming mental images and being able to "see" them in the physical world.

Wand – A branch or piece of wood used to channel energy, direct a cone of power or to invoke the deities.

Waning Moon – The phase of the moon between Full Moon and New Moon. This is the  time for performing banishing magick.

Waxing Moon – The phase of the moon from New Moon to Full Moon. This is the time for magick that involves growth and increase.

Wicca -- 1) A contemporary pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature and celebration of the Goddess and God. 2) It is thought that this term was originally coined by Selena Fox of the Circle Sanctuary in an effort to describe the modern religion of Witchcraft (as begun by Gerald Gardner in England in the 1950's).

Wiccaning - The dedicating of a child to the Goddess and God. Note: This does not make the child a Witch.

Widdershins - Counterclockwise

Witch -- A person who practices Witchcraft; Wiccan.

Witchcraft – The practice of Wicca, including spell work.

Wheel of the Year -- One full cycle of the Wiccan year, divided into eight seasons celebrated with the Sabbats.

Yule - A Sabbat marking the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21) celebrating the rebirth of the God.


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