Witchcraft & Pagan Definitions

A word from the Jewish mystical tradition of Qabala. Its root is the name of the Gnostic deity Abraxas, meaning "hurt me not". It is said to possess magickal powers, especially of protection from illness.

A form of faith healing that involves the projection of positive healing energy to an ill person by a healer who is not present at the time of the healing.

Beginner or "novice" in many magickal orders. Sometimes used to denote the lowest rank in the group.

Adastria A name applied to the goddess Nemisis, which means “inevitable,” referring to the goddess’s connection to Divine retribution in the face of malicious thoughts, words or deeds.

Through serious study and accomplishments one is considered highly proficient in a particular magickal system. An adept has passed various initiations and tests, and is well skilled in their particular occult (or other) art.

Divination by the stars.

Aes sidhe

The Supernatural Folk, i.e. the Faerie Folk.

The world of the dead, the place where human souls go to after death. Also see: Summerland.

Age Of Pisces
The calendar is organised into Zodiacal Ages, which take their names from the twelve Zodiacal signs, as inspired by the precession of the equinoxes. According to this system of dating the Age just ended was the Piscean Age, which occupied the years 400-1999 AD in the Christian calendar. The new Age that has begun is the Aquarian.

Group of five Oghams.

The Celtic goddess of crops, the moon and of cattle.

One of the four ancient elements, which corresponds to the South Watchtower of the magick circle in the Southern Hemisphere.

In astrology, the three signs of the zodiac attributed to the element of Air - Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra.

Airbe druad
"Hedge," a magickal barrier no one could pass through.

"Airt" is a Scottish Gaelic term meaning something to the effect of "Wind." In Scottish Traditional Wicca when the Magick Circle was cast the Four Winds, or Airts, would be summoned to stand guard over it and to aid the ritual being performed. The Airts are identified with the Four Directions, the Four Elements, and a host of other correspondences. In Gaelic East was ruled by Aes, whose colour was red, and whose time was dawn. South was ruled by Deas (from which the word Deosil comes), whose colour was white, and whose time was Noon. West was ruled by Iar, whose colour was grey and whose time was Dusk. And North was ruled by Tuath whose colour was black and whose provenance was the Night. This system is illustrated by the ancient song "Black Spirits" used by Shakespear in MacBeth. The first line of the song runs "Black Spirits and Red, White Spirits and Grey, mingle, mingle, mingle, as ye mingle may!"

A Celtic-Irish word meaning "dream" or "vision", pronounced "ash-leen".

The cord between the astral body and the physical body, most likely this concept is derived from the biblical reference to a "silver cord" connected the body and the soul.

Element of Spirit, the fifth element, the omnipresent spiritual power that permeates the universe. It is the energy out of which the Elements formed. Usually envisaged as violet in colour. It embraces the other four elements - earth, air, fire, and water. This is the realm of pattern, or causality, from which the realm the normally thought of five senses manifests. Some define it is the "other" of the "two worlds" that the witch or magician walks between.- the spiritual ether (or Aether).

Akashic Records
Edward Cayce's concept which states that somewhere there is a universal hall of data about past lives, magick, healing, and spirituality. It does not exist on the physical plane but rather on a more psychic level. Some believe it can be accessed on the astral plane, others feel it can only be accessed through a visualisationjourney in the mind.

Alban Arthuan: Winter Solstice.

Alban Eiler: Spring Equinox.

Alban Elved: Autumnal Equinox.

Alban Heruin: Summer Solstice.

AlchemistOne who practices alchemy.

A form of high magick which stems from the middle ages noted by the attempts of alchemists to make lead turn into gold. The magickal powers of transmutation, utilising the blending of ingredients to produce unity and purity. The science of England’s Middle Ages.

A form of divination where papers with written answers are placed within dough balls and baked. Modern fortune cookies are a derivative of this.

Alexandrian Tradition
Based on the teachings of Alex Saunders.

Initiated by (or stemming from those initiated by) Alex and Maxine Saunders. An offshoot of Gardnerian witchcraft, though founded independently in the 1960's.

Synchronisation of mental and spiritual vibrations with a god, goddess, or astronomical body. Often the complete balance and centring of the chakras is called an alignment.

Allegory is the supreme achievement of Pagan religion. Is the art of using easily understandable symbols to describe difficult or abstract concepts.  In this way for example, we describe the interaction of spirit and body, a complex and intangible concept, as the dance of Goddess and God -a concrete and easily understood image from which the higher concept can be extracted.  It is allegory, which allows us to speak of "energy" as "light".  It is allegory, which allows us to speak of the Universe as a Divine Web, connecting all things.  Allegory allows us to free ourselves from literality, and opens the door to abstract thinking.

Another name for Samhain, a Pagan festival which is celebrated on the last day of April/first day of May in the Southern Hemisphere.

A special table or shelf where ritual objects are placed for the purpose of work & worship. An altar table can be most anything from a patch of ground to a marble pedestal (and anything in between). Items that may be found on an altar include candles, an athame and/or wand, a dish of salt and water (for purification and to represent Earth and Water), stones, incense, small statues of the God and Goddess, other objects symbolic to the ritual purpose.  It is generally considered preferable for an altar to be made of wood or stone.  Metal is usually not used because of the conductivity of its nature, though altar pieces are often of metal, and it is not unusual for an altar table to be decorated with metal ornaments or inlay, or to have a metal frame.

Altar Cloth
A cloth placed upon an altar to enrich or decorate it.  Altar cloths originated in a time when all cloth was woven by hand, and embroidered cloth was a status symbol and its use a sign of an important occasion.  Altar cloths are often very beautiful, and sometimes include a wall hanging behind the altar as well.

Altar Table
The surface on which an altar is set up, an altar table can be most anything from a patch of ground to a marble pedestal -and anything in between. It is generally considered preferable that an altar table be made of wood or stone (or such materials as plaster or terra cotta, for that matter). Metal is usually not used because of the conductivity of its nature, though altar pieces are often of metal, and it is not unusual for an altar table to be decorated with metal ornaments or inlay, or to have a metal frame.

An object worn or carried that has been charged to deflect negative energy or spirits. It is a protective object that is sometimes inscribed with runic or other magickal symbols and charged with personal energies through ritual or meditation.

Soul, indestructible self. One does not have but rather one is anam. It is seated in the head.

A substance, such as camphor, that reduces sexual desires.

Ancestors are spirits of people who have helped to shape us into whom we are. Commonly these are deceased family members, and it is in this way that the term is primarily used. But Ancestors need not necessarily be people to whom we are related by blood. A deceased person who helped us in some important way or whom we particularly admire may also be considered an Ancestor. Sometimes a historical personage to whom we are drawn (perhaps because of a past life connection of which we may or may not be conscious) will be considered an Ancestor. Ancestors are the spirits we honour as being fundamental to the development of our character, and to whom we have a strong psychic bond. Often they will act as Spirit Guides to us, advising and aiding us as we go through life. Ancestors should be acknowledged and honoured regularly, to strengthen the bond between us and them.

"two sights," the ability to see spirits.

The buried feminine elements in a man's psyche

It is the belief that natural objects, and Nature itself, are alive and conscious.

The belief that all forms of Nature have a Divine Spirit within.

The buried masculine elements in a woman's psyche

An ancient Egyptian symbol resembling a cross with a loop at the top. Also called the crux ansata or looped cross. Egyptian hieroglyph for "life" and "cosmic knowledge". Widely used as an occult symbol of the Life Principle.

(ar-ahn) the Under World.

Another word for a Witch's magickal wand.

A sparsely worded saying. IE. “As above, So below.”

Substance that generates sexual excitement.

The appearance of a phantom seen in a dream or trance or waking state as the result of astral projection.

The 11th sign of the zodiac. It is symbolised by the Water Bearer, is an Air sign, and is ruled by Uranus.

This is the name of Italian Goddess Diana's daughter, and a name for the Goddess used by Italian witches or Strega, said to be the origin of all witches, sworn to protect her people against the aggression of masculine faith and its persecutors during the reign of medieval terror. She taught around 1353. She was imprisoned more than once, escaped several times and eventually disappeared. The book "Aradia, Gospel of the Witches" was published by Leland about Aradia and the practice of witchcraft. Believed to have been derived from the Tuscan witches' usage as recorded in C.G. Leland's Aradia.

An Italian Wiccan tradition as examined in a classic book published by Charles Godfrey Leland called the Vangelo Delle Streghe.

The Celtic god of the underworld.

Arcana: This is the two halves of the Tarot deck. There is the Major Arcana, that consists of 22 trumps. They reflect the dominant occurrences in our lives. Then there is the Minor Arcana (also known as the lesser Arcana), they consist of 56 suit cards. They assist the Major Arcana by reflecting smaller occurrences in our lives.

Symbolic imagery seen in visions, dreams, meditation, and mind quests. Used to interpret the meaning of the vision thereby betting understanding and communicating with the subconscious.

A Welsh Goddess-name much used by witches. The name means `Silver Wheel'. Caer Arianrhod (Castle of Arianrhod), symbolises the resting-place of souls between incarnations.

The 1st sign of the zodiac. It is symbolised by the Ram, is a Fire sign, and is ruled by Mars.

Therapeutically (heal, relax, purify, etc.) using flowers, herbs, oils, incense or anything else that has an aroma.

Arthurian Tradition
A Welsh tradition of paganism based on the lore of King Arthur (the "Once and Future King"), Merlin the Magician, and Guinevere.

As Above So Below
The ancient maxim "As Above, So Below" is attributed to the Egyptian spiritual Master Hermes Trismegistus, whose Emerald Tablet and other works were the standard of traditional Hermetic teaching.  What is meant by this phrase is that all of creation, whether great or small, reflects the same Divine Nature, or plan.  As all things that exist are emanations of the Goddess and the God, all things naturally mirror and reflect their divine qualities.  For this reason the same Truth will be discerned in a galaxy of stars, and in a single grain of sand, if one is open to it.  It is ultimately on this principle that all forms of divination are based.

Modern worship of the old Norse gods.

A form, facet, or persona of Deity.

An advanced magickal practice which is seen most commonly in a coven as opposed to solitary. The practitioner attempts to manifest an aspect of the Goddess or the God. This is seen in the pagan ritual of Drawing Down the Moon as well as in other pagan religions such as Vodou, where the priest often allows the deity to speak through his or her body.

A bundle of fresh herbs either carrying dew or dowsed with spring water, used to sprinkle the water during ritual purification.

The act of sprinkling water for purification purposes during or preceding Ritual.

The psychic "double" of the physical body, consisting of substance more tenuous than matter, but grosser than mind or spirit. (See also Etheric.)

Realm of existence parallel to physical reality. In this realm, the nonmaterial body may traverse both time and space. A wide variety of entities inhabit the astral, such as ghosts and the conscious or dreaming presence of living individuals.

The transferring of consciousness from the physical to the astral body, so that one perceives and moves about on the astral plane as the physical body remains inert. Also called an out-of-body-experience or astral travel.

This is an ancient science and practice of divination by studying the Sun, Moon, planets and stars. Each of these heavenly bodies directly reflects the course of human affairs depending on which section the zodiac they are in. Also called Stargazing.

Rebirth after death into the Other World.

(pronounced: a-THA-may) The athame is usually a black handled, double edged knife used in rituals that has been cleansed and consecrated. It is NEVER used for blood-letting, and very rarely used for cutting anything on the material plane. The only traditional exception to this rule being a handfasting cake. It is symbolic of the element of fire and it can be used while laying down circle boundaries. Also a phallic symbol. It acts as an extension of ones will, to store and focus energy to direct power during magickal workings. The Magical Knife, or Athame (or Arthame), is an ancient tool of magick, used for many purposes including casting the magic circle, and the preparation of various magical items or ingredients. It is interchangeable with the magic sword. In certain Traditions the Athame must be of a particular colour and made in a particular way, but in general use today an Athame can be any sort of knife.

To bring different psyches into harmony.

An activity which brings the mind, emotion and psyche of an individual into harmony.

Divination based on "signs" or omens.

The radiating layers of energy that emanate from all things. An aura is most often visible only to those born with the skill to see it, or those who developed this ability. A visible aura contains various colours and tells about the spiritual and emotional persona of the plant, human, or creature surrounded by it. However, an aura can also be felt, heard, or sensed through other means.

One of the eight Sabbats celebrated on the middle of Autumn, which is on or near March 21 Southern Hemisphere. Also known as Alban Elfed, Mabon and the Second Festival of Harvest.

An advanced soul, who returns to a physical body to teach less evolved souls. Eg. Buddha, Jesus.

Awen: inspiration.

Awenyddion: inspired ones.

A fire lit for magickal purposes, usually outdoors. Balefires are traditional on Yule, Beltane and Midsummer.

That which is poisonous, evil, destructive, dangerous, negative, etc. Paired to indicate the negative as in "wolfbane", "hensbane" and "baneberry". Banish
To rid the presence of. To magickally end something or exorcise unwanted entities.

A ritual performed to remove negative or evil influences from the circle.

(Before Common Era). Few non-Christians see any relevance to idea of dating events from the supposed date of the birth of Jesus. So instead of using B.C., we prefer B.C.E. In practice it means the same thing.

Beithe Luis Nion: The Old Irish name of the Celtic Tree Ogham.

Used to summon deities and as instruments for sacred music.

Bellarmine Jars
Bellarmine jars were large jars decorated with the face of a bearded man, said to be one Cardinal Bellarmine. Often the Jar actually had three faces of the same man, sometimes conjoined. It is believed that they actually represent the Horned God. Bellarmine jars were particularly favoured for bottle magick.

BeltaineStart of summer, Nov 1st Southern Hemisphere. One of the Ancient Celtic "Fire Festivals" On this night, the cattle were driven between two bonfires to protect them from disease. Couples wishing for fertility would "jump the fires" on Beltane night. Also the traditional Sabbat where the rule of the "Wheel of the Year" is returned to the Goddess. This Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of Maiden to Mother.

Living thing, life, livelihood, quick, alive, active, lively. One's physical body or true form. This can be shape-shifted into other true forms or be transformed by external magicks by others.

A besom is a magickal broom used during ritual for purification by sweeping away negative energies. Besom often refers to the small handheld type. A bundle of twigs attached to a handle used to cleanse and purify sacred space. Essentially a witch's broomstick.

A form of divination where you let a book fall open, pointing with closed eyes to a spot, and finding significance from the chosen word or passage.

To magickally restrain someone or something.

BindingA magickal spell, which usually involves tying of knots on a cord, to restrain something or someone or to 'bind' them to you.. Usually this is performed to stop something or someone from harming another or themselves.

A powerful magickal talisman, normally made from wood or metal, and inscribed with two or more different rune symbols which are combined into an aesthetically pleasing way.

This world: the manifest multi-verse.

A deliberate and obscene travesty of the Christian Mass for evil magick purposes, which strictly speaking can only be performed by an unfrocked or corrupt priest. This is not a Pagan term, but rather a Christian or the rebels of Christianity born term.

Tool used for divination and dark aspect meditations.

Prosperity. The eastern realm among the Fifths.

Blessed BeA term derived from the ritual of the Five-fold Kiss, it is simple a blessing commonly used among Witches and pagans as a greeting, response or a goodbye. It reminds us that everything and everyone is sacred. Pronounced as three syllables. Abbreviated as BB or B*B. 

Blood of the MoonA woman's menstrual cycle, considered important and a crucial time for magick to be performed, especially when it crosses the dark or full moon. If this occurs at the time of the full moon, a woman so attuned is far more powerful than any other time of the month.

A human entity so highly developed that it no longer needs to reincarnate on Earth but chooses to do so in order to help mankind.

"cow song," a drum.

BOLLINE (BO-LEEN')At one time there were a number of variations on the idea of the magickal knife, most of which are no longer in general use. One of these divided the magickal knife into two instruments, the black-handled Athame, used for various magickal operations, notably casting the Magick Circle, and the white-handled Boleen, used to create magickal artefacts, such as the wand and various engraved symbols. The Athame was considered sacred to the Goddess, while the Boleen, or Burrin, was considered sacred to the God since it was used in physical operations. It is normally only used within the circle.

Book Of Shadows
Also known as a Witches Grimoire. This is a collection of information for a Witch's reference. A book in which spells, recipes, magickal workings, rituals, and journal entries, laws/rules are kept, and other documents important to a witch or coven. There is no one single Book of Shadows and each is individual to the writer. Traditionally, every student copies their teacher's Book of Shadows in their "own hand of write" (own handwriting). In most cases parts may have been copied from a covens "standard" Book of Shadows or from the book of another adept Witch. Traditionally this book is destroyed when the owner dies or is returned to the coven for disposal. Sometimes a book is handed down to a sibling, but this is usually only accepted if so instructed by the original owner. Some traditions have a "standard" Book of Shadows which serves as the basis for new initiates, but the initiates book soon changes as additions are made. The computer revolution has superseded this a bit nowadays. Gerald Gardner, the father of modern Wicca, published his Book of Shadows in the 1930's. The name is believed to be a remainder from the burning times when witches had to remain "in the shadows".

Book Religions
There are two religions in the world: Native (or Pagan) religions, and the Book religions. Pagan religions are living religions that grow out of people's direct experience of Deity through Nature and metaphysical experience. Pagan religions change and develop as culture and peoples' abilities develop. The Book religions descend from the Bible and Koran and believe themselves to be "revealed religions" -that is, that they are perfect in origin and must never be changed.

A popular name for the well-known occult principle that a psychic attack which comes up against a stronger defence rebounds threefold (though this is metaphorical) on the attacker

Born Old
People who are born with the veil between the conscious self and the powers of the soul very thin, and who can thus access the Higher Self easily with minimal or no instruction, are said to have been "born old". Talents that others must work to develop come to them easily, seemingly without effort. This is because such souls have already put out great efforts to develop these skills in previous lives, and bring them through to the present.

Breaca sith
"faerie marks," the livid spots that appear on the faces of the dying.

Brehon Laws
Old Irish laws governing all aspects of life.

Strength, energy, vigour, merit, essence, natural talent. the power inherent within a person, place or object. It is the power of the creative intent that basically defines your existence. One has a limited amount of Bri. See Bua.

Magick, the spoken spell.

The triple aspect goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone.

Broom Closet
Not meant literally, this is a term used to describe someone who is "in the broom closet", or in other words, who is not public with their pagan/Wiccan practices.

Bruho/Bruha: also "Bruja"
The Spanish term for "witch". This term means a bad witch, not a good witch. See "curranderismo" for good witch.

Victory, triumph, success, skill, talent, destiny. the earned power that can be shared, stored, increased or decreased. It is what develops from ritual, configuration, blessing, sanctification. One has an unlimited amount of Bua. See Bri.

Drinking horn.

Burning TimesThis is a word used to describe the execution of people accused of Witchcraft during their persecution from the Middle Ages onwards. Most executions were in fact by hanging, not burning. It is believed that actual burning only occurred in Scotland and the European continent. In other areas they were usually hanged. It is believed red-haired women were also burned/hanged because the colour of their hair indicated to Christian that they had made a pact with the devil. The Christian church sought to destroy any religion they did not understand during this time. The term "devil worshipper" was not only stamped on Witches, but any other non-Christian religion which they did not understand. While it is claimed that thousands and even millions were killed, a small fraction were actually witches. Many were heretics or Christians accused of witchcraft by those who disliked them.

Another name for the White Handled Knife.

Bwa'r Crach
"hag's bow," the rainbow leading to the Other World.

Is the ancient Hebrew magickal system. Also spelled Quaballah, Qaballa.

Castle or fortress.

This is the ritual meal shared with the Goddess and God near the end of a religious ritual.
Similar to Communion, a time to give thanks during ritual for all we have received and to remember to share what we have with others. Cakes can be biscuits or crackers or special breads baked for the ritual; ale may be an alcoholic beverage, juice, water, milk, or other special beverage. The cakes and ale are blessed before being consumed. Some of the ale is always left for libation.

Evoking/Invoking Divine forces.

The 4th sign in the zodiac. It is symbolised by the Crab, is a Water sign, and is ruled by the Moon.

Candle Magick
A form of sympathetic magick that uses different coloured candles to represent the people and things at which its spells are directed. Candle magick is the art of using a candle to focus your energy and intent to bring about a desired result.  Usually the candle is lit and focused on for a period of meditation.  The candle may then be allowed to burn on, until it is consumed. As the candle burns the desired event is brought into manifestation.  Or the candle may be extinguished, and the ritual repeated at intervals, as every day for a set number of days.  In addition there are many other ways to use candles in the practice of magick.  Always remember that magick is a tool of self-improvement and transformation, and should be used with care and for the good of all.

Pagan sabbat held on Aug 1st. See Imbolc

A spell cast by a witch. It is small, quick, and has minimal effects.

The 10th sign of the zodiac. Symbolised by the Goat, is an Earth sign, and is ruled by the Saturn.

Cardinal Points
North, East, South, and West. Symbolised by the circle in magick (which connects the points), the four elements, and the watchtowers.

Layout cloth with appropriate markings, used for tossing the ogham fews (or for runes).

Conflict: The northern realm among the Fifths.

The release of magickal energies at the height or climax of a ritual. Essentially the use of energy at the catharsis is the crux of the rite, determining whether its outcome will be successful or not.

A feminine symbol of the goddess, also of life, death, and rebirth. This is associated with Cerridwen, a goddess who brewed a magickal cauldron from which a single drop was yielded each year. The consumer of her brew would be granted great wisdom. Today her cauldron survives not only in pagan ritual but in the Christian concept of the holy grail.

(Common Era). Few non-Christians see any relevance to the idea of dating events from the supposed date of the birth of Jesus. So instead of using A.D. we prefer C.E. In practice it means the same thing.

The Celtic people are believed to have developed in central or Eastern Europe sometime around 700 BCE (500 Aries) and spread through Western Europe all the way to the British Isles -though some scholars believe their origin to be much earlier. Interbreeding with the pre-existing peoples of Western Europe, the Celts developed a distinctive and highly mystical culture. Absorbed by the Roman Empire, Celtic culture had a strong influence on medieval Europe and consequently the modern world. The Druids, the Celtic priesthood, have been a subject of fascination for subsequent generations, and are believed to be a major contributing strain to modern Wiccan thought. The great Greek philosopher Pythagoras cited the Druids as a primary source for many of his teachings as well.

A container in which incense is smouldered or burned. It symbolises the element of air. Often a censer is used during ritual to "cense" an area, generally by moving the censer around the area and especially around the circle as a means of purification.

Finding you centre (around the Solar Chakra) and grounding your energy through meditation, often before rituals to help harness and direct the balanced energy.

Cerne Abbas
The Cerne Abbas Giant is a huge chalk carving in the English countryside.  The carving shows a naked man with a huge erect penis, carrying a club. It is believed to represent the Horned God, Whose attributes include the club or staff. Even though this particular example has no horns per se.  "Cerne" is believed to be a shortened form of "Cernunnos."

The Horned God - aspect of the god depicted by a man with antlers and sometimes the tail and legs of a stag. He is often pictured sitting cross-legged with a torc in one hand and a serpent in the other.

Celtic grain goddess

Chakras are the energy centres of the body, where body and Spirit most strongly connect. There are thousands of Chakras in every part of the body, which are connected to each other by meridians, or energy pathways. This is the basis of such systems of medicine as acupuncture, shiatsu, and moxidermy, which treat physical illness by applying stimulation to the Chakra points. In general practice however, most people work only with the seven major Chakras which correspond to the seven spheres of existence and the seven bodies. These are the Root Chakra, at the prostate in males and the paraurethral gland in females, corresponding to the physical plane. The 2nd Chakra, at the testicles in males and the ovaries in females, corresponding to the emotional plane. The Solar Chakra, roughly at the navel, corresponding to the mental plane. The Heart Chakra, at the heart, corresponding to the astral plane. The Throat Chakra, at the throat, corresponding to the soular or egoic plane. The Third Eye, at level of he pineal gland, corresponding to the monadic plane. And the Crown Chakra, at or above the top of the head, corresponding to the Divine. Energy centres in the body which are best cleansed, opened, and balanced and closed. Too much or too little energy in one chakra can be the cause for disruption in magick or frustrations in everyday life.

The ritual cup used in Wiccan ritual, said to be cognate to the Holy Grail and Magickal cauldron of ancient mythology. The Chalice represents the womb of the Goddess, from which all creation proceeds. A feminine symbol of the element water. This is used during ritual and once the waters of life which it contains is blessed, it is passed around so that everyone in the coven may bring the Goddess "into" themself.

Mediumship; a word for an entity talking through a human to convey a message to the physical plane.

Repetition of magickal phrases, syllables, or words to produce a desired effect as well as bring the chanter to a deeper meditative state or for the mere joy of singing. Here are a few popular Pagan chants:

We are a Circle within a Circle, with no beginning and never ending (written by Rick Hamouris)

Earth my body, Water my blood, Air my breath, and Fire my spirit (origin unknown)

We all come from the Goddess, and to Her we shall return, like a drop of rain, flowing to the ocean (written by Z. Budapest)

We are one with the infinite sun, forever and ever and ever (Hopi Indian chant)

Primordial Deity, God/Goddess before creation. The original state which contains within itself the beginnings of all that is given form in the physical world, but in a dreamlike and undifferentiated state. Both female and male, spiritual and physical, dark and light, all bound up together. Chaos is also called Unity or Union, among many other names. Chaos is both the starting point and the ending point of creation, it is the wholeness of Deity -from which we come and to which ultimately we shall all return, enriched by our physical experiences. Chaos is also thought of as Deity at rest, between the creation and destruction of successive Universes, or at the centre of multiple Universes.

A Chaos magician not actively in practice.

Charles Godfrey Leland
Folklorist and author who studied Witchcraft extensively at the turn of the last century. Published the Vangelo Delle Streghe.

They can be amulets or talisman that have been charged to perform a specific task, an incantation being said over it. A spell or  enchantment that holds magickal power. Charms are sometimes worn to avert evil or to attract good luck. A charm can also protect by utilising occult powers, but most significantly, is something worn to “delight and enchant” – hence the word “charming.”

Divination based on the examination of the hand, related to palmistry.

A Chinese term for the all-encompassing universal life force.

Chinese elements
wood, fire, earth, metal, water.

The circle is the sacred area in which a witch performs spells and rituals. The circle is representative of eternity and power. The sacred space where worship and ritual occur. In the old days the Circle served the additional purpose of portable temple that could be erected in minutes, in a woodland grove under the full moon. If the persecutors turned up there was no physical evidence. The term can also be used to mean a Coven, Grove or working group (i.e., Raven Circle. The Circle of Oak).

Purification through a ritual bath (often with a handful of sea salt thrown in) and through meditation to cleanse the psyche. Traditionally performed before every ritual. To remove negative energy from an object or place by utilizing positive, psychic energy.

divination sticks.

a fifth, one of five provinces of the land or cosmos.

magick cauldron.

Cone of Power
Psychic energy raised by either an individual or a coven or practicing witch during spells or ritual and released to perform a certain goal through magick.

To summon entities from the spirit realm into the physical plane.

The blessing, cleansing, or positively charging of an object which is meant to be used in magick or dedicated to a deity.

COP; Circle of Protection
See Circle.

Corn Dolly
A figure made by plaiting wheat, similar to a poppet. It is symbolic of the fertility, grain, and harvest aspects of the Goddess.

Corp creidh
"clay body," used as a magick poppet or spelling doll.

Materials used in magick which relate to their specific goal. These can be herbs, stones, moon phases, colours, numbers, etc. An example would be mugwort used in a dream spell, as mugwort is a popular herb corresponding to dreams. Correspondence is a teaching system, which uses the idea of Sympathy to say that items, which have the similar qualities, may be represented by each other. Thus the Direction of the South is said to correspond to the Element of Air, the quality of Thought, the beginning of any project, and many other things. Used in part as an aid to memory, the system of Correspondence illustrates the idea that "As Above, So Below" and is used at the heart of the system of Allegory through which many Pagan and Wiccan ideas are portrayed and transmitted.

A group of 2 or more Pagans who worship together on a regular basis. The idea of covens having 13 members is a bit odd. Covens can be of any practical size, but the ideal is to have an even number (equal numbers of priests & priestesses). Also a family of witches.

Is the place of power that Witches meet where they can feel safe and at home. This could be a building or a place.

A slang term for a non-witch or non-pagan, generally used as a derogatory word for a pagan who is not initiated. It use to be a traditional word for one dedicated to the path.

Craft, the
The Craft is a term used to refer to witchcraft and wicca.

Craebh Ciuil
"the silver branch," or faerie shaman's magick wand.

Crane Bag
The bag held by a shaman or Air Witch which holds magickal talismans such as crystals, stones, or totems.

"casting the woods," or divining by oghams.

A term of respect used for a witch who has passed menopause or who is over 50-56 years old. The Goddess in Her aged form. The Crone is represented by the Waning Moon, and rules over wisdom, understanding, magick, death, regeneration and learning, among other things. People who do not possess wisdom often fear it, and thus the Crone Goddess is often feared as well. She is the Goddess of death, Who consumes all things -but only to give them transformation and rebirth. The Crone is often equated with Primordial Deity, Who precedes all creation, and waits to consume (i.e.; re-unite with) it at the end of existence. In popular iconography the Crone is the "Hallowe'en Witch" with Her pointed hat symbolising the upward spiralling cone of power, Her broomstick for sweeping away old forms of existence, and Her cauldron of transformation for creating new ways of being.

A ceremony performed for a woman who is celebrating her transition from being a Mother to being a Crone.

Cross of Confusion
An ancient Roman symbol which questioned the validity of Christianity.

Cross Quarter Days
A term used for the fire Sabbats (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnassadh). The most important festivals of the years which form the "cross - X" in the wheel of the year.

Divination using crystals

Cunning ManA practitioner of magick; this term dates back to long before Christianity. He was relied on by villagers to bring a good harvest, protect them from evil, and provide charms and medicines. The Cunning Man survived the coming of Christianity, but not for very long.

Conscious direction of negative energy towards a person, place, or object.

Cwn Annwn
(pronounced COON-ANOON) the hunting dogs of the faeries. Also called the hel hounds.

Cybele was the Phrygian form of the Great Mother, Who was adopted by the Romans as Mother of the Gods. Cybele was worshipped by transexual Priest/esses who castrated themselves and afterwards lived as women -somewhat to the horror of the conservative Romans. The myth of Cybele is very ancient, and has its roots in the earliest times. It was taught that Cybele was the first Being to exist in the Universe. She was all alone, and possessed the characteristics of both sexes; that is to say She was both male and female, at the same time. When She grew tired of being alone and desired a companion, She castrated Her male parts, and flung them to the Earth, whereupon they became the God Attis, Her Son, Brother, and Consort. It will readily be seen that this myth is cognate to that of the Vangelo Delle Streghe, with Cybele being the Goddess Who creates the God out of Herself.

A Greek word for spirit.

Dark Half
The Dark Half of a thing is its process of Involution, or looking inward. During this process things narrow and appear to decrease or become constrained, to force a tight focus. The night is the dark half of the day. The waning moon is the dark half of the lunar cycle. The winter is the dark half of the year. And so on.

Days of Power
Significant magickal days around the year. See also Sabbats.

A person who is an apprentice in witchcraft

This is where the individual accepts the Craft as their path and promises to study and learn to reach the goal of adeptship in a given path.

The level or status of a practitioner of magick. You must face various tests of knowledge and practical experience in order to progress to another degree within your tradition. Typically, there are three degrees within the Wiccan system. A novice or seeker dedicates and then takes First Degree Initiation following a year and a day of study. After this they are entitled to call themselves "Priest" or Priestess" Then they may progress through Second Degree to Third Degree. A Third Degree Witch is entitled to teach and to run his / her own coven. Some covens arrange things differently.

A god or a goddess. Different religions use different god & goddess names, or different deities, and these make up the PANTHEON of that religion. A holy or divine aspect of creation, beyond human form and deemed immortal. Each deity carries particular powers and abilities, and is part of an archetypal hierarchy popularised by the myths and legends of ancient cultures.

(pronounced: DAY-o-sil) Sunwise or Anti-Clockwise (Southern Hemisphere), or clockwise movement (Northern Hemisphere) the direction of the apparent movement of the sun across the sky, the direction of creation. Used in magick to raise power.. It literally means "Southwards" from the Gaelic Deas, or "South". Deosil movement represents the movement of spiritual energy into physical manifestation. When opening or casting Circle, the Priest or Priestess will commonly walk deosil around the circle, symbolic of the cycle of life. Every time you turn in circle you should always move deosil, even if it means making an almost complete circle. The term Deosil refers to motions that go in the same direction as the apparent motion of the Sun. For this reason it is also sometimes called Sunward motion. Used often to describe movement in rituals. This is a pagan custom used to drawn down the power of the sun; most often a person circles three times deosil. It is associated with blessings, luck, and good health or fortune. In magic Deosil movement is used for raising energy, while clockwise (Southern Hemisphere) anti-clockwise (Northern Hemisphere) or Tuathail motion is used to disperse energy. We raise energy to aid in the working of magic and the manifestation of those things we wish to bring about. For this reason most motion in the Magic Circle will be Deosil. Deosil means "Southward" and takes its name from the Scottish term for the Airt of the South: Deas. In correspondence Deas is also identified with the Noonday and the Sun. Almost all peoples have considered Sunward motion to be indicative of manifestation. You will hear some people claim that such and such a people used Tuathail motion to indicate manifestation and work magic, but this is not so: the confusion arises from the use of the terms "right" and "left" to describe movement in the circle. Anti-clockwise movement always goes to the left -yet if you stand in a circle with others holding hands and pass energy around the circle anti-clockwise, you will notice you receive it through your left hand, and pass it on to the right -it is from this that the confusion arises.

Destiny refers, ultimately, to the lessons afforded one in life, the chances for growth and advancement which will be placed in our path. What we do with these lessons of course is our own -they can be positive or negative according to our choices, rather than any preset destiny. But the lessons themselves are chosen and agreed to prior to birth, to try to stimulate growth the soul needs and desires. Consequently it can be said that life gives us opportunities which we cannot avoid or short circuit, because we have asked for them before entering this life, but what the outcome of these opportunities might be is the result of our own choices and actions.

A devotee is a person who is attached, or devoted, to a particular Patron deity. Thus one might be a devotee of Hecate, or a devotee of Isis, or a devotee of Ganesha, or any of the hundred million some forms of Deity.

The idea of representing the Earth as defined by Four Directions is ancient. Four is said to be the number of manifestation because there are Four Directions which define the earth, and Four Elements which compose it. Historically the Four Directions have been personified in many ways: in Egypt as the four Sons of Horus Who held up the sky at the four corners of the Earth, in the Grecco-Roman world as the Four Winds. Ceremonials associate the Directions with the Four Archangels, or lesser Gods of their Tradition. The Four Directions are represented by the equal-armed cross, often placed in a circle to represent the world of physical manifestation.

This is the act of using magickal tools/symbols to gather information on people, places, things and events in the past, present and future. There are literally hundreds of methods, some common, some less so, including: Tarot cards, Rune Stones, Scrying, Psychometry, Oneiromancy, Pendulum, Aleuromancy, and Bibliomancy.  Divination should be regarded as a very useful way to predict trends, dangers and opportunities. But be aware that the future is not fixed. A reading can influence ones actions and thus the outcome may change. If a reader tells you an accident is on the cards it dose NOT mean you have to go out and have that accident!  It DOES mean you need to take extra care NOT to have an accident.

Do As You Will, But Harm Ye None
The Wiccan Rede, the great law of Wicca. Because what you do comes back to you -through Karma- magic and all other actions should be used for constructive purposes only. Using ones actions for harm is wrong and will only bring harm to you in the end.

A rigid set of beliefs established by the priesthood of some religions. Followers of such religions are required to accept these beliefs without question as their way is the only way. In Wicca we have no dogma. All our beliefs are open to debate and each Wiccan is free to believe whatever feels right for them within a framework. For instance, most Witches believe in reincarnation. However many do not and they are just as much Wiccan as the rest of us. It does not mean we can do whatever we want.

This is the use of a pendulum or stick to find the location of a person, place, thing or element. This is also very useful in answering yes and no questions.

A practitioner of magick who uses dragons in their workings.

A dragon, generally refers to a young one.

Drawing Down the Moon
A ritual which invokes the Goddess into the High Priestess by the High Priest. This is a ritual used during the Full Moon for witches to empower themselves and unite their inner selves with a particular deity.

The Shamanic concept of a world which parallels this one.

A person of the Celtic Mystical Order

An ancient Celtic order of priests which has undergone a modern revival into neo-paganism.

Wren, or druid.

Elements. Sometimes there are seven or nine duile in a Faerie Pagan's worldview. This list may include earth, water, stone, salt, sun, rain, cloud, stars and wind. Also du/il -- element (created thing), entity, creature, affection, hope, desire, fondness. An intrinsic quality of a person's form within the world, how one interacts with life. One's "mask" one's emotional attitudes or motives.

See Grounding.

Earth Magick
A practical form of magick which involves drawing energy from Mother Earth (or Gaia) and the element or elementals of earth for rituals.

Earth Power
Defines the force or vibration that exists in many inanimate objects like stones, water, fire, and plants. Can be controlled and used in magick.

A person (or the practice of a person) who combines attributes from various cultures or Pantheons to create a unique spiritual blend of paganism or witchcraft that suits them best.

Is a person or group of people that oversee the operations of the coven and its functions. These people are experienced and educated in Magickal adeptship and counselling.

A spirit formed of one of the elements. The 5 elementals are salamanders (fire), sylphs (air), undines (water), gnomes (earth), and spirit (akasha).

Elements are thought of as the basic building blocks of creation, contained in varying degrees in all things.. Different cultures have used different substances to symbolise the elements, and sometimes different numbers of them, and their correspondences vary widely according to location. In the Wiccan religion they are normally said to be: Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. All things are said to be made up of these elements in differing proportions. It must be understood that it is not the physical substance that is meant here, but rather the spiritual qualities that they represent. Air represents inspiration, Fire action, Water reaction, and Earth integration. In addition Spirit is said to be the fifth element, of which all the others are manifestations. They may also be associated in a magickal circle with direction, South is Air, North is Fire, East is Water and West is Earth. The centre of a circle is Spirit or Akasha.

A magically charged liquid which has to have a crystal or gem sitting in it for a specific amount of time before it is ready to drink.

To transfer energy to a person or object.

An individual's assertion of personal power, energy, force, and strength in all fields... spiritual, physical, mental, magickal.

A method of spellcasting which involves, generally, spoken words of power. An enchantment can be put on something to gain control or authority over it. Enchanted objects generally "carry" the magick put upon them with them, so it does not cease to work but is continually having its effect. These are magickal objects that have been charmed and kept secret and hidden from all human eyes and affects a hidden aura.

An Esbat is a monthly ceremony or ceremonies, usually tied to the cycle of the Moon. Esbats are commonly held at the New or Full Moon, but can also be held at the Dark Moon and are a time of worship and spellcasting. A celebration honouring the moon and her gifts, at which cakes and wine are shared. Can also be any ritual other than a Sabbat.

Essential Oil
A plant oil which is extracted through a very complex process that generally yields very little product, making it costly to buy true essential oils. It's a misconception to think of them as actually being oily because they rarely are. These are called for often in rituals.

This is to call something out from within. It is also the word used for the act of calling up spirits or elementals.

Involution is a process of going inside, of narrowing ones view to the extremely personal and individual. Evolution is the process of coming out from the separate and personal toward the unified and Divine. Evolution increases the vibration and lightens the density, becoming progressively less physical. This is the process of returning to Goddess and to a perspective universality. When the Involutionary process has achieved its end, the natural result is Evolution -as is revealed in the sacred Labyrinth, one first winds in, then winds back out. This process is repeated in countless ways in every moment of existence.

A race of people of all types, shapes, and sizes believed to have great power. These beings live alongside us in our world hidden from our eyes. The “fair folk” who live in sidhes (fairy mounds) and burial grounds; elementals from the underworld who are led by the Queen of Elfame and Gwynn ap Nudd. The hawthorn tree is sacred to their way, as are the hare, magpie and blackbird.

A spirit or guardian who is close to a human being and considered a companion in magick. The spirit often manifests itself in a sacred object or a pet. This explains the misconception that all witches have black cats, which is not necessarily true though a cat is a magickal creature and often does become a familiar. A familiar is an animal which connects with and communicates with a witch for magickal purposes. An ally or friend who shares the magickal journey of their host, most commonly in the form of an animal or bird, although mythical creatures, such as unicorns, dragons or elementals are sometimes encountered.

Also known as mind-binding, this is an act of mental effort to control anther person's or animal's mind psychically. Can be considered very manipulative and by some traditions a breaking of the Rede, especially when used to frivolously control people.

The destined result of life after a sequence of fated events.

Feng Shui
This is the ancient Chinese art of Geomancy based on the directions and the Asian system of five Elements.  Feng Shui is based on the idea that by allowing a free flow of Chi (spiritual energy), you can create a more harmonious living or working space, which will attract love and success into the lives of the people who use it. With this in mind Feng Shui is used to align the position of buildings, to decorate rooms and in general to divine the most auspicious place to put things.

Faerie folk.

Five-fold Kiss
A traditional salute generally performed between the High Priest and the High Priestess. This involves kissing 5 areas on the body of the Priestess with the accompanying magickal words:

"Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways."
"Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar."
"Blessed be thy womb, without which we would not be."
"Blessed be thy breasts, formed in beauty."
"Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the sacred names."


An enchantment that you can use to acquire or affect – anything. Also called a poppet or dolly.

Where one allows changes to occur at random in alignment with a desire to feel a certain way when circumstances are aligned accordingly.

Full Moon
Phase of the moon when it has waxed fully. Best time for spells involving psychic powers, and for magick in general.

Runic alphabet used often in divination, its origins are Norse (Germanic). Divided into the elder Futhark and the younger Futhark (which has fewer runes).

This is a Greek Goddess, now meaning Earth Mother or Mother Earth.

A band of cloth, leather, or metal, worn around the leg just above or below the knee, or on the arm just above the elbow, the Garter is an ancient garment still in use as an item of dress.  The Garter is used by Wiccan High Priestesses (and less often by High priests) as a symbol of rank.  There are many variations on exactly how a Garter should be made.  Perhaps the most famous example of the Garter from history comes from the reign of England's Edward III.  Tradition has it that a noblewoman, perhaps the Countess of Salisbury or the Fair Maid of Kent (consort of the Black Prince) dropped her Garter at a royal ball.  The King picked up the Garter, saying "Let none think ill of it," and proceeded to found the Order of the Garter in honour of the event.  It is believed that the lady was a Priestess of the Old Religion, and that in doing this the King extended his protection to her.  According to Margaret Murray there are many things to suggest the active promotion of the Pagan religion by England's Plantagenate dynasty.

Is an antique witch’s term for something like “the raven that sits and whispers on my shoulder,” something that is one’s destiny to pursue.

The art of reading the Earth's energies and aligning ourselves and our works to take best advantage of them.  By aligning to the natural orientation and flow of energy in this manner, we add to the effectiveness of our workings. On one level Geomancy deals with the Earth's vortices and ley lines, delineating the energetic character of differing physical locations, and the nature of their connection to each other.  More commonly however the term Geomancy refers to interpretation by direction.  Geomancy has many uses, including the selection of auspicious locations for structures or events, determining the proper directional alignment of buildings or objects, etc...

A form of magick which involves changing people's immediate perception of you, a magickal illusion used to disguise. It generally is simply altering your physical appearance (eye colour, hair length, height, etc.) temporarily. However, it can also include changing people's emotional reaction to you. Glamours last only as long as the witch feeds energy into it.

A sigil (symbol) imbued with magick.

An elemental that dwells in the earth plane. See also Elementals.

This word can be used (and often is) in two quite different ways. Firstly it is sometimes used as a synonym for "godhead" where this term is considered to be a bit of a mouthful. Secondly (and more correctly) it is used to refer to the male deity. Some of his names include Pan, Herne, Zeus, Mithras, Osirus, Cernunnos, Apollo, Hanuman, Wotan, or Odin. He is known as Brother, Lover, and Son. Sometimes known as the Horned God, not in reference to Satan (which does not have a place in the Wiccan lexicon) but with deer antlers as the Lord of the Hunt. Horns on a God (or a hero) have long been used as a symbol of power. The Christians only put horns on their Devil because we honour a Horned God. It was part of their campaign of misinformation about us.

The female deity. Some of her names include Aradia, Gaea, Isis, Brigid, Diana, Demeter, Astarte, Kali, Inanna, Lakshmi, and Hecate. Symbolic in phases of the moon and life - Maiden (waxing), Mother (full), and Crone (waning).

The great oversoul of the Universe. Known in many languages and many different cultures, by many different names. The Godhead is the soul of nature. Nature is the body of the Godhead. The Godhead is a big idea, too big to work with on a daily basis without blowing our tiny human minds. So in Wicca we subdivided the Godhead into its male & female components: The God & Goddess. (Christians do a similar thing by breaking it up into Father, Son & Holy Ghost).

Immortal beings, also called deities, worshipped by their followers and invoked for magick. A "god" is generally male, whereas the female version is "goddess".

God Voice
Building up force and intoning a word or sound from deep within.

Written magick, including symbols, signs, Ogham, and sigils.

Great Rite
This rite seen most commonly in witchcraft marks the initiation into the third degree. Sexual in nature, but can be performed symbolically instead.

Great Year
The passage of an entire series of twelve Zodiacal Ages, from one sign all the way back to itself, is said to be a Great Year. This is a period of 19,200 years.

Green Man
This is another name for the God.

Gregorian Calendar
In 1582 Pope Gregory X111 introduced his Gregorian calendar, wiping out ten days to make it astronomically correct. Another day was later dropped. This new calendar replaced the older Julian one. It is based on the supposed date of the birth of Jesus and divides all of history in half based on that date.  Pre-Christian dates must be calculated backward in this system, which not only makes Jesus appear to be the centre of time, but also effectively veils pre-Christian history behind a wall of unwieldy calculations and an artificial sense of separation from modern events.  One alternative that has been proposed is cyclical, never using backward dates as such, and having no single "beginning" which might serve to divide time into "us" and "them".

A magickal workbook which contains various information on rituals, formulae, correspondences, and preparation of ritual tools and space. Similar to a Book of Shadows.

In African religious systems, a charm, fetish, or amulet.

A process of clearing and releasing excess energy back into the ground, symbolically, back to the God or the Goddess from which it came. This helps us to feel calm and connected and to think clearly. It is particularly important before and after ritual or other magickal work.

The "Guardians" are the personified powers of the Four Airts and all they represent. The Guardians are represented in many different ways, and have been throughout history. In Egypt the Guardians were particularly represented by the four Sons of Horus, and also by the four Goddesses Who guarded the tomb. To the Grecco-Romans the Guardians were most often represented as the Four Winds, while to Ceremonials they are commonly portrayed as the four Archangels of Judaeo-Christian tradition. In many traditions the Guardians are represented as animals, which symbolism is evident in many Tarot decks. In Wicca the Guardians may be represented in many different ways, both as personifications of the powers of the Airts, and as abstract forms -a particularly popular form is as a column of white light, drawn up from the Earth.

Hag Stone/Holey Stone
A stone with a hole through it, which acts as a protection from negative forces. Can be worn around the neck on a red thread. Can also bring luck and good fortune to the wearer by averting any negativity.

Hallows, Halloween
Halloween is celebrated by most people (religiously or not) on October 31. Halloween is the eve of Samhain – which is May 1st in the southern hemisphere.

A pagan wedding, either legal or non-legal. Handfasting was a common term for marriage until the 1400s. There are two types of Handfasting vow: "For as long as love lasts" and "Until separated by death". The couple are free to choose which one they want. Handfasting is often used as a form of temporary marriage - if two wanted to join, often a Handfasting would occur, and after a term of a year and a day (traditionally) the couple could either renew vows and become legally wed or could break things off with no hard feelings on either side.  During a Handfasting, the couple is presented and their left hands are bound by a special cord. Such modern terms such as tying the knot come from this practice.

Similar to a separation or divorce, symbolically the cutting of the binds created by a handfasting.

Divination by animal entrails.

A follower of one of the nature or fertility orientated religions of the world. (The Christians and Jews often incorrectly use the term to mean everybody else but themselves). The word is synonymous with "Pagan" and literally means a dweller on the heath.

The great Crone Goddess of ancient Greece, patroness of magic and of wisdom, and a Goddess of the Spiritworld. Hecate is a Goddess of uncertain provenance, being clearly older than and outside of the Greek classical pantheon.  Some say She is of Mycenaean origin (the culture which precedes the classical).  Others believe She is of Phrygian origin.  Some equate Her with Hekat, the Egyptian Goddess of creative force and magic, with whom Hecate was most certainly identified in Hellenistic times.  During medieval times, Hecate was known as Dame Hecat, in which form She was considered a Patroness of European Witchcraft.

Hedge Witch
A witch who follows the path of a shaman, a solitaire.

A seven-pointed star drawn with one unbroken line. Symbolic of the number seven, which is important not only to the seven traditional astrological planets but also to the seven planes and subplanes and the seven chakras.

Hereditary WitchA person who descends from a line of witches and has learned the Craft from a member of this descent.

Herne The Hunter
A famous apparition said to appear in Windsor Great Park, accompanied by his hounds.  Hearn, leader of the wild hunt, is a later version of the great Pagan god Cernunnos. The sound "hernnnnn" is also the cry of a rutting stag. One legend connects Herne with the death of King William Rufus, the last willing royal sacrifice in England, but Pagans see Him as the ancient Horned God. Seeing Herne is considered an omen of death, which is not surprising since the Horned God was always connected with death and winter. "Herne" is believed to be a shortened form of "Cernunnos."

A geometric figure formed by two overlapping triangles, also called the Star of David. While it is used in modern magick to invoke or banish spirits, it is traditionally Jewish. The hexagram is a protective symbol said to avert any “hexes” or “curses.”

A priest of the mysteries who reveals his secrets only to this initiates.

Higher Self
The higher portion of ones being, through which the connection to the Divine is perceived. By attuning to the Higher Self we move in consert with the part of us, which is Divine and have access to its knowledge and powers. Non-physical, true self. The enlightened, "actual" persona of the individual as opposed to what the person seems to be or thinks they are.

High Magick
Magick involving the actions of deities or spirits.

High Priest
A male adept witch within a coven who has been initiated into the 3rd degree. Abbreviated in written rituals as HP. He leads ceremony in circle and acts as the protector and guardian during rituals, embodying the divine masculine, or male deity, when required.

High Priestess
A female adept witch within a coven who has been initiated into the 3rd degree. Abbreviated as HPS in written rituals. She leads ceremony in circle and acts as a human representative of the divine feminine, embodying the female deity when required.

Holy Grail
To some, the Grail is a physical chalice. To others, it is the aspiration of the heart to purity and love. Some consider the Holy Grail to have contained the blood of Christ form the cross, which was then carried to the Isle of Avalon and buried somewhere beneath Glastonbury Tor. To others it represents the royal bloodline of Christ and the womb.

Horned God
Pagan father God often mistaken for, or associated with, Satan. This is an incorrect assumption.

Divination by liquid, especially water.

I Ching
A form of Chinese divination

Fire in the head. Source of poetic/magickal/divine inspiration.

A pagan fire Sabbat celebrated on Aug 1 (southern hemisphere). A day of divination. The precursor to the modern Groundhog Day festival held each year on Feb. 1st or 2nd in the Northern Hemisphere.

Incantation; Incant
The spoken part of a spell.

Incense is an aromatic substance used to scent the air. Incense has many forms, both combustible and non-combustible, but people generally use the term to refer to any of several varieties of combustible incense, which are commonly available. These include incense cones, incense sticks, and smudge sticks -all of which are directly lit with an open flame as from a match or lighter- as well as powdered incense which is burned over a hot charcoal rather than being directly lit itself. The use of incense is very ancient, and in its earliest form it was probably thrown directly on the fire, or used to fuel the fire. Incense is used to raise the vibration of a place and to lend its own qualities to the energies being raised there. Some of the many different types of incense, which are commonly used include: Sage (cleansing and purification), Cinnamon (protection and prosperity), Rose (love), and Sandalwood (psychic opening).

A person who has undergone the rite of entry into a coven, circle, or other organisation.

Admission ceremony for an initiate to gain entry into a coven or circle. Generally in the form of a ritual with an oath of secrecy. The form varies from simple welcoming to elaborate ritual and preparation. The initiation should not, however, involve pain, coercion, or acts not agreed upon in advance. This is the experience and/or awareness of a person, that their personal and earthly reality has been changed.

We do magic by consciously focusing energy. We shape that energy through thought and emotion. The energy takes its direction from the "intent" we set into that thought and emotion. "Intent" is your goal or purpose -what you wish to achieve. And it is very important to be clear in intent. When you concentrate upon your intent during a magical working, you are imprinting the energy with your intent, so that it will shape itself to bring your intent to pass.

The bringing of a divine power from the exterior into a ritual or magickal working through chant or prayer. An invocation is generally an acknowledgement of the deity and a request that they be present for the working within a person, usually the HPS.

The Vangelo Delle Streghe says that the God "Fell into Matter". This means that He "Involved". To Involve is to focus solely on a part of creation, assuming a spiritual tunnel vision. Involution slows the vibration of energy, and increases its density -thus physicalising it. Involution gives an illusion of separation from Goddess, affording a singularity of perception, which allows a thing to be studied in great detail, by blocking out the rest of creation. Since all above is also below, the process of involution is reflected in all things which must first Involve before they can Evolve -that is to say they must first adopt a highly personal and focused view from which deep understanding and integration is possible, before they can widen their view to contemplate the wholeness of existence.

Inward Silence
The silencing of the emotions and thoughts that disturb the effectiveness of a ritual.

Julian Calendar
In 1582 Pope Gregory X111 introduced his Gregorian calendar, wiping out ten days to make it astronomically correct. Another day was later dropped. This new calendar replaced the older Julian one.

A concept which originated in Hindu philosophy that is used to explain injustice and retribution. Most Pagans believe in Karma, a checks and balances system of your actions. What comes around goes around. Karma involves being totally responsible for ones self and ones actions. Divine justice, or balance. Karma tells us that for every action there is a reaction. A good action will beget good. A bad action will beget bad. Everything we do comes back to us in time. Sometimes in this life, sometimes in another, but all eventually returns. To satisfy Karma one must learn the lesson of the action -not merely experience it. And one will re-experience the event as many times as necessary to learn the lesson.

A "key" is something that we use to help induce a shift in consciousness. The key may be anything that evokes the desired mental or emotional atmosphere, making the "shift" easier to accomplish. By making us feel "magical" these "keys" help ease us into our higher selves. An example of a "key" is candlelight, which can do much more to put us into a magical state than, say, fluorescent light. Keys are outer forms (items or concepts), which are used to help a person to shift their consciousness, and connect with Higher Self. Anything that makes a person feel more spiritual or magical can serve as a Key. Robes, incense, many kinds of atmospheric trappings are commonly used as Keys, as are all the techniques and ingredients of spellcraft. Keys are very useful, especially to the beginner, as they help people to make shifting consciousness easier and more automatic. The fully realised magic-user however, requires no external stimuli to aid in their work, though they may still enjoy them.

Japanese word for the universal life force, synonymous with the Chinese term, Chi.

Kitchen Magick; Kitchen Witchcraft
A practical pathway of witchcraft that allows one to utilise household items instead of the often difficult to obtain ritual items.

A double-headed axe. This is commonly known as a symbol of the Goddess.

A maze of tunnels, windings or passageways, intricate in design, leading from the outside to the centre of a particular design. Said to represent the journey of life and death of the human soul.

A disc of metal with magickal symbols inscribed on it, worn around the neck during rituals.

Law Of Three
Most Wiccans believe in the "Law of Three," that is that what you do -good or bad- comes back to you three times over. Some mean this literally, others mean it symbolically: that you will repeat the experience as many times as necessary to learn the lesson it offers, "three" here simply meaning "multiple times". The true meaning of the Law of Three has nothing to do with the number of times, but with the concept that Karma is about learning rather than simply balancing out ones acts.

Left-hand Path
A word for people who use frivolous magick that only serves themselves. Often referred to as ‘negative magick’ or more incorrectly "black magick.".

The supernatural phenomenon involving suspending a body in midair without physical bolster.

A libation is a drink offering made to a Deity or Spirit or to the little people. The most universal example is the pouring of a small amount of liquid directly on the Earth. Another famous example is the breaking of a champagne bottle on the bow of a ship for "her" Maiden voyage -this is an offering to the spirit of the ship, personified as female, in hopes of safe and successful future voyages. Libations were one of the most popular forms of offering in the ancient world, and there uses richly attested in classical literature. Libations are made as a sign of respect to the spirit, and out of a desire to share and give back to source, rather than as an offering of sustenance to the spirit.

Light Half
The Light Half of a thing is its process of Evolution, or looking outward. During this process perspective expands and the connection between all things is felt. The day is the light half of the night. The waxing moon is the light half of the lunar cycle. The summer is the light half of the year. And so on.

Divination by stones.

An ancestral deity in the Vodou religion.

Lord and Lady
God and Goddess.

Lower Self
That part of ourselves of which we are easily aware; the physical, the emotional, and the mental aspects of the being. Through meditation and magic we can access our Higher Selves, which include the astral or creative level of our being, our soul, those traits which make us a distinct aspect of Deity, our monad, the level at which we are Divine but separate, and ultimately the Divine level at which all is one.

Sabbat of Febraury 1. Start of Autumn.

Pagan sabbat celebrating the autumn equinox.

The world around us.

A master magician; often a mage is a scholarly and skilled practitioner who prefers that the only tools of their magick be their mind, ability, and spirit.

The art and occult science of changing events around you by manipulating energy in nature, the self, and the spirit world. This particular spelling is often preferred by Wiccans to separate it from stage magic or sleight of hand. Magick work is not necessarily connected to spirituality - some simply practice one or the other alone, while others use both. Prayer and meditation can be considered as forms of magick. Magick is the technique of creation. Magick is accomplished through the focus of will power and emotion, which shape energy. Magick is best used for self-improvement, prosperity, protection and healing.

Magick Circle
The Magick Circle is used to create Sacred Space in which to perform ritual, commune with our Higher Selves, or work magick. The Magick Circle is a microcosmic re-inaction of the process of creation, and represents our ties to all of existence. Many people think of the Magick Circle as being primarily for protection, but in fact it serves to heighten and help focus magickal power, and this is the principle reason for its use. The magick circle is considered the doorway between the worlds, and allows us to move between the two. It contains the magickal energy raised or the cone of power until it is ready to be released.

Magickal Name
A name chosen by the dedicant or initiate to symbolise rebirth into their new path.

Magickal Systems
This is the set of guidelines relating to specific Gods and Goddesses, Pathways or Denominations, Sects and/or Pantheons.

Magickal Tools
In the wider sense magickal Tools are any items that are dedicated to use in magick. They are usually highly personal and important to the user. In a more narrow sense a Wiccan's magickal tools are four; the Athame or magickal blade, the Wand, the Chalice, and the Pentacle. These are the same tools around which the Tarot is based, and have roots in very ancient practice.

Magickal Voice, the
The commanding, assertive voice used to read power words during rituals which allows no doubt or insecurity in. This applies whether the voice is speaking tone, a loud whisper, or in song.

1. The name of one of the members of a coven, generally the assistant to the High Priestess. 2. One of the aspects of the triple goddess (maiden, mother, crone) symbolised by the waxing moon, creation, and the time between Imbolc and Beltaine. 3. A girl who has had her Coming of Age rite.

The practice of inverting the mind to pay attention to the inner silence instead of the outer chaos. The act and discipline of finding one's centre and entering into oneself. Other forms of meditation focus on the outer chaos instead. This practice is accepted in almost all religions, but is encouraged most in Buddhism.

A gigantic stone monument.

A stone with engraved symbols that is commonly used to mark the site of a covenstead.

An elder magickal practitioner who offers advice and guidance.

Merry Meet
A greeting commonly used by Wiccans and pagans. It basically means "Greetings". Abbreviated as MM.

Merry Part
A friendly phrase that basically means "Goodbye", used by Wiccans and pagans. Abbreviated as MP.

Having the nature of metaphysics.

A field of abstract thought and philosophy about topics not on the concrete or physical level of understanding. This includes subjects like existence, the soul, being, the supernatural, astral travel, psychicism, and so on.

The lesser world, the physical. The world within us. Said to parallel the macrocosm, or greater world.

Sabbat celebrated in December – Summer Solstice (southern hemisphere).

Sabbat celebrated in June – Winter Solstice (southern hemisphere).


Mojo Bag
A small bag generally worn around the neck which is charged with energies towards a certain goal and filled with charms, herbs, and/or stones.

The sea.

Music Of The Spheres
Each of the seven planes has its own energy vibration, which in turn corresponds to a certain sound; for sound is generated by vibration. The vibration of vocal chord creates speech and song. The vibration of a drum skin produces the drumbeat. The vibration of the strings produces the music of the violin or the cello. So as the energy of the spheres vibrates at a given rate, it too must create a sound. This is the theory behind the "music of the spheres". A variety of techniques have evolved from this theory to link sound with energy. They are the basis under which tuning forks, bells, and singing bowls are used for energetic healing, to give one example. Another form in which vibrational sound is used in energy work involves the linking of seven-vowel sound with the seven planes/bodies/Chakras.

A type of early human, have a larger brain (relative to body weight) than that of modern people.  Their brains were not just larger but of a different shape or configuration. This has led researchers to speculate as to what things they might have been better and, and which things worse at than us. Some writers have suggested (tentatively) that they would have been poor at verbal language and arithmetic, but much better than us in the area of intuition and magick.

1. The art of revealing the future through magick and especially through communication with the deceased. 2. The practice of summoning the souls of the dead.

A pseudo-grimoire. The notion of such a book was made by HP Lovecraft in fictional writing, but an unknown author wrote it and some people today still believe it is a valid source of occult information.

A trainee magickal practitioner who is studying the ways of the old religion under guidance from an adept in the craft. Neophyte denotes the first stage of training. At the second level of initiation, a practitioner can be considered for the responsibilities of a Priest or Priestess. However, true initiation comes only with the blessings of spirit, and power can be given or removed at any time during a practitioner’s life, for it is not human will that carries the power, it is human spirit which is called to awaken to the greater plan.

New Age
The modern movement which involves combining metaphysical concepts with the practice of an organised religion.

Out-of-body experience, differs from astral travel as you stay in this realm.

Study and science of things esoteric, secret, paranormal, and supernatural.

An offering is a gift dedicated to a Deity, or Spirit. Many different terms exist to quantify the type of offering meant -a votive offering for example, given in fulfilment of a vow. The practice of making offerings is very ancient, and must be understood to be symbolic in nature, an act of respect and honour which strengthens the bond between the Deity or Spirit and the offerer, rather than as giving sustenance to the spirit.

The magickal Celtic faerie alphabet made up of 20 letters called fews, each representing a different kind of tree. Used by the druids. Comprised of sticks or notches on a vertical line. Druids used these symbols to communicate using a secret sign language and Ogham is often found written on graves and stones throughout Europe.

Old Ones, The
God and Goddess.

Old Religion
This is a term often used for Wicca and witchcraft. It was used because witchcraft is believed to descend from ancient paganism.

A sudden occurrence which is interpreted as being a sign of good or evil. Often it will be small yet significant; a vase falling over or a cup of water spilling, for example.

Omens are messages from Spirit delivered in symbolic terms. Omens have been believed in all around the world in every time and place. They are symbolic and are personal rather than universal in nature. That is to say that an individual or a culture creates a language of symbols which Spirit then uses to communicate with them, so that different symbols will be used in different places. An example of an omen is the famous black cat crossing in front of one, warning of a need to seek and heed inner guidance. Omens are based on the idea that there is no such thing as a "chance" happening, and that everything that happens reflects the will of Spirit.

Divination through dreams.

Ophion And Eurynome
Eurynome is a very ancient Greek Moon Goddess. Her name means "Far Wanderer". The creation myth of Ophion and Eurynome is far older than classical Greek mythos, and reveals a very different set of beliefs. Chaos was the first thing to exist: this is the primeval feminine, which resolves within itself the seeds of all things, in an unmanifest state -the primordial soup, if you would. A spark of light arose from Chaos, Which was Eurynome, the Moon. She arose, and danced through Chaos, and where She danced became the horizon, which separates sea and sky. And Her dance was beautiful, and it stirred the unmanifest potential within Chaos, and caused others to arise as well. The North Wind came into being, and loved Eurynome, and pursued Her, following the steps of Her dance of creation. Likewise arose the West Wind, which pursued the Goddess, and after that the South and the East Winds. The four Winds followed in the dance of Eurynome, then overtook Her and surrounded Her. The Four Winds coalesced in to the form of Ophion, the Cosmic Serpent, and became the lover of Eurynome. When they had finished, She took the form of a white bird and flew away. She made a nest and laid a cache of silver eggs. From these eggs were born all other things that exist. It will readily be seen that this is the same basic myth found in the Vangelo Delle Streghe, with Eurynome and Ophion as Goddess and God, from Whose union arises all creation.

A person through which otherworldly entities can be communicated with, similar to channelling. People often see oracles to ask questions or to be given insights to their future.

Oracles Ancient Greek meaning “womb” where rites dedicated to the sea or moon goddess were overseen by priestesses.

Sabbat which occurs to celebrate the spring equinox. A celebration named after the goddess of Spring and rebirth, hence the egg and the rabbit as the primary symbols. Ostara is in September in the southern hemisphere. The precursor of the modern Christian holiday Easter.

Outer Court
Many Temples have both an Inner and an Outer Court. In such Temples the Inner Court is made up of the actual clergy of the Temple, while members of the Outer Court are free to attend Temple ceremonies but are not expected to train for the clergy.

A follower of one of the nature or fertility orientated religions of the world. (The Christians and Jews often incorrectly use the term to mean everybody else but themselves). The word comes from the Latin word paganus, meaning country dweller (similar to heathen - dweller on the heath). Many today call themselves Pagan, but they do not live off the land and so are incorrect.

Part of the world inhabited primarily by pagans.

Generally categorised as an earth religion. Most are polytheistic (have more than one god or goddess). Literally means "country dweller".

Pagan Standard Time
A slang term for when people cannot arrive or get an event going on time. Almost extinct because it was a poor excuse to begin with. Abbreviated as PST.

Divination with a pendulum.

The belief in more than one deity.

Different religions use different god & goddess names, or different deities, and these make up the PANTHEON of that religion. A pantheon is a grouping of Deities associated with a particular time or culture. For example the "Egyptian Pantheon," or the "Roman Pantheon." The Deities of these pantheons usually began separately, as local variations, then grew together over time. For this reason, though the Deities of a given Pantheon will correspond to the Seven Great Powers, They will appear to duplicate each archetype many times. Some people prefer to work with one or another pantheon exclusively. This is a matter of personal preference.

Past Life RegressionA technique used by hypnotists to lead a person in a trance which allows them to recall events from previous lives, when their soul was in a different physical body at another time period and place. Assuming belief in the human soul, this is actually very logical, and can be explained as simply a matter of helping the human mind connect to the soul mind and read the memories stored there.

Patron Deity
A Patron Deity is the particular Goddess or God that one feels most at Home with. Some people have more than one Patron Deity, but usually one will predominate. Any Deity that you are drawn to can be your Patron Deity. One's Patron Deity is prayed to for guidance, visions, blessing, etc.

A Scottish tradition of Wicca, see also Wita.

A form of divination where a weighted object on a string is allowed to swing in certain directions, indicating yes, no, or unknown/maybe answers. A tool often used to communicate with spirits or divine. See also divination.

A disc (generally circular) which is inscribed with a pentagram on its surface.

A pentagram surrounded by a circle, which symbolises unity. Witches often wear pentacles as pendants, and they are usually hidden beneath their clothes, to keep them close to the body and energised. Another reason is because of the negative connotations wrongly associated with the symbol by other people.

Represents the four Elements plus Spirit. The symbol was used in ancient Egypt to represent the concept of magic (without the circle) and the Spirit World (with the circle). In Classical times the Pentagram, also called Pentalpha was used by the Pythagoreans -a Greek philosophical school with a reputation for deep metaphysical knowledge. In the medieval period the symbol continued to flourish being used by a number of groups, including some Christians. The Pentagram has many meanings, notably the union of the Five Elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and the Element which underlies them all: Spirit), which in turn corresponds to the union of Spirit and Matter and the attainment of Spiritual Illumination, as well as the ancient maxim: As Above So Below (because the five-pointed star can be taken to represent the human body, illustrating our Oneness with all creation). It also symbolises the body, and the 5 senses. The top point represents Spirit. In Wicca we wear the point upright to symbolise the Spirit having power over the physical world. In the purist sense, an inverted pentacle is not a sign of the devil, but a symbol that the wearer in on a journey not yet completed and still has much to learn. However, it has been adopted by some left hand path occultists to represent their belief in the supremacy of the physical world over the spirit. Because they have debased the inverted pentagram, modern Wiccans prefer to avoid confusion by not using it. A five-pointed star drawn with a single line. Upright, it resembles a human figure, with spirit taking the highest importance. Inverted (upside-down) it is often considered a Satanic symbol. This is not always true, though. In Wicca an inverted pentagram is a sign used by a second degree initiate to symbolise their progress and the facing of the "dark" side of life. When inverted, it represents the elements taking precedence over spirit.

The Pentalpha, or "Five A's" was the sacred symbol of the Pythagoreans, more familiarly known today as the Pentagram. The Pythagoreans used the pentalpha and the five Tetraktys triangles of which it was composed to convey many metaphysical truths. Extremely popular in Hellenistic and Roman times, Pythagoreanism passed into the medieval period through scholarly sources and continues to be a major building block in all most metaphysical systems of thought today.

Personal Deity
A Personal Deity is any one of the many faces we ascribe to Universal Deity, to make Deity easier to understand. Where Universal Deity is all-encompassing and abstract, Personal Deities are individual aspects of Deity portrayed in very human terms. Personal Deities are there to help us understand Deity, and make a personal, emotional, connection to Deity.

A potion, especially for love.

Character analysis by studying the shape and surface of the skull.

The positive and negative forces in all things: yin and yang, opposite, yet equal energy forces.

Life energy.

Precession Of The Equinoxes
It was long ago observed that the physical position of the constellations had diverged from the theoretical positions used by astrology. Thus, the Spring Equinox that once coincided with the Sun's apparent entry into the Zodiacal sign of Aries (Northern Hemisphere), has not done so for many hundreds of years, and now more closely corresponds to the Sun's apparent entry into Pisces. From this fact the theory of the Zodiacal Ages was developed, based on the idea that "As Above, So Below" celestial phenomena must reflect Earthly conditions.

This is a male that is devoted to the service of his chosen deity and humankind.

Is a female that is devoted to the service of her chosen deity and humankind.

Primeval Deity
God/Goddess before creation, being both feminine and masculine, both spiritual and physical, resolving all opposites and polarities and containing within Itself all things. Primeval Deity is both the origin and the destination of existence, the inner soul of all creation. Primeval Deity is most often represented as the Androgyne or the Crone.

Projective Hand
A term often used in ritualism to describe your right hand, the sending hand.

One who receives inspiration, information, or insights into the future from a divine source.

Psi(Pronounced "sie", rhymes with "fly") Anything pertaining to psychic, magick, or other supernatural abilities.

The use of psychic powers to affect or manipulate the physical world.

One who uses psionics.

Psychic AbilitiesPerceiving, receiving, or transferring information without the use of the 5 common senses (sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell).

Psychic Awareness
The open state of awareness in which the conscious mind can tap into the psychic mind.

Psychic Mind
The sub- or un- conscious mind which is receptive of psychic messages. When we are psychically aware, the two minds link and we can intercept these messages.

Psychic Shielding
Strengthening one's aura to keep out extraneous or unwanted energies.

Psychic Tide
The term Psychic Tide refers to the eternal cycles of energy in the Universe, which move in a constant process of Involution and Evolution, spiralling always inward, then outward. Everything that exists moves in the rhythm of the Psychic Tide, which has waves and currents and eddies at all levels of being. The galaxy, the planet, the individual, all move to the Psychic Tide on many different levels.

Magick is the art of actively using the powers of the soul. Psychism is the art of using those same powers passively; to receive information or communication from the Higher Self or from others. Magick and psychism are intimately connected and the division between them is arbitrary, and solely to make understanding simpler.

Holding or touching an object and receiving images, impressions, or vibes from it.

Divination by fire.

The Pythagorean philosophy was founded by Pythagoras, a native of the Greek island of Samos who lived in the 5th century BC (7th century of the Age of Aries). To the Greeks "philosophy" was a term that indicated a private belief system, as opposed to "religion" which was a system of public rituals centred on family or community. The Greeks had many differing philosophical schools, of which the Pythagorean was among the most mystical and profound. Pythagorean ideas have never ceased to be current, and are a crucial building block of modern Wiccan thought. You will find Pythagoras' teachings reflected throughout this series of lessons. Fascinated by mathematics and the musical scale, Pythagoras was a pioneer of the metaphysical science of numerology -the idea that numbers have individual characteristics, which can be used to describe Universal Truth as well as to divine individual truths. Pythagoras used numerology to illustrate his ideas about the Universe, the soul, cosmic laws, and the nature of spiritual evolution. The central symbol of Pythagoras' philosophy was the Tetraktys, the "golden triangle." This sacred symbol, triangular or pyramidic in shape, described the way in which Deity began as One, became Two, added the magic of Three to bring about manifestation as Four -the whole of which equals Ten (10), which numerologically reduces back to One (1) meaning that Deity and the created world are cognate, or in other words: "As Above, So Below." When five of these Tetraktys triangles were put together they formed a symbol called a "Pentalpha" (the "Five A's"), from which many other universal truths were enumerated -the pentalpha was the symbol by which the Pythagoreans became known, and is today more commonly called the Pentagram ("Mark of Five"). When the Sepher Yetzirah delineated the ideas of Hebrew Cabala eight centuries later, it drew heavily upon the ideas of Pythagoras. Pythagoreans also taught the concept of reincarnation and the idea of transmigration of souls, so that his followers regularly practiced what is today called "past-life regression."

Jewish mysticism; metaphysical practices based on the Judaic Qabalistic texts.

Quarter Days
Old Celtic festivals of Samhain, Bride, Beltaine, and Lughnassadh. These days are especially important for charms, spells, and divination. Needfires are lit for the protection and cleansing of the people and animals, visits to holy wells are made, and dedications of bannocks are carried out. These days are also lucky for journeys, love, and new ventures.

The north, east, south, and west parts of the circle, often representative of the four watchtowers.

Receptive Hand
The left hand. This hand is used less in holding and charging ritual items, however, it receives outside energy which is used to feed the magick.

"An it harm none, do what thou wilt". This is the Wiccan law, similar in form to the Ten Commandments. Because what you do comes back to you through Karma, magic and all other actions should be used for constructive purposes only.  Causing harm or mischief is wrong and will only bring harm back to you in the end.

The belief that we live more than one lifetime. The rebirth of the soul into other physical forms from one life (reincarnation) to the next. Specific beliefs vary widely - some feel we are always the same sex, others that we must experience all things in order to become balanced and whole. Some believe that it is a system of reward and punishment depending on how you do in your current incarnation, some feel that we reincarnate to get a full spectrum of human experience; some believe we do not always come back in human form.

Clearing a place, to psychically clear unwanted entities.

Allowing excess energy to flow out of one, so that it can be grounded: returned to Mother Earth to be used in other, more productive ways.

Right-hand Path
A term used for a person who practices magick that is beneficial to others. Opposite of left-hand path. Sometimes referred to as positive magick.

A ritual.

A formal series of generally predetermined actions (both mental or physical) performed to harness and then direct magickal powers toward the accomplishment of the goal at hand. A ceremony used for the celebration of holidays, magick workings, initiation, etc. Can be spontaneous or scripted. During a typical ritual, the Circle is cast, elements are recognised and welcomed, the Gods & Goddesses are invited to join and lend their power to our work. Magick may be performed, a celebration of a moon or holiday or event may occur. A form of thanksgiving may take place (see CAKES AND ALE). Finally, the Circle is open.

A tool of magick and divination. There are many types of runes, all of them alphabets of some sort inscribed on wood, stone, clay, tiles. Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and modern Wiccan runes are just a few. They are usually tossed randomly after deciding a subject, and then deciphered based on their positioning.

A system of divination where ancient Teutonic figures or pictographs assigned certain meanings. Runes were the written alphabet of the Norse people. As well as divination, Rune Stones can be used for magick. You simply reverse the process. Instead of letting them fall where they will to predict the future, you place them exactly where you want them to create the future you want.

Our Eight Great Rituals. These are times of celebration as we mark the turning of the Wheel Of The Year. There are four solar rituals: Midsummer (Summer Solstice), Autumn Equinox, Yule (Winter Solstice), and the Spring Equinox. These are essentially male / God rituals where we celebrate the phases of the Sun. There are also the four seasonal dates: Imbolc (Aug 1 the beginning of spring), Beltaine (Nov 1 the beginning of summer), Lughnassadh (Feb 1 the beginning of autumn) and Samhain (May 1 the beginning of winter). If these dates seem a little early, perhaps it’s an indication of how our climate has changed since ancient times. These four dates are essentially female / Goddess rituals where we celebrate the changes felt here on Mother Earth as she turns her face towards, or away from, our every present, ever loving Sungod.

A Sadhu is a kind of holy person in certain sects of the Hindu and Jain religions, who pursues a life of meditation and spirituality. Often Sadhus wear little or no clothing, to symbolise that they are dealing with the inner essence, rather than the outer form. A famous example of such a holy person is Mahatma Gandhi, who adopted a loincloth as his principle item of dress. In the Jain religion, founded by Mahavira, holy people go completely naked, eschewing even a loincloth, after Mahavira's own practice. It is Mahavira who coined the term "skyclad."

The elemental who dwells in the fire plane.

(Sow-en) Sabbat held on May 1st (southern hemisphere). Time when the veil between this world and the next are thinnest.

Sands of Time
Sand taken from between the paws of the great Sphinx of Egypt.

Is a perverted form of Christianity. It is necessary to believe in the Christian pantheon, including Satan, in order to practice Satanism. Satanists see the Devil as a God, recite the Lord's Prayer backwards and perform a rite they call the Black Mass, a parody of the Christian mass.  A famous example of a Satanic cult was the prestigious Hellfire Club, to which such people as Benjamin Franklin, Oscar Wilde's wife, and Aleister Crowley (among others) belonged to. It is important to realise that Wicca and Satanism are not the same thing. They are not even close! Wicca is an ancient, pre-Christian religion dedicated to fertility and nature, love and balance. The Wiccan Rede: "An' it harm none, do what ye will", prohibits a Witch from taking part in anything that may harm any thing, living or non-living, including themselves. The confusion arises, at least in part, because many Satanists like to call themselves "witches", a title to which they have no right.

A system of divination where you look into an object such as water, fire, candle flame, black mirror or crystal ball. The idea is to de-focus your physical eyes and alloy your inner vision to come through. Sometimes scrying involves trance, a form of self-hypnosis.

Seven Great Powers
The Seven Great Powers are the seven basic archetypes to which Personal Deities tend to correspond. They are also likened to the seven planets of Ptolemaic astrology. The archetypes are these: Goddess -Maiden, Mother, crone. God -Young God, Hero (Sun) God, King, Sorcerer.

Seven Planes
The seven planes, or spheres of existence are used to describe the different levels of being which Spirit, or Goddess, experiences in interaction with Matter, or God. As is often the case with classifications, these seven levels are not nearly as neat as they are made to sound, but overlap and blend in ways that defy category. These seven planes are sometimes described as a successive "Fall" into progressive densities of matter, progressively slower vibrations. The seven planes are these:

Physical, at which we experience physical form and sensation.

Emotional, at which we experience emotional feelings.

Mental, at which we experience thought and abstract concepts and understandings.

Astral, at which we create our existence and its conditions.

Soular, at which we develop those traits that make a unique part of Deity.

Monadic, that part of us which is Divine, but is separate from the Whole of Deity.

Divine, at which we are One with all existence.

The spirit of a being which refuses to leave the physical plane.

A magickal healer. One with the gift to walk between the worlds.

The religion of the ancient peoples of northern Europe and Asia, generally characterised by the ability of the Shaman to communicate with the spirit world. Major facets of Shamanism are animism, possession, prophecy/revelations, shapeshifting, and soul travel.

A very esoteric practice involving changing the human form. This can be practiced while on the astral plane, this alone is a great accomplishment. It is said that one can also shapeshift on the physical plane, though documented proof of this is non-existent. Few books are published on the subject as it is an art mainly for certain people, and teachers prefer to find these people and teach them their art secretively rather than let the public know their ways.

A protective barrier of power erected around a person, place, or object.

Shifting Consciousness
The process through which we rise from our normal thinking level of consciousness to connect with our Higher Self. It is from this higher level of consciousness that magic is practiced as a conscious act. Science has shown that our brain waves actually change when we shift consciousness in this way, creating a distinctly different state from that of our normal mind.

A crystal sphere used for divination, especially scrying. Also called a crystal ball.

pronounced (shee). faeries or other world beings.

Is a magically oriented seal, sign, glyph or other device used in a magickal working.

Active silence:
is the use of manifest, background sound (eg: music, thunderstorms when they are sound, the wind in the trees, the ocean’s song) as an aid.

Passive silence: is silence without sound.

Simple Feast, The
A meal or a feast which is shared in the name of the God and Goddess.

A term for nudity during rituals, used by Gardner. The old practitioners would not have done this as they wouldn’t risk having their item of clothing (usually the only one they owned) stolen nor would they risk having to escape naked if found doing witchcraft. It is Mahavira who coined the term "skyclad."

Smudging is the act of using a lit smudge stick to purify an object or an area. Smudge sticks are traditionally made from bundled sage along with other woods such as pine or cedar.

Solar Circuit
The Solar Circuit is the principle energy circuit of the human body, having its origin at the Solar Chakra (hence the name). From this point energy enters the body from the Higher Self, and ultimately from the Goddess. This energy is limitless in theory, but in practice may be restricted or blocked for a variety of reasons. The Solar Circuit is used primarily for the sustenance of the body and the continuation of physical life.

A witch who practices alone instead of within a coven.

So Mote it Be
A phrase used often in rituals to close a chant or incantation. It literally means, "It must be so" or "So it shall be".

Magickal practice which involves summoning, binding, or banishing deities. Often a sorcerer (practitioner of sorcery) uses no tools.

The true identity of a human being, the immortal self which surpasses death and lives on into the otherworld, perchance to be reincarnated.

The direction of energies towards some certain goal, an extension of mental/emotional energy, either spoken aloud, written, said to oneself, it could be drawn and even expressed in the form of dance.. Our word for a prayer, where we send our thoughts, desires and thanksgiving into the oneness of the Godhead, in order to obtain a desired end. One might meditate on sending healing light/energy to a sick or injured friend; one might create a pouch filled with certain herbs and embroidered with a rune of protection. It is against the Wiccan Law to use spells in a harmful or manipulative fashion. Anybody doing so is, by definition, no Wiccan. There must be a need for the spell to be successful.

The practice of creating spells by writing outlines, arranging correspondences, and authoring incantations.

The essence of something (such as an angel or deity) of celestial origin.

Spirit Guides
Every person has a number of Spirit Guides, or Familiar Spirits, around them. These spirits are there to help us in our lives, especially in dealing with major life lessons. They are also there to advise us, if we know how to listen to them. Spirit Guides are drawn from among the spirits of people we have known, with whom we still have a strong connection. Sometimes these are people we have known in this life, and sometimes they are people we have known in other lifetimes of which we may or may not have conscious memory. A person may have many Spirit Guides, but usually one special spirit will be the main guide. This spirit is a companion and guardian throughout life, even if the person has no conscious knowledge of their presence. There are many different kinds of Spirit Guide, some of whom specialise in healing, or the development of particular qualities or talents. But it is not necessary to know what a Spirit Guide specialises in to receive their help -indeed; it is not even necessary to know they are there to be helped by them. In medieval times Spirit Guides were called Fairies, before that term came to be attached to Nature Spirits instead. They are also sometimes called "guardian angels." But whatever they are called, the concept is always the same -a spiritual guide and helper who eases our journey through life.

Entities which are free of a physical body.

A realm, somewhat like the Christian heaven concept, where the soul goes to rest before being reincarnated or becoming one with The Great Spirit.

Like a male version of the maiden, a member of the coven who is an assistant to the High Priest.

The elemental of air.

A sign which represents something else. Symbols are used commonly in rituals to represent gods, elements, goals, and more. Many tools are symbols, for example, the chalice is a symbol of the goddess and the giving of life.

Sympathetic Magick
Sympathetic magic is based on the idea of "Sympathy" -that items, which have similar qualities, can be used to represent each other, and can be used to magically affect each other. Thus because growing plants are green, green is the colour of growth and increase -therefore burn a green candle to bring prosperity. Because fire brings transformation -changing raw food to cooked, wood and other materials to ash -burning a magical charm on a piece of paper can bring transformation to a situation. In reality these are "keys" or symbolic tools that we use to focus our energy and intent, which is what really makes the change.

A Jungian term describing a coincidence which seems to have meaning yet no connection is clear.

A magickally charged object used to attract a certain type of energy or a particular type of person.

A form of divination using a set of cards (usually 76).

Tarot Cards
(pronounced: Ta-RO) A system of divination similar to Rune Stones where the symbols are printed on special cards depicting situations and states of being. The Tarot symbolism is much richer and more complex than that of the runes, being derived from many different sources and cultures.

Divination by reading tea leaves.

A form of psychokinesis which involves moving objects with the mind without ever physically coming in contact with them.

Unspoken (psychic) communication between two minds.

The Charge
This is a story of the message from the Goddess to her children.

The Deepening
The Second and Third Degree Rites.

Religious beliefs that are founded on magic within the Christian pantheon.

Magick involving the use of divine spirits and oneness or closeness with one's God/Deitie(s).

Third Eye
The psychic eye, not physically visible, but mental. Located in the middle of the forehead.

Three-fold Law
A Wiccan principle which originated from the teachings of Gerald Gardner. It states that any action made by a person will be returned them three times as powerfully, whether the action was good or bad. By this law, you are encouraged to do good things so that you will be rewarded later on with three times the benevolence, as opposed to bad things which result in thrice the consequence.

A thurible is an incense holder suspended from a chain, which can be hung, or swung to disseminate the smoke through a given area. They are sometimes extremely richly decorated, and are considered the most formal type of incense burner. They are normally used with powdered incense and charcoal, but other methods do exist. The use of the Thurible is very ancient, and magnificent historical examples exist.

"Land of the Young," or Faerie Land. Many Celts believe that upon death, the soul enters the land of Tir-nan-og.

The Roman Empire dominated ancient Europe during the Age of Aries, collapsing just before the advent of the Piscean Age. Beginning as a Republic, Rome gradually slid into despotism over the course of centuries. A garment, which could only be worn by Roman citizens, the elite of the empire, the Toga was a length of white cloth worn wrapped around the body and fastened over the left shoulder. The Toga took different forms in different periods, beginning as a relatively simple cloak and ending as a version of the "stole" -a long thin piece of fabric wrapped around the body or worn hanging over the shoulders.

In Celtic religion the Torc, a circular metal necklace, was a symbol of initiation and of the Divine Mysteries. The Torc's circular shape reflects the cyclical nature of reality and the ancient concept of Ourobouros -the snake swallowing it's own tale, representing the idea that all things ultimately return to their source. Sacred to Cernunnos-Secculos-Dagda, the Celtic Lord of the Dead and of the Spirit realms, the Torc was not only worn as a symbol of initiation, but was also used as a symbol of all things magical and spiritual, and was frequently hung up in a house to confer protection -in which use it was later replaced by the horse shoe. Suppressed first by the Romans and then by the Christians, the Torc survives today in many altered forms, not least of all the "stole" -a narrow band of cloth worn around the neck as a symbol of Priesthood.

An animal from which a lesson is learned by symbolism. A Pagan may wear a symbol of a totem animal, or practice magick using Totem energy. Animal totems are deeply symbolic and contain many messages, some personal to the recipient (example: Bear or Eagle for strength, Tortoise for patience).

Totem Animal
A spirit guide in the form of an animal who chooses to accompany you. This tradition is derived from Native American spirituality.

Type of teachings etc used by a High Priest/ess of a coven. By using their surname they introduce a particular spirituality followed by a practitioner.

Usually a tradition is named by the surname of the High Priest/ess in the coven. This is a relatively new fad invented by Gardner and almost always mixed up with a particular pathway of witchcraft that one follows eg: Green Witchcraft, Fairy Wicca, Air Witch and all the other paths that witches may follow – a tradition is not a pathway and most witches of the old religion follow a certain path.

Not to be confused with a pantheon: Egyptian (Fellowship of Isis), Norse (Asatru), Greek, Celtic, Strega.

Sects or groups which practice Wicca. Each tradition has a different set of rules and guidelines by which it follows, so when one chooses a tradition, one much be aware of the facets of the tradition and believe that the rules suit them best.

The work of alchemy, changing base metals and elements into precious things.

Tree Calendar
Celtic system which recognises 13 lunar months, each represented by a sacred tree.

Triple Goddess
The three faces of the goddess- Maiden, Mother, and Crone. These are represented by the symbol of the triple goddess, which looks like a crescent moon facing left (maiden), a full moon (mother), and a crescent moon fact right (crone).

Tuatha De Dannan
"Children of the Goddess Dana," or the ancient Faerie Gods and Goddesses.

This term refers to movement that goes opposite from the apparent motion of the Sun and is used to indicate clockwise movement (Southern Hemisphere) counter-clockwise movement (Northern Hemisphere). It literally means "Northward" from the Gaelic Tuath or "North". In magick Tuathail movement is used for cleansing, purifying, or removing things. For example Tuathail movement is used when the Magick Circle is being taken down.

The part of an incantation or chant which demands full vocal force and volume.

Opening the circle at the end of a ritual.

The elemental spirit who dwells on the water plane.

Universal Deity
The different faces of Deity are ways of understanding Universal deity. All of the faces of Deity in the end reflect the same universal power, as in fact do we and all of creation. That universal power is infinite and beyond our power to know in its totality, so we make understandable images through which we may interface with it. That infinite power is Universal Deity -the spirit of Deity that is beyond all names and images.

The unknown source of existence, it is said that magicians take their power from the unmanifest to use it within the manifest.

The practice of subsisting on the vitality of another. Commonly this is blood, other times it is life force (sapped psychically).

Vangello Delle Streghe
An Aradian Wiccan scripture containing the creation story, the Charge of the Goddess, and a collection of other myths deriving from Italian Witchcraft. Published by Charles Leland in 1599 i (1899 AD) under the title "Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches", the book requires serious annotation to be properly understood, but is a cornerstone of Wiccan thought.

Most people perceive easily only the so-called "lower" aspects of their being. The physical self and its sensations. The emotional self and its feelings. The mental self and its thoughts. The higher aspects of the being, from which we derive such abilities as clairvoyance, telepathy, telekinesis, etc., most people can only access through much work and difficulty. Ordinarily we have no conscious knowledge of them, unless we have been "born old" in which case we have worked to develop them in earlier lives. The separation between what we consciously perceive of ourselves, and our higher power is symbolically called a "veil". This is because in former times an ornamental veil was often used to screen off the sanctuary of a temple from the general temple precincts. Consequently the idea of a veil hiding something spiritually higher seemed a natural allegory.

Veil of Unknowing
The boundary between the manifest and the unmanifest.

Vibration, the rate at which energy moves, is believed to become slower the farther down the seven spheres it proceeds. The slower the vibration, the denser the matter; thus the physical plane is the home of the densest matter with the slowest vibration, while the Divine plane has the least density and the fastest vibration. As energy moves upward from lower vibrations to higher ones, it generates heat. As energy slows from higher to lower vibrations, it produces coldness. You will notice this in energy working.

Magickal properties of objects like herbs, stones, and creatures as was assigned to them during their divine creation.

Vision Questing
Also known as "pathworking", The use of astral projection, or dreamtime to accomplish a specific goal.

1. Forming clear mental images often used in magick to focus and direct energy to a visualised goal. 2. Imagining a scene, a person, or an object with intense clarity. This is often done through a meditation with a written "visualisation journey" which allows the practitioner to enter an imagined place to make personal discoveries. In this way you focus mind and emotion to shape that which is visualised into reality.

VodouPolytheistic religion derived from worship of gods in African and the beliefs of Catholicism. Practiced mainly by the West Indians.

Alternate spelling of Vodou.

Vortices are the energy centres or Chakras of the Earth. The Earth's energy is stronger and more easily interacted with at a Vortex, just as our own energy is stronger and more easily interacted with at our Chakra points. Vortices are ideal spots to receive energy from the Earth, and to send healing to the Earth -for this reason Vortex points are usually considered sacred spots, and are often used as worship centres. Just as the Chakras of the body are connected by meridians which transmit energy between them, so too the Earth's Vortices are connected by "Ley Lines".

A rod of varying material (wood, stone, metal, etc.), the Wand or Staff is used in Wiccan ritual for a variety of purposes related to the focusing of energy, the Wand is most commonly used as an instrument to aid in the calling of the Airts, or Quarters.

The lunar phase when the moon is getting "smaller" (more crescent-like). This is the time when magick that involves banishing things, breaking habits, and getting rid of things is to be performed. Opposite of waxing.

A protection spell (keeping a thing out).

A derogatory term which literally means "oathbreaker". It is a common misconception that male witches are called warlocks. However, male witches are no different than females in this respect and so they are simply called witches.

A concept derived from ceremonial magick; the four watchtowers each represent a cardinal direction: North, South, East, and West, element, elemental, and a colour. They are commonly used in modern Wicca.

The lunar phase when the moon is getting "larger" (nearing the full moon). This is the time when magick that involves growth and bringing things to you is best performed. Opposite of waning.

Way of Wyrd/Web of Wyrd An ancient term for the way of the triple goddess, the Way of Wyrd was overseen by the Norns or Fates. They were summoned at the birth of a baby to determine and establish its future, and were also invited by aspirants wishing to find favour over their fate or destiny.

The sharing of information between magickal people by means of any form of communication to assist each other in their studies and life goals.

Wheel Of The Year
The Wheel of the Year refers to one yearly cycle of the Seasons, and to the sacred festivals that celebrate them. These festivals describe the process of Involution and Evolution on personal, seasonal, and Divine levels.

White Handled Knife
(sometimes called the Boleen or Burrin). Most Wiccans use two magical knives, The Athame and the White Handled Knife.  The use of the athame is purely symbolic while the White Handled Knife is used for all cutting and candle engraving operations.

White Magick
(Positive Magick) Magick that is worked for good purposes, through harmless acts and methods. Most witches use what is more commonly called positive magick as there is no such thing as black or white magick, it is how the magick is used that matters.

A form of worship with roots in ancient expressions of the reverence of Nature. We believe that The Great Spirit is presented in all beings and things. The ultimate creative force represents itself in both masculine and feminine aspects, so is often symbolised as God and Goddess. The aspects most popular in Wicca are the Triple Goddess of the Moon (Maiden, Mother, and Crone), and the Horned God of the animals and of Death and Rebirth. We practice magick for positive purposes: spiritual development, healing, guidance and safety. Our rituals are practiced outdoors whenever practical. We have no Holy Book, or any equivalent of the Christian Bible. Ours is an ancient tradition, from the days before writing. Individuals have access to the Divine and do not require an intermediary. EVERY initiate of the Craft, whether self-dedicated, or dedicated by a High Priest or High Priestess, is considered to be a Priest or Priestess in their own right. We strive to live in harmony with nature and the Earth, we shall not exploit them. Wicca is a valid religion but it is not the only one. We do not try to convert people to our religion claiming that it is for everyone. We believe that people should be FREE to choose the religion that is right for them.  We say that "all paths lead to the centre". We are all different and it is our differences that make us special.

Early English (Saxen) term for witch, derived from a German root word meaning "to twist or to bend." Also used to denote the witch religion, a nature religious practice having its roots in pre-Christian western Europe and undergoing a 20th century revival, especially in the United States and Great Britain. Wiccans speak of the year as a wheel; their calendar is a circle, signifying that the cycle of seasons turns endlessly. Almost evenly spaced around the Wiccan Wheel of the Year are the eight Wiccan feast days, or sabbats. The sabbat cycle is a retelling and celebration of the age-old story of the Great Goddess and her son and consort, the Horned God. Wiccans sects cherish a host of variations on this myth. The coincidence of these festivals to Christian holidays, and the similarities between Wiccan and Christian symbols, say many anthropologists, are not accidental, but prove the preexistence of the pagan beliefs. For Christian authorities contending with older religions during Europe's Dark Ages, converting established holidays by giving them new Christian meanings eased the acceptance of the new faith.

An Anglo-Saxon term often used in place of the word witchcraft to avoid adverse reactions from those still holding negative opinions of witchcraft and ignorant of the true ways of the wise.

1. A person who follows or practices Wicca. 2. Something related to Wicca. (For example a wiccan book, wiccan artwork, etc.)

A Wiccan ritual to bless a child.

Wiccan Rede
The law of Wicca which states that all may do as they wish, as long as they harm no living thing.

Wiccan Trilogy
The triple aspect of the goddess: Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

(called Tuathail): Clockwise (Southern Hemisphere), against the sun. Widdershins movement is never used in circle except for a few, very specialised purposes such as in the Samhain Sabbat, when we honour our dead or banishing something. Opposite: DEOSIL.

Wild Ride
In certain ancient mythologies, most notably Germanic, the spirits of the dead were believed to ride out in a great procession on certain nights. Some said this ride took place on nights of the Full Moon, others said it was only on certain festivals. Often the ride was characterised as a "hunt." It was believed that the living could join in this "ride" through astral projection. This was the basis of the German school of Witchcraft known as the Hexenrai, and is well attested to in trial transcripts from the Burning Times. Sometimes the Wild Ride was said to be led by the Crone Goddess. Sometimes the leader of the Wild Ride was the Horned God. There are many interesting descriptions of this Wild Ride in old literature. Odin, Herne the Hunter, Herlichinus (afterwards Harlequin), and a variety of other forms of the Horned God were said to lead the Ride. The hunt of Diana and Her nymphs is sometimes seen as a version of the Wild Ride as well.

Wise Woman
A solitary female practitioner of witchcraft who gave charms and healing salves to villagers in Europe.

Scottish Wicca. See also Pecti-Wita.

A practitioner of witchcraft. There are many types and pathways. This term is used for both MALE and female witches. A Wiccan is a witch.

Someone who attunes to nature and honours the ways of the old religion, celebrating the traditional Sabbats of the year and the lunar cycle. A witch can be male or female, and is often well versed in herbalism, divination, healing and/or prophecy.

Witch Ball
An 18th century tradition; a glass sphere hung in windows to ward off evil spirits. This is where the Christian concept of the Christmas tree ornament came from.

The practice of spells and magick, using and manipulating energy for a certain purpose often involving the worship of many deities or a supreme God and/or Goddess.

a. Magick; sorcery. b. A magickal or irresistible influence, attraction, or charm; From the Old English "wiccian" (meaning to practice sorcery), it is sorcery as practiced by witch or witches.

Irish Wicca.

A name for male ceremonial magicians, rarely used for Wiccans unless they are eclectic and use ceremonial magick as well.

Word of Power
A word or name which is supposed to have great power when spoken, most are almost impossible to pronounce and have no meaning in any language.

Working; Magickal Working
Any act involving magick or ritualism. Known as magickal working. This is the process used magickally to reach a positive goal.

An archaic word for herb.

The Norse tree which held up the world and the heavens; its roots led to the underworld. It provided the complex network of the universe.

Younger Self
"Younger Self" is a term that is used to describe the part of the self, which is creative, spontaneous, and non-judgmental. Commonly this part of the self is visualised as a child version of the adult. Younger Self is sometimes described as being the place of Innocence, from which all things are possible. Many people have cut themselves off from this aspect of their persona, and neglected it -sometimes as a result of trauma. Such people must make an effort to reconnect with their Younger Self, and give it love and nurturing, until it is fully active within them. There are many techniques for doing this, most of which involve symbolically externalising Younger Self to show it love. But even if we have not cut ourselves off from Younger Self, we should still make a strong effort to stay connected to it, and to keep it healthy and active.

The pagan winter Sabbat. Also called Winter Solstice.

Yule Log
The traditional log burned at Christmas ceremonies which most likely came from a pagan tradition for Yule celebration.

Zodiacal Age
A Zodiacal Age is a period used to mark time by a Zodiacal ruler, theoretically reflected in the Precession of the Equinoxes. Each Zodiacal Age is ruled by a sign of the Zodiac, from which the Age is said to take its character. Different schools of thought assign different lengths to the Zodiacal Age. A Zodiacal Age lasts for 1600 years, or four sets of four hundred years each. We are currently at the Aquarian Age.

The Zodiac is a system of constellations used since ancient times to structure the practice of Astrology. Developed in the ancient Near East, Astrology uses the theoretical position of stars and planets to address issues of internal character and future events. Though tied to the position of heavenly bodies, it could be argued that astrology really has more to do with the mathematical calculation of repeating cycles of time and their individual character, using the stars and planets as markers.

Divination Dictionary

AEROMANCY divination from the air and sky, particularly concentrating on cloud shapes, comets, and other phenomena not normally visible in the heavens.

ALCHEMY is the practice of transmutation of base metals into precious metals (e.g., gold or silver) with the aid of an esoteric substance called the "philosopher's stone".

ALECTRYOMANCY is divination whereby a bird is allowed to pick corn grains from a circle of letters. A variation is to recite letters of the alphabet noting those at which a cock crows.

ALEUROMANCY is divination using "fortune cookies"; answers to questions are rolled into balls of dough and once baked are chosen at random.

ALOMANCY is divination by table salt.

ALPHITOMANCY uses special cakes that are digestible by persons with a clear conscience but are unpleasant to others.

ANTHROPOMANCY is the long-outlawed means of divination by human sacrifice.

APANTOMANCY is divination through chance meetings with animals (e.g., a black cat), birds, and other creatures. Mexico City is said to have been founded where Aztec soothsayers saw an eagle flying from a cactus carrying a live snake.

ARITHMANCY or ARITHMOMANCY is an earlier form of NUMEROLOGY where divination is made through numbers and the number value of letters.

ASTRAGLOMANCY or ASTRAGYROMANCY is a form of divination by dice where the faces of the dice bear numbers and letters.

ASTROLOGY is divination using celestial bodies: the sun, moon, planets, and stars.

AUGURY is the general term for the art of divination and is chiefly applied to interpretations of signs and omens.

AUSTROMANCY is divination by the study of the winds.

AXIOMANCY is divination through the observation of how an axe or hatchet quivers or points when driven into post.

BELOMANCY is an ancient form of divination performed by tossing or balancing arrows.

BIBLIOMANCY involves divination by books.

BOTANOMANCY is divination from burning tree branches and leaves.

CAPNOMANCY is the study of smoke rising from a fire.

CARTOMANCY is fortune telling using cards such as the Tarot.

CATOPTROMANCY is an early form of crystal gazing that utilizes a mirror turned to the moon to catch moonbeams.

CAUSIMOMANCY is divination from behaviour of objects placed in a fire.

CEPHALOMANCY refers to divination with the skull or head of a donkey or goat.

CERAUNOSCOPY seeks to draw omens from the study of thunder and lightning.

CEROSCOPY is a form of fortune telling in which melted was is poured into cold water.

CHIROMANCY is divination from the lines on people's hands.

CHIROGNOMY is the study of the general hand formation.

CLAIRAUDIENCE is "clear hearing" of divinatory information. Parapsychologist generally regard as a form of extrasensory perception.

CLAIRVOYANCE is "clear seeing" of divinatory information. Parapsychologist generally regard as a form of extrasensory perception.

CLEROMANCY is divination by "casting lots", similar to dice but with objects such as pebbles or sea shells.

CLIDOMANCY or CLEIDOMANCY is divination using a dangling key.

COSCINOMANCY is divination using a hanging sieve

CRITOMANCY is the study of barley cakes.

CROMNIOMANCY is divination using onion sprouts.

CRYSTALLOMANCY is divination through crystal gazing.

CYCLOMANCY is the practice of divination from a turning wheel.

DACTYLOMANCY is an early form of RADIESTHESIA using a dangling ring.

DAPHNOMANCY requires one to listen to laurel branches crackling in an open fire.

DEMONOMANCY is divination with the aid of demons.

DENDROMANCY is divination with either oak or mistletoe.

DOWSING or DIVINING RODS are methods of divination where a forked stick is used to locate water or precious minerals.

GASTROMANCY is an ancient form of ventriloquism whereby the voice is lowered to a sepulchral tone and prophetic utterances are delivered in a trance state.

GELOSCOPY is the divination from the tone of someone's laughter.

GENETHLIALOGY is divination by the influence of the stars at birth.

GEOMANCY is the study of figures on the ground and the influence of the Earth's "currents".

GRAPHOLOGY is the analysis of character through handwriting.

GYROMANCY is a divination procedure where a person walks in a circle marked with letters until they become dizzy and stumble at different points, thus spelling out a prophesy.


HIEROMANCY or HIERSCOPY is divination by observing object of ancient sacrifice.

HIPPOMANCY is a form of divination from the stamping and neighing of horses.

HOROSCOPY is the practice of casting of astrological horoscopes.

HYDROMANCY is divination by water including the colour, ebb and flow, or ripples produced by pebbles dropped in a pool.

ICHTHYOMANCY is divination using fish.

LAMPADOMANCY is divination using lights or torches.

LECANOMANCY uses a basin of water for divination.

LIBANOMANCY is the study of incense and its smoke.

LITHOMANCY is divination using precious stones of various colours.

MARGARITOMANCY is the procedure of using bouncing pearls.

METAGNOMY is the divination using "visions" received in a trance state.

METEOROMANCY is divination from meteors.

METOPOSCOPY is the reading of character using the lines if the forehead.

MOLEOSOPHY is the study of moles and indicators of a person's character and future indications.

MOLYBDOMANCY draws mystic inferences from the hissing of molten lead.

MYOMANCY is the study of the prophetic meaning of behaviour of rats and mice.

NUMEROLOGY is the numerical interpretation of numbers, dates, and the number value of letters.

OCULOMANCY is divination from a person's eye.

OINOMANCY is divination using wine.

ONEIROMANCY is the interpretation of dreams and their prophetic nature.

ONOMANCY is the study of the meaning of names.

ONOMANTICS is the application of ONOMANCY applied to personal names, particularly in the sense of occult interpretation.

ONYCHOMANCY is the study of fingernails.

OOMANTIA and OOSCOPY is the method of divination by eggs.

OPHIOMANCY is divination from serpents.

ORNISCOPY and ORINITHOMANCY is the study of omens associated with birds, particularly birds in flight.

OVOMANCY is another type of egg divination.

PALMISTRY is the broad field of divination and interpretation of the lines and structure of the hand.

PEGOMANCY concerns itself with spring water and bubbling fountains and the omens contained therein.

PHRENOLOGY is the long practiced study of head formations.

PHYLLORHODOMANCY is a means of divination whereby one slaps a rose petal against the hand and judges the favourability of the omen by the loudness of the sound.

PHYSIOGNOMY is the study of character analysis through physical features.

PRECOGNITION in an inner knowledge or sense of future events.

PSYCHOGRAPHY is a form of mysterious writing having a divinatory nature.

PSYCHOMETRY is the faculty of gaining impressions from a physical object and its history.

PYROMANCY and PYROSCOPY are forms of divination by fire or flame, often assisted by substances thrown onto the flames.

RADIESTHESIA is the general term for divination using a device such as a divining rod or pendulum. Other forms include "table tipping" which was practiced at the White House in the 19th century, the Ouija board, automatic writing (or superconscious writing), and scrying.

RHABDOMANCY is divination using a stick or wand. These methods were forerunners of the divining rod.

RHAPSODOMANCY is a means of divination using a book of poetry whereby the book is opened at random and a passage read.

SCIOMANCY is divination using a spirit guide, a method generally employed by channellers.

SCRYING is a general term for divination using a crystal, mirrors, bowls of water, ink, or flames to induce visions.

SIDEROMANCY is the burning of straws with a hot iron, the resulting figures having divinatory properties.

SORTILEGE is the casting of lots and the assessment of omens indicated.

SPODOMANCY is divination using cinders or soot.

STICHOMANCY is another form of throwing open a book and selecting a random passage for the purpose of divination.

STOLISOMANCY draws omens from the way people dress.

SYCOMANCY is performed by writing messages on tree leaves; the slower they dry, the more favourable the omen. A modern variation is to write on slips of paper (always including one blank) and rolling them up. They are then held in a strainer over a boiling pot; the first to unroll will be answered.

TASSEOGRAPHY is the reading of tea leaves that remain in a tea cup once the beverage has been drunk.

TEPHRAMANCY is divination by ashes obtained from the burning of tree bark.

TIROMANCY is a type of divination using cheese.

XYLOMANCY is divination from pieces of wood, either from their shape when collected or their appearance while burning...