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Vocabulary

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A YEAR AND A DAY—A Year and a Day is a common time frame used in Wicca. It generally signifies the time period a Witch studies before self dedication or the period of study before being initiated into a group. It is also used as a length of time during a handfasting ceremony.

 

ABRACADABRA—Abracadabra was a Word of Power or healing talisman used to heal a fever.

 

ABSENT HEALING—Absent healing is a form of healing in which the recipient need not be present. It is possible to simply project healing energies, but it’s also possible to work through poppets, candle magic, color projection and other methods. Typically in Wicca, permission may be obtained prior to the healing because the subject of the healing may believe they deserve the suffering or illness and therefore refuse magical treatment.

 

ACA THREADS—Etheric threads (Hawaiian) that attach you to everything you touch. This is vital in an understanding of the Law of Contagion in magick and allows for the use of object links to aid in absent healing.

 

ADEPT—An adept is a person who is considered highly proficient in a particular magical system after undergoing serious studies and accomplishments.

 

AEROMANCY—Aeromancy is a form of divination conducted by interpreting atmospheric conditions.

 

AETIOLOGICAL MYTHS—Aetiological myths are also known as etiological myths. They are origin myths intended to explain the origins of cult practices, natural phenomena, proper names and the like.

 

AFFIRMATION—An affirmation is a declaration that something is true and is typically used for positive benefit.

 

AFTERWORLD—The afterworld is the world of the dead. Also known as Summerland.

 

AIR—One of the four elements. Elemental representing East, Sunrise, yellow/red, childhood, intellect, thought, mind, tarot suit of swords, victory, power, conflict and conscious mind.

 

AKA THREAD—Aka is a Hawaiian word that refers to the essence of matter, or what might also be called divine substance. In regards to Aka threads, the concept is that whenever you think of a person, place or object, you send out a line of force through the omnipresent aka, a portion of which forms itself into what can be called aka threads. Through this thread you can then send and receive ideas and/or emotional psychic energy, and information from any of the senses. These may also be known as etheric cords. There are five types of threads: Soul threads connecting us to the Divine, Past-Life threads connecting us to our past life experiences and relationships, Genetic threads connecting us to family members and ancestors, Parental threads connecting us to our biological parents (even if we don’t know them), and Relationship threads connecting to both healthy and unhealthy relationships through the chakras. While some believe it is impossible to remove these threads or cords, others believe it is possible to remove them. One popular form of removal is calling on Archangel Michael to cut the threads for you.

 

AKASHA—Akasha is the element of Spirit, the fifth element. It is the energy out of which the elements formed and is usually envisaged as violet in color. It embraces the other four elements. Some define it as the “other” of the “two worlds” that the witch walks between. It is the spiritual ether.

 

AKASHIC RECORDS—The Akashic Records are the “records” left in the Akasha by every event. Some people can retrieve knowledge of past events by reading the Akashic Records. Some sources say that the Akashic Records contain not only a record of every event, person or place that ever was, but also contains the knowledge of what is to come.

 

ALCHEMY—Alchemy is a branch of High Magick developed in the middle Ages which sought to magickally and/or chemically turn base metals into gold.

 

ALEXANDRIAN WITCHES—Alexandrian Witches were initiated by (or branching from those initiated by) Alex and Maxine Sanders. Alexandrian Witchcraft is an off-shoot of Gardnerian Witchcraft.

 

ALGARD WITCHES— Algard Wicca was founded in 1972 in the U.S. by Mary Nesnick who had been previously initiated into Garnderian and Alexandrian traditions. Algard attempted to fuse the two traditions together in an attempt to prevent the arguments that were occurring between Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions.

 

ALIGNMENT—An alignment is the conjunction of two celestial objects.

 

ALL FATHER—All Father is a term applied to any supreme male god with progenitive characteristics, for instance, Odin being the supreme male god in Norse mythology.

 

ALL HEAL—Mistletoe. Named All-heal by the Druids for it’s medical properties. Mistletoe is toxic and should never be ingested even though many old lust and love potions requires the use of mistletoe berries. Mistletoe is ideally harvested on Yule with a golden sickle by a virgin or Priest and NEVER allowed to touch the ground. A white cloth under the tree works nicely. It is then tied with a red string or ribbon and placed over the bed or altar as a lust charm. Christians kiss under mistletoe. Beware the Witch who sets mistletoe into their belt buckle.

 

ALL HALLOWS—May refer to All Hallows Eve, Halloween or All Saints’ Day.

 

ALL HALLOWS EVE—All Hallows Eve is another name for Samhain or Halloween. It’s a Pagan celebration on the last day of October.

 

ALL MOTHER—The Goddess.

 

ALMADEL—A talisman fashioned from white wax and inscribed with various sigils and names of angels.

 

ALN—An aln is a unit of measure from the elbow to the tip of your index finger with your arm bent at a 90 degree angle. Typically about 18 inches. The wand is traditionally one aln in length.

 

ALPHA— That condition where the mind slows and magick and psychics become possible. The brain cycles at about 8-12 cycles per second while in alpha.

 

ALPHITOMANCY—Alphitomancy is a form of divination involving barley cakes or loaves or barley bread. When someone in a group was suspected of a crime, the members of the group would be fed barley cakes or slices of barley bread. Supposedly, the guilty party would get indigestion while all the others would feel well.

 

ALRAUN—Alraun is a magical talisman that is made from Rowan wood, though one reference says that it’s made from mandrake or bryony. The Alraun is generally human shaped and must be dressed and fed and treated with respect. If so, it will protect your home. If not, it will bring bad luck. The name Alraun comes from the Germanic sorceress called Alrunes (or All Runes) and so it may be a Saxon charm that was adopted by Witches.

 

ALTAR—An altar is a piece of furniture used at a religious ceremony and is usually regarded as the most sacred part of the temple (or Circle) in which it stands. It is the platform for magical workings within a Circle.

 

AMERICAN GARDNERIANS— American followers of Gardnerian Witchcraft, the tradition founded by Gerald Gardner. He was one of the firsts to go public with information about the Craft, modern Wicca has mostly been derived from his books. His inspiration was drawn from many sources, including “Aradia, Gospel of the Witches.” This path is extremely traditional with a hierarchical grade structure. These individuals are very secretive and take oaths upon initiation. Gardnerian covens in the US are difficult to locate and once located they are not easy to join.

 

AMULET– An amulet is a consecrated natural object to be worn for protection, good fortune, luck, health, to attract or to repel,  such as a rabbit’s foot, as opposed to a talisman, which is a human-made object with the same intent.

 

ANAPHRODISIAC—Anaphrodisiac is a substance that reduces sexual desires, such as camphor.

 

ANATHEMA—An anathema is a formal ecclesiastical ban, curse or excommunication. It is a vehement denunciation. It is also one who is greatly reviled, loathed, shunned, cursed or damned.

 

ANCYREA, COUNCIL OF—In 314 c.e. a council of early church elders was held to codify the xian bible by deciding what would go in and what would be deleted and to determine what was proper behavior for xians. The xian bible contains a number of writings by people who had never met Jesus to the exclusion of writers who had known the man personally. Among the things they ordered were: The fifth cannon sentenced to depravity any clergy who consorted with Witches, the 14th cannon forbade vegetarianism, the 24th cannon declared 5 years penance for anyone who used Witchcraft to cure a disease, the exclusion of the writings of Mary Magdalene (who knew Jesus personally), the inclusion of the writings of Paul (who never met Jesus).

 

ANGEL—An angel is a typically benevolent celestial being that acts as an intermediary between heaven and earth. It is also a guardian spirit or guiding influence.

 

ANIMA—Anima is the buried feminine elements in a man’s psyche.

 

ANIMISM—Animism is the belief that everything in nature, animate and inanimate, has consciousness and is alive.

 

ANIMUS—Animus is the buried masculine elements in a woman’s psyche.

 

ANKH–  The ankh is a tau cross with a loop over it. The loop likely represents the female sexual organ and the cross represents the male. The ankh is considered a symbol of life, fertility and regeneration. It is an Egyptian hieroglyph for “life” and “cosmic knowledge.”

 

ANKH-KA—The Egyptian symbol for “soul life.” It is sometimes used by Witches to represent the Great Rite.

 

ANOINT– To anoint is a symbolic cleansing, a clearing away of negativity and to make the anointed object spiritually  pristine.

 

ANTHROPOLOGISTS—The field of social studies that attempts to make some sense out of humanity and how we are. Anthropology students love to study Witches and the number of term papers on the religion are legion. Anthropologists make one major mistake. They are woefully ignorant about the subjects that they are studying. To an old-style anthropologist, a Berdache is a person who cross-dresses, is gay and wants a sex change operation. They see no difference between these three extremely different people. To an anthropologist, a witch is anyone who does any form of magickal or psychic work, including your Aunt Matilda who likes to cast horoscopes for fun. As a result, the professional data regarding Wicca is generally inaccurate and misleading.

 

APHRODITE– Aphrodite is the Greek Goddess of love, beauty and sexual rapture. Her domain covers all of nature, animal and plant.

 

APOLLONIAN—An obscure and possibly outdated term that refers to those religions that are highly organized, structured and hierarchical with little or no free thinking allowed. Christianity is an apollonian religion.

 

APPARITION—An apparition is the appearance of a phantom seen in a dream or trance or waking state as the result of astral projection. A ghost, spirit or vision.

 

APPRENTICE—An apprentice is a beginner, or learner.

 

AQUARIUS, AQUARIAN AGE—Aquarius is the 11th sign of the zodiac. It is represented by the Water Bearer, is an Air sign, and is ruled by Uranus. It is Fixed and Masculine. It’s polarity is Leo. Aquarian Age or Age of Aquarius is an astrological term which could denote a time we’re currently in or one we’re about to head into, depending on the method of calculation. In the U.S., the Age of Aquarius refers to the advent of the New Age movement in the 1960s and 1970s. In sun-sign astrology, the first sign is Aries and the last sign is Pisces, with Aquarius being the 11th sign. Astrological Ages proceed backwards, so the Age of Aquarius follows the Age of Pisces, which we are currently coming out of. An astrological age lasts about 2,150 years, which corresponds to the average time it takes for the vernal equinox to move from one constellation of the zodiac to the next.

 

ARADIA—Aradia, or The Gospel of the Witches, is a book written by Charles G. Leland. He obtained a large amount of material from a woman named Maddalena, who claimed to be a witch from Romagna Toscana. She claimed her family on her mother’s side had been practicing witchcraft for generations. Aradia is also the daughter of the Goddess Diana.

 

ARCANE—Known or understood by only a few. Refers to any secret an occult knowledge.

 

ARCHAIC TERMS—When Gerald Gardner started his own Wiccan Reform in the 1950’s, he sought to make rituals more poetic and pleasing to the ear, so he spent a great deal of time perusing old dictionairies for old words and terms that struck a “cord”  in his soul. These terms were then added to the rites to give them not only an ancient flavor but also to sound more poetic when used. As a result, Gardner introduced a number of words into Witchcraft, many of which are still used today. In addition, most of our modern sciences are directly derived from ancient fields, such as astronomy comes directly from astrology (modern astronomers hate the idea the Galileo made his living as an astrologer) and so the definitions changed as the new field took over. Thus, a lot of words retain, in magic, their older meanings. Many though, are retained because they sound beautiful.

 

ARCHTYPES— Archtypes are symbols that are represented in the mind of mankind as a whole.

 

ARITHMANCY—Divination by means of numbers.

 

ARROW POSITION—A ritual stance in Wicca where one’s feet are together and the arms are raised above the head with the palms touching. It is not so much a position as a transition from one position into another.

 

ART AND CRAFT—The term for Wicca in Goddess Religion.

 

AS ABOVE, SO BELOW—A method of explaining the interaction between the Gods and humanity, the compact between us and the idea the even the Gods must follow the Laws of Nature. Thus, whatever happens on the Divine Plane, also is reflected upon the Material Plane. This is very important to Wicca and magick.

 

ASCENDANT—In astrology, the point of the ecliptic or the sign of the zodiac that rises in the east at the time of a person’s birth or other event. Also, a position of dominance or influence.

 

ASPECTS—The forms which a God/dess will take when They are called upon. Each Aspect will emphasize a specific area of Influence, such as The Goddess in Her aspect of the Great Mother will emphasize maternity and fertility as opposed to Her aspect of the Crone which emphasizes wisdom and age.

 

ASPECTING—Any advanced magickal activity in which the practitioner manifests a particular aspect of the Goddess and/or the God in thought, feelings, behavior, speech and appearance.

 

ASPERGILLUM—An aspergillum is a ritual implement used to sprinkle holy water. It is often simply a bundle of herbs.

 

ASPERGE—To asperge is to sprinkle, as in holy water, using an aspergillum.

 

ASPERGER—An asperger is a bundle of fresh herbs or other object used to sprinkle water during or proceeding Ritual, for purification purposes.

 

ASTAROTH—Astaroth ia a Jewish demon derived from the Goddess Ishtar and Astarte whom the Israelites hated. It is said the gods of the old religion become the devils of the new religion.

 

ASTARTE—Astarte is an ancient Semitic goddess of love and war, being the Phoenician, Syrian and Canaanite counterpart to Ishtar. In the Bible, her name sometimes appears in the plural, perhaps referring to a group of goddesses. Also called Ashtoreth.

 

ASTRAGALOMANCY—Divination by means of small bones or dice.

 

ASTRAL—Of, relating to, emanating from or resembling the stars. May also be of or relating to a supersensible body believed by theosophists to coexist with and survive the death of the human physical body, also known as the soul, the astral body or the astral projection.

 

ASTRAL BLEEDING—Astral bleeding is an involuntary loss of astral “matter,” generally from the solar plexis. This is dangerous and should be fixed ASAP.

 

ASTRAL BODY—The astral body is the duplicate of the physical body which is invisible to all but the most sensitive. This is the form that escapes the physical body in a trance, during sleep or at death. It might also be thought of as the spirit or soul.

 

ASTRAL PLANE– An astral plane is an energy level of existence that lies outside the physical and mental planes of reality; energy that is felt. The astral plane is the first plane beyond the physical.

 

ASTRAL PROJECTION– Astral projection is moving the spirit energy from the physical body through space and/or time to other locations while the body remains either asleep or in a trance; while the travel may be on the astral plane, it may also be manifested on the physical plane so that other people might interact with an astral projection believing it to be a physical presence, thus someone being in two places at the same time.

 

ASTRAL TEMPLE—An astral temple is a place created on the astral plane by an individual or group. It is a place of spiritual refuge when alone and a physical place is not available.

 

ASTRAL TRAVEL—Astral travel is another way of terming astral projection.

 

ASTRAL VEHICLE—The astral body.

 

ASTROLOGY—Astrology is the art of predicting earthly events based on the movement of the planets. It is the study of the planets in relation to the earth and their influence on human life.

 

ASTROMANCY—A form of divination involving studying the stars.

 

ATHAME– An athame is a ritual knife used to direct magical energy. The athame is usually a black-handled, two-edged knife, meaning the blade is sharp on both sides, but it may be dull rather than sharp as this is not a cutting tool. This knife may be made of wood, stone, horn, metal, or jet, and could be a regular knife if visualized as the ritual tool. An athame may be a letter opener, pocketknife, etc., as long as it is visualized as a ritual tool. The handle color may also vary, but black is traditional. Symbol of the Element of Air and representative of the God energy.

 

ATLANTIS—A legendary island in the Atlantic Ocean west of Gibraltar, said by Plato to have sunk beneath the sea during an earthquake.

-Atlantis is a mythical continent in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the remains of which form the mid-Atlantic ridge. It was believed t be the center of all wisdom until it was destroyed by the Gods for its evil ways. The survivors fled to America and Europe and created civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayans, Egyptians. And so on. This is myth.

-Probably the Islands of Thera and Santorini in the Mediterranean Sea. It blew up in a volcanic eruption about 3000 years ago and the shock waves from that eruption destroyed the civilization of Crete. It is possible that the pulling of the ocean away from a beach followed by a tidal wave during an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption is the basis for the Israelite legend of the crossing of the Red Sea. In history, this may have happened but the reputed destruction of the Egyptian army is a complete myth as were the seven plagues of Egypt, which also never happened. Myth is a powerful thing when codified into faith.

-A story told by an obscure Egyptian Priest to Solan in the hopes of getting a good tip by preying on the Greek ego.

-Aome mythical placwe from which almost every space cadet claims to have been in a former life. These people were generally Priest-kings and can tell the most obscure details of Atlantian civilization and religion but are unable to even build or describe with any accuracy something as simple as the Atlantian version of a light switch. Many wanna be Wiccans claim to be Atlantian in a past life.

 

ATTUNEMENT—Attunement is an activity that brings the mind, emotion and psyche of an individual into harmony. The action of a group balancing their personal energies and needs to become one with the group. Properly done, it enables the group to raise more power than any individual can possibly match. Done improperly, it reduces the power of the group to less than one person.

 

AUGURY—Augury is the art, ability or practice of divination. It is a sign of something coming or an omen.

 

AURA– An aura is the energy field of multiple layers surrounding all things that may be seen visu7ally or sensed psychically to be understood or manipulated in magic. Gaps or holes can be healed through use of crystals, or other energy moving magics as with the passing of the palms of a healer above the affected area.

 

AUTUMN EQUINOX—The Autumn Equinox is also known as Mabon. It is one of the eight Greater Sabbats. It generally occurs on or about the 21st day of September in the Northern Hemisphere and represents the time of the final harvest for this planting season. The date is dependent on when the Sun enters Libra. It is also the day of equal day and night/light and dark.

 

AVALON—Avalon is a legendary island featured in the legend of King Arthur as the place where the sword Excalibur was forged. Arthur was also taken to Avalon to recover from wounds after the Battle of Camlann. It is associated with mystical practices and people.

 

AVATAR—An avatar is an advanced soul, who returns to a physical body to teach less evolved souls. Examples include Jesus and Buddha.

 

B

B.C.E.—Stands for Before Common Era. It is synonymous with BC without the Christian religious connotation.

 

BABD—The Irish word for Witch. Not to be confused with witta which is a new word made up by one popular author who claims to be an Irish Witch.

 

BABYLON—The capital of ancient Babylonia in Mesopotamia on the Euphrates River. Established as the capital c. 175o B.C. and rebuilt in regal splendor by Nebuchadnezzar II after its destruction by the Assyrians, Babylon was the sight of the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

 

BACULUM—Another word for wand. A Wiccan Tool and symbol of Air and the Horned God. A wooden stick, generally phallic shaped.

 

BALEFIRE—A balefire is also known as a bonfire. It is a fire lit for magical purposes and usually occurs outdoors. Balefires are traditional on Yule, Beltane and Midsummer.

 

BAN—To prohibit, especially by decree. To curse.

 

BANE—Bane is that which is poisonous, evil, destructive, negative, etc. It is paired to indicate the negative, such as in wolfbane, hensbane and baneberry.

 

BANEFUL–  That which is poisonous, evil, destructive, negative, etc.

 

BANEFUL MAGICK—Any spell that is used for a morally improper goal. An example of good magick would be doing a love spell to attract someone into your life to love you. That same spell done on a specific person is baneful. The difference is that in the former, you allow the Universe to choose the proper person. In the latter, you are controlling someone’s free will.

 

BANISH—To banish is to drive away that which is unwanted by using magic or ritual.

 

BANISHING– Banishing casts away something present and undesired.

 

BAPHOMET—According to Eliphas Levi, a human-like entity with the breasts of a woman, genitals of a man and head of a goat. Also called the Goat of Mendes, it was said the Knights Templar worshipped Baphomet. As the Templars spent a lot of time in Palestine during the Crusades and they appear t have brought back to France at least some Islamic practices, the name Baphomet might be a corruption of the name Mohammed. Witches were also said to worship Baphomet because of the superficial resemblance to the Horned God.

 

BARD—In Celtic society, a bard was a poet who would sing the oral traditions as a means of educating the public. Sometimes the bard was royally commissioned to make an accounting of the monarch’s activities and achievements. In English society, a bard was primarily an entertainer that traveled around the country, singing traditional folk songs.

 

BARROW—A large mound of earth or stones places over a burial site.

 

BELL– A bell may be a tiny bell with a delicate chime, or a larger bell, used during ritual and to call upon the Faerie Folk; may be made of brass, silver, ceramic, crystal, etc.

 

BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE—Refers to the closing act of exorcism: ring the bell, close the book and snuff the candle. It is used by Witches to indicate the closing of ritual. Also a 1958 movie starring Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart concerning modern witches in Manhattan, though not at all accurate regarding Witches.

 

BELTANE—Beltane is a May Eve festival occurring on or around May 1st. It is one of the ancient Celtic Fire Festivals. On this night, the cattle were driven between two balefires to protect them from disease. Couples wishing for fertility would jump the fires on Beltane night. It is one of the eight Sabbats of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. It is a Greater Sabbat and often celebrated in modern times as May Day. It is commonly a fertility festival, and the transition in the triple Goddes from Maiden to Mother.

 

BESOM– A besom is a broom used to sweep the Circle clear of unwanted and chaotic energies prior to casting.

 

BETA—The condition that exists when the mind is active and intense concentration occurs. It is characterized by the mind operating at 12-60 cps.

 

BETWEEN THE WORLDS—The place that you travel when inside the Magick Circle. It is neither wholly of the Material Plane or the Divine Plane but “between” both.

 

BEWITCH—The act of controlling another’s mind generally through telepathy.

 

BEWITCHMENT– The act of controlling another’s mind generally through telepathy.

 

BEYOND THE VEIL—A way of referring to death by those who wish to avoid the “d” word. One Law of Magick states that if you mention a name, that entity will answer. This is a way to avoid Death answering His call.

 

BIBLE– The holy book of the christian religion. It was assembled by the Council of Ancyrea in 314 c.e. from the numerous writings by and about christianity. Those writings by Mary Magdalene and Thomas the Doubter (who knew jesus personally) were deleted in favor of the writings of Paul (who never met jesus at all) and many of the works included were never written by the authors at all or were written long after their ‘authors’ were dead. If truth be known, the christian bible would be condemned for obscenity by any court were the standards that banned other works applied to this book. Many radical christians love to quote exodus as proof of the evil of Witchcraft, “Thou shalt not suffer a kaskagh (witch) to live. Unfortunatly, kaskagh means someone who kills with poison and has no connotation to either magick or religion. The word was ordered to be translated as ‘Witch’ by King James of Scotland who hated Witches and catholics and ordered his translators to create an anti-witch pro-protestant version of the bible. As an aside, when the scholars gave James his book, he refused to pay them for their work. In reality NOWHERE in the christian bible does it say that Witches worship the devil or even describe satan as anything other than the most beautiful of angels. To those who argue the literality of this ‘holy book’ I mention that the bible requires the death sentence for : touching a holy thing (numbers 9:13), breaking the sabbath (exodus 32:12-15) and making a fire on the sabbath (exodus 35:2-3). If you would demand my death for being a Witch, I would suggest that you first clean your own house and execute all those people who bar-b-que on Sunday or wear a cross.

 

BI-LOCATION—Bi-Location is a type of astral projection during which you maintain awareness of your present surroundings.

 

BIND—Bind is to magically restrain something or someone.

 

BINDING—Binding is a magical spell, which sometimes involves tying of knots on a cord, to restrain something or someone. This is often performed to stop something or someone from harming another or themselves. Some also use it to bind others to themselves, even though it could be infringing on the free-will of another.

 

BINDRUNE– A bindrune is a monogram of two to three rune symbols used as a sigil on a magical object, with the last rune drawn being the one that binds the whole.

 

BIO-PLASMA—Another term for aura.

 

BLACK ARTS—A term incorrectly used to refer to any of the metaphysical sciences.

 

BLACK BOOK—The original term in Witchcraft for the Book of Shadows (which was introduced by Gardner in 1949). It is the vogue for insecure people trying to con others by claiming to belong to an 800 year old family tradition of witchcraft. These people always refer to possessing an 800-year-old Book of Shadows which shows they are liars.

 

BLACK MAGICK—Black magick is a term used to describe harmful magick which is performed with selfish or evil intention.

 

BLACK MASS—A black mass is a deliberate and obscene travesty of the Christian Mass for evil magic 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.

 

BLESSED BE—Blessed Be is an all purpose greeting, response and farewell among Witches. It reminds us that everything and everyone is sacred. Typically pronounced as three syllables.

 

BLESSING—The act of conferring energy upon a person or object so as to do good.

 

BLOOD OF THE MOON—Blood of the Moon is what occurs if a woman’s menstrual cycle happens over a New or Full Moon. A woman so attuned is more powerful then than during other times of the month.

 

BLUE MOON– A Blue Moon is the second Full Moon within a calendar month; adding extra energy.

 

BODY DOUBLE—Also known as astral body.

 

BOGGLE—To confuse the mind by magick.

 

BOLLINE– A bolline is a cutting tool used in magical work to inscribe candles, cut herbs, cut thread, or any other such use. Traditionally a two-edged blade, with a white handle, but any tool designated as the working tool may be used.

 

BONFIRE—Another term for balefire.

 

BOOK COLLECTORS– A term used in the 1970’s to refer to those Witches who would collect an number of Books of Shadows from different covens and traditions. Sometimes they were collected as an academic curiosity, other times they were collected to improve your own BOS.

 

BOOK OF SHADOWS– The book or books in which correlations are written down and referenced in the creation of spells and other magical workings, and in which the characteristics of a Witch’s practice are given. This book will contain a code of ethics, personal philosophy, spiritual insights, meditations, lunar and seasonal rituals, descriptions of tools, alphabets, recipes, rites of passage rituals, special days of observance, deity associations, and other details deemed necessary by the individual for  the practice of the Craft.

 

BOOMERANG EFFECT—The Three-fold Law in practice. It means that a relatively weak defense will cause a relatively strong spell to rebound and return to strike the sender with greater effect. The action of a spell striking a magical defense and then rebounding back to he send with three-fold strength.

 

BOS– BOS is the abbreviation for Book of Shadows. See above.

 

BOTANOMANCY—To divine the future through the use of herbs.

 

BOTHWELL, FRANCIS STEWART, EARL OF– (c 16th century) One of the heirs to the throne of Scotland Bothwell had only one obstruction, King James I. Were James to die without issue, then Bothwell would become King of England. In a time when religious wars were common and people were being killed for praying in English or Latin, being a Witch placed you under the guns of catholic, protestant and puritan zealots. So Bothwell decided to stack the deck. He used his coven in North Berwick to try to kill the newly crowned James I before he could produce heirs of his own. With James dead, the throne would then go to Francis Stewart, the Earl of Bothwell and he could remove christianity and restore Britain to the Wiccan religion. Unfortunatly, the plan failed and James survived every assassination attempt. James was eventually arrested but was released when the Horned God or His representative ordered the guards to open the cell. Francis escaped to Italy where James sent a message asking him to come home. Francis replied “You Christians are all alike, you call me when you need me and cast me aside when done.” He wisely refused the offer though most of his coven were arrested and burned to death. King James, once a disbeliever, now became a fanatical Witch hunter and not only wrote Demonology but passed repressive anti-witch laws and ordered the bible to contain anti-Witch passages.

 

BRACELET—A Wiccan Tool. The Metal band worn on the left wrist and engraved with the Witch’s name and degree. The men wear one of gold (brass or copper for those of limited financial assets) and the women wear one of silver. It is designed to allow for free energy flow along the meridians.

 

BRIGANTIA—Another name for the Goddess Brigid.

 

BRIGID—Patron Goddess of Imbolc. Imbolc is one of the four Greater Sabbats of Wicca. Celebrated on February 1 or 5, it comes from the Celtic word meaning “in the belly.” It celebrates the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the Sun-God. It also celebrates the first stirring of Spring and the lengthening of the days.

 

BRIGIT, SAINT—The Great Mother Goddess of the Witches in Ireland. Patrick couldn’t destroy Her or discredit Her so he invented a saint with her name to steal Her worship as was common in those days.

 

BRITISH GARDNERIANS–  British followers of Gardnerian Witchcraft, the tradition founded by Gerald Gardner. He was one of the firsts to go public with information about the Craft, modern Wicca has mostly been derived from his books. His inspiration was drawn from amny sources, including “Aradia, Gospel of the Witches.” This path is extremely traditional with a hierarchical grade structure. These individuals are very secretive and take oaths upon initiation.

 

BRITISH LINE—A term to describe the linear descendants of Sally T. who was an Alexandrian Witch in Britain. Another term for this is Old Line.

 

BROCKEN—The highest peak (Mount Brocken) in the Hartz mountains of Germany where Witches are reputed to gather.

 

BROOM– In witchcraft, the broom is not used for housework, but for clearing ritual space during Circle Casting and for spell work.

 

BROOM CLOSET– The broom closet is where we witches put ourselves, metaphorically, when we’re hiding our witch identity from others.

 

BRUJA—A Mexican magician who curses. This has been incorrectly translated as “witch” but the two are nothing alike.

 

BUBASTIS—A city in Egypt which is the center for the worship of Basst, the cat-Goddess. Bast is the beloved of Witches, most of whom love cats, and by anyone who is bothered by rats.

 

BUCKET—A measurement between the thumb and little finger with the fingers spread. It is about 8 inches.

 

BULL GOD—That aspect of the Horned God which was worshipped in areas where the wild Bull was he primary meat source. In some traditions of Wicca such as the Welsh Trads, the Bull and Stag are different aspects of the same Horned God and they fight themselves/each other on the Solstices to symbolize the Turning of the Wheel/year.

 

BURIN- An awl with a short point used to engrave signs on talismans and jewelry.

 

C

CABALA (SEE QABALLA)—In it’s simplest form, the Jewish magickal system that incorporates the Tree of Life as a means of understanding the universe.

 

C.E.—A term of dating that means “of the common era.: It is used by Pagans, Witches, scientists and other non-Christians to refer to the modern calendar without using Christian references. Compare to B.C.E. The modern year 1990 A.D. equals 1990 C.E. In Wiccan terms, this date refers to 34,311 year of the Goddess.

 

CAIRN—Cairn is a Gaelic term that refers to a pile of stones made by a farmer when he is preparing his field for planting. They were made because Ireland is so rocky that they had to do something with the rocks. In ancient times, they were piles of stones that had been heaped over a burial and had some religious significance such as a grave or to mark a holy spot or een a boundary marker.

 

CAKES AND WINE—The small feast of wine and food with which most Wiccan rituals end. It uses blessed food and drink which are generally potluck and vegetarian and shared between the end of the ritual and the closing of the Circle. Fundamentalist xians never tire of confusing Cakes and Wine with the black mass, which is purely a Christian concept.

 

CALLING—To invoke Divine forces.

 

CALLING THE QUARTERS—The action of evoking the Lords of the Watchtowers of the Four Quarters to come to witness and protect that ritual. In Traditional Wicca, this is a vital part of the ritual and must be done properly or dire actions may results.

 

CANDLE—A fire tool which is used in a ritual or spell for any number of reasons. 1. Altar candles are placed on the altar and represent God and Goddess and allow you to see what you’re doing. 2. Offertory candles which are used in magick to represent a specific goal. 3. Circle candles are placed about the boundary of the Circle to represent the Four Elements and so are specifically colored. 4. Astral or object candles to represent the person or target in a spell.

Ideally, like all tools, the candle should be hand made by the Witch, but in today’s world they are generally bought. If so, they should be of solid color and not a cheap white candle that has had it’s outside dyed a different color to save money. It is easy to roll candles with modern bees-wax sheets and so these are more popular today, especially as you can incorporate the making of the candle into the spell. Candles stored in the freezer tend to burn slower and with less drippings than candles stored in a closet or cupboard.

 

CANDLE HOLDERS—These are tools that have the sole use of keeping the lit candle from falling over. They can be ornate or simple as please the Witch. Since some spells and rituals require the candle to burn itself out, it is not good to have a wooden candle holder.

 

CANDLE MAGICK—The use of differently colored candles in a magickal spell to achieve a specific goal. Candle magick is the most popular form of magick used by Witches.

 

CANDLEMAS—Also known as Imbolc.

 

CANTRIP—Cantrip is a word of Scots origin to mean a magical spell of any kind, or one which reads the same forwards and backwards. It can also be a witch’s trick or a sham. It is possibly derived from the Gaelic canntaireached, a piper’s mnemonic chant.

 

CAPNOMANCY—Divination by smoke.

 

CARDINAL POINTS—The four ritual points of the Circle: North, East, South, West.

 

CARROMANCY—Divination by melting wax.

 

CASTING—To divine by tossing stones, twigs, coins or such onto the ground and interpreting the results, such as rune stones and I ching sticks.

 

CASTING THE CIRCLE—The act of ritually building the Wiccan Temple. Although each tradition does it differently, there are rules that, if followed, will provide a stronger and safer temple.

 

CATCHER—Also known as the summoner. The Witch whose job it is to call all the other Witches together for a rite or spell. During the Burning Times, the summoner was the only person who knew the true names and addresses of the Coven so that is one of the Coven was taken by the Christians, he couldn’t betray the others under torture. Modern Covens give the summoner the added job of public relations and checking out any new potential members to the Coven. In many modern Covens, the summoner is the assistant to the High Priest and fulfills the same function as the Maiden. In other Covens, the summoner is the High Priest as only he would know who the members were and as the most experienced, he would be the best PR person.

 

CATHARSIS – Catharsis is the purification and purgation of emotions—especially self-pity and fear—through art or to any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration. It is a metaphor originally used by Aristotle in the Poetics to describe the effects of tragedy on the spectator.

 

CAULDRON—A Wiccan tool. A pot in which is placed water, fire or food. It is a symbol of Fertility and Rebirth from the Goddess. Many Witches choose and venerate the Cauldron because of it’s symbolism and ties with the Goddess and Fertility and Rebirth. At some Sabbats, a fire is built within the cauldron and may be jumped for many reasons. At others, it is filled with water for scrying or with flowers.

 

CELTIC WITCHES—Those Witches who take the Celtic Religion as the clothing for their version of Wicca. The Celtic and Italian traditions are the only traditions that can be determined to have survived into modern times, all others being recreated from historical sources. Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Welsh and Algards are among the Celtic traditions.

 

CENSE—To bless and purify by means of a censer.

 

CENSER—A Wiccan tool. An incense burner that is usually hung from a chain. In it’s simplest form, it is a shallow bowl will with sand. Censers represent Air, even though they do contain Fire.

 

CENTERING—The act or non-act of turning your mind within and ignoring the external world.

 

CEREMONIAL MAGICK—A complex form of magick developed by Jews and Christians. It usually has as its goal, unification of the magickian and his god.

 

CERNUNNOS—The Latin name for the Horned God of the Witches. His image can be found all over Eurasia from Mojo Domo in India to the Altar found beneath Notre Dame cathedral to the Gunderstrup Cauldron in Denmark to Val Camonica in Italy. He is generally shown with Antlers, cloven hooves and an erect penis and often accompanied by the ram-horned serpent. He is a God of hunting (provider), death (caretaker) and lust (sustainer).

 

CERRIDWEN—One of the Welsh Mother/Crone Goddesses who was accompanied by her sacred pigs (an unusually intelligent animal). She had a son who was so ugly that in order to compensate him she decided to give him the gift of prophecy. She set Gwion Bach to stirring the potion of Prophecy in Her Cauldron for an entire year to that She could go about Her business. On the last day, three drips spilled on the man’s hand and as it was hot and burned, he sucked the injured part, accidentally ingesting the potion. He was then gifted with the powers of prophecy and realized the Goddess would kill him for drinking the potion that she made for her son. She discovered this and chased him so he turned into a hare to escape and the Goddess turned into a greyhound in pursuit. And so it went, with each transforming into one animal or another until Gwion changed into a kernel of grain. Cerridwen became a hen and ate the grain and shortly after, discovered she was pregnant with Gwion who, when born, was called Taliesin and became the greatest of the Welsh bards.

 

CHAKRA—The focal points of the energy field. There are seven primary chakras.

 

CHALICE—A Wiccan Tool. The female symbol and container for the Ritual Wine that is to be blessed by the Goddess.

 

CHANGELING—In Celtic and Irish lore, a fairy who was given to a family in exchange for a human child. Modern Irish myths state that this was always evil but ancient indications show that there were a number of benevolent and profitable reasons for this fostering.

 

CHANNELING—A “new age” practice where you allow a non-material entity to “borrow” your body for the purpose of providing information or guidance. It is also the action where the High Priestess allows her mind and conscious to “step back” so that the Goddess may enter into her body and speak to the coven. A similar but less used act is done by the High Priest during the Drawing Down of the Sun.

 

CHANT—A set of words or sounds that are repeated to raise power or to alter the consciousness.

 

CHAOTE—One who dabs in chaos magic.

 

CHAPLET—A garland of leaves, herbs or flowers that is worn upon the head. During handfastings, the bride wears a chaplet of flowers while the groom wears one of leaves. Flower chaplets are worn by the Maiden and during Beltane rituals. Chaplets of oak and/or holly are worn by the High Priest during some Yule Rituals.

 

CHARGE—A charge is a set of instructions from the Goddess in the form of a speech given to the Coven during the Drawing Down of the Moon. In Traditional Wicca, the version used was rewritten by Doreen Valiente and is considered to be a work that was either “written” by the Goddess or inspired directly by Her. A charge is also the investing of energy, to dedicate to Craft use.

 

CHARGING CUP—This is a bowl used to contain the exorcised water on the Altar. It is then carried around to asperge the Circle and Coven. Also called the water bowl.

 

CHARM—A charm is spoken or written words of a magickal intent. A simple spell. It can also be an object that has been charged with magickal energy, generally in the form of a blessing. To charm is to enchant or to put a spell on someone.

 

CHARM BAG—Also known as a sachet.  A bag containing herbs used for a specific magickal purpose.

 

CHARTER—This is not really a Craft term but it does refer to Cross-Initiations. When someone mentions a charter, they are generally talking about a paper from some magickal lodge giving that person permission to found a local lodge of that order and not at all referring to a Coven.

 

CHEIROMANCY—Divination by means of examination of the hand. It’s the technical term for palmistry/palm-reading.

 

CHI—One’s life force, natural energy or energy flow.

 

CHORD—Also known as AKA Thread. Aka is a Hawaiian word that refers to the essence of matter, or what might also be called divine substance. In regards to Aka threads, the concept is that whenever you think of a person, place or object, you send out a line of force through the omnipresent aka, a portion of which forms itself into what can be called aka threads. Through this thread you can then send and receive ideas and/or emotional psychic energy, and information from any of the senses. These may also be known as etheric cords. There are five types of threads: Soul threads connecting us to the Divine, Past-Life threads connecting us to our past life experiences and relationships, Genetic threads connecting us to family members and ancestors, Parental threads connecting us to our biological parents (even if we don’t know them), and Relationship threads connecting to both healthy and unhealthy relationships through the chakras. While some believe it is impossible to remove these threads or cords, others believe it is possible to remove them. One popular form of removal is calling on Archangel Michael to cut the threads for you.

 

CHURCH OF ALL WORLDS, CAW—An extremely successful religion developed by Tim Zell and based upon the science fiction novel, “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein. CAW adds other sci-fi concepts and uses the Wiccan Coven structure for its base. CAW admits they are Pagan but not Wiccan.

 

CINGULUM—1. A Wiccan Tool. A rope used as a badge of rank, the color of which determines the Degree of the Witch. 2. A rope that is used to measure or used in certain magical spells. The infamous “Witches Ladder” uses a cord. 3. A measure of length equal to your height or the distance between finger tips when your arms stretch out. About 6 feet.

 

CIRCLE—1. The magickal, psychic and religious barrier in Wicca and magick which defines the palce between the worlds. It is created at the beginning of almost all Craft workings; when formed it serves as a protection device and energy enhancer; when open or broken, it indicates the end of a working. It is the Temple of the Gods. There are certain methods of Forming the Circle, all based upon the physics of magick, the Psychology of Ritual and the needs of the Gods. To draw an effective Circle takes some months of training and practice under an experienced teacher. Some of the ancient Megalithic Stone Circles are still being used today by Witches as temples. 2. To get together to perform ritual or magick. 3. To dance in a circular motion to raise energy. 4. A group of Wiccans who get together for ritual or magick. More casual than a coven.

 

CIRCLE ETIQUETTE—Rules of expected behavior when participating in a Ritual Circle.

 

CIRCLE OF PROTECTION; COP—Same as Circle. 1. The magickal, psychic and religious barrier in Wicca and magick which defines the palce between the worlds. It is created at the beginning of almost all Craft workings; when formed it serves as a protection device and energy enhancer; when open or broken, it indicates the end of a working. It is the Temple of the Gods. There are certain methods of Forming the Circle, all based upon the physics of magick, the Psychology of Ritual and the needs of the Gods. To draw an effective Circle takes some months of training and practice under an experienced teacher. Some of the ancient Megalithic Stone Circles are still being used today by Witches as temples.

 

CIRCUMAMBULATE—1. To travel in a Ritual Circle along the edge, and thus in a circular direction. 2. To circle a person or object with your right side always facing that person as an act of blessing or worship.

 

CIRCUT—Energy, even psychic and magickal energy, must have a completed circuit in order to function. Thus, when you are sending energy to someone, you also receive energy from that person as well. If you block the return so that you get nothing back, you will be unable to send. That is basic physics and works in magick as well as in your reading lamp. Following this argument, if you are healing an illness (diabetes, cancer, etc) by sending healing energy to the target, you will receive energy back from that person in return. When this happens, the received energy will be contaminated by the sickness of the target and you can easily contract that sickness. Therefore, it is vital that you shield yourself while you are healing to allow the energy return but filter out the illness being carried by that energy.

 

CLAIRAUDIENCE—The ability to “hear” that which is normally not hearable such as “hearing” the crash of a jet with the knowledge that it will happen in three weeks.

 

CLAIRVOYANCE—The ability to perceive that which is not normally perceivable, generally interpreted as sight. Examples are seeing the future or another location without any physical connection.

 

CLEANSING—In Wicca, to remove or banish all energies from an object. This is similar to an exorcism but concentrates on using energy and not on the assistance of an entity.

 

CLOCKWISE—Also deosil (day-o-sill). Moving in a clockwise direction in a Circle or Ritual. Also means moving in a sunwside direction.

 

CLOSING—To end a ritual by unforming the Circle in a set manner. Also known as uncasting.

 

COCA—The bean from which we get chocolate. It is chewed in the Andes to give energy to a people who are suffering almost constant oxygen deprivation because of the altitude.

 

COGNITION—1. (Garderian) News, knowledge, information. 2. Any form of psychic knowledge received by the psychic.

 

COLOR THERAPY—Healing through the use of color. It has been found that patients in a hospital room that is painted pale blue with a stripe of red will heal faster than those in a room that is painted red or white.

 

COMPLEMENTS– Two or more terms that appear to be opposites but are actually similar. It is only our perception that defines them as opposite. Some complements are: angel -vs- demon, religion -vs- superstition,

 

CONE OF POWER—The concentrated field of energy that is raised by a Coven during certain workings.

 

CONJURATION—The act of summoning a non-material entity.

 

CONSCIOUS MIND—The rational part of the mind. That part that we use in everyday activities. It is generally ignored when doing ritual or magick.

 

CONSECRATE—In Wicca, to bless an objects to the service of the Gods.

 

CONSECRATION—In Wicca, to dedicate something or someone to a sacred purpose such as to dedicate a Tool to the Goddess.

 

CONTACT— A non-physical entity that acts as a guide or teacher.

 

CORD– 1. A Wiccan Tool. A rope used as a badge of rank, the color of which determines the Degree of the Witch. 2. A rope that is used to measure or used in certain magical spells. The infamous “Witches Ladder” uses a cord. 3. A measure of length equal to your height or the distance between finger tips when your arms stretch out. About 6 feet.

 

CORD MAGICK—The use of ropes that are knotted in a certain manner in order to focus and release power.

 

CORN DOLLY—A figure, often shaped like a woman but occasionally symbolically geometric made from wheat stalks or similar grain. They represent the bounty of the earth and are often used in Spring and Harvest Sabbats. They are usually made from the last of the wheat to be harvested. Sometimes they are buried in the fields, sometimes they are hung in the kitchen and saved for Imbolc.

 

CORRESPONDENCES—A set of related concepts that allow us to use magick in our everyday lives. They are generally done in table and chart form.

 

COVEN—1. The church, school and extended family of the Wicca. This is where the Witch studies the religion, performs the rites and spells and goes for support. As Covens vary in belief, structure and attitude, it becomes important to choose the right one for you to join. 2. (Traditional) The Coven consists of at least three unrelated people and less than thirteen. Many Covens start as a husband-wife team with one other person. If that other person is their child, it isn’t a Coven but a family group. They then grow slowly as Traditionals require that their members be of like mind and similar personality so are careful as to whom that allow into their family. Traditionally, you can only belong to one Coven at a time. If you find another Coven that you wish to join, then you must first resign from your first Coven. 3. (Eclectic) A group of an number of people, no matter how loosely organized. Thus you will find Eclectic Covens consisting of and number from two up to 40 people or more. Occasionally, you will even find a single person who claims s/he is a coven even though s/he is a solitary Wiccan.

 

COVENANT OF THE GODDESS—One of the major blanket organizations of Witches in America. It was formed in 1975.

 

COVENSTEAD—That place where the Coven actually erects it’s Circle. It is usually a the home of the High Priest or High Priestess of the Coven. Some Covens have an alternate Covenstead in the desert or woods for outdoor rituals.

 

COWAN—(Traditional) The uninitiated or non-Witch. Compare with Mundane and Once Born. This is not an insult but a simple description.

 

CRAFT, THE—Another term for Witchcraft.

 

CRAFT LAWS–  set of rules that are to aid Witches in times of troubles. There are a number of sets of these, each specific to a certain coven or Tradition. There are a number of stories about how Gardner wrote the Laws to enforce some of his eccentricities, but Haining claims to have seen a 17th century manuscript in the British Museum that contains at least some of The Laws.

 

CRESCENT—That phase of the moon that is somewhere between new and full. It resembles a circle with a bite taken out. Many High Priestesses wear a crowns consisting of a silver band with a crescent upon the brow to represent the Goddess.

 

CRETE—One of the few true Goddess civilizations known. It is an island in the Mediterranean Sea which was destroyed by the eruption that also destroyed Atlantis. Cretan Goddess statues show the Goddess in a full skirt, open vest to expose the breasts and holding snakes and are in much demand by modern Witches but can no longer be found in Crete today.

 

CRONE—The Third aspect of the Goddess as She changes from the Mother to the Hag. In this aspect, She is the patron of magick, intuition and death. Her symbol is the waning moon.

 

CRONING—A ceremony celebrating a woman’s crossing over from mother to crone.

 

CROSS OF CONFUSION—A symbol first used by the Romans who questioned the truth of Christianlty.

 

CROSS INITIATION– The process where a Witch of one Tradition (possibly Gardnerian) will Initiate another Witch into their own Tradition. In return, the other Witch (possibly Alexandrian) will Initiate the first Witch into their own Tradition. The advantage is that there are some secrets that are restricted to members of that Coven/Tradition and the only way to legally share the knowledge is to join that Tradition/Coven. The cross-initiation does NOT give the cross-initate the right to practice or pass on that Tradition, only to participate in the rites and to see the BOS. This was a good idea when used with descretion but too many people became Degree Hunters and sought Cross Initiations from as many people as possible. Thus the concept which started out as a good idea became abused by a few greedy people.

 

CROSS QUARTER DAYS—The Greater Sabbats of the Equinoxes and Solstices.

 

CRYSTAL BALL—A round object made form quartz crystal and used as a means of scrying. If it is more than a few centimeters across, it’s probably artificial. They should be optically clear and so are prohibitively expensive and replaced with glass balls. Also a crystal sphere.

 

CUNNING MAN—(Pennsylvania Dutch) In Pennsylvania and the surrounding area, a person, almost always a man, who understands the local folk magick well enough to be called a sorcerer. Also Cunning Folk.

 

CUP—A Wiccan Tool. The female symbol and container for the Ritual Wine that is to be blessed by the Goddess. During many rituals, the Cup is blessed by the HP and HPS and then passed around for all to share. Traditionally, the cup is made of silver to represent the Moon though many are now made of pewter or even wood. Note that copper will mix with alcohol to produce a poison and alcohol will leech from pewter so copper, brass or pewter cups MUST be silver plated on the inside with no scratches.

 

CURSE—A spell used to harm. Usually it follows the target forever or until removed by someone far more powerful than the initial caster. Few Witches like to throw curses around because of the Three-Fold Law, but some are more than willing to do what they call is “helping that persons karma come back to them.”

 

D

DAEMON—Daemons are benevolent or benign nature spirits, being of the same nature as both mortals and gods, similar to ghosts, chthonic heroes, spirit guides, forces of nature or the gods themselves.

 

DARK ONE—1. The Horned God in His aspect of the Lord of Death or the Grim Reaper. 2. The Goddess in Her aspect of the Crone.

 

DARK MOON—The New Moon phase.

 

DAUGHTER COVEN—A Coven which is formed from another Coven by members of that original parent Coven who are felt to be ready to run their own Coven. The daughter Coven is generally independent of the parent Coven but gives to that parent Coven a certain amount of respect. The leaders of the parent Coven will become Witch Queen and Kings (Magus) when the daughter Coven has passed its probationary period.

 

DAYS OF POWER—The eight Sabbats and/or the 13 Full and New Moons.

 

DEDICATION—A form of self-initiation where the Wiccan dedicates themselves to the God, the Goddess and the Craft. Traditionals use this as a preliminary until the can find and join a Coven and be properly Initiated. Many Eclectics use this in place of an Intitiation.

 

DEGREES—A system of learning or achievement or rank among Witches. Some Traditions have one Degree, others have 13, most have three. The main thing to remember is that the Degree system is a way of breaking down the jobs and teaching into smaller, more manageable parts. Thus the new person is still new whatever Degree you call them and the top of the hierarchy is still the top regardless of what Degree you take. Thus the Third Degree Gardnerian is equal to a Fourth Degree Welsh which is equal to a Thirteenth Degree Frostie.

 

DEITY—A god or goddess. It is used by those who are uncomfortable with the ‘g’ word.

 

DEJA VU—From the French word “already seen,” this is the idea that you have experienced this situation before.

 

DELTA—A very slow trance-like rhythm of the brain. It is related to certain healings and astral travel.

 

DEMETER—(Greek) A grain goddess and mother of Persephone. Two tales are important here: the first regards the bees who gave honey to the gods for food. So enthralled with this were the gods that they granted the bees a wish. The bees asked for the power to sting their enemies to death. So enraged with this request that the gods made the sting fatal to the bees. The bees are sacred to Demeter. The second story concerns her daughter, Persephone and Hades and the coming of Winter. The Elusian Mysteries, which are THE thing to join, were held in her honor. Many modern Witches see Persephone and Demeter as variants of the Maiden and Mother aspects of the Goddess.

 

DEMON—An unfriendly non-material entity. Compare with angel.

 

DEOSIL—(day-o-sill). Moving in a clockwise direction in a Circle or Ritual. Also means moving in a sunwise direction.

 

DEVA—A nature spirit that personifies that form of nature such as Foxglove Deva is the nature spirit that relates to the foxglove plant.

 

DEVIL—Literally a “little god” or an xianity, a non-material entity of negative force. This is NOT used within Wicca simply because Witches are not Christians and so do not accept xian gods or concepts.

 

DEVIL’S MARK—(xian) According to Christian mythology, whenever a witch sold their soul to the Christian devil, he kissed the witch somewhere on their body. This place then became insensitive, unable to bleed and produced a mark that often disguised as a mole, wart, scar, blemish or even was invisible. Much of the torture of a witch entailed finding this mark as proof of witchcraft.

 

DIANA—1. (Wicca) A common name for the Goddess to be used in public. 2. (Italian) The name for the Goddess in Italian Wicca. 3. (Roman) See Artemis.

 

DIANA’S CROWN—A crescent moon mounted upon the headdress (usually silver) of the High Priestess of a Wiccan Coven and worn as a sign of her rank and position.

 

DIANA’S BOW—The third day after the New Moon when the Moon appears to be in the shape of a bow. This time is important to Witches for it’s magickal forces.

 

DIANIC WITCHES—Those Witches who place the Goddess as supreme and all but ignore the God. The Dianic movement was formed in the early 1970s by Z. Budapest in Los Angeles, California. Compare to Feminist Witches.

 

DIONYSIAN—A possibly outdated term for the concept of religious rituals which are free flowing and uninhibited as opposed to Apollonian which is regimented and organized. Most Witches, particularly Eclectics, are Dionysian in nature.

 

DISCARNATE—An entity without a physical body such as a ghost or an astral body.

 

DISCHARGE—To divest of energy, to send off a spell, to desantify.

 

DISMISS QUARTERS—The term used in Wicca to refer to the release of the Lords of the Watchtowers so that the Ritual can end.

 

DIVINATION—The use of Tools such as Tarot Cards, Crystal Balls, or trance to perceive into the past, present or future in order to determine the best possible course of action. There are a number of different forms of Divination ranging from augury to pyromancy and beyond, many of which are scattered throughout this work.

 

DIVINE—1. Referring to a God or Goddess. 2. To foretell the future as in divination.

 

DOORWAY—The entrance into the Magickal Circle, generally in the North-east, opened and closed by a specific ritual for the purpose of entering and leaving the established Circle.

 

DOUBLE—The astral body which may be perceived by other people as a visible and tangible copy of your own body.

 

DOVES BLOOD—Any writing with ink on parchment, especially magickal in nature. It has no relation to the bird or it’s bodily fluids.

 

DOWSING—The act os ufing an amplifier (a forked stick or angle rods or pendulum) to allow the body to locate hidden objects. Also called water witching.

 

DRACOMANCER—A magical practitioner who uses dragons.

 

DRAGON LINES—Ley lines or the currents of energy that criss-cross the earth and can be tapped by the Witch.

 

DRAKE—(16th century) A famous English Privateer (this was a pirate who operated under the protection of the King) who was famous for stopping the Spanish Armada. It is said that Drake was a Witch whose Coven raised the storm that smashed the Spanish Armada in 1588. He had a fleet of ships that were small enough to sail in under the Spanish guns to decimate the fleet. One story was that the decks of his ships were so small that no ordinary seaman could fit so he had Faeries man his guns. As an aside, Dr. Margaret Murray said that the faery race became extinct in the 1600s.

 

DRAWING DOWN THE MOON—The ritual during which the Spirit of the Goddess is asked to possess the body of the High Priestess and the Spirit of the God is asked to possess the High Priest during a Wiccan Ritual. This is THE most sacred moment in a Rite and after that is done, the High Priestess literally becomes the Goddess Incarnate and the High Priest literally becomes the God incarnate.

 

DRAWING THE CIRCLE—Same as casting the Circle.

 

DREAM JOURNAL—A diary of your dreams made immediately upon awakening. It is an invaluable training tool on many levels such as the astral, psychological and psychic.

 

DREAMTIME—A sacred era in which ancestral totemic spirit beings created the world.

 

DRUID NEW MOON—Six days after the New Moon.

 

DRUIDISM—A druid was a member of the priestly class in Britain, Ireland, Gaul (France) and possibly other parts of Celtic Europe during the Iron Age and possibly earlier that consisted of both men and women. Current druidism is the following of those practices and beliefs.

 

DRUMMING—The use of a drum to raise power, alter consciousness or to give  abeat for the magick to be done.

 

E

EARTH—1. The planet where we live. Witches do not consider the Earth to be a prison or a casual way-station but our home for eternity. With each lifetime, Witches are re-born upon the Earth and so it is imperative that we work for freedom, justice and ecological ends so that the world we return to is better than the one we left. 2. The element that corresponds to the North. 3. To send into the ground any excess energy left over after a spell or ritual. To relax and center oneself. See ground and center.

 

EARTH MAGICK—Earth magick is a constantly flowing stream of energy. This type of magick involves channeling and directing the life force by tapping into the energies in rituals and spells and using this concentrated flow to transfer all thoughts and wishes into manifestation.

 

EARTH POWER—Power of the earth, North and earth elementals, such as gnomes.

 

EARTHING—The practice of obtaining the healing properties of the Earth through the simple act of touching it.

 

ECLECTIC—A person who derives ideas, style or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources.

 

ECSTASY—To have broken the bonds of the everyday world and to have entered into another state of being though joy and pleasure. In Wicca, achieving contact with the Goddess through the Eight Paths to Power.

 

EDWARD III, KING—(c 14th century) King of England in the 14th century and a friend of Wicca. He has three major accomplishments: 1. When Dame Alice Kytler was accused of Witchcraft and forced to leave Ireland, she was protected by Edward III who took her in. 2. When the Countess of Salisbury lost her Witches garter at a ball in 1344, Edward protected the garter and declaring “Evil to those who think evil of it.” 3. In honor of the countess, Edward created the Order of the Garter, England’s most important order of knighthood.

 

EGREGORE—A powerful thought-form created by a group or nation which takes on a life of it’s own. It may be created by accident. Possibly an explanation for mob behavior.

 

EIDOLON—A thoughtform in semi-human shape.

 

EIGHT SPOKED WHEEL—The symbol of the Eight Sabbats.

 

ELDER—A Witch of significant rank (usually of Second or Third Degree) who is a member of the governing council of th Coven. They have power and authority over only their own Coven or the Covens that give them that authority. Some covens require you to be the leader of a coven for nine years before you can be considered to be an elder. If the HP or HPS steps down, they become an Elder.

 

ELEMENTAL—The living nature spirits that are formed of only one element such as: Gnomes are solid (earth), Undines are liquid (water), Sylphs are gas (air) and Salamanders are energy (fire). Each of these has its own personality, level of intelligence and ‘biology’ and can be contacted by the proper training. However, it should be made known that Elementals have no souls and so they associate with people mainly because they have to (by the laws of magick) or because they want to learn how to get a soul for themselves. They can be mischievous, aloof, flighty or down right dangerous to us, though we should not judge them by our standards. If an Undine drowns you in the desert, it is probably because you screwed up and angered them or simply didn’t know what you were doing.

 

ELEMENTARIES—Thoughtforms created of one element by a person to perform a specific purpose.

 

ELEMENTS—One of the five states of matter. In magick, one of the five forms in which matter manifests. The Five Elements are Earth (solid), Water (liquid), Air (gas), Fire (energy) and Akasha (spirit).

 

ELF FIRE—A fire produced by psychic means.

 

ELF LIGHTS—A small hollow cairn of loosely piled stones so designed so that the light from a votive candle placed within shines through the spaces in the stones. They were designed by Patti M. of Campsite Coven in Tuscon.

 

ELF SHOT— (Gardnerian) 1. Stone arrowheads, possibly prehistoric but probably made by Faery Folk of Europe before, during and after the Celtic invasions of the Bronze Age. 2. To secretly poison someone with hellebore (helleborus spp.) by means of a thrown tool.

 

ELIXIR—A medicinal concoction.

 

ELL—A measurement from the elbow to the tip of your index finger with your arm bent at a 90 degree angle. About 18”.

 

ELPHAME—The Sidhe or Land of Faery.

 

ELVES—Beings which are near-human whose appearance is dependent on their type. They once may have ruled Europe before modern man arrives and drove them away.

 

EMPOWER—To giver yourself or others personal control over their own lives. Wicca and other forms of Paganism are empowering religions because they insist that you are good and can control your own lives and because they state that your path to Divinity is equal to ours. Thus Pagan religions encourage men and women to become Priest/ess’ and give them that opportunity. Christianity is an anti-empowering religion because they state that people are evil and can only be saved through the agency of another person, and because they encourage the idea that only the priest (almost always a white male) can intercede between a person and divinity.

 

ENCHANT—A declaration of magickal intent. To cast a spell upon someone.

 

ENDOR, WITCH OF—(Judaism) A fortune teller described in the Old Testament, I Samuel 28. She was consulted by King Saul who wanted information about an upcoming battle. The woman raised the spirit of King Samuel for Saul, an act which was illegal in Israel and carried the death penalty. This unnamed woman has been called a ‘witch’ but in reality she was actually a necromancer and was probably a loyal Israelite and Jew. It was King James who ordered her referred to as a “Witch” in his version of the Bible.

 

ENERGY—The force that is used by the Witch to accomplish magick. In may be innate (raised by the Witch from their own bodies) or Accumulated (saved by the coven for later usage) or external (tapped by the Witch from the gods or nature).

 

EOSTARA—Also Ostara. A Lesser Sabbat in Wicca that occurs on the Spring Equinox or around March 21. Fertility and Spring are celebrated at this time.

 

EPHEMERIS—A book used by astrologers and astronomers which lists the positions of the stars and planets at any time in history. In astrology this information is vital to predicting future influences on a person. Because of the detail contained within, it is possible to use this information to locate where any star or planet will be at any time in the past or future and even to predict the mass and position of undiscovered planets. Pluto was discovered because Uranus wasn’t where the ephemeris said it would be on a certain date. The astronomer simply calculated where it should be as compared to where it was and figured out what size of planet would do that to Uranus and where that unknown body must be, When they looked there, they found Pluto. Modern Astronomers are embarrassed by two facts: that Galileo was such a famous astrologer who kept such a good ephemeris that Copernicus kissed his ass to get his records and modern astronomers will never be invited to parties as exciting as the ones that Galileo threw.

 

EPHESUS—A city in Asia where a major shrine to the Goddess Diana was built in 550 b.c.e. It was destroyed by Christians in 400 c.e.

 

EQUINOX—Literally, “equal night,” it refers to the two times of the year when daylight and nighttime hours are exactly the same length. These are around March 21 and September 21. Most Pagan religions consider them to be holy days.

 

ERIS—(Greek) The Goddess of chaos and random behavior. She is worshipped today in the Erisian religion which makes a great deal of the chaotic nature of life and the universe.

 

ESBAT—A Witches religious festival dedicated to the Goddess and performed on or near the Full Moon. Magick is done at them. It appears to be derived from the French word Esbatarre which means ‘to frolic.’ It may ultimately be derived through the world Sabbat from the Hebrew word Sabbath.

 

ESOTERIC—The part of religion and magick which is hidden from non-initiates.

 

ESP, E.S.P.—Extra sensory perception. A passive ability of collecting information through the past, present or future by a means not completely understood but probably related to very long radio waves.

 

ESSENTIAL OIL–  A concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants.

 

ETHERIC—Composed of Astral or Akashic substance.

 

EVIL EYE—The ability to cause evil to occur simply by looking at the target. Not normally used in Wicca.

 

EVOCATION—The calling of a non-material entity that is not a god. Compare with invocation.

 

EXORCISE—To ritually remove or banish unwanted entities from a person, place or thing. The noun is exorcism. The Roman Catholic Church still retains a number a professional exorcists and the official manual includes the admonition that the exorcist wear a Pentagram as spirits that are unaffected by the cross or crucifix will be controlled by the Pentagram.

 

EXORCISM— The ritual that removes unwanted energies or entities.

 

EYE GOUGE—A tool resembling an old buttonhook or a fishhook on an ice pick. It was thrust into the eye socket between the eyeball and the bone, then twisted around so that the hook looped around the optic nerve. The eye gouge was then removed, pulling the eyeball out of the socket and tearing the muscles and nerves apart. It was used by the Christian Inquisition to force Witches to confess to crimes they never committed.

 

F

FAERIE—(Gardnerian) 1. Fairy, enchantment, wonder. 2. A race of very small people who lived in the British Isles. They were displaced by the Celts and other invaders until they were forced to live in pit houses that were disguised to look like hills thus giving rise to the belief that they lived underground. Sir Frances Drake had small ships built to sail underneath the guns of the Spanish Armada and had the Faeries man his cannon. The Fairy race died out shortly afterwords. Also faerie.

 

FALSE BODKIN—When Matthew Hopkins set himself up as a Witchfinder, he got paid for each “witch” he discovered and so to ensure positive cash flow, he invented the false bodkin as a means of locating the ‘devils mark.’ The false bodkin was similar to the bodkin save that the blade was straight and blunt and slid into the handle so that the ‘suspect’ didn’t feel any pain as the bodkin ‘penetrated’ their skin. This proved the suspect’s guilt and they were hanged.

 

FAMILIAR—1. A Coven totem animal in Wicca. 2. A Witch’s pet. Many Eclectics call their favorite cat their familiar. 3. An animal owned by a Traditional Witch, sometimes used as a shield to detect or absorb incoming curses. If this is the purpose, when your pet cat suddenly dies for no reason, it may be wise to set up your shields in a hurry. 4. A thoughtform or other living receptacle f energy created in a set manner to provide a specific purpose. This form is generally short lived because it is such a drain on the Witch’s energy reserves and health. There are a number of books which tell how to do a simple form of this and often call them ‘Thought-forms’ or ‘Whammie-balls.’

 

FAMILY TRADITION—That form of Wicca which was kept within a family over the centuries as a means of survival. It was taught to the children or grandchildren, whichever was safer and over the generations, most of the knowledge was lost or distorted as it mixed with Christian teachings. In general, if you couldn’t openly teach your children about the Goddess of the Moon for fear that the child would tell the neighbors, thus resulting in your being executed for heresy or Witchcraft, you told them about the Lady of the Moon instead, not mentioning that she was The Goddess. It would be inevitable that the Lady idea would become distorted into a fairy or saint concept.

 

FASCINATE, FASCINATION—The act of controlling another’s mind generally through telepathy.

 

FASTING—Most Covens have some form of purification procedure that they expect their members to undergo before ritual. This purification is generally more important than the ritual itself and some magickians will spend three months purifying themselves for a half hour spell. Generally Wiccan Covens have a purification that is anywhere from 12 hours to 3 days and will restrict the types and food and drink consumed, sex, violence and such. One of the major purposes of purifications is to focus your mind and body on the rite and not that person in bed next to you or that meal on your plate. It also forces you to learn control.

 

FATE—Whatever happens. You can not control or influence Fate, only react to it. This is a Wiccan term that was replaced by many modern Witches with a misunderstood form of the Eastern concept of Karma.

 

FEALTY—(Gardnerian) Loyalty to a particular Lord or HP/S. This is based upon respect or power or payment of some form. In many Traditional Covens, you retain Fealty to you HP/S even years after you have ‘left the nest’ and formed your own Coven. This Fealty is show by a blanket invitiation (actually given freely and in good faith) to that HP/S to attend your rituals and your listening to the advice of your Initiating HP/S.

 

FEAST—The ritual meal shared within the ritual to allow the Coven to settle down and relax. A social time characterized by song, game, dance and gossip.

 

FEMALE ENERGY—The energy which is adjusted  by the female body. It is receptive, nurturing and creative. Yin.

 

FEMINIST WITCHES—(c 1972) Witches who deny the male principle and the Horned God in favor of exclusive worship of the Goddess. Some are lesbian and man-haters. This Tradition was developed by Z. Budapest in the early 1970s as a reaction to heterosexuality and patriarchal religions and as a means to empower women in a society that has striven to take that power away from them. Feminist Witches may even be a separate religion altogether and no longer a part of the Wiccan family. Compare with Dianic with whom they are often confused. Feminists dislike the term ‘woman’ as it includes the word ‘man’ which is profane in their eyes. The have their own terms such as ‘womyn,’ ‘wimmin’ and so on.

 

FESTIVALS—A public gathering of Witches, Wiccans and Pagans to share ideas. They generally are composed of from a few to a few hundred people. Often festivals have workshops, rituals and a lot of social sharing.

 

FETCH—1. A thoughtform used to summon someone. 2. (Wicca) Another word for the Summoner. This is a rare use. 3. (Gernderian) A ghost who is supposed to bring you tidings of your own death. If you see it, it will fetch you away. Similar to the Irish Bean Sidhe. 4. See astral body.

 

FETISH—An object, often crudely made of simple materials, that possesses magickal power.

 

FILI—(Irish) A seer or diviner.

 

FILTER—The act of creating a psychic shield around yourself so that when you share energy with a person, only the energy gets through and any illness or baneful materials being carried by that energy is prevented from entering your aura or body.

 

FINGER—A measure of length equal to the width of your longest finger at the knuckle nearest the finger tip.  About ¾”.

 

FIRE—The Element that corresponds to energy and South.

 

FITH-FATH—A poppet.

 

FIVE FOLD KISS—In Wicca, the ritual action of blessing the feet, knees, genitals, breasts and lips in a set ritual manner. It is a sign of devotion, humility and as an act of purification. It has no sexual connotations save during the Great Rite or sex magick.

 

FIX—A short term negative spell. It is like a curse but it creates one swift kick and then dissipates. Compare to hex and curse.

 

FLAGS, FLAX, FODDER AND FRIG—An old Saxon blessing that has been adopted by many other pagans and witches. It translates into “May you always have a home to live in, clothing to wear, food to eat and someone to love.”

Flags refers to flagstones, flax refers to a plant that is used to make cloth, fodder refers to feed for your livestock (and ultimately yourself), and frig refers to the Norse Frigga, who was a Goddess of sexual love and from whom we get the term ‘frig.’

 

FLARE—A bright spot in the aura that indicates a problem or emotional turmoil.

 

FLOUROMANCY—Divination by flowers.

 

FLUID CONDENSER—Any of a series of liquids that are designed to absorb, concentrate and store specific magickal energies.

 

FLYING OINTMENT—1. A mixture of materials, generally hallucinogenic, which when rubbed on the 13 Cardinal points is absorbed in the skin and bloodstream causing the sensation of flying. One experiment with these formulae showed each researcher having identical hallucinations which included flying to a mountain and worshipping the Horned God which was interpreted as the Christian devil. 2. In Wicca, true flying ointment was made in the olden days to be rubbed on the skin as a protection against insects and the old to provide a slippery skin in case the Christians tried to grab you.

 

FOLIATES—Those images found on a number of early churches and resembling a human face made of leaves. They were often horned or had leaves in the shape of antlers to symbolize the Horned God. They are thought to have been placed there by witches who, being forced to attend church, wanted to pray to their own God.

 

FOLK MAGICK—A system of magick where the natural herbs, stones and the power of the magickian is used instead of spells. Similar to the modern Kitchen Witch.

 

FOLKLORE—The traditional myths, superstitions, stories and medical practices of a culture. It is related to but different from their religion even though there may be some cross-over. Santa Claus is a part of American folklore but has some aspects of the Christian religion.

 

FOOT—A unit of measurement equal to the length of your foot. About 9”.

 

FOX FIRE—A mysterious light often found hovering over marshy ground or cemeteries at night. It has been called everything from UFOs to fairy lights but is probably methane gas ignited spontaneously.

 

FULL MOON—The peak of the Lunar Cycle. The time of the Goddess. Witches usually meet at this time to perform magick.

 

FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN—Those Christians who are focused on their way being the only right and true way of god. They generally believe that if you are not with them and attend their church, then you are against them and therefore evil. Fundamentalists put a great deal of energy and money into passing repressive laws and speak highly of the ‘good old days’ of the 1950’s when America was a god-fearing moral Christian nation. Note: recently there has developed a small cadre of fundamentalist Wiccans who are know for claiming that the way they believe and work is the right or only way.

 

FUNDIE—A derogatory contraction of fundamentalist Christian.

 

FUTHARK—The Germanic-Norse alphabet used for writing and divination. Although there are a vast number of variations, generally Futhark is composed of three series of nine letters each. See runic, Runes. Many Witches prefer this alphabet to the more common Theban.

 

FUTHORC—See futhark.

 

G

GARBAGE WITCH—A derogatory term first heard on a message board to describe someone who was looking for a “real witch,” described himself as a “warlock” and bragged how he could “control people.” It refers to someone who wants to be a witch but hasn’t taken the time to actually learn anything about the Craft and would rather get their information from second and third rate Disney movies.

 

GARDNERIAN  TRADITION—(c 1952) Celtic Witches who follow the Craft as interpreted by Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente in the 1959s.

 

GARTER—A badge of rank among high ranking Witches. A true Garter shows a great deal about the wearer that few can read. Much has been made of the incident where the Countess of Salisbury dropped her Garter while dancing with Edward III. The king, to protect her from the Inquisition and to show that he was king of Christians and Witches alike, placed her Garter upon his own leg and started the Order of the Garter, England’s most noble order of Knighthood. Garters are generally worn only by Witch Queens and Witch Kings and are made of specific materials not mentioned. The Garter has one buckle for each of the Covens that the Queen has produced. Thus a Garter with a number of buckles shows that the woman has a great deal of experience and should be treated with a great deal of respect simply because of the number of years that it takes anyone to advance in a Traditional Coven.

 

GASTROMANCY—Divination by the sounds of the belly or by signs on the belly itself.

 

GATE—See Doorway.

 

GATHERINGS—See Festivals.

 

GEIS—(Gaelic) A personal obligation or vow to do or not to do something.

 

GENIE—See jinn.

 

GEOMANCY—Divination through the use of random figures in the dirt or sand.

 

GEORGIAN TRADITION—(c 1970) A new Tradition of Wicca formed by George P. in the 1970s when he moved from New Jersey to California.

 

GESITH—(Saxon) A warrior. In Seax Wicca, a Witch.

 

GHOST—The soul of a dead person that has not gone on to the Summerland and remains on Earth for some reason. Ghosts may remain to fulfill a task and then leave when that task is done. Generally, they last only a set time according to the formula E{g} = 1t/t* with a half-life of 350 years. Because of the electromagnetic pollution of modern society that operates on 60 cps as does the human brain, the event threshold of a ghost tends to be relatively high thus the ghost can appear only under certain conditions and as their energy is used up, they fade away until they can be recharged enough to re-appear. *The energy that a ghost must maintain in order to manifest is equal to one over the square of the time of it’s periodicity where t=350 years.

 

GIRDLE—See Cord.

 

GIRDLE CORDS—See Cord.

 

GLAMOUR—(Gardnerian) A spell or charm that changes the appearance of anything. To hypnotize, to drug. See also fascination.

 

GLYPH—A magicakl symbol that incorporates the name and birth date of the wearer. It is often worn as protection.

 

GNOME—An elemental life form composed only of Earth.

 

GNOSTIC, GNOSTICISM—A system of religion that states that humanity may possess inner wisdom by direct revelation instead of waiting for some messiah to tell the what is going on. Christian Gnosticism was destroyed by the more conservative Christians around the 4th century c.e.

 

GOAT GOD—The aspect of the Horned God of the Witches who was worshipped in areas where the goat was the primary meat source. He survived as the Greek Pan and by the Middle Ages, the Christian Churches had used him as propaganda to justify extermination of the Wiccan religion. The argument, according to Christianity, was that the Witches worshipped a goat or a devil in the shape of a goat and so deserved to die. But, nowhere in the Christian Bibles is a description of their devil that resembles the Witches God, nor is there any reference that Witches worship their devil. The truth never stopped anyone from harming the innocent.

 

GOAT WITHOUT HORNS—(Voodoun) A reference to human sacrifice.

 

GOD—That divinity that is expressed in masculine form. See Horned God.

 

GOD/DESS—A term used to refer to both the God and Goddess at the same time.

 

GODDESS—That divinity that is expressed in the feminine form. See Great Mother Goddess.

 

GOD POSITION—The position where the Witch stands feet together and arms crossed at the wrists over the heart. It is used to contain power or to symbolize the Horned God. Also called the Osiris position.

 

GODDESS POSITION—The position where the Witch stands with feet apart and arms outspread. It is used to absorb energy (if done one way) and to represent the Goddes (if done another way). See Pentacle Position.

 

GODDESS RELIGION–  The religion that emphasizes the worship of any and all Goddesses from history to the exclusion of the male principle. They are generally Pagan but not Wiccan and are intensely personal.

 

GOETIC—That form of High Magic that deals with calling up and controlling non-material and non-divine entities which are defined as spirits, demons, etc.

 

GOLDEN SICKLE—(Celt) A Tool of the Druids and certain Wiccans. It is the Symbol of Druidism as is the Athame to the Witch. Its most famous use is to cut the sacred mistletoe (viscus album) on Yule. The Mistletoe is not allowed to touch the ground and so is caught in a white cloth.

 

GOODSWARDEN—The Witch who is assigned to keep the Coven Tools and supplies between meetings.

 

GOOFER DUST – (Voodoun) Dust from a graveyard or moss from a grave.

 

GOWDIE, ISOBEL—A famous Scottish Witch who confessed in 1661 to a number of fanciful acts of magick. Although her contemporaries appear to have considered her to be demented, Montague Summers believed her and considered most of her claims to be true.

 

GRADES—See Degrees.

 

GRAIL, HOLY—The Cauldron of Celtic religion that includes the Cauldron of Cerridwen and the Cauldron of Dagda that is one of the Four Sacred Tools of the Tuatha de Dannan. It was combined with the Christian myth of the cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper to form the concept of a holy object that has been searched for for generations and not found simply because the seekers are looking for the wrong object. Instead of a beautifully ornate golden cup, they should be looking for a bronze cauldron large enough to hold a curled up adult. As the Cup id the modern Witches version of the Cauldron, the cup that Catholics use during their masses is the modern Christian manifestation of the grail.

 

GRANDMOTHER—The goal of many Traditional Witches is to be descended from another Witch by birth or family. It is best for this descent if the Witch Ancestor is conveniently dead to preclude interrogation by the skeptical. This has led to the joke of Traditional Witches being Initiated by a dead Grandmother without the intervening generation suspecting a thing. This was a fad in the 1970’s among Traditional Witches and is being revisited in the 1990s by Eclectic Witches.

 

GRANTING OF THE BOON—A request to the Goddess to grant a gift to the Witch.

 

GRAPHOLOGY—The study of a persons personality and medical condition as expressed in their handwriting.

 

GRAVATTIAN VENUS—The oldest Goddess image found to date. She was first carved about 850,000 years ago.

 

GRAVEYARD DUST—Dust from a grave or powder from the herb patchouli or leaves from the mullein (verbascum myrrha) plant.

 

GRAY MAGICK—An obsolete term used by many people to denote any use of magick that is neither wholly good (white magick) or completely bad (black magick) but is ethically neutral.

 

GREAT BOOK—See Book of Shadows.

 

GREAT CIRCLE—A more complicated and ceremonial circle that the traditional Witches Circle. It is formed only for acts of great or high magick where safety is the prime consideration.

 

GREAT DAYS—The Sabbats.

 

GREAT MOTHER GODDESS—The Primary Diety worshipped by Witches. She is also called the Triple Goddess, the Moon Goddess, Mother Nature, The Lady and by many other names.

 

GREAT RITE—A Wiccan Ritual of great importance. The actual or symbolic sex act used to celebrate the Gods and the creation of the universe. It must be done in a proper ritual manner with the proper visualizations or it becomes meaningless. Generally, it is done between married couples or lovers.

 

GREATER SABBATS—Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane and Lammas. They were celebrated by the Celts and adopted by Witches after the Celt migrations into Western Europe.

 

GREEK RITE—This is not a Wiccan term even though some use it to refer to Pagans. Essentially, it is simple anal sex so named because in ancient Olympian Greece, women had little power and were kept in harems by their men. Greeks at that time believed that if a woman was not kept pregnant, her uterus would break free, travel about the body and strangle the woman’s heart. Also, men would often prefer the company of their own gender and thus believed that there was nothing wrong with male homosexuality, though lesbianism, in their minds, was evil.

 

GREEN MAGICK—Magick that emphasizes the herbal sciences for healing. See wortcunning.

 

GREEN WITCH—A Witch who practices Green Magick.

 

GRIMOIRE—The Book of Spells owned by a Witch and Magickian. It is often incorporated with the Book of Shadows.

 

GRIS-GRIS—A voodoo amulet originating in Africa which is believed to protect the wearer from evil and brings luck.

 

GROCK—1. (Gardnerian) To watch a person while they are eating in the hope they will offer you a place at the table with them. Cats and dogs are very good at grokking. 2. (CAW) To understand something completely and absolutely.

 

GROUND, GROUNDING—To discharge energy into the Earth. To tie oneself to the Earth.

 

GROUND AND CENTER—The process by which the Witch or Coven will balance their energies with each other and become attuned to the forces of Nature before any work or ritual. The process is similar to what physicists call phasing and synchronizing energy waves.

 

GROUP KARMA—The karma that is developed by a group of people. Consider the group karma that has been created by the Nazi’s of the KKK.

 

GROVE—A natural location that is used for ritual, generally surrounded by trees. These trees may be natural or planted in a specific pattern. Druids prefer to worship in Groves instead of the Stone Circles which are preferred by Witches.

 

GUANOMANCY—Divination by the bird dropping on the windshield of your car. This was originally created as a joke.

 

GUARDIAN—The traditional apprentice to the High Priest and similar to the Summoner. However, he was responsible for physically protecting the High Priest, the High Priestess and the Book of Shadows from Christian attacks. Guardians generally remained b ehind to fight while the Coven escaped, and so usually dies, hopefully by suicide before capture.

 

GUARDIANS—See Lords of the Watchtowers.

 

GUIDED MEDITATIONS—Stories that are designed to place the Coven into a trance-like state and allow them all to explore the same situation. Another term for them is Pathworking.

 

GWENKIN—A cartoon Witch created by Rus G., founder of the Promethian Tradition and publisher of the Witches Annual. Gwenkin is everything we all want to be and aren’t.

 

GYROMANCY—Divination by rounds or circles.

 

H

HALLOWEEN—See Samhain.

 

HALLOWMAS—See Samhain.

 

HALLOWS—See Samhain.

 

HALLUCINOGEN—Any herb that causes a mind-altering and unreliable “vision.” They are occasionally used ritually to teach the student to drop their preconceived notions of reality. In modern times, they are used for recreational purposes and therefore tend to harm magickal abilities.

 

HAND—A measure of distance equal to the width of your hand with the thumb and fingers closed. About 4”.

 

HANDFASTING—1. The Witches marriage which lasts for a year-and-a-day or as long as love lasts. Some but not all Wiccan HP & HPS’ are legally allowed to perform a legal marriage. The couple may repeat their Handfast vows each year. If the couple chooses to part at the end of that year, they return to the place where they Handfasted with the HP or HPS who did the ceremony and Handpart by walking away from each other in opposite directions. 2. (Gardnerian) A trial marriage that lasts for a year and a day. If they had children or she was pregnant, then they usually married. The woman in a Handfasting was always considered to be respectable as opposed to people who simply lived together.

 

HANDMAIDEN—See Maiden.

 

HANDPARTING—The dissolution of a Handfasting, in which the Bride and Groom meet with the HP or HPS who Handfasted them and Handparts them by them walking in the opposite directions.

 

HAND OF GLORY—An old Magickal talisman that consists of the hand of an executed man turned into a candle. It was used by criminals who would light is and carry it into a home in the hope that it would keep the occupants asleep while they were robbed.

 

HARD-GARDS—(c 1970+) Those Gardnerian Witches who follow the Gardnerian rules to such a literal extent that they allow no deviation or variation either from themselves or others. Almost all Hard-Gards are American Gardnerians and insist the rules that are specific to their own Lineages must be obeyed by Gardnerians everywhere. If another Gardnerian comes from a Lineage that pre-dates or simply does not possess their specific rule (such as Initiation Circles being dran by only a Third Degree High Priestess which is specific to post-Buckland American Gardnerians), then the Hard-Gard has a tendancy to “invalidate” that Gardnerian who does not follow their rule. Hard-Gards are the closest Witchcraft has to a fundamentalist Witch and have been known to arbitrarily attack and destroy the reputations of other Gardnerians over these perceived violations of Hard-Gard rules.

 

HARUSPICY—Divination through the inspection of entrails.

 

HARVEST DOLL—See Corn Dolly.

 

HARVEST HOME—See Mabon.

 

HEAL, HEALING—To repair damage or illness through the use of psychic or magickal means. Most Witches are taught healing.

 

HEATHEN—One who lives in the meadows, a Pagan. To a Christian, an insult.

 

HEDGE—(Gardnerian) Not real. Generally refers to a fake priest who performs ceremonies for money. These ceremonies have no legal standing. Currently refers to a non-initiated Wiccan who claims Lineage and position. A fake.

 

HEDGE-WITCH—(Eclectic Wicca) An approach to witchcraft focusing on shamanic experience and varying degrees of herbalism. It is said to be derived from the Old English term Haegtesse, an Old English word that translates to hedge rider.

 

HELL BROTH—(Christian) A mythical concoction supposedly made by Witches in their cauldrons for some evil purpose. Read the opening scene of Macbeth for one formula. Witches do not make this.

 

HENGE—Literally a Circle dug into the earth to delineate a holy spot. The term has been confused with Stone Circle due to the popularity of Stonehenge, which many people think means ‘a stone circle’ but really means ‘a circular ditch with a stone circle inside.’ In modern Traditional Wicca, this is remembered outdoors when the HPS draws the Circle with the Sword by dragging it along the ground at the Circles boundary, thus creating a small ditch or henge in the ground.

 

HENOTHEISM—(Wiccan) The belief that all gods and goddesses are aspects of a single underlying source. This allows some Pagans to accept the existence of multiple divinities without completely casting out their Christian belief in monotheism as they can rationalize that the one ‘source’ for all gods is the Christian god. Most Traditionals don’t subscribe to that theory, preferring to believe that The Goddess was the prime divinity who created the Horned God and then They, together, gave birth to all other gods and goddesses.

 

HEPTAGRAM—A seven pointed star drawn with seven straight strokes.

 

HERALDRY—The science of describing a ‘coat of arms’ in such a manner that anyone who understands the language can draw that design. Witches often use a simpler form of heraldry that ignores the rules to produce logos for their covens.

 

HERB—Any plant used for magickal or healing purposes.

 

HERBAL—A book which contains information about herbs and herbal magick or healing.

 

HERBALISM—See herbcraft.

 

HERBCRAFT—The use of herbs and plants in magick or medicine.

 

HERIDITARY WITCHES—Those Witches who can trace their lineage from parent to cild over generations. Compare with Traditional Witches.

 

HERMETIC MAGICK—Magick that uses the mind instead of ritual and Tools, generally to be considered high magick and not psychics.

 

HEX—A short term “curse” that is intermediate between the curse and fix. It is generally used to cure a specific condition and dissipates when that condition no longer exists. The term is derived from the German word “hexen.”

 

HEXAGRAM—A six-pointed geometric star figure that is the compound of two equilateral triangles.

 

HIEROS GAMOS—(Greek) See Great Rite.

 

HIEROPHANT—A person who brings religious congregants into the presence of that which is deemed holy. A hierophant is an interpreter of scared mysteries and arcane principles.

 

HIGH MAGICK—Ceremonial magick generally derived from one of the Judeo-Christian magickal systems. It is generally used for the transformation of the magickian into a god-like state. Compare with low Magick.

 

HIGH PRIEST—1. Specifically, the male leader of a Coven. 2. Any male Witch of the Second or Third Degree.

 

HIGH PRIESTESS—1. Specifically, the female leader of a Coven. 2. Any female Witch of the Second or Third Degree.

 

HIGHER SELF—In many traditions, that part of the mind that relates to the spirit or superego.

 

HIVING OFF—The process where some members of a Coven leave to form a Coven of their own. Generally done under pleasant circumstances because there are too many members in the original Cove, the Act of Hiving makes the original HPS and HP a Witch Queen and Witch King/Magus.

 

HOLY—Sacred. This can be used to refer to an object (the Athame) or a place (Avebury) or an image (The statue of Diana of the Ephesians) or a ritual (Doreen Valiente’s The Charge of the Goddess) or a vision.

 

HOLY GRAIL—See grail, holy.

 

HOLY STONE—A stone with a natural hole. Hung by a red string, they are good luck and represent the Goddess.

 

HOLY STREGA, THE—(Italian) The tern that refers to Aradia in Italian Wicca.

 

HOOD, ROBIN—(c 12th century) A famous outlaw who, during the Middle Ages, was supposed to have robbed from the rich and given to the poor. By Wiccan tradition, Robin Hood and Marion were the HP and HPS of a Coven of Witches who were fighting a war of survival againsts the Christians of the time. This is born out by contemporary Witch trial records accusing Witches of meeting with Robin of the Hood, Robin Wood, Robin of the Wood and so on, all of these being euphamisms for the HP of the Witches. This concept was explored by the British TV Series, Robin Hood, which was shown on PBS and was collected by many Witches.

 

HOODED ONE—(Italian) The title of the Stag-Horned God.

 

HOODOO–  A combination of West African VooDoo with West European folk magick.

 

HOPKINS, MATTHEW—(c 17th century) A 17th century English Witchfinder who was a failure as a lawyer so in 1645 turned to hunting Witches for a living. Hopkins would enter a village, claiming to have a ‘black book’ listing all he Witches of England, and for a fee, would capture them. He would then choose his victim and torture them into confession. He originally used swimming but had to discontinue throwing bound women into a river as this was illegal. SO he resorted to modern police methods of interrogation which usually worked to elicit a false confession. His preferred method was Pricking, where he would take an object similar to an ice pick and repeatedly stab the suspect until a confession was made. Hopkins was credited with inventing the false bodkin to ensure proof of witchcraft. After executing several hundred innocent people, Hopkins retired and died of TB as an old man.

 

HORNED CROWN—The Crown of the HP in Wicca worn to symbolize his position. It generally has antlers or horns.

 

HORNED GOD—The primary deity that is worshipped by Witches. The earliest drawings that we have of him are some 15,000 years old. He is always shown with horns or antlers as a sign of His divinity and ties to nature. These may be goat horns, cattle horns or stag antlers. Often He has Cloven hoofs like a goat, bull or stag and when naked, as is common among the ancients and modern Traditionals, He is shown to be ithyphallic. Note: Ithyphallic is a term that refers to a God as being sexually erect because Traditionals see nothing wrong with this aspect.

 

HORUS—(Egypt) The falcon-headed god of Egypt who was the God of Wisdom. In Egypt His name was Hor and His primary aspect was a Sun God. He was one of the oldest and most common of he Egyptian Gods as the word for god is a drawing of a falcon on a perch. When the Israelites lived in Egypt, they accepted the Egyptian religion as their own (Judaism wasn’t conceived until the time of Moses and not really formalized until the 600’s b.c.e. with the decrees of King Joshiah) and Horus still survives in Caballah teachings as he Solomonic  spirit, Florus.

 

HP—The abbreviation used by many Witches to refer to the High Priest of a Coven.

 

HPs, HPS—The abbreviation used by many Witches to refer to the High Priestess of a Coven. Gardnerians often use the HPs form.

 

HP/S—An epicene term to refer to the facilitator of a rite without regard for the gender of the Priest of Priestess performing the action.

 

HUMILITY—In Wicca, an awareness of the greatness and smallness of oneself.

 

HYDROMANCY—Divination through the use of water.

 

I

I CHING—(China) A method of divination using yarrow (achillea millefolium) sticks or three coins. It was developed in China and was popular in America in the 1920s and is making a comeback.

 

ICTHYOMANCY—Divination by fishes.

 

IDOL—An image or representation of a God or Goddess. Pagans admit to worshipping idols or in some cases, the reality behind the image. Christians, Muslims and Jews worship idols in opposition to their stated objections to the same.

 

IDOLOMANCY—Divination by idols, statues, images or figures.

 

IMAGE MAGICK—Magick that uses a representation of the target as a focus or object link. The most famous of these is the poppet thought many modern Witches use photographs because it’s easier to get a photo than an object link.

 

IMITATIVE MAGICK—A form of magick where the actions of the spell resemble the desired result. An example is a hunting spell where the hunter would use a toy bow to stalk and shoot a poppet of a deer in order to bring success in an upcoming hunt. One of the earliest of such spells was found in a cave in France dated at about 10,000+ bce and is actually a death curse on a cave lion.

 

IMBOLC—One of the Four Greater Sabbats of Wicca. Celebrated on February 1 or 5, it comes from the Celtic word meaning “in the belly.” It celebrates the recovery of the Goddess after giving birth to the Sun-God. It also celebrates the first stirring of Spring and the lengthening of days. It is pronounces “imm-OL-g.” Traditionally, Witches were Initiated on this day. It is also called Candlemas, Lupercalia, Feast of Pan, Feast of Torches, Feast of the Waxing Light, Oimelc and Brigit’s Day.

 

IMMANENT—The attitude that the Gods exist as an integral par tof Nature and cannot be separated from or avoided by people. Pagan Religions are based on the immanence of Divinity and state that They are here, in nature, and not in some mythical heaven.

 

IMP—(Medieval) See Familiar.

 

INCANTATION—A set of magickal words or phrases that is used during a magickal spell. They are best spoken in rhyme (according to some).

 

INCARNATE—A spirit that dwells within a physical body.

 

INCARNATION—One lifetime upon the earth. The soul will incarnate into a physical body, remain there until death, then reincarnate back upon the material plane for another lifetime. Often this is seen as an education, Buddhists see it as a prison. Witches see it as an adventure.

 

INCENSE—A tool that is composed of herbs and is used to symbolize air. When burned in the censer, it’s purpose is to banish or attract non-material entities depending on the ritual and composition of said incense.

 

INCH—A measure of length equal to the width of your thumb.

 

INCUBATION—A vision quest performed alone in a temple or other holy area in the hopes of receiving a divine message.

 

INCUBUS—A male non-material entity in human form called up for the purpose of sexual activity. See Succubus.

 

INFUSION—An herbal potion or tea usually made from one half ounce of herb to a pint of water. Note that it is important to always add the herb to boiling water and not the water to the herb. Nor should you boil water with the herb already added.

 

INITIATION—A ritualistic rebirth marking the beginning of a new phase of life as a Witch. In Traditional Wicca, they are extremely stressful and force the Initiate to face their fears and the Gods.

 

INNER PLANES—The astral, mental or other such non-material planes that compose the human body.

 

INNER TEACHINGS—The body of Wiccan knowledge that is given ONLY to Initiates.

 

INNNOCENT VIII, POPE—(15th Century) A Catholic Pope who reigned from 1484 to 1492. He is infamous for authorizing the Malleus Malificarum that turned the Inquisition from Christians against Witches. Few know that Innocent VIII, born Giovanni Battista Cibo in Genoa, Italy in 1432, had two children by his mistress and in his later life live don milk that he drank froma  woman’s breasts. Four young children were drained and killed in an early experiment in blood transfusion to prolong the life of this man.

 

INQUISITION—See Burning Times.

 

INSTA-WITCH—A derogatory term that refers to those people who are Christian on Friday, see a book on Witchcraft on Saturday, read it Saturday night and form their own coven on Sunday claiming all manner of religious incompatabilities.

 

INTUITION—Knowledge gained without logical thinking.

 

INVOCATION—Words or phrases that are used to call down a non-human entity or God. Compare with Evocation.

 

ISIS—The Egyptian Mother Goddess. Many Pagans and Wiccans see Her as the ultimate Great Mother and so a representative of the Goddess. She is more popular among Eclectic Witches than among Traditional Witches whose Traditions are derived from Celtic lands instead of Egyptian. Christianity passed a number of laws against the worship of Isis because She was so popular that people went to Her shrines instead of the Christian churches. Mary was elevated to veneration partially because of this insistence to worship a Goddess.

 

ITHYPHALLIC—In the American media, with its Puritan ethic, you can see a woman with naked breasts and erect nipples but if you ever see a naked man, it will be rear view. On those very rare times when you see a man frontal, he will have a flaccid (limp) penis. This is because far too many people consider the penis to be “an aggressive organ.” See Michelangelo’s David in the original and in the rip-off copies that put a fig leaf over the important part.  In Paganism, the Gods of Nature are shown to be magnificently erect which is exactly what Ithyphallic means. This is because Pagans should have no hang-ups about sex. We accept that our Gods and Goddesses have sex, make love and occasionally fuck as well. In Wicca, the universe was created when the Goddess seduced Her Brother, the Horned/Sun God, became pregnant and gave birth to the Universe. Many Pagans are faced with a problem when purchasing religious statues in that the artists castrate the Gods. Without a phallus, there can be no fertility and the world ends so we end up purchasing these emasculated pieces of art and then rendering them anatomically accurate and erect.

 

J

JAMES I, KING—(16-17th Century) Oroginally King James VII of Scotland, he later became James I of England. Although James originally disbelieved in Witchcraft, his fight with Francis, Earl of Bothwell, made him a believer. James is credited with writing the King James version of the Bible but he actually hired a number of biblical scholars to create and accurate translation into English. He made two rules, though. #1 was that the Bible had to be a Protestant Bible and any passage that seemed to support the Catholic church had to be changed to support the Protestant church. #2 was that the Bible had to condemn Witches whenever possible. James passed some of the most repressive anti-Witch laws in English history in 1604.

 

JEWELRY—The Crown, Bracelet, Necklace and Cord worn by a Witch during a ritual.

 

JINN– (Islam) A non-material entity that may take human form and be bound to a magickian for a set time or a set of conditions. The genie in a bottle is a hold-over of the jinn.

 

JOAN OF ARC—(15th Century) Born in France, she was unusual in that she was a woman who raised an army to fight the British. She was even more unusual in that she won often enough to become beloved by almost everyone. There are over 4,000 written works about Joan who was alter to be canonized a Saint by the Catholic Church.  Witchcraft claims her for one of our own as she received her education from the faeries under a tree used by Witches during their rites. She never used the word “god” but preferred to say “My Lord.” She received her mission to free France from a naked man whom she met at the Faeries Tree. She did magick and used divination to win her battles both on and off the battlefield. And she had a reputation as a Witch long before the British burned her as a Witch in 1431. Her execution was unusual as the English hanged Witches and had she been simply a French soldier, they would have shot or hanged her. But when taken to the pyre, the hangman set the fire to burn her clothes off, then he lowered the flames so that the crowd could see her naked body and watch her die slowly, then her burned her boy in a matter that was un-English like but common in France for Witches. She was 20 years old when she died.

 

JOSHIA, KING—J+King of Israel in the 7th Century bce, he is famous for forcing the Israelites to stop worhsiping the Goddess around 621 bce. Around 586 bce when Babylon conquered Israel, many Israelites considered this a sign of the ineffectualness of Jehovah, who didn’t protect them from conquest and the Power of the Goddess who did when she had Temples. Many Israelites then returned to Her worship.

 

JUJU—(West Africa) See fetish.

 

K

KABALA—(Hebrew) In its simplest form, the Jewish magickal system that incorporates the Tree of Life as a means of understanding the Universe. Also Caballa and Cabbala.

 

KARMA—(Hindu) Holdovers from a previous lifetime. Actions in this life that are the result of previous acts. Eclectic Witches prefer this to the older Wiccan Fate. Often misunderstood as reward and punishment, it is nothing of the sort.

 

KARNAYNA—See Cernunnos.

 

KERFIN—See kirfane.

 

KERIDWEN– (Celt) See Cerridwen.

 

KERN– (Italian) The Stag-Horned God. Probably a cognate with Cerne or Herne.

 

KERNUNNOS—See Cernunnos.

 

KEY OF SOLOMON—A set of magickal books (the Lesser Key and the Greater Key) which were supposedly written by King Solomon of Israel but appeared quite a few centuries later. A lot of Traditional Wiccan magickal usages can be traced to the Keys although this may be because Witches and Jews helped each other escape the Christian Holy Inquisition and there was a trade of Knowledge between them. Many modern Witches use the Key as a reference or a historical work instead of an actual grimoire despite the tracing of many of our workings directly from this work.

 

KIRILIAN PHOTOGRAPHY—The process where the aura may be photographed under varying conditions to demonstrate psychics, healings or spirituality.

 

KIRFANE—(source unknown) Refers to the White Hilted Knife that is used by Witches for cutting. This knife is often confused with and referred to by the term “boline.” This term was discovered in the literature of the HPS of DHC and introduced into Desert Henge Coven vocabulary around 1990 to describe, in a more poetical manner, this tool. It has since spread to the vocabulary of other Witches. It is interesting to note that the Sikhs possess a small sacered knife called a kirpan which they hide in their turban and which may be related to the kifane. Kirfane is Anglo-Saxon for “to cut” and is pronounced “kar-fahn.”

 

KLINGON WICCA– (c 1995) a new Tradition that seeks to combine Wicca with the Star Trek phenomenon. As Wicca is the only major religion that has no devil or war god, one wonders how it can be combined with fictional people who glorify war and battle. Klingon Witches perform their rites in the Klingon language, use nasty looking triple bladed knives for Athames and wear Klingon armor in their rites. Only time will tell if this is a fad, a joke or a wave of the future.

 

KNIFE—See Great Rite.

 

KOAN– (Buddhist) A question which on the surface seems simple and obvious but after years of meditiationsm, produces deeper meanings. The most famous of these is “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” In America, we use the koan “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a noise?” Wicca has its own version of the Koan but most Wiccans ignore the benefits of contemplation and go for the easy answer.

 

KYTELER, DAME ALICE– ( 14th century) Although there were few Witch trials in Ireland, the Kyteler case stands out for its unusual nature. Dame Alice was a wealthy woman who is said to have performed magick to ensure the safety and wealth of her children. When Bishop Richard de Ledrede of Ossory ordered her arrested for Witchcraft in 1324, she responded by having him thrown into jail. This act was doubly strange in Catholic Ireland when a Catholic Bishop had more power than the the king. The fact that she was able to resist him for so long shows the power of this woman.

 

L

LABRYS—The double-headed axe found painted all over Crete. It has been taken as a symbol for woman’s religion.

 

LADY—1. A title for the Goddess in Wicca. 2. A title for the High Priestess while she is possessed by the Goddess during a Wiccan ritual. 3. (Eclectic) Many wanna-be Wiccans call themselves in public “Lady whatever” in an attempt to give some excitement to their otherwise dull and empty lives. Traditional Wiccans only use the title in ritual or in craft business.

 

LAMMAS—One of the four Greater Sabbats of Wicca. It celebrates the bounty of nature and so is a harvest festival. It is also called Lughnasath or Lughnasadh (pronounced Loo-na-sa). One source cites the date of Lammas as July 31st. Others cite it as August 2nd.

 

LAND OF FAERY—The Sidhe or land between the material world and the fantasy world. In Wicca it refers to the Summerland and/or certain of the Astral Planes.

 

LANDMARKS—The requirements which establish a person as free and able to follow the Craft.

 

LAW OF CONTAGION—That rule of magick that states that objects once in contact tend to remain in contact. This is the basis for object links and doing magick on a person from a distance because you have a piece of their air or clothing.

 

LAW OF RESPONSIBILITY—A Wiccan rule that states that if you harm another person, you MUST make restitution. It does not mean, “I’m sorry I smashed your car, please forgive me” which is when you have harmed another and you want the victim to take away your pain because you are unwilling to repair the damage you have done. Rather it means, “I’m sorry I got angry and told a lie about you. I’ll contact everyone and tell them I lied and tell them the truth in an effort to repair your reputation.” This applies for every act from replacing that ceramic dragon you accidentally broke when your sleeve knocked it off the shelf to stopping that jerk tou taught magic to from cursing his neighbor.

 

LAW OF RETURN—That rule of magick that states that any action will cause the actor to receive that or similar energy back three times as strong. Magicaklly, this means you should be careful of what spells you cast. See also Three-fold law.

 

LEECH—1. (Anglo-Saxon) A healer. 2. (biology) A worm-like creature that lives by drinking blood. Once used to drain blood from the sick, hence the application of the name to doctors, George Washington died from the application of too many leeches.

 

LEFT BRAIN—That past of the brain that is devoted to logic and rationality.

 

LEFT HAND PATH—That type of lifestyle or magick that is concerned with evil.

 

LESSER SABBATS—The four Equinoxes and Solstices. Yule, Ostara, Litha, Mabon. These are the original Sabbata worshipped by Witches before the Celts introduced the Greater Sabbats.

 

LEY LINES—The currents of energy that criss-cross the earth. They can be tapped by the Witch to increase power or to send the spell a great distance.

 

LIBATE—To pour a sacrificial drink on the ground or in a special libation bowl in honor of the God and Goddess. The idea is that all that we have comes from the Gods and so we should share with Them a part of our gifts. If this is done indoors in a bowl, the contents are later taken outside and given  to the earth.

 

LIBATION—See libate.

 

LICWIGLUNGA—(Seax) The conjuration of spirits.

 

LIFE FORCE—The energy that all living things possess.

 

LIGATURE—1. To bind as with a cord. Generally, in Wicca a certain type of cord magick and magickal training used by some Traditional Witches. It, like many of the paths, can be dangerous if misused. 2. A spell used to produce impotency in a man.

 

LILITH– (Sumeria) A demon who was, in Jewish tradition, Adams first wife. She rebelled because she wanted to be equal to man and not a possession. Thus she ran away and was replaced with Eve who was more complacent and submissive. See Lilitu.

 

LILITU– (Wicca) In Wiccan Tradition, Lilitu was the first woman, made by the Goddess and sent to Adam (the first man who had been made  by Jehova) to ease her loneliness. She ran away because Adam resued to grant her equality or let her get on top during sex and so she made a replacement man of clay to be her new partner. Christians are said to be the sons of Adam and Witches are the daughters of Lilitth. See Lilith.

 

LINEAGE—(Wicca) A historical fact of who Initiated Whom into a Tradition or Religion. Most Traditionals make a big deal out of Lineage because your Lineage will tell a person what you actually know as opposed to what you think that you know. Since different people emphasize different things in their teachings, a Lineage derived from “***”  indicates that you spend a number of years learning ritual whereas a Lineage derived from “####” indicated that you slept you way to the Third Degree. As a result, many Witches “invent” a Lineage in order to make themselves look better and more important to the newbies. Unfortunately, these invented people actually expect those of us with a real Lineage to believe their lies. In British Gardnerianism, your Lineage is traced by the legal names of who actually did the Initiations. In American Gerdnerianism (post Buckland), Lineage is traced by the Third Degree Priestess who Drew the Initiatory Circle and Craft names would be used.

 

LINK—See object link.

 

LITHA—The Wiccan Sabbat concerned with the Sun at it’s high point. It is held on the Summer Solstice or June 21st and is pronounced LEE-ha. In ancient times, this Sabbat was called Beltane, though now it is generally called Midsummer of the Summer Solstice.

 

LITHIC—A suffix that means “stone” and generally refers to an age of mankind. See Neolithic and Paleolithic.

 

LITHOMANCY—Divination by stones.

 

LITTLE GALLOW’S MAN—The plant mandrake (mandragora officinalis). The reason that a man’s pants cuffs were tied close around his ankles when he was hanged was because the act of hanging a person by the neck would cause them to orgasm, quickly followed by defacation and urination. The pants were tied to prevent semen from dripping to the ground. It was believed that if the semen hit the ground, it would grow into a mandrake and so people would search for madrake plants under the gallows.

 

LOA– (Voodoo) A Voodoo god or goddess.

 

LORD OF MISRULE—During some Sabbats like Yule or Litha, one of the Coveners is appointed the Lord of Misrule. His job is to ensure that the games are fun and he has the authority to punish even the HPS for lack of enthusiasm during the cakes and wine. It is best if he has a warped sense of humor and a talent for the double entendre and satire. His symbol is often a wand with an air filled bladder with which he enforces his will. He represents chaos and disorder at various times of the year.

 

LORDS OF THE WATCHTOWERS—In Wicca, The Guardians of the Four Quarters, also called The Mighty Ones. Little is known about Them and some say that you had better be in Their good graces.

 

LOVE APPLE—The plant tomato (lycoperscion spp.). It was once widely believed that tomatoes were deadly poison. One day a couple of hundred years ago, a man took a bushel of tomatoes to the steps of the city hall and declared that he would eat them in public. His doctor insisted that he was committing suicide and called for the police to stop him, but before they could, he took a big bite from the fruit. Women fainted at the sight and men rushed to save him but he calmly ate the entire thing. By the time he had started his third, the crowd was laughing at the doctor and the tomato became a staple in our diet.

 

LOVE MAGICK—That form of magick that concentrates on creating or enhancing or attracting love and lust between people. Although adult Witches prefer a spell to attract love, teenagers of both genders and all religions do love and lust spells on a specific person in violation of the Wiccan Rede.

 

LOVE SPELL—A magick ritual used to attract and control the emotions and body of either a specific person or to attract anyone who is compatible to you. Although doing a love spell on a specific person is considered by most Witches as evil, there is a saying among Witches that “Being a Witch is trying to get rid of the result of your latest love spell!”

 

LOW MAGICK—The simple magick used by the Witch. It uses simple tools like herbs, candles and cords and is done for personal reasons like healing, fertility or getting a job.

 

LOWER SELF—In many traditions, that part of the mind that relates to the unconscious, id, child or the emotions and physical body together.

 

LUCK—Energy that encourages good or bad to a person.

 

LUCKY HAND—A collection of good luck charms.

 

LUGH– (Celt) The Celtic Sun God. Also a name for the Horned God in His aspect of the Sun.

 

LUGHNASAD—See Lammas.

 

LUNAR CALENDAR—Most modern calendars are Christian based with Christian holidays. Many Covens are attempting to create a calendar that is specific to Wiccan holidays. Ideally, they name the month after the Full Moon that occurs at that time, such as the Harvest Month is that month that begins at the New Moon before the Full Moon nearest the Autumn Equinox and ends at the New Moon after the Full moon nearest the Autumn Equinox. Lunar Calendars tend to be complex and mark important Wiccan days like the Sabbats, Esbats, historical dates of importance to Witches and so on. There are a number of naming systems used and Desert Henge Coven has produced a Wiccan Lunar Calendar for a number of years. We even created a lunar naming system specific to the desert.

 

LUNAR CYCLE—The 28 days that start at the New Moon and continue through the Quarter Moons, Full Moon and back to the New Moon. Each part of this cycle is used for a specific form or attitude of magick.

 

LUNAR GARDENING—The science of planting certain crops or herbs by the appropriate phase of the moon. An example being that potatoes are planted during the dark of the moon but apples are planted during the full moon.

 

LUNATION—A single lunar cycle which begins with the New Moon and ends with the next New Moon.

 

LUPERCALIA—(Greek and Roman) Celebrated on February 15, it is generally a fertility festival dedicated to Pan. It was a party festival where women were swatted with goat-skin scourges to promote fertility and licentiousness. It is occasionally celebrated in Tucson by female Witches.

 

LYCANTHROPY—From the Greek myth of King Lycos who was so cruel, the gods punished him by transforming him into a wolf. His name lives on as the technical term for the werewolf. 1. Although werewolves and Witches were often confused in the literature, they are generally two distinct matters. The true werewolf is a person who is cursed by the gods for some heinous act to walk as a wolf. In some cases, a person uses a magick spell to transform into a wolf for various reasons. 2. Some Witches astral project and may send their bodies intot he body of a wolf for any number of reasons. Others are under the belief that they must send their astral body out in the shape of an animal and so choose the raven or wolf as such a form. If this is done, it is more to enable the sender to have a focus for their concentration than to play at shape-shifitng.

 

M

MABINOGEN—Any of a number of collections of Welsh legends from the Celtic times and used as a basis for Welsh Wicca.

 

MABON—(May-BONE) The Wiccan Sabbat which celebrates the main harvest. In olden times homemade gifts or food were exchanged. It is held on the Autumn Equinox, around September 21.

 

MACCARONIC—A poetic verse that is written in a mixture of languages. This may appear to give a certain savoir faire to the phrase but is a real pain unless you understand the language.

 

MACERATE—To soak an herb with alcohol or oil.

 

MACROCOSM—The universe, all that exists.

 

MAGE—In ceremonial magick, a master magickian.

 

MAGIC—Illusion done by conjurors and usually for entertainment. Compare with Magick.

 

MAGICK—The ability and/or process of causing change to occur by non-material means. This may include psychic ability enhanced through ritual actions.

 

MAGICK CIRCLE—see Circle.

 

MAGICK MIRROR—See speculum.

 

MAGICK SQUARE—A square of letters written in a specific order so that they read the same in different directions. They are powerful talismans of magick. The SATOR square, being one, is made to prevent fires and theft.

SATOR

AREPO

TENET

OPERA

ROTAS

 

MAGICKAL ARTS—Any of the systems of magick used to make a change in self or environment.

 

MAGICKAL THINKING—The method and attitude used to perform magick.

 

MAGICKIAN, MAGICIAN—One who is skilled in magick.

 

MAGISTILLUS—Literally “little master.” Christian Inquisitors made a great deal of an old lady, abandoned by her family and society, turning to a pet for love (modern research has proven that simply petting a cat is healthy and will extend health and life) which they called a “devil” who was watching her for “the devil.” See familiar.

 

MAGUS—1. A male magickian of high rank. 2. (Gardnerian) The second title given to male Witches of high rank. It is the male equivalent to the Witch Queen. In Gardnerian Wicca, it is a purely honorary title held by the Working Partner of the High Priestess who is a Witch Queen, thus no man can be Magus alone. See Witch King.

 

MAIDEN—1. The younger of the Three Aspects of the Goddess. She is referred to as the Virgin (not virgo intacta) because she, in this aspect, has no husband. She represents the unrestrained sexuality and freedom of youth as well as the new-found life in the world as well as the joys of a woman who answers only to herself and is not “owned” by a husband or father or son as is usual in patriarchal societies like America. 2. In Wicca, the woman who is the assistant to the High Priestess. She is essentially a young woman who is a High Priestess in training who takes over when the High Priestess cannot function. 3. The woman who rules at certain Spring Sabbats.

 

MAJOR ARCANA—(Tarot) The 21 cards in a Tarot Deck that represent divine influences.

 

MALANDANTI—(Italian) The “evil” witches who sought to overthrow the current political system in Italy and bring the country back to the worship of the Goddess. Generally, any one who seeks to overthrow the system is a terrorist and evil. If they win, they are a patriot and good. Menachim Begin, the former Prime Minister of Israel was a terrorist when he fought for Israel’s independence in the 1940’s. After he won, history called him a hero. Think about George Washingotn.

 

MALE ENERGY—The energy transformed  by the male body. It is active, constructive and aggressive. Yang.

 

MALEFICIA—See Black Magick or Left Hand Path.

 

MALKIN—A medieval term of a familiar in the shape of a cat.

 

MALLEUS MALEFICARUM—The Witches Hammer was published in 1486 and is considered by Witches to be THE most evil book ever written. Written by two Dominican monks, Jakob Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer, who firmly believed in the evils of Witchcraft, this work is divided into three sections. Part 1 describes the evil of Witchcraft and states that if you don’t believe what they say, you are guilty. Part 2 is a list of the evils supposedly perpetrated by Witches. Part 3 is a “how to” guide for torturing a confession out of a suspect. The actual impact of this work is often understated but it was one of the first books actually printed on the newly invented printing press and so had a much wider disseminations than it would have had had it been hand-copied as were prior works. Because of this printing, everyone had to have a copy just as today everyone had to have a cabbage patch kid.

 

MANIFEST—To create.

 

MARGARET MURRAY, DR—( ? – ? ) An Egyptologist who wrote about Witchcraft in the 1920’s. Her theory was that Wicca was an organized pre-Christian religion that was persecuted by Christianity because of it’s allegiance to the Horned God. Her first work, The Witch Cult in Western Europe (1921), explored an amazing number of contemporary records to collect evidence on the religion. Her second work, The God of the Witches (1931), explored the basic beliefs of the religion and her final work, The Divine King (1954), explored the idea that many of the English kings were secretly members of the Witch religion.

 

MARKERS—Various historical scenes discovered through astral projection through time which help one find your way.

 

MATRIARCHAL—A society which is ruled by women. There are no matriarchal societies today, although the Amazons of Greek history may have been matriarchal. Contrast this with patriarchal where men rule. Many Covens are matriarchal in design.

 

MATRIFOCAL—Influenced by women or a society where women have a disproportionate say in life. Navajo Indians are matrifocal. This contrasts with patrifocal where men make most of the decisions. America is a patrifocal society. Almost every modern coven is matrifocal.

 

MATRILINEAL—Societies where descent is traced from female to female. Contrast this with patrilineal where descent is traced through the father. America is patrilineal (we do take our father’s name). American Gardnerians are matrilineal.

 

MATTER—Energy that manifests itself in such a way that it appears to be solid.

 

MEASURE—The string that is used to mark the body parts during a Traditional Wiccan Initiation. This is the ultimate Object Link.

 

MEASUREMENTS, WICCAN—Tools are intensely personal items and so are traditionally measured according to the owner’s body. A Wand is one Ell long, the Athame blade is one spann long and so on. Common Wiccan measurements are: ell, yard, cord, palm, foot, hand, finger, span, inch, etc.

 

MEDICINE MAN—(Native American) That person among the American Indians who possessed some spiritual, religious or magickal powers similar to Witches. There are a number of “white Indians” who pretend to honor Native Americans by doing faked and watered down “Indian” rituals such as sweat lodges but who have not earned the right to do so.

 

MEDITATION—A focused form of relaxed concentration in which the person allows the mind to go inward, changing emotional states or achieving an insight not normally possible while in a normal waking state.

 

MEETING—A term used for a gathering of Witches. Compare to working.

 

MEGALITHIC—A ritual site made of very large stones. Stonehenge is the most famous example of a Megalithic Stone Circle, Avebury the largest.

 

MEGALITHIC YARD—A theoretical measurement for the ancient Stone Circles of Great Britain. It is believed to be 2.72 feet or 0.82 meters long. If true, most ritual Circles are based upon the Megalithic Yard. If so, then the modern Wiccan Circle should be 3 Megalithic yards in diameter (8.16 feet) instead of the Traditional Nine Feet.

 

MELITIUS, ABBOT—(7th century) An early Christian missionary who, around 601 c.e., was told by Pope Gregory that when he reached England he should not destroy the pagan temples but rather steal them, build a church on that spot and invent a holiday to compare with the pagan one and a saint to compare with the local God/dess. Thus All Saints Day and All Souls Day were stolen from Samhain, Easter was stolen from Ostara, Christmas was stolen from Yule, etc. The Goddess Bride was changed into the Saint Brigit and people who never existed, such as Saint Christopher, were invented.

 

MELRAWD—In Wicca, the period when the Novice begins to unlearn the mundane thinking process and learns the magickal way of thinking. A time of intense learning.

 

MENHIR—A standing stone in Europe. Whereas Great Britain preferred the Stone Circle, Western Europe preferred the solitary Menhir. Most Menhirs were used to mark holy spots or to recharge Ley Lines. However, some were used as a weather control device by grounding out potential lightening storms and so producing generally good weather and light rains.

 

MERLIN—Although scholars argue as to the date and even the races of those in the Arthurian myths, we may presume that Merlin was a Druid and thus a Celt, who assisted Arthur (possibly a Celt as well) in the 5th century in his efforts to stave off the Saxon invasions of England after the Romans pulled out of Britain. Merlin was reported to be half human and half demon (or Witch as the Christians called all Wiccan High Priests devils) and the greatest magickian in the history of the British Isles.

 

MERRY MEET, MERRY PART—A greeting used by Witches.

 

MESO-PAGAN—A term coined by Robin Goodfellow and used to refer to a religion which attempts to revive any of a various form of a Paleo-Pagan religion but are unable to completely give up Judeo-Christianity. Some examples are Masonic Druidism, Thelemic and some eclectic Wiccans who still attend a Christian church.

 

MESSENGER OF THE GODS—(Garnderian) That person who has been appointed the task of maintaining communications between several Covens in an area. See Summoner.

 

METAPHYSICS—The philosophy behind magick and physics.

 

METEMPSYCHOSIS—The proper term for reincarnation.

 

MIDSUMMER—See Litha.

 

MIGHTY ONES—See Lords of the Watchtowers.

 

MISTLETOE—A parasitic plant that grows on a number of plants. Called All-Heal by the Druids, it was so sacred that it could only be harvested by a pure person who cut it with a sacred sickle after having a proper sacrifice made under the tree. The mistletoe was then cut and caught in a white cloth to avoid it being contaminated by touching the ground. In reality, the berries and leaves of mistletoe are highly toxic and anyone who makes a love potion with it is guilty of poisoning the person they are trying to seduce. It is customary for people to kiss under mistletoe, though Witches have a different idea of what to do.

 

MITHRAS—(Persia) Around 1400 b.c.e. (another date given for this is 500 b.c.e.), a young virgin entered a cave in Persia that was being used as a livestock barn and on December 21, gave birth to Mithras, the Sun God. A star appeared to herald the birth and wise men approached to give gifts and worship. Sound familiar? Remember that Saul of Tarsus was a priest of Mithras and later came to be called Paul when he converted to what can be referred to as Pauline Judaism or Christianity. Essentially, Mithraism was a popular religion in the Mideast and its temples are found as far west as England (which has five surviving temples to Mithras). It was heavily influenced by Zoroastrianism and was m uch more popular with the Roman Empire than Christianity (which was a slaves religion). But for one incident, the world may today be Mithraic. That one incident occurred in 324 c.e. when the Roman Emperor and his generals had a vision before a battle. The Generals saw Mithras and took it as a sign that they were blessed and would win the battle. Constantine saw Jesus and, because he was Emperor and could kill anyone he wanted, forced the Empire to convert to Christianity.

 

MIZ-MAZE—A maze cut into the earth to symbolize the Goddess and the winding path to Her. Roman Catholicism remembers this when they offer you the illustration of a winding and difficult path to heaven or a straight and easy path to hell. Those who swallow this catechism ignore the Catholic belief that you can be the most evil person on the earth and still go to heaven as a saint if you repent at the last minute or ask a priest to do the Last Rites (a spell which is supposed to guarantee your entry into heaven), a request that he may not refuse. This makes the earlier choice useless. This miz-maze has no choices. It takes you closer and farther from the center but you will always arrive at your destination if you will just remain on the Path.

 

MONOTHEISM—The concept of only one god, generally believed to be separate from man and nature.

 

MOON—The symbol of the Triple Goddess in Wicca.

 

MOON CROWN—The Crown worn by the High Priestess of a Coven of Witches as a symbol of her position and a symbol of the Goddess. Generally they are a silver band with a silver Crescent Moon worn at the forehead.

 

MOON VOID-OF-COURSE—(astrology) That interval between the time when the moon has left one sign but has not yet entered another.

 

MOONWISE—See Deosil.

 

MOTE—Might or may. As in So Mote it Be.

 

MOTHER—That aspect of the Goddess which symbolizes the nurturing and procreative aspect of the Goddess. Her symbol is the Full Moon.

 

MOTHER SHIPTON—(15th century) Born in 1488 in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, England, she was the illegitimate daughter of a poor beggar woman and the High Priest of a local Coven. When the mother told him of her pregnancy, he promised to teach her certain spells in return for her being faithful to him. She agreed and they travelled together with her becoming well off. The baby (who alter became known as Mother Shipton) was born Ursula Sontheil and was described as deformed and ugly but healthy, however, a contemporary woodcut shows her to be an attractive woman. The mother was locked up in a convent (generally a way of imprisoning a woman who could not be legally killed). Despite her appearance (she may have been wrongfully described as ugly as an attack by her rivals), Ursula married Toby Shipton and became a famous prophet in the same manner as Nostradamus, dying peaceably (unusual for a Witch in those days) in 1561.

 

MOUNT BROCKEN—The highest peak in the Hartz mountains of Germany where Witches are reputed to gather.

 

MUNDANE—In Wicca, pertaining to the ever day material world. Eclectic Witches use the term mundane to refer to non-Wiccans. Compare with Cowan.

 

N

NARCOTIC—Any of the herbs that induce sleep or a coma-like state.

 

NATURE—The system of things on Earth of which we are part.

 

NATURAL MAGICK—See Nature Magick.

 

NATURE MAGICK—The system of magick that focuses on the energies of the Earth, Sun and Moon and uses simple materials found locally.

 

NECKLACE—The jewelry worn by female Witches as a sign of Initiation and as a symbol of rebirth. It should be designed with Wiccan concepts.

 

NECROMANCY—Magick, generally of an informational form, that concerns the dead.

 

NEED FIRE—A fire produced by friction and used to light a Bonfire at Beltane when steel was forbidden.

 

NEMI, LAKE—An Italian lake and the location of an important temple of the Goddess Diana. It is call “Diana’s Mirror” because of the way it reflects the Full Moon.

 

NEOLITHIC—The ‘new stone age’ when man was using complex stone tools. This is allegedly when Wicca first appeared.

 

NEO-PAGAN—Someone who belongs to one of the modern recreations of ancient religions.

 

NEOPHYTE—See novice.

 

NEW AGE— That series of complex religious movements of which Wicca is a part. Some Christian churches are new-age because they see the value of adopting the concepts of freedom and psychics into the belief system.

 

NEW MOON—The time when the Moon shows no face. A time of introspection and inner workings.

 

NEWBEE—Someone who is brand new to the Craft and is trying so hard to be accepted by the older and more experienced people that you can’t decide if you should hug them or laugh at their efforts.

 

NORTH BERWICK WITCHES–  See Bothwell.

 

NORTHWAY—In Wicca, it refers to traveling Widdershins within the Circle.

 

NOVEMBER EVE—Samhain.

 

NOVICE—That “degree” which allows the new Wiccan to learnt he Craft before actually being Initiated. Few Covens have a Novice Degree but refer to new people as Novices.

 

NUMEROLOGY–  The science of using the relationship between letters and numbers to determine psychological traits and future influences upon the individual. This is based upon the fact that older languages, such as Hebrew and Latin, had no numbers and so used letters to indicate a number (i.e. Roman numerals where 1=I, 5=V, 10=X). All names could be reduced to a single number which was symbolic and representative. There are three major numerologic systems: the Hebrew, the Modern and the Celtic. According to numerology, simply by changing the spelling of your name, you can make profound changes in your life.

 

O

OBE—Out of Body Experience.

 

OBJECT LINK—The object that is used by the Witch to enable the Witch to focus on the target of the magic according to the Law of Contagion.

 

OCCULT—That which is beyond the range of everyday knowledge. The word literally means “hidden” and has no negative connotations.

 

OFFERING—A gift to the Gods or a nature spirit in return for something given. An example is that when you harvest an herb, you leave something behind for the herb or it’s deva to use.

 

OFFICER – Those Witches who hold a position within the Coven.

 

OGHAM—The alphabet developed by the Irish God Oghma. It is a series of lines across a base line and is used by some Witches as a cipher code or means of divination. It is also calle Beth-Luis-Nion or Beth-Luis-Fearn after its first three letters.

 

OLD HORNEY—One of the nick names for the Horned God. In Tradtional Wicca, the Goddess is the Mother and is ALWAYS treated with respect. But the Horned God, though the father to the universe and possibly us as well, is treated with respect and mirth. We believe that the Horned God has a wonderful sense of humor and will often play jokes on people.

 

OLD ONES—See Lords of the Watchtowers.

 

OLD ORDER WITCHCRAFT—(c 1995) A term used by some of those who used to work un “Robert Cochrane” to refer to themselves and differentiate themselves from the Garderian Witches who were becoming popular at the time.

 

OLD RELIGION—See Wicca.

 

OMEN—A sign that means something that is or will be important in a personal situation. For example, having a strange dog come up to you and be exceptionally nice to you as you are going to a job interview may be an omen that you will impress the personnel director.

 

OMNI-BENEVOLENT—(Christian) The concept that anything and everything that a god does is good and can not be evil.

 

OMNI-POTENT—(Christian) The concept that divinity is all powerful. Monotheistic religions tend to believe their God in omnipotent whereas Pagan religions believe the opposite. To a Pagan and Wiccan, the God and Goddess are powerful but limited. They want to help us but They need our help for Them to help. Pagans rely upon themselves to call the Gods to assist our own efforts. Pagans take the credit and blame for their own efforts and mistakes.

 

OOB—Out of body experience.

 

ORACLE—1. A shrine built and dedicated to a God or Goddess who is known for foretelling the future. 2. Anyone who can foretell the future with any accuracy.

 

ORAL TRADITIONS—The majority of religious and magical teachings cannot be written down simply because we do not know how to write this information. An accomplished teacher can teach you these things by talking to you, showing you and correcting your mistakes as they happen rather than learning by merely reading a book. Books are designed to hold basic facts like what Foxglove looks like and what it is used for. Books add to knowledge but cannot replace a teacher. This is why Witchcraft is called an oral tradition because we don’t know how to write it down and must pass the majority of the information on person-to-person.

 

ORAL TEACHINGS—See oral traditions.

 

OSIRIS POSITION—See God Position.

 

OSTARA—A Lesser Sabbat in Wicca that occurs on the Spring Equinox or around March 21. Fertility and Spring are celebrated at this time.

 

OTHERWORLD—Another term for that place that lies beyond our material world. It is often used by Eclectic Witches to refer to the Sidhe or Faery World and sometimes the Summerland.

 

OUT-OF-BODY-EXPERIENCE—An incidence of astral travel.

 

OUTLIER—A menhir that is outside a Stone Circle and is apparently related to it either as a Ley Line recharger or as a sighting stone.

 

OWL TIME—The 13th hour which was between midnight and one a.m.

 

P

PACT—A magickal agreement, generally between a person and a God.

 

PAGAN—One who does not belong to an modern religion but chooses to venerate nature as divinity. Pagans can be paleo-pagan, neo-pagan or meso-pagan. All Witches are Pagan but not all Pagans are Witches.

 

PAGAN REDE—A obscure term for the Wiccan Rede.

 

PAGANING—A form of baptism of children used by Pagans which is similar to a Witches Wiccaning.

 

PALEO-PAGAN—The ancient original versions of the modern neo-pagan religions.

 

PALM—A measure of length equal to the width of your hand without the thumb. About 3 ½ inches.

 

PALMESTRY—See chiromancy.

 

PAN—The early Nature God worshipped by the Greeks before the Mycenian invasions. At that time, the conquerors imposed their Olympian religion upon the Greeks and Pan, along with the Titans, was relegated to a demi-god. His worship was centered in Arcadia and He was the God of nature, sex, parties, music and dance. He is the Greek version of the Horned God of the Witches and many modern Witches honor him by calling the Horned God “Pan” in public.

 

PANTACLE—The older and more accurate term for Pentacle.

 

PANTHEISM—Literally “all gods.” This is the idea that Divinity can and does manifest as a multitude of Gods and Goddesses, generally within nature.

 

PANTHEON—The set of Gods and Goddesses that your religion worships.

 

PARENT COVEN—A Coven which has allowed some of its members to leave and form their own Coven, generally under the wing of the Parent Coven for a certain amount of time. The leaders of a Parent Coven are given the honorary titles Witch Queen and Witch King (Magus).

 

PARTING OF THE WAYS—This refers to a person who belongs to a Coven deciding that they no longer wish to be a member of that Coven for some reason. It also refers to the Coven removing that person form their Coven’s membership rolls. This has no moral connotations. It generally means that this person may simply dislike someone in his/her Coven and feels that they cannot Circle with them and so chooses to leave.

 

PASSING RITE—A Wiccan funeral where the purpose is to do a spell to ensure that the soul of the dead will be reborn among his/her loved ones in the next life.

 

PATEN—The proper term for the Pentacle. Specifically, the Tool which resides on the Altar.

 

PATHWORKING—See guided meditation.

 

PATRIARCHAL—A society that is ruled by men and gives women no power or worth. Most Islamic societies are patriarchal, and many Christian societies as well.

 

PATRIFOCAL—Those societies where men have the majority of power and women have some. America is patrifocal.

 

PATRILINEAL—Societies where descent is traced through the father and where children and often the wives take the fathers name. European and America n societies are patrilineal.

 

PEN OF ART—A Tool used to write spells and sigils.

 

PENN, WILLIAM—(17th century) The Governor of Pennsylvania (he named the state after his father) and a Quaker in the late 1680s. He is only mentioned her because some people brought to him an old lady, insisting that she be tried as a Witch. When Penn asked her crime, the people said she flew on a broom. Penn then replied that is they showed him a law that made it illegal to fly on a broom, he would arrest the Witch, but until then, he was innocent and he ordered her release. It is said that Quakers and Witches would help each other in times of need.

 

PENTACLE—1. The 5-pointed star worn by Witches as a protection or as a sign of their religion. 2. The Tool which represents the Earth. It is traditionally made is wax or clay so that it could be easily destroyed when the inquisitors kicked down the door. In modern Wicca, it is made of copper, etched glass, or carved wood. They have a specific pattern of designs engraved on them. Pentacles represent the earth and are a reservoir of power and protection against almost everything non-material.

 

PENTACLE POSITION—See Goddess position.

 

PENTAGRAM—The 5-point star as drawn or marked. The difference between the Pentacle and Pentagram is that the former is worn, the latter is drawn. When shown with one point upwards, it represents the Goddess as well as the Spirit above and more important than the material world. When shown with the two points up, it represents the Horned God and our ties to the Earth of which we and He are a part. Modern Witches are suffering from the modern Satanists who have adopted the reversed Pentagram (two points up) to replace the reverses cross which is the traditional satanic symbol.

 

PEOTL, PEOTE—A hallucinogenic root that is used in ceremonies of the Native American Church. It is under attack by the Christians.

 

PERFECT LOVE AND PERFECT TRUST—A term used by Witches to mean that you give to your brothers and sisters of the Art Love and Trust without fear or greed. This does not mean absolute gullibility and uncontrolled lust.

 

PHILTRE—A potion made to produce a magical effect. Generally referring to a love potion.

 

PHYLACTERY—A talisman for good luck that consists of a leather box containing parchment with magickal symbols and worn around the neck.

 

PISCEAN AGE—The last two thousand years when the earth was ruled by materialism, greed and central authority, often characterized by modern Christianity.

 

PLANE—1. A state of consciousness or matter. 2. A dimension or subworld within the macrocosm.

 

PLANETARY DAYS—Each day of the week corresponds to a specific planet such as Sunday relates to the Sun. This is useful in magick.

 

PLANETARY HOURS—Each hour of the day corresponds to a specific planet such as 6 am on Sunday is the hour of Jupiter and is a good time for magick that relates to a powerful person, such as a boss.

 

POETRY—Religion, magick and psychics don’t work well in the left brain or in beta, they operate best in the right brain which speaks in poetry and symbols and in alpha, which is slower. As a result, most Wiccan spells and rituals are performed in simple rhymes and elaborate poems that are filled with allegory and symbolism. This allows us to free our mundane mind and fly freely into the realms of the Gods and Goddesses and so, enhance our spirituality.

 

POLARITY—Two opposites which combine to form a greater whole such as male-female or microcosm/macrocosm.

 

POLTERGEIST—German for “noisy ghost” because of their habit of haunting a person and tossing objects around. These are not ghosts at all. In reality, once the movements of the hauntings were charted, they were found to move in a spiral path around the target of the haunting. Upon closer investigation, the target was almost always a pre-pubescent girl who was undergoing puberty and being pressured to be a good-girl vs. being a bad-girl. This contradiction in sexual desires combined with the new hormones flowing through her body caused her subconscious to lash out in frustration by telekinetically or psychokinetically levitating objects and tossing them around her as if she were in the eye of a hurricane. Although most poltergeist activity centers around teenaged girls, men going through a mid-life crisis can manifest the activity as well. Although many victims spend great deals of money on exorcisms, the only solution to the poltergeist is to solve the frustration that causes it.

 

POLYTHIESM—The concept that divinity is multiple and cannot be separated from nature. This means that any and every God/dess that has ever been worshipped does, in fact, exist. Thus no Witch will ever tell you that your god is a fraud because we know s/he exists. The problem comes from the fact that there are simply too many of them to worship, so Witches state that it is better to worship the Horned God and Mother Goddess as the primary deities. The n individual Witches will add to their personal pantheon whatever God/dess they prefer that month.

 

POOKA—(Irish) A nature spirit that took the form of a horse. Although more of a prankster than an evil force, Druids feared it. Any crops not gathered by Samhain were given to the Pooka because it would spit on them and poison them to human use.

 

POPPET—A doll or image resembling the target of a spell to focus the will and power. They may be made of clay, wax or cloth and filled with herbs. They may be used to heal as well as curse. Also call a fith-fath or mommet.

 

PORTAL—A door into another perception of reality or another dimension.

 

POSSESSION—The act of a non-material entity entering into and taking over a human body.

 

POTION—An herbal mixture made to produce a magickal effect like healing or love.

 

POW WOW—(Pennsylvania Dutch) Magick.

 

PRACTICE—The actual way a Witch will work their rituals and magick. Within a Tradition, the practices are similar but each person will place into that practice their own interpretations of the practice.

 

PRACTITIONER—One who performs magick.

 

PRECOGNITION—The “knowledge” of an event before it happens by means not completely understood.

 

PRIAPIC—See ithyphallic.

 

PRIAPIC WAND—(Gardnerian) Not a Wand at all but a riding stick or pole with a phallic tp. They are ridden as hobby-horses during certain fertility rituals and spells.

 

PRIAPUS—(Rome) The God of sexuality from which we get the term Priapism.

 

PRICKING—A means of enacting a “voluntary” confession of witchcraft during the Burning Times. The purpose was to locate the Devils Mark by the process of using a Bodkin (similar to an icepick) to stab the “suspect” repeatedly all over the body until the suspect could no longer bleed or scream, at which time the Devil’s Mark was said to be found and the Witch determined to be guilty.

 

PRIEST—1. One who facilitates the rites of Wicca. Generally a man. 2. (Gardnerian, old) A reference to the Christian priests who were seen as greedy and power-hungry who sold prayers for money.

 

PRIESTESS—One who facilitates the rites of Wicca. Always a female.

 

PROJECTION—See astral travel.

 

PROJECTIVE HAND—The hand from which energy is normally sent. In most people, even those who are left-handed, the right had is projective. In very few people the left is. Also see receptive hand.

 

PROMETHIAN TRADITION—(c1975) One of the newer Traditions of Wicca to come out of Long Island. Developed by Rus G., it emphasizes creativity among its members.

 

PROPHECY—To predict future events while under the influence of the Gods.

 

PROPHET—One who prophesys.

 

PROPHETESS—According to the politically correct viewpoint, every term must wither be gender neutral (epicene) or have a masculine and feminine version. Thus, horse is the epicene termn, stallion is the masculine and mare is the feminine. In English, the feminine term is often derogatory such as bitch or sow. Prophetess is the feminine version of prophet.

 

PSYCHE—The human soul, mind or spirit.

 

PSYCHIC ABILITY—And of various paranormal skills possessed by almost every person.

 

PSYCHIC ATTACK—An attack by another person that uses non-material abilities.

 

PUCK—A generic name for a mischievous sprite in Great Britain.

 

PURIFY—In Wicca, to ritually remove all evil or unwanted influences.

 

PROSPECT—One who wishes to join a Coven but has not been accepted as a novice.

 

PSYCHIC—A sense other than the normally accepted. Also called “the sixth sense.”

 

PSYCHOMETRY—The ability to mentally receive impressions from an inanimate object.

 

PYROMANCY—Divination by fire.

 

Q

QABALLAH— Also Kaballah. (Hebrew) In its simplest form, the Jewish magickal system that incorporates the Tree of Life as a means of understanding the Universe. Also Caballa and Cabbala.

 

QUAKERS— A derogatory term for the Society of Friends. Quakers are the only Christian group to have never persecuted Witches. In fact, Wiccan legends tell of Quakers actually helping Witches escape arrest and persecution.

 

QUARTER DAYS— The Solstices and Equinoxes. The Lesser Sabbats.

 

QUARTERS, FOUR— 1. The four ritual points of the Circle being North, East, South and West. 2. The four periods of 13 weeks that follow each Sabbat.

 

QUEEN, WITCH—See Witch Queen.

 

QUEST—An old requirement used to force a person to learn a special lesson or perform a special task that requires extraordinary determination and skill.

 

R

RACK—A method of extracting a confession by tying the suspected Witch’s hands and feet to opposite ends of a table. The rope is then drawn taught by means of a winch, thus dislocating the joints and causing great pain. Many examples of the Rack still exist and the contemporary illustrations usually show a Christian priest overseeing this aspect of God’s love for all men.

 

RAISING ENERGY, RAISING POWER—The internal process where the Witch will produce energy from within their own body for use in magick. In some cases, the Witch will use their own energy to tap into external source which they will then use.

 

RECEPTIVE HAND—The hand from which energy is normally received. In most people this is the left hand. See projective hand and circuit.

 

RECORDER—The scribe or secretary of the Coven.

 

RECULADE—(Gardnerian) An archaic term that means “removed from the Coven.” It means that this person has performed some act that has forces his/her HP/S to remove them from membership of the Coven and to strike their name from the Coven records. Unlike banishment, being reculed allows that person to start over with a fresh slate and join another Coven with no record of them ever having been in a Coven before. The advantages are that if you are reculed from Coven “A” because you did something bad but not criminal, you can elarn your lesson, have your records destroyed and join Coven “B” as a completely new person without prejudice. Although Coven A may and probably will refuse to guest with Coven B while you are there. But Coven A will not tell Coven B anything about you or that you were ever Initiated or a member of their Coven. It is as if you had never existed in Wicca or as if you had vanished off the face of the earth for that period of time. Refer to Shunning for other references.

 

RECULE— (Gardnerian) To retire. See bacare.

 

REINCARNATION—The belief that we will all be reborn upon the earth in another body ad life after we die. It is the belief of Traditional Witches that if we are “good” and hold Sabbats and Esbats, we will be reborn among our loved ones and be Witches again. But if we are “bad” we will be reborn among the Cowan or strangers and have to, once again, search for the Craft and the Goddess. Since most of those who found the Craft in the 60s and 70s remember the years of searching and lonliness they endured before finding a Coven, this is an important concept. The proper name for reinsarnation is metempsychosis.

 

RELIGION—The system of beliefs, myths, morals and Gods that  aperson follows to make up their faith. Compare with supwerstition.

 

RESPONSIBILITY, LAW OF—A Wiccan rule that states that is you harm another person, you MUST make restitution. It does not mean, “I’m sorry I smashed your car, please forgive me,” which is when you have harmed another and you want the victim to take away your pain because you are unwilling to repair the damage you have done. Rather, it means, “I’m sorry I got angry and told a lie about you. I’ll contact everyone and tell them I lied and tell them the truth in an effort to repair your reputation.” This applies for every act from replacing the ceramic dragon you accidentally broke to stopping that jerk you taught magick to from cursing his neighbor.

 

RETREAT—A method of going off to a lonely place for solitude and meditation. It generally refers to a spiritual palce and goal.

 

RETURN, LAW OF—The rule of magick that states that any action will cause the actor to receive that or similar energy back three times as strong. This can be explained with the mathematical formula: E{s} => 3E{r}*. Magickally, this means you should be careful of what spells you cast. See also Three-fold law. *The energy of a spell will rebound to you with three-fold intensity causing you to receive thrice whatever action you performed.

 

RIGHT BRAIN—That part of the brain that deals with patterns, poetry and spirituality.

 

RIGHT HAND PATH—Concerned with good works.

 

RITE— See ritual.

 

RITES OF PASSAGE— Those Wiccan rituals that celebrate Birth, Puberty, Adulthood, Marriage, Divorce and Death.

 

RITUAL— The action of attracting the Gods or other similar forces of nature by means of chants, gestures and invocations to produce a spiritual or magickal goal.

 

ROBE— A ritual garment that is often worn by Witches when Skyclad is undesirable. It is best if they are made of cotton or wool as silk and synthetic materials will hinder, change or stop the energy from being raised.

 

RUNES— 1. The alphabets and signs that are used by Witches. Theban is the most popular and common among Traditional Witches though Futhark is popular among Eclectics. 2. A set of chanted words in rhyme to produce a goal. A spell or prayer spoken in rhyme. 3. A system of divination using Norse alphabet engraved or painted on small tiles randomly tossed and interpreted.

 

RUNIC— The Norse alphabet. See Futhark.

 

S

SABBAT—The major religious festivals of Wicca which celebrate the major actions of the year. There are eight of them. They are generally dedicated to the Horned God/Sun and are primarily celebratory.

 

SACHET—A bag containing herbs and used for a specific magickal purpose. Another term for charm bag.

 

SACRED GEOMETRY— The study and application of angles, arcs and measurements to define a sacred space and to enlighten others. The ritual Drawing of a Circle with the Cord and the laying out of the quarters is a specific ritual that few follow but is worth learning.

 

SACRED MARRIAGE—See Great Rite.

 

SACRED SPACE—Generally that area within the Circle after it has been cast but generally any area where a Wiccan ritual is performed from an ancient temple to that area in front of your bedroom altar.

 

SACRIFICE—The act of giving something to the Gods or spirits in payment for services to be rendered. This can be a promise to give up chocolate or a promise to build a monument to the Gods or returning the first and last parts of the crops during harvest to the earth as an offering. In Wicca, animals are never sacrificed as this is considered to be an insult to the Gods.

 

SALAMANDER—The living elemental entity that consists only of fire energy.

 

SALEM— Actually Danvers, a small town in the state of Massachusetts where in 1692, 19 people were hanged as Witches, with others dying under torture or in prison. There a re a number of explanations for the outbreak of witch0hunting and these range from ergot-poisoning (ergot is a fungus that grows on wheat and contains LSD) to economic collapse (the accusers were puritans who were losing business to their less fanatical neighbors) to political infighting (some families were after the land and political power held by other families) to the possibility that there may have been some actual Wiccans in Danvers.

 

SALT— 1. In magick, one of the three Base Principles. A symbol of Earth and purity. 2. (Gardnerian) When used as “salty” it refers to being randy or to make randy in a sexual connotation.

 

SAMHAIN— In most Wiccan Traditions, THE most important day of the year. It celebrates the New Year, those who have died and the end of Summer. It is pronounced SOW-wen and some fundamentalist Christians have invented lies about the “great god sam” myth as a means of attacking the Craft. Samhain literally means “summers end” (Gaelic). It is also called Hallows, All Hallows Eve, Halloween, Hallowmas, Feast of the Dead and the Feast of Apples.

 

SANCTUARY—A location where a particular God or set of God/desses are believed to dwell. They may have a number of shrines, each one dedicated to a particular divinity.

 

SATAN— (Judeo-Christian) A Judeo-Christian god of evil. Originally spelled with a lower case “s” it originally an office similar to the District or Prosecuting Attorney in a court with connotations of an angel assigned by god to test the fidelity of man. The idea was when a soul died, it was put on trial with god as a judge. Two different angels would play the roles of prosecutor (satan) and defense attorney. Each would present their side of the case and god would decided if the soul was in or out. This is where America gets it’s modern legal system.

In addition to this, satan was confused with Lucifer which was another name for Prometheus, the Titan/angel who so loved man that he stole fire/wisdom and gave it to mankind so that they would become greater animals. This was, of course, against the will of god who wished man to remain ignorant and helpless and so Lucifer/Prometheus was cast out of heaven/Olympus and punished. By the middle ages, with the rise of Christianity to power, satan/Lucifer became combined with the Horned God of Wicca to produce the modern concept. Witchcraft is the only major religion that does not have any devil and therefore, witches do not and can not worship satan.

 

SATANISM— A reaction against Christianity that concerns itself with doing to opposite of what Christians pretend to believe. There are three major forums today. Christians confuse Satanism with Wicca despite the fact that you must be a Christian to be a Satanist and Witches aren’t Christians.

 

SAWYER, ELIZABETH—A witch who was hanged in April 1621. She was the inspiration for the formation of the Atlantion Wicca Tradition in the 1960s.

 

SCEPTER— See Wand.

 

SCOURGE—1. A Wiccan tool representing purity ad submission/control. It balances the Wand which often represents mercy. 2. The act of causing ritual purification in a Wiccan Circle by using the scourge on another person. Despite observed reactions from outsiders, it is not all whipping by people into Bondage and Discipline. In reality, unless done in a specific area for a specific reason in a specific manner while accomplishing specific visualizations, it will not work. This is one of the ways Traditionals know who has been properly trained. 3. A form of mild punishment performed upon a person who did something wrong or bad during a Wiccan Ritual. It is not meant to embarrass or hurt, but to force the culprit to realize that they should be more careful in the future or drink a little less wine or watch what they say or do or possibly even study a bit harder.

 

SCRIBE— See Recorder.

 

SCRY— To divine using a mirror, crystal ball or a bowl of water.

 

SEAL— The signature of a non-material entity.

 

SEAX— (Saxon) 1. See Athame. 2. A tradition of Wicca popularized by Raymond Buckland in the early 1970s when he divorced Rosemary and left the Gardnerian Tradition.

 

SEAX WICA— Wicca as reinterpreted by Raymond Buckland and others based on Saxon mythos instead of Celt. It is mildly eclectic. It was originally formed as a joke by a bunch of drunken Gardnerians in the backroom of The Warlock shop in New York City but later found to work.

 

SECOND SIGHT— See precognition.

 

SEEKER—One who believes that the Craft or a coven is for them but is not completely certain.

 

SELENE—The Latin name for the Moon Goddess, often referred to in Wicca as the Maiden Aspect.

 

SELF-DEDICATION—The process where the Wiccan declares themselves a Witch before the gods. It is used by Solitaires and Eclectics as a valid Initiation. Traditionals use it as a means of showing their fidelity to the God/dess until they can locate a Coven to join.

 

SELF-INITIATION— See self-dedication.

 

SENDING— The launching of energy during a spell or to a familiar to accomplish a task or a psychic communication to another person.

 

SEX MAGICK—A form of magick where the energy is raised through sexual relations. It is the second most powerful form of magick and one of the hardest to learn. Most people who claim to be sex magickians are simply trying to get laid as it takes much hard training before you are even allowed to have sex. It is virtually impossible for a novice to do sex magick and in Traditional Wicca, it is reserved for only the highest ranking Witches in the Coven.

 

SHADE— A ghost.

 

SHADOW—The part of ourselves that we deny because the thought of us possessing such desires and attitudes is uncomfortable. Often when  a Witch confronts their shadow, they get upset at having those desires and leave the Craft rather than accepting them and trying harder to be good.

 

SHAMAN—Specifically a Siberian magickian though many modern pagans use it to refer to any solitary magickian involved in nature worship. The “new” ego-trip term, it has been adopted by some eclectic pagans to replace the term Priest. In the latter case, the term is stolen from those who know how by those who wish they knew how but don’t have the guts to learn.

 

SHAPESHIFTING—The ability to change ones physical or astral form to resemble an animal. This animal is generally the totem animal of the Witch. This may be the basis for the werewolf legend.

 

SHEILA-NA-GIG— Those naked female statues generally placed in inaccessible places on churches in Western Europe. They are usually shown holding their labia wide open for all to see as they grin and laugh at those below. They are a Goddess symbol thought to be placed there by the pagan artisans who were forced to attend a Christian church and wanted to be able to pray to their own gods. In many cases, they were placed above the north door which was the one used by witches who were forced to attend church.

 

SHEILAS— She Sheila-na-gig.

 

SHIELD—The ability to protect yourself with a psychic or magickal barrier in order to prevent energy or unwanted non-material entities from touching you or, in some cases, perceiving your existence.

 

SHOWSTONE— A natural quartz crystal carved in the shape of a sphere and used for scrying.

 

SHRINE—A small or semi-permanent altar that is generally placed within the home for the personal use of the Witch.

 

SHUNNING—Not a Craft term but useful to describe the four levels in which the Craft can handle a troublemaker. These levels are in order of severity: Astriction, Parting of the Ways, Reculade and Banishment. Refer to each topic for details.

 

SIDHE—(Irish) pronounced “she.” The land of the Faeries where life is a constant party. Unfortunately, time is different there and if you enter the Sidhe for an hour, you may leanr that when you return to the mundane world, 20 years have passed. The opposite is also true. In some Traditions of Wicca such as the Irish, it refers to the Otherworld or the Summerland.

 

SIGIL—Any sign or symbol drawn on a talisman used to portray a symbol or idea though it is usually the signature of a demon or angel. It is pronounced SIDGE-il.

 

SILVER CORD— That thread that connects the astral body to the physical. If it is broken, the body dies.

 

SIMPLE— 1. A potion that uses a single herb. 2. (Gardnerian) All medicinal herbs.

 

SIMULACRUM— See double.

 

SINISTER— See left-hand path.

 

SISTER COVENS—The process where a Coven divides into two or more Covens, both of which may be equal to the other. They made do so because the original Parent Coven has grown too large and unwieldy so they decide to divide into two or more smaller Covens with different eldes forming a number of new Covens and allowing members of the Parent coven to choose which new Coven they will join. These sister Covens will still remain friends and will often guest with each other for Grand Sabbats. Generally the HPS of the original Coven will retain the name of the Parent Coven and each sister Coven will take a new name.

 

SISTRUM— A large rattle of Egyptian design used to make music during a ritual.

 

SIX SIX SIX (666)—(Jewish) Called the number of the beast of Revelations, modern Christians use it as the number of Satan. Early Israel, like Rome and many other early civilizations, had no number system. Our numbers actually came from the Arabs. So these nations used letters as numbers. Just as Rome used an ‘I’ as ‘1’, ‘II’ as ‘2’ and ‘III’ as ‘3’, Israel did the same thing. Aleph as ‘1’, beth as ‘2’ and so on. There was even a system of numerology in Israel that sought the number value of names so that the name for Jehovah, converted to numbers, equaled 1, which was important. After the conquest of Israel by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E., the Israelites considered Babylon to be evil incarnate. And when they did a number chart for Bablyon, the number they arrived at was ‘666’. Therefore, 666 actually refers to the nation of Babyon and not any individual angel of evil.

 

SKYCLAD—The act of being ritually naked during a spell or ritual in order to allow the energies to flow without any interference. The term was introduced to Wicca by Gardner in the 1950s. Many Wiccans and Pagans decry skyclad because they say it will lead to unrestrained sexual conduct and it is too cold in the North for outdoor skyclad rituals.

 

SMUDGING— (Eclectic) The practice of burning some herbs (usually sage) and censing a person with the smoke. Modern Wiccan wanna-bes use it to replace the Traditional Censing because Native Americans did it.

 

SNAP BACK—A sudden and involuntary return of the astral body to the physical body. It is often accompanied by a disagreeable shock.

 

SO MOTE IT BE—A traditional ending to a spell. It means that the spell happens as you wish.

 

SOLAR AGE—See Aquarian Age.

 

SOLITARY WITCH—Those Wiccans who worship and work alone because they can not or choose not to join a Coven.

 

SOLSTICE—The times when the Sun it at it’s most northern and southern position on the horizon. This is usually June 21st and Decemeber 21st.

 

SOMA—A sacred drink from India that is used in religious rituals. Some Traditional and Gardnerian Covens still use soma though few know the proper formula.

 

SOOTH—Truth.

 

SORCERER—A male magickian who performs Low Magick similar to that practiced by a Witch, only sorcerers do it without religious basis. See Wizarad and Sorceress.

 

SORCERESS—The female counterpart of the sorcerer and wizard.

 

SORCERY— Magick performed by an individual magickian outside of religion, generally for personal or economic gain.

 

SOUL—That part of the person that is immortal and passes from lifetime to lifetime.

 

SOULMATE—Two people linked by Fate or Karma or Divine Purpose. They often meet over many lifetimes. Despite popular belief, soulmates are not always lovers. They are simply a group of souls that reincarnate together in many forms: one life being lovers, another siblings, another friends, another enemies or any combination.

 

SOUTHWAYS—See Deosil.

 

SPANN—A measurement of length equal to the distance from the tip of your little finger to the tip of your thumb with the fingers spread. About 8”. See bucket.

 

SPECULUM—A mirror that is used for scrying.

 

SPELL—The action of Magick. The focus reality through ritual in order to produce a desired goal by non-material means. It can be described as the enhancement of psychic ability through the use of ritual. It can also be described as the use of natural forces enhanced by ritual.

 

SPELLCRAFT—See magick.

 

SPIRIT—A non-material entity. Often it is the mind/soul/personality of another who may be dead.

 

SPIRIT LOVER—An astral body or ghost who remains nearby because of close emotional ties.

 

SPLITTING THE COVEN—The process where some members of a Coven leave that Coven to form their own. This may produce Daughter Covens or Sister Covens. Generally, the Hiving produces Daughter Covens and Splitting produces Sister Covens.

 

SPRING EQUINOX—See Ostara.

 

STAFF—A large Wand. Some magickians use it in place of the Wand.

 

STAG GOD—That aspect of the Horned God that was worshipped by Witches in areas where the primary meat source was deer or elk. He survived in Celtic Religion far longer than His other aspect, the Bull, whom some Traditions see as His other self who must meet and fight on the Solstices. This may be an aetiological myth. See Bull God and Goat God.

 

STANG—An old symbol of the God and Goddess of the Witches used when the possession of a God/dess image was a capital offense. There are two forms of stang, the male with two tines and the female with three tines.

 

STEEP—To soak an herb in a hot liquid such as water.

 

STEWART, FRANCIS—See Bothwell.

 

STONEHENGE—One of three thousand stone circles in Great Britain. Many of these Circles are ritually built and orientated to the Lesser-Sabbats (Pre-Celtic), others are magickal and many were social in use. Some were small enough to jump over, others were so large that an entire town was built inside them. Stonehenge was one of the most impressive. They predated the Celts and so were avoided by the Druids who preferred to worship in a grove of trees but their structure shows a lot of Wiccan influence and so some are still used by Witches. During the Burning Times, it was common for the local Christian minister to take his congregation out to a local Stone Circle at a set time and destroy a stone, thus symbolically destroying the Craft and physically destroying an invaluable archaeological treasure. This custom ended with the Barber Stone incident at Avebury.

 

STREGA— (Italian) A female Witch.

 

STREGHERIA—(Italian) A term to denote all Witches, regardless of gender.

 

STREGONE—(Italian) A male Witch.

 

STREGONERIA—(Italian) Witchcraft as a magickal pursuit as opposed to the religious aspects.

 

SUBCONSCIOUS—The child-like part of the mind. All power of divine knowledge comes through the subconscious and is therefore altered.

 

SUCCUBUS—A non-material entity in female form called upon for sexual purposes. Some believe there is only one form which becomes a Succubus for the purpose of collecting semen from a human male. The entity then becomes the Incubus which impregnates a human woman in order to reproduce. These ‘children’ possess qualities of both their human and demonic parents. Compare to Incubus.

 

SUFFUMIGATIONS—An incense made wholly of herbs and burned during spells.

 

SUMMER SOLSTICE—See Litha.

 

SUMMERLAND—In Wicca, the place where the Horned God rules and to which all souls travel between incarnations. Also called the Sidhe (Celtic) pronounced SHEE. It is not a place of punishment or reward, but rather a place of resting between lives and a place where you learn lessons from a past life to help you live your next one better. When you are ready to die, the Horned God takes you through the Tunnel of Light to Summerland where you wait rebirth at the Hands/Womb of the Goddess.

 

SUMMONER—1. That Witch whose job is to call all other Witches together for a rite or spell. During the Burning Times the Summoner was the only person who knew the true names and addresses of the Coven so that is one of the Coven was taken by Christians he couldn’t betray the others under torture. Modern Covens give the Summoner the added job of Public Relations and checking out any new potential members to the Coven. In many modern Covens, the Summoner is the assistant to the High Priest and fulfills the same functions as the Maiden. In other covens, the Summoner is the High Priest as only he would know who the members were and as the most experienced person, he would be the best PR person. 2. (rare British use) The Fetch.

 

SUN—One of the symbolds of the Horned God in His aspect of the Provider.

 

SUN WHEEL—A symbol of the Horned God which is found all over the world. It consists of four ‘L’ shapes so arranged they form an equal armed cross within a circle. Often the space between the ‘L’ and the circle contains three smaller circles. When William the Bastard conquered England in 1066, he carried a banner with the Sun Wheel to show the local Witches that he was their King and to obtain their aid in the invasion.

 

SUNWISE—See deosil.

 

SUPERCONSCIOUS—The higher self made up of emotion, memory, ESP and imagination.

 

SUPERNATURAL—A term used by cowans to refer to any of the magickal and psychic arts that can easily be understood and used by almost anyone with the determination to study them. It is generally used by cowans to refer to anything they don’t understand. Witches tend to not use this term because these acts are considered natural.

 

SUPERSTITION—The best way to describe this term is to say that religion is to be followed and superstition is something you believe in.

 

SWIMMING—Originating in Babylon to punish Witches and adulterers, it was adopted at various times to prove the crime of Witchcraft during the Burning Times. Swimming had two versions. In both, the Witch was tied up and dunked into a river or lake. 1. If the Witch floated, she was guilty because water, being the instrument of Baptism, was rejecting the Witch. 2. If the Witch sank, she was guilty because water, being the instrument of Baptism, was enacting God’s justice. Swimming has also been called Dunking.

 

SWORD—A very large Athame. A tool that corresponds to fire and the Athame, but of a greater size. In Gardnerian Wicca it is generally owned by the High Priestess and used only for the Coven. It is best for the sword to be used outdoors as there is more room and less chance of poking a hole in the ceiling during an invocation.

 

SYLPH—A non-material elemental entity composed of only air.

 

SYNCHRONCICITY—A term used by Jung to refer to meaningful coincidence. An example of this is the term “speak of the devil” where you are talking or thinking about someone and they suddenly call you or drop by for a visit.

 

SYMBOLS—The language of the mind and magick.

 

SYMPATHETIC MAGICK—The system of magick that uses symbols and object links to accomplish a desired goal.

 

SYNCHRONICITY—The action of having a number of similar things happen at the same time. More than coincidence.

 

T

TABARD—A simple robe that is little more than a sheet with a neck hole cut in the center. It is often used as a person’s first robe until they can make or buy a better one. Some Covens use a tabard over their robes to denote specialty, rank or as tradition.

 

TABOO—A set of acts or words that are forbidden by religion or culture. The are generally unwritten but still enforced. For example, one taboo in Wicca is the killing of female animals or people, another is the identification of another Witch without their permission.

 

TALISMAN—An object of power. Aggressive active charms that are charged to produce a desired goal. Compare with amulets. They are generally made by the magickian and are one time affairs after which the energy is gone and they need to be ritually recharged or destroyed.

 

TAN—(Celtic) A fire, usually a ritual bonfire. Also teine.

 

TANTRA—(Hindu) A form of meditation or magick or prayer which is characterized by sexual relations as a means of power or enlightenment.

 

TAPPING ENERGY—A process where the Witch will collect energy from an external source and focus it through their own body.

 

TAROT—A set of cards used for divination or meditation or magick. They are generally credited as being developed in the 15th century and based on an old card game called Tarrocci. Many modern people reinterpret the Tarot and so produce entirely new decks each year. Many are quite beautiful and some of these actually work.
TEACHING—An field  must has some manner of passing on knowledge and experience to the newer people. For Wicca, that means that if you wish to become a Third Degree in a Traditional Coven, then you mist be aware that someday you will have to teach others. There are many ways to do this from a classroom to on-the-job training to simple read-and-do. However, every teacher must realize that people are different. What worked for you may not work for someone else and so teaching methods must be fluid. It is also important to remember that everyone is unique and perceives the universe in a unique manner.

 

TELEKINESIS—Mind of matter. The ability to move or alter matter with the mind alone.

 

TELEPATHY—Mental communication between two people. According to Kogan who did a lot of research on this for the KGB, telepathy is a radio wave of about 100 km wavelength.

 

TEMPLE—That place that has been made sacred for the performance of a religious ritual. See Covenstead.

 

TENETS—The beliefs, doctrines and principles of Wicca.

 

TETRAGRAMMATON—(Hebrew) Literally, “four letters.” It refers to the secret name of the Jewish God which was so sacred that it was known only by the high priest of the major temple and spoken only once a year. Because the Hebrew alphabet had no vowels, the name was written with only consonants thus making it impossible to know how it was actually pronounced. These four letters being J, V, H, V, have been pronounced anywhere from “Jehovah” to “Yahwey.” Unfortunately, the only person who know the actual pronunciation was killed when the Romans burned the major Jewish temples in 64 c.e. Ceremonial magickians use the tetragrammaton as sigil.

 

THAUMATURGY—“Low magick” using simple rituals and spells that is generally used to ease your every day life.

 

THEALOGY—See theaology.

 

THEAOLOGY—The study of the Goddess. Generally used by Pagans to refer to Pagan Theology. Compare to Theology which is literally the study of God.

 

THEBAN—One of the old magickal alphabets. It was first published by Barret in The Magus in the 1600s but there have been claims of a version that dates back to the mid-1200s. Theban is unofficially considered to be the “official” alphabet of Wicca.

 

THELEMITE—A follower of the magickal philosophies and practices of Aleister Crowley.

 

THEOLOGY—The study of religion. Pagans use it to refer to the study of patriarchial religions like Christianity. See Theaology.

 

THEOMANCY—Divination by revelation of the spirit or by religious writings of the gods. Some references state that this is “pretending” to divine.

 

THERIOMANCY—Divination by beasts or animals.

 

THEURGY—“High magick” using mental disciplines to establish contact with divinity.

 

THEYN—(Old English) A Pagan Priest. Compare with Theowe.

 

THIRD EYE—The pineal gland which appears to be related to many psychic abilities.

 

THIRTEEN—The sacred number in Wicca. It relates to the number of Witches in a Traditional Coven or the approximate number of Full Moons in a year. In reality, it is a prime number which is still usable, neither being too large or too small.

 

THOUGHT FORM—A thought or desire that takes tangible shape and exists almost independently of it’s creator. See familiar.

 

THREE-FOLD LAW—The Law of Nature that refers to the idea that all that you do, good or ill, will return to you Three times as strong. Traditional Witches often say that it will return once in kind, once in spirirt and once in need. Because of this Law and the Wiccan Rede, it becomes apparent that no Witch with any intelligence will take the consequences of casting a curse upon another. Rather, by doing blessings, you are not only help others but, ultimately, yourself as well. There is a mathematical formula for this, as well as all laws of magick. E {s} => 3E{r}* where anything in brackets is a subscript.

 

THREE-FOLD NATURE—This refers to the idea that each person or object is composed of three parts: the physical body, the mind and the soul.

 

THUMB SCREW—A device used by the Inquisition to induce a suspect to confess. In all of it’s myriad variations, it resembles a small vice that was placed around the suspects thumb or finger (ten chances to confess). The crank was then turned so the vice would close and eventually crush the bones in the finger.

 

THURIBLE—A large wide incense holder, generally with a broad open top and no chains. Thuribles are usually left on the altar. Compare with a censer which is similar but generally smaller and can be carried around the Circle. Also thuriable and turrible.

 

TINCTURE—An herbal infusion made with alcohol or apple cider vinegar.
TOAD—The toad was, like the cat, one of the traditional pets of a Witch. Although we in the 21st century find this distasteful, in reality the toad makes a good pet. It is loyal, friendly and eats bugs. Witches who had toads and cats around the house didn’t suffer from the bubonic plague that exterminated Christians who were busy exterminating both the cat and the toad.

 

TOOLS—The working implements of Wicca. They must be ritually made and cleansed before they can be used. The process of preparing tools is so complex in Traditional Covens that no one other than their owner is allowed to use them. Also, any misuse will invalidate the tool, thus forcing the Witch to start over from square one.

 

TORGY—A form of goetic magick that calls only upon Angels. It is derived from the Key of Solomon. It is generally believed to be a form of magick that doesn’t work and therefore, those who practice I are considered to be fools. Also turgy.

 

TORTURE—Any means of coercion used by the authorities to force a false confession out of a suspect. If there are no bones broken, the confession was said to be “without torture.” Yelling, lying, slapping, enforced wakefulness, denial of food or water, rape and sticking with an ice pick are not legally considered to be torture so are still used today by the police (well, except for the ice pick…and maybe the rape).

 

TOTEM—An animal or object that is sacred to a specific religion, person or group. The black stone in the kabba is a totem for Islam, the Cathedral at Reims is a totem for Catholics and the Sacred Well at Glastonbury is a totem fro Witches.

 

TRADITION—An organized subgroup within Wicca where the members follow the same working system as interpreted by one person. Compare with types.

 

TRADITIONAL WITCHES—Witches who can trace their system of Wicca though a number of generations of Witches or Covens. They generally follow the same basic ways and beliefs as those who Initiated them, thus having a tie to the past. Any new ideas that enter the Coven MUST fit the pattern in order to form a cohesive whole. Compare with Eclectics. Generally in Britain, Traditional is based upon the Coven which compares with Hereditary which is based on the individual. In America, it is based upon the method of working. Be aware that what an American calls a Traditional Witch, an English will call Revisionist.

 

TRADITIONS—A means of differentiating one way of working with another. Generally, Wicca is a skeleton upon which you palce the flesh of your own mythos. Although most Witches are of the Celtic Traditions (Alexandrian, Gardnerian, SHeban, etc.) other Covens will choose Egypt for their mythic source (Thebans) or feminist mythos (Dianic, Feminists) or whatever ancestors from which that Witch is derived. This is complicated by some famous Witches (Gerald Gardner, Alexander Sanders, Gavin & Yvonne Frost, etc.) who have reinterpreted the religion and thus changed it. To understand this, read how Lutheran Christianity came to be. The situation is comparable. Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Sheban, Welsh, Faerie, Dianic, Feminist, Georgian, Promethian, etc, are different Traditions. Most Traditions die after one or two Covens, thus showing that it was not a viable adaption. Others become successful and grow, thus proving the talents and channeling abilities of the founder.

 

TRANCE—A sleep-like state where the body processes slow and the mind is set free.

 

TRANSMIGRATION—See reincarnation.

 

TRANSVECTION—Levitation or astral projection.

 

TRILITHON—A gateway formed of two upright stones and capped by a stone lintel. They symbolize the doorway to another world.

 

TRIPLE GODDESS—In Wicca, it is believed that the Goddess manifests Herself in three aspects, each of whom is symbolized by a phase of the Moon. The Maiden (Waxing Moon) is also the Virgin but not “virgo intacta” because She is sexually active but not yet pregnant. The maiden refers to Her being independent of all male control and completely free to be Herself. The Mother (Full Moon) is when She has been impregnated by the Horned God at Imbolc and can now marry at Beltane now that She has proven Herself to be fertile and He has proven Himself virile. The Crone (Waning Moon and New Moon) refers to the Goddess after She has given birth to the Sun-God/Horned God at Yule and may now grow old and wise with knowledge and experience. In some Traditions the Crone is called the Hag and may be considered to be a bit of a Bitch at times so it is wise to give Her all possible respect.

 

TROLL—1. A person who joins a Coven of Witches for the sole purpose of discovering their secrets for their own use. 2. A person who joins a coven for the purpose of causing trouble within that coven or the Craft.

 

TUM—See inch.

 

TUMULUS—(Latin) To swell. An archaic term for a Barrow.

 

TUNNEL OF LIGHT—That doorway into the Summerland that appears when you die. In most cases, you can see it but for those who are afraid to die or who do not know that they are dead, the tunnel is behind them and therefore, unseen.

 

TURTLE POSITION—In Wicca, a kneeling fetal position with the backed bowed up. A sign of submission.

 

TRYOMANCY—Divination by the coagulation of cheese.

 

U

UNCONSCIOUS—That part of the mind that remains hidden.

 

UNCASTING—See Closing.

 

UNCROSSING—A spell performed to break an evil spell or curse. Also uncrossing ritual.

 

UNCROSSING RITUAL—See Uncrossing.

 

UNDINE—A non-material entity that is composed only of water.

 

UNFORTUNATES—An old term used to describe those Witches who had been captured and tortured by the Inquisition. Estimates of their numbers range from 100,00 to 9,000,000. Note that the last Witch officially burned to death in North America was Josephina Arista who was burned to death by the Catholic Church, aided by the Mexican Police in Ojinaga, Mexico on July 3, 1955.

 

UNICORN—Originally the old wild bull (bos primegensis) which was untamable and dangerous. The early Israelites used the unicorn as a symbol of anything that didn’t submit to god’s will. The Babylonians would then illustrate this animal in profile with on horn hiding the other and so it came to be described as a single horned animal. By the 1300s, the Bos had been hunted to extinction (the last known animal being killed in Germany around 1350) and the medieval bards used it as a symbol of chastity, illustrating it as a cloven hoofed antelope with a goat’s beard and single horn. By modern times it was being illustrated as a horse with a single horn. In the 1920s a German biologist experimented with removing the horn buds from an immature calf and grafting them together onto the forehead of that calf. He discovered that the single horn bud would not grow roughly straight in it’s new location and the calf, processing one large horn, would become more aggressive that it’s normal fellows. In the 1970s the Zells of CW produced Lancelot, the living Unicorn which they claimed to have created from a goat by using a secret Egyptian breeding technique but an examination of the creature revelaed that it was actually the product of the German surgical technique.

 

UNITARIAN—In many parts of Amerika (spelling intentional) it is physically dangerous to be known as a Witch. People have had their children taken from them, been shot at, lost their jobs, lost custody of their children and so on simply because the system doesn’t like to have their boat rocked. Thus many Witches have found it necessary to belong to a mainstream church in order to survive. As many of the founding fathers of America discovered the same situation, the Unitarian Church was chosen because they are the most open and tolerant church in the country. In fact, if you are a Witch and join the Unitarians, they will probably ask you to teach them about Wicca.

 

V

VALIDITY—In Traditional Wicca, it refers to the Witch being properly Initiated by a Third Degree of the opposite gender according to the rules of Tradition. This is important to a Traditional but of a far less concern to an Eclectic.

 

VAMPIRE—1. An entity or person that lives on the energy of another. A parasite. 2. A mythical creature that rises from the dead to live off other people. In modern use, that vampire drinks blood. In other countries, they simply kill and eat their prey. Also vampire. 3. A cult-group in today’s world that attracts the young who dress in black with pale skin and red lipstick. Vampires are into loud rock music and appear to have developed their own religion. Incubus-Sukkubus is an English Rock Group that does Wiccan-rock and vampire-rock music.

 

VAMPYRE—See vampire.

 

VARDLOKKER—(Iceland) One who can summon spirits. See Warlock.

 

VEGLIONE—(Italian) The Esbat.

 

VENENDUM—(Latin) See staff.

 

VERDIGRIS—Copper sulfate. That green corrosion that appears when copper oxidizes. See also Zimat.

 

VIBRATING NAMES—To speak a name or a sound in such a manner that a magickal effect is produced. To do this properly requires the ability to speak and breathe from the belly instead of the lungs.

 

VIBRATIONS—The energy given off by a living creature or non-living thing. This energy can be detected and interpreted by a Witch or magickian or psychic.

 

VISUALIZATION—To form a mental image of a situation that is perfect in every detail in such a manner that it is perceived by you as real. Or to remove from your perceptions something that isn’t there.  When doing a spell, visualizing the results are beneficial for the magickal workings.

 

VOODOO—The religion that combines Christianity and West African folk religion. It is often confused with Wicca even though it bears little or nor resemblance. It was brought to America in it’s original form by slaves who were forced by the whip to accept Christianity. Those slaves who refused to give up their own religion compromised by combining the two into an uniquely American religion which has branched off into a number of sects. Voodoo rituals are noted for the ability of the priests and priestesses to allow their Loa to possess them. Also vodoun and voudoun.

 

W

WAER LOGGA— (Old English) One who breaks a covenant. See Warlock.

 

WALPURGIS NIGHT—See Beltane.

 

WAND—A Wiccan Tool and symbol of air and the Horned God. A wooden stick, generally phallic shaped, that is a symbol of air and is used as a low-power or subtle Athame. Many Eclectic Witches prefer the Wand to the Athame. The Wand should be one ell long. Some Witches will establish extremely complex rules about the care and making of the wand, others will simply buy a piece of dowel from a hobby store. Because of the Golden Dawn misinformation campaign as represented in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, far too many modern Witches believe the Wand represents fire.

 

WANING—The cycle where the year or day or month is growing shorter such as the year from the Summer Solstice to the Winter Solstice. This is a time of introspection, rest, and gathering within your rewards of your actions.

 

WANING MOON—The phase of the Moon as She travels from Full to New. In magick, it is a time of destructive spells like cursing to death a cancer tumor or selling a car.

 

WANNA-BE—A person who pretends to be a Wiccan or Witch after reading a few books on the subject but has no clear idea of exactly what Wicca is and so mixes Wicca, paganism, pseudo-Native American and new age into one incompatible hodge-podge. The wanna-be is one step above the insta-witch.

 

WARD—1. To protect with magick. 2. (Gardnerian) A guarded place or a person who guards a place.

 

WARLOCK—(Saxon) 1. A traitor, a Witch who betrays the Craft, the Gods or another Witch to the Christians. The worst insult one Witch can give another. Christians call a male Witch a warlock which is, as usual, incorrect. The word comes from the Old English ‘waer logga’ which means literally a covenant breaker. It may be derived from the Icelandic vardlokkr which refers to a person who can summon spirits. 2. An oath breaker. A Witch who violates their oaths to the Gods. 3. (Christian) A male Witch. Some pagans accept and use this term. 4. (Gardnerian) To bind. To properly prepare as by warricking. This definition is rarely used now.

 

WATCHER—A familiar or Mighty One.

 

WATCHTOWER—A symbolic representation of the Four Quarters, the entrance to their respective realms, the Guardians, or the abode of the elemental rulers.

 

WATER—One of the basic elements. It is liquid, and is related to the west.

 

WAX DOLLS—A poppet made of wax or paraffin to be used as an object link to the target of a spell.

 

WAXING MOON—The phase of the Moon as She travels from New to Full. In magick this is a time of constructive magick like healing a broken bone or attracting a buyer for a car.

 

WHEEL—In Wicca, a symbol of the Eight Sabbats and the Eight Paths to power.

 

WHEEL OF THE YEAR—One full year generally marked by the seasons or the Sabbats. Called the Wheel because the cycle is never ending and always repeats itself.

 

WHITE-HANDLED KNIFE—One of the lesser Tools in magick and witchcraft. It is a knife which is used to make other tools or to do any cutting or carving in a ritual or spell. As a result, it must have a strong handle and sharp blade which should be short. It has a white handle to differentiate it from the Athame and to show that it’s use is utilitarian and not magickal. Traditionals use it only in the Circle. See Kirfane.

 

WHITE MAGICK—An obsolete term used mainly by Christians to denote magick that is negative in deign and used for ill ends.

 

WICCA—(Saxon) 1. A Witch. 2. The religion of Witchcraft. 3. (Traditional) Any follower of the Witch religion who has not been Initiated as a priest/ess.

 

WICCAN—To a Traditional Witch, any one who follows the religion of Wicca. All Witches are Wiccans but not all Wiccans are Witches. See Wicca and Witch.

 

WICCAN REDE—The major moral law of the Wiccan religion. It goes: “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.” To a Witch, you, as a reasonable and intelligent adult, are expected to figure out for yourself what causes harm and not to avoid or excuse it.

 

WICCANING—A baptism of a Wiccan child where the child is presented to the God and Goddess for Their blessings and where the Witches in attendance give to the child a gift (generally with a spell to make it come true) such as the gift of beauty or laughter or wisdom. The three fairies I n the story Sleeping Beauty were originally Witches performing a Wiccaning on Beauty.

 

WICKER MAN—1. According to a couple of Roman writers (Tacitus and Caesar), the Druids performed human sacrifices by placing people in giant wicker cages formed in human shape and then set them afire, allowing the victims to roast slowly as a sacrifice to the Gods. Tacitus was a Roman who thought that anything non-Roman was bad and Caesar needed an excuse to invade and conquer the Celtic Lands of Gaul and Britain. Thus by using stories of barbaric human sacrifice (unlike Romans who performed civilized human sacrifice) he was able to convince the Empire to allow him to divide Gaul into three parts with the Gladius (a short sword of wicked and effective use). There has been no archaeological evidence to show anything like the ‘wicker man sacrifice’ ever existed. 2. A popular novel by author Anthony Shaffer and movie starring Edward Woodward, Britt Eckland and Christopher Lee. The plot revolves around a missing girl on an island where the pagan religion holds sway and the attempts of a British policeman to find her. Although the ending leaves mush to be desired, most Witches love the film. It exists in three lengths: 84 minutes, 97 minutes and 127 minutes. A remake of the original film was done in 2006 starring Nicholas Cage and Ellen Burstyn.

 

WIDDERSHINS, WIDDER-SHINS—In a Wiccan Circle, to move in a counter-clockwise direction. Also withershins.

 

WIGLIAN—(Saxon) Divining by the Moon.

 

WILD HUNT—(Wicca) At Samhain, the Horned God travels the land searching for the souls of the recent dead. As this is a time between the worlds and outside of time, He sometimes gets carried away and neglects to differentiate between the living and the dead souls. Thus, when you hear Him blow His horn and the baying of His hounds, it is best to take precautions against an accident. Some Witches reenact the Wild Hunt in the Winter as a Divine Play to remember our ties to the Gods.

 

WILLENDORF VENUS—One of the oldest Goddess images found. She was carved in Central Europe about 32,000 years ago.

 

WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR—(11th Century) (Christian) During his life he was called “William the Bastard” but his most important event was the conquest of England in 1066. William’s father took William into a temple to the Horned God and made him swear loyalty in return for help in taking England. William did this willingly but his father realized that his Christian son would not keep a vow made in a Pagan temple so also took him into a church and made him repeat his vows to his own God. In return for this vow, the Witches of England assisted William with magick and information to take England from the Saxons.

 

WINTER SOLSTICE—See Yule.

 

WISE WOMAN or WISE MAN—The village healer.

 

WITCH—1. One who follows the Old Religion, that of the Worship of the Horned God, the Mother Goddess, believes in reincarnation and celebrates nature through the Eight Sabbata. It is also called The Old Religion, Wicca and Witchcraft. 2. (Anthropology) Any of a member of a less technical people who practices any form of magick or psychics. Antropologists tend to combine Siberian Shaman, the African Witch Doctor, the Voo-Doun Hungan, the American Indian Medicine Man and such with the modern European Wicce under this term despite the profound religious and philosophical differences. 3. (law enforcement) Sometimes it appears that to the average cop (be it city police or FBI) anyone who has ever looked at a tarot deck or read an astrology column is classified as a witch. This is born out by many incidents of a good Christian who attends church services regularly and wears a cross with a bible prominently displayed and read, going crazy and killing someone because “God told me to do it.” The local cop then sees that the person owned a tarot deck and immediately reports that the suspect was into witchcraft and paganism.

 

WITCH BALLS—Spheres of colored glass (usually fishing floats found on shore) that are used as amulets or speculums.

 

WITCH BOTTLE—A small bottle filled with broken glass, bent nails and other damaged bits of material which can cut and pierce. They are a protective spell which is often sealed into the walls of a house or buried under the porch or hearth to absorb evil. If a curse is suspected, they will also be filled with urine and destroyed in a specific manner to reverse the curse. The proper term for them is bellarmie jar.

 

WITCH KING—In Gardnerian Wicca, the consort and working partner of the Witch Queen. It is a purely honorary title and is retained only as long as that man works with the Queen. Some Traditions, however, treat the Witch King as a separate entity with all the respect f the Witch Queen. See Magus.

 

WITCH QUEEN—A term of reverence to denote a High Priestess who has Initiated people who have been Elevated to the Third Degree and have branched off from their original Coven to form Covens of their own. Generally, as Traditional Witched take years to work themselves from Prospect to Third Degree High Priest/ess, it is clear that few Witch Queens will be young. In many Traditional Covens, if you see a Witch Queen below middle age, and/or with a number of buckles on her garter, it may mean that she is somewhat lax in her training and Elevations.

 

WITCHCRAFT—The religion of Wicca. The art and practice of magick in a Wiccan religious context.

 

WITCHING HOUR—Midnight or the time exactly half way between sunset and sunrise which varies according to the season. Witches believe that it is a time of the greatest power that can be tapped to do magick. To find the exact time requires a bit of mathematical calculations and a good newspaper with a good weather section.

 

WITHERSHINS—See widdershins.

 

WITHOUT TORTURE—A term used by the Christian inquisitors to indicate that the confession of a “witch” was given freely and willingly. In reality, ‘without torture’ meant that they didn’t break any bones or cut off any limbs. The use of the Bodkin was not considered to be a part of torture, neither was dunking, slapping, preventing sleep, yelling, pinching, rape, burning off the hair and so on. If you examine current police practices, a modern interrogation sounds a lot like this with the supposedly innocent suspect being imprisoned with no hope of release wile they are kept awake for up to 72 hours without sleep, being yelled at, insulted, lied to and even physically abused until they confess to a crime they didn’t commit. And as they have not yet been charged, they cannot go home or call an attorney or family member who knows only that their loved one has vanished. It is known that at least nine innocent people have been executed in America based on a confession ‘freely given’ under these conditions.

 

WIZARD—A male magickian who does simple magick comparable to Witchcraft’s Low to Middle Magick, but Wizards do it without the religion. Compare to Sorcerer, Sorceress.

 

WIZARDESS—The supposed feminine form of Wizard, except there is no such word. A female wizard is called a sorceress. Modern politically correct people tend to invent feminine words out of epicene terms to differentiate between genders in certain fields, thus mucking up the language and making things harder for those of us who are faced with learning a new and awkward term or looking like male chauvinist pigs. Consider the terms: wizardess, authoress, murderess. Some words can be divided into Masculine and Feminine (male-female, sorcerer-sorceress, priest-priestess, chairmain-chairwoman, stallion-mare, etc). Some can easily and properly be made gender neutral (police office, mail carrier, etc.) and other are simply epicene in nature (Witch, writer, equestrian, etc.).

 

WORDS OF POWER—Those names of divinities that when spoken properly, can cause a change to occur in the fabric of reality.

 

WORK—A term meaning any magickal operation done by a Witch or Coven.

 

WORKING PARTNERS—In Traditional Wicca, a male and female Witch who worship and practice magick together for the purpose of sharing polarity and therefore become greater than either alone. There is a trend to allowing male-male and female-female working partners simply because gays are doing it and no one can give a real good reason for them to stop.

 

WORKSHOPS—A short, intensive class in a subject designed to teach the basics of a subject. Generally, they are a hands-on class where you learn by doing and, hopefully, to encourage you to study further.

 

WORT—Any plant or herb. A wortcunner is an Herbalist.

 

WORTCUNNING—The use of herbs in magick.

 

WRATH—A thoughtform.

 

WYRD—A Saxon word that is pronounced “word.” It means Fate, Fortune or Luck. It is similar to the Three Fates of Greek Mythology. The three ‘witches’ in Macbeth were originally the Wyrd. Also wierde.

 

X

XIAN—A term used by many Witches and Pagans to refer to Christianity. It is an abbreviation as well as a means ot reducing the power and impact of the Christian religion. It is derived from the Christian term ‘x-mas’ where x means Christ.

 

Y

YARD—A measurement equal to the distance from the tip of your nose to the tip of your middle finger with your head forward and your arm stretched out to the side. About 3’.

 

YULE—(yul) A Wiccan Sabbat that occurs on the Winter Solstice or December 21. It celebrates the rebirth of the Sun God.

 

YULE LOG—When the household fire was extinguished at Yule, a piece of wood from the fire was kept until the new year when it was used to kindle the new fire. Some Pagans make a permanent Yule Log where they plane a log flat on the bottom, drill three candle-sized holes on the top, set metal holders into the holes and decorate the log for use each year.

 

Z

ZIMAT—That green corrosion that appears when copper oxidized. Also called verdigris or copper oxide.