where I keep all my "What does that mean?" stuff. A lot of it has
become second nature, some of it I still need to refer to, the list
will continue to grow.........
spiritual ether (or Aether); the omnipresent fifth occult element
which embraces the other four - earth, air, fire, and water;
and from which they stem. This is the realm of "pattern" or
causality, from which the realm the normally thought of "five senses
manifests. Some define it is the "other" of the "two
worlds" that the witch or magician walks between.
Altar - A surface,
usually flat, that is set aside exclusively for magickal workings
and is used as a focus of power.
- A magickally charged object usually used as protection
- A skin-safe, scented oil that is dabbed on the body (at chosen
pulse points or on the forehead) in order to purify and individual
mentally and spiritually.
of the Goddess Diana, and a name for the Goddess used by Italian
Witches or Strega, commonly used in many Wiccan traditions today.
advanced magickal activity in which a practitioner manifests a
particular aspect of the Goddess or God, in thought, feelings,
behavior, appearance, etc.; Often as a direct result of
a "Drawing Down". Often a minor variation of this phenomena
occurs with the selection of a "Magical Name", of Craft Name.
facets, or personas of Deity: for example, Brighid,
Iseult, Eos, and Kore are all aspects of the Maiden, and the Maiden
is an aspect of the Goddess.
- A bundle of herbs used to sprinkle water for purification
Astral plane –
The non-physical, spiritual plane
- The act of separating the consciousness from the physical
body and moving it at will
or Ath-a-may) A double-bladed, black-handled knife used much like a
wand, to direct energy. It is not used to cut anything on the
Principally used to cast and dissolve the circle, for which purposes
it is interchangeable with the magic sword. A tool of the
"Element" of Fire in the Georgian Tradition and some others.
- A fire, usually outdoors, lit for magickal purposes.
- That which destroys life
- To send off
- To be necessary or proper for: '"It
behooves you at least to try".
or Bell- tane) Celebrating
the marriage of the Goddess and God.
November 1st. One
of the Ancient Celtic "Fire Festivals." on this night, the cattle
were driven between two bonfires to protect them from disease.
Couples wishing for fertility would " jump the fires" on
Beltane night. Also the traditional Sabat where the rule of
the "Wheel of the Year" is returned to the Goddess. This
Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess
energies from those of Maiden to Mother.
- A Witch's broom usually made from birch and willow used to purify
- When there are two Full Moons in one calendar month, the second is
called a Blue Moon.
- A white-handled knife used to do work in the physical realm such
as harvest herbs, inscribe candles and trim wicks, and for
fashioning the other tools. It is
working knife of a Witch. (Traditionally, it can only be used in a
BOOK OF SHADOWS-
A BOS is a workbook for Witches. Sometimes referred to as a
Traditionally hand copied book of rituals, recipes, training
techniques, guidelines, and other materials deemed important to a
Witch or a coven. Each tradition has it's own standard version of
the Book and each Witch's book will be different as he or she adds
to it with time from many different sources. Only another Witch
should see your book of shadows, although with the internet
and many Witches choosing to store electronically this is tradition
is not always kept. Many Witches (including myself) will keep 2
copies, 1 digital and one manual. Also, traditionally, it may
never leave your hands or possession until death, when it should be
destroyed, or (in some traditions) returned to the coven to be
disposed of or passed on to a new custodian.
BURNING TIMES- a
term used by some Witches for the period of persecution in the
Middle Ages and later. It is in fact a misnomer in some places, as
Witches were only burned in Scotland, and on the continent of
Europe. In England and the U.S., they were hanged.
the Quarters - Verbal or symbolic acknowledgment of the Four
Elements (Earth, Air, Fire Water) in a ritual environment
August. 1. One of the 4 Celtic "Fire Festivals. Commemorates the
changing of the Goddess from the Crone to the Maiden.
Celebrates the first signs of Spring. Also called "Imbolc"
(the old Celtic name). This is the seasonal change where the
first signs of spring and the return of the sun are noted, i.e. the
first sprouting of leaves, the sprouting of the Crocus flowers
etc. In other words, it is the festival commemorating the
successful passing of winter and the beginning of the
agricultural year. This Festival also marks the transition point of
the threefold Goddess energies from those of Crone to Maiden.
North, South, East, and West, marked in the Georgian Tradition by
candles of green, red, yellow, and blue, respectively. The Circle is
drawn to connect these four points.
a Circle - Creating a mental magickal sphere that encircles
one’s ritual/working space. The circle enhances one's ability
to focus, raise power, and contain that power until the person
directing the ritual is ready to release the energy.
A cast-iron, three-legged pot used to make brews, hold fires,
burn incense, holds candles. Represents the Self and is a point of
- A meditation exercise designed to produce feelings of total calm
and oneness with the universe. As its name suggests, it’s
aligning the body and its Chakras for maximum energy flow. It should
be preceded by grounding.
– an incense holder/burner
– Seven major points of energy
in the body. Each is
usually associated with a color. These vortexes are: crown - white;
forehead (third eye position) - purple; throat - blue; chest - pink
or green; navel - yellow; abdomen - orange; groin - red. Smaller
vortexes are located in the hands and feet, as well.
one of the
tools of the Witch. Placed on the altar to represent the element of
A blessed cup used
in ritual to hold the drink or saltwater. It represents the Goddess.
It is a symbol of potential and is also used in the symbolic Great
Charge, to - To
infuse an object with power.
CHARGE OF THE GODDESS- The Traditional words of the Goddess to her
followers, or "hidden children". Normally declaimed by the HPS
at every coven Circle.
CIRCLE, SACRED -
Actually a sphere,
constructed during ritual or spell working to contain energy and
keep out negative energy. It is
the area in which
the magickal worship and spells takes place. Can also be used to
designate a particular group of Witches or Pagans such as "Earthwise
- Any number of covens who have agreed to follow the same kinds of
rules, which spring from one central governing source. A clan
has a single leader, and within the democratic clan governing system
he or she had the power to veto proposals or actions of the group.
Cleansing - The
act of removing any negative energy, vibrations or images from an
object or place by utilizing positive, psychic energy.
CONE OF POWER- power raised in the circle by the Witches assembled,
and sent out into the world to work magick, is usually visualized as
being retained and built in the form of a "cone" prior to release.
ritual of purifying items and/or self to be used in the circle.
Correspondence - An
item that has a magickal association. Correspondences include:
days, planets, moon phases, herbs, oils, colors, gemstones, Zodiac
signs, hours, etc.
COVEN- an organized group of Witches
of the same
Tradition who work together within the Craft.
Led by a
High priestess and/or a High Priest who meet regularly for worship
and fellowship. The traditional membership is 13, but in fact most
covens number considerably less. 3 is the minimum in the Georgian
Tradition. In Middle English, "Covin" a group of confederates;
In Old French "Covine" a band or group with a single purpose; Latin
"Com"-together, "Venire"-to come or move.
COVENSTEAD- regular meeting place for a coven. Usually the home of
the High Priestess or High Priest.
COWAN- a non-Witch. Formerly used in a very derogatory manner.
Still used in Masonic Ritual to indicate the non initiate and/or
pretender to "real craft". Not often used today among most
the - Witchcraft, Wicca.
Crescent Moon -
Sacred symbol of the Goddess. Used for Sabbats, women's
healings and invocations.
DAYS- The modern name for the Celtic Fire Festivals of Samhain,
Imbolc, Beltane, and Lammas.
ball - A ball is made of quartz (you can tell if it is true
quartz by its cold feel and the inclusion of irregularities). It is
used for divination.
- Purposely directing negative energy at someone. Wiccans do
not do this, as it goes against the rules of three.
Dedication - The
dedication of a Witch is a ritual where the individual accepts the
Craft as their path in life and is "reborn" as a child of the
Goddess and God.
– The form(s) The All takes.
sunwise (or "anti-clockwise" here in the Southern Hemisphere). Traditional direction for working
Devas - are energies,
or spirit forms, that create patterns of reality on higher levels of
existence. Anything created naturally or by humans has a deva.
To foretell events
of the future, or recount the distant past, or clarify the now, or a
magical method of exploration or inquiry into a situation
by using tools or actions such as Tarot cards, dreams, runes,
astrology, pendulums, meditation, I-Ching etc.
Divine Power - The
energy and life force of the
Goddess and God.
DOWN THE MOON- Ritual invocation of the spirit of the Goddess
into the body of the High Priestess by the High Priest,
or to connect with
the Goddess by drawing her spirit into you.
Earth Power - Energy
that exists within nature and all on Earth.
- When one heavenly body obscures another for a short period of
time, creating a temporary veil or shadow.
air, fire, and water, plus spirit/self/Aksha
(which includes them all). These are regarded as realms or
categories of nature (both material and non-material) and are not to
be confused with the physicists table of elements, which the
modern witch, of course, accepts.
- Also called "charging". This means to fill an object with
divine energy for a specific magickal purpose or manifestation.
Cross (the original Celtic Cross) - A cross symbol with
equally sized arms representing the elements.
ESBAT- Monthly or bimonthly meeting of a coven. Traditionally held
either on the full moon or the new moon.
Evoke - To call upon
the spirits or deities.
Exoteric - Exoteric
knowledge is knowledge that is publicly available, in contrast with
esoteric knowledge, which is kept from everyone except the initiated
a Witch's pet animal which has been trained to be a magickal
helper, or an artificially created "elemental" which performs
the same functions as the animal friend.
FIVEFOLD KISS, FIVEFOLD SALUTE- The Witches' ritual salute, with
kisses; (1) on each foot, (2) on each knee, (3) above the
pubic hair, (4) on each breast, and (5) on the lips - really 8
kisses in all. It is only used within the Circle, but the
words that go with it are the origin of "Blessed Be."
Tradition of Witchcraft descended from the teachings of Gerald
GNOMES- an "entity" or "elemental" that dwells in the plane of Earth
or is associated with the EARTH Element.
- Blanket titles for the universal male & female energy celebrated
by the Witches. Together, their combined power equals "The All".
GREAT RITE- The rite which is the main feature of the third degree
initiation, and which is also laid down for certain festivals.
It is sexual in nature, but may be `actual' (and private to the
couples concerned) or symbolic (such as lowering of the athame into
the chalice), as the participants wish.
- Pronounced Grim-wah. A magickal workbook (Also called Book of Shadows,
and sometimes a book of light), that
contains rituals, magickal meanings of objects, etc.
- A meditation exercise that allows one to draw or send energy into
used by some traditions for Samhain, or Halloween
HANDFASTING- Wiccan (or Pagan or Gypsy) equivalent of a wedding. It
can be made legal if the Priestess and/or Priest are registered
as clergy with the local authorities, or it may only be considered
binding within the coven.
HIGH PRIEST/ESS- Technically speaking, a Witch who has received the
3rd. degree initiation. More usually, the male and female leaders of
Water - Blessed, purified water for use in ritual. Salt
or an herb may be added to the water as part of its ritual
name for Candlemas - see Candlemas
Initiation - The
process by which a Witch is admitted into a coven.
- A liquid produced by soaking herbs in hot water
INVOCATION- The ritual "calling-in" of an entity (or energies)
higher than human, either for communication with the caller through
a medium or by visible manifestation or else to enter into a human
body as in the Drawing Down the Moon. In some traditions, a Prayer.
1st. Witch Festival. The Old Celtic name for this festival is
Lughnassadh. It is the Festival of the First Fruits, and is
the first of the 3 harvests. This festival also marks the change of
the Threefold Goddess energies from that of Mother to Crone.
- Title of honor for the Goddess.
- Title of honor for the God.
- The Sabbat held on the Autumn Equinox (around Sept. 21) to
celebrate the end of harvest.
- The act of focusing the energies of the Universe to effect needed
change on the mundane plane; ref
lection; contemplation. Spelled
with a "k" on the end to differentiate with magician style "trick"
appointment held by one of the women of the coven. She is virtually
the assistant High Priestess. This term is also the descriptive term
used to describe the first of the aspects of the Threefold
Goddess Energies (Maiden, Mother, and Crone). It is
traditionally associated with the Waxing Moon, & the period from
Imbolc (Candlemas) to Beltane (May eve) where the energies are those
of initiating, beginning, & creation.
- Mental, stress-relieving exercise used to draw body, mind,
and spirit into one.
Midsummer - A Sabbat
held on the Summer Solstice (around June 21) that celebrates the
longest day of the year.
Void of Course - An astrological term for when the Moon
leaves one aspect but has not yet entered the next sign. This stage
lasts from a few hours to a few days. It is best to avoid any magick
workings during this period (you will have trouble drawing energy
and will be force to use your own) as well as avoiding making major
decisions or planning important events.
Plane – The physical plane on which we exist
Ones, the - The ancient ones, Goddess and God
OLD RELIGION- another name for the Craft.
- A Sabbat of marking the Spring Equinox (around March 21) and the
return of the Sun and the fertility of the Earth.
Originally meaning country dweller, than heathen, the modern
definition is one who practices a polytheistic, nature-based,
PAGANING- Presentation of an infant to the Circle and to the Gods.
A divination device consisting of a string attached to a heavy
object whose movement determines the answer
The prime magickal
symbol of The Craft. A five-point star within a circle with each
point representing an element and the fifth representing the Self or
Aksha. It is a symbol of protection and power. Often
a disc shaped
talisman; in particular, the metal disc which represents the earth
element among the witch's working tools. Often has the
same meaning as "pentagram" any many use these two words
PENTAGRAM- The five-pointed star. With a single point
uppermost, it represents the human being. Inverted, with two points
uppermost, it can have Satanist associations; but not necessarily.
Some traditions of Wicca use the inverted pentagram to signify
an initiate of the second degree.
Power - The energy you raise within yourself.
of the Moon - The stages of the Moon (new, waxing, full,
waning) as it journeys around Earth. One complete orbit of the Moon
around the Earth is called a lunar cycle and takes 28 days There are
13 lunar cycles per year.
Hour - Also called a magickal hour. Divisions of night
and day that are guided by astrological influences and the energies
of the various planets
Projective Hand -
Your dominate hand. This is the hand you use to send out and direct
North, East, South, and West parts of a magickal circle or other
ritual area. (See also "Watchtowers")
Quarters of the Moon
- Astronomical measurement of the Moon's cycle as it journeys around
the Earth. The first and second quarters encompass the stages
from New to Full Moon, while the third and fourth quarters represent
the journey back from Full to New.
hand - Your less dominate hand (if you are right handed, it
would be your left hand). This is the hand that energy will flow in
through. This is the hand that will sense energy.
- The doctrine of rebirth to allow the evolution of the soul.
- When a planet, from the viewpoint of Earth, appears to be moving
backward through space. When Mercury goes retrograde, it is a time
for difficulty with communication, travel and electronics.
- A ceremony to mark the Sabbats, Esbats, dedications or for
magickal workings and to unite with the Deities.
- Stones, bones or wood pieces marked with magickal symbols. Used in
REDE- rule or law.
ceremony of honor acknowledging the eight segments of the Wiccan
year and the cycle of the seasons. There are eight Sabbats:
Yule, Imbolc, Ostra, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasad, Mabon and Samhain.
Space – A cleansed and consecrated area used for
ritual/magickal proposes. A sacred space can be created anywhere, if
(See also casting a circle).
SALAMANDER- an entity that dwells in the realm of Fire.
The festival of remembrance for the dead, held on the eve April
30th. It is the last of the three harvests. This festival also
marks the transition of rulership of the "Wheel of the Year from
that of the Goddess to that of the God.
SCRYING- divination, usually using such methods as crystal gazing,
or divination via incense smoke, or water as opposed to tarot or
other manipulative means.
Mirror - A mirror used for divination purposes that is
-- A type of symbol. A magickally oriented seal, sign, glyph
(sculptured character or symbol) or other device used in a magickal
working. The most powerful sigils are those that you create yourself
– Marks the longest day (Summer Solstice) and the longest night
Mote It Be" – A popular Witch expression meaning “As I will,
so it will be.”
SPELL- a prayer, or verbal direction of magickal energies toward the
accomplishment of some goal. The act that may use a variety of aids
(herbs, string, candles, etc.) to help the a Witch focus energy on
his or her desire.
SUMMONER- The male officer of the coven who corresponds to the
Maiden. He is the assistant High Priest.
SYLPH- an "entity" or "elemental" that dwells in the plane of Air or
is associated with the AIR Element.
Talisman - An object
that has been magickally charged and is then carried or kept near
the person it was made for.
Tarot cards - A set
of 78 cards, 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana, which carry
pictures and symbols used for divination. No one knows the
specific origin of the cards.
structured, specific Wiccan subgroup.
Any of the
various "sects" of Wicca such as Gardnerian, Alexandrian,
Georgian, Seax, etc.
All -- The energy-force that "runs" the universe. Many
Wiccans believe that our “All” is the same as other religions’ Gods.
- Another term for Widdershins
"entity" or "elemental" that dwells in the plane of Water or is
associated with the WATER Element.
WAND- A rod or
staff that is prepared so that it may be used for magickal or
psychic purposes, usually to project or
direct a cone of
some form of power, or
or to invoke the deities.
Waning Moon – The
phase of the moon between Full Moon and New Moon. This is the
time for performing banishing magick.
WARLOCK- a term
coined in the Burning Times . It was used to denote a traitor
to the Craft, or one who had betrayed the followers of the Old
Religion. It's origin is Scottish. Because of the negative
connotations, it is not used by most Wiccans today, as a male
Witch is also called a Witch.
WATCH TOWERS- Originally from the Enochian branch of
Ceremonial Magick, now incorporated into many "Traditions" of
Wicca, these are the four elemental "directions" or "quarters"
(corresponding to the appropriate points on the compass) called to
protect the Circle during its establishment. Each of them have a
correspondence between the compass point, an element, and (varying
amongst different traditions) colour associated with them.
Moon – The phase of the moon from New Moon to Full Moon (Or
getting "fuller"). This
is the time for magick that involves growth and increase.
of the Year -- One full cycle of the Wiccan year, divided
into eight seasons celebrated with the Sabbats.
WHITE HANDLED KNIFE- see "Boline"
WICCA- the name most modern day Witches use for the Craft. It comes
from the Anglo-Saxon word Wicce, meaning to bend or to shape. This
is the root word from which we get wicker. Often reffered to
as a contemporary pagan religion with spiritual roots in the
earliest expressions of reverence for nature and celebration of the
Goddess and God.
It is thought that this term was
originally coined by Selena Fox of the Circle Sanctuary in an effort
to describe the modern religion of Witchcraft (as begun by Gerald
Gardner in England in the 1950's
- The dedicating of a child to the Goddess and God. Note: This does
not make the child a Witch
WIDDERSHINS- Against the sun (or "Clock wise" here in the Southern
hemisphere). Used for "tearing down" or
Witchcraft – The
practice of Wicca, including spell work
WIZARD - The old
English meaning is "One who is wise". The term today generally means
"practitioner of magick", usually (but not always) male, and
different from Witches. Wizards usually act/practice alone.
- A Sabbat marking the Winter Solstice (June. 21) celebrating the
rebirth of the God.