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Adept

An individual who is considered highly proficient in a particular magickal system. This is accomplished by serious study.

Air

See Elements

Akasha

See Elements

Akashic Records

A data base of sorts which holds information about past lives, the future, healing and other practices. This data base is accessed by the mind of a psychic or Witch through harmonious universal connections. Many may open these records during dreams or astral projection.

The All

For most nature based religions it is the God and the Goddess combined, Mother Nature and Sky Father. They are all around, in all things natural.

Altar

The altar serves three purposes. It helps to centralize your personal power. Each item on it should have a specific purpose. It can serve as a worktable for making talismans or mixing herbs. It is also a place to honour dieties.
Your altar can be made out of anything. For a table altar you can use your coffee table, or even a plank of wood held up by blocks. Wall altars are usually wooden shelves. The stang is a type of altar which is made out of a branch of wood. It is usually stuck in the ground outside by the door for protection. It can also be decorated for the season at hand. Choose which is best for you. You wouldn't want a stang if you are going to be doing a lot of ritual work. And you can have all three if you want; one for working, one for reverence, and the stang outside.



An altar


Amulet

An object of protection that has been charged to deflect negative energies.

Arcana

Two halves of a Tarot deck. The Major arcana has 22 trumps which depict dominant occurrences in life. The Minor arcana has 56 cards in 4 suits which indicate smaller occurrences.

Astral

The next dimension of reality closest to the physical. Sometimes called dream time.

Astral projection

Separating your astral body from the physical body to travel in the astral or dream time. It is done unconsciously in sleep and can be learned to do consciously.

Athame

A cleansed and consecrated ceremonial knife. Used to cut things in the astral/spiritual plane (eg: casting the circle). Never used for cutting physical items.


athame
An athame


Balefire

A ritual bonfire. When it is used you would see it at Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnasadh, and Mabon. It represents the God. These holidays are at the summer times. The times when the God's power is most abundant.

Bane

bad, evil, destructive

Beltane

See Holidays

Bi-location

A type of astral projection used to view another place while still aware and able to do other things in your present surroundings.

Bind

To magickally restrain someone from doing harm to others or to themselves. This is debated in the Wiccan community as to whether it is moral or not.

Blood of the Moon

A woman's menstrual cycle. If this occurs during a full or new moon she is most powerful at this time of the month than any other. It can be arranged so that she will have her period at one of these times.

Bolline

A curved, white handled knife used for cutting physical things of a magickal nature. (eg: carving symbols into a candle, or cutting branches to be used in ritual.)

Book of Shadows

Also called a BoS, it is a personal book that one would fill with their own rituals and workings. Like what feelings you get from colors, about your workings with herbs, or the tarot, rituals you've made up or ones you really like and have worked, etc.


BOS
A BoS


Broom

Also called a bossume, bossom, or besom. Used for decoration, magick, or ritual. Used as a psychic sweep of an area to clear off negative energies. "Jumping the broom" is used at handfasting ceremonies and some holidays. It is a symbol of the female witch. It represents the vehicle into dream time. A lot of witches name their brooms to give it character.


broom
A broom


Burning Times

A historical time from about 1000 CE to the 17 century. This was when around 9 million people (mostly women) were tortured and killed by the church and public officials because they were accused of being witches.




Cabala

Also seen as Kabbalah and Qabala. It is an ancient Hebrew magickal system.

Call

Invoking Divine forces. Calling upon the power of nature within yourself. It is in all things and so it is within you.

Chakras

These are seven major energy points of the human body. Each one is associated with a color. Crown (top of the head) is white, forehead (the third-eye above and between the eyes) is purple, throat is blue, chest is green, navel is yellow, abdomen is orange, groin is red. There are also smaller energy points at the hands and feet. These smaller ones are usually white.
The chakras are recognized and brought together in harmony (and cleansed) before magickal workings or astral projection. When you have an ailment, such as a sore throat the chakra reflects that. You can help in healing by cleansing the corresponding chakra.

The Charge

This is the Charge of the Goddess. It is how the Goddess comes into your life and how the Goddess speaks to her children. This is different for each person but one of the most loved tales of it is by Doreen Valiente. It was originally written for Gardnarian rituals. Click here to read various Charges of the Goddess.

Charms

It can either be an amulet or a talisman which is charmed by saying an incantation over it and instilling it with energy for a specific task.

Cone of Power

This is psychic energy that is raised by an individual or a coven. It is focused to achieve a specific purpose.

Cleansing

Removing negative vibrations or energy from any object or place by using clear, positive energy. Water is a common cleansing tool.

Consecrating

The act of blessing an object or place by instilling it with positive energy.

Coven

A group of witches who come together to work positive rituals and ceremonies in an organized manner.

Covenstead

A meeting place of the coven. A place where they can feel safe and at home. A very peaceful place.

Days of Power

Usually referred to as the Sabbats but days of power can also be personal. They can be your birthday, your anniversary, or a woman's menstrual cycle (see Blood of the Moon). In short these are the days when personal power and all power is at a high.

Dedication

Usually a person takes year and a day of studying Wicca to decide if it is the right path for them and which Tradition to take within it. After this time they may dedicate themselves or have a dedication ceremony to say that this is their chosen path and they will stick with it through the highs and lows. Of course you don't have to take a year and a day to reach this, it can be more time or less. Whenever it feels right for you. Make sure it is what you really want.

Deosil

It is a clockwise movement. You move deosil to cast a circle.

Divination

The art of using certain tools; runes, tarot cards, etc., to delve into the collective unconscious. It helps to tell about the past and to help give insight about a possible future based on what is going on in the present. Nothing is set in stone. The cards and stones help you see what has and is now happening. It is up to you to take charge and change what you are doing in the present if you don't like what the cards or stones say about your future.

Dowsing

Using a pendulum or a stick to find a place, someone or something. Can also be used to answer yes or no questions.

Drawing Down the Moon

A point in a full moon ritual in which the person or coven invokes and joins the essence of the Goddess with their own. Empowering themselves. The full moon is the Goddess' time.

Click here to read a Drawing Down the Moon ritual.



Earth Magick

A very practical form of magick. All tools and ritual items are straight from or made from the earth. A lot of emphasis on the elements.

Elder

One who has been practicing for many years and has great knowledge in many different areas of the craft. Ususally there is a group of elders in wiccan organizations. They oversee the happenings in that organization. They try to keep the old ways alive and because of this are slightly unsettled by the neo-pagan movement. (May we all keep the old ways alive, even if new ideas are introduced)

Elements

Most people recognize the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water. There is a fifth one recognized by most witches: Akasha or the spirit. Akasha is said to be all of the elements combined. It is the essence of the universe, and each of us have a bit of it within.

Evocation

This is the opposite of invoking. Evocation is to call something out from within. Projecting your personal power to heal, or in ritual.

Familiar

An animal that a which has a spiritual bond with (and vice versa) This can be a real animal such as the family pet, or a mythological or made-up creature which protects on the astral.

Guardians

In ceremonial Traditions "Guardians of the Watchtowers/Four Quarters" are used in rituals. Some witches from other Trads may use them too. There are four of them used in each the four cardinal directions in the circle. They are called upon to watch over the ritual and to protect the witch(es) from negative astral beings/forces.

Handfasting

A Wiccan or Pagan marriage ceremony.


Initiation

Not to be confused with dedication. Initiation usually comes after the year and a day time of study. This is really only used within covens; at the initiation they are a standing part of the coven. You can use it if you are a solitary, if you need to feel that you are actually part of a specific tradition.

Invocation

To bring something in from without.

Karma

One's thoughts and deeds will count against or for them, either in this lifetime or along the spiritual path of many lifetimes. This is why we have the Rule of Three: whatever you do will come back to you threefold (if you do something good you will be "rewarded" by good things, if you do something bad you will be "punished" by bad things happening)

Left-hand Path

The people who follow this path don't care about hurting others, don't care about the rule of three, don't care about karma, etc. They do what ever it takes (mostly using magick against people) to get what they want. Bottom line: THIS IS NOT GOOD, THIS IS VERY BAD.

Magick

Focusing your will and emotions to change the world around you and within you. You change things in the astral/spiritual world and the changes manifest in the physical world. Magick is not good and it is not evil: it is the intent of the person using it that makes it good or evil.

Magick Circle

This is a circle created on the astral plane by the witch which protects her/him (or the coven) from outside forces during a ritual or spell working. Usually envisioned in blue or white, and created with the athame while walking deosil. You "cut a door" with the athame whenever you have to leave or enter the circle. Always close the circle after the ritual or spell working is over, you don't want to leave that energy hanging there. The circle is closed with the athame again by walking widdershins. Some people may have a physical circle made of rope, chalk, or tape in addition to the magickal one in order to keep their boundaries better while they are working.

Magickal Systems

Synonyms: traditions, denominations, sects, or pantheons. A basic set of guidelines refering to specific God(s)/Goddess(es) or cultural Traditions.

Neopagan

All the people just starting out in some nature based religion. Those who have absorbed the new ideas in paganism, still a part of the old ways but things have changed a bit.

Pagan

The follower of a nature based religion. A much more acceptable term rather than neopagan (which seems to be a direct result of the new age vocabulary).

Pantheon

A collection or group of Gods and Goddesses from a particular religious structure or mythology. There's Greek, Roman, Celtic, Egyptian and many, many more. You choose which pantheon you really like. In ritual and spells you would use the dieties in you pantheon to work with you. Note: They are not different Gods or Goddesses, they are just different names. As humans we name or label things to relate to them. If you can't work with just an unnamed force of nature in magick then the magick won't work too well. It has to be something you identify with.

Pentacle/Pentagram

A pentacle is a five-pointed star symbol that is sacred to Wiccans. A pentagram is an object on which a pentacle is drawn, carved, etc. Each point of the star has a specific meaning: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. An inverted pentagram is never worn by a witch. Although some second degree initiations may use it. That is the only exception.

Priestess

She is the female leader of a Wiccan coven or organization. If she is a solitary she has dedicated herself to a particualar Goddess. The Priestess plays the part of the Goddess in some ceremonies on Sabbats.

Priest

The same as the Priestess but only male. They are equals.

Quarters

We call the quarters in the beginning of a ritual while casting the circle to watch over and protect the ritual. This is also like the Guardians of the Watchtowers. The quarters are North, South, East, and West. They each have an element, color and many other things which co-relate.

Reincarnation

The basic belief that people live more than one life. You live, you die, your essence lives on and is born again in another body in the next life. There are many things that play into this, like karma. You try to perfect yourself over many lifetimes (balance your karma). You're either done with your incarnations after that, or you opt to comeback again as a teacher, prophet, or whatever.

Ritual

A focused ceremony done to either honor dieties or to perform a specific magickal working.

Runes

Runes have the same basic function as the Tarot but they are different. Runes have their own specific pantheon: Norse, Scandinavian, or Germanic. They are used in divination like the Tarot. They can also be used in vision questing, and can function as a magickal alphabet in rituals, spells, or your magickal writings.

Scrying

This is a divination method in which you would use either a bowl of water, a mirror, a crystal ball, etc. The diviner would see either visual pictures right on the ball, or water; mental visual pictures; or no pictures at all, he/she would just get information.

Sigil

A symbol or seal with a magical purpose which you make yourself. (At least the most powerful ones are those which you make yourself.)

Skyclad

In some traditions or by choice, magickal working is done in the nude. It is being in the natural state which we were born into. It is being more connected with the natural energies and letting them flow more. If being skyclad is not used in the Tradition or not desired by the solitary robes or clothes which do not constrict or hinder movement are advised.

Spell

The first question to ask yourself before you even plan out a spell is "do you NEED this?" The final result will not come about if it is not needed. You used extended emotional and mental energy in an organized mini ritual. The energy is physically manifested by spoken word (to yourself or aloud), written, drawn or danced. It must be clear, concise, focused, and emotional. Be careful what you say and how you say it. If you wanted a spell to pay bills, you wouldn't want it to end up by getting inheritance for a dead family member. Be careful.

Spiral

The spiral is a symbol of "coming into being." The spiral dance celebrates this powerful symbolism.

Talisman

A magickally charged object that is meant to bring something to the bearer. It would be worn to bring good luck, money, love, etc.

Tarot

The Tarot is one of the most popular divinatory tools. There are 78 cards total. The Major Arcana consists of 22 numbered cards (0-21). These cards are meant to represent the path through life. Most people don't go through the entire path in one lifetime. This all depends on whether you believe in reincarnation. There are 56 Minor Arcana cards. These represent more minor situations in life.

Tarologist

One who is adept at handling the Tarot.


Vision Questing

Using astral projection, bi-location, and related things to accomplish a specific goal: such as when your searching for a magickal name for yourself or when you would like to find you familiar.

Webweaving

Networking with like minded people. Writing, computer, going to or hosting events. Helping others learn and learning things yourself.

Wheel of the Year

One full cycle of the seasonal year. The New Year is a Samhain (better known a Halloween).

Widdershins

A counter clockwise direction. You would walk Widdershins to close a circle for example.

Working

The process of using magick to reach a desired and positive goal