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Magical Dictionary


adept - It refers to the person who is considered highly proficient in a particular magical system after undergoing serious studies and accomplishments.

acolyte - Beginner or “novice” in many magical orders. Sometimes used to denote the lowest rank in the group.

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

Akashic records - The "recordings" left in the Akasha by every event. Advanced occultists develop the gift of retrieving past events by "reading the Akashic Records". Psychic Edgar Cayce brought the thought that the mind of the psychic or Witch can access a giant data base for information on subjects (past lives, healing, and other magical/spiritual practices) through Universal connections.

amulet - An object of protection that has been magically charged to repel or defect specific negative energies and thought forms.

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

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

arcana: The two halves of a Tarot deck. The Major Arcana are 22 cards depicting dominant occurrences or "trumps". The Minor Arcana is made up of 56 suit or "court" cards. (also called the Lesser Arcana.)

aspect - A form, facet, or persona of Deity.
example: Zeus, Cerunnos or Venus, Kali

aspergering - To sprinkle water mixed with salt for purification purposes.

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

astral travel - It is the process of separating your astral body from your physical one in order to travel freely in the astral plane.

athame - A ritual dagger with a double-edged blade, used by Witches to draw their magic circles and to store and direct energy during magical rituals.It is never used for drawing blood of any kind. It is never used for actual cutting of anything. The only traditional exception to this rule being a handfasting cake.

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

balefire - A fire lit outdoors for magical purposes. It is traditional on Yule, Beltane and Midsummer.

bane - It is another word for bad, evil, dangerous, destructive. Usually referred to magic workings that cause harm or even death.

banish - It is the act of magically ending something or exorcizing unwanted entities.

B.C.E. - Before Common Era. This is the non-religious equivalent to B.C.
C.E. - Common Era, which is the equivalent to A.D.

besom - A broom used by Witches for the ritual cleansing of an area. Contrary to popular belief it is not used for flying. Leaping over the besom is a custom borrowed from African-American cultures; after a handfasting, the newlywed couple jumps over a laid broom. This symbolizes the "leap of faith" the couple makes when venturing into this new lifestyle.

bind - It is the act of magically restrain something or someone.

black mass - A deliberate and obscene travesty of the Christian Mass for evil (black) 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 - An all purpose greeting, response and farewell among Witches. It reminds us that everything and everyone is sacred.

Blood of the Moon - Basically it refers to a woman's menstrual circle. If the woman's menstrual circle occurs over a New or Full Moon, she is more powerful than during other time of the month.

Bolline - Practical knife of witchcraft used for practical purposes such as cutting herbs and inscribing objects. Traditionally this is a white handled knife but brown (wood) is also accepted. It is normally only used within the circle.

Book of Shadows - a collection of pages that contains magical research, personal thoughts, and experiences.

Burning Times, The - The term refers to that period in history when people accused of Witchcraft were hunted and executed by burning or being hanged. No conclusive evidence supports that the majority of the victims were actual witches; and it is speculated that political uprisers and mainly ordinary people that the town discriminated (for being weird, trouble-making, etc) were sentenced to death. It is believed that actual burning only occurred in Scotland and the European continent. In other areas they were usually hanged. It is believed red-haired women were also burned/hanged because the color of their hair indicated to Christian that they had made a pact with the devil. The Christian church sought to destroy any religion they did not understand during this time. The term "devil worshipper" was not only stamped on Witches, but any other non-Christian religion which they did not understand.
 

call - It is the act of invoking divine forces.

cakes and ales - This is the ritual meal shared with the Goddess and God near the end of a religious ritual.

cauldron - A small or large black cast-iron pot used by Witches that symbolically combines the influences of the four elements. Represents the womb of the Goddess.

ceremonial magic - Involves the use of elaborate rituals, dramatic invocations of the spirit, and mystic sacraments. Usually a monothesitic path.

channeling - The spontaneous or induced act of communicating with or serving as a channel for spirits while in a trancelike state of consciousness.

charge, to - It is the act of magic in which you infuse an object, usually crystals, with your personal energy.

charms - They can be amulets or talismans charged by saying incantations over them to instill it with energy for a specific purpose or goal.

centering - It is the process of moving one's consciousness to one's spiritual center.

circle - A sphere created through Visualization and Magic by Personal Power, penetrating the ground both above and below it. It is in this area where the magical worship and spells takes place. It can also be used to designate a particular group of Witches or Pagans.

cleansing - It is the ritual act of removing any negative energy from an object or place by using positive, psychic energy.

Cone of power - Power or energy raised in the circle by the Witches assembled, and sent out into the world for a magical intent. It is usually visualized as being retained and built in the form of a "cone" prior to release. The cone would have its base at the circle of Witches and its apex above the center of the circle.

consecration - the act of making something sacred; the ritual use of water and salt to exorcise negative energies or evil influences from tools, circle, etc.

coven - It is a group of 13 or fewer Witches that meet and work together regulary in a ritualistic fashion for magical purposes or to perform ceremonies.
 

covenstead - It refers to the meeting place of the Witches. It can be a place or a building where the witch feels safe or at home.

cowan - archaic term for nyone who is not a Witch. Formerly used as a derogatory word; still used in Masonic societies indicate the non-initiate and/or pretender to "real craft".

craft, the - The nick for Wicca or Witchcraft. Inherited from Freemasonary.

Days of Power - It refers to Sabbats, days triggered by astrological occurrences, your birthday, Blood of the Moon, and your dedication/initiation anniversary.

dedication - The process in which the Witch accepts the Craft as their path and vows to study and learn all the necessary to reach adeptship in a given tradition. This can be for a year and a day before they are officially initiated into the tradition.

deosil - It is the clockwise movement. This movement is symbolic of life, positive energies, and good.
widdershins - refers to the counterclockwise movement used populary in the Southern Hemisphere. It is usually used for negative magic purposes or for dispersing negative energies in the Northern Hemisphere.

divination - It is the art of using magical tools and symbols to gather information from the Collective Unconscious on the nature of people, places, things, and events in the past, present, and future.

divine power - It is the pure energy that exists within the Goddess and God.

dowsing - The use of a pendulum or stick to find the actual location of a person, place, thing, or element.

drawing down the moon - in Wicca, Witchcraft, the ritual invocation of the Goddess spirit into the coven's High Priestess by the High Priest.

drawing down the sun - in Wicca, Witchcraft, the ritual invocation of the Horned God spirit into the coven's High Priest by the High Priestess.

dressing - Putting an oil on spell items such as candles as part of a ritual consecration in order to prepare the object to attract and direct the energy of a spell to accomplish a goal.

empowering - (See charge, to) enchantment - A magical object that must be kept absolutely secret and hidden from all human eyes and affects a hidden aura.

energy - It refers to the (yet immeasurable) total power that exists within all natural objects and beings (including the human body).

earthing - To send excess energy into the Earth. also known as Grounding.

esbat - The term of the traditional meeting of a coven on a new or full moon. For solitary witches these are celebrations of the new and full moon and a time to work magic. In some traditions or covens, any meeting of the coven which does not coincide with a Sabbat is considered an Esbat.

etheral plane - The level of energy existence between the physical and astral planes.

evocation - It is to call up or command spirits and other non-physical entities to appear either visible or invisible. Invocation is to appeal or petition to a higher power (such as the Goddess and God). also known as CALL.

fascination (mind-bending) - It is the mental effort to control an animal or another person's mind.

familiar - Usually a pet animal which accompanies a Witch or Coven. These pets are kept for the psychic support and early warning of negative energies. Though cats are favorites, dogs, owls or any other animal you can "connect" with may become a familiar. Elementals can even become familiars. Not every witch or coven has a familiar, and this does not lessen them to any degree. The decision to take on a familiar is a serious one and to be carefully considered. You may live with a cat or dog for years before taking them as a familiar.

goal - Synonym of intent

Golden Dawn - An occult Order founded in London in 1887 by three Rosicrucian's, which became a major influence in Western ritual magic.

handfasting - this is the Pagan or Wiccan equivalent of a marriage ceremony with one major difference. Instead of being "as long as you both shall live", it is "as long as you both have love for one another". Once a couple falls out of love, a Handparting ritual breaks that bond in the same manner as does a divorce.

Holly King - In the folklore of many parts of Europe, including the British Isles, the God of the Waning Year. At the Summer Solstice he "slays" his twin, the Oak King.

incantation - The ritual recitation of words of power or special phrases in order to produce a magical effect.

immanence - It is the belief that Deity exists within all things, including people, and cannot be separated from them.

initiation - An experience that transforms the individual in such way that his/hers concept of personal and wordly reality are altered.

intent - It is the goal of the magical work.

left-hand path - Those individuals who justify their use of magic for selfish purposes that usually result in actively causing deliberate harm or result in witholding something from someone because of greed, jealousy, or malice.

meditation - Another word for reflection, contemplation, turning inward toward the self or outward toward Deity.

magic - the unexplained phenomenon of energy interaction that creates a physical or physical- like event to happen or to be prevented. Some refer to it as "magick" so not be confused with feats of illusion that David Copperfield, and Siegfried and Roy are famous for.

necromancy - the evocation of spirits of the deceased.

Neo-pagan - Literally it means "new pagan."

Old Ones, the - A term used to encompass the Goddess and God in all their aspects.

pagan - The individual is a follower of a nature-based religion. Used to mean “country-dweller”, which equaled to modern American “redneck” or “hick”. Then-pagans were the butts of the April Fool schtick that originated long ago because they all weren't timely informed of the calendar change, and still thought April 1st was New Year's (which it was!).

pantheon - A collection or group of Gods and Goddesses in a particular religion or mythical structure.

pentacle - This is a five pointed star within a circle. One of the points is above the other four, representing the infinite spirit above. The other four points in the lower set and represents air, earth, fire and water.

pentagram - This is a five pointed star, but it has gained a negative meaning (or satanic) by religious discrimination from Christians. Worn as jewelry it can be worn with one point upwards or downwards (two points upwards). When worn with one point downwards it signifies a person is a second degree initiate (in some Pagan traditions).

personal power - That energy that sustains our bodies.

planes - The various levels of being and activity - Spiritual, Mental, Astral, Etheral and Physical.

polarity - The dual energies that is within everything in the universe. These energies that are antagonistic, yet complementary, are called yin and yang, shadow and light, sun and moon, etc. These energies co- exist in everything in equal amounts.

potion - An herbal tea or brew used in many magical or healing rituals.

Pow Wow (hexecraft) - A term used for the type of folk magic based on 400 year old Elite German Witchcraft and indigenous to the Dutch Country of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Dutch took this term from the original American Indian term "Powwow" (Pau Wau): a specific spiritual, healing ritual that the American Indians used in that area. However, the term had been used by many non-Indians to indicate the elaborate ceremony, that is currently referred to by many as Pow Wow.
When talking in magic terms, Pow-Wow refers to the magic tradition that is indigenous to Pennsylvania.

projective hand - The hand that is normally used for manual things (such as writing). receptive hand - is the opposite. That is, if you are right-handed, then your receptive hand will be your left.

rite - Another word for ritual.

ritual - Can be described as any repetitive act (ceremonial or not) to focus or enhance energy to a specific goal.

Sabbat - taken from the Hebrew word shabbAth. A specific celebration in the Wiccan/Pagan tradition. There are eight Sabbats in a year. Four occur on the Solstices of a year and are called the Greater Sabbats. The other four occur on the Equinoxes and are called the Lesser Sabbats.
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"Witches' Sabbath": During the Burning Times, Christian authorities proclaimed that Witches were trivializing and mocking the Christian's holy days like Easter and Christmas by dancing with the Devil, having orgies, and Black Masses on those days. This was to coincide with the propoganda that Witches were the enemies of the Christian Church by consorting with Satan, and thus painted them as having no respect for the Christian God or Jesus. This colorful image does not ring true for Pagans, including Witches/Wiccans, but is more of a term that describes Satanists.

scourge - A ritual whip symbolizing firmness; in balance with the Wand which symbolizes mercy. Most ritual scourges are quite harmless, for example made with silk thongs.

scrying - A method of divination by staring at something like a crystal ball or black mirror. Other popular objects for scrying are incense smoke, flames, and pools of water or ink.

simple feast - It is the ritual meal shared with the Goddess and God.

skyclad - literal meaning “dressed as the sky”. It is the act of celebrating or doing magical working in the nude. This is common in some traditions like Alexandrian and Gardnerian. Many solitaries prefer to work skyclad as well for they feel that clothes hinder their energies. However, I must warn you that this should not be misconstrued with sexual intentions.

spell - The collection of energy which is directed by word in prayer form to achieve a goal. This may include elaborate, ceremonial or simple ritual.

talisman - It is an object that has been magically charged to bring something to the bearer.

vision quest (pathworking) - It is the use of astral projection to accomplish a specific goal.

visualization - The process of forming mental images. A constructive form of daydreaming.

wand - A staff which is used to direct energy in rituals. Though traditionally made of wood, crystal and various metals are also used.

warding - A word used for the art of protection magic.

warlock -  A derogatory term for someone who has betrayed the craft. Contrary to popular belief it is not the term for a male witch.

watch towers - Originally from the Enochian branch of Ceremonial Magic, 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) color associated with them.

webweaving - Networking with other magical people through conversation, in writing, or by computer to gather information in order to mutually assist each other in their studies and life goals.

wheel of the year - A term used by Witches to mean one complete cycle of the seasonal year, usually starting with Samhain.

Wicca - In Old English meant "a male witch" and wicce "a female witch". The Old English for witchcraft was wicca-craeft. Probably taken from "wiccian" meaning "to bewitch".  "Wicca" has been used for a contemporary Pagan religion that practices folk magic which borrowed elements from the Golden Dawn and the Masons; this Pagan religion was, by all accounts, called Witchcraft before the 1970s (probably before it was recognized as a legitimate religion in the United States).
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Sometime after the 1970s, Wicca began to replace or be synonymous with "Witchcraft" by writers, beginning with Scott Cunningham and Vivianne Crowley; and "Wicca" began referring to the tradition of Witchcraft that was created by Gerald Gardner. Although, it was only during the last century has "Wicca" been used for a religion instead of a person, many people have taken it upon themselves to say that Wicca (the religion) has been around for 6,000 years. Or that the Wiccan Rede is used by all Witches. Obviously, some consistency needs to be set or else it will look like Wiccans and witches don't know who they are.

Wiccan - in Old English, used to be the plural form of Wicce and Wicca (see: Wicca). The meaning changed to one that practice the contemporary religion Wicca; plural: Wiccans.

Witch - probably taken from the Old English "wicca" which was pronounced "witcha". After the 1980s, gradual change has been made from "All Wiccans are Witches" to "Some Wiccans are Witches and some Witches are Wiccans". Now it refers to people who practice folk and sympathetic magic, but without any religious stipulation or dogma unless named Christian Witch or Wiccan Witch. (Some have decided that "witches" are not "Wiccans", while "Witches" are "Wiccans" -- the diffence in capitalization!).

Witchcraft - The art of using magic to achieve set goals in conjunction with natural energies and correspondences. Before the 1980s, this word referred, in many published books, to the "Old Religion" that involved folk magic (what is now called frequently Wicca).
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witchcraft - without the capital 'w', this refers to the art of using magic. There are many forms of witchcraft, and Wicca is said to be only one kind in the midst of many others.


 

Some information taken from: Silver RavenWolf's To Ride a Silver Broomstick and Scott Cunningham's Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner http://www.workingwitch.com/