GLOSSARY OF TERMS COMMONLY USED IN WICCA
From various sources
AKASHA - the 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. Sometimes it is simply referred to as Spirit.
AKASHIC RECORDS – These are actually located in the Astral Plane. They are the repository of all knowledge. Anyone can access these records. There are people who use the Akashic Records in their divination.
ALEXANDRIANS – a Tradition of Wicca started in England in the 1960’s by Alex Sanders who reportedly called himself “King” of his witches. This tradition is fairly similar to Gardnerian, with a little more emphasis upon Ceremonial Magic. There are numerous covens in both USA and Europe.
ARADIA - Daughter of the Goddess Diana, and a name for the Goddess used by Italian Witches or Strega, commonly used in many Wiccan traditions today.
ASPECTING – It is an advanced magical act 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 phenomenon occurs with the selection of a "Magical Name", or “Craft Name”.
ASPECTS - Forms, 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.
ATHAME - black handled, double edged dagger, usually not sharp. Principally used to cast and dissolve the circle, for cutting a door in the circle if you need to leave it during the ritual, for which purposes it is interchangeable with the magic sword. It is a tool of the "Element" of Fire in most traditions.
BELTANE - May Eve festival, though some celebrates it on May 1st in the Northern Hemisphere and on October 31st in the Southern Hemisphere. One of the Ancient Celtics "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" or run between two bonfires on Beltane night. It is also the traditional Sabbat where the rule of the "Wheel of the Year" is returned to the Goddess. This Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of Maiden to Mother.
BESOM – This is a tool used by most Wicca and many Witches to symbolically sweep away harmful energies from an area, usually the area to be used for the casting of a Circle. It is traditionally a round bottom broom. It is never used for the purpose of actual cleaning.
BLESSED BE – A phrase used by most Wicca in greeting another Witch or when they are parting company. It is used to impart a blessing upon the other person.
BOLINE - the working knife of a Witch; also called the White-Handled Knife. It is used to carve candles, and for fashioning the other tools as well as for cutting things during a spell. Some use their Boline to harvest their herbs and other plants for ritual and spell workings. Traditionally, it can only be used in a Circle; though many will use it when preparing their materials for their spells. Traditionally it is never used to draw blood or otherwise cut flesh of any kind.
BOOK OF SHADOWS - Traditionally handwritten book of rituals, recipes, training techniques, guidelines, and other materials deemed important to a Witch or a coven. Each tradition has its 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 can see your book of shadows. 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. Some solitaries will pass down their BoS to a loved one that has chosen to also follow the path of Wicca.
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. There are many that believe we are still in the Burning Times.
CANDLEMAS - Festival held on Feb. 1st in the Northern Hemisphere and on August 1st in the Southern Hemisphere. It is one of the 4 Celtic "Fire Festivals. It 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 season of when the lambs are born. Imbolc means “Ewe’s Milk”. 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.
CARDINAL POINTS - North, South, East, and West, marked in most Traditions by candles of green, red, yellow, and blue, respectively. The Circle is drawn to connect these four points.
CAULDRON – one of the tools of the Witch. It is a tool of the Goddess. It traditionally has 3 legs and made of cast iron. It is placed on the altar and its element is Water. It is sometimes used to burn things in.
CENSOR – a tool placed on the altar to burn incense in. Its element is Air.
CHALICE - one of the tools of the Witch. It is a tool of the Goddess. It is placed on the altar to represent the element of Water.
CHARGE – It is to instill a particular energy for a given purpose to an object.
CHARGE OF THE GODDESS - The Traditional words of the Goddess to her followers, or "hidden children"; normally spoken by the High Priestess at every coven Circle. The original version was written by Doreen Valiente.
CIRCLE - the area in which the magical worship and spells takes place; can also be used to designate a particular group of Witches or Pagans such as "Silver Acorn Circle". It is also used to describe the event of doing a ritual.
CONSENCRATE – This is to dedicate, in a magical way, an object or person to the Goddess and God.
CONE OF POWER - power raised in the circle by the Witches assembled, and sent out into the world to work magic, is usually visualized as being retained and built in the form of a "cone" prior to release.
COVEN - an organized group of Witches, 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 most Traditions. 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 – This is the 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. Not often used today among most Witches. Many have adopted the word Muggle, from the fictional books written by J. K. Rowling, in place of this word.
COYOTE ENERGY - trickster energies. Named for the Native American Trickster, Coyote, who tricks man into learning what he needs to learn. It applies to one who constantly jokes and clowns. Also applies to the concept of "Holy Fool" in many traditions.
CRAFT – this is a word sometimes used instead of the Old Religion. But in more modern times it refers to Wicca or sometimes to Witchcraft.
CRONE – This is the word for the third aspect of the Goddess. She is seen as being very elderly. She is considered the bringer of Death. Her energies are about endings, wisdom and compassion. She is traditionally associated with the Dark Moon and the period between Mabon and Yule. Within Witchcraft She is represented by the elderly Witches.
CROSS QUARTER DAYS - The modern name for the Celtic Fire Festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lammas.
DARK OF THE MOON – Also known simply as the Dark Moon. This is when the Moon is totally dark. Some believe that there should be no magic done at this time. However, this is a great time for meditation and contemplation of your darker side and the darker side of the Deities. This is the time of the Crone aspect of the Goddess.
DEOSIL – (pronounced “dosil”) it means clockwise, or sunwise. It is the Traditional direction for working "building" magic. However, in the Southern Hemisphere some choose to go deosil when taking down their circle or doing a banishing. This is because some believe that the energies there move in the opposite direction as they do in the Northern Hemisphere.
DIVINATION - magical method of exploration or inquiry into a situation or the general future via such methods as Tarot cards, rune stones, I-Ching, etc.
DRAWING DOWN THE MOON – This is the Ritual invocation of the spirit of the Goddess into the body of the High Priestess by the High Priest. This ritual can however be done by a solitary Witch.
DRAWING DOWN THE SUN – This is the Ritual invocation of the spirit of the God into the body of the High Priest by the High Priestess. This ritual can however be done by a solitary Witch.
DUOTHEISTIC – This is to believe in the One Goddess and One God. It is also a belief that all Deities are aspects of the One Goddess and One God.
DUMB FEAST – this is the feast that is held at Samhain. It is done in remembrance of the Ancestors. This feast is usually held in total silence. No one speaks till the meal has been eaten and all leaves the table. A place is set at the table for the Ancestors as well.
ECLECTIC – this is a practitioner who mixes many different paths and pantheons in their practice. They will worship different Deities from different pantheons instead of just one.
ELEMENTS - Earth, air, fire, and water, plus spirit, 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.
ELEMENTALS – These are the entities or sometimes called spirits that are representatives of the various Elements.
ENERGY – this is the force that is within all that has physical form. But it also exists outside of the physical as well. It cannot be created or destroyed. It is eternal. It is energy that is manipulated to a purpose when doing magic.
EQUINOX – This is in reference to the twice-yearly event where the day and night are of equal length. As it implies, day and night are equal. These events happen 6 months apart.
ESBAT - weekly or biweekly meeting of a coven. This is traditionally held either on the Full Moon or the New Moon. Rituals are usually performed at this time. Esbat is also used as the word to designate the Full Moon ritual.
ESOTARIC – a concept confined to be understandable by only an enlightened inner circle; sometimes not understood by many.
FAMILIARS - Either a Witch's pet animal which has been trained to be a magical helper, or an artificially created "elemental" which performs the same functions as the animal friend. Not all Witches have Familiars.
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." This is something that is only performed within a coven setting.
FULL MOON – This is when the Moon is fully lit by the Sun’s rays. You can see all of the Moon’s face that faces the Earth. Esbat rituals are done at this time. The Full Moon is considered to last 3 days, the day before, the day of and the day after. It is a good time for almost any type of magic. This is the time of the Mother aspect of the Goddess.
GARDNERIANS - Tradition of Witchcraft descended from the teachings of Gerald Gardner.
GNOMES - an "entity" or "elemental" that dwells in the plane of Earth or is associated with the EARTH Element.
GREAT RITE – This is 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, as the participants wish.
HALLOWS - name used by some traditions for Samhain, or Halloween
HANDFASTING – This is the Wicca equivalent of a wedding. It can be made legal if the Priestess and/or Priest are registered as clergy and have a license with the local authorities, or it may only be considered binding within the coven or Wicca community.
HARM NONE - This is the phrase and belief used by most Wicca to indicate that all of their magic or deeds should not harm anyone, including themselves. Some Wicca takes this phrase to the point of not eating any meat or meat products at all.
HIGH PRIEST - Technically speaking, a Witch who has received the 3rd degree initiation. He is the male co-leader of a coven.
HIGH PRIESTESS – Technically speaking, a Witch who has received the 3rd degree initiation. She is the female leader of a coven. The High Priestess is over the High Priest and has the final word.
INCANTATION – This is another word for the vocalization of a spell. It is the words spoken or thought.
IMBOLC – This is the Celtic name for Candlemas.
INCARNATION – this word is used to mean the existence one achieves when one is born to the Earthly plane. Also see Reincarnation.
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 is considered an Invocation.
LAMMAS – Held on August 1st in the Northern Hemisphere and on February 1st in the Southern Hemisphere. The Old Celtic name for this festival is Lughnasadh, named after the God Lugh. 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. (Also see Lughnasadh)
LITHA – this is the Summer Solstice Sabbat. Held between June 20th – 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere or between December 20th – 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the second of the Summer Festivals. It is the longest day of the year and the shortest night; a good time for rededication to the Goddess and God. Earth’s powers are at its peak.
LUGHNASADH – This is the old Celtic name for Lammas; named after the God Lugh.
MABON – This is also known as the Fall Equinox. It is held between September 20th – 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere or between March 20th – 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the second of the Harvest Festivals. Night and Day are in balance. The name Mabon is not ancient.
MAGIC – It is the manipulation of energies for a wanted and/or needed change.
MAIDEN - An appointment held by one of the young 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 Goddess. She is described as being young and virginal (though she doesn’t have to actually be a virgin). She is traditionally associated with the Waxing Moon, and the period from Imbolc to Beltane where the energies are those of initiating, beginning, and creation.
MONOTHEISTIC – this is the belief in a single Deity. Christianity, Islam and Hebrew religions are Monotheistic.
MOON WATER – this is water, usually spring or rain water that has been set out in the Full Moon light overnight. It is good to be used in Full Moon rituals and spells associated with the Full Moon. It can be drunk safely if you have not put anything in it that might be harmful.
MOTHER – This is the word associated with the second aspect of the Goddess. She is seen as mature and sometimes pregnant. Her energies are about fertility, abundance and growth. She is traditionally associated with the Full Moon and the period between Beltane and Lughnasadh. The High Priestess within the coven is generally represented by a woman who is of mature age. Thus, a Witch who is of mature age is considered to be of the Mother phase of life (though she doesn’t have to actually be a mother).
NEW MOON – This is when only a sliver of the Moon is visible. It occurs a few days after the Dark Moon. This is a good time for spells that promote new beginnings. This is the time of the Maiden aspect of the Goddess.
OFFERING – This is usually food left out for the Deities, usually outside. It can be as complex as a full meal or simply a snack and drink. The drink is traditionally poured onto the ground and the food is left either on the ground or on a plate. However, you can also give an offering to other nature entities like the tree you cut the stick off of for your wand. In this case the offering could be anything like a crystal or birdseed etc.
OLD RELIGION – This is another name for the Craft and in reference to the old Pagan religions.
ORACLE CARDS – This is a fairly new type of divination. Oracle cards are generally used to give advice and insight to a particular situation. There is usually a picture on the card, sometimes an abstract picture, and a word or two to indicate what the card represents. (Also see Tarot).
OSTARA – This is also known as the Spring Equinox. It is held between March 20th – 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere or between September 20th – 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the second of the Spring Festivals. Night and Day are in balance again. This is a festival of fertility and a time of sowing of things you wish to grow.
PAGAN – a person who follows pre-Christian European/Middle Eastern Gods or practices.
PAGANING - Presentation of an infant to the Circle and to the Gods.
PAGANISM – is the classification of religions that have pre-Christian European/Middle Eastern Gods or practices.
PANTHEON – This is a word that refers to the group of Deities of a single cultural practice. As in: the Celtic Pantheon, Norse Pantheon or Egyptian Pantheon, etc.
PENDULUM – A tool of divination. It can be anything where a weighted object is suspended on a string or chain, usually about 4 to 6 inches long. It can be an object that is dedicated to being a pendulum or even a necklace with pendent on it.
PENTACLE - a disc shaped talisman; in particular, sometimes made of metal though it can be made of any substance. Traditionally it is a pentagram with a circle around it. This tool comes from ceremonial magical practices. This disc represents the Earth element among the witch's working tools.
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.
POLYTHEISTIC – This is the belief in more than one Deity. All Pagan religions are polytheistic.
POPPET – This is usually a man shaped doll that is used in spell works. It can be made of many different materials. It is consecrated to represent a single person that you wish to aim your spell at. This can be used for healing or protection spells etc.
PRAYER – This is viewed by many as being a religious communication with the Deities. A prayer may be for the purpose of giving thanks or to ask a favor or grant a wish. Thus, many believe that a prayer can also be a spell.
PROJECTIVE HAND – This is your dominate hand. In other words, if you are right handed then that right hand is your projective hand. Conversely, if you are left handed then your left hand is your projective hand. If by chance you are ambidextrous then your right hand is considered the projective hand.
PROSELYTIZE – this is where a person or group of persons actively works to try to convert you to their way of thinking. Usually the word is used in context with religions. Wicca specifically does not proselytize.
QUARTERS – These are the North, East, South, and West parts of a magical circle or other ritual area. (See also "Watchtowers")
RECEPTIVE HAND – This is not your dominate hand. In other words, if you are right handed then it would be your left hand. Conversely, if you are left handed then it would be your right hand. If you are ambidextrous then it would be your left hand.
REDE – “to advise” or “give council”. It does not mean rule or law. The Wiccan Rede is considered by some to be the center ethical statement of the Wiccan path. Simply put it states “an it harms none, do what ye will”. There are a couple of versions of the Wiccan Rede but most know the version written by Lady Gwen Thompson.
REINCARNATION – This is the belief that we are born to the Earthly plane more than once; that our spirits are eternal. (Also see Summerland).
RITE – this is a ceremony or action that is done only once and can include a magical act.
RITUAL – The ceremony of the worship of the Goddess and God. A ritual is also an act that is repeated many times. A ritual can also include a magical act as well.
RUNES – Traditionally, Runes are simply markings with meaning, sometimes taking the form of letters. Nowadays, it can also be a form of divination that involves small disks or sticks, made of just about any substance, with a different marking on each disk or stick. Usually the markings are of the Nordic FUThARK though there are others. Each Rune has a different meaning and thus the situation or future is divined by the choosing of the disks or sticks. There are also the Witch Runes, which are separate from the Nordic FUThARK. Check here for more information on Norse FUThARK
SABBAT - one of the eight festivals or high holy days of Wicca. The date differs as to when each Sabbat is celebrated between the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere as the seasons are opposite to each other. The Sabbats are based and named for the high holy days that were, and sometimes still are, celebrated in Britain and thus reflects also the seasons there. This is why many in the Southern Hemisphere celebrates the different Sabbats 6 months later.
SALAMANDER - an “entity” or “elemental” that dwells in the realm of Fire or is associated with the Element of Fire.
SAMHAIN – (pronounced “sow-in”) the festival of remembrance for the dead held on October 31st in the Northern Hemisphere and on either May 1st in the Southern Hemisphere. 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.
SEAX – The tradition started by Raymond Buckland in 1973. Unlike other Traditions it allows for Solitary practice and also allows that the Witch doesn’t have to be initiated into the Tradition.
SIMPLE FEAST – this is also called Cakes and Ale. This is the ritual meal that is held after the end of the ritual. It is usually just a small snack but does include something to eat and drink. The drink is traditionally wine but it can be anything that you wish to drink. The snack is traditionally a cookie but can be anything you have on hand.
SKYCLAD – this is another word for naked. Many covens and even solitaires practice their rituals and magic while skyclad. This, however, is not a necessary practice of Wicca.
SOLITARY – This is a person who practices by themselves. They are not a member of a coven.
SOLSTICE – this is the event when either day or night is supreme in length. Thus, you have the longest day and in turn the longest night 6 months later.
SPELL - a prayer or mental direction of magical energies toward the accomplishment of some goal.
SUMMERLAND – this is the place that most Wicca believes that our spirit goes to after we have given up this Earthly plane of existence. From this place we plan our next incarnation or life on Earth.
SUMMONER - The male officer of the coven who corresponds to the Maiden. He is the assistant High Priest.
SUN WATER – this made by placing either spring or rain water in the light of the sun for a full day. This water is safe to drink if you have not put something in it that can hurt you.
SYLPH - an "entity" or "elemental" that dwells in the plane of Air or is associated with the AIR Element.
TAROT – This is a form of divination that is quite popular. They are made up of cards with pictures on them. There is usually also a word or two on the card that labels the card. Traditionally the cards are laid out in some kind of order predetermined by the Witch that will give answers to questions or tell the past, present and future. (Also see Oracle Cards).
THREE-FOLD LAW – first you thought of it…then you prepared to do it…then you did it. That is the 3 levels of your magic and thus the reason you will receive 3 times the return of the magic or deed that you put out. This is primarily a Wicca belief.
TOOLS – These are the objects that you use to perform your magic or rituals. These objects have energies within them and they will assist you in your work. You can make many of your tools yourself. Fancy tools are not better than plain ones; but you don’t absolutely need tools to perform magic or rituals.
TRADITIONS - any of the various "sects" of Wicca such as Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Seax, etc.
UNDINE - an "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 magical or psychic purposes, usually to project some form of power or energy.
WANING MOON – This is the Moon phase between the Full Moon and the Dark Moon when the Moon is diminishing in visibility. Magically it is a good time to do spells of getting rid of something like a banishing.
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. Its origin is Scottish. Because of the negative connotations, it is not used by most Wicca today. A Warlock can be either male or female.
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 has a correspondence between the compass point, an element, and (varying amongst different traditions) color associated with them.
WAXING MOON – This is the Moon phase between the Dark Moon and Full Moon when the Moon is growing in visibility. This is a good time to do magic where you would gain something like to gain money or health.
WHEEL OF THE YEAR – this is the term used to describe the 8 Sabbats of the year; Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh, Mabon and Samhain.
WHITE HANDLED KNIFE - the working knife of a Witch; also called the Boline. It is used to carve candles, and for fashioning the other tools as well as for cutting things during a spell. Traditionally, it can only be used in a Circle. It is never used to draw blood or otherwise cut flesh of any kind.
WICCA - the name of the new pagan religion that is sometimes called the Craft. It was first founded by Gerald Gardner and became openly known to the public in 1954 when the Witchcraft laws in England were repealed. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon word Wicce, meaning to bend or to shape. All Wicca are witches but not all witches are Wicca. Wicca is considered a Pagan religion as it promotes the worship of more than one Deity. However, most Pagans are not Wicca.
WICCENING – This is the same as Paganing. It is the presentation of an infant to the Circle and/or to the Gods.
WIDDERSHINS - counter clock wise. Used for "tearing down" or banishing magic. Sometimes used in the Southern Hemisphere when casting the circle because some believe that the energies there flows in the opposite direction.
WITCH – this is a person who does magic. They may or may not also follow a religion. The Wicca are Witches but not all Witches are Wicca, most are not. Witch is the word used for both male and female Witches.
WITCHCRAFT – This is the practice of magic. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with religion.
YULE – This is the Winter Solstice. Held between December 20th – 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere or between June 20th – 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere. It is the time of the longest night and the shortest day. It is a time of renewal and rebirth. The God is born again at this time from the Goddess.
Paranormal Psychic Forums
Psychic paranormal community Forums for like minded individuals who wish to connect, chat and share.
A different way of life! A different spiritual journey!
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests