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DICTIONARY OF TERMS

DICTIONARY OF TERMS


Akashic Records

The astral record of everything that has ever been done.
amulet
Something that is worn for protection, usually jewelry.

Ankh

Ancient Egyptian symbol of life. It looks like a cross with a loop at
the top.
astral projection, AP
An altered state, often achieved via trance, in which the
consciousness is freed from the physical body.

Athame

Ceremonial knife used in magic and rituals. In Classical Wicca an
Athame is only used ritually
and must have a black handle.
aura
The bio-energy field of a living creature.
banishing
A magical working performed to remove evil, threats, darkness,
negativity or
people embodying those qualities.

Book of Shadows

A witch's handwritten book of spells, rituals and magical information.
botanica
A Santerian shop that sells herbs, charms, candles, religious
statues, etc.
bruja/brujo
Spanish for witch. (j is pronounced like h)
the Burning Times
The historical period in Europe when Christians persecuted and
tortured witches and alleged witches.
Thousands were put to death, usually by hanging or burning at the
stake.

Chakra

Any one of the seven energy nodes of the human body.
chalice
A ceremonial goblet that represents the element of Water.
charm
A magical object, action, or incantation that effects magic, averts
evil or danger.

Circle

A group, less formal than a coven, of witches who practice, worship,
celebrate or study together.
clairvoyance
The psychic ability to know things beyond your immediate knowledge.
coming out of the broom closet
Living openly as a witch.
consecration
A ceremony that dedicates a thing or place for sacred use.
corn spirit
The spirit of a grain crop, embodied in an entity, person or animal.
coven
An organized group of witches who practice, worship and/or celebrate
together.
Covens traditionally consist of no more then 13 members, are lead by
a High Priestess with High Priest.

Covenstead - A place where a coven of witches usually meets, often
the home of the High Priest/ess.
the Craft - Witchcraft.

Croning

A ceremony held to mark a woman's transition from Mother to Crone,
the final phase of a woman's life.
crystallomancy
Divination by crystals, usually a crystal ball.
dedicant
A new witch in the period of study and apprenticeship before
initiation.
The traditional period for this is a year and a day.
deosil - Clockwise.
divination
Any practice that reveals the future or unknown things.
Tarot cards, runes and crystal balls are all means of divination.
eclectic
A witch who works with deities from or worships within more than one
culture or mythological system.


Elder

1. A witch who has attained a position of respect in the Craft.
2. A coven member who has attained an advanced degree of initiation.

Esbat

1. Coven meetings held at the full moon.
2. A Lesser Sabbat, celebrating Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice,
Autumn Equinox or Winter Solstice.
evocation - Calling upon spirits, elementals or other entities.
faery - Alternative spelling for fairy, to distinguish it as a belief
system.
familiar
An animal, usually a cat, with whom a witch establishes a special
psychic/magical relationship.
Familiars offer help, companionship, protection, and usually
unconditional love as well.

Five-fold Bond - A ritual tie that links wrists, neck and ankles.

Fivefold Kiss - A ritual greeting of eight kisses between witches of
opposite genders in Classical Wicca,
on the feet, knees, pelvis, breast and lips.

flying ointment - A paste, usually containing herbs, that is applied
to the skin to aid in astral projection.

folk magic - A cultures traditional magical practices.

Gardnerian

1. Of or relating to Gerald Gardner, who is credited with reviving
Wicca in modern times.
2. Any formal Wiccan tradition that follows Gerald Gardnerís system.
grimoire - Book of Shadows, a handwritten book of spells and magical
information.
granny woman - A female shaman, usually of the Appalachian Mountain
region of the U.S.

hex

1. n. A spell, usually negative; the evil eye; a curse.
2. v. To cast such a spell.
hedgewitch - A walker-between-worlds, a non-Wiccan witch with a
shamanistic path.

Hidden Children

Witches, who must often keep their religion secret, are the hidden
children of the Goddess.

High Priest/ess - A witch who has attained a traditions highest
degrees of initiation and leads a coven.

hoodoo - African-American folk magic tradition.

HP/HPS - High Priest/High Priestess.

I Ching; The Book of Changes

Chinese system of divination that uses yarrow stalks or coins
inscribed with hexagrams.
incubus (pl. incubi)
A malevolent male entity that takes sexual possession of sleeping
women.

invocation - Calling upon a god/dess, such as for help or to empower
a spell.

juju - West African word for Magick.

Karma

That which accrues and is carried over from one lifetime to the next
one.
Karma can be positive or negative, according to what sort of lives
you have lead.

kitchen witch - A witch who mainly uses practical magic centering on
the home, hearth and family.

Kundalini

Dormant bio-energy resident in the base of the human spine, in the
root Chakra.
Kundalini energy is released through yoga and other practices for
enlightenment, intelligence and spiritual insights.

Libation

A liquid offering to a god/dess, such as wine or milk.
Libations are usually poured out upon the earth, but may be poured
into a fire or offered in another way.

mage, magus (pl. magi)

1. Someone who is adept at magic but not a witch.
2. In some Wiccan traditions, a male witch who has attained more than
the first level of initiation.

Magick

1. Ceremonial or ritual magic; high Magick.
2. A spelling for magic used by some witches and other practitioners
to distinguish it from the illusions
and prestidigitation of stage magicians.

Maiden

1. The stage of a woman's life between menarche and motherhood or
mentoring.
2. The assistant High Priestess in a traditional coven.
medicine bag - A Native American shaman's pouch, usually containing
herbs, stones, feathers, etc.

medium - A person who is able to channel spirits or other entities.

mojo - An African-American word for magic.

mojo bag

A small bag, containing charms or talismans, that is worn around the
neck for power, protection, etc.

necromancy - Divination via the spirits of the dead.

novice - Someone who has just begun studying the Craft.

OBE - Out-of-body experience; astral projection; lucid dreaming.

Ogham - Any ancient Celtic magical alphabet.

Old Soul - A person who has been reincarnated several times.

omen - Anything which may be interpreted as a sign, positive or
negative, from the Universe.

Oracle

A place or method for divination by means of deities, as interpreted
by a priest/ess.
Methods include the flight of birds, the sound of splashing water or
rustling leaves.
The most famous oracle of the ancient world was that of Apollo at
Delphi.

orisha - Any deity in the Santerian religion.

Ouija board

A board printed with letters and simple words that is used for
communicating with spirits.
It is operated by two or more people touching a paten that moves
around the board pointing to letters or words.
pentacle
1. A 5-pointed star inside a circle.
2. One of the suits of a Tarot deck.

Pentagram

1. A pentacle that is written, printed or drawn.
2. A 5-pointed star inside a circle.

postulant; neophyte

A new member of a coven, someone who has not yet been initiated.

praña - The Hindu word for bio-energy, the vital force shared by
every living creature.

poppet - A humanoid figure that is used to represent someone for a
spell or other magical working.

Psychometry - Drawing psychic impressions from objects while handling
them.

psychopomp - A god/dess who guides souls to the Underworld or
afterlife.

reincarnation - Transmigration of the soul; metempsychosis; rebirth
in another body after death.

Runes

1. The ancient Nordic alphabet, marked on stones or sticks and used
for divination.
2. Magical chants or songs.
3. Any magical alphabet; the stones, cards or sticks on which it is
printed.

Sabbats - The eight annual Wiccan festivals.

Sands of Time

Sand taken from between the paws of the Great Sphinx in Egypt, used
to make spells and charms permanent.

Santeria

An Afro-Caribbean earth religion that joins Yoruban god/desses with
Catholic saints.

Scrying

Divination by means of gazing, such as into water, a dark mirror, a
crystal ball or a bowl of black ink.

Séance

A gathering of people, usually seated around a table, for the purpose
of communicating with spirits.

Shaman

A priest and medicine man, usually of Native American or Siberian
peoples.
Shamanic practice includes magic, healing, shapeshifting,
communication with ancestral spirits and divination.
shamanka, shamaness
Words sometimes used for female shamans.
shapeshifting/skinwalking
The Shamanic practice, often aided by drugs, drumming and/or dance,
of mentally assuming animal form.
sheikh/sheikha
Modern Egyptian Arabic words for magical adepts.

sigil - An occult or mystical sign, a paper talisman.

skyclad - Ritual nudity. Some Wiccan traditions insist on skyclad
worship.

solitary; solitaire - A witch who practices alone, without a coven.
sorcerer/sorceress

1. (traditional) A person who practices black magic, usually by aid
of malevolent spirits.
2. (modern) Term used by some magic-users to differentiate themselves
from witches.

succubus (pl. succubi)

A malevolent female entity that takes sexual possession of sleeping
men.

Strega; Stregheria - An Italian magical tradition.

Summerlands - The place where we rest after death, between
incarnations.

synchronicity - A meaningful coincidence.

Talisman

A magical object, usually one made or carved at an astrological
moment suitable to its purpose.

Tantra

A Hindu path based on Kundalini yoga and sex magic as ways to
enlightenment.

the Tarot - An ancient system of cards used for divination.

Telekinesis

The ability to move objects with your mind (also called
psychokinesis, PK).
Telekinesis is a very rare gift that usually manifests accidentally
when a person is angry or upset.
It is most often seen in adolescents and fades with age.

third eye - The Chakra in the middle of the forehead.

totem animal - An animal which represents a person, tribe or other
group.

voodoo; Voudoun; Voodoo

Afro-Caribbean faith with both right- and left-hand paths.
Like witches they worship various god/desses , use Magick as part of
their religion, and
are the subject of superstitions and misinformation.

warlock - An old term for a male witch that no one uses any more.
Warlocks were men who pretended to be witches in order to penetrate
covens and betray
witches during the Burning Terms.

Wheel of the Year - The annual cycle of the sun, the moon, the
seasons and the zodiac.

white witch - A witch on a right-hand path.

widdershins - Counter-clockwise

witch doctor - African shaman.

witches ball; witch ball

1. A mass of dried entwined herbs blown about by the wind; any small
tumbleweed.
2. A glass ball with a mottled surface that is hung in a window to
thwart witches and trap their spells.
3. A fancy dress party attended by witches.

Witch's bottle

A sealed bottle placed in the house or buried on the property for
protection.
There are many ways to make a witch's bottle. Some witches use the
detritus of the year:
broken pottery, rusted nails, junk mail, etc. Witches sometimes add
something personal like
their hair, nail clippings, urine, a bloody bandage or tampon. This
sort of bottle is always buried,
usually at Samhain (for the new year).
Another type is a bottle filled with salt and sugar, and/or herbs for
blessings like protection,
happiness, prosperity, and charms to avert specific threats.
This type of bottle is secreted somewhere in the home.

Witch's ladder

1. A type of knot magic in which charms are knotted or braided with
specific magical intention
into cords, making a powerful talisman.
2. A cord with 40 knots in it or a string of 40 beads, used as a
meditation device or aid to concentration.

Witch Queen - A High Priestess whose coven has hived off two or more
new covens.

wizard - Someone who practices magic but is not a witch.

Wort; wortcraft

Herb; herbalism.

yin/yang

The opposite but balancing male and female principles.
Yin is female (Moon) energy, negative and passive.
Yang is male (Sun) energy, positive and active.
Yoni - The female genitalia as a sacred symbol of life, creation,
fertility, sexuality, the Goddess, etc.




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