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Up What is Wicca? Becoming a Witch Everyday Wicca The Deities The Pentagram The Sabbats BoS Tools of the Craft Traditions Magick Life After Death Glossary


bulletAkasha: The Fifth Element, the omnipresent spiritual power that permeates the universe.  It is the energy out of which the Elements are formed.
bulletAmulet: A magickally charged object which deflects specific, usually negative energies.  Generally, a protective object.
bulletAnkh: An Egyptian hieroglyphic that is widely used as a symbol of life, love, and reincarnation.  It is depicted as a cross with a looped top.  When worn or carried, the ankh brings good health, promotes fertility, and strengthens the psychic powers.
bulletAsperger: A bundle of fresh herbs or a perforated object used to sprinkle water during or proceeding ritual, for purificatory purposes.
bulletAthamé (ah-tha-may): A Wiccan ritual knife.  It usually has a double edged blade and a dark handle.  The athamé is used to direct personal power during ritual workings.


bulletBalefire: A fire lit for magickal purposes, usually outdoors.  Balefires are traditional at Yule, Beltaine, and Midsummer.
bulletBane: That which destroys life, which is poisonous, evil or dangerous.
bulletBeltaine: A Wiccan festival celebrated on April 30th or May 1st.  Beltaine is known as May Eve, Roodmas. Beltaine celebrates the symbolic union, mating or marriage of the Goddess and God, and links in with approaching summer months.
bulletBesom: Broom.
bulletBolline: The white-handled knife, used in magick and Wiccan ritual for practical purpose such as cutting herbs.
bulletBook of Shadows: A Wiccan book of rituals, spells and magickal lore. Once hand copied upon initiation, the BOS is now photocopied or typed in some covens.  No one "true" BOS exists; all are relevant to their respective users.


bulletCenser: A heat-proof container in which incense is smoldered.  An incense burner.  It symbolized the Element of Air.
bulletCharge, to: To infuse an object power. "Charging" is an act of Magick.
bulletConscious Mind: The analytical, materially-based, rational half of our consciousness.  The mind at work when we compute our taxes, theorize, or struggle with ideas.
bulletCoven: A group of Wiccans, usually initiatory and led by one or two leaders.
bulletCraft, the: Wicca, Witchcraft, Folk Magick, etc.


bulletDeosil: Clockwise, the direction of the Sun's apparent motion in the sky.
bulletDivination: The magickal art of discovering the unknown by interpreting random patterns or symbols through the use of tools such as clouds, tarot cards, flames, smoke, etc.  Divination contacts the psychic mind by tricking or drowsing the conscious mind through ritual and observation or of manipulation of tools.  Divination isn't necessary for those who can easily attain communication with the psychic mind, though they may practice it.
bulletDivine Power: The unmanifested, pure energy that exists within the Goddess and God.  The life force, the ultimate source of all things.


bulletEarth Power: That energy which exists within stones, herbs, flames, wind, and other natural objects.  It is manifested divine power and can be utilized during magick to create needed change.
bulletElements: The: Earth, Air, Fire and Water.  These four essences are the building blocks of the universe.  Everything that exists (or that has potential to exist) contains one or more of these energies.  The elements hum within ourselves and are also "at large" in the world.  They can be utilized to cause change through magick.  The four elements formed the primal essence of power - Akasha.
bulletEsbat: A Wiccan ritual, usually occurring on the Full Moon.
bulletEvocation: Calling up spirits or other non-physical entities, either to visible appearance or invisible attendance.


bulletGrimoire: A magickal workbook containing ritual information, formulae, magickal properties of natural objects and preparation of ritual equipment.


bulletHandfasting: A Wiccan, Pagan or Gypsy wedding.


bulletImbolc: A Wiccan festival celebrated on February 2nd.  Also on Candlemas, Feast of Pan and many other names.  Imbolc celebrates the first stirrings of spring and recovery of the Goddess from giving birth to the Sun (the God) at Yule.
bulletInitiation: A process whereby an individual is introduced or admitted into a group, interest, skill or religion.  Initiations may be ritual occasions but can also occur spontaneously.
bulletInvocation: An appeal or petition to a higher power (or powers), such as the Goddess and God.  A prayer.  Invocation is actually a method of establishing conscious ties with those aspects of the Goddess and God that dwell within us.  In essence, then, we seemingly cause them to appear or make themselves known by becoming aware of them.


bulletKahuna: a practitioner of the old Hawaiian philosophical, scientific and magickal system.


bulletLabrys: A double-headed axe which symbolizes the Goddess in ancient Crete, still used by some Wiccans for this same purpose.  The labrys may be placed on or leaned against the left side of the altar.
bulletLughnassadh: A Wiccan festival celebrated on August 1st.  Also known as August Eve, Lammas.  Lughnassadh marks the first harvest, when the fruits of the Earth are cut and stored for the dark winter months, when the God also mysteriously weakens as the days grow shorter.


bulletMabon: On or around September 21st, the autumn equinox, Wiccans celebrate the second harvest.  Nature is preparing for winter.  Mabon is a vestige of ancient harvest festivals which, in some form or another, were once nearly universal among the peoples of the Earth.
bulletMagick: The movement of natural energies to create needed change.  Energy exists within all things - ourselves, plants, stones, colors, sounds, movements.  Magick is the process of rousing or building up this energy, giving it purpose, and releasing it.  Magick is a natural, not supernatural, practice, though it is little understood.
bulletMagick Circle, the: A sphere constructed of personal power in which Wiccan rituals are usually enacted. The term refers to the circle that marks the sphere's penetration of the ground, for it extends both above and below.  It is created through visualization and magick.
bulletMeditation: Reflection, contemplation, turning inward toward the self or outward toward Deity or nature.  A quiet time in which the practitioner may dwell upon particular thoughts or symbols, or allow them to come unbidden.
bulletMegalith: A huge stone monument or structure.  Stonehenge is perhaps the best-known example of megalithic construction.
bulletMenhir: A standing stone probably lifted by early peoples for religious, spiritual or magickal reasons.
bulletMidsummer: The summer solstice, usually on or near June 21st, one of the Wiccan festivals and an excellent night for magick.  Midsummer marks the point of the year when the Sun is symbolically at the height of its powers, and so too the God.  The longest day of the year.
bulletMighty Ones, the: Being, deities, or presences often invoked during Wiccan ceremony to witness or guard the rituals.  The Mighty Ones are thought to be either spiritually evolved beings, once human, or spiritual entities created by or charged by the Goddess and God to protect the Earth and to watch over the four directions.  They are sometimes linked with the Elements.


bulletNeo-Pagan: Literally, new-Pagan.  A member, follower or sympathizer of one of the newly formed Pagan religious now spreading throughout the world.  All Wiccans are Pagan, but not all Pagans are Wiccan.


bulletOld Ones, the: A Wiccan term often used to encompass all aspects of the Goddess and God.  Some Wiccans view it as an alternative of the Mighty Ones.
bulletOstara: Occurring at the spring equinox, around March 21st, Ostara marks the beginning of true, astronomical spring, when snow and ice make way for green.  As such, it is a fire and fertility festival, celebrating the return of the Sun, and God and the fertility of the Earth (the Goddess).


bulletPagan: From the Latin paganus, country dweller.  Today used as a general term for followers of Wicca and other magickal, shamanic and polytheistic religions.  Naturally, Christians have their own peculiar definition of this word.  It can be interchanged with Neo-Pagan.
bulletPendulum: A divinatory device consisting of a string attached to a heavy object, such as a quartz crystal, root or ring.  The free end of the string is held in the hand, and the elbow steadied against a flat surface, and a question is asked.  The movement of the heavy object's swing determines the answer.  A rotation often indicates a "yes" or positive answer.  A back and forth swing signals the opposite (there are many methods of deciphering the pendulum's movement; use those that work best for you).  It is a tool which contacts the psychic mind.
bulletPentacle: A ritual object (usually a circular piece of wood, metal, clay, etc.) upon which a five-pointed star (Pentagram) is inscribed, painted or engraved. It represents the Element of Earth.  The words "pentagram" and "pentacle" are not interchangeable, though they understandably cause confusion.
bulletPersonal Power: That energy which sustains our bodies.  It ultimately originates from the Goddess and God (or, rather, the power behind Them).  We first absorb it from our biological mothers within the womb and, later, from food, water, the Moon and Sun and other natural objects.  We release personal power during stress, exercise, sex, conception and childbirth.  Magick is often a movement of personal power for a specific goal.
bulletPolarity: The concept of equal, opposite energies.  The Eastern yin/yang is a perfect example.  Yin is cold; yang is hot.  Other examples of polarity: Goddess/God, night/day, Moon/Sun, birth/death, psychic mind/conscious mind.  Universal balance.
bulletProjective Hand, the: The hand that is normally used from manual activities such as writing, peeling apples and dialing telephones is symbolically thought to be the point at which personal power is sent from the body.  In ritual, personal power is visualized as streaming out from the palm or fingers of the hand for various magickal goals.  This is also the hand in which tool such as the athamé and wand are held.  Ambidextrous persons simply choose which hand to utilize for this purpose.
bulletPsychic Mind: The subconscious or unconscious mind, in which we receive psychic impulses.  The psychic mind is at work when we sleep, dream and meditate.  It is our direct link with the Goddess and God and with the larger, non-physical world around up.  Other related terms: Divination is a ritual process which utilizes the Conscious Mind to contact the psychic mind.  Intuition is a term used to describe psychic information which unexpectedly reaches the conscious mind.
bulletPsychism: The act of being consciously psychic, in which the psychic mind and conscious mind are linked and working in harmony.  Ritual consciousness is a form of psychism.


bulletReceptive Hand: The left hand in right-handed persons, the reverse for left-handed persons.  This is the hand through which energy is received into the body.
bulletReincarnation: The doctrine of rebirth.  The process of repeated incarnations in human form to allow evolution of the sexless, ageless soul.
bulletRitual: Ceremony.  A specific form of movement, manipulation of objects or inner processes designed to produce desired effects.  In religion, ritual is geared toward union with the divine.  In magick it produces a specific state of consciousness which allows the magician to move energy toward needed goals.  A spell is a magickal ritual.
bulletRitual Consciousness: A specific, alternate state of awareness necessary to the successful practice of magick.  The magician achieves this through the use of visualization and ritual.  It denotes a state in which the conscious mind and psychic mind are attuned, in which the magician senses energies, gives them purpose and released them toward the magical goal.  It is a heightened of the senses, an awareness-expansion of the seemingly non-physical world, a linking with nature and with forces behind all conceptions of Deity.
bulletRune: Stick-like figures, some of which are remnants of the old Teutonic alphabets.  Others are pictographs.  These symbols are once again widely being used in magick and divination.


bulletSabbat: A Wiccan festival.  See Beltaine, Imbolc, Lughnassadh, Mabon, Midsummer, Ostara, Samhain and Yule for specific descriptions.
bulletSamhain: A Wiccan festival celebrated on October 31st.  Also known as November Eve, Hallowmas, Halloween, Feast of Souls.  Samhain marks the symbolic death of the Sun God and His passing into the "land of the young," where He awaits rebirth of the Mother Goddess at Yule.  This Celtic word is pronounced by Wiccans as: SOW-wen; SEW-wen; SAHM-hain; SAHM-ain; SAV-een and other ways.  The first seems to be the one preferred among most Wiccans.
bulletScry, to: to gaze at or into an object (a quartz crystal sphere, pool of water, reflection, a candle flame) to still the conscious mind and to contact the psychic mind.  This allows the scryer to become aware of possible events prior to their actual occurrence, as well as of previous or distant, simultaneous events through other than the normally accepted senses.  A form of divination.
bulletShaman: A man or woman who has obtained knowledge of the subtler dimensions of the Earth, usually through periods of alternate states of consciousness.  Various types of ritual allow the shaman to pierce the veil of the physical world and to experience the realm of energies.  This knowledge lends the shaman power to change her or his world through magick.
bulletShamanism: The practice of shamans, usually ritualistic or magickal in nature, sometimes religious.
bulletSimple Feast, the: A ritual meal shared with the Goddess and God.
bulletSpell: A magickal ritual, usually non-religious in nature and often accompanied by spoken words.
bulletSpirits of the Stones, the: The elemental energies naturally inherent at the four directions of the magick circle, personified within the standing stones tradition as the "Spirits of the Stones." They are linked with the Elements.


bulletTalisman: An object, such as an amethyst crystal, ritually charged with power to attract a specific force or energy to its bearer.
bulletTradition, Wiccan: An organized, structured, specific Wiccan subgroup, usually initiatory, with often unique ritual practices.  Many traditions have their own book of shadows and may or may not recognize members of other traditions as Wiccan.  Most traditions are composed of a number of covens as well as solitary practitioners.
bulletTrilithon: A stone arch made from two upright slabs with one lying atop these.  Trilithons are featured in Stonehenge as well as the circle visualizations found in the Standing Stones Book of Shadows by Scott Cunningham.


bulletVisualization: The process of forming mental images.  Magickal visualization consists of forming images of needed goals during ritual. Visualization is also used to direct personal power and natural energies during magick for various purposes, including charging and forming the magick circle.  It is a function of the conscious mind.


bulletWhite-Handled Knife, the: A normal cutting knife, with a sharp blade and white handle.  It is used within Wicca to cut herbs and fruits, to slice bread during the Simple Feast and for other functions.  Sometimes called the Bolline.
bulletWicca: A contemporary Pagan religion with spiritual roots in Shamanism and the earliest expression of reverence of nature.  Among its major motifs are: reverence for the Goddess and God; reincarnation; magick; ritual observances of the Full Moon, astronomical and agricultural phenomena; spheriod temples, created with personal power, in which rituals occur.
bulletWiddershins: Anti-clockwise motion, usually in the Northern Hemisphere for negative purposes or for dispersing negative energies or conditions such as disease.
bulletWitch: Anciently, a European practitioner of the remnants of pre-Christian folk magick, particularly that relating to herbs, healing, wells, rivers and stones.  One who practiced Witchcraft.  Later, this term's meaning was deliberately altered to denote demented, dangerous, supernatural beings who practiced destructive magick and threatened Christianity.  This change was a political, monetary and sexist move on the part of organized religion, not a change in the practices of Witches.  This later, erroneous meaning is still accepted by many non-Witches.  It is also, somewhat surprisingly, used by some members of Wicca to describe themselves.
bulletWitchcraft: The craft of the Witch-magick, especially magick utilizing personal power in conjunction with the energies within stones, herbs, colors and other natural objects.  While this may have spiritual overtones, Witchcraft, using this definition, isn't a religion.  However, some followers of Wicca use this word to denote their religion.


bulletYule: A Wiccan festival celebrated on or about December 21st, marking the rebirth of the Sun God from the Earth Goddess.  A time of joy and celebration during the miseries of winter.  Yule occurs on the Winter Solstice.

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