Terminology - a basic list of words and their meanings

Air - the element corresponding to the East, the color light blue, mind, intellect, and imagination.

Altar - flat surface holding ritual tools and symbols. In many traditions, it is placed in the East; others prefer it in the North or Center.

Amulet - a natural object worn or carried for it's protective powers.

Athame - a black handled, double-edged knife like tool used by Witches to channel energy, but never to cut anything. It can be marked with the owners name and/or other symbols.

Aura - the energy field of the human body, especially the radiant portion visible to the 'third eye' or psychic vision. The aura can reveal information about a person's health and/or emotional state.

Bell - in some traditions, a bell is rung to 'alert the quarters' prior to invoking the element powers.

Blessed Be - an all-purpose greeting, response and farewell amongst Witches. It's a reminder that everything and everyone is sacred.

Book of Shadows - a personal journal in which a Witch keeps his/her notes on ritual and magick, perhaps records of dreams, herbal recipes, class notes, etc. It also contains the guidelines, beliefs and common rituals of a coven or tradition.

Burning Times - this is the period of European history roughly between 1200 and 1700 C.E., during which time the Church of Rome launched the Inquisition (an organized campaign of extermination against Jews, heretics, Pagans and homosexuals.

Candles - used to light the altar. Sometimes used to mark the four quarters, can also be used for spell working. Can be anointed with oils and marked with rune symbols.

Casting Stones - small stones cast upon the ground, or a special board or cloth. The stones can be marked with runes or their color may indicate their meaning.

Casting the Circle - the psychic creation of a sphere or energy around the area in which a ritual is to be performed, both to concentrate and focus the power raised and to keep out unwanted influences and/or distractions.

Cauldron - represents the womb of the Goddess. Modern witches use the cauldron either as a symbol or to cook in for sabbat feast or to burn things in as part of a spell.

Centering - process of moving one's consciousness to one spiritual center, leading to a feeling of great peace, calmness, strength, clarity and stability.

Chakras - nexi or focal points of the human energy field. There are seven major chakras in line from the top of the head to the base of the spine, as well as many smaller ones.

Chalice - a type of cup that usually holds wine that is shared around the circle. It is a symbol of both Water and the womb.

Charge of the Goddess - a witches liturgical writing in which the Goddess addresses Her followers.

Circle - a term for a coven or other magickal group. Also means 'to gather for ritual.'

Coven - group of Witches who gather regularly to celebrate their faith and work magick.

Divination - the art and practice of foreseeing trends and discovering hidden knowledge, using such tools as the tarot, I Ching, runes, casting stones, etc. Divination is useful prior to working ritual magick.

Earth - the element corresponding to the North; the colors black, yellow or forest green; foundations, stability, the human body, all solid material things and prosperity.

Esbat - a celebration for a certain phase of the moon (most commonly the full moon), work magick, and socialize.

Familiar - animal companion trained to assist in magickal workings.

Fire - the element corresponding to the South, the color red, energy, will, passion, determination, purpose, and ambition.

Full Moon - the phase in the lunar cycle when the moon is at its brightest and appears completely round.

God - the male personification of Deity. His most celebrated aspect is the Horned God of the Wilds.

Goddess - female personification. Her most celebrated aspects are the Triple Goddess of the Moon and the Earth Mother.

Herbs - used for healing and in amulets, talismans, and incenses.

High Priest - primary male leader within a coven.

High Priestess - primary female leader within coven.

Magick - 'the art of changing consciousness at will.' Also the psychic direction of natural energies, using symbolic language or correspondences, to achieve a goal. Often spelled with a k to distinguish it from staged illusions or fantasy magic.

Moon - symbol of the Triple Moon Goddess (Maiden, Mother, Crone) and of feminine powers of intuition and magick and of female psychological cycles, which are attuned with Her.

Mortar and Pestle - stone bowl and grinding implement used to prepare herbs and/or other materials for healing or magick.

Pentacle - disc of metal, ceramic, or wood with a pentagram and other symbols inscribed on it. It is a symbol of the element Earth and sometimes salt or cakes are placed on it.

Pentagram - a star like, five-pointed figure used magickally for blessing, protection and balance. The five points represent the Spirit, Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.

Quarters - term for the four elemental powers and the directions they correspond to.

Ritual -planned series of activities leading to the accomplishment of a goal through magickal means.

Sabbat - one of the holy days of a Witch to celebrate such themes as birth, fertility and death, the turning of the four seasons.

Talisman - constructed magickal object, usually inscribed with symbols, intended to attract certain specialized energies (clarity, wealth, health, safety, etc) and worn as a piece of jewelry.

Warlock - NOT a term for male witch. Warlock means "oath breaker." A male witch is called a witch.

Water - element corresponding to the West, light green, medium blue and silver, emotions and intuition.

Wheel of the Year - cycle of seasons extending throughout the year.

Wicca - beneficent and magickal Earth religion that celebrates the immanent Triple Goddess of the Moon and the Horned God of Nature.

Wicce - a female Witch.

Wiccan Rede - ethical core of the Craft. "An ye harm none, do as ye will."

Witch - priestess or priest of the Old Religion, Wicca.

Alpha rhythm—a brain rhythm that is associated with relaxation.

Anima—the personification of the feminine aspect of a man’s unconscious.

Animus—the personification of the masculine aspect of a woman’s unconscious.

Ankh—the looped cross used by the Egyptians as a symbol of initiation and ever lasting life, also known as the Crux Ansata, widely used in Wicca as a symbol of initiation.

Athame—known as the “true witch’s weapon”. A black-handled knife used to cast circles, etc. The handle is often carved with symbols.

Autumn Equinox—September 20/21 in the northern hemisphere-one of the four lesser sabbats. The equinox occurs when the sun is above the equator and day and night is of equal length.

Aura—the force field around the human body. This can be seen by clairvoyants and takes on different colors according to the personality, level of spiritual development and physical health of the individual.

Beltane—May Eve {April 30/May 1st} One of the four greater sabbats of Wicca. Originally a Celtic fire festival dedicated to the God Bel or Belenus.

Black Magick—Magick with evil intentions, also ritual magick used to contact Jewish fallen angels.

Book of Shadows—the book of rituals, spells, etc that each Wiccan initiate copies from his or her initiator.

Candlemas—February 1st/2nd another of the four greater sabbats held at about the point when the winter mornings begin to lengthen. Originally a Celtic festival known as Imbolc meaning “in the belly”. When the first flowers appear from the womb of the Great Mother Earth.

Clairvoyance—The power of second sightseeing into the future.

Clairvoyant Reality—the sense of oneness with the universe that is achieved through certain contemplative states.

Core of Power—A force of etheric energy produced by witches.

Coven—Traditionally a group of 13 witches but can be anything from four upwards, who meet regularly.

Craft—A term frequently used by Wiccans to describe Wicca.

Deosil—clockwise, the direction of the sun in the northern hemisphere.

Divination—using symbols such as the tarot and runes or aids to clairvoyance such as crystal balls and black mirrors to look into the future and to discover hidden aspects to the present.

Drawing down the moon—invoking the full moon aspect of the Goddess into a Priestess.

Elementals—Conscious beings that inhabit the etheric energy fields of the four elements-earth, air, fire and water. Also entities created by magickally breaking off parts of the human etheric energy field and imbuing it with a particular magickal element.

Esbat—any coven meeting that is not one of the eight sabbats.

Esoteric—the hidden side of religion and magick, which is secret and reserved for initiates.

Hallowe’en—Samhain-Oct 31st-One of the four greater sabbats-the feast of the dead. Originally called Samhain by the Celts.

Hereditary Witches—Witches born into witch families.

High Priest—Any male witch who has received the second degree of initiation. Within a coven the chief male priest will be referred to as the High Priest.

High Priestess—any female witch who has received the second degree of initiation. Within a coven the chief female priestess will be referred to as the High Priestess.

Immanent—The divine seen as being present with the material universe as an essential sustaining spiritual force.

Initiation—In Wicca, a ritual designed to precipitate permanent changes in consciousness and spiritual growth.

Left-handed path—generally used to mean the practice of black magick.

Magus/Magister—the second title given to second and third degree High Priests in Wicca.

Malificium—Magickal acts with evil intentions.

Midsummer—June 21/22 in the northern hemisphere the summer solstice or Longest Day. One of the four lesser sabbats.

Occult—a term used for magick and other esoteric arts and sciences. Despite modern misuse, occult does not mean evil.

Paganism—the worship of pre-Christian deities.

Priest—In Wicca all male initiates are Priests.

Projection—used, as in astral projection, when the astral body separates temporarily from the physical body also used in psychology to mean when we see in others our own positive and negative qualities, which we are not aware we possess.

Psyche—to represent the human mind and emotions, the non-physical aspect of the human being.

Right-handed path—generally to mean the practice of white magick.

Ritual—a ceremony designed to produce certain spiritual and magickal effects.

Rune—a spell of chant used for magickal purposes. Also a divinatory system using the letters of the Norse alphabet.

Sabbat—one of the eight festivals of Wicca.

Salamander—the name given to the fire elementals.

Samadhi—an expanded and enhanced state of consciousness achieved through complication and other spiritual of oneness with the universe.

Scrying—a form of divination that uses a crystal ball, black mirror or bowl of clouded water to aid in clairvoyance.

Sephiroth—the spheres of the qabalistic Tree of Life.

Shadow—the part of ourselves that we do not wish to own and that, in psychological terms, we frequently project onto others.

Shaman—A Priest or Priestess of Dionysian-oriented religions that communicate with the inner planes through trance.

Dionysian—Ecstatic and emotional aspects of religion that free the psyche from the control of the conscious mind and sub merge the individuality in the group mind. Named after Dionysus, the Greek God of wine and ecstasy.

Skyclad—Ritual nudity.

Spring Equinox—March 20/21 in the northern hemisphere one of the four lesser sabbats. This date can vary slightly in different years, but occurs when the sun is above the equator and day and night are of equal length.

Sylph—An air elemental.

Traditional—Witches whose initiation derives from witch families other than those whom gave to other forms of Wicca. Their rites and practices differ somewhat from other Wiccan believes but the aims are similar.

Transcendent—to rise above, to pass beyond…the concept that the divine exist outside the material universe and separate from it.

Tree of Life—a qabalistic symbol representing the 10 aspects of the divine and creation.

Undine—a water elemental.

Watchtowers—the four coordinal points that are associated with the four elements and acts as guardians of the circle.

White Magick—a term used for magick witch good intentions or by magickans to mean magick that contacts angels rather then demons.

Wicca—a pagan mystery religion

Wiccan—an initiate of Wicca.

Widdershins—against the sun…in the northern hemisphere this is anti-clockwise.

Witch—a practitioner of witchcraft, some witches are initiates of Wicca but others do not practice the religious side of witchcraft.

Witch Queen—a title given to second and third degree High Priestess of Wicca. The title is not formally used until the High Priestess’ coven has given rise to two daughter covens.

Yule—December 20/21 in the northern hemisphere one of the four lesser sabbats that celebrates the birth of the young God, the Sun God.

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