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by Fire_Opal

Akasha: The fifth element, the omnipresent spiritual power that permeates the universe. It is the energy out of which the elements formed.

Amulet: A magickally charged object which deflects specific, usually negative energies. Generally, a protective object.

Asperger: A bundle of fresh herbs or a perforated object used to sprinkle water during a preceding ritual, for purification purposes.

Astral Plane: A non-physical level of existence which is the basis for the physical plane, and the place where many non-physical entities exist.

Athame: A Wiccan ritual knife. It usually has a double-edged blade and a black handle. The athame is used to direct Personal Power during Ritual workings. It is seldom (if ever) used for actual, physical cutting. The term is of obscure origin, has many variant spellings among Wiccans, and an even greater variety of pronunciations. American East Coast Wiccans may pronounce it as "Ah-THAM-ee" (to rhyme with "whammy"); or, "ATH-ah-may" or perhaps "ah-THAW-may". Making things easier you could use "magick knife" for athame in The Standing Stones Book of Shadows. Either term, or simply "knife," will do.

Balefire: A fire lit for magickal purposes, usually outdoors. Balefires are traditional on Yule, Beltane and Midsummer.

Bane and Baneful: That which destroys life, which is poisonous, destructive, evil, dangerous. Do NOT use!

Beltane: A Wiccan festival celebrated on April 30th or May 1st (traditions vary). Beltane is also known as May Eve, Roodmas, Walpurgls Night, Cethsamhain. Beltane celebrates the symbolic union, mating or marriage of the Goddess and God, and links in with the approaching summer months.

BesomBroom: Usually one that is used only in magickal workings.

Blessing: The act of conferring positive Energy upon a person, place or thing. It's a spiritual or religious practice.

Bolline: The white-handled knife, used in magick and Wiccan ritual for practical purposes such as cutting herbs or piercing a pomegranate.

Book of Shadows: A Wiccan book of rituals, spells and magickal lore. Once hand copied upon Initiation, the B.O.S. is now photocopied or typed in some Covens. No one "true" Book of Shadows exists; all are relevant

Cakes and Wine: Also known as Cakes and Ale, this is a simple ritual meal shared with the Goddess and God, usually within the circle, near the completion of a religious ritual. Such ritual meals predate Christianity.

Censer: A heat-proof container in which incense is smoldered. An incense burner. It symbolizes the Element of Air.

Chakras: Pronounced "Shauk-rahs," these are power centers in the aura related to organs or glands in the body. The chakras are not in the body per se; they are actually whirls, circles or lotuses which are seen in the aura.

Chalice: A stemmed goblet used as the tool of elemental water.

To Charge: To infuse an object with personal power. "charging" is an act of magick.

Circle Casting: The process of moving positive energy from the body and forming into a large, non-physical sphere of power in which Wiccan rituals usually occur. Circle castings usually begin each Wiccan ritual. The process is also known as "laying the circle" and "creating sacred space", among other terms.

Circle, Magick: A sphere constructed to Personal Power in which Wiccan rituals are usually enacted. The area inside the circle is seen as being common ground on which Wiccans and their Deities can meet. The term refers to the circle that marks the sphere's penetration of the ground, for it extends both above and below it. The magick circle is created through magick.

Clockwise: The traditional form of movement in positive magick and in Wiccan ritual. (If you're standing facing a tree, move to your left and walk in a circle around it. That's clockwise motion.) Also known as Deosil movement

Conscious Mind: The analytical, materially based, rational half of our consciousness. The mind at work when we compute our taxes, theorize or struggle with ideas.

Consecration: The act of conferring sanctity. In Wicca, tools used in religious and magickal rites are consecrated with energy during specific rituals.

Corn Dolly: A figure, often human shaped, created by plaiting dried wheat or other grains. It represented the fertility of the Earth and the Goddess in early European agricultural rituals and is still used in Wicca. Corn dollies aren't made from cobs or husks' corn originally referred to any grain other than maize and still does in most English-speaking countries except the United States.

Coven: A group of Wiccans, usually initiatory and led by one or two leaders, that gathers together for religious and magickal workings. Most covens operate within a specific Wiccan Tradition.

The Craft: Wicca. Witchcraft. Folk magick. What Wiccans and Witches call their workings.

Deosil: Clockwise, the direction of the Sun's apparent motion in the sky. In northern hemisphere magick and religion, deosil movement is symbolic of life, positive energies, good. It is much used in spells and rituals' i.e. "walk deosil around the Circle of Stones". Some Wiccan groups below the equator, notably in Australia, have switched from deosil to Widdershins movement in their rituals, for the Sun "moves" in an apparent counter-clockwise motion from this vantage point.

Divination: 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. Divination contacts the psychic mind by tricking or dowsing the conscious mind through ritual and observation or manipulation of tools. Divination isn't necessary for those who can easily attain communication with the psychic mind, through they may practice it.

Divine Power: The unmanifested, pure energy that exists within the Goddess and God. The life force, the ultimate source of all things.

Earth 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.

The Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, 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 from the primal essence or power - Akasha.

Empowering: The act of moving energy into an object.

Energy: The general term for the currently immeasurable (but real) power that exists within all natural objects and beings - including our own bodies. It is used in Folk Magick.

Esbat: A Wiccan ritual, usually occurring on the Full Moon.

Etheric Body: An emanation of all created things. Halfway between the astral and the physical.

Evocation: Calling up spirits or other non-physical entities, either to visible appearance or invisible attendance.

Evoke: To bring an entity from the higher planes into your field of awareness.

Folk Magick: The practice of magick utilizing personal power, in conjunction with the natural tools, in a non-religious framework, to cause positive change.

The God: Generally, in Wicca, the God is the male principle; the perfect complement to the Goddess. He's often identified with the sun; with deserts and forests, and with wild animals. Some see Him as the Lord of Death and Resurrection. In the Sabbats the Wiccans celebrate His birth, maturity, union with the Goddess and His death. The God is not to be confused with common Christian concept of "God".

The Goddess: There are many definitions of the Goddess as there are Wiccans. Generally, She's seen as the creatures of the universe; the unfaltering, ultimate source of fertility, wisdom, love, compassion, healing and power. Often associated with the Moon, the seas and the Earth in Wiccan thought, the Goddess has been worshipped in many religions across the globe and throughout time.

Grimoire: A magickal workbook containing ritual information, formula, magickal properties of natural objects and preparation of ritual equipment. Many of these works include "catalogues of spirits". The most famous of the old grimoires is probably The Key of Solomon. Most first appeared in the 16th and 17th centuries, though they may be far older and contain traces of Roman, Greek, Babylonian, late Egyptian and Sumerian rites.

Handfasting: Within Wicca, a ritual joining of two human beings in a bond of love, and before the Goddess and God.

Herb: Virtually any plant used in magick.

High Priest: In group Wicca, either one or two visible leaders of a Coven; a man who co-leads the rituals, or a man who has reached a certain level of proficiency, achievement and wisdom. The term usually denotes a man who has received not one but several initiations.

High Priestess: A highly experienced leader of a Coven; the woman who leads or co-leads the rituals, or a woman who has reached a certain level of Wiccan proficiency, achievement and wisdom. The term usually denotes a woman who has received not one but many initiations.

Imbolc: A Wiccan festival celebrated February 2nd, also known as Candlemas, Lupercalia, Feast of Pan, Feast of Torches, Feast of the Waxing Light, Oimelc, Brigit's Day and many other names. Imbolc celebrates the first stirrings of spring and the recovery of the Goddess from giving birth to the Sun (the God) at Yule.

Initiation: 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.

Invocation: 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.

Kahuna: A practitioner of the old Hawaiian philosophical, scientific and magickal system.

Kundalini: An energy said to lie dormant at the base of the spine, ready to rise through the spine to the top of the head and bring enlightenment. Actually, this was an allegory. In reality, the energy is controlled by the mind.

Labrys: A double-headed axe which symbolized the Goddess in ancient Crete, still used by some Wiccans for the same purpose. The labrys may be placed on or leaned against the left side of the altar.

The Law of Three: A Wiccan belief that our actions, both positive and negative, will be returned to us three-fold.

Litha: The Summer Solstice, a Wiccan religious festival and a traditional time for magick. Also known as Midsummer.

Luck, Good: An individual's ability to make timely, correct decisions, to perform correct actions and to place herself or himself in positive situations. "Bad luck" stems from ignorance and unwillingness to accept self responsibility.

Lughnasadh: A Wiccan festival celebrated on August 1st, also known as August Eve, Lammas, Feast of Bread. Lughnasadh marks the first harvest, when the fruits of the Earth are cut and stored for the dark winter months, and when the God also mysteriously weakens as the days grow shorter.

Mabon: On or around September 21, the autumn equinox, Wiccans celebrate the second harvest. Nature is preparing for winter. Mabon is a vestige of ancient harvest festivals which, in some from or another, were once nearly universal among peoples of the Earth.

Magick: the movement of natural energies (such as Personal Power) 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.

The Magick Circle: 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. It is created through visualization and magick.

Ritual Magick: Although this could refer to any type of magick where a pattern, or ritual is followed, it usually applies to those styles of magick where more complex rituals are used. It is also used synonymously with ceremonial magick, although a ritual can be performed by one person while ceremonial magick requires several people.

White Magick: The science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science, for the purpose of obtaining the knowledge and conversation of your Guardian Angel.

Mantra: A phrase which is repeated over and over. Although some say that any phrase or sound can be used, certain special mantras of mystical import can make profound changes in a person mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Meditation: 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.

Megalith: A huge stone monument or structure. Stonehenge is perhaps the best known example of megalithic construction.

Menhir: A standing stone probably lifted by early peoples for religious, spiritual or magickal reasons.

Midsummer: 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.

The Mighty Ones: Beings, deities or presence 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.

Mote: An old english word meaning "must". frequently used at the end of rituals or spells in the expression "So Mote It Be."

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

Occult: Hidden or secret. Occult wisdom means secret wisdom. It does not mean "evil".

The Old Ones: A Wiccan term often used to encompass all aspects of the Goddess and God. Some Wiccans view it an alternative of The Mighty Ones.

Ostara: 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, the God and the fertility of the Earth (the Goddess).

Pagan: From the Latin Paganus, country dweller. Today used as a general term for followers of Wicca and other magickal, shamanistic and polytheistic religions. Naturally, Christians have their own peculiar definition of this word. It can be interchanged with Neo-Pagan.

Pathworking: Astral projecting through the Tree of Life in order to meet and communicate with non-physical spiritual entities. A highly advanced technique, most of what is described as "pathworking" today is actually nothing more than guided visualization.

Pendulum: 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, 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 indicates yes or positive energy. A back and forth swing signals the opposite. (There are many methods of deciphering the pendulum's movements; use those that work best for you.) It is a tool which contacts the psychic mind.

Pentacle: 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 some confusion.

Pentagram: An interlaced five-pointed star (one point at its top) that has long been used as a protective device. Today the pentagram is also associated with the element of earth and with Wicca. It has no evil associations.

Personal 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.

Polarity: 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, dark/light, psychic mind/conscious mind. Universal balance.

Prayer: The act of focusing one's attention on deity and engaging in communication. In Wicca, prayer is directed to the Goddess and God (or sometimes, to one)

The Projective Hand: The hand that is normally used for 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 tools such as the Athame and wand are held. Ambidextrous persons simply choose which hand to utilize for this purpose.

Psychic Attack: An attack on a person using magickal or psychic methods. In reality they are very rare, almost non-existent. When they do they are usually caused by a current of anger or rage and hit you at your "weakest link."

Psychic Awareness: The act of being consciously psychic, in which the psychic mind and the conscious mind are linked and working in harmony.

Psychic 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 us. 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.

Psychism: 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.

Receptive 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.

Reincarnation: The doctrine of rebirth. The process of repeated incarnations in human form to allow evolution of the sexless, ageless human soul. One of the tenets of Wicca.

Ritual 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 magickian to move energy toward needed goals. A spell is a magickal ritual.

Ritual Consciousness: A specific, alternate state of awareness necessary to the successful practice of magick. The magickian 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 magickian sense energies, gives them purpose and releases them toward the magickal goal. It is a heightening of the senses, an awareness-expansion of the seemingly non-physical world, a linking with nature and with the forces behind all conceptions of deity.

Runes: Stick like figures, some of which are remnants of old Teutonic alphabets. Others are pictographs. These symbols are once again widely being used in magick and divination.

Sabbat: A Wiccan festival. See Beltane, Imbolc, Lughnasadh, Mabon, Midsummer, Ostara, Samhain and Yule for specific descriptions.

Samhain: A Wiccan festival celebrated on October 31st, also known as November Eve, Hallowmas, Halloween, Feast of Souls, Feast of the Dead, Feast of apples. 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.

Satanism: A reverse or backward form of Christianity. Most people who call themselves Satanists are simply hedonists or egotists. The few who are truly dedicated to an evil entity they call Satan are shunned by most occultists. Satanism has no relationship to Wicca, although many have tried to make that association for reasons of power, politics, or lack of understanding.

To Scry: To gaze at or into an object (a quartz crystal sphere, pool of water, reflections, 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.

Scrying: The process of gazing at or into a shiny object, flame or water for the purposes of contacting the psychic mind.

Shaman: 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 the power to change her or his world through magick.

Shamanism: The practice of shamans, usually ritualistic or magickal in nature, sometimes religious.

The Simple Feast: A ritual meal shared with the Goddess and God.

Sky-Clad : A term used by Wiccans to indicate ritual nudity.

Solitary Wicca: Wicca practiced, due to either choice or circumstance, by individuals without group support.

Spell: A magickal ritual, usually non-religious in nature and often accompanied by spoken words.

The Spirits of the Stones: 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.

Talisman: An object, such as an amethyst crystal, ritually charged with power to attract a specific force or energy to its bearer.

Tarot: A mystical set of cards having an uncertain origin. Although these cards, covered with images, are most commonly used for divination, they have much more spiritual purposes. The Tarot is composed of two main sections, the 22 picture cards of the Major Arcana and the 56 numbered cards of the Minor Arcana.

Wand: One of the ritual tools used in Wicca, the wand is an instrument of invocation, usually utilized to call upon the Goddess and the God.

Wicca: A contemporary Pagan religion with spiritual roots in Shamanism and the earliest expressions of reverence of nature. Among its major motifs are: reverence for the Goddess and the God; reincarnation; magick; ritual observances of the Full Moon, astronomical and agricultural phenomena; spheroid temples, created with Personal Power, in which rituals occur.

Wiccan Tradition: An organized, structured, specific Wiccan sub-group, usually initiatory, with often unique ritual practices. Many traditions have their own Books 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.

Widdershins: Anti clockwise motion, usually used in the Northern Hemisphere for negative magickal purposes or the dispersing negative energies or conditions such as disease. Southern Hemisphere Wiccans may use widdershins motions for exactly the opposite purposes; namely for positive ends, for the reason stated in the entry under deosil. In either case, widdershins and deosil motions are symbolic; only strict, close-minded traditionalists believe that accidentally walking around the altar backwards, for instance, will raise negativity. Their use in Wicca stems from ancient European rituals practiced by peoples who watched and revered the Sun and Moon in their daily revolutions. Widdershins motion, within ritual contexts, is still shunned by the vast majority of Wiccans, though others use it once in a while, for instance, to disperse the magick circle at the end of the rite.

Witch: 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 who 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 Wiccan to describe themselves.

Witchcraft: 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.

Yule: 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.