Forbidden Fruit

Dictionary of Terms K-Z

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Wiccan, Witchcraft & Pagan Definitions

Abracadabra

A word from the Jewish mystical tradition of Qabala. Its root is the name of the Gnostic deity Abraxas, meaning "hurt me not". It is said to possess magickal powers, especially of protection from illness.

 

Adept
Through serious study and accomplishments one is considered highly proficient in a particular magickal system.

 

Aeromancy
Divination by the stars.

 

Aes sidhe: The Supernatural Folk, i.e. the Faerie Folk.

 

Age Of Pisces
The calendar is organised into Zodiacal Ages, which take their names from the twelve Zodiacal signs, as inspired by the precession of the equinoxes. According to this system of dating the Age just ended was the Piscean Age, which occupied the years 400-1999 AD in the Christian calendar. The new Age that has begun is the Aquarian.

 

Aicme: group of five Oghams.

 

Aine: the Celtic goddess of crops, the moon and of cattle.

 

Airbe druad: "Hedge," a magickal barrier no one could pass through.

 

Airts
"Airt" is a Scottish Gaelic term meaning something to the effect of "Wind." In Scottish Traditional Wicca when the
Magic Circle was cast the Four Winds, or Airts, would be summoned to stand guard over it and to aid the ritual being performed. The Airts are identified with the Four Directions, the Four Elements, and a host of other correspondences. In Gaelic East was ruled by Aes, whose colour was red, and whose time was dawn. South was ruled by Deas (from which the word Deosil comes), whose colour was white, and whose time was Noon. West was ruled by Iar, whose colour was grey and whose time was Dusk. And North was ruled by Tuath whose colour was black and whose provenance was the Night. This system is illustrated by the ancient song "Black Spirits" used by Shakespear in MacBeth. The first line of the song runs "Black Spirits and Red, White Spirits and Grey, mingle, mingle, mingle, as ye mingle may!"

 

Aisling
A Celtic-Irish word meaning "dream" or "vision", pronounced "ash-leen".

 

Aka
The cord between the astral body and the physical body, most likely this concept is derived from the biblical reference to a "silver cord" connected the body and the soul.

 

Akasha
The fifth element of magick and the occult, this is the spiritual ether, often called the "Otherworld".

 

Akashic Records
Edward Cayce's concept which states that somewhere there is a universal hall of data about past lives, magic, healing, and spirituality. It does not exist on the physical plane but rather on a more psychic level. Some believe it can be accessed on the astral plane, others feel it can only be accessed through a visualisation journey in the mind.

 

Alban Arthuan: Winter Solstice.

 

Alban Eiler: Spring Equinox.

 

Alban Elved: Autumnal Equinox.

 

Alban Heruin: Summer Solstice.

 

Alchemist
One who practices alchemy.

 

Alchemy
A form of high magick which stems from the middle ages noted by the attempts of alchemists to make lead turn into gold.

 

Aleuromancy
A form of divination where papers with written answers are placed within dough balls and baked. Modern fortune cookies are a derivative of this.

 

Alexandrian Tradition
Based on the teachings of Alex Sanders.

 

Alignment
Synchronisation of mental and spiritual vibrations with a god, goddess, or astronomical body. Often the complete balance and centreing of the chakras is called an alignment.

 

Allegory
Allegory is the supreme achievement of Pagan religion. Is the art of using easily understandable symbols to describe difficult or abstract concepts.  In this way for example, we describe the interaction of spirit and body, a complex and intangible concept, as the dance of Goddess and God -a concrete and easily understood image from which the higher concept can be extracted.  It is allegory, which allows us to speak of "energy" as "light".  It is allegory, which allows us to speak of the Universe as a Divine Web, connecting all things.  Allegory allows us to free ourselves from literality, and opens the door to abstract thinking.

 

Altar
A special table or shelf where ritual objects are placed for the purpose of work & worship. An altar table can be most anything from a patch of ground to a marble pedestal (and anything in between). Items that may be found on an altar include candles, an athame and/or wand, a dish of salt and water (for purification and to represent Earth and Water), stones, incense, small statues of the God and Goddess, other objects symbolic to the ritual purpose.  It is generally considered preferable for an altar to be made of wood or stone.  Metal is usually not used because of the conductivity of its nature, though altar pieces are often of metal, and it is not unusual for an altar table to be decorated with metal ornaments or inlay, or to have a metal frame.

 

Altar Cloth
A cloth placed upon an altar to enrich or decorate it.  Altar cloths originated in a time when all cloth was woven by hand, and embroidered cloth was a status symbol and its use a sign of an important occasion.  Altar cloths are often very beautiful, and sometimes include a wall hanging behind the altar as well.

 

Altar Table
The surface on which an altar is set up, an altar table can be most anything from a patch of ground to a marble pedestal -and anything in between. It is generally considered preferable that an altar table be made of wood or stone (or such materials as plaster or terra cotta, for that matter). Metal is usually not used because of the conductivity of its nature, though altar pieces are often of metal, and it is not unusual for an altar table to be decorated with metal ornaments or inlay, or to have a metal frame.

 

Amulet
An object worn or carried that has been charged to deflect negative energy or spirits. It is a protective object that is sometimes inscribed with runic or other magickal symbols and charged with personal energies through ritual or meditation.

 

Anam: soul, indestructable self. One does not have but rather one is anam. It is seated in the head.

 

Ancestors
Ancestors are spirits of people who have helped to shape us into whom we are. Commonly these are deceased family members, and it is in this way that the term is primarily used. But Ancestors need not necessarily be people to whom we are related by blood. A deceased person who helped us in some important way or whom we particularly admire may also be considered an Ancestor. Sometimes a historical personage to whom we are drawn (perhaps because of a past life connection of which we may or may not be conscious) will be considered an Ancestor. Ancestors are the spirits we honour as being fundamental to the development of our character, and to whom we have a strong psychic bond. Often they will act as Spirit Guides to us, advising and aiding us as we go through life. Ancestors should be acknowledged and honoured regularly, to strengthen the bond between us and them.

 

An-da-shealladh: "two sights," the ability to see spirits.

 

Animism: The belief that all objects have a spirit.

 

Ankh: (ahnk) An Egyptian hieroglyphic that is widely used as a symbol for Life, Love and Reincarnation.

 

Annwyn: (ar-ahn) the Under World.

 

Aradia: This is the name of Italian Goddess Diana's daughter, said to be the origin of all witches, sworn to protect her people against the aggression of masculine faith and its persecutors during the reign of medieval terror. She taught around 1353. She was imprisoned more than once, escaped several times and eventually disappeared. The book "Aradia, Gospel of the Witches" was published by Leland about Aradia and the practice of witchcraft.

 

Aradian
An Italian Wiccan tradition as examined in a classic book published by Charles Godfrey Leland called the Vangelo Delle Streghe.

 

Arawn: The Celtic god of the underworld.

 

Arcana: This is the two halves of the Tarot deck. There is the Major Arcana, that consists of 22 trumps. They reflect the dominant occurrences in our lives. Then there is the Minor Arcana (also known as the lesser Arcana), they consist of 56 suit cards. They assist the Major Arcana by reflecting smaller occurrences in our lives.

 

Archetype
Symbolic imagery seen in visions, dreams, meditation, and mind quests. Used to interpret the meaning of the vision thereby betting understanding and communicating with the subconscious.

 

Arthurian Tradition
A Welsh tradition of paganism based on the lore of King Arthur (the "Once and Future King"), Merlin the Magician, and Guinevere.

 

As Above So Below
The ancient maxim "As Above, So Below" is attributed to the Egyptian spiritual Master Hermes Trismegistus, whose Emerald Tablet and other works were the standard of traditional Hermetic teaching.  What is meant by this phrase is that all of creation, whether great or small, reflects the same Divine Nature, or plan.  As all things that exist are emanations of the Goddess and the God, all things naturally mirror and reflect their divine qualities.  For this reason the same Truth will be discerned in a galaxy of stars, and in a single grain of sand, if one is open to it.  It is ultimately on this principle that all forms of divination are based.

 

Asatru
Modern worship of the old Norse gods.

 

Aspecting
An advanced magical practice which is seen most commonly in a coven as opposed to solitary. The practitioner attempts to manifest an aspect of the Goddess or the God. This is seen in the pagan ritual of Drawing Down the Moon as well as in other pagan religions such as Vodou, where the priest often allows the deity to speak through his or her body.

 

Asperger
A bundle of fresh herbs either carrying dew or dowsed with spring water, used to sprinkle the water during ritual purification.

 

Astral Plane
A plane parallel to the physical world, travelled through by the astral body during projection. Another dimension of reality.

 

Astral Travel/Projection: This is the process known as separating your physical body from your astral body to accomplish travel on the astral plane.

 

Astrology
The practice of revealing the future by interpreting the arrangement of stars and planets in relation to astrological theory and the zodiac.

 

Ategenos: rebirth after death into the Other World.

 

Athame
(pronounced: a-THA-may) The athame is usually a black handled, double edged knife used in rituals that has been cleansed and consecrated. It is NEVER used for blood-letting, and very rarely used for cutting anything on the material plane. It is symbolic of the element of fire and it can be used while laying down circle boundaries. Also a phallic symbol. It acts as an extension of ones will, focusing energy to direct power during magickal workings. The Magical Knife, or Athame (or Arthame), is an ancient tool of magic, used for many purposes including casting the magic circle, and the preparation of various magical items or ingredients. In certain Traditions the Athame must be of a particular colour and made in a particular way, but in general use today an Athame can be any sort of knife.

 

Attune
To bring different psyches into harmony.

 

Augury
Divination based on "signs" or omens.

 

Aura
The radiating layers of energy that emanate from all things. An aura is most often visible only to those born with the skill to see it, or those who developed this ability. A visible aura contains various colours and tells about the spiritual and emotional persona of the plant, human, or creature surrounded by it. However, an aura can also be felt, heard, or sensed through other means.

 

Awen: inspiration.

 

Awenyddion: inspired ones.

 

Balefire
A traditional fire lit outdoors during Yule, Beltaine, and Litha.

 

Bane: This means bad, evil or destructive.

 

Banish: To rid the presence of. To magickally end something or exorcise unwanted entities.

 

B.C.E.
(Before Common Era). Few non-Christians see any relevance to idea of dating events from the supposed date of the birth of Jesus. So instead of using B.C., we prefer B.C.E. In practice it means the same thing.

 

Beithe Luis Nion: The Old Irish name of the Celtic Tree Ogham.

 

Bellarmine Jars
Bellarmine jars were large jars decorated with the face of a bearded man, said to be one Cardinal Bellarmine. Often the Jar actually had three faces of the same man, sometimes conjoined. It is believed that they actually represent the Horned God. Bellarmine jars were particularly favoured for bottle magic.

 

Beltaine
A Wiccan sabbat held between spring and the onset of summer, Nov 1st.

Irish festival of May 1st (Northern Hemisphere).

 

Beo: living thing, life, livelihood, quick, alive, active, lively. One's physical body or true form. This can be shape-shifted into other true forms or be transformed by external magicks by others.

 

Besom: a besom is a magickal broom used during ritual for purification by sweeping away negative energies. Besom often refers to the small handheld type. A bundle of twigs attached to a handle used to cleanse and purify sacred space. Essentially a witch's broomstick.

 

Bibliomancy
A form of divination where you let a book fall open, pointing with closed eyes to a spot, and finding significance from the chosen word or passage.

 

Bind: To magickally restrain someone or something.

 

Binding
Using magick to restrain someone or something, or to 'bind' them to you.

 

Bith: this world: the manifest multi-verse.

 

Blath: prosperity. The eastern realm among the Fifths.

 

Blessed Be
A term derived from the ritual of the Five-fold Kiss, it is simple a blessing commonly used by wiccans and pagans as a greeting or a goodbye. Abbreviated as BB or B*B.

 

Blood of the Moon
A woman's menstrual cycle, considered important and a crucial time for magick to be performed, especially when it crosses the new or full moon. If this occurs at the time of the full moon, she is far more powerful than any other time of the month.

 

Bodhran: "cow song," a drum.

 

Boleen
At one time there were a number of variations on the idea of the magical knife, most of which are no longer in general use. One of these divided the magical knife into two instruments, the black-handled Athame, used for various magical operations, notably casting the
Magic Circle, and the white-handled Boleen, used to create magical artefacts, such as the wand and various engraved symbols. The Athame was considered sacred to the Goddess, while the Boleen, or Burrin, was considered sacred to the God since it was used in physical operations.

 

Book Of Shadows
This is a collection of information for a Witch's reference. A book in which spells, recipes, magickal workings, rituals, and journal entries, laws/rules are kept, and other documents important to a witch or coven. Traditionally, every student copies their teacher's Book of Shadows in their "own hand of write" (own handwriting). The computer revolution has superseded this a bit nowadays. Gerald Gardner, the father of modern Wicca, published his Book of Shadows in the 1930's. It is his book that some people refer to as "The Book of Shadows".

 

Book Religions
There are two religions in the world: Native (or Pagan) religions, and the Book religions. Pagan religions are living religions that grow out of people's direct experience of Deity through Nature and metaphysical experience. Pagan religions change and develop as culture and peoples' abilities develop. The Book religions descend from the Bible and Koran and believe themselves to be "revealed religions" -that is, that they are perfect in origin and must never be changed.

 

Born Old
People who are born with the veil between the conscious self and the powers of the soul very thin, and who can thus access the Higher Self easily with minimal or no instruction, are said to have been "born old". Talents that others must work to develop come to them easily, seemingly without effort. This is because such souls have already put out great efforts to develop these skills in previous lives, and bring them through to the present.

 

Breaca sith: "faerie marks," the livid spots that appear on the faces of the dying.

 

Brehon Laws: Old Irish laws governing all aspects of life.

 

Bri: strength, energy, vigour, merit, essence, natural talent. the power inherent within a person, place or object. It is the power of the creative intent that basically defines your existence. One has a limited amount of Bri. See Bua.

 

Bricht: magick, the spoken spell.

 

Brigid: The triple aspect goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone.

 

Broom Closet
Not meant literally, this is a term used to describe someone who is "in the broom closet", or in other words, who is not public with their pagan practices.

 

Bruho/Bruha: also "Bruja" - The Spanish term for "witch". This term means a bad witch, not a good witch. See "curranderismo" for good witch.

 

Bua: victory, triumph, success, skill, talent, destiny. the earned power that can be shared, stored, increased or decreased. It is what develops from ritual, configuration, blessing, sanctification. One has an unlimited amount of Bua. See Bri.

 

Buabhaill: drinking horn.

 

Burning Times
This is a word used to describe the execution of the witches during their persecution from the Middle Ages onwards. Most executions were in fact by hanging, not burning. While it is claimed that thousands and even millions were killed, a small fraction were actually witches. Many were heretics or Christians accused of witchcraft by those who disliked them.

 

Burrin
Another name for the White Handled Knife.

 

Bwa'r Crach: "hag's bow," the rainbow leading to the Other World.

 

Cabala
Is the ancient Hebrew magickal system. Also spelled Quaballah, Qaballa.

 

Caer: castle or fortress.

 

Call: Evoking/Invoking Divine forces.

 

Candle Magick
Candle magick is the art of using a candle to focus your energy and intent to bring about a desired result.  Usually the candle is lit and focused on for a period of meditation.  The candle may then be allowed to burn on, until it is consumed. As the candle burns the desired event is brought into manifestation.  Or the candle may be extinguished, and the ritual repeated at intervals, as every day for a set number of days.  In addition there are many other ways to use candles in the practice of magick.  Always remember that magick is a tool of self-improvement and transformation, and should be used with care and for the good of all.

 

Candlemas
Pagan sabbat held on Aug 1st.

 

Cakes & Ale / Cakes & Wine
Similar to Communion, a time to give thanks during ritual for all we have received and to remember to share what we have with others. Cakes can be biscuits or crackers or special breads baked for the ritual; ale may be an alcoholic beverage, juice, water, milk, or other special beverage. The cakes and ale are blessed before being consumed.

 

Cantrip
A spell cast by a witch. It is small, quick, and has minimal effects.

 

Cardinal Points
North, East, South, and West. Symbolised by the circle in magick (which connects the points), the four elements, and the watchtowers.

 

Cath: conflict: The northern realm among the Fifths.

 

Catharsis
The release of magickal energies at the height or climax of a ritual. Essentially the use of energy at the catharsis is the crux of the rite, determining whether its outcome will be successful or not.

 

Cauldron
A feminine symbol of the goddess, also of life, death, and rebirth. This is associated with Cerridwen, a goddess who brewed a magickal cauldron from which a single drop was yielded each year. The consumer of her brew would be granted great wisdom. Today her cauldron survives not only in pagan ritual but in the Christian concept of the holy grail.

 

C.E.
(Common Era). Few non-Christians see any relevance to the idea of dating events from the supposed date of the birth of Jesus. So instead of using A.D. we prefer C.E. In practice it means the same thing.

 

Celtic
The Celtic people are believed to have developed in central or Eastern Europe sometime around 700 BCE (500 Aries) and spread through Western Europe all the way to the British Isles -though some scholars believe their origin to be much earlier. Interbreeding with the pre-existing peoples of
Western Europe, the Celts developed a distinctive and highly mystical culture. Absorbed by the Roman Empire, Celtic culture had a strong influence on medieval Europe and consequently the modern world. The Druids, the Celtic priesthood, have been a subject of fascination for subsequent generations, and are believed to be a major contributing strain to modern Wiccan thought. The great Greek philosopher Pythagoras cited the Druids as a primary source for many of his teachings as well.

 

Censer
A container in which incense is smouldered or burned. It symbolises the element of air. Often a censer is used during ritual to "cense" an area, generally by moving the censer around the area and especially around the circle as a means of purification.

 

Centring
Grounding your energy through meditation, often before rituals to help harness and direct the balanced energy.

 

Cerne Abbas
The Cerne Abbas Giant is a huge chalk carving in the English countryside.  The carving shows a naked man with a huge erect penis, carrying a club. It is believed to represent the Horned God, Whose attributes include the club or staff. Even though this particular example has no horns per se.  "Cerne" is believed to be a shortened form of "Cernunnos."

 

Cernunnos: The Horned God - aspect of the god depicted by a man with antlers and sometimes the tail and legs of a stag. He is often pictured sitting cross-legged with a torc in one hand and a serpent in the other.

 

Cerridwen: Celtic grain goddess

 

Chakra
Chakras are the energy centres of the body, where body and Spirit most strongly connect. There are thousands of Chakras in every part of the body, which are connected to each other by meridians, or energy pathways. This is the basis of such systems of medicine as acupuncture, shiatsu, and moxidermy, which treat physical illness by applying stimulation to the Chakra points. In general practice however, most people work only with the seven major Chakras which correspond to the seven spheres of existence and the seven bodies. These are the Root Chakra, at the prostate in males and the paraurethral gland in females, corresponding to the physical plane. The 2nd Chakra, at the testicles in males and the ovaries in females, corresponding to the emotional plane. The Solar Chakra, roughly at the navel, corresponding to the mental plane. The Heart Chakra, at the heart, corresponding to the astral plane. The Throat Chakra, at the throat, corresponding to the soular or egoic plane. The Third Eye, at level of he pineal gland, corresponding to the monadic plane. And the Crown Chakra, at or above the top of the head, corresponding to the Divine. Energy centres in the body which are best cleansed, opened, and balanced and closed. Too much or too little energy in one chakra can be the cause for disruption in magick or frustrations in everyday life.

 

Chalice
The ritual cup used in Wiccan ritual, said to be cognate to the Holy Grail and Magical cauldron of ancient mythology. The Chalice represents the womb of the Goddess, from which all creation proceeds. A feminine symbol of the element water. This is used during ritual and once the waters of life which it contains is blessed, it is passed around so that everyone in the coven may bring the Goddess "into" themself.

 

Channelling
Mediumship; a word for an entity talking through a human to convey a message to the physical plane.

 

Chant: Repetition of magickal phrases, syllables, or words to produce a desired effect as well as bring the chanter to a deeper meditative state or for the mere joy of singing. Here are a few popular Pagan chants:

 

         We are a Circle within a Circle, with no beginning and never ending (written by Rick Hamouris)

         Earth my body, Water my blood, Air my breath, and Fire my spirit (origin unknown)

         We all come from the Goddess, and to Her we shall return, like a drop of rain, flowing to the ocean (written by Z. Budapest)

         We are one with the infinite sun, forever and ever and ever (Hopi Indian chant)

 

Chaos
Primordial Deity, God/Goddess before creation. The original state which contains within itself the beginnings of all that is given form in the physical world, but in a dreamlike and undifferentiated state. Both female and male, spiritual and physical, dark and light, all bound up together. Chaos is also called Unity or
Union, among many other names. Chaos is both the starting point and the ending point of creation, it is the wholeness of Deity -from which we come and to which ultimately we shall all return, enriched by our physical experiences. Chaos is also thought of as Deity at rest, between the creation and destruction of successive Universes, or at the centre of multiple Universes.

 

Chaote
A Chaos magician not actively in practice.

 

Charles Godfrey Leland
Folklorist and author who studied Witchcraft extensively at the turn of the last century. Published the Vangelo Delle Streghe.

Charms: They can be amulets or talisman that have been charged to perform a specific task, an incantation being said over it.

Cheiromancy
Divination based on the examination of the hand, related to palmistry.

 

Chi
A Chinese term for the all-encompassing universal life force.

 

Chinese elements - wood, fire, earth, metal, water.

Circle
The circle is the sacred area in which a witch performs spells and rituals. The circle is representative of eternity and power. The sacred space where worship and ritual occur. In the old days the Circle served the additional purpose of portable temple that could be erected in minutes, in a woodland grove under the full moon. If the persecutors turned up there was no physical evidence. The term can also be used to mean a Coven, Grove or working group (i.e., Raven Circle
. The Circle of Oak).

Cleansing

Purification through a ritual bath (often with a handful of sea salt thrown in) and through meditation to cleanse the psyche. Traditionally performed before every ritual. To remove negative energy from an object or place by utilizing positive, psychic energy.

Coelbreni: divination sticks.

Coiced: a fifth, one of five provinces of the land or cosmos.

Coirc: magick cauldron.

Cone of Power
Psychic energy raised by either an individual or a coven or practicing witch during spells or ritual and released to perform a certain goal through magick.

Conjure
To summon entities from the spirit realm into the physical plane.

 

Consecration
The blessing, cleansing, or positively charging of an object which is meant to be used in magick or dedicated to a deity.

 

COP; Circle of Protection
See Circle
.

 

Corn Dolly
A figure made by plaiting wheat, similar to a poppet. It is symbolic of the fertility, grain, and harvest aspects of the Goddess.

 

Corp creidh: "clay body," used as a magick poppet or spelling doll.

 

Correspondences
Materials used in magick which relate to their specific goal. These can be herbs, stones, moon phases, colours, numbers, etc. An example would be mugwort used in a dream spell, as mugwort is a popular herb corresponding to dreams. Correspondence is a teaching system, which uses the idea of Sympathy to say that items, which have the similar qualities, may be represented by each other. Thus the Direction of the South is said to correspond to the Element of Air, the quality of Thought, the Dawn of the day, the Spring of the year, the beginning of any project, the Maiden Goddess (such as Aradia or the Greek Kore), the Young God (such as Horus or the Green Man at Spring), and many other things. Used in part as an aid to memory, the system of Correspondence illustrates the idea that "As Above, So Below" and is used at the heart of the system of Allegory through which many Pagan and Wiccan ideas are portrayed and transmitted.

 

Coven
A group of 2 or more Pagans who worship together on a regular basis. The idea of covens having 13 members is a bit odd. Covens can be of any practical size, but the ideal is to have an even number (equal numbers of priests & priestesses). Also a family of witches.

 

Covenstead
Is the place of power that Witches meet where they can feel safe and at home. This could be a building or a place.

 

Cowan
A slang term for a non-witch or non-pagan, generally used as a derogatory word for a pagan who is not initiated. It was a traditional word for one dedicated to the path.

 

Craft, the
The Craft is a term used to refer to witchcraft and wicca.

 

Craebh Ciuil: "the silver branch," or faerie shaman's magick wand.

Crane Bag: the bag held by a shaman which holds magickal talismans such as crystals, stones, or totems.

Crannchur: "casting the woods," or divining by oghams.

Crone
A term of respect used for a witch who has passed menopause or who is over 50-56 years old. The Goddess in Her aged form. The Crone is represented by the Waning Moon, and rules over wisdom, understanding, magic, and learning, among other things. People who do not possess wisdom often fear it, and thus the Crone Goddess is often feared as well. She is the Goddess of death, Who consumes all things -but only to give them transformation and rebirth. The Crone is often equated with Primordial Deity, Who precedes all creation, and waits to consume (i.e.; re-unite with) it at the end of existence. In popular iconography the Crone is the "Hallowe'en Witch" with Her pointed hat symbolising the upward spiralling cone of power, Her broomstick for sweeping away old forms of existence, and Her cauldron of transformation for creating new ways of being.

 

Croning
A ceremony performed for a woman who is celebrating her transition from being a Mother to being a Crone.

 

Cross of Confusion
An ancient Roman symbol which questioned the validity of Christianity.

 

Cross Quarter Days
A term used for the fire sabbats (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine, Lammas). The most important festivals of the years which form the "cross - X" in the wheel of the year.

Crystallomancy: divination using crystals

Cunning Man
A practitioner of magick; this term dates back to long before Christianity. He was relied on by villagers to bring a good harvest, protect them from evil, and provide charms and medicines. The Cunning Man survived the coming of Christianity, but not for very long.

 

Curse
Conscious direction of negative energy towards a person, place, or object.

 

Cwn Annwn: (pronounced COON-ANOON) the hunting dogs of the faeries. Also called the hell hounds.

 

Cybele
Cybele was the Phrygian form of the Great Mother, Who was adopted by the Romans as Mother of the Gods. Cybele was worshipped by transexual Priest/esses who castrated themselves and afterwards lived as women -somewhat to the horror of the conservative Romans. The myth of Cybele is very ancient, and has its roots in the earliest times. It was taught that Cybele was the first Being to exist in the Universe. She was all alone, and possessed the characteristics of both sexes; that is to say She was both male and female, at the same time. When She grew tired of being alone and desired a companion, She castrated Her male parts, and flung them to the Earth, whereupon they became the God Attis, Her Son, Brother, and Consort. It will readily be seen that this myth is cognate to that of the Vangelo Delle Streghe, with Cybele being the Goddess Who creates the God out of Herself.

 

Daemon
A Greek word for spirit.

 

Dark Half
The Dark Half of a thing is its process of Involution, or looking inward. During this process things narrow and appear to decrease or become constrained, to force a tight focus. The night is the dark half of the day. The waning moon is the dark half of the lunar cycle. The winter is the dark half of the year. And so on.

 

Days of Power
Significant magickal days around the year. See also Sabbats.

Dedicant: a person who is an apprentice in witchcraft

Dedication: This is where the individual accepts the Craft as their path and promises to study and learn to reach the goal of adeptship in a given tradition.

 

Degree
The level or status of a practitioner of magick. You must face various tests of knowledge and practical experience in order to progress to another degree within your tradition. Typically, there are three degrees within the Wiccan system. A novice or seeker takes First Degree Initiation following a year and a day of study. After this they are entitled to call themselves "Priest" or Priestess" Then they may progress through Second Degree to Third Degree. A Third Degree Witch is entitled to teach and to run his / her own coven. Some covens arrange things differently.

 

Deity
A god or a goddess. Different religions use different god & goddess names, or different deities, and these make up the PANTHEON of that religion.


Deosil
(pronounced: DAY-o-sil) Sunwise or Anti-Clockwise (Southern Hemisphere), or clockwise movement (Northern Hemisphere) the direction of the apparent movement of the sun across the sky, the direction of creation. Used in magick to raise power.. It literally means "Southwards" from the Gaelic Deas, or "South". Deosil movement represents the movement of spiritual energy into physical manifestation. When opening or casting Circle, the Priest or Priestess will commonly walk deosil around the circle, symbolic of the cycle of life. Every time you turn in circle you should always move deosil, even if it means making an almost complete circle. The term Deosil refers to motions that go in the same direction as the apparent motion of the Sun. For this reason it is also sometimes called Sunward motion. Used often to describe movement in rituals. This is a pagan custom used to drawn down the power of the sun; most often a person circles three times deosil. It is associated with blessings, luck, and good health or fortune. In magic Deosil movement is used for raising energy, while clockwise (Southern Hemisphere) anti-clockwise (Northern Hemisphere) or Tuathail motion is used to disperse energy. We raise energy to aid in the working of magic and the manifestation of those things we wish to bring about. For this reason most motion in the
Magic Circle will be Deosil. Deosil means "Southward" and takes its name from the Scottish term for the Airt of the South: Deas. In correspondence Deas is also identified with the Noonday and the Sun. Almost all peoples have considered Sunward motion to be indicative of manifestation. You will hear some people claim that such and such a people used Tuathail motion to indicate manifestation and work magic, but this is not so: the confusion arises from the use of the terms "right" and "left" to describe movement in the circle. Anti-clockwise movement always goes to the left -yet if you stand in a circle with others holding hands and pass energy around the circle anti-clockwise, you will notice you receive it through your left hand, and pass it on to the right -it is from this that the confusion arises.

 

Destiny
Destiny refers, ultimately, to the lessons afforded one in life, the chances for growth and advancement which will be placed in our path. What we do with these lessons of course is our own -they can be positive or negative according to our choices, rather than any preset destiny. But the lessons themselves are chosen and agreed to prior to birth, to try to stimulate growth the soul needs and desires. Consequently it can be said that life gives us opportunities which we cannot avoid or short circuit, because we have asked for them before entering this life, but what the outcome of these opportunities might be is the result of our own choices and actions.

 

Devotee
A devotee is a person who is attached, or devoted, to a particular Patron deity. Thus one might be a devotee of Hecate, or a devotee of Isis, or a devotee of Ganesha, or any of the hundred million some forms of Deity.

 

Directions
The idea of representing the Earth as defined by Four Directions is ancient. Four is said to be the number of manifestation because there are Four Directions which define the earth, and Four Elements which compose it. Historically the Four Directions have been personified in many ways: in
Egypt as the four Sons of Horus Who held up the sky at the four corners of the Earth, in the Grecco-Roman world as the Four Winds. Ceremonials associate the Directions with the Four Archangels, or lesser Gods of their Tradition. The Four Directions are represented by the equal-armed cross, often placed in a circle to represent the world of physical manifestation.

 

Divination
This is the act of using magickal tools/symbols to gather information on people, places, things and events in the past, present and future. There are literally hundreds of methods, some common, some less so, including: Tarot cards, Rune Stones, Scrying, Psychometry, Oneiromancy, Pendulum, Aleuromancy, and Bibliomancy.  Divination should be regarded as a very useful way to predict trends, dangers and opportunities. But be aware that the future is not fixed. A reading can influence ones actions and thus the outcome may change. If a reader tells you an accident is on the cards it dose NOT mean you have to go out and have that accident!  It DOES mean you need to take extra care NOT to have an accident.

 

Do As You Will, But Harm Ye None
The Wiccan Rede, the great law of Wicca. Because what you do comes back to you -through Karma- magic and all other actions should be used for constructive purposes only. Using ones actions for harm is wrong and will only bring harm to you in the end.

 

Dogma
A rigid set of beliefs established by the priesthood of some religions. Followers of such religions are required to accept these beliefs without question. In Wicca we have no dogma. All our beliefs are open to debate and each Wiccan is free to believe whatever feels right for them within a very broad framework. For instance, most Witches believe in reincarnation. However many do not and they are just as much Wiccan as the rest of us.

Dowsing: This is the use of a pendulum or stick to find the location of a person, place, thing or element. This is also very useful in answering yes and no questions.

Dracomancer
A practitioner of magick who uses dragons in their workings.

 

Drake
A dragon, generally refers to a young one.

 

Drawing Down the Moon
A ritual which invokes the Goddess into the High Priestess by the High Priest. This is a ritual used during the Full Moon for witches to empower themselves and unite their inner selves with a particular deity.

 

Dreamtime
The Shamanic concept of a world which parallels this one.

Druid: a person of the Celtic Mystical Order

Druidism
An ancient Celtic order of priests which has undergone a modern revival into neo-paganism.

Dryw: wren, or druid.

Duile: elements. Sometimes there are seven or nine duile in a Faerie Pagan's worldview. This list may include earth, water, stone, salt, sun, rain, cloud, stars and wind. Also du/il -- element (created thing), entity, creature, affection, hope, desire, fondness. An intrinsic quality of a person's form within the world, how one interacts with life. One's "mask" one's emotional attitudes or motives.

 

coming soon

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