General Reference Glossaries
Of Interest to Theosophists
Adept: Through serious study and accomplishments one is considered highly proficient in a particular magical system.
Aes sidhe: The Supernatural Folk, i.e. the Faerie Folk.
Aicme: group of five Oghams.
Aine: the Celtic goddess of crops, the moon and of cattle.
Airbe druad: "Hedge," a magical barrier no one could pass through.
Aisling: (Ashling) dream. Vision.
Akasha: The fifth element, the Spirit
Alban Arthuan: Winter Solstice.
Alban Eiler: Spring Equinox.
Alban Elved: Autumnal Equinox.
Alban Heruin: Summer Solstice.
Altar: This is a special, flat surface set aside for magical workings and/or religious acknowledgements.
Amulet: Considered an object of protection that has been charged to deflect specific negative energies or thought forms.
Anam: soul, indestructible self. One does not have but rather one is anam. It is seated in the head.
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: (Ah-noon) the Under World.
Aradia: This is the name of a Italian Goddess 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.
Arawn: (Ar-ahn) 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.
Asperger: a bundle of fresh herbs that is dipped into water and used to sprinkle it around the magical circle.
Astral: 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 belief that the planets and stars and their placement can have an affect on the human mind and human actions. This is also the name for the study of such phenomena.
Ategenos: rebirth after death into the Other World.
Athame: (ath-uh-may) This is a ceremonial knife that has been cleansed and consecrated. It is never used for blood-letting, and very rarely used for cutting anything on the material plane.
Aura: (Ar-uh) The radiating layers of energy that emanate from all things.*
Awenyddion: inspired ones.
Balefire: a ritual fire that is built out-of-doors.*
Bane: (Rhymes with "mane") This means bad, evil or destructive.
Banish: To rid the presence of. To magically end something or exorcise unwanted entities.
Beithe Luis Nion: The Old Irish name of the Celtic Tree Ogham.
Beltane: (bell-tain) or (Bee-Al-tin-ay) Irish festival of May 1.
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: (beh-som) a besom is a magical broom used during ritual for purification by sweeping away negative energies. Besom often refers to the small handheld type.
Bind: To magically restrain someone or something.
Bith: this world: the manifest multi-verse.
Blath: prosperity. The eastern realm among the Fifths.
Blood of the Moon: A woman's menstrual cycle. If this occurs at the time of the full moon, she is far more power than any other time of the month.
Bodhran: "cow song," a drum.
Boline: (bowl-in) This is a white-handled knife used for magical purposes such as cutting. Example: inscribing candles, or cutting a branch for a wand.
Book of Shadows: This is a collection of information for a Witch's reference.
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, vigor, 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*
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, The: The period of history in which the Christian church burned thousands of "non-believers" supposedly on suspicions of witchcraft.
Bwa'r Crach: "hag's bow," the rainbow leading to the Other World.
Cabala: Is the ancient Hebrew magickal system. Also spelled Quaballah
Caer: castle or fortress.
Call: Invoking Divine forces.
Cath: conflict: The northern realm among the Fifths.
Cauldron: (cahl-drun) The cauldron is used to symbolize the womb of the Goddess in ritual. It may also be used for casting spells or for mixing potions and brews. The cauldron may be replaced with a chalice or sometimes a bowl.
Celtic: (kel-tic) Cultures stemming from the Indo-European
language family from
Censer: (sen-ser) a container in which to hold buring incense.*
Centering: to take hold of or ground your energy by means of meditation.*
Cernunnos: (ker-noo-nohs) 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: (Ker-i-dwen) Celtic grain goddess*
Chakras: (shah-krah) In the human body there are seven major energy vortexes. These vortexes are: 1. The crown (white) 2. forehead (purple) 3. the throat (blue) 4. the chest (pink or green) 5. navel (yellow) 6. abdomen (orange) 7. groin (red). Note that there are colors associated to each chakras. To mention also there are smaller vortexes in the hands and feet.
Chalice - (chal-iss) the chalice is a wine glass or other type of drinking cup used in ritual to represent the Goddess.
The Charge This is a story of the message from the Goddess to her children.
Channeling This is where you allow a disincarnate entity to "borrow" your body to speak to others in the forms of writing or verbal.
Charms: The can be amulets or talisman that have been charged to perform a specific task, an incantation being said over it.
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.
Cleansing: 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: the energy raised from a cast circle by a coven or practicing witch during spells or ritual.
Consecration: To bless an object or place by charging/instilling it with positive energy.
Corn Dolly: a doll or poppet made of corn or other grain used to symbolize a person.
Corp creidh: "clay body," used as a magick poppet or spelling doll.
Correspondence: a tool or item used in magick for a corresponding purpose. ie: a red candle for love or a blue candle for peace.
Coven: (kuh-ven) Is a group of Witches, (13 or less), that work together for positive magickal goals, and perform religious ceremonies. Also a family of witches.
Covenstead: (kuh-ven-sted) 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 derogatory term for a person who is not a witch.
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: one of the three aspects of the goddess (Maiden, Mother, and Crone). The Crone symbolizes wisdom, death, winter, and end.
Croning: A ceremony performed for a woman who is celebrating her transition from being a Mother to being a Crone.
Cross-Quarter Days: These are the four fire festivals: Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lammas.
Crystallomancy: divination using crystals
Cwn Annwn: (coon-anoon) the hunting dogs of the faeries. Also called the hell hounds.
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.
Deity: a God or Goddess.
Deosil: (Jesh-il) This is clockwise movement.
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.
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.
Drawing Down the Moon: This is a ritual used during the Full Moon for witches to empower themselves and unite their inner selves with a particular deity.
Drawing Down the Sun: a ritual to bring the powers of the sun down into a male witch.
Druid: a person of the Celtic Mystical Order
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.
Earth Magick: Magick that uses the powers and forces of the Mother Earth.
Elder: Is a person or group of people that oversee the operations of the church and its functions. These people are experienced and educated in Magickal adeptship and counseling.
Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit. They may also be associated in a magickal circle with direction, East is Air, South is Fire, West is Water and North is Earth. The center of a circle is Spirit or Akasha.
Empower: to transfer energy to a person or object
Enchantment: These are magickal objects that have been charmed and kept secret and hidden from all human eyes and affects a hidden aura.
Esbat: a celebration that honors the full moon or the new moon
Evocation: This is to call something out from within. It is also the word used for the act of calling up spirits.
Faeries: a race of people of all types, shapes, and sizes believed to have great power. These beings live alongside us in our world hidden from our eyes.
Familiar: A familiar is an animal which connects with and communicates with a witch for magickal purposes. It can be a pet or a creature that exists on the astral, rather than the physical plane.
Fascination: Also known as mind-binding, this is an act of mental effort to control anther person's or animal's mind.
Fey: faerie folk.
Five-Fold Kiss: A kiss performed in ritual where first both feet are kissed, then both knees, the womb, both breasts, and the lips.
Gaea/Gaia: This is a Greek Goddess, now meaning Earth Mother or Mother Earth.
Gardnerian: a type of witchcraft developed by Dr. Gerald Gardner
Geomancy: earth or stone divination
Glamour: a magickal illusion used to disguise
Gnomes: earth-spirits, part of the fairy realm
God Voice: Building up force and intoning a word or sound from deep within.
Green Man: This is another name for the God.
Grimoire: a book of shadows. A book used to keep track of magical information or results and observations.
Grounding: the act of sending excess or negative energy from your body into the earth. This is always done after ritual or spellwork.
Handfasting: This is the name of a Wiccan or Pagan marriage ceremony.
Handparting: the divorce or parting ways of a handfasted couple
Hedge Witch: a witch who follows the path of a shaman.
Herbalism: The study of herbs and plants and their magical and/or medicinal properties.
High Priest: the male leader of a coven.
High Priestess: the female leader of a coven.
I Ching: (ee-ching) A form of Chinese divination
Imbas: fire in the head. source of poetic/magical/divine inspiration.
Imbolc: (im-bolk) or (im-ulk) also known as Candlemas. A pagan fire festival held each year on Feb. 1st or 2nd. A day of divination. The precursor to the modern groundhog day.
Initiation: This is the experience and/or awareness of a person, that their personal and earthly reality has been changed.
Invocation: the act of asking the Deities for assistance during spells and rituals.
Karma: A balance of energy that flows through all things. This balance causes a reaction to everything you do.
Labrys: a double-headed axe. This is commonly known as a symbol of the Goddess.
Libation: (lie-bay-shun) an offering of food or drink to the deities or to the little people usually given during ritual or as an offering of thanks.
Litha: (lith-uh) or Midsummer. The day of the summer solstice and a celebration of the sun.
Lord and Lady: the God and Goddess
Lughnassadh: (loo-nah-sah) festival of August 1.
Macrocosm: The world around us.
Microcosm: The world within us.
Mabon: (may-bun) celebration of the autumn equinox
Magick: (or "magic") Focusing your will and emotions to cause change in both the macrocosm and microcosm. This is the ability to manipulate the energies around us.
Magic Circle: This circle protects the Witch from outside forces while conducting ritual magick. The magick circle is considered the doorway between the worlds, and allows us to move between the two.
Magickal Systems: This is the set of guidelines relating to specific Gods and Goddesses or Traditions, Denominations, Sects and/or Pantheons.
Meditation: the act and discipline of finding one's center and entering into oneself.
Megalith: a gigantic stone monument.
Menhir: a stone with engraved symbols that is commonly used to mark the site of a covenstead.
Midsummer: a celebration of the Summer Solstice.
Muir: the sea.
Neo-Pagan: Modern Paganism (since the 1950s).
Ogham: (oh-wum) the magickal faerie alphabet. Used by
the druids. Comprised of sticks or notches on a vertical line. Druids used
these symbols to communicate using a secret sign language and Ogham is often
found written on graves and stones throughout
Old Ones, The: the God and Goddess
Ostara: (oh-star-ah) or (ay-oh-ster) or (est-er) a celebration of the spring equinox. The precursor of the modern Christian holiday Easter.
Pagan: (pay-gun) originally, this word meant "a country person" or someone who was not living in the city and privy to fashion or new ideas. Today, the word "Pagan" is used to describe any person who is not a Christian.
Pantheism: (pan-thee-is-um) the belief in more than one deity.
Pantheon: (pan-thee-on) This is a group of Gods and Goddesses in a specific religious structure.
Pendulum: (pen-doo-lum) a divination tool made from a crystal, stone, or other object which hangs from a string.
Pentacle: (pen-ta-kul) This is an upright 5 pointed star that is encircled. Each point of the star has a meaning: 1. Earth 2. Air 3. Fire 4. Water 5. Spirit.
Pentagram: The pentagram has the same meaning as a pentacle, but it is only a 5-pointed star without the circle around it. The pentagram is not related to the similar, but inverted form of the pentacle which has its roots in Satanism.
Polarity: the positive and negative forces in all things: yin and yang, opposite, yet equal energy forces.
Polytheism: (polly-thee-ism) The belief in many gods.
Prana: (prah-nah) life energy
Priestess: Is a female that is devoted to the service of her chosen deity and humankind.
Projective Hand: a person's dominant hand, the sending hand.
Priest: This a male that is devoted to the service of his chosen deity and humankind.
Receptive Hand: opposite from the projective hand.
Rede: The Pagan law of "do as you like as long as you harm no one."
Reincarnation: To return to the physical body. The soul upon death, exits one body and begins to prepare to come back into life within another physical form.
Ritual: A physically/mentally focused ceremony to thank or honor your chosen pantheon, or to perform a magickal working.
Runes: (Roons) Are used in divination and magickal workings. They are a set of letters from the old Teutonic alphabets, inscribed on wood, stone, clay, tiles. They are widely used in all forms of magick.
Sabbat: (sah-baht) one of the eight equally-spaced pagan religious holidays.
Samhain: (Sow-en) festival of October 31. Time when the veil between this world and the next are thinnest.
Sands of Time: sand taken from between the paws of the great
Scrying: (rhymes with "crying") The practice of staring into an object such as a mirror, bowl of water, stone, or crystal ball with the intent to divine information.
Shaman: (shah-mahn) or (shay-mahn) a magical healer. One with the gift to walk between the worlds.
Shields: a protective barrier of power erected around a person, place, or object.
Sidhe: pronounced (shee). faeries or other world beings.
Sigil: (sih-jill) Is a magically oriented seal, sign or other device used in a magical working.
Simple Feast, The: a meal or a feast which is shared in the name of the God and Goddess.
Skyclad: nude or naked
Smudging: Smudging is the act of using a lit smudge stick to purify an object or an area. Smudge sticks are traditionally made from bundled sage along with other woods such as pine or cedar.
Solitaire: a witch who is not part of a group or coven. Someone who practices magick alone.
Spell: This is a magickal rite, an extension of mental/emotional energy, either spoken aloud, written, said to oneself, it could be drawn and even expressed in the form of dance. There must be a need for the spell to be successful.
Summerlands: a realm, somewhat like heaven, where the soul goes to rest before being reincarnated or becoming one with The Great Spirit.
Talisman: a magically charged object, to bring something to the one who possesses it.
Tarot: (tair-oh) A set of 78 cards which the user uses for divination to answer questions.
Third-Eye: the psychic center, or eye, located in the center of the forehead between the eyes.
Three-Fold-Law: the belief that whatever energy you send out will be returned to you times three.
Tir-nan-og: (teer-nan-og) "Land of the Young," or Faerie Land. Many Celts believe that upon death, the soul enters the land of Tir-nan-og.
Triple Goddess: The three aspects of the Goddess: Maiden, Mother and Crone.
Tuatha De Dannan: (tuah-day-dana) "Children of the Goddess Dana," or the ancient Faerie Gods and Goddesses.
Vision Questing: Also known as "pathworking", The use of astral projection, or dreamtime to accomplish a specific goal.
Visualization: the practice of forming a mental picture of something, usually to bring about a change.
Warlock: a warlock is NOT a male witch. A warlock is someone who has broken an oath: an oathbreaker.
Watchtowers: another name for the four directions: North, South, East, and West.
Webweaving: The sharing of information between magical people by means of any form of communication to assist each other in their studies and life goals.
Wheel of the Year: This is the full cycle of the seasonal year, beginning with Samhain celebration. - The turning seasons.
Wicca: (wik-uh) also spelled "Wicce." one of many religions that practices witchcraft.
Wiccaning: A Wiccan ceremony to bless a child.
Wiccan Rede: The law of Wicca which states that all may do as they wish, as long as they harm no living thing.
Wiccan Trilogy: The triple aspect of the goddess: Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
Widdershins: (wid-er-shins) Counterclockwise motion.
Witch: one who practices magick: a practitioner of folk magick. This term is used for both MALE and female witches.
Witchcraft: the practice of using and manipulating energy for a certain purpose.
Working: Known as magickal working. This is the process used magickally to reach a positive goal.
Yule: (yool) a pagan
Theosophical Society in
206 Newport Road, Cardiff, Wales, UK. CF24 -1DL
Find out more about
Theosophy with these links
Try these if you are looking for a local
Theosophy Group or Centre