General Reference Glossaries
Of Interest to Theosophists
Glossary of Paganism
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- An individual who through serious study and accomplishments is highly prficient in a praticluar magickal way.
Aeromancy- Divination by the stars.
Aisling- Ireland: Dream or Vision. In the many Irish tales having this title, the person who dreams sees a speir-bhean or vision-woman from the Otherworlds, 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 visualization journey in the mind.
Alba- The Isle of Skye; Scotland
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.
Alexandrian Tradition- A form of Garderian Wiccan practice developed by
Alex and Maxine Sanders in
Alignment- Synchronization of mental and spiritual vibrations with a god, goddess, or astronomical body. Often the complete balance and centering of the chakras is called an alignment.
Altar- A small working area and shrine many pagans maintain, where they perform most of their ritual and spell work.
Amulet- An object charged with personal energies through ritual or meditation often used to ward off a certain force or person.
Aradia- The Italian goddess Diana's daughter, said to be the origin of all witches. The book "Aradia, Gospel of the Witches" was written by Leland about Aradia and the practice of witchcraft.
Arcana- The two halves of the tarot deck.The major arcana consists of 22 cards showing dominant occurrences in our lives.The minor arcana consists of 56 suit cards (commonly called the lesser arcana) that assists the major arcana cards,or shows smaller influences 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.
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- Another dimension of reality.
Astral Plane- A plane parallel to the physical world, traveled through by the astral body during projection.
Astral Projection/Travel- The proccess of separating your astral body from your physical body to accomplish travel in the astral.
Astrology- The practice of revealing the future by interpreting the arrangement of stars and planets in relation to astrological theory and the zodiac.
Athame- A Wiccan ritual knife. Generally double edged with a black handle, but not always. This knife is seldom used for physical cutting, if at all, and need not be sharp. It is *never* used to draw blood and Wicca do not draw blood or use blood in ritual. Its primary use is as an energy directing device, much like the wand, though with different common uses. compare: Boline, Wand
Attune- To bring different psyches into harmony.
Augury- Divination based on "signs" or omens.
Aura- An energy field which surrounds living beings. 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 colors 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.
Balefire- A fire laid and lit for magical or religious purposes, usually outdoors. Physically similar to the non-magical non-religious bonfire.
Bane- That which is harmful, destructive or evil.
Banish- To magickally end something or exorcise entities.To rid the presence of.
Banishing- Three meanings: banishing the Circle is the formal dismantling of a Magic Circle when the ritual is over. Banishing an individual means expelling him of her from the coven for an unforgivable offense, or from Wicca itself, though some regard the latter as impossible. Banishing an entity means disabling a harmful non-material entity.
B.C.E- Before Common Era, non-christian version of B.C.
Beltane- Pronounced "Bal-tene". The Irish festival of May 1. Called Bealtiunn in Scotland, Shenn da Boaldyn in the Isle of Man, and Galan-Mai in Wales
Besom- A bundle of twigs attached to a handle used to cleanse and purify sacred space. Essentially a witch's broomstick.
Bind- To prevent or limit. in the magickal context the act of limiting a spell (ie: to ensure it will harm none) or person (ie: to prevent them from harming others). Some consider it unethical to bind people other than yourself or spells you did not cast.
Binding- Using magick to restrain someone or something, or to 'bind' them to you.
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 mentrual cycle, considered important and a crucial time for magick to be performed, especially when it crosses the new or full moon.
Ireland. "Cow-song"; A single-head frame drum.
Bolline; Boleen- A Wiccan ritual knife used for more practical purposes, such as cutting herbs, etc. *never* to draw blood. Generally white handled with a curved blade. compare: Athame.
Book of Shadows- A term coined by Aleister Crowley for a book of rituals, recipes, journal entries, laws/rules, chants/poems to gods and goddesses, magick, advice, and coven laws (if a coven B.O.S.) among other things. A B.O.S can be a coven book, detailing that coven's craft, or owned by an individual wiccan with a more personal style.
Boomerang Effect- The occult principle that a psychic attack which comes up against a stronger defense rebounds on the attacker-traditionally *threefold* though this is metaphorical.
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.
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 herectics or Christians accused of witchcraft by those who disliked them, from circa 1000 Ce through the 17th century.
Cabala- See Qaballa. The ancient Hebrew magickal system.
Call- Invoking divine forces.
Candlemas- Pagan sabbat held on Feb. 1.
Cantrip- A spell cast by a witch. It is small, quick, and has minimal effects.
Cardinal Points- North, East, South, and West. Symbolized by the circle in magic (which connects the points), the four elements, and the watchtowers.
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.
Censer- A container in which incense is smoldered 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.
Centering- Grounding your energy through meditation, often before rituals to help harness and direct the balanced energy.
Chakras- Seven major energy vortexes in the human body.Each is usually associated with a color. These vortexes are: crown-violet, forehead-indigo, thoat-blue, chest-green, naval-yellow, abdomen-orange, groin- red.
Charms- An amulet or talisman that has been chamged by saying an incantation oover it and instilling it with energy for a specific purpose.
Chalice- 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.
Channeling- 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.
A Chaos magician not actively in practice.
Charge, The- The traditional Garderian/Alexandrian declaration by the High Priestess in the name of the Goddess.
Charging- The act of empowering an herb stone or other magickal object with one's own energies directoed towards a magickal purpose.
Chi- A Chinese term for the all-encompassing universal life force.
Cheiromancy- Divination based on the examination of the hand, related to palmistry.
Circle, Magic- A sphere of magical energies in which Wiccan rituals are usually practiced. The area inside the circle is seen as being sacred ground in which Wicca and their deities may meet. The circle is deconstructed (released, grounded, etc) after use. Often constructed using the athame, along with incence, salt, and water, but methods vary greatly.
Circle of Protection;
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.
Cone of Power- Psychic energy raised by either an individual or a coven 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.
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.
Correspondences- Materials used in magick which relate to their specific goal. These can be herbs, stones, moon phases, colors, numbers, etc. An example would be mugwort used in a dream spell, as mugwort is a popular herb corresponding to dreams.
Coven- A group of witches led by a High Priest and/or a High Priestess who meet to worship and practice magic. Traditionally limited to 13, though most are significantly smaller.
Covenstead- The place where a particular coven habitually meets.
Cowan- Used in Wicca and Witchgraft to mean a non Wiccan/Witch in much the same way gentile is used by Jews to desigante a non Jew.
Cowan- A slang term for a non-witch or non-pagan, generally used as a derogatory word for a pagan who is considered a fake or a poser.
Craft, the- The Craft is a term used to refer to witchcraft and wicca.
Crone- A term of respect used for a witch who has passed menopause or who is over 50-56 years old.
Croning- A rite of passage into 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, Imbolb, Beltane, Lammas). The most important festivals of the years which form the "cross" in the wheel of the year.
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.
Daemon- A Greek word for spirit.
Days of Power- Significant magickal days around the year. See also Sabbats.
Dedication- acceptance of the Craft as a path and a vow to study and learn the lore and information to become an adept.
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.
Deosil- Clockwise. Used often to describe movement in rituals. The opposite is Widdershins.
Divination- The art of peering into the unknown by interpreting random patterns or symbols. Incorrectly referred to as "fortune telling". examples include: tarot cards, the I Ching, rune stones, staring (scrying) into water or fire, etc.
Doctrine of Signatrues- The theory that flowers, herbs, plants and other living things have a unique quality or vibration.
Dowsing- The act of using a pendulum or stick to locate a person,place,thing, or element.Dowsing can also be used to answer yes or 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- An ancient Pagan ritual enacted at the Esbats to draw the power of the full moon. Commonly to empower yourself and unite with a particular deity usually a moon Goddess.
Dreamtime- The Shamanic concept of a world which parallels this one.
Druidism- An ancient celtic order of priests which has undergone a modern revival into neo-paganism.
Earthing- See Grounding.
Earth Magick- A practical form of magick which involves drawing energy from Mother Earth (or Gaia) and the element or elementals of earth for rituals.
Earth Power- Defines the force or vibration that exists in many inanimate objects like stones, water, fire, and plants. Can be controlled and used in magick.
Eclectic- A person (or the practice of a person) who combines attributes from various traditions to create a unique spiritual blend of Wicca, paganism, or witchcraft that suits them best.
Elder- Many wiccan organizations have a group or board of elders who oversee the operations of the church and its variety of functions.These people have usually gained their positions through a combination of theirabilities which may include education,experience,magickal adeptship and counseling.
Elemental- A spirit formed of one of the elements. The 5 elementals are salamanders (fire), sylphs (air), undines (water), gnomes (earth), and spirit (akasha).
Elements- Usually counted as four:Earth,Air,Fire and Water.However many witches add spirit or akasha to this category,as well.Each element has a direction within a magickal circle: Earth=north, Air=east, Fire=south, Water=west, Akasha=center.The elements are what sustain all life.The elements are found within each individual as well asin nature.
Elixir- A magically charged liquid which has to have a crystal or gem sitting in it for a specific amount of time before it is ready to drink.
Empowerment- An individual's assertion of personal power, energy, force, and strength in all fields... spiritual, physical, mental, magickal.
Enchantment- A method of spellcasting which involves, generally, spoken words of power. An enchantment can be put on something to gain control or authority over it. Enchanted objects generally "carry" the magick put upon them with them, so it does not cease to work but is continually having its effect.
Esbat- Any Wiccan religious celebration held which is not a sabbat, commonly held on full moons in honor of the goddess.
Essential Oil- A plant oil which is extracted through a very complex process that generally yields very little product, making it costly to buy true essential oils. It's a misconception to think of them as actually being oily because they rarely are. These are called for often in rituals.
Evocation- Calling something out from within.
Evoking- Summoning a non-material entity of a lower nature than human (cf. Invoking).
Familiar- A spirit or guardian who is close to a human being and considered a companion in magick. The spirit often manifests itself in a sacred object or a pet. This explains the misconception that all witches have black cats, which is not necessarily true though a cat is a magickal creature and often does become a familiar.
Fascination- The practice of controlling another's mind psychically. Can be considered very manipulative and by some traditions a breaking of the Rede, especially when used to frivolously control people.
Fate- The destined result of life after a sequence of fated events.
Fetch- A male witch who acts as a messenger and general assistant to a coven's High Priestess and High Priest. Also called the Summoner.
Five-fold Kiss- A traditional salute generally performed between the High Priest and the High Priestess.
Full Moon- Phase of the moon when it has waxed fully. Best time for spells involving psychic powers, and for magick in general.
Futhark- Runic alphabet used often in divination, its origins are Norse (Germanic). Divided into the elder Futhark and the younger Futhark (which has fewer runes).
Gardnerian Tradition- Tradition of witchcraft based on the teachings of Gerald Gardner, who was essentially the founder of modern Wicca, though many covens calling themselves Gardnerian today have expanded and modified these.
Guardians- Ceremonial magicians use the gaurdians of the watchtowers or gaurdians of the four quarters.Some witches use them,too.There are those that see these gaurdians as ugly little biddies,such as lizards,dragons,etc...
Geomancy- Divination by the earth.
Glamour- A form of magick which involves changing people's immediate perception of you. It generally is simply altering your physical appearance (eye color, hair length, height, etc.) temporarily. However, it can also include changing people's emotional reaction to you. Glamours last only as long as the magician feeds energy into it.
Glyph- A sigil imbued with magick.
Gnome- The traditional term for an Earth Elemental.
God, The- Loving father to all and the perfect compliment to the Goddess. He is viewed as co-creator of the universe. Often Identified with the sun, sky deserts, forests, agriculture, and wild animals. not to be confused with the monotheistic Christian concept of 'God' he is part of a pair.
Goddess, The- Definitions differ but Generally the universal mother of all who created the universe with the god. Often associated with the Moon, ocean, earth, fertility, birth and death.
Gods- Immortal beings, also called deities, worshipped by their followers and invoked for magick. A "god" is generally male, whereas the female version is "goddess".
Grammary- Written magick, including symbols, signs, Ogham, and sigils.
Great Rite- In Wicca, the major ritual of polarity between a an and a woman. It can be either symbolic or *actual*-i.e., involving intercourse. In most traditions, the actual Great Rite is performed by the couple in private, and only between a married pair of established lovers.
Grimoire- A magickal workbook which contains various information on rituals, formulae, correspondences, and preparation of ritual tools and space. Similar to a Book of Shadows.
Gris-Gris- In African religious systems, a charm, fetish, or amulet.
Dispersing excess energy generated during any magickal rite or working by sen Hallows, Halloween-
Another name for Samhain.
The joining of two humans in a bond of love before the goddess and god. Yes,
they can be made to be a legal marriage, there is no requirement that a
marriage be Christian to be legal in the
Handparting- Similar to a seperation or divorce, symbolically the cutting of the binds created by a handfasting.
Haruspicy- Divination by animal entrails.
Heathen- 1. One who does not recognize the God of the Bible. 2. A pagan. 3. An irreligious, uncivilized person. Can be used in this context as a derogatory term for a pagan, despite the fact that it's an inaccurate generalization.
Hedge Wizard- A rural practitioner who has little formal training, or none at all.
Heptagram- A seven-pointed star drawn with one unbroken line. Symbolic of the number seven, which is important not only to the seven traditional astrological planets but also to the seven planes and subplanes and the seven chakras.
Hereditary Witch- The name used by witches who claim their practices have been continuous in the family. See also Traditional.
Hexagram- A six-pointed star of two equilateral triangles. In occultism it is not specifically a Jewish symbol, but represents the principle of *As above, so below*-harmony between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm.
Hierophant- A priest of the mysteries who reveals his secrets only to this initiates.
High Magick- Ceremonial magick involving the actions of deities or spirits.
High Priest- A male witch within a coven who has been initiated into the 3rd degree. Abbreviated in written rituals as HP.
High Priestess- A female witch within a coven who has been initiated into the 3rd degree. Abbreviated as HPS in written rituals.
Higher Self- Non-physical, true self. The enlightened, "actual" persona of the individual as opposed to what the person seems to be or thinks they are.
Hiving Off- The process whereby some members of a coven leave to form a new coven of their own.
Horned God- Consort of the Goddess. The lord of animals and forrests, associated with hunting. Pagan father God often mistaken for, or associated with, Satan. This is an incorrect assumption.
Hydromancy- Divination by liquid, especially water.
Imbolc- The February 2 festival. A Gaelic word, pronounced *immOL'g* and meaning *in the belly*-the first stirrings of Spring in the womb of Mother Earth.
Incantation; Incant- The spoken part of a spell.
Initiate- A person who has undergone the rite of entry into a coven, circle, or other organization.
Initiation- Admission ceremony for an intiate to gain entry into a coven or circle. Generally in the form of a ritual with an oath of secrecy.
Invocation- The bringing of a divine power from the exterior into a ritual or magickal working through chant or prayer. An invocation is generally an acknowledgement of the deity and a request that they be present for the working.
Invoking- Summoning a non0material entity of a higher nature than human (cf. Evoking).
The silencing of the emotions and thoughts that disturb the effectiveness of a ritual.
Karma- A concept which originated in Hindu philosophy that is used to explain injustice and retribution. By karma, a trespass in this life will be punished in the next. Essentially, "what goes around comes around". Actions bad or good will eventually be returned to you.
Ki- Japanese word for the universal life force, synonymous with the Chinese term, Chi.
Kitchen Magick; Kitchen Witchcraft- A practical tradition of witchcraft mainly for suburban or lower budget witches that allows one to utilize household items instead of the often difficult to obtain ritual items.
Lamen- A disc of metal with magickal symbols inscribed on it, worn around the neck during rituals.
Lammas- A pagan sabbat which takes place on August 1st.
Left-hand Path- A term for people who feel that they are justified in using magick for purposes that are not constructive to other human beings.
Levitation- The supernatural phenomenon involving suspending a body in midair without physical bolster.
Litha- The Summer Solstice festival, June 21.
Lithomancy- Divination by stones.
Loa- An ancestral deity in the Vodou religion.
Lughnasadh, Lunasa (*Festival of Lugh*)- The Autumn festival on July 31. It is a Gaelic word, the name of the month of August, and is pronounced *LOO-na-sa*.
Mabon- The Fall Equinox festival, September 22.
Macrocosm- The Cosmos as a whole, in relation to the Microcosm, its detailed manifestation (human in particular).
Mage- A master magician; often a mage is a scholarly and skilled practitioner who prefers that the only tools of their magick be their mind, ability, and spirit.
Magic(k)- The art and science of focusing your will and emotions to effect change both in the world around you and the world within you.Magick is neither good nor evil,positive or negative.It is the use of the power that determines the path that it will take.
Magickal Name- A name chosen by the dedicant or initiate to symbolise rebirth into their new path.
Magickal Voice, the- The commanding, assertive voice used to read power words during rituals which allows no doubt or insecurity in. This applies whether the voice is speaking tone, a loud whisper, or in song.
Magus- A male occult adapt.
Maiden- 1. The name of one of the members of a coven, generally the assistant to the High Priestess. 2. One of the aspects of the triple goddess (maiden, mother, crone) symbolised by the waxing moon, creation, and the time between Beltane and Imbolc.
Meditation- The practice of inverting the mind to pay attention to the inner silence instead of the outer chaos. Other forms of meditation focus on the outer chaos instead. This practice is accepted in almost all religions, but is encouraged most in Buddhism.
Merry Meet- Greeting commonly used by Wiccans and pagans. It basically means "Greetings". Abbreviated as MM.
Merry Part- A friendly phrase that basically means "Goodbye", used by Wiccans and pagans. Abbreviated as MP.
Metaphysical- Having the nature of metaphysics.
Metaphysics- A field of abstract thought and philosophy about topics not on the concrete or physical level of understanding. This includes subjects like existence, the soul, being, the supernatural, astral travel, psychicism, and so on.
Microcosm- The lesser world, the physical. Said to parallel the macrocosm, or greater world. The world within us.
Midsummer- Sabbat celebrated in June.
Mojo Bag- A small bag generally worn around the neck which is charged with energies towards a certain goal and filled with charms, herbs, and/or stones.
Necromancy- 1. The art of revealing the future through magick and especially through communication with the deceased. 2. The practice of summoning the souls of the dead.
Necronomicon- A pseudo-grimoire. The notion of such a book was made by H.P. Lovecraft in fictional writing, but an unknown author wrote it and some people today still believe it is a valid source of occult information.
Neo-Pagan- Literally, new pagan. Modern earth religion which branches from paganism and is based on ancient pre-Christian religious practices. Wicca, for example, is a neo-pagan religion, derived from ancient witchcraft and paganism.
New Age- The modern movement which involves combining metaphysical concepts with the practice of an organized religion.
OBE- Out-of-body experience.
Occult- Study and science of things esoteric, secret, paranormal, and supernatural.
Ogham- The magickal Celtic alphabet made up of 20 letters called fews, each representing a different kind of tree.
Old Religion- This is a term often used for Wicca and witchcraft. It was used because witchcraft is believed to descend from ancient paganism. However, it is misleading when used in relation to Wicca, which is a fairly young and modern religion based on witchcraft.
Omen- An sudden occurence which is interpreted as being a sign of good or evil. Often it will be small yet significant; a vase falling over or a cup of water spilling, for example.
Oneiromancy- Divination through dreams.
Oracle- A person through which otherworldly entities can be communicated with, similar to channeling. People often see oracles to ask questions or to be given insights to their future.
Ostara- Sabbat which occurs to celebrate the onset of spring. The Christian holiday of Easter originated from Ostara, a celebration named after the goddess of Spring and rebirth, hence the egg and the rabbit as the primary symbols.
Pagan- From Latin paganus a 'country dweller' or villager. Today it' a general term for followers of Wicca and other polytheistic, magic-embracing religions. Some prefer that Wicca are called neo-pagan and that pagan refer to practitioners of ancient polytheistic faiths in their more or less original form , such as Astaru, Odinism, etc... Pagans are not Satanists.
Pagandom- Part of the world inhabited primarily by pagans.
Paganism- Any religion other than Christianity, Islam, or Judaism. Generally categorized as an earth religion. Most are polytheistic (have more than one god or goddess). Literally means "country dweller".
Pagan Standard Time- A slang term for when people cannot arrive or get an event going on time. Almost extinct because it was a poor excuse to begin with. Abbreviated as PST.
Pallomancy- Divination with a pendulum.
Pantheon- A collection or group of Gods and Goddesses in a particular religious or mythical structure, commonly regional i.e. the Greek Pantheon.
Past Life Regression- A technique used by hypnotists to lead a person in a trance which allows them to supposedly recall events from previous lives, when their soul was in a different physical body at another time period and place. Assuming belief in the human soul, this is actually very logical, and can be explained as simply a matter of helping the human mind connect to the soul mind and read the memories stored there.
Pathfinder- Spritual guide, help, or tool.
Pendulum- A tool often used to communicate with spirits or divine. See also divination.
Pentacle- A circle surrounding a five pointed star known as pentagram. Worn as symbol of a witches beliefs and used in magickal workings and ceremonies. Each point on the star has a specific meaning: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit.The inverted pentagram is used in some second degree intiations,to indicate a function of growth.
Pentagram- The five-pointed star, a familiar symbol of Paganism, occultism, and witchcraft. In America it is always portrayed with a single point upwards, because with two points upward, it is a symbols used by American Satanists. In Britain, two-points-upwards used to be the symbol of the Wiccan Second Degree; British Satanists have always used the inverted crucifix. But many British Wiccans are abandoning the two-points-upward Second Degree symbol as communication with American Pagans increases. The pentagram is a symbol of protection and is not evil.
Pecti-Wita- A Scottish tradition of Wicca, see also Wita.
Philtre- A potion, especially for love.
Phrenology- Character analysis by studying the shape and surface of the skull.
Projective Hand- A term often used in ritualism to describe your most powerful hand, generally the one you write with.
Prana- The vital force of the Cosmos as it operates on the Etheric level, permeating everything.
Priest- A male dedicated to both his choosen deities and humankind. A High Preist is a male leader of a coven or a wiccan organization and play a the role of the God in certain ceremonies.
Priestess- A female dedicated to both the service of her choosen deity or deities and humankind.A high priestess is a feminine leader of a coven or wiccan organization that plays the role of Goddess in certain ceremonies.A solitary witch can be a priestess by dedicating herself to a particular God or Goddess.
Prophet- One who receives inspiration, information, or insights into the future from a divine source.
Psychic Awareness- The open state of awareness in which the conscious mind can tap into the psychic mind.
Psychic Mind- The sub- or un- conscious mind which is receptive of psychic messages. When we are psychically aware, the two minds link and we can intercept these messages.
Pyromancy- Divination by fire.
Qaballa- Jewish mysticism; metaphysical practices based on the Judaic Qabalistic texts.
Quarter Days- The solstices and equinoxes.
Quarters- The north, east, south, and west parts of the circle, often representative of the four watchtowers.
Receptive Hand- The hand which has less power, generally whichever hand you do not write with. This hand is used less in holding and charging ritual items, however, it receives outside energy which is used to feed the magick.
Rede- A tenet, rule, doctrine, or law.
Reincarnation- The rebirth of the soul into other physical forms from one life (reincarnation) to the next. The new physical form can be animal or human.
Right-hand Path- A term used for a person who practices magick that is beneficial to others. Opposite of left-hand path.
Rite- A ritual.
Ritual- A focused mental/physical ceremony to either honor or thank ones choosen pantheon,or to perform a specific magickal working or act.
Rune- A tool of magick and divination. There are many types of runes, all of them alphabets of some sort. Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and modern Wiccan runes are just a few. They are usually tossed randomly after deciding a subject, and then decifered based on their positioning.
Sabbat- Any one of eight Wiccan solar festivals, marked by the 4 solstices and equinoxes, as well as 4 dates inbetween them. They are (Celtic style names, others exist) Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh, Mabon, and Samhain.
Salamander- The traditional term for a Fire Elemental.
Samhain- The November-Eve ritual better known as Hallowe'en. It is a Gaelic word, the name of the month of November, and is pronounced *SOW'en* (the first syllable to rhyme with *now*).
Scourge- A ritual whip symbolizing firmness, in balance with the Wand which symbolizes mercy. Most ritual scourges are quite harmless, made for example with silk thongs.
Scrying- Any form of divination which involves gazing at or into something, such as a crystal ball or black mirror, to observe psychically-perceived images.
Shade- The spirit of a being which refuses to leave the physical plane.
Shamanism- The religion of the ancient peoples of northern Europe and Asia, generally characterised by the ability of the Shaman to communicate with the spirit world. Major facets of Shamanism are animism, possession, prophecy/revelations, shapeshifting, and soul travel.
Shapeshifting- A very esoteric practice involving changing the human form. This can be practiced while on the astral plane, this alone is a great accomplishment. It is said that one can also shapeshift on the physical plane, though documented proof of this is nonexistent. Few books are published on the subject as it is an art mainly for certain people, and teachers prefer to find these people and teach them their art secretively rather than let the public know their ways.
Showstone- A crystal sphere used for divination, especially scrying. Also called a crystal ball.
Sigil- A magickal oriented seal,sign,glyph,or other device used in magickal workings.The most powerful sigil are those that you create yourself.
Skyclad- The act of celebrating or doing a magickal working in the nude.
Smudging- Waving a smoldering handful of herbs around a person, as a ritual cleansing gesture. An American practice adopted from Native Americans, though the Native American practice itself is said to have arisen only in the past hundred years.
Solitary- A witch who practices alone instead of within a coven.
So Mote it Be- A phrase used often in rituals to close a chant or incantation. It literally means, "It must be so" or "So it shall be".
Sorcery- Magickal practice which involves summoning, binding, or banishing deities. Often a sorcerer (practitioner of sorcery) uses no tools.
Soul- The true identity of a human being, the immortal self which surpasses death and lives on into the otherworld, perchance to be reincarnated.
Spell- Extended mental and emotional energy spoken aloud,written,spoken to oneself,drawn,or even danced. To work,it should be clear,concise,focused and emotional.The need must be present to bring any spell to a successful end.
Spellcrafting- The practice of creating spells by writing outlines, arranging correspondences, and authoring incantations.
Spiral- A sacred spiral plays an important part in magickal workings.It is the symbol of "coming into being."
Spirits- Entities which are free of a physical body.
Summoner- Like a male version of the maiden, a member of the coven who is an assistant to the High Priest.
Sylph- The traditional term for an Air Elemental.
Symbol- A sign which represents something else. Symbols are used commonly in rituals to represent gods, elements, goals, and more. Many tools are symbols, for example, the chalice is a symbol of the goddess and the giving of life.
Synchronicity- A Jungian term describing a coincidence which seems to have meaning yet no connection is clear.
Talisman- An object that has been magickally charged in order to bring something to the bearer.
Tarot- A deck of (usualy) 78 cards which hold images that connect the diviner with the energies. The cards can be used to determine a wide range of things as well as being part of a specific ritual.
Tasseography- Divination by reading tea leaves.
Telekinesis- A form of psychokinesis which involves moving objects with the mind without ever physically coming in contact with them.
Telepathy- Unspoken (psychic) communication between two minds.
The Threefold Law- States that whatever you do, good, or bad will return to you three times over.
Thelema- Religious beliefs that are founded on magic within the Christian pantheon.
Theurgy- Magick involving the use of divine spirits and oneness or closeness with one's God/Deitie(s).
Third Eye- The psychic eye, not physically visible, but mental. Located in the middle of the forehead.
Three-fold Law- A Wiccan principle which originated from the teachings of Gerald Gardner. It states that any action made by a person will be returned them three times as powerfully, whether the action was good or bad. By this law, you are encouraged to do good things so that you will be rewarded later on with three times the benevolence, as opposed to bad things which result in thrice the consequence.
Totem Animal- A spirit guide in the form of an animal who chooses to accompany you. This tradition is derived from Native American spirituality.
Traditional- Sects or groups which practice Wicca. Each tradition has a different set of rules and guidelines by which it follows, so when one chooses a tradition, one much be aware of the facets of the tradition and believe that the rules suit them best. Some examples of traditions are Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Celtic, Faery, and Strega.
Tradition, Wicca- An organized, structured, specific Wiccan subgroup. Much like Christianity has denominations each with their own style, Wicca has many traditions (and some Wicca follow no specific tradition see eclectic Wicca). Common examples include Garnerian, Seax (not sex), Dianic, Faery, Pecti, Teutonic, Caledoni, Alexandrian, and there are many others...
Transmutation- The work of alchemy, changing base metals and elements into precious things.
Tree Calendar- The celtic system of reckoning the 13 lunar months of the year by assigning each a sacred tre
Ululation- The part of an incantation or chant which demands full vocal force and volume.
Uncasting- Opening the circle at the end of a ritual.
Undine- The traditional term for a Water Elemental.
Unmanifest- The unknown source of existence, it is said that magicians take their power from the unmanifest to use it within the manifest.
Vampirism- The practice of subsisting on the vitality of another. Commonly this is blood, other times it is life force (sapped psychically).
Veil of Unknowing- The boundary between the manifest and the unmanifest.
Virtues- Magickal properties of objects like herbs, stones, and creatures as was assigned to them during their divine creation.
Vision Questing- Using astral projection,bi location, or dreamtime to accomplish a specific goal.Also called path working.
Visualization- 1. Forming clear mental images often used in magick to focus and direct energy to a visualized goal. 2. Imagining a scene, a person, or an object with intense clarity. This is often done through a meditation with a written "visualization journey" which allows the practitioner to enter an imagined place to make personal discoveries.
Voodoo- Polytheistic religion derived from worship of gods in African and the beliefs of Catholicism. Practiced mainly by the West Indians.
Wand- One of the ritual tools used in Wicca, generally it is another tool of energy direction, much like the athame. The specific choice of wand vs athame varies among Wicca, almost all choose athame over wand for circle casting and many prefer the wand when calling the Goddess and God.
Waning- The lunar phase when the moon is getting "smaller" (more crescent-like). This is the time when magick that involves banishing things, breaking habits, and getting rid of things is to be performed. Opposite of waxing.
Ward- A protection spell.
Warlock- A derogatory term which literally means "oathbreaker". It is a common misconception that male witches are called warlocks. However, male witches are no different than females in this respect and so they are simply called witches.
Watchtowers- A concept derived from ceremonial magick; the four watchtowers each represent a cardinal direction, element, elemental, and a color. They are commonly used in modern Wicca.
Waxing- The lunar phase when the moon is getting "larger" (nearing the full moon). This is the time when magick that involves growth and bringing things to you is best performed. Opposite of waning.
Webweaving- Netwroking with other pagans and magickal fold for everything from fellowship to group study.
Wheel of the Year- One full cycle of the seasons, in pagan beliefs in begins on Samhain as opposed to in January.
Wicca- A modern neo-pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature as a manifestation of the divine. Wicca views Deity as Goddess and God; Thus it is polytheistic. It embraces magic and reincarnation, and is in no way associated with Satanism.
Wiccan- 1. A person who follows or practices Wicca. 2. Something related to Wicca. (For example a wiccan book, wiccan artwork, etc.)
Wiccaning- The Wiccan equivalent of a Christening.
Widdershins- Counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere, clockwise in southern. Direction of motion for banishing magic to some, bane (harmful) magic to others.
Wise Woman- A solitary female practitioner of witchcraft who gave charms and healing salves to villagers in Europe.
Wita- Scottish Wicca. See also Pecti-Wita.
Witch- A practitioner of witchcraft. There are many types and traditions of witches. A witch is not necessarily a Wiccan, though if a Wiccan practices witchcraft they can be called a witch.
Witch Ball- An 18th century tradition; a glass sphere hung in windows to ward off evil spirits. This is where the Christian concept of the Christmas tree ornament came from.
Witchcraft- The practice of spells and magick, often involving the worship of many deities or a supreme God and/or Goddess.
Witta- Irish Wicca.
Wizard- A name for male ceremonial magicians, rarely used for Wiccans unless they are eclectic and use ceremonial magick as well.
Word of Power- A word or name which is supposed to have great power when spoken, most are almost impossible to pronounce and have no meaning in any language.
Working; Magickal Working- Any act involving magick or ritualism.
Wort- An archaic word for herb.
Yggdrasil- The Norse tree which held up the world and the heavens; its roots led to the underworld. It provided the complex network of the universe.
Yule- The Winter Solstice festival, December 22.
Yule Log- The traditional log burned at Christmas ceremonies which most likely came from a pagan tradition for Yule celebration.
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