Glossary

Below you will find the meaning of words and terms used on this site. Alternatively, some words listed here may not appear on the site, but are here for easy reference for you if you come across a word you don’t understand.
If I’ve retrieved the definition from another website, this will be denoted by a symbol (source) and the symbol will link to the original source.
If you feel I may have written an incorrect definition, feel free to contact me.

| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

A
ALL HALLOW’S EVE – An alternative name for Halloween, or Samhain
ALTARA surface on which a Witch’s tools and other sacred items are placed. Rituals and spells also take place around the altar.
AMULETAn item worn or carried for protection, or to deter negative influences.
ANOINTING OILA safe scented oil that is dabbed on the body in order to purify an individual mentally and spiritually.
ASPERGETo sprinkle water in a ritual to clear a space of negativity and provide purification.
ASTRAL PLANEThe spirital plane, non-physical.
ASTRAL TRAVELThe ability for the spirit to leave the body and visit other times and places.
ATHAMEA knife, usually with a black handle, used in rituals and ceremonies. Rarely used to actually cut anything, with the exception of the handfasting cake.
AURA A term meaning ‘invisible breath’. Witches see an aura as a kind of energy atmosphere that surrounds each living thing. Some psychics can see auras. The patterns and colours within the aura are indicators of a person’s physical, mental and spiritual state.

B
BALEFIREAn outdoor fire Wiccan gather around for dancing and working of magick (may also be called a REVEL FIRE)
BANISHINGThe turning away of negative energies and spirits.
BELTANEAlso spelt Beltaine and also known as May Day, is the Sabbat where signs of summer start to show. It is celebrated on the 1st May in the NH, or the 1st November in the SH.
BESOMA broom, used to clear the sacred space of negativity.
BLESSING WAYThe ritualistic dedication of young children (similar to a baptism).
BLUE MOON – The second of two Full moons occurring in one calendar month.
BOLLINE A knife, usually with a white handle, used for the cutting of herbs and other foods and materials to be used in rituals or other purposes. Often called the Working Knife.
BOOK OF SHADOWS – A workbook for Witches/Wiccans. Can contain notes, spells, rituals and other workings. Entries are generally handwritten, although it is now common to find ‘Discs of Shadows’ in typed format.
BURNING TIMESA time in history when many people were punished for purported acts of Witchcraft which, at that time, was considered heresy.

C
CALLING THE QUARTERSAcknowledgement of the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) in a ritual environment, either symbolic or verbal.
CASTING THE CIRCLEThe creation of a magickal sphere that encircles one’s ritual or working space. Helps to enhance one’s ability to focus, raise power, and contain that power until the practitioner is ready to release that energy.
CAULDRONAny three-legged pot which many Witches and Wiccans use to represent the Triple Goddess (Maiden, Mother and Crone).
CENSERAn incense holder or burner.
CHALICEA sacred cup used in ritual to hold the drink or salt-water. Represents the Goddess.
CHANTA series of meaningful words that a Witch repeats to focus his or her will and raise energy toward a specific goal. A chant specifically designed for personal improvement is called an affirmation.
CHARGEThe infusion of power within an object.
CINGLAMA knotted cord worn with ritual robes; often denotes connection to a coven or degreed status.
CONJURE/CONJURATIONThe invoking of a helpful spirit for a specific task, usually seen in High Magick.
COVENA group of Witches or Wiccans who practice together. A coven can be any number but often includes thirteen members (one for each full moon of the year and representative of the Witches’ lucky number).
CRYSTALLOMANCYDivination using candles.
CURSEAn appeal to supernatural powers for injury or harm to another (this, by the way, goes against the Wiccan Rede – ‘an it harm none, do what ye will’).

D
DEOSILClockwise, generating positive energy or for use in invoking or bringing something in. Pronounced “jess-il”.
DIVINATIONThe practice of trying to discover the future or other things unknown through a specific medium like crystal gazing or tarot cards.
DOWSINGSearching for water or precious items using a Y-shaped branch or other types of rods whose movements indicate a ‘hit’.
DRUIDPriest or Priestess of Celtic Europe who performed many social and religious functions.

E
ELEMENTOne of the four forces of life from which all is made (Earth, Air, Fire, Water)
ELIXIRA kind of potion used to energise, improve wellness and restore overall health to the person drinking it.
EQUINOXA word meaning ‘equal night’. Twice a year, the duration of daylight and night are equal. This is a traditional time for many Wiccan celebrations, marking two of the four major points on the Wheel of the Year (the other two being solstices).
ESBATSWiccan full-moon celebrations
EVOCATIONThe calling of Gods, Goddesses or Spirits to be present in the surrounding energy to assist in a ritual or spellcasting.

F
FAMILIARAn animal that acts in the capacity of a magickal partner, guide, and teacher to a Witch or Wiccan.
FUTHARKThe runic alphabet.

G
GAIAAlso spelt ‘Gaea’. The primal Greek goddess personifying the Earth (‘Mother Earth’). source
GRIMOIREAn alternative name for the Book of Shadows. Acts as more of a ‘recipe’ book than a journal.

H
HANDFASTINGA Pagan wedding ritual.
HIGH PRIESTThe partner of a High Priestess and the male leader of a coven; or any second-degree of third-degree male witch.source
HIGH PRIESTESSThe partner of the High Priest and the female leader of a coven; or any second-degree of third-degree female witch.source

I
IMBOLCImbolc (pronounced IM-bolk), also called Candlemas, is the Sabbat where Wiccans celebrate the renewing fertility of the Earth. It falls on the 2nd of February in the NH, or 1st August in the SH.
INCARNATIONThe manifestation of a living entity into physical form; more specifically, any one of the lives of an immortal human individual in the continuous reincarnation process.source
INITIATEA person who has undergone specialty training in an occult “organisation”, whether it be with a coven, a lodge, etc.
INITIATIONA rite of passage; in occult terms, a ritual of entrance into an occult “organisation” (coven, lodge, etc.).
INVOCATIONThe calling of Gods, Goddesses or Spirits into oneself to assist in a ritual or spellcasting.

J

K
KABBALAHAlso known as QABALAH – A discipline and school of thought discussing the mystical aspect of Judaism.source
KARMAThe law of cause and effect that applies to all our actions and their consequences in this life or in future incarnations.source

L
LADYAn alternative name for the Goddess or Universal Feminine Energy.
LITHAAlso known as the Summer Solstice, is the Sabbat that marks the longest day of the year. It is celebrated around the 21st June in the NH, or 21st Dec in the SH.
LORDAn alternative name for the God or Universal Masculine Energy.
LUGHNASSADAlso spelt Lughnasadh or also known as Lammas, is the Sabbat that marks the beginning of the fall harvest, the day on which the first grain is cut, and the festival of the Celtic God Lugh. It is celebrated on the 1st August in the NH, or the 1st February in the SH.

M
MABONAlso known as Madron or the Autumn Equinox, is (like Ostara) one of two Sabbats where both day and night are of equal length. It is celebrated on the 21st September in the NH, or the 21st March in the SH.
MAGICKAn alternative spelling to MAGIC, to differentiate between stage/theatrical magic and real magic; the act of focusing the energies of the Universe to affect needed change on the mundance plane.

N
NEO-PAGANISMAn umbrella term used to identify an extremely diverse variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by pre-Christian pagan beliefs of Europe.source

O
OCCULTThe word ‘occult’ comes from the Latin word occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to “knowledge of the hidden”.source
OSTARAAlso known as the Spring Equinox or Eastara, is one of two Sabbats when day and night are of equal length. It falls on the 21st March in the NH, or on 21st September in the SH.

P
PENTACLEA five-pointed star surrounded by a circle. Also one of a Witch’s altar tools, usually made of metal or wood. The five points of the stars are normally attributed to the five elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit.
PENTAGRAMA five-pointed star. Again, the five points can normally be attributed to the five elements (as above). Shown upright (with a single point uppermost) represents the four elements governed by Spirit. Shown inverted (with a single point pointing down), it represents the Spirit being subserviant to the four elements. The inverted Pentagram is often used as a symbol of the religion of Satanism, of ‘black magic’ and also as the symbol for a second-degree initiate. source

Q
QUERENTAn enquirer; usually a person enquiring about the future, through tarot or runes, or other means of divination.

R
REINCARNATION A doctrine or metaphysical belief that some essential part of a living being (in some variations only human beings) survives death to be reborn in a new body. source

S
SABBATOne of the eight major festivals of Wiccans, held to mark the end of a season and beginning of a new one, or days considered important by the Wiccan tradition.
SACRED SPACEA space within which to work magick. This entails putting up a protective sphere of energy that holds energy in place and keeps negative influences outside.
SAMHAINOne of the Greater Sabbats, and always falls on the 31st October in the Northern Hemisphere (NH), and on May 1st in the Southern Hemisphere (SH).
SOLITARYA Wiccan or Witch who practices alone, as opposed to within a coven.
SOLSTICEThe two times of the year (Summer and Winter) when the sun is either at its farthest northern or southern point of the celestial equator. Wiccans often celebrate the solstice as a fire festival to honour the sun.
SKYCLADDescribes ritualistic worship without clothing (in other terms, dressed in nothing more than the sky).
SUMMERLANDThe place to which a soul goes after death to await reincarnation.

T
TALISMANAn object, similar to an amulet but more specific and often constructive and not merely protective. It is designed for a particular individual and purpose, making the maximum use of appropriate symbols. source
TAROTA deck of 78 cards, consisting of 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards, used in divination and for personal guidance.

U

V

W
WANING MOONFirst Quarter of the Moon Cycle; a crescent moon to the left.
WAXING MOONLast Quarter of the Moon Cycle; a crescent moon to the right.
WICCAA neopagan, nature-based religion popularised in 1954 by Gerald Gardner who at the time called it Witchcraft and its adherents “the Wica”. source
WIDDERSHINSCounter-(or anti-)clockwise, generally used for banishing.
WITCHCRAFTThe use of certain kinds of supernatural or magical powers. source

X

Y
YULEOne of the Lesser Sabbats, and generally falls around the 21st December (give or take a couple of days) in the NH, and around the 21st June in the SH.

Z
ZODIACAn annual cycle of twelve stations or “signs” along the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the heavens, dividing the ecliptic into twelve equal zones of celestial longitude.source