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Terms Commonly Used in Herbal Magic.

Updated on December 8, 2014


I have put together a basic glossary of terms that are commonly used in herbalism and in some cases, paganism in general. This is by no means comprehensive but I hope it maybe a useful starting point for those new to the topic or who need a short and simple guide.

Pentacle | Source
Besom | Source

A - C

Adept - Someone who is skilled in a particular subject or field.

Akashic Records - Thought substance that receives an imprint of every memory ever experienced. Those who are able to tap into these records can learn otherwise unobtainable information about the past.

Amulet - An object that is worn to bring luck or to protect.

Anaphrodisiac - The opposite of an aphrodisiac. Any herb that cools passion.

Aphrodisiac - Herbs that increase sexual desire.

Astral projection - The phenomena of experiencing your consciousness outside of your physical body.

Athame - A ceremonial knife, usually with a black handle that is used during rituals.

Balefire - An open air fire, such as a bonfire that is lit for magical purposes.

Bane - Any cause of harm or death.

Banish - To drive away.

Besom - A broom made from twigs tied to a stronger central pole. These are the brooms traditionally associated with witches.

Botanomancy - Divination using herbs.

Censer - Vessels used for burning incense. Often made of brass, copper or clay.

Chaplet - A garland of flowers, leaves or herbs worn on the head.

Clairvoyance - 'Clear seeing' The ability to perceive information in a way other than through the five senses. Often called intuition.

Clear - To remove negative energy.

Consecrate - To make something holy or sacred.

Coven - A group of witches who work and worship together.

Curse - Concentrated negative and/or destructive energy that has been deliberately created and directed at someone or something with the intention of doing harm.

Grimoire | Source

D - G

Daphnomancy - Divination performed using laurel leaves. This is normally done by burning them and looking into the smoke

Deosil - Clockwise, the direction of the sun.

Divination - Gaining insight into a situation or question using something other than standard methods. Examples included tarot, crystal ball and pendulum readings.

Elements - These are not the same as the elements represented by the periodic table in science but Earth, Air. Fire, Water and Spirit.

Enchant - To sing your declaration of magical intent.

Exorcism - The practice of removing negative entities and psychic clutter from a place and rarely people.

Evil eye - Look that is said to be able to cause great harm or bad luck to a person.

Fluid condenser - A liquid used to concentrate the power of herbs.

Grades - Levels of achievement gain my members of a specific group or method.

Grimoire - A magical textbook kept by magic practitioners containing information, spells etc. Often called a book of shadows by Wiccans.

Dried herbs
Dried herbs | Source

H - L

Handfasting - A pagan ceremony similar to a wedding

Hallucinogen - A substance that causes changes in perception, thought, consciousness and emotion.

Herb - Plants that are used for their culinary, spiritual or medically beneficial properties.

Hex - An evil spell.

Initiation - A ceremony or other ritual often used by groups before new members can join and gain access to their information or join in with their work.

Rune stones used in divination
Rune stones used in divination | Source

M - S

Macerate - To soak in alcohol or oil.

Narcotic - A substance that induces sleep.

Pentagram - A five pointed star that is often used as a symbol of protection.

Poppet - A small representation of a person for which a spell or ritual is being performed. These are often small doll like figures made from various materials.

Rede - A law or rule of life, often written in rhyme.

Runes - Ancient alphabets. Divination tool used to seek advice.

Sabbat - The eight religious festivals that occur on the solstices and equinoxes.

Sachet - A small normally cloth bag.

Scry - Gazing into a crystal ball, fire, water etc as a method to use clairvoyant powers.

Spell - A magical ritual performed with the intent to cause change.

Steep - To soak in liquid.

Tarot cards
Tarot cards | Source

T - Z

Tarot - Method of divination using cards.

Three-fold law - The belief that whatever you put out will be returned to you three times over.

Tincture - An infusion made in alcohol.

Wicca - A pagan tradition.

Widdershins - Anti-clockwise.

Witch - Someone who practises witchcraft (male or female)

Witchcraft - An ancient religion based on worshipping the universes life force.

Wortcunning - The use of herbs in magic.

© 2012 Claire


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    • Elderberry Arts profile image

      Claire 3 years ago from Surrey, Uk

      Thank you for your kind comment. At the time of writing I didn't have any to add for z. Do you know any suggestions I could add?

    • profile image

      skytreeroad 3 years ago

      Very basic and very thorough explanation of common terms, well done without being too difficult for anyone. Useful for all religions I believe. except where is z?