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Glossary of Wicca (Part 1 - A - P)

Updated on September 23, 2016
An example of a Wiccan altar.
An example of a Wiccan altar. | Source
Ankh | Source

Alexandrian – A form of Wicca developed in the 1960’s. It incorporates some Judeo-Christian, Egyptian, Greek and Celtic traditions while honouring the triple goddess and dual god.

Altar – A space that is used as a focal point for scared or magical work. Traditionally they are set up in the North of the home or space but some people prefer to place their Altar in the centre. This is due to the centre being the place of spirit. Altars hold tools and other items such as herbs and candles and many people decorate them based on the seasons and Sabbats.

Amulet – An item that has been charged with magic. These are often worn or placed for protection.

Ankh – An ancient Egyptian symbol , also known as the Egyptian cross that is used to symbolise eternal life and the cycle of rebirth.

Anointing oil – oil that is placed on the body at pulse points or the forehead in order to purify the person mentally and spiritually. Because the oil comes in direct contact with the skin it is important to ensure only oils suitable for this are used.

Astral projection – Separating the consciousness from the physical body and being able to move it at will.

Athame – A black handled, double bladed knife that is used to direct energy. It is not used to physically cut anything.

Celebrations in Edinburgh for Beltane.
Celebrations in Edinburgh for Beltane. | Source
One of the Book of Shadows owned by Gerald Gardner, left in his will to Doreen Valiente, and through her to John Belham-Payne.
One of the Book of Shadows owned by Gerald Gardner, left in his will to Doreen Valiente, and through her to John Belham-Payne. | Source

Balefire – A fire that is lit for use in magic or other rituals. Balefires are normally lit outside.

Bane – Something that destroys life.

Banish – To send away.

Beltane – A fire festival celebrated on 1st May.

Besom – A witch’s broom that is used to sweep and purify spaces.

Blessed Be – A commonly used phrase intended to wish good and positive things on someone. Often used as a greeting or parting phrase.

Blue moon – The occurrence of two full moons in one calendar month. The second is known as a blue moon.

Boline – A white handled knife that is used in magical workings to cut herbs, trim candle wicks, carve symbols and cut any needed items.

Book of Shadows – Also called BOS for short. This is a witches personally book or file where they keep notes, spells, rituals and any other information relating to their magical and spiritual workings and interests.

British Traditional Wicca (BTW) - Another name for Alexandrian Wicca.

Burning Times – A term used to refer to times when witches were much persecuted.

Positioning of the seven major chakras.
Positioning of the seven major chakras. | Source

Calling the Quarters – The verbal or symbolic acknowledgement of the four elements; air, earth, fire and water during a ritual.

Casting a circle – The creation of a visualised circle in which to perform magic or rituals. The circle helps with focus and raising energy as well as protecting from outside influences.

Cauldron – A three legged pot often made of cast iron that can be used to mix and burn incense, make brews and hold candles.

Centering – A meditation exercise that helps to produce feelings of calm. It can be used to align the chakras and create a strong unhindered energy flow.

Chakra – These are energy points within the body. The seven major chakras are the crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral and root chakras.

Chalice – A cup that is used in rituals to hold any liquids.

Charge – To infuse an item with power or magic.

Cleansing – An energy practice that removes any negativity from an area or object.

Correspondence – Magical associations between items including days, planets, gods/goddesses, herbs, gemstones and colours.

Coven – A group of people who work together in the same tradition.

Crone – A post-menstrual woman.

Cunning man – A man who has knowledge of traditional, natural and herbal magic, who serves a community.

Curse – A deliberate action of sending negative energy towards another person.

Tarot cards and a storage box.
Tarot cards and a storage box. | Source

Deosil – Clockwise.

Drawing down the moon – A ritual down during a full moon to connect with the goddess and draw her spirit into you.

Divination – Using methods other than the traditional five senses to foretell events in the future or recount past events. Commonly used tools include tarot cards, pendulums, dreams, runes and pendulums.

Solar eclipse.
Solar eclipse. | Source

Eclipse – A short time when one heavenly body obscures another causing a temporary shadow or darkness.

Eclectic Wiccans – Wiccans who are not part of one particular tradition but draw upon several sources to inform their beliefs and so form their own individualised practice. Eclectic wiccans are often solitary practitioners.

Elements – Earth, air, fire and water. Witches also believe in a fifth element, spirit.

Empowering – Another term for charging.

Equinox – The two days in the year where daylight and night hours are perfectly balanced.

Evoke – To call upon the spirits or deities.

Eye of Horus – An ancient Egyptian symbol sometimes used for protection.

Familiar – A witch’s pet animal and magical helper.

Fluffy Bunny – A derogatory term that is used by some to describe wiccans or books, materials etc. that are viewed as being too new-agey or naïve.

The Four Elements – These are earth, air, water and fire and are often used to purify a space at the beginning of a wiccan ritual or invoked to aid in spell casting and other magical work.

Green man carving Skellingthorpe Old Wood.
Green man carving Skellingthorpe Old Wood. | Source

Grimoire – Another name for a book of shadows.

Grounding – A meditation that sends energy into the earth.

Gaia – The interconnected system that connects all living things. Known by some as Mother Earth.

Gardnerian – A Wiccan tradition developed by Gerald Gardener.

Green man – An aspect of the god and environmentalism.

Handfasting – The pagan equivalent to a traditional marriage ceremony.

Hex – Another name for a curse.

Hedgewitch – Men and women who have knowledge of and use traditional and herbal medicine and healing.

Hereditary – A Wiccan who has inherited their knowledge of Wicca and magic through their family.

High Magic – Also called ceremonial magic. Educated forms of magic such as astrology, numerology and kaballah.

Holy water ­– Water that has been blessed and purified so it can used it a ritual.

Imbolc – The sabbat celebrated on 1st February to welcome Spring.

Initiation – The process of being accepted into a coven.

Infusion – A liquid produced by soaking herbs in hot water.

Invocation – Calling a spirit or deity into a circle.

Lady – A titled used to honour the goddess.

Lord – A title used to honour the god.

Lughnasadh – A sabbat that marks the first harvest on 1st August.

The Lotus position is often used in meditation
The Lotus position is often used in meditation | Source

Mabon – The sabbat held to celebrate the end of harvest and the autumn equinox.

Magic – The act of focusing energies to bring about change.

Meditation – A mental exercise that can help to calm and strengthen the mind, body and spirit.

Midsummer – The sabbat celebration of the longest day of the year (the summer solstice).

Neophyte - A person who is new to paganism or a particular path.

Ostara – The spring equinox.

Pentacle – A five pointed star that is contained within a circle.

Pentagram – A five pointed star.

Phases of the moon – The stages the moon goes through as it travels around the earth. These are known as waxing, full and waning. A complete orbit around the earth takes 28 days and there are 13 complete orbits in a year.

Polytheistic – A religion that believes in more than one god or goddess.

The moon phases in relation to it's orbit around the Earth.
The moon phases in relation to it's orbit around the Earth. | Source

Authors Note

As one hub I felt it this glossary was too long to read and use easily. So I can separated it into two hubs, the second of which can be found at:

© 2013 Claire


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