- Religion and Philosophy
Witchcraft Part 2, Types of witches, Terminology, Decoded Symbols and More!
Witch Terminology A's
Adept- An adept is an individual who has mastered and continues to practice a magical system. Some organizations have formal guidelines for a member to earn this title.
Akasha/Aether- Akasha, also known as "Akasa," "Akash," "Aakash," "Ākāśa," and "आकाश," is a Sanskrit word referring to the base material contained in all things. The literal meaning is "space" or "sky" and the closest Western synonym is Aether.
- In Hinduism, Akasha means the basis and essence of all things in the material world; the first material element created from the astral world (Air, Fire, Water, Earth are the other four in sequence). It is one of the Panchamahabhuta, or "five elements"; its main characteristic is Shabda (sound). In Sanskrit the word means "space", the very first element in creation. In Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati, and many other Indian languages, the meaning of Akasha has been accepted as sky. The Nyaya and Vaisheshika schools of Hindu philosophy state that Akasha or Aether, is the fifth physical substance, which is the substratum of the quality of sound. It is the One, Eternal, and All Pervading physical substance, which is imperceptible.According to the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, Akasha is one of the five Mahābhūtas (grand physical elements) having the specific property of sound.
- Akasha is space in the Jain conception of the cosmos. It falls into the Ajiva category, divided into two parts: Loakasa (the part occupied by the material world) and Aloakasa (the space beyond it which is absolutely void and empty). In Loakasa the universe forms only a part. Akasha is that which gives space and makes room for the existence of all extended substances.
- In Buddhist phenomenology Akasha is divided into limited space (ākāsa-dhātu) and endless space (ajatākasā). The Vaibhashika, an early school of Buddhist philosophy, hold Akasha's existence to be real. Ākāsa is identified as the first arūpa jhāna (arūpajhāna), but usually translates as "infinite space."
- Adherents of the heterodox Cārvāka or Lokāyata philosophy of India hold that this world is made of four elements only. They exclude the fifth element, Akasha, because its existence cannot be perceived.
- The Western religious philosophy called Theosophy has popularized the word Akasha as an adjective, through the use of the term "Akashic records" or "Akashic library,” referring to an ethereal compendium of all knowledge and history.
- It is believed by many modern Pagans that the Akasha, Spirit, is the Fifth Element. Scott Cunningham describes the Akasha as the spiritual force that Earth, Air, Fire, and Water descend from. Some also believe that the combination of the four elements make up that which is Akasha, and that Akasha exists in every living creature in existence; without Akasha, there is no spirit, no soul, no magic. The Five Elements are worked with to create positive changes on earth. This is done through meditation to bring about beneficial changes in one’s life. Akashan spirituality is holistic. Practitioners learn to maintain mental and physical health through meditation, exercise, ritual and diet. They are expected to have a profound commitment to their life path. The upward point of the pentacle, the pentagram or five pointed star within a circle, represents Akasha.
The word αἰθήρ (Aithēr) in Homeric Greek means "pure, fresh air" or "clear sky." According to ancient and medieval science, Aether (Greek αἰθήρ aithēr), also spelled æther or Ether, is the material that fills the region of the universe above the terrestrial sphere.
There are a lot of concepts regarding Aether centered in Greek mythology. Aether was an element, but in many mythologies such as the ancient Greek one, Deities, although depicted as persons, possessed many qualities and powers, and represented the embodiments of certain concepts. So Aether was not just a concept and an element, but a personified Deity as well. According to Greek mythology, Aether or Aither (Æthere, Ancient Greek: Αἰθήρ, pronounced [ajtʰɛ̌ːr]), also known as Akmon or Acmon in Latin (possibly from the same route as "Acme") is one of the primordial deities, the first-born "elementals." Aether is the personification of the upper air. He embodies the pure upper air that the gods breathe, as opposed to the normal air (ἀήρ, aer) breathed by mortals. Like Tartarus and Erebus, Aether may have had shrines in ancient Greece, but he had no temples and it is unlikely that he had a cult. The Deity Aether has various theories of origin.
- In Hesiod's Theogony, Aether (Brightness) was the son of Erebus (Darkness) and Nyx (Night), and the brother of Hemera (Day).
- According to the poet Alcman, Aether was the father of Uranus, the personification of the sky. While Aether was the personification of the upper air, Uranus was literally the sky itself, composed of a solid dome of brass.
- The Roman mythographer Hyginus, says Aether was the son of Chaos and Caligo (Darkness).
- Hyginus says further that the children of Aether and Day (Hemera) were Earth, Heaven, and Sea.
- Children of Aether and Earth were "Grief, Deceit, Wrath, Lamentation, Falsehood, Oath, Vengeance, Intemperance, Altercation, Forgetfulness, Sloth, Fear, Pride, Incest, Combat, Ocean, Themis, Tartarus, and Pontus.”
- Other children between Aether and Earth were the Titans: Briareus, Gyges, Steropes, Atlas, Hyperion, and Polus, Saturn, Ops, Moneta, and Dione.
- The last children between Aether and Earth were the three Furies: Alecto, Megaera, Tisiphone."
- Aristophanes states that Aether was the son of Erebus. However, Damascius says that Aether, Erebus and Chaos were siblings, and the offspring of Chronos (Father Time).
- According to Epiphanius, the world began as a cosmic egg, encircled by Time and Inevitability (most likely Chronos and Ananke) in serpent fashion.
- Together they constricted the egg, squeezing its matter with great force, until the world divided into two hemispheres.
- After that, the atoms sorted themselves out. The lighter and finer ones floated above and became the Bright Air (Aether and/or Uranus) and the rarefied Wind (Chaos), while the heavier and dirtier atoms sank and became the Earth (Gaia) and the Ocean (Pontos and/or Oceanus).
So we’ve heard the Greek mythological story of Aether as a Deity. Let’s now look into later scientific descriptions of Aether. In Plato's Timaeus speaking about air, Plato mentions that "there is the most translucent kind which is called by the name of Aether (αίθηρ). Aristotle, who had been Plato's student at the Akademia, disagreed with his former mentor and added Aether to the system of the classical elements of Ionian philosophy as the "fifth element." Aether was neither hot nor cold, neither wet nor dry. Aether did not follow Aristotelian physics either. Aether was also incapable of motion of quality or motion of quantity. Aether was only capable of local motion. Aether naturally moved in circles, and had no contrary, or unnatural, motion. Aristotle also noted that crystalline spheres made of Aether held the celestial bodies. The idea of crystalline spheres and natural circular motion of Aether led to Aristotle's explanation of the observed orbits of stars and planets in perfectly circular motion in crystalline Aether.
There is so much to Aether, but with everything discussed, what can certainly be concluded is that Aether is always noted as a magical spiritual element. Aether is still highly thought of by witch culture today in how it corresponds to “the fifth element of the Spirit.”
Alchemy - Alchemy is both a spiritual and magical practice, and a philosophy. Some say alchemy is used to achieve immortality. But most all agree the main goal and practice of alchemy is to achieve the highest wisdom and spiritual attainment through transformation of both the alchemist and the substances he/she manipulates.
Asperging - Asperging is a form of ritual purification involving the sprinkling of liquid on the item, person or area to be purified.
Astrology: Astrology consists of several systems of divination based on the premise that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and the Indians, Chinese, and Mayans developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. In the West, astrology most often consists of a system of horoscopes that claim to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict future events in their life based on the positions of the sun, moon, and other celestial objects at the time of their birth.
Attuned - To be attuned is to create a magical connection. When two objects are attuned to one another, they vibrate in harmony. Attunement is the process in which their energies are aligned. Think of the term "in tune." Such as having an instrument in tune, meaning all strings are in correct places to create harmony.
Aura - The aura is a subtle luminescence that surrounds all objects hinting at the energy contained within. With training, individuals can learn to see auras and "read" them, using their brightness, color, and consistency to learn about another's health, mood and personality. Some believe that the aura provides some protection against psychic attack while others believe that the aura is something of an energy overflow, that is, the energy that doesn't fit inside hovers around the outside in the form of an aura. The belief also exists that both ideas are true. Either way, the brightness of the aura is believed to be directly related to the spiritual strength and health of its owner and, as the spirit, mind, and body are tightly connected, his or her physical and mental health and strength as well.
How To See An Aura:
- To begin, it is very important the person is in front of a very softly illuminated plain white background. A colored background can combine with the Aura colors and can cause misinterpretations and false readings.
- Choose ONE spot to look at on the person. The middle of the forehead is often a productive spot to concentrate. This is a location of the so called "Brow Chakra" or "the Third Eye." In some cultures (India) they put a mark on a forehead. Such a mark in ancient times could mean the invitation to look and see the person's Aura.
- Look at this spot for 30 to 60 seconds or longer as needed to try to get a visual.
- After 30 seconds or a minute, or once you've taken the necessary time to channel your visualization, analyze the surroundings of the person with your peripheral vision, while still looking at the same spot. Continuing the concentration is most important. Resist distractions and the temptation to look around. You should see that the background around the person is brighter and has a different color than the background further away. This is your own perception of the Aura. The longer you concentrate, the better you will see it. Remember, concentration on one spot increases your sensitivity by accumulating the effect of the Aura vibration reaching your eyes.
- After concentrating long enough to see the aura, close your eyes. For a second or two you will see the Aura ONLY. Be prepared. You have only one second or two until your photosensitive cells will stop vibrating and sending visual sensations to the brain. And if you miss is, you have to start concentrating again. Try to experiment how fast or slow you should close your eyes.
Aura Colors and Meanings
Meanings of Aura Colors
Meaning of Clean Colors of the Aura
(colors of the rainbow, bright, shiny, monochromatic colors):
PURPLE: Indicates spiritual thoughts. Purple is not often a strong point in the Aura. It normally appears only as temporary "clouds" and "flames", indicating truly spiritual thoughts.
People who often carry mostly purple auras: Purple Aura people are highly psychic, attuned to the emotions and moods of others and very sensitive. People who have a predominant amount of purple in their Aura are seen as mysterious and secretive.
The Purple Aura individual possesses a philosophical, enquiring and intuitive mind. They love to learn and never stop exploring and enquiring into new subjects and areas that interest them. Because of this, they tend to be extremely interesting and knowledgeable people.
The Purple Aura individual does not have a wide circle of many friends. But the friends they do have are held close and are respected, admired and loved. People with a predominant purple Aura tend to be unlucky in love, but once they have found their perfect soul mate, they are loyal and loving for life.
Purple Aura people connect well with animals and nature. They are attuned to animals and can sense their emotions and feelings. Purple Aura people tend to take in and care for strays as their loving and caring nature makes it difficult for them to turn strays away.
BLUE: Balanced existence, sustaining life, eased nerve system, transmitting forces and energy. They are born survivors. Blue thought is a thought about relaxing the nerve system to achieve the balance of the mind or a thought about surviving. Electric blue can override any other color in the Aura, when the person is receiving and/or transmitting information in a telepathic communication.
People who often carry a mostly blue aura: Having a predominant blue Aura or energy field surrounding you can point to a number of personality traits. Totally blue Auras are quite rare but can show up as one of the boldest Aura colors in people with strong personalities.
Blue Aura people are the master communicators of the world. They have the ability to convey their thoughts, ideas, views, and concepts eloquently and charismatically. They make for excellent writers, poets and politicians. Blue Aura people are also highly intelligent and very intuitive. They certainly have their head and heart balanced in making difficult decisions and choices. They are incredibly good organizers and can motivate and inspire others.
People who have a predominant amount of blue in their Auras are peacemakers and have the ability to calmly smooth out angry situations. They prize truthfulness, direct communication and clarity in all their relationships.
TURQUOISE: Indicates dynamic quality of being, highly energized personality, capable of projection, influencing other people.Turquoise thought is a thought about organizing and influencing others.
People who often carry mostly turquoise auras: People with a turquoise strong point in their Aura can do many things simultaneously and are good organizers. They are good in social events and connect well with others. They are great with multitasking. However, they feel bored when forced to concentrate on one thing, and sometimes lose focus. People love bosses with turquoise Auras, because such bosses explain their goals and influence their team rather than demand executing their commands.
GREEN: Restful, modifying energy, natural healing ability. All natural healers should have it. People with a green strong point in their Auras are natural healers. The stronger the green Aura, the better the healer. Being in a presence of a person with a strong and green Aura is a very peaceful and restful experience. Green thought indicates a restful state and healing.
People who often carry a mostly green aura: Green Aura people are highly creative and very hard working. They strive for perfection in everything they do. They have a very determined and down to earth nature and will not allow fanciful dreams and unrealistic ideas to intrude their world.
Their creativity takes the form of practical matters such as gardening, cooking and home decorating. The Green Aura individual has a fine eye for beauty and will ensure their appearance and clothing, home and surroundings are both practical and beautiful.
Green Aura people tend to be very popular, admired and respected. They make for very successful business people and can create much wealth and prosperity for themselves. Green Aura people like security, stability and balance in their lives. Any plans they make are well thought out and because of this, they seldom make rash, impulsive mistakes.
Close friends of Green Aura people will be treated to generosity, loyalty and practical advice. Green Aura people choose their friends very carefully. People with a predominant green Aura tend to be rather health-conscious and ensure their diet is nutritious; health giving and tasty. They are always in tune with nature and love the great outdoors.
YELLOW: Yellow symbolizes joy, freedom, non-attachment, freeing or releasing vital forces. Yellow halo around the head means a high spiritual development or a signature of a spiritual teacher. Buddha and Christ were said to have had yellow halos extending to their arms. Today it is rare on Earth to find a person with a halo larger than 1 inch. Yellow halo appears as a result of a highly active brow chakra. Highly spiritual people stimulate the brow chakra continuously for many years, because they always have intensive spiritual thoughts in their minds. When this chakra is observed when highly active, a yellow (Auric pair) halo appears around it, surrounding the entire head.
People who often carry a mostly yellow aura about them: Yellow Aura people are analytical, logical and very intelligent. They tend to excel in careers that involve teaching and study and make excellent inventors and scientists. They can have a tendency to work too hard and can easily become a workaholic putting their work above personal relationships.
Yellow Aura people are perfectly happy in their own company and do not suffer loneliness. They are prone to mental health pressures, though and can become withdrawn and depressed when stressed. The Yellow Aura individual is a brilliant communicator and can display their skills on a one to one basis and in front of large crowds. They are confident in their abilities to get their ideas and messages across and will inspire others.
Yellow Aura people have very good observation skills and can read people easily. They possess extremely good perception. They lack a desire of socialism, and choose their few friends carefully. Any friends they do have will need to match the Yellow Aura person's wit and intellect.
The Yellow Aura individual tends to put their head above their heart when faced with difficult choices and decision making. They are unorthodox and unconventional thinkers and not afraid to experiment with different ideas and original concepts. To some the Yellow Aura seems a little eccentric with unusual interests and hobbies. They are attracted to anything which is considered avant-garde, intellectual or unusual. The main fault of a person who has a predominant Yellow Aura is that they can be overly critical of themselves and others.
ORANGE: Uplifting and absorbing. Inspiring. A sign of ability and/or desire to control people. When orange becomes a strong point, it usually contributes to a yellow halo, which then becomes gold, indicating not only a spiritual teacher, but someone capable of demonstrating his/her unique abilities. Orange thought is a thought about exercising power or control.
People who often tend to carry a mostly orange aura: Orange Aura people are gregarious, generous, social souls. They love to be in the company of others and enjoy being the center of attention or just another face in the crowd. They want to please others and are often the best gift givers, being very thoughtful and generous.
The Orange Aura individual is normally good-hearted, kind and honest. They are very in tune to the emotions of others and can sense and feel their pain and joy. Orange Aura people can be very charming, but part of their charm is in their sensitivity to others. They have the ability to make everyone feel at ease in their company.
The Orange Aura individual can be hotheaded and quick to lose their temper. But on the positive side they are equally quick to forgive and forget if a sincere apology is offered and accepted. They do not hold grudges.
Orange Aura people are confident of the impression they make on others and can use this to their advantage. They tend to lead very successful and happy lives. On the down side Orange Aura people tend to be impatient and tend to rush into projects, relationships and experiences too quickly. They normally need to act immediately and consider the consequences later.
RED: Red can indicate anger or pure determination. Often represents power or physical and mental strength. Can also be pure energy.
People who often tend to carry a mostly red aura: Red Aura people are enthusiastic, adventurous, and energetic individuals. Red Aura people are quick to anger and can lose their temper over the slightest thing. But on the upside they are generous with their time and energy when called upon for help.
They are normally strong in body and mind and do not succumb to physical or mental illness easily. Because of their robust health and fitness the Red Aura individual likes to be physical and will excel in sports. People with a predominant red Aura color can easily become bored and need to move on to different interests, projects and relationships. Because of this they leave many unfinished ventures in their wake. But if they set their mind to a project and can stick to it, they will have remarkable success.
Red Aura people are direct, to the point and forthright and are not afraid to make their point of view heard. They don't normally have hidden agendas or ulterior motives. What you see is what you get with the open and up front Red Aura individual.
Red Aura people have a competitive nature and a strong drive and will that can lead to great success in life. However, they are not good team players and won't take orders from others. They will prefer to run their own one man business or be in positions of authority over others.
PINK (= purple+red): Love (in a spiritual sense). To obtain a clean pink, you need to mix the purple (the highest frequency we perceive) with red (the lowest frequency). Pink Aura indicates that the person achieved a perfect balance between spiritual awareness and the material existence. The most advanced people have not only a yellow halo around the head (a permanent strong point in the Aura) but also a large pink Aura extending further away. The pink color in the Aura is quite rare on Earth and normally appears only as a temporary thought, not often as a strong point in the Aura.
People who often have a mostly pink aura: Pink Aura people are by nature loving and giving. They love to be loved too, they gather around them close friends and family at every opportunity. They like to host family events and are very generous of their time. They have a high regard for their health and will look after their bodies with good diet, nutrition and exercise. Pink Aura people are very romantic and once they have found their soul mate will stay faithful, loving and loyal for life.
The Pink Aura individual is a natural healer, highly sensitive to the needs of others and has strong psychic abilities. They also have very creative ideas and strong imaginations. Because these personality traits the Pink Aura person makes great writers of novels, poetry or song lyrics. The Pink Aura individual hates injustice, poverty and conflicts. They strive always to make the world a better place and will make personal sacrifices in the pursuit of this ideal.
Pink Aura people are strong willed and highly disciplined and will expect high standards from others. They have strong values and morals and seldom deviate from them. Because of their honesty and likable nature they are valued as employees but also make excellent employers because of their sense of fairness.
WHITE: Intuitive, practical, well rounded. Sensitive and psychic abilities, good with quick decisions. Can read and relate to others.
People who often carry a mostly white aura: White Aura people are exceptionally gifted, and use their gifts wisely in their life. White Aura individuals are bestowed with sensitivity, intuitiveness, psychic ability and practicality. They can use their spiritual understanding in very practical ways. Because of this they can relate to many people, and are often found in teaching, mentoring or counseling careers.
White Aura people have immense versatility and adaptability, and are capable of getting the most out of virtually every opportunity in life. Their high intellect enables then to make the right decisions quickly and follow through with action.
People who have predominant white Auras are seen as very attractive. They attract many admirers. But White Aura people are very discerning and choose their friends carefully and their lovers very carefully. White Aura people tend to be well blessed in looks, personality and talent, and as such are seen as incredibly lucky people. Success seems to come easily to White Aura people.
Meaning of Dirty colors:
(colors appearing darker than background more like a smoke than a glow)
BROWN: Light Brown indicates confusion or discouragement. The lack of confidence in ones self, the present situation, or in the subject being addressed. Dark Brown indicates selfishness, fault finding, and a tendency toward deception.
GRAY: Dark thoughts, depressing thoughts, unclear intentions, presence of a dark side of their personality.
SULFUR: (color of mustard): Pain or lack of ease, pure anger.
BLACK: Indicates hatred, negativity, major illness or depression, misery. This color is always a bad sign.
Auras in Relation to Chakras
Witch Terminology B's
Balefire - A balefire is a ritual bonfire used by some Pagan traditions in Sabbat celebrations, particularly Fire festivals such as "Beltane" and "Litha."
Banishing - To banish something means to send it away or drive it away from a location. Banishment of a person implies that whoever is banished can never return or is no longer welcome, such as banishing a witch from a coven.
Beltane: The word Beltane means bel-fire (or bale-fire), which was the fire of the Celtic God Bel (also known as Beli, Balor and Belenus) whose name is traceable to the Middle Eastern God Baal (which simply means 'Lord'). Referred to by some as 'the Feast of Pan', Beltane (also called May Day) is one of the most well known Sabbats. It is celebrated around May 1st. Beltane is exactly opposite of Samhain on the Wheel of the Year and, like Samhain, marks a time when the veil between the worlds is thinning. Beltane was originally a Celtic or Druidic festival of fire, celebrating the union of the Goddess and the Horned God, and the fertility in all things. Because of this, Beltane is the traditional time for marriages. It is a time of great celebration and happiness in the spirit of love and spring. This is also a time to think of planting and maintaining crops. Bel-fires were lit on hilltops to celebrate the return of life and fertility to the world. On the eve of Beltane the Celts build two large fires, created from the nine sacred woods. In the honor of summer they were lit, and the herds were ritually driven between them, to purify and protect the herds. The fires celebrate the return of life and fruitfulness to the earth. Celebration includes frolicking throughout the countryside, dancing the Maypole, leaping over fires, and "going a maying". In pagan Ireland, it was illegal for anyone to light their bel-fire until the High King had lit the first one which was always placed at the seat of the government on a hilltop called Tara.
Besom - A besom is a ceremonial broom. It is used to clear an area of negativity, to establish sacred space, and for blessing and protecting the home. It is also used in marriage and other ceremonies to symbolize the end of one thing and the beginning of another.
Binding - A binding spell symbolically ties the target up. A binding spell can be used to strip away something positive or negative, but most often is used to take something negative and keep it from continuing. The words positive and negative here can be either quantitative or qualitative. Positive can not only refer to something being good, but also something that adds good, while something acting negative takes something good away, or brings bad outcomes.
Black Moon - A black moon occurs when two new moons occur in the same month. The term is also applied to the absence of a new moon in a calendar month. This name allegedly is derived from Wicca, but has been adopted by the general public as well as astronomy. Earthsky.org says, "We had never heard the term Black Moon until recently. It doesn’t come from astronomy, or skylore. Instead, according to David Harper, the term comes from Wiccan culture." In some aspects of Paganism, particularly amongst Wiccans, the Black Moon is considered to be a special time when any rituals, spells, or other workings are considered to be more powerful and effective. Others do not believe any rituals or workings should be conducted at these times. The black moon is a somewhat rare occurrence. The next black moon won't occur until Janary 2018.
Blue Moon - A blue moon is an extra full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year, a second full moon in a month of the common calendar. Metaphorically, a "blue moon" is a rare event, as in the expression "once in a blue moon". The term blue moon is currently used commonly to describe a second full moon in a single solar calendar month, which happens every two to three years (seven times in the Metonic cycle of 19 years).
Witch Terminology C's
Celtic Tree Calendar - The Celtic tree calendar, also called the Beth-Luis-Nion Calendar, is a modern calendar based on modern, theoretical interpretations of the Ogham alphabet, or the Celtic Tree Alphabet. While there is no evidence of ancient Celts or Druids using a calendar that even resembled this one, it has, however, become a valuable spiritual, liturgical, and magical tool for some modern NeoPagans who identify with the ancient Celts. Celtic Reconstructionist Pagans reject it utterly as a complete fabrication with no historic basis. Which of course it is. Others embrace it as a tool to enhance their magic, their spirituality and their connection with nature and to help give structure to their rituals.
Censer - A censer is a vessel that is used to hold smoldering charcoal (from a fire or self-igniting disks). It is used to burn incense, herbs, resins, barks, and other items.
Cleanse - There are a few ways to cleanse stones/crystals. One would first gather water from a creek, stream, or pond. (A witch shouldn't use tap water, unless it comes directly from a well. Too many chemicals are in the water of different areas.) Next, the witch soaks the stones for a few minutes. Then, these words are said, "I ask the water to clear, cleanse, and charge these stones." Lastly, the stones are set in the sunlight or moonlight, depending on the stones energy, to dry.
Coven - A coven is a tight-knit, usually small (3-13 traditionally, occasionally up to 20) community of Witches, Wiccans, or Vampires, who gather regularly for religious and/or social occasions. Witch and Wiccan covens may gather for training purposes, or to celebrate Sabbats or Esbats and/or to work magic spells. They also gather to celebrate important rites of passage for their members.
Witch Terminology D's
Dark Moon- The dark of the moon refers to the end of the lunar cycle when the moon is absent from the sky. That is, the period of time between the fading of the old, waning crescent moon and the appearance of the young, waxing crescent moon. This can last for 1.5 to 3.5 days. Some traditions simply hold the dark moon period to be the three days prior to the appearance of the new moon. Astronomically, however, the new moon occurs right in the middle of this period when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction. Some witches and covens use this time for strong protection or defensive work. When there are 2 dark moons in a calendar month, the second dark moon is called the Sidhe Moon. This is the time for deeply personal internal or shadow work. On these nights, banishing, transformation, meditation, and divination are conducted on this occasion.
Decoction - Decoction is a method of extraction of herbal constituents from stems, roots, barks and rhizomes through boiling. The hard plant parts are covered with water, brought to a boil for about 10 minutes and then cooled and strained.
Dei Lucrii - The Dei Lucrii were local or personal Gods of profit worshiped and evoked by ancient Romans to ensure lucrative business ventures. The God Mercury gradually took over their functions.
Delphic Maxims - The Delphic Maxims are inscribed at Delphi and are said to have been delivered by Apollo Himself. The Maxims are suggestions for pious living, not quite commandments, really strong recommendations. According to legend, they were written down by The Seven Sages who are usually identified as: Solon of Athens, Chilon of Sparta, Thales of Miletus, Bias of Priene, Cleobulus of Lindos, Pittacus of Mitylene and Periander of Corinth. Many scholars believe they were common proverbs that were later ascribed to particular authors.
Dualism - Dualism is the belief in the existence of two opposing divine (or semi-divine) forces. In the Christian faith, dualism is between God and the Devil.
Duotheism - Duotheism is the belief in two Gods, whether they are two complimentary Gods working together, or two competitive Gods, as in a creator and a destroyer. In the Christian faith, this does not apply. It is believed there is only one God. There are supernatural powerful beings, such as angels and demons, including the fallen angel Lucifer, but none compare to the power of the one and only God. An example of two complimentary God's, would be the Greek brother God's Zeus and Poseidon. Zeus and his other brother Hades, are examples of conflicting God's.
The Delphic Maxims
- Follow God (Επου θεω)
- Obey the law (Νομω πειθου)
- Worship the Gods (Θεους σεβου)
- Respect your parents (Γονεις αιδου)
- Be overcome by justice (Ηττω υπο δικαιου)
- Know what you have learned (Γνωθι μαθων)
- Perceive what you have heard (Ακουσας νοει)
- Be/Know Yourself (Σαυτον ισθι)
- Intend to get married (Γαμειν μελλε)
- Know your opportunity (Καιρον γνωθι)
- Think as a mortal (Φρονει θνητα)
- “If you are a stranger act like one” or “When you are a stranger be aware” (Ξepsilon;νος ων ισθι)
- Honor the hearth/Hestia (Εστιαν τιμα)
- Control yourself (Αρχε σεαυτου)
- Help your friends (Φιλοις βοηθει)
- Control anger (Θυμου κρατει)
- Exercise prudence (Φρονησιν ασκει)
- Honor providence (Προνοιαν τιμα)
- Do not use an oath (Ορκω μη χρω)
- Love friendship (Φιλιαν αγαπα)
- Cling to discipline (Παιδειας αντεχου)
- Pursue honor (Δοξαν διωκε)
- Long for wisdom (Σοφιαν ζηλου)
- Speak well of the beautiful good (Καλον ευ λεγε)
- Find fault with no one (Ψεγε μηδενα)
- Praise those having arête. (Επαινει αρετην)
- Practice what is just (Πραττε δικαια)
- Be kind to friends (Θιλοις ευνοει)
- Watch out for your enemies (Εχθρους αμυνου)
- Exercise nobility of character (Ευγενειαν ασκει)
- Shun evil (Κακιας απεχου)
- Be impartial (Κοινος γινου)
- Guard what is yours (Ιδια φυλαττε)
- Shun what belongs to others (Αλλοτριων απεχου)
- Listen to everyone (Ακουε παντα)
- Be (religiously) silent (Ευφημος ιοθι)
- Do a favor for a friend (Φιλω χαριζου)
- Nothing to excess (Μηδεν αγαν)
- Use time sparingly (Χρονου φειδου)
- Foresee the future (Ορα το μελλον)
- Despise insolence (Υβριν μισει)
- Have respect for suppliants (Ικετας αιδου)
- Be accommodating in everything (Παςιν αρμοζου)
- Educate your sons (Υιους παιδευε)
- Give what you have (Εχων χαριζου)
- Fear deceit (Δολον φοβου)
- Speak well of everyone (Ευλογει παντας)
- Be a seeker of wisdom (Φιλοσοφος γινου)
- Choose what is divine (Οσια κρινε)
- Act when you know (Γνους πραττε)
- Shun murder (Φονου απεχου)
- Pray for things possible (Ευχου δυνατα)
- Consult the wise (Σοφοις χρω)
- Test the character (Ηθος δοκιμαζε)
- Give back what you have received (Λαβων αποδος)
- Down-look no one (Υφορω μηδενα)
- Use your skill (Τεχνη χρω)
- Do what you mean to do (Ο μελλεις, δος)
- Honor a benefaction (Ευεργεςιας τιμα)
- Be jealous of no one (Φθονει μηδενι)
- Be on your guard (Φυλακη προσεχε)
- Praise hope (Ελπιδα αινει)
- Despise a slanderer (Διαβολην μισει)
- Gain possessions justly (Δικαιως κτω)
- Honor good men (Αγαθους τιμα)
- Know the judge (Κριτην γνωθι)
- Master wedding-feasts (Γαμους κρατει)
- Recognize fortune (Τυχην νομιζε)
- Flee a pledge (Εγγυην φευγε)
- Speak plainly (Αμλως διαλεγου)
- Associate with your peers (Ομοιοις χρω)
- Govern your expenses (Δαπανων αρχου)
- Be happy with what you have (Κτωμενος ηδου)
- Revere a sense of shame (Αισχυνην σεβου)
- Fulfill a favor (Χαριν εκτελει)
- Pray for happiness (Ευτυχιαν ευχου)
- Be fond of fortune (Τυχην στεργε)
- Observe what you have heard (Ακουων ορα)
- Work for what you can own (Εργαζου κτητα)
- Despise strife (Εριν μισει)
- Detest disgrace (Ονειδς εχθαιρε)
- Restrain the tongue (Γλωτταν ισχε)
- Keep yourself from insolence (Υβριν αμυνου)
- Make just judgements (Κρινε δικαια)
- Use what you have (Χρω χρημασιν)
- Judge incorruptibly (Αδωροδοκητος δικαζε)
- Accuse one who is present (Αιτιω παροντα)
- Tell when you know (Λεγε ειδως)
- Do not depend on strength (Βιας μη εχου)
- Live without sorrow (Αλυπως βιου)
- Live together meekly (Ομιλει πραως)
- Finish the race without shrinking back (Περας επιτελει μη αποδειλιων))
- Deal kindly with everyone (Φιλοφρονει πασιν)
- Do not curse your sons (Υιοις μη καταρω)
- Rule your wife (Γυναικος αρχε)
- Benefit yourself (Σεαυτον ευ ποιει)
- Be courteous (Ευπροσηγορος γινου)
- Give a timely response (Αποκρινου εν καιρω)
- Struggle with glory (Πονει μετ ευκλειας)
- Act without repenting (Πραττε αμετανοητως)
- Regret falling short of the mark (or goal) (Αμαρτανων μετανοει)
- Control the eye (Οφθαλμοθ κρατει)
- Give a timely counsel (Βουλευου χρονω)
- Act quickly (Πραττε συντομως)
- Guard friendship (Φιλιαν φυλαττε)
- Be grateful (Ευγνωμων γινου)
- Pursue harmony (Ομονοιαν διωκε)
- Keep deeply the top secret (Αρρητον κρυπτε)
- Fear ruling (Το κρατουν φοβου)
- Pursue what is profitable (Το συμφερον θηρω)
- Accept due measure (Καιρον προσδεχου)
- Do away with enmities (Εχθρας διαλυε)
- Accept old age (Γηρας προσδεχου)
- Do not boast in might (Επι ρωμη μη καυχω)
- Exercise (religious) silence (Ευφημιαν ασκει)
- Flee enmity (Απεχθειαν φευγε)
- Acquire wealth justly (Πλουτει δικιως)
- Do not abandon honor (Δοξαν μη λειπε)
- Despise evil (Κακιαν μισει)
- Venture into danger prudently (Κινδυνευε φρονιμως)
- Do not tire of learning (Μανθανων μη καμνε)
- Do not stop to be thrifty (Φειδομενος μη λειπε)
- Admire oracles (Χρησμους θαυμαζε)
- Love whom you rear (Ους τρεφεις αγαπα)
- Do not oppose someone absent (Αποντι μη μαχου)
- Respect the elder (Πρεσβυτερον αιδου)
- Teach a youngster (Νεωτερον διδασκε)
- Do not trust wealth (Πλουτω απιστει)
- Respect yourself (Σεαυτον αιδου)
- Do not begin to be insolent (Μη αρχε υβριζειν)
- Crown your ancestors (Προγονους στεφανου)
- Die for your country (Θνησκε υπερ πατριδος)
- Do not be discontented by life (Τω βιω μη αχθου)
- Do not make fun of the dead (Επι νεκρω μη γελα)
- Share the load of the unfortunate (Ατυχουντι συναχθου)
- Gratify without harming (Χαριζου αβλαβως)
- Greave for no one (Μη επι παντι λυπου)
- Beget rom noble routes (Εξ ευγενων γεννα)
- Make promises to no one (Επαγγελου μηδενι)
- Do not wrong the dead (Φθιμενους μη αδικει)
- Be well off as a mortal (Ευ πασχε ως θνητος)
- Do not trust fortune (Τυχη μη πιστευε)
- As a child be well-behaved (Παις ων κοσμιος ισθι)
- as a youth – self-disciplined (ηβων εγκρατης)
- as of middle-age – just (μεσος δικαιος)
- as an old man – sensible (πρεσβυτης ευλογος)
- on reaching the end – without sorrow (τελευτων αλυπος)
Witch Terminology E - G
Earth Based Spirituality - Earth-based spirituality is a spiritual and religious worldview that puts the Earth in the center of the spiritual practice. Some of these paths view the Earth as divine and may refer to the Earth as their Mother Goddess. In this case the Earth may be the primary or only deity, or She may be part of a larger family of deities.
Esbat - An esbat is a day for spiritual gatherings of a coven or circling group or observation by a solo practitioner. The Esbats are lunar and represent the Goddess at her height of power. These are the times when Her magic is more potent than on any other day of the month. Esbats are days specially set aside for spellwork or worship (or both) and may take place on either the full moon or the new moon or both depending on tradition.
Fae/Fairy - A fairy (also fay, fae; from faery, faerie, "realm of the fays") is a type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural. Various folkloristic traditions refer to them euphemistically, by names such as wee folk, good folk, people of peace, fair folk (Welsh tylwyth teg). Fairies are generally described as human in appearance and having magical powers. The early modern fairies do not have any single origin, representing a conflation of disparate elements of folk belief, influenced by literature and by learned speculation (e.g. alchemy). The folkloristic or mythological elements combine Celtic, Germanic, and Greco-Roman origins.
Familiar - In European folklore, familiar spirits/animal guides (more commonly known today as "familiars") were supernatural entities believed to assist witches in their practice of magic. When a “witch’s familiar” is mentioned in modern times, most people think of black cats. But familiars can be any animal, and long ago were often compared to and more commonly thought of and described as fairies. In some Scandinavian countries, familiars were associated with spirits of the land and nature, such as fairies, dwarves, and other elemental beings were believed to inhabit the physical bodies of animals. According to the records, they would appear in numerous disguises, most often as an animal, but at times as a human or humanoid figure. In documented accounts they were described as "clearly defined, three-dimensional… forms, vivid with color and animated with movement and sound," by those alleging to have come into contact with them, unlike descriptions of ghosts that have "smoky, undefined forms.”
A familiar is not just an ordinary animal but a magical spirit guide of great importance to a witch. The main purpose of familiars is to serve the witch or young witch, providing protection for him/her as they come into their new powers.
Feminine Energy - When one refers to feminine energy in a magical or spiritual context, one is referring to energy that is passive and yielding versus masculine energy which is said to be active and penetrating. This is similar to the Eastern concept of yin and yang.
Full Moon- The full moon occurs approximately every 29.53 days on about the 14th -17th lunar day when the entire moon is visible from Earth because it is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. If the moon passes through the Earth's shadow during this time, a lunar eclipse occurs. This happens about every six months. On the Full Moon it's believed psychic abilities are at their highest. Witches concentrate on fertility, growth, transformation, fulfillment, love, and power.
Gaia Hypothesis - The Gaia Hypothesis is an ecological theory named for Gaia, the Greek Earth Mother Goddess. It was first scientifically formulated by Dr. James Lovelock, a scientist for NASA who was engaged in studies relating to the search for life on Mars and it was initially published in journal articles in the 70s and popularized by his 1979 book Gaia: A new look at life on Earth.
In Greek mythology, Gaia (/ˈɡeɪ.ə/ or /ˈɡaɪ.ə/; from Ancient Greek Γαῖα, a poetical form of Gē Γῆ, "land" or "earth"; also Gaea, or Ge, was the personification of the Earth; one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaia was the great mother of everything, known as the primal Greek Mother Goddess. She was the creator and giver of birth to the Earth and the Universe itself, as well as mother of the heavenly gods, the Titans, and the Giants. The gods reigning over the classical pantheon were born from her union with Uranus (the sky), while the sea gods were born from her union with Pontus (the sea).
Gem Elixir - A gem elixir, or crystal elixir is an elixir created using one or more gemstones or minerals. The essence of the crystal is absorbed into a medium such as water or oil, and the elixir is then used for therapeutic or magical purposes. A crystal's vibration is believed to be easily transferred to water. This charged water can then be programmed to a specific purpose that aligns with the crystal's vibrations or used as-is to get the general benefits of the crystal. This base elixir is called the "Mother Essence," and it can be combined with other elixirs for combined or complementary effects.
Grimoire - A Grimoire is a magical manual or a magician's instruction book.
Esbats and Sabbats of 2014
Gaia the Greek Earth Mother Goddess
Witch Terminology H - M
Heathen - The etymology of the word Heathen comes from a Gothic word meaning "person of the Heath" or "dwelling in the Heath" and is similar to the Latin word paganus from which we get Pagan. It evolved to refer to anyone who had not been converted to Christianity and was often used as an insult to mean that someone is barbarous, uncivilized, undisciplined and is often used as a synonym for Pagan as both words have been used in translations of the Bible in place of the word "Gentile".
What is Heathenry? - The word Heathenry is used in two ways. The first is to designate a specific polytheistic reconstructionist path based on aboriginal Germanic tradition. The second is to refer to any polytheistic reconstructinist path based on aboriginal traditions from Western Europe including the British Isles, Scandinavia and mainland Germany. These include Odinism, Asatru, Forn Sior and, sometimes, certain forms of Druidry.
Infusion - An infusion is water or oil in which plants have been seeped. Most often the liquid is hot or boiling when it is poured over the herbs. The herbs are then allowed to seep until the desired strength of flavor is achieved.
Litha - Litha, the Midsummer Solstice Sabbat, honors the longest day of the year, usually around June 21st or 22nd. There are many different ways one can celebrate Litha, but the focus is nearly always on celebrating the power of the sun. It’s the time when the sun is most powerful, and new life has begun to grow within the earth. Midsummer was celebrated with hilltop bonfires and it was a time to honor the space between earth and the heavens. In addition to the polarity between land and sky, Litha is a time to find a balance between fire and water. "Sunwheels" were used to celebrate Midsummer in some early Pagan cultures. A wheel or sometimes a really big ball of straw was lit on fire and rolled down a hill into a river. The burned remnants were taken to the local temple and put on display. In Wales, it was believed that if the fire went out before the wheel hit the water, a good crop was guaranteed for the season. Another possibility was that the water mitigates the heat of the sun, and subordinating the sun wheel to water may prevent drought.
- In England, rural villagers built a big bonfire on Midsummer's Eve. This was called "setting the watch," and it was known that the fire would keep evil spirits out of the town. Some farmers would light a fire on their land, and people would wander about, holding torches and lanterns, from one bonfire to another. If you jumped over a bonfire presumably without lighting your pants on fire, you were guaranteed to have good luck for the coming year.
- After the Litha fire has burned out and the ashes gone cold, one would use the ashes to make a protective amulet. This can be done by carrying them in a small pouch, or kneading them into some soft clay and forming a talisman. In some traditions of Wicca, it is believed that the Midsummer ashes will protect you from misfortune. One can also sow the ashes from the bonfire into a garden, and crops will be bountiful for the rest of the summer growing season.
- It is believed in parts of England that if you stay up all night on Midsummer's Eve, sitting in the middle of a stone circle, you will see the "Fae." To see a Fae could be dangerous though, one should carry a bit of rue in their pocket to prevent harassment from the Fae, or turn a jacket inside out to confuse them.
Magi - A Magi is a term used since at least the 6th century BC, to denote followers of Zoroastrianism. Not to be confused with the later Christian use of the word in reference to the three Kings that came to see Jesus. The earliest known usage of the word Magi is in the trilingual inscription written by Darius the Great, known as the "Behistun Inscription."
Magic/Magick: The act of working in harmony with the four natural elements in nature, and channeling one’s inner spiritual energy to produce desired acts, emotions, events, or situations.
- An example of using magic to produce an emotion would be drawing power through meditation for a calm relaxed feeling and a clear mind. Or channeling power to soothe and comfort another in pain.
- An example of a magical act could be making an object move. This particular act is for higher level witches, and is very difficult to do.
- An example of producing magic for an event could be drawing power to bring you closer to someone you like. For instance, the next day in school or work you end up being assigned a project together, or something else happens to give you an opportunity to get closer with this person. Or maybe you forgot to do your homework, so you practice a spell for it, and the next day you get a substitute, or the teacher decides it’s practice not to be graded, or gives the class another day to complete the homework. I’d like to point out the above example earlier was not using magic to make someone “fall in love with you.” That is an extremely powerful spell hard to produce and contains high consequences for higher level witches to perform. Some witches claim such a spell can’t even be done. So instead it is common for a spell to carried out such as the one mentioned earlier, in which magic is used to bring about an opportunity where one can be close to the person they desire, and try to create love naturally by spending time with the person.
- An example of practicing magic to produce certain outcomes of a situation, could be a spell for harmony between two friends that are fighting, or a protection spell for your child that they have a safe car ride to their destination, or a forgiveness spell for someone you’ve offended.
Magical Trinity(Three main levels of awareness): The three parts of the magical trinity include the earth, the sea, and the sky.
- Earth: This is tied to what you feel and act on a physical level, including your bodily sensations. This includes the five natural senses, and can be heightened or weakened.
- Water/Sea: This level of awareness is the relations you have on your emotional level, your feelings. Also connects to you while you’re in a meditative state, and in turn, your moods.
- Air/Sky: This level of awareness includes the connection to intuition and the mental level in which you have images, ideas, and thought patterns.
Magus - Magus is the singular form of the word Magi. It was once used specifically to refer to the sorcerer priests of Zoroaster, and has evolved to mean any practitioner of ceremonial magic.
Masculine Energy - When something is said to be masculine in nature or to present masculine energy in the metaphysical sense, it is being described as an active, forward moving energy. It is aggressive; it doesn't just accept what comes but imposes its will. Masculine energy tends to be more focused on the spiritual or mental aspects of things. In the Yin-Yang polarity, masculine energy is symbolized by the bright white Yang.
Maypole - A maypole is a tall pole with ribbons attached to the top around which people dance to celebrate springtime celebrations, particularly May Eve or Beltane, but also occasionally Midsummer. The tradition has its roots in Germanic tradition.
Moxibustion - Moxibustion is a technique used in ancient Chinese medicine. Mugwort, called moxa by practitioners, is dried and ground into a fluff and then twisted into a stick. It is then burned near the patient's skin to warm specific pressure points to bring about healing effects by stimulating circulation to specific areas. It often used in combination with acupuncture. Moxibustion is considered to be particularly effective in turning breech babies to the proper birthing position.
Mudra - A mudra is a symbolic gesture seen in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is a spiritual gesture and a form of energetic communication with others, the divine and the self.
Witch Terminology N's
Namaste - Namaste or Namaskar (formal) is a common greeting heard on the Indian continent by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists. It is often accompanied by a respectful bow with the hands pressed together in front of the chest and pointed up. To express greater respect, hands may be held in front of the forehead. During prayer, hands are pressed together above and before the head.
Natural Witch - A practitioner of the craft who intuitively senses the magic and the spirit inherent in all things. (I wanted to add that this is a definition of a natural witch, meaning the person is born with certain gifts.) Many people choose to practice witchcraft, but a lot of people believe someone can be born naturally inclined to witchcraft, or possessing certain qualities of a witch that others may not have. A heightened sense of intuition that most often is correct is a quality many people believe a natural born witch possesses. Some witches feel with study and practice of the craft, one can learn to strengthen their sense of intuition if they are not naturally born inclined with the gift.
Nature-based spirituality - Nature based spirituality refers to any religious or spiritual path that embraces nature as divine. Many pagan witches have an "Earth Mother Goddess," possessing similar attributes to the common term, "Mother Earth."
Neo-Paganism - Neo-paganism is either the modern practice and adaptation of an ancient religion, or a new religion based on either ancient or new religious concepts; but usually based on a combination of these. Neo-paganism means simply modern, or contemporary paganism and there are many varieties, although they do tend to share some characteristics.
New Moon- The new moon is the first phase of the moon. Traditionally, it occurs when the first waxing crescent of the moon in visible in the sky. Astronomically, it occurs when the moon is the closest to the sun as seen from the Earth. This takes place right in the middle of the dark moon period so the moon is not visible at this time unless there is a solar eclipse when its shadow is visible against the sun. The New Moon is the time of initiation and ideas. It is the time to begin a new project, get a new job, or start a new idea. On these nights, witches celebrate honoring oneself, birth, initiation, and new beginnings.
Witch Terminology O - R
Occult - The word occult (from the Latin word occultus "clandestine, hidden, secret") means "knowledge of the hidden". In common English usage, occult refers to "knowledge of the paranormal", as opposed to "knowledge of the measurable,” usually referred to as science. The term is sometimes taken to mean knowledge that "is meant only for certain people" or that "must be kept hidden", but for most practicing occultists it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality that extends beyond pure reason and the physical sciences. In more modern times, it is known as magical organizations or orders, the teachings and practices taught by them, and to a large body of current and historical literature and spiritual philosophy related to this subject. Occultism is the study of occult practices, including (but not limited to) magic, alchemy, extra-sensory perception, astrology, spiritualism, and divination.
Poppet - More commonly known as the Voodoo Doll, poppets can be used for various sympathetic magic spells. Poppets can be made out of wax, cloth, plant material, clay or paper mache. It's always best to make them out of something burnable so they can be destroyed when you are done with them. Poppets can be used for curses and spells to control the will of another, but most often they are used in healing and love spells.
Poultice - A poultice is a moist, often warm, preparation of stuff, often herbs or grains, spread over a piece of cloth and placed over an inflamed area to affect relief and/or healing.
Psychopomp- The word psychopomp literally means "guide of souls" from the Greek psychopompos or ψυχοπομπός. Psychopomps are creatures, spirits, angels, or deities in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls to the afterlife. Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply provide safe passage. Frequently depicted on funerary art, psychopomps have been associated at different times and in different cultures with horses, Whip-poor-wills, ravens, dogs, crows, owls, sparrows, cuckoos, and harts.
In Jungian psychology, the psychopomp is a mediator between the unconscious and conscious realms. It is symbolically personified in dreams as a wise man or woman, or sometimes as a helpful animal. In many cultures, the shaman also fulfills the role of the psychopomp. This may include not only accompanying the soul of the dead, but also vice versa: to help at birth, to introduce the newborn child's soul to the world. This also accounts for the contemporary title of "midwife to the dying", or "End of Life Doula" which is another form of psychopomp work.
Retrograde Planet - When a planet is in retrograde, or exhibiting apparent retrograde motion, that planet appears to be moving in reverse orbit. That is, it seems to have changed direction. It is not actually moving backward, it just looks that way from Earth. This occurs because the speed of the Earth's motion and that of the planets is not the same, so you get an effect like that sense that you're moving backward when you're sitting still in a car and a big truck is rolling past your window. Eventually, as one catches up to another, the planet will appear to change directions again and go in direct or prograde motion.
Rootwork - Rootwork is the use of herbs and roots for healing and in magical practice. It most often refers to the practice within hoodoo and conjure and many other other folk magic systems, particularly in the Southern United States.
Names For Psychopomp's In Various Countries
Ixtab was the Yucatec Mayan goddess of suicide according to Diego de Landa
Ox-Head and Horse-Face (牛頭馬面)
Black and White Guards of Impermanence (黑白無常)
Ankou (Breton, Cornish, and Norman folklore)
Manannán mac Lir
Gwyn ap Nudd
Witch Terminology S's
Sabbats- The Sabbats are the witches' holidays. The word is used for special holidays and feast days celebrated by many Pagans and especially Wiccans and traditional witches. Depending on tradition, there are usually 4 or 8 Sabbats in the year following the pattern of the Wheel of the Year. The Sabbats are solar, seasonal and represent the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. These days are Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltain, Litha, Lughnasadh, and Mabon. Sabbats are celebrated in honor of the God, since it is His sacrifice of birth, life, death and rebirth that are represented by the Sabbats.
Sachet - A sachet is a small cloth bag that is either stitched or tied closed at the top and contains herbs, crystals or other small items carefully selected by a magical practitioner to bring about a desired change in the area the sachet is kept or for the person who carries it. For example, a sachet stuffed with items to draw money may be kept in a cash register. A sachet designed to protect against harm while travelling may be hung from a rear view mirror. A sachet to protect against theft may be tucked into a purse. Or a sachet to bring good luck may be carried in someone's pocket when they visit the casino.
Scourge - The scourge is a ceremonial whip. It may be used during ritual to demonstrate humility before the Gods, but more often it is used as a tool to aid in achieving altered states of consciousness.
Simple - A simple is a curative preparation using a single herb. It may also refer simply to a single herb itself, used for healing. An herbalist who uses simples, one herb at a time or preparations of just one herb at a time, is a simpler.
Smudging - Smudging involves burning of herbs to release their aromatic scent in order to purify an object, person or area.
Spirit animal- A spirit animal is a spirit that embodies all of the characteristics of the species it represents. It is usually not viewed as the spirit of a specific animal, but as an archetype of that animal. This is not to be confused with a witch's familiar. Witch's appreciate all forms of life and nature, and believe there is a spirit and energy in everything. Witch's acknowledge, respect, and try to connect with all energies. There are Spirit Animal cards and Spirit Animal stones used as tools of divination and magic as well.
Staff - The staff represents the masculine aspect and is associated with air or fire depending on the tradition. It is used to direct energy, to establish sacred space, and to tap out hypnotic rhythms.
Wheels of Sabbats
Other Names: Witch's New Year, Summer's End, All Hollow's Even
Date: October 31 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Celebration of: The Lord dies and awaits his rebirth at Yule
Related Holiday: Halloween
Colors: Orange & Brown
Symbols: Fall fruits
Notes: This is the day that the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest. This is a good time for divination. At dinner, remember to set a place for your loved ones that have past this year. Leave an offering of food and drink on your door step for those souls that may still wander.
Other Names: Winter Solstice
Date: December 21 (there about)
Celebration of: The Goddess gives birth to the God
Related Holiday: Christmas
Colors: Purple or Dark Green
Symbols: Holly, mistletoe, pine branches, pine cones, wreath
Notes: Shortest day of the year. Yule log is decorated with evergreen & holly strands before being lit at sunset and is burned until sunrise. Celebration of family and friends. Celebration of peace, love and positive energy.
Other Names: Beltane, May Eve, May Day, Samradh
Date: May 1 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Celebration of: The Lord and Lady consummate their relationship
Colors: White, Red and Pink
Symbols: Spring flowers (especially the rose).
Notes: Fire and fertility festival. Jumping over the balefire was said to insure protection. Dance around the Maypole. Ring bells to scare away bad spirits. Time for appreciation and affection for all that you have been given in your life. End of spring planting. A time for new beginnings, concepts and ideas.
Other Names: Summer Solstice, Midsummer
Date: June 21 (there about)
Celebration of: The Goddess is pregnant with the God
Related Holiday: Feast of John the Baptist
Colors: White and Pale Yellow
Symbols: Spear (God) and Cauldron (Goddess). Summer flowers, St. John's Wort, birch, white Lilly's
Notes: Longest day of the year. The God is at his peak strength. Midpoint of the year. Light large bonfires after sundown. Peak of magickal power. Remember that nothing lasts forever. Celebrate abundance, fertility, virility, beauty, and the bounty of our earth. Good time for handfasting, workings for empowerment and consummation.
Other Names: Imbolq, Olmeic, Candlemas, Brigits Day, Bride Day
Date: February 2 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Celebration of: The God is a young child growing in size and strength
Related Holiday: Valentine's Day
Colors: Pink or Pale Green
Symbols: The Candle Wheel, Evergreens, Willows, Grain Dolly
Notes: First planting of spring. Ritual fires are burned. A time for birth, healing and inspiration. This is a popular time for vows of dedication or consecration.
Other Names: Spring Equinox, Eostre
Date: March 21 (there about)
Celebration of: The God and Goddess begin their courtship
Related Holiday: Easter
Colors: Light Green
Symbols: Spring flowers
Notes: Light overtakes the dark. Rebirth of life. Contemplate new beginnings and fresh ideas. Serious mediation on your hopes and dreams for the coming year. Solar festival of fire, light, and fertility.
Other Names: Lammas, Lughnasad, Lugnassad, Lunasa
Date: August 1 (Greater Sabbat/Cross Quarter)
Celebration of: A Festival of not only life and bounty, but of harvest and death, the complete cycle of life.
Colors: Gold and Bright Yellow
Symbols: Summer flowers, nuts and grains
Notes: Fire and light festival. First grain harvest. Feast dedicated to Earth Mother. Count your blessings.
Other Names: Autumn Equinox, Harvest Home, Pagan Thanksgiving
Date: September 21 (there about)
Celebration of: The God now sleeps within the womb of the Goddess
Colors: Dark Brown and Red
Symbols: Harvest Foods
Notes: Second harvest festival. Celebration of thanks for the crops that were harvested. Dark overtakes the light.
Animal Spirit Guides and a Chart Describing Attributes to Some Spirit Animals
Bear Animal Spirit
In the kingdom of spirit animals, the bear is emblematic of grounding forces and strength. This animal has been worshiped throughout time as a powerful totem, inspiring those who need the courage to stand up against adversity. As a spirit animal in touch with the earth and the cycles of nature, it is a powerful guide to support physical and emotional healing to those in need of strength. The Bear plays an important role in various cultures over the ages.
It is said that the Vikings would wear bear skins in times of war to scare off their enemies. They would appear as powerful as these wild animals. Bears symbolize warrior spirit and courage to fight. The bear’s spirit would be invoked to help the warriors in the battle.
Interestingly, in Siberia, the name used to designate women shaman is the same as the word “bear”. In Northern America, in the Inuit tradition, the bear spirit animal is also connected to the shamanic tradition and women.
For the Inuit people, the bear is a strong power or totem animal. In some beliefs, it is said that if an Inuit hunter accepts to be eaten by a bear, he may reincarnate as a shaman and carry the spirit of this animal. The polar bear is considered as the “Wise Teacher” as it shows how to survive in harsh conditions.
In ancient Greece and Rom, the bear was a totem animal associated with the Goddess Artemis and Diana, goddesses of fertility. In contrast, for the Celts, the bear would represent the sun.
The spirit of the bear is a strong source of support in times of difficulty. It provides courage and a stable foundation to face challenges. When the bear shows up as a spirit guide in your life, it’s perhaps time to stand for your beliefs. This power animal will provide you with the support and strength to do so. Not just physical strength, but inner strength as well.
The bear is also a guide to take leadership in your life or in other people’s lives. This animal is feared and admired for its strength and power. People look up to someone with bear qualities. Its presence inspires respect. Its strength and powerful stature will inspire you to step into a leadership role in your life and take action without fear. Stand up for what you believe in and strive to achieve your goals without hesitation.
When you invoke the power of the bear totem, reflect on the qualities of inner strength, fearlessness, and confidence in yourself and how you can project them in your world.
The bear has several meanings that will inspire those who have this animal as totem:
- The primary meaning of the bear spirit is strength, power, and confidence
- Standing against adversity; taking action and leadership
- The spirit of the the bear indicates it’s time for healing or using healing abilities to help one's self or others
- Overcoming obstacles
- The spirit of the bear provides strong grounding forces
Deer Spirit Animal
When you have the deer as spirit animal, you are highly sensitive and have a strong intuition. By affinity with this animal, you have the power to deal with challenges with grace. Even though the deer is seen as gentle, you master the art of being determined in your approach. Those with a special connection with this animal have the ability to be vigilant, move quickly, and trust their instincts to resolve complex situations.
When you have the deer as spirit animal, you are able to bring gentleness and grace in every aspect of your life, even in the most challenging moments you remain calm and levelheaded. By inspiration from the deer’s qualities, you can achieve ambitious goals and tackle difficult situations smoothly.
The deer horns are great means of defending and asserting yourself. The deer’s antlers can grow back once they fall. In one way, this could represent resilience, or adaption to changing circumstances. Also, this animal has been revered in many traditions as a symbol of life regeneration. There’s a cloud of mystery around this ability that gives the deer a magical and mystical quality.
If the deer has chosen you as your spirit or totem animal, you may be called to use or develop your sensitivity at various levels in your life. This animal powers guide you to refine your intuition and psychic abilities. You can refine your receptivity and use your senses and intuition to further yourself in life.
The meanings associated with the deer combine both soft, gentle qualities with strength and determination:
- Ability to move through life and obstacles with grace
- Being in touch with inner child, innocence
- Being sensitive and intuitive
- Vigilance, ability to change directions quickly
- Resilience, able to adapt to changes and bounce back from misfortune
- Calm and level headed in stressful situations
Horse Spirit Animal
The horse spirit animal symbolizes personal determination, passion and appetite for freedom. Among all the spirit animals, it is one that shows a strong motivation that carries one through life. The meaning of the horse varies depending on whether this animal spirit guide is represented as wild, tamed, moving freely, or constrained.
Horse spirit animals are likely to represent your inner strength and driving force in life. A typical symbolism for the horse is one of an animal representing physical strength, vitality, but also our psychological or emotional ability to go on in life.
Depending on what this spirit animal means to you, it could symbolize your ability to overcome obstacles in life and pursue your goal no matter what may stand in your way. Or it could represent your ability to conform to society, but still keep your distinct persona and individuality.
Having a horse as a spirit animal points to how free you feel to express yourself in life. The horse is an animal that is domesticated by humans, but maintains a strong energy and drive of its own. As a power animal, it relates to your ability to express yourself freely and assertively in social environments such as work or school, or in closer circles of family and friends.
When reflecting on your spirit animal, if you see the horse running wild, it could be worth reflection on positive and negative meanings. On the positive side, a horse running free is a sign that your drive to be free and express yourself freely is strong and alive. On the negative side, a horse running wild could symbolize a part of your personality or emotions that are hard to manage, such as the phrases "your emotions are out of control" or your "emotions are running wild." If this is so, you may need to slow down and ground yourself slightly, to get your emotions under control and stable.
Just like we harness a horse to ride it or use its power, we can harness our own energy or nature’s to serve us and bring us further. A horse spirit animal, especially when it appears to you in a dream, is likely to represent your energy or drive to express your authentic self and succeed in life. This spirit animal could also be a reflection of how well you deal with your primitive desires and urges, whether you live with them in harmony or if they are difficult to control.
If you see your horse spirit animal constrained in stable or that cannot move easily, you are likely to have to cope with limitations imposed in your own life upon the authentic expression of yourself or strains put on your vitality. Do you feel cannot express your individuality, and be your true self? Do you feel you are being restrained in an environment that prevents your freedom to blossom and further yourself in life?
Perhaps the horse is tied up or confined in a cage. Such representation of your spirit animal suggests that you need to check what is limiting you in your life. The animal could symbolize your energy and drive in life as it’s being prevented from flowing freely and easily by attachments to people, places or responsibilities you’ve taken on.
A comprehensive presentation of the horse spirit animal takes into account different ways to look at this animal’s symbolism, showing positive and negative meanings, so you can decide which ones resonate the most with you.
Horses generally represent:
- Determination, what you thrive for or carries you in life
- A secondary meaning for the horse spirit animal is the balance between instinctive and tamed part of your personality.
- Sexual energy, especially – but not limited to – masculine energy
- Strong emotions, passionate desires
- Freedom of expression and individuality
Butterfly Spirit Animal
What is the meaning of the butterfly? This animal totem is primarily associated with symbolism of change and transformation. A secondary meaning of the butterfly is about finding joy in life and being optimistic.
The butterfly is one of the most emblematic totem animals symbolizing personal transformation. If you see the butterfly as your totem or spirit animal, pay attention to the areas in your life or personality that are in need of profound change or transformation. Perhaps, this animal totem guides you to be sensitive to your personal cycles of expansion and growth, as well as the beauty of life’s continuous unfolding. An important message carried by the spirit of the butterfly is about the ability to go through important changes with grace and optimism.
The butterfly is a symbol of powerful transformations, inner and outter. By analogy to the development of this animal, the meaning associated with the butterfly emphasizes the ability to move from one state, perspective, lifestyle to another.
When the butterfly comes into your life as spirit guide, you may be going through or expect important changes in your life. More than changes in your environment, the transformation the butterfly totem points to are more internal: They could be related to your own perspective on a subject, aspects of your personality, or personal habits. Personal transformation is emblematic of the butterfly symbolism.
When the butterfly shows up in your life as a spirit animal or totem, it might indicate the need to look at a conflicting situation in a different perspective. This totem animal is symbolic of lightness of being, and elevation from the heaviness of tensions. It also represents an easy going, optimistic, creative persona.
This power animal invites those who have a connection with it to bring joy and bliss into their lives. Butterflies often have bright colors. By extension, they are associated with aliveness and brightness. The message of this totem animal is to lighten up and think positively. Perhaps it’s time to express yourself more fully and show your creative personality.
In many traditions around the world, the butterfly is a symbol of the soul or another world. For example, in Chinese symbology, it can represent immortality. For the Japanese, a white butterfly symbolizes the soul of the departed ones. In Ancient Greece, butterflies represent the psyche or soul, and its attribute of immortality.
- Powerful transformation, metamorphosis in your life or personality
- Moving through different life cycles
- Renewal, rebirth
- Lightness of being, playfulness, optimism
- Elevation from earthly matters, tuning into emotions and spiritual connections
- The world of the soul, the psyche
- Showing creativity and inner beauty
Wolf Spirit Animal
The wolf offers some of the most striking animal meanings in the realm of spirit animals. The power of the wolf brings forth instinct, intelligence, appetite for freedom, and awareness of the importance of social connections. This animal can also symbolize fear of being threatened and lack of trust. When the wolf shows up in your life, pay attention to what your intuition is telling you.
Positive meanings emphasize a deep connection with your intuition and instincts. On the negative side, the wolf could represent a perceived threat or a lack of trust in someone. This spirit animal also reflects sharp intelligence in dealing with important matters.
When you have the wolf as a spirit animal, it could be an expression of your sharp intelligence and strong instincts. The wolf symbolizes a strong connection with instincts, and when it appears as an animal spirit guide, it could be symbolic of a way of perceiving and understanding the world around you with your cunning abilities.
Whether the wolf appears in physical form or in a dream or meditation, it may reveal that you’re using your instincts and intuition to grasp a situation well. The fact that your wolf animal spirit guide shows up could also be a call to use this capacity to deal with a recent challenge you’ve experienced in your life.
Wolf power or spirit animals point to an appetite for freedom and living life powerfully, guided by instincts. When a wolf manifests its presence as a guide in your life, it could be a call to live your life more freely; to bring the intensity of passion in your everyday endeavors.
Wolves are wild animals that are not easily domesticated, and when they appear as spirit guides, they could be an invitation to look at what supports your authentic self and the true expression of yourself.The wolf totem is a reminder to keep your spirit alive and trust your instincts to find your path.
The wolf also symbolizes powerful loyalty to those it cares about. In this way, you are very loyal to those you love, and are fiercly protective of "your pack." You may be hesitant to trust strangers, but once someone enters a special place in your life, you give them your all. You are very trustworthy, and will stand up for what you believe in, and be there for your loved ones in need.
The wolf could reflect something that may have a “predatory” feel to it and instill a feeling of vulnerability that is not reassuring. Encountering your spirit animal in such a way invites you to look at who or what in your life is having such an influence.
Perhaps your spirit animal is warning you about challenges with personal boundaries: You may feel you have exposed yourself too much with someone, or in a certain situation you need to pull back or strengthen emotional or physical boundaries with that person or that experience. The wolf as a spirit animal could also remind you that you’re facing stiff competition at work or that the behavior of people around may feel like you have to deal with a “pack of wolves”.
In the spirit animal kingdom, the wolf symbolizes:
- Sharp intelligence, deep connection with instincts
- Appetite for freedom
- Expression of strong instincts
- Feeling threatened, lack of trust in someone
- Cunning and wise
- Approaches situations from different angles
- Fiercely protective of loved ones
- Very loyal and trustworthy
Lion Spirit Animal
In the realm of spirit animals, the lion wins the prize for most relentless fighter in the face of life challenges. The lion spirit animal represents courage and strength in overcoming difficulties.
The lion spirit animal is generally associated with a representation of personal strength. If the lion appears powerful to you, its presence as a spirit guide can be interpreted as a positive representation of your self-confidence or personal power. As such, lions point to qualities of strength, courage, and assertiveness.
Lions are also animals who dominate other animals in nature. Remember as an example the expression “the lion, king of the jungle”. When a lion appears as your power animal, it could reflect your ability to lead others or tendency to dominate in relationships or at work. Like the lion, you are very assertive of your beliefs, and make a great leader. Your confidence is inspiring to others.
On the other hand, the spirit animal could point to a difficult situation you’re experiencing. The lion animal spirit guide is perhaps showing you the way to deal with the issue and keep going with the courage it also embodies. The lion is powerful, unafraid to face challenges, and symbolizes the strength to overcome obstacles.
Seeing your lion spirit animal could be an invitation to control your temper or your moderate aggressive impulses. For instance, observe if you could really listen to what people have to say before striking back at them. Or explore how to express your needs or anger more openly and constructively to reduce your level of frustration.
Aggressiveness can be a good quality used in the right way. It could symbolize your aggressiveness and determination in tackling problems, facing challenges head on, and striving to reach your goal against all odds overcoming anything that stands in your way. You never back down from a challenge, and fiercely stand up for what you believe in.
The lion as a spirit animal or totem symbolizes:
- Strength, personal power
- A common meaning for the lion spirit animal is predatory feelings, such as anger, aggression directed at someone else or towards you
- Confidence and assertiveness
- Great leadership abilities
- Ability to overcome obstacles
Tiger Spirit Animal
In the kingdom of spirit animals, the tiger puts a special emphasis on raw feelings and emotions. The tiger spirit animal symbolizes primal instincts, unpredictability, and ability to trust yourself. By affinity with this spirit animal, you may enjoy dealing with life matters spontaneously, trusting your intuition and acting fast when needed.
The primary meaning for tiger spirit animals is personal strength. This spirit animal may point out to a recent event or situation that prompted you to show courage and determination. Tiger spirit animals can represent physical strength, vitality, and health. The expression “strong like a tiger” denotes the positive attributes that your power animal can communicate to you. As an extension, the presence of the tiger spirit animal could connect with your appetite for life and sensuality. Depending on how you feel when you encounter this animal, it may indicate a strong, positive expression of your sensuality.
The tiger could remind you of your personal power and ability to overcome obstacles. Seeing this spirit animal also means that you’re overcoming fears and learning how to deal with strong emotions that once felt threatening, but are becoming more and more manageable.
When the tiger appears in dreams, it can be a symbol of strength, more specifically willpower. A dream featuring your tiger animal spirit guide could tell you about your ability to overcome obstacles in life or the courage you have to demonstrate in order to defy challenges that are on your way. The expression “fight like a tiger” illustrates this point.
If the dream shows the tiger totem in a positive light or a guiding role, it could be interpreted as an encouragement to use or develop the qualities or attributes you usually associate with tigers. Imagine the feelings and ideas that the presence of the tiger triggered in your dream, and in waking life. Learn from what it would be like to adopt a “tiger-like” attitude in order to tackle the challenges you’re facing.
Common symbolism for the tiger is:
- The primary meaning of the tiger spirit animal is willpower, personal strength and courage
- Unpredictability and spontaneity in life, actions, or feelings
- Courage to overcome obstacles
- Self confident and determined
- Strong intuition
- Bravely tackles challenges
Witch Terminology T - V
Void of Course - A planet is said to be void of course when it is not aspecting any other planet. The term void of course is usually applied to the moon and refers to the period of time when the moon is no longer aspecting any planets in the last sign it was in but has not aspected any planets in the sign it will go into next. This void of course period may last only a few minutes or it may last several hours to a day. During this time the moon is still technically in the previous sign, but its effect is muted.
Voodoo - A religious cult practiced in the Caribbean and the southern US, combining elements of Roman Catholic ritual with traditional African magical and religious rites, and characterized by sorcery and spirit possession. The word 'Voodoo' means 'spirit of God'. It is derived from the West African word vodun (spirit).
Types of Voodoo
- Haitian Voodoo
- New Orleans/Louisiana Voodoo
- African Voodoo
Haitian voodoo, as all other types of voodoo, originated in the West African diaspora, which brought voodoo to the New World. What separates it from the voodoo of Africa is that it combines native elements, such as the beliefs of the Arawak Indians, who populated Haiti and other surrounding islands. Voodoo also was ingrained into Haitian culture due to its factoring into Haitian independence. Voodoo was, at one time, banned on the island among the slave population. The divine creator in Haitian voodoo is commonly known as Bondyè.
Louisiana voodoo, aka New Orleans voodoo, or vodou, originated with the voodoo practices of West Africa, but blended Catholic elements into the spirituality of the religion, such as in the belief in protective spirits. One of the main differences is that New Orleans voodoo incorporates "voodoo queens." This type of voodoo also is known for its historic practitioners, such as Marie Laveau, known as the "Queen of New Orleans." The history of voodoo in New Orleans is documented in the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum.
African Voodoo, like other alternative religions, voodoo is often practiced as a syncretic religion, in that it mixes elements of different beliefs and faiths, and African voodoo, also known as vodun, is no different. In its origin, it mixed animistic beliefs with elements of Christianity. Traditionally, it incorporated animal sacrifice and beliefs such as spirit possession, among other facets. While African voodoo also has a Creator God in its cosmology, it also is known for having an extensive pantheon of gods and spirits.
Witch Terminology W - Z
Ward - Noun: A ward is a protection or guardian. It may be maintained by a spell, an amulet, a symbol or some other physical or energy object. Wards may be temporary, such as those put in place to mark the barriers of a magic circle and then taken down upon completion of a ritual. Or a ward may be a more permanent magical structure, such as those placed on the boundaries of a piece of property. These wards must be maintained by a periodic repetition of the warding spell or charging of the symbolic warding object.
Warlock: Most people believe a warlock is “a male version of a witch”. However, this is very much incorrect. Male practitioners of the Traditional Craft prefer to be known simply as witches and never refer to themselves as warlocks, many of whom find the term offensive. The commonest etymology of the word can possibly be traced back to the old English or Scottish word "waerloka", which many centuries ago, had the meaning "oath breaker" or even "traitor". Conversely though, the word "waerlak" meant "honor bound" and exactly which word became associated with witchcraft remains one of speculation. The term "oath breaker" may have been applied to witches as they "broke their oaths" with the Christian church. Though not a common term, some wiccans apply the term "warlocking" to the banishment of a member from their group or coven.
Well Dressing - Well dressing is an ancient Celtic custom that continues in the remote regions of England, particularly Derbyshire and Staffordshire. It may be that remoteness of these regions helped preserve these traditions by making it difficult for invaders to reach them. The tradition of well dressing likely began as a sacrificial act to thank the spirit of the well or perhaps a God or Gods for providing the community with water throughout the year, or perhaps just to celebrate the fact that it was there.
Wheel of the Year - The Wheel of the Year is the cycle of seasons as celebrated by several groups of NeoPagans particularly Wiccans and some of those groups who have Celtic roots. The Wheel of the Year is made up of 8 observances, known among Wiccans as Sabbats. Although they vary by tradition, the Wheel of the Year Sabbats are Yule or Midwinter, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer or Litha, Lammas or Lughnassadh, Mabon, and Samhain.
Witch Intuition: Is defined as a quick and ready insight and immediate apprehension or cognition. Intuition is often referred to as the sixth sense; it’s like a form of instinct. Or a hidden force that communicates information from a different level of consciousness. Such as the feeling, “I just knew something was wrong.” Or “I have a bad feeling about this idea/plan/place.”There are no physical reasons for these feelings. When you act on something for no apparent reason other than your own inner gut feeling, you are being moved by your intuitive instincts. Witches tap into this natural power they possess, and then add it to their magic to increase their power. So by acknowledging and learning to enhance one’s intuitive abilities and using it to amplify one’s magic, if accomplished, it makes a very powerful witch. This is because many witches believe magical experiences are actually intuitive experiences felt at the spiritual level.
Zoroastrianism: Zoroastrianism /ˌzɒroʊˈæstriənɪzəm/, also called Zarathustraism, Mazdaism, and Magianism, is an ancient Iranian religion and a religious philosophy. Zoroastrianism is one of the world's oldest monotheistic religions. It was once the state religion of the Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sasanian empires, as well as the official religion of Persia (Iran) from 600 BCE to 650 CE. Estimates of the current number of Zoroastrians worldwide vary between 145,000 to 2.6 million people.
Zoroastrianism arose in the eastern region of the ancient Persian Empire, when the religious philosopher Zoroaster simplified the pantheon of early Iranian gods into two opposing forces: Spenta Mainyu (Progressive mentality) and Angra Mainyu (Destructive Mentality) under Ahura Mazda (Illuminating Wisdom) in the 7th century BCE. Ahura Mazda is believed to be:
- Omniscient (knows everything)
- Omnipotent (all powerful)
- Omnipresent (is everywhere)
- Impossible for humans to conceive
- The Creator of life
- The Source of all goodness and happiness
Zoroastrians worship communally in a FireTemple or Agiary, and the Zoroastrian book of Holy Scriptures is called The Avesta. As light rays are emanated from the sun but they are not the sun, so the Amesha Spentas are emanated by God (Ahura Mazda) but are not God. Amesha Spentas translates as 'Holy Immortals'. These emanations are seen as the divine attributes of God. They are believed to have helped God (Ahura Mazda) fashion the world and each is associated with a particular aspect of creation.
In the Christianity religion, the Amesha Spentas have similarities to the Archangels. This is not strictly correct as they also represent spiritual attainments. Zoroastrians believe that man can know God through his Divine Attributes.
The six Amesha Spentas are:
- Vohu Manah - Good mind and good purpose.
- Asha Vahishta - Truth and righteousness.
- Spenta Ameraiti - Holy devotion, serenity and loving kindness.
- Khashathra Vairya - Power and just rule.
- Hauravatat - Wholeness and health.
- Ameretat - Long life and immortality.
In Zoroastrianism, Ahura Mazda has an adversary called Angra Mainyu (meaning 'destructive spirit'). Angra Mainyu is the originator of death and all that is evil in the world.
Ahura Mazda, who is perfect, abides in Heaven, whereas Angra Mainyu dwells in the depths of Hell. When a person dies they will go to Heaven or Hell depending on their deeds during their lifetime. It is generally accepted that in the Abrahamic religions, the concepts of Heaven and Hell, as well as the Devil, were heavily influenced by Zoroastrian belief.
("Glossary of Occult Terms ." The Witchipedia: The online encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Paganism and the occult. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License , n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2014. <http://www.witchipedia.com/glossary/p/5>.)
The Eye in the Hand has multiple meanings from many cultures.
Eye-in-Hand is an old and still popular apotropaic amulet for protection from the "Evil Eye." In Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran and Greece, the amulet that protects against the "evil eye" is known as a nazar. Here are deatails about the picture of the three "eye in hand" items to the right.
1st: A sterling silver Eye-in-Hand amulet from Israel.
2nd: Carved bone Eye-in-Hand amulet brought from India and said it was used "To protect."
3rd: A sterling silver amulet containing a blue Eye of lapis lazuli, among other items. Origin is unknown
In many Wiccan, traditions and Celtic and Druid origins, the eye is thought of as the power of seeing, of vision, and of wisdom. It's a sign humans harnessing the power to use to magic. The hand is believed to represent the "Power of Shaping," of making the world into the pattern of the human will.Together these two abilities represent the most effective symbolic ideals of human existence - omniscience (all-knowing) and omnipotence (all-powerful).
Another idea of the Eye-in-Hand icon is that it manifests the integral and interactive bond between two essential human functions: sensing/observation (the Eye) and doing/acting (the Hand).
Other cultures with symbols containing the hand with the eye:
- The universal symbol called Humsa by the Hindus is a powerful protection amulet in Asia and is often called the "All Seeing Eye of Mercy."
- In Tibet a similar hand and eye symbol is used for banishing fear and oppression.
- This same symbol was also used by Native Americans.
- In the Middle East it was called the "All seeing Eye of God" and the "Eye of Maat," and was thought to represent and bring great protection.
The Celtic "Tree Alphabet" is a secret cypher of the Celtic bards and Druids.The Ogham alphabet is thought to be named after the Irish god Ogma. One theory of its origins is that it evolved out of a system of tallies used for accounting. Ogham is also known as or ogham craobh, beth luis fearn or beth luis nion.
About 500 Ogham inscriptions have been found in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England and the Isle of Man dating from between the 4th and 7th centuries AD. There are inscriptions in ancient Irish and Pictish which have not been deciphered. A number of bilingual inscriptions in Ogham and Latin or Ogham and Old Norse written with the Runic alphabet have been found.
While all surviving traces of Ogham are inscriptions on stone, it was also inscribed on sticks, stakes and trees. Inscriptions generally take the form of somebody's name and the name of a place and were probably used to mark boundaries. Here are some fun facts about Ogham.
- Type of writing system: alphabet
- Number of letters: 25, which are grouped into five aicmí (sing. aicme = group, class). Each aicme is named after its first letter. Originally Ogham consisted of 20 letters or four aicmí; the fifth acime, or Forfeda, was added for use in manuscripts.
- Writing surfaces: rocks, wood, manuscripts
- Direction of writing: inscribed around the edges of rocks running from bottom to top and left to right, or left to right and horizontally in manuscripts.
- Letters are linked together by a solid line.
- Used to write: Archaic Irish, Old Welsh and Latin
Ogham Symbols and their Translations
A Sample of Ogham Writing
A More In-Depth Look at Ogham Writing
Primitive Irish Text Descended From Ogham Writing
The Greek term "triskelion" literally means "three-legged," and in a way, the sign can be depicted as three legs running. It is also referred to as triskele, triquetra or fylfot. The original symbol is from Celtic origin, but when it's within a circle, it is similar to the Archimedean symbol containg mathematical used spirals.The three swirls are of significant symbolic importance. However, depending upon the era, region, culture, mythology and history, it's challenging for symbologists to definine the exact symbolic meaning of the three parts. There are various representations of the three protrusions found in the triskelion.
One analyzation of what the symbol means, includes a threesome of multiple combinations.
- Spirit, Mind, Body
- Mother, Father, Child
- Past, Present, Future
- Power, Intellect, Love
- Creator, Destroyer, Sustainer
- Creation, Preservation, Destruction
In later christian religions, this could be compared to the Holy Trinity, the father, the son, and the holy spirit.
Another meaning could be the trio of the threse realms:
- The Otherworld: Where spirits, gods and goddesses live.
- The Mortal World: Where you and I live along with plants and animals.
- The Celestial World: Where unseen energies live and move about. Like the forces of sun, moon, wind and water.
Another version claims the Triskelion is the symbol of all the Sacred Triads
- Land, Sea, and Sky (the magical trinity mentioned above)
- Underworld, Midrealm, and Heavens
- Gods, Dead, and Sidhe
It also said the three outward spirals can represent the triple staged process of SamsaraIt (life, death, rebirth). It is especially the sign of Manannan Mac Lir, the God of Magic, the Lord of Journeys, Keeper of the Gates. Where these three parts come together in the center denotes breaking free of this and gaining Nirvana (ultimate enlightenment).
One such representation of three, deals with the three primary measure-marks within the phases of the moon (new, half, full). This is a worthy point because most lunar creatures are depicted as only having three legs in Alchemical and early European esoteric art.
Lunar Symbolism Associated with the Triskelion
- Hidden desire
So the Celtic symbol meaning of the triskelion is more far reaching than just "three-legged." This meaning of the symbol is vast, varied and diverse. With so many possibilities for profound depth and meaning, it's no wonder the triskelion was such a predominantly featured symbol amongst the Celtic people.
This universal motif can be found on the flags of numerous nations. It also has been found on a lot of ancient artwork and architecture as well. There are many other numerous symbols to compare this to.
Pentacle/Pentagram: A pentacle, (or when drawn “a pentagram"), is a five-pointed star pattern, surrounded by a circle, with its apex pointing upward toward the Divine. It is one of the most potent, powerful, and persistent symbols in human history and also one of the most recognized symbols of witches and witchcraft. Many people label it as evil, or a mark of the devil. This is not true at all.
The five points of the pentacle represent the five elements: earth, air, fire, water and spirit. When a witch says “the spirit” they mean a certain kind of energy. All forms of matter have energy; therefore, witches believe that energy is the prime element, because it makes up all other elements. The soul is in essence the human spirit, and the greatest form of energy. It is used to channel energy from all other things such as the other four elements to produce power and carry out desired effects. The circle is said to symbolize unity and wholeness. When used in rituals it is believed that the pentacle may act as a portal between the material world and world of spirits.
Many witches wear a pentagram as a sign of their religion, (like a crucifix or Star of David), or as an amulet, charm or talisman, and when made out of silver it is said to represent the moon energy. Ceremonial altars often feature a pentagram and the image is also found on many ceremonial tools such as cauldrons, and chalices. They were originally formed from clay, but in modern times pentacles are more often made from copper, brass, silver or gold.
© 2014 Amber