A brief Wiccan dictionary. If you have any feedback for me, or if you'd like to suggest a word I haven't got here (and there are many, I know), then email me!

A  -  B  -  C  -  D  -  E  -  F  -  G  -  H  -  I  -  L  -  M  -  P  -  Q  - R  -  S  -  T -   V  -  W

A

Akasha - Another word for Spirit, the Divine, the Fifth Element, the supreme being, etc.

 

Altar - A flat surface that is used solely for magickal workings.

 

Amulet - A talisman that has been charged for protection and the deflection of negativity.

 

Anointing Oil - A non-toxic oil that is dabbed on the body (at specific points or on the forehead) in order to purify and individual mentally and spiritually.

 

Arcana - the two halves of a tarot deck - the Major and Minor Arcana.

 

"As above, so below" - An expression used when casting the magick circle - it 'seals' the bubble in 3-dimensional space, above and below you. It originates in the beginning of The Emerald Tablet, an ancient text attributed to a divine being similar to the Egyptian god Thoth or Greek god Hermes, and means basically that the Gods and Man are in each other's image, that we are all the same, and that life on Earth mirrors life in the cosmos above. This is a good way, before doing magick, to 'tune into' the Universe - that is probably why many circle casting instructions end with this phrase.

 

Aspect - A form/facet/persona of a deity. For example, the Goddess has three aspects - Maiden, Mother and Crone.

 

Athame (pronounced ath-am-ay) - A blunt ceremonial knife used in ritual cut energy rather than physical items.

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B

Balefire - A fire traditionally lit to celebrate some of the sabbats.

 

Besom - Broom.

 

Bind - To magickally restrain something or someone.

 

Blood of the Moon - A woman's menstrual cycle.

 

Blue Moon - The second Full Moon in a calendar month.

 

Bolline/Boline - A sharp, curved, white handled ceremonial knife used for cutting physical items - cord, herbs, etc.

 

Book of Shadows - A book containing the Witch's knowledge and experiences of and within Wicca (more info here).

 

Burning Times - This term describes the Witch hunts of 1450-1750, such as the Salem Witch Trials and the Andover Witch Hunts, etc.

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C

Calling the Quarters - Verbal or symbolic acknowledgement of the four Elements (Earth, Air, Fire Water) in ritual.  

 

Cardinal Points - The 4 points of the compass, the 4 directions - North, South, East and West.

 

Casting a Circle - See Magick Circle.  

 

Cauldron - An iron pot used to prepare herbs, infusions, and so on. The cauldron is a symbol of the womb and consequently of the Goddess.  

 

Censer - Incense burner - usually a perforated container of some sort.

 

Centreing - A meditation exercise to re-energise. Usually followed by grounding.

 

Chalice - A cup that represents the Goddess, used in ritual and magick.

 

Charging - See empowering.

 

Cleansing - The act of removing negative energy from an object or space.

 

Cone of Power - Energy raised with the purpose of performing magick.

 

Consecrating - The act of blessing an object or place by imbuing it with positive energy.

 

Correspondence - The magickal property of an item, symbol or even a specific time (more info here).

 

Coven - A small group of magickal people who work together in magick, ritual, and religious activities. The traditional number for a coven is thirteen, but covens can be larger or smaller.

 

Covenstead - The meeting place of a coven.

 

Cross-Quarter Day - A cross-quarter day falls about halfway between a solstice and an equinox. There are four of these, and they were originally pagan holidays in ancient Europe - they survive today as Greater Sabbats. Traditionally, they marked the beginning of each season. Today, on our calendar, they are found in about the middle of the seasons.

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D

Daily Devotions - The practice of acknowledging Deity in your life once or twice a day - a similar activity to that performed by Christians that pray before going to bed.

 

Days of Power - Traditionally they were just the eight sabbats, but other days can be considered Days of Power, too. They could be triggered by astrological events, birthdays, menstruation, etc.

 

Deity -Your concept of a divine spirit: the God, the Goddess, Allah, Jesus, Buddha, and so on.

 

Deosil  - Anti-clockwise (in the Southern Hemisphere). This word can also be used to express 'rightness' - that is, it has a meaning in both the sense of 'right and wrong' as well as describing directionality. Some are of the opinion that this word should be spelt 'deasil' (pronounced 'jess-el'), which is an Irish-Gaelic word meaning 'sun-wise'. You should also see widdershins.

 

Divination - To foretell the future or check past or current circumstances by using your connection to the Universe and a chosen tool (Tarot cards, scrying, runes, astrology, etc.)

 

Drawing Down the Moon - To connect with the Goddess by drawing the power of the Moon into the body, usually during ritual. A way of honoring the Goddess.

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E

Eclectic - A Witch that mixes aspects from many different traditions to create his/her own brand of Wicca.

 

Eclipse - When one celestial body obscures another for a short period of time. For example, a solar eclipse is when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out some or all of the Sun disc.

 

Elements - Earth, Air, Fire, and Water (more info here).  Witches also believe also in a fifth element - Spirit.

 

Empowering - Also called "charging". This means to fill an object with energy for a specific magickal purpose.

 

Equal-armed Cross - A cross symbol with equally sized arms, used to seal a magickal working.

 

Esbat - The monthly celebration of the Goddess, which usually falls on or about the Full Moon - like the God is honoured on the sabbats, the Goddess is honoured under the Full Moon.

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F

Familiar - An animal (usually) with which you have a deep emotional bond - they are a sort of spiritual supporter. Generally, these take the form of pets.

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G

 

Gaia/Gaea - Mother Earth.

 

God/Goddess - Titles for the male and female halves of the divine spirit celebrated by the Witches. Together, they form Spirit.

 

Green Man - Another name for the God, as king of the forests.

 

Great Rite - Either literal or symbolic union of male and female. The literal Great Rite is actual sexual intercourse in a ritual context, and the symbolic Great Rite is the lowering of an athame (male) into a chalice (female) to symbolise that union.

 

Grimoire - Within Wicca, it is the Book of Shadows. Grimoire, literally, means 'book of magic', as in a medieval manuscript describing arcane rituals.

 

Grounding - A meditation exercise that allows the mind to focus and to release excess energy into the Earth. Grounding should be preceded by centreing.

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H

Handfasting - The Wiccan wedding ceremony.

 

High Priest - Masculine leader of a coven or other Wiccan organisation, who takes on the role of the God in some ceremonies.

 

High Priestess - Feminine leader of a coven or other Wiccan organisation, who takes on the role of the Goddess in some ceremonies.

 

Holy Water - Blessed, purified water for use in ritual (more info here). Also called consecrated water.

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I

Invocation - To call deity into a magick circle or ritual.

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L

Labrys - A double-headed axe that symbolises the Goddess.

 

Lady - Title of honour for the Goddess.

 

Lord - Title of honour for the God.

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M

Magick - The art and science of focusing your will and emotions to effect change. Magick itself is neither positive nor negative - it is the use of the magickal energy by the Witch determines what kind of magick is done.

 

Magick Circle - A "magickal bubble" that encloses the ritual area. The circle allows the Witch to raise and contain energy until the time comes to release it (more info here)

 

Meditation - Mental exercises used to draw body, mind, and spirit into a single focus.

 

Mother Earth - The Goddess (counterpart of the God's Sky Father aspect).

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P

Pantheon - A 'collection' of Gods and Goddesses particular to a certain civilisation - i.e., the ancient Greek pantheon comprised Zeus, Hera, Athena, Artemis, etc.

 

Pentacle - A magickal symbol consisting of a pentagram - a five-pointed star - pointing upward and enclosed by a circle. It is worn as a symbol of a Witch's belief and used in magickal workings and ceremonies. Each point on the star relates to the five Elements - Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit - while the circle symbolises eternity and the cycles of life (more info here).

 

Phases of the Moon - The stages of our Moon during its orbit of the Earth. One complete orbit of the Moon around the Earth is called a lunar cycle and takes just under a calendar month (about 28 days). During its journey the Moon waxes from New to Full and wanes from Full to New (more info here).

 

Planetary Hours - Every hour of the day is influenced by the energies of one of the planets - it's too involved to cover here, so check out my page dedicated to planetary hours.

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Q

Quarter Day - The four quarter days of the year fall on the two equinoxes and two solstices, and correspond to old European religious festivals. In Britain and Ireland, traditionally, these were the days servants were hired and rent and rates were due.

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R

Runes - A set of symbols used in divination, magick and also, originally, as a system of letters for writing (in ancient Europe).

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S

Sabbat - Wiccan seasonal festivals celebrating the God. There are eight Sabbats, corresponding to eight stages of the God's life - there are too many details to cover here, so check out my page on the sabbats.

 

Sacred Space - An area cleansed by the four elements and used for ritual and honouring the God and Goddess - like a temple (more info here).

 

Scrying - A form of divination which involves staring into an object like a candle flame, a crystal ball, a still pool of water or a mirror (or something similar).

 

Sigil - A magickal symbol.

 

Sky Father - The God (counterpart of the Goddess' 'Mother Earth' aspect).

 

Skyclad - Nude. Some Witches and certain traditions perform ritual naked, when they are literally 'clad by the sky' only. (This definitely isn't one of those perverted Satanic things, it is a way to be closer to the Universe).

 

"So mote it be" - An expression used to 'seal' a spell - "mote" means "must" in Old English, so you are saying:  "As I will, it must be done."

 

Spell - A kind of prayer used to raise energy that will be directed to try to manifest a change in the Universe. Spells may also use a variety of physical tools (candles, string, poppets, etc.) that help the subconscious mind to focus.

 

Spirit - The Wiccan divine being - composed of a male and female half, the God and Goddess (more info here).

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T

Talisman - An object that has been magickally charged.

 

Tarot - A form of divination using a deck of 78 special cards.

 

Tradition - A sub-group of the Wiccan faith. Some include the Alexandrian, Seax-Wica, Ceremonial, Gardnerian and Teutonic traditions. Each group can have their own take on Wicca and their own individual practices - similar to the way Greek Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic are subgroups within Christianity (except different traditions don't fight with each other).

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V

Void of Course Moon - The time from when the Moon has left one sign of the zodiac and has not yet moved into another (more info here).

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W

Wand - A tool for 'directing' energy when casting a magick circle or during ritual or something like that. It is a masculine symbol.

 

Waning Moon - The period in the lunar cycle from Full Moon to New Moon.

 

Warlock - Not a term for a male Witch. This actually means 'truth-twister' (or something similar). Male Witches are called Witches.

 

Waxing Moon - The period in the lunar cycle from New Moon to Full Moon.

 

Wiccaning - Similar to a Christening, but the child is 'presented' to the God and Goddess and is not necessarily expected to pursue a Wiccan path later in life.

 

Widdershins - Clockwise (in the Southern Hemisphere). This word can also be used to express 'wrongness' - that is, it has a meaning in both the sense of 'right and wrong' as well as describing directionality. You should also see deosil.

 

Wheel of the Year - One full cycle of the Wiccan year, which contains the eight sabbats and begins at Samhain - the Wiccan New Year. Again, check out my page on the sabbats.

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