The People of the Woods

Bide the Wiccan Law Ye Must,
in perfect Love, in perfect Trust,
Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill:
An ye harm none, do as ye will.
What ye send out comes back to thee,
So ever mind the rule of three.
Follow this with mind and heart,
and Merry ye Meet, and Merry ye Part.
Words used by the Wiccans

Alexandrian adj. Of the tradition of Wicca that originated as the teachings of Alex Sanders. In Wiccan use should not be confused with schools of philosophy, literature, and science of ancient Alexandria, Egypt.

Altar n. An elevated table or platform used for religious rites and magical working.

Amulet n. A small object worn to ward off evil, harm, or illness, or to bring good fortune; a protecting charm. Often an object that is charged with specific energies. Often a natural object such as a feather, shell or stone. Origin: Middle French amulete. Similar to a talisman

Art, The n. 1. Witchcraft, or the Old Religion, also sometimes called Wicca. 2. The trade or practice of the traditional skills and abilities of a Priest or Priestess of Wicca. Used by Gerald Gardner to mean Witchcraft.

Aspect n. 1. appearance in the eye or mind. 2. a distinct feature or element of a problem or situation. 3. In Wicca it is said that some Gods or Goddesses appear with different views at different times or to different people. from late 14th century astrology meaning how planets appeared from the Earth. From Latin aspectus, seeing or looking.

Astral body n. 1. A projection of the physical body into psychic and non-physical realms, made of a substance not physical. 2. The same psychic or non-physical self when co-located with the physical body.

Astral planes Other realms or dimensions of existence which are co-existent with the physical or earthly plane.

Astral projection v. The process of separating from the physical body in trance states to visit other planes, times or locations. n. The astral body projected into another plane or dimension of existence.

Astrology n. 1. The belief that the positions of planets, planetoids and stars, can influence events and behavior surrounding us. 2. The method used in calculating these related happenings. Astrology and Astronomy were essentially the same science until the invention of telescopes.

Athame n. a witch's ceremonial knife, usually double-edged and with a black handle. It is used in rituals rather than for cutting or carving . Pronunciation varies.

Aura n , pl auras , aurae 1. a distinctive air or quality considered to be characteristic of a person or thing 2. An emanation of light or energy surrounding a physical body. 3 an invisible emanation produced by and surrounding a person or object: can be discernible by sensitive individuals. From Middle English from Greek

Aura n Classical Mythology; a companion of Artemis who bore twins to Dionysus. Zeus changed her into a spring because, in a fit of madness, she had killed one of her children.

Balefire n. 1. a large fire in the open air; bonfire. 2. a signal fire; beacon. 3. the fire of a funeral pile. 4. The traditional bonfire of the sabbats used in many pagan celebrations. From Middle English bal (e) fir, equivalent to bale +fire

Banish v. 1. to expel from or relegate to a country or place by authoritative decree; condemn to exile. 2. to compel to depart; send, drive, or put away: to banish sorrow. 3. In witchcraft To magically send away or repel negative energies or entities from a person or area. From Middle English banisshen from Anglo-French, Old French baniss-, long stem of banir from Frankish *bannjan to proclaim, akin to ban.

Beltane An ancient Celtic Festival observed on May first. The modern times celebrated as May Day. Often celebrated with a symbolic marriage of the God and Goddess. From late Middle English from Scots Gaelic bealltainn, Old Irish bel ( l ) taine, "Bel" is a variant spelling of B'al, B'el or Ba'al, the Bull God of ancient religious worship. B'el + tene fire

Besom n. 1. a broom, especially one of brush or twigs. 2. The Witch’s broom. Often used to sweep away negative energies from a space before casting a circle. From before 1000; Middle English besem, Old English bes ( e ) ma; cognate with Dutch bezem, German Besen

Bind v. 1. to fasten or secure with a band or bond. 2. to encircle with a band or ligature: She bound her hair with a ribbon. 3. To magically restrain something or someone. From Old English bindan "to tie up with bonds."

Boline n. 1 in Wicca a knife, usually sickle-shaped and with a white handle, used for gathering herbs and carving symbols. 2. a curved knife used for the magical gathering of herbs and other natural reagents.

Book Of Shadows n. 1. A witch's book of spells, rituals, recipes, and other guides and materials written by a witch or coven. 2. a grimoire. In modern use many witches keep their writing on computer files, and printed copies in a filing cabinet.

Burning Times, The A reference to a period when many men and women were executed by religious or public officials for practicing witchcraft. Generally from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Execution methods varied but the image of witches being burned alive continues.

Candlemas n. The Catholic overlay ritual for the Celtic Cross Quarter Festival Imbolc on February 2. A celebration the passing of winter and the coming of spring. Now commonly celebrated in the USA as Ground Hog Day.

Cardinal points n. pl. The four directions on a compass. North, South, East, and West.

Cast (as a spell) v. To throw or hurl; fling. In Wicca a magical working sends out or casts energy to accomplish the desired result. Sometimes runes, stones, bones or other objects are thrown down and the resulting pattern read for insight. Cast a circle.

Cauldron n. A large kettle or boiler. From Middle English cauderon from Anglo-French caudere from Latin caldaria. A favorite tool of witches for cooking green chili chicken stew or other magical brews.

Censer n. a container, often covered, in which incense is burned, especially during religious services; a thurible. From Middle English, from Anglo-French ensenser from Latin incensarium

Centering v. 1. to collect around a center; focus. 2. to come to a focus; converge; concentrate. 3. In Wicca and spiritual pracice, to gather one's thoughts and energy inward to focus on yourself and your current activity.

Cernunnos n. A horned God found in Celtic mythology. He is connected with male animals, particularly the stag in rut and this has led him to be associated with fertility and vegetation. Depictions of Cernunnos are found in many parts of the British Isles and western Europe. He is often portrayed with a beard and wild, shaggy hair -- he is, after all, the lord of the forest. He may also be the Greek Elder God, Kronus which morphed from Kornus meaning "Horned one".

Chakra n. In Yoga, any of seven major energy centers in the body. Starting from the tailbone, they are Root (Red), Sexual/Generative (Orange), Solar Plexus (Yellow), Heart (Green), Throat (Blue), 3rd Eye (Indigo), and Crown (Violet). From Sanskrit chakra, wheel, circle.

Chalice n. 1. Religious: a. a cup for the wine of the religious rites. b. the wine contained in it. 2. a drinking cup or goblet. From Old English calic, from Latin calix - cup

Charge Of The Goddess A charge ( v. tr. to command; place a burden upon or assign responsibility to) presented as a speech or soliloquy delivered by the Priestess in Wiccan rites. A dramatic monologue giving instructions from the Goddess to Her followers. First written down by Charles Leland from Italian witches, and later modified by individual Wiccan Priestesses.

Charm n. 1. a trinket to be worn on a bracelet, necklace, etc. 2. something worn or carried on one's person for its magical effect; an amulet or talisman. v. 3. to act upon (someone or something) with or as with a compelling or magical force: to charm a bird from a tree. 4. to endow with or protect by magical powers. From Middle English charme from Old French from Latin carminem, accusative of carmen song, magical formula

Church, n. 1. From Old Gaelic, a ceremonial circle often marked with stones. 2. A place where people meet to celebrate and practice their religion. 3. A body of people who meet together to celebrate and practice a common religion. From Old English circ (le) or kirk.

Circle, n. 1. A place where people meet to celebrate and practice the Wiccan religion. 2. A body of people who meet together to celebrate and practice the Wiccan religion. 3. A coven of the Wiccan religion. 4. A magical enclosure surrounding the participants in a Wiccan rite.

Circle dance n. The most common name for a style of traditional dance usually done in a circle without partners to musical accompaniment. Dancing in a circle is an ancient tradition common to many cultures for marking special occasions, strengthening community and encouraging togetherness. In Wicca a ceremonial or recreational dance wherein the members of a grove or coven link hands and move deosil within a ceremonial area. The basic grapevine circle step is “right foot cross over, left foot sidestep, right foot cross back, left foot sidestep, etc.”

Cleansing v. 1. To make clean. 2. In Wicca the process of removing negative energy from an object or place. May be accomplished through replacing negative energy with positive energy, sweeping with a besom, burning incense and other means. From Old English clensian, equivalent to clean.

Cone of Power n. A method of raising energy in ritual magic, especially Witchcraft. The term refers to the idea that raised energy forms a cone with the circle as its base. The cone is formed by a group of coveners standing in a cricle and focusing on a point above and in the center of the circle. They may dance, drum, chant, or perform other ritual gestures to raise energy. This is called "Raising the cone of power."

Consecration n. 1. The act of consecrating; dedication to the service and worship of a deity. 2. The act of cleansing and blessing an object or place by charging it with positive energy. From Middle English consecracio from Anglo-French from Latin consecration

Correspondences n. 1, Similarity or analogy 2. agreement or conformity. In Wicca, sets of ideas, concepts or objects that are regularly associated. From Middle English harmony, agreement. From Latin correspondentia, from correspondentem, prp. of correspondere "correspond," from com- "together" + respondere

Coven, n. 1. A group of Wiccan clergy (Witches) who share a common practice or tradition of the Wiccan religion, and meet regularly to celebrate and practice together. 2. A church or circle of the Wiccan religion.

Covenstead n. The common meeting place for a coven.

Cowan, n. 1. A person outside the Craft. (also recently, muggle) From Old French couillon a coward. Also used by Freemasonry.

Craft, The n. 1. Witchcraft, or the Old Religion, also sometimes called Wicca. 2. The trade or practice of the traditional skills and abilities of a Priest or Priestess of Wicca. Also called Witchcraft. From Old English wicca craeft, the trade of craft of being wise. In historic times the Old Religion had no name and needed none. It was simply the traditional folk religion of the people in many villages. Sometimes also called the Art.

Craft n. a skill or trade such as stone cutting, carpentry, or painting.

Craft name n. A chosen name used by a participant or Priest in Wiccan religious work. The Priests of Wicca, Catholic, Buddhist, and other religions often choose a new name for religious work when they become Priests of their religion.

Crone n. 1. a withered, witchlike, old woman. 2. A Witch of 50 or more yrs, or post menopause. A term of respect. 3. Third aspect of the Mother Goddess. From Old Northern French carogne carrion, ultimately from Latin caro flesh.

Cross-quarter day n. 1. A day approximately half way between the Solstice and Equinox celebrated as the historic day of change from one season to the next. 2. Collectively the Celtic Fire Festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnassad, the Sabbats that do not fall on the solstices or equinoxes.

Cycle of Life and death: n. 1. any complete round or series of occurrences that repeats or is repeated. 2. In Wiccan teaching life is a continuing repetition of life and death. Some species live and die in a year and are reborn the next year. Other species live many years, and then are reborn many years later. A cyclic view of life contrasts with a once-and-done life view of other religions.

Dedication In Wicca, a ceremony in which a seeker makes a formal declaration to study and learn Witchcraft and vows to keep the secrets of the coven. From To Dedicate.

Degree n. 1. any of a series of steps or stages, as in a process or course of action; a point in any scale. 2. In Wicca a stage in a scale of rank or station; relative standing, levels of learning and achievement. Most Wiccan traditions recognize 3 degrees.

Deosil adj. In Wicca, turning clockwise or rotating in the direction of the Sun God. Also sometimes spelled Deasil. From Scottish folklore, Sunwise or Sunward. (pronounced JESH-ill or DEE-o-sill)

Divination n. 1. the practice of foretelling future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult, psychic, or magical means. 2. augury; prophecy: The divination of the high priest was fulfilled. 3. perception by intuition; instinctive foresight. From Middle English divinacioun from Anglo-French from Latin divination- (stem of divinatio ), equivalent to divinat

Drawing down the moon In Wicca a spiritual process in which a Priestess invokes the Moon Goddess to posses her body during a religious ceremony.

Duality n. 1. the state or quality of being two or in two parts; dichotomy. 2. being two things together rather than opposing opposites. From 14th century Middle English dualitic. from late Latin dualitas

Eclectic adj. 1. Selecting or choosing from various sources. 2. made up of what is selected from different sources. 3. not following any one system, as of philosophy, religion, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems. n. 4. a person who follows an eclectic method, as in philosophy, architecture, or religion. In Wicca, a person who does not follow any particular Tradition or theological system. From Greek eklektikós

Elder n. 1. A person who is older or higher in rank. 2. In Wicca, a Witch who has survived several decades of life, has practiced Wicca for a significant period of time, has attained at least a 2nd degree Initiation, and who is respected as a knowledgeable leader by other Wiccans. Some Traditions hold a ceremony to recognize and honor a member who becomes an Elder. From Old English eldra,

Elemental Adj. 1. of the of an ultimate constituent; simple; uncompounded. 2. pertaining to rudiments or first principles. 3. starkly simple, primitive, or basic 4. pertaining to the agencies, forces, or phenomena of physical nature: elemental gods. 5. comparable to the great forces of nature, as in power or magnitude. In Wicca n. 6. a simple or basic spirit or force that is said to appear in physical form. The most common elementals are the forces of nature, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. Other elementals can sometimes be created by magic for specific purposes.

Element n. A simple form which cannot be subdivide further. In Wicca the commonly recognized elements are air, fire, water, and earth. From Latin elementum

Equinox n. The time when the sun crosses the equator, making night and day of equal length in all parts of the world. Falls between March 20-22 and September 20-22. From Medieval Latin equinoxium, for Latin aequinoctium

Esbat, n. 1. A convocation of witches. 2. A Wiccan ceremony held on a full or new moon. From Old French esbat amusement, diversion

Evoke v. 1. To call up or produce. 2. to elicit or draw forth from within. (compare with invoke) From Latin evocare,

Familiar n. 1.a familiar friend or associate. 2. In Witchcraft a. an animal, as a cat, that embodies a supernatural spirit and aids a witch in performing magic. b. a familiar spirit; a spirit or daemon who will attend on or serve a Witch. From Middle English from Latin familiaris of a household.

Fascinate v. 1. to attract and hold attentively by a unique power, personal charm, or some other special quality; enthrall: a vivacity that fascinated the audience. 2. to arouse the interest or curiosity of; allure. 3. to transfix or deprive of the power of resistance, as through terror: The sight of the snake fascinated the rabbit. 4. To bewitch. 5. To cast under a spell by a look. From Latin fascinatus, past participle of fascinare to bewitch, cast a spell on, verbal derivative of fascinum evil spell, bewitchment

Gardnerian adj. (used with an object) A tradition of Witchcraft descended from the teachings of Gerald Gardner.

God, Goddess n. One of several deities presiding over some portion of worldly affairs. from before 900. Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch god, German Gott, Old Norse goth, Gothic guth.

Great rite n. In Wicca, the Great Rite is a form of sex magic that includes either ritual sexual intercourse or else a ritual symbolic representation of sexual intercourse. The Great Rite symbolizes the union of the God and Goddess, and thus all creation.

Green man n. The Green Man is a god of vegetation and plant life, the spirit of the forest. Sometimes called "Jack in the Green." The Green Man is typically portrayed as a human face surrounded by dense foliage. Such images appear as far back as the eleventh century. May also be a representation of Cernunnos.

Grounding v. 1. To allow energy to flow into the Earth. 2. In magical working, to calm emotional or psychic energy by allowing it to flow away into the Earth resulting in a calm state.

Grove n. 1. a small wood or forest area. 2. A Druid religious group or meeting place. From before 900, Old English graf.

Guardians n. 1. Elemental spirits or beings who are invoked to guard a ceremonial space. 2. In Wicca guardians occupy "watch towers" in the cardinal directions.

Handfasting n. 1. A Wiccan or Pagan marriage ceremony. v. 2. To tie a couple's hands together during a wedding. 3. To tie the knot.

Heathen n. 1. a person who follows old Norse Pagan or Asatru religious traditions. 2. someone from the wastelands, not of the city, not civilized. from before 900 Old English h?then akin to German heide, heidnisch. akin to heath, a wasteland with shrubs.

Hellenist n. 1. A person who follows the ancient Greek polytheist religion. 2. A person who adopts Greek speech, ideas, and customs. From Greek hellenistas.

Herbalism n. the study or use of the medicinal properties of plants

Hereditary adj. 1. of, relating to, or denoting factors that can be transmitted genetically from one generation to another 2. law a. descending or capable of descending to succeeding generations by inheritance b. transmitted or transmissible according to established rules of descent 3. derived from one's ancestors; traditional: hereditary Witch. From late Middle English from Latin hereditarius relating to inheritance, equivalent to heredit inheritance.

High Priest or High Priestess n. 1. the priest of highest rank who alone was permitted to enter the holy of holies. 2. the head of a religious group or cult. In ancient Egypt, a high priest was the chief priest of any of the many gods revered by the Egyptians. 3. In Wicca, a person who has been recognized as a spiritual leader and teacher of the 3rd or ultimate level of the Priesthood.

High Priest
The High Priest Card from The Witches' Tarot

Hypnosis n. 1. An artificially induced trance state resembling sleep, characterized by heightened susceptibility to suggestion 2. A method of making closer contact with the subconscious mind which may be self-induced or induced by another. From about 1880, Hypn(otic) + osis.

Imbolc n. 1. An ancient Celtic festival associated with the goddess Brigit, held on Feb 1 or 2 to mark the beginning of spring. It is also celebrated by modern pagans. 2. The cross quarter day dividing winter from spring. 3. A celebration of the cross quarter day. 4. In cowan space called Ground Hog Day, and in Christian religion overlayed as Candlemas. From Old Irish oimelc ewe's milk

Immanent adj. 1. existing, operating, or remaining within; inherent. 2. of or relating to the pantheistic conception of God as being present throughout the universe. From Latin immanere, to remain in. to stay.

Inner and outer circles (also Inner and Outer Court) In Wicca, designates initiates from dedicants or neophytes within a Wiccan group. Generally, the outer court is the training portion of the coven and is open to dedicants and lower degrees, while the inner court is made up of initiates and/or elders. Specific designations will vary from group to group and tradition to tradition. From about 1970s.

Initiate v. 1. To begin or originate, 2. to introduce to the knowledge of some art or subject, 3. to admit or accept with formal rites into an organization or group, secret knowledge, or society. n. a person who has been initiated. From Latin, initiatus, initiare.

Invocation n. The act of invoking or calling upon a deity, spirit, etc., for aid, protection, inspiration, or the like; supplication. 2. any petitioning or supplication for help or aid. 3. a form of prayer invoking a God's presence, especially one said at the beginning of a religious service or public ceremony. 4. an entreaty for aid and guidance from a Muse, deity, etc., at the beginning of an epic or epic like poem. 5. the act of calling upon a spirit by incantation.

Invoke v. (used with object) 1. to call for with earnest desire; make supplication or pray for: to invoke a God's power. 2. to call on a God, Muse, etc. 3. To draw power into yourself from without. (compare with evoke) From Latin invocare

John Barleycorn n. 1. In English folklore, a character who represents the crop of barley or wheat harvested each autumn. 2. Drinks which can be made from barley -- beer and whiskey 3. The spirit of the grain who dies each fall and arises again in spring.

Kabala (kabbalah , kabbala , kabala , cabbala , cabala or qabalah) n 1. an ancient Jewish mystical tradition based on an esoteric interpretation of the Old Testament 2. any secret or occult doctrine or science. From Medieval Latin, from Hebrew qabbalah tradition, what is received, from qabal to receive.

Karma n. 1. Hinduism, Buddhism. action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation: in Hinduism one of the means of reaching Brahman. 2. Theosophy. the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person's deeds in the previous incarnation. 3. fate; destiny. Synonyms: predestination, predetermination, lot, kismet. 4. the good or bad emanations felt to be generated by someone or something: Lets get out of here. This place has bad karma. From Sanskrit: nominative, accusative singular of karman act, deed.

Lammas n. A Christian overlay name for the ancient Celtic cross quarter festival of August 1, in which bread made from the first harvest of corn was blessed. Also called Lammas Day. See Lughnassad. From Middle English Lammesse, Old English hlemmæsse, hlafmæsse.

Law of Return n. In Wicca a religious tenet that whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person three times. Similar to Karma. See Threefold Law.

Levels of Self n. 1. In Psychology Freud divided the psyche into 3 parts, the id, ego, and superego. The Id is body based, the Ego is "I" or who you think you are, and the Superego is your subconscious. 2. in Wicca we use a visualization similar but not identical to psychology. Child self, self, and higher self. Child self is about body, fun, toys, pleasure. Self is who we think we are. And higher self is our soul, our immortal part, that which lives on currently in the spirit world. Communication between levels is complicated.

Libation n. a pouring out of wine or other liquid in honor of a deity. 2. the liquid poured out. 3. Often Facetious. a. an intoxicating beverage, as wine, especially when drunk in ceremonial or celebrative situations. b. an act or instance of drinking such a beverage. From Middle English libacio from Latin libation a drink offering, cognate with Greek leíbein.

Litha n. 1. Midsummer or Summer Solstice. 2. The fire festival or Litha - Summer solstice is a tradition for many pagans. From Anglo-Saxon names for the months roughly corresponding to June and July as se Ærra Liþa and se Æfterra Liþa (the "early Litha month" and the "later Litha month") with an intercalary month of Liþa appearing after se Æfterra Liþa on leap years.

Lughnassad n. 1. An ancient Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season that was historically observed throughout Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Held on 31 July – 1 August. 2. One of the cross quarter festivals, approximately halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox. Named for Lugh a God of Celtic legend. See Lammas.

Mabon n. 1. In Wicca, the autumnal equinox. 2. the festival of the autumnal equinox. 3. The middle of 3 harvest festivals. Origin obscure. May have been coined by Aidan Kelly around 1970 named for Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology.

Magic, n. 1. In Wicca, the art that controls natural events. 2. The use of natural forces to cause naturally occurring changes to end in results that conform to one's will or desire. Note: Gerald Gardner used used a spelling "magick" with the 'k' ending to distinguish true magic from stage illusions. That spelling has persisted in some Wiccan literature. The People of the Woods does not use that spelling. Note 2. Witches do not recognize adjective differences such as "black magic" or "white magic." Like electricity and other natural forces, magic can be used for ethical or unethical purposes. From Middle English magik ( e ) witchcraft from Late Latin magica, Latin magice from Greek.

Magician 1. a person who is skilled in magic; sorcerer. Commonly used in reference to one following a system of Ceremonial or High Magic. 2. an entertainer who is skilled in producing illusion by sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc. From magic + -ian; replacing Middle English magicien from Middle French.

Magus (pronounced MAY-gus; plural magi pronounced MAJ-eye) n. 1. A magician or sorcerer of advanced practice. 2. the Zoroastrian priests of the ancient Medes and Persians. 3. a magician, sorcerer, or astrologer. From Latin from Greek mágos from Old Persian magus.

Maiden n. In Wicca, 1. A woman understudy and assistant of the High Priestess. 2. The first aspect of the Triple Goddess symbolizing new creation.

Meditation n. 1. The act of meditating. 2. continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation. 3. transcendental meditation. 4. devout religious contemplation or spiritual introspection. From Latin meditation- (stem of meditatio ) a thinking over; replacing Middle English meditacioun from Anglo-French from Latin.

Metaphysical adj. 1. pertaining to or of the nature of metaphysics. 2. Pertaining to realities which are outside those of science, such as cosmology and ontology 3. Philosophy . a. concerned with abstract thought or subjects, as existence, causality, or truth. b. concerned with first principles and ultimate grounds, as being, time, or substance. 4. highly abstract, subtle, or abstruse.

MinisterMinister, n. 1. a person authorized to conduct religious worship; member of clergy; pastor. 2. a person authorized to administer sacraments at a religious service. Usually in a protestant Christian church the authorized person is a Minister rather than a Priest. From Middle English ministre, minister from Old French ministre from Latin minister servant, equivalent to minis- (variant of minus a lesser amount; akin to minor + -ter See “Priest.”

Note; For several hundred years Protestant churches fought wars with the Catholic Church over the fundamental question of whether a Priest was needed to contact divinity for the congregation, or whether each person was enabled to contact divinity for himself or herself. Wiccan Priests are trained and practiced making contacts with the spirit world and with the Gods. Most cowans are not able to make those contacts. Therefore Wiccan clergy are Priests and Priestesses rather than ministers.

Muggle n. A non-witch from the fictional book series Harry Potter 1996. See cowen.

Mundane adj. 1. Of or pertaining to this world or earth as contrasted with heaven; worldly; earthly: mundane affairs. 2. common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative. 3. of or pertaining to the world, universe, or earth. In Wicca often used referring to someone or something not magical or Pagan; mainstream; My craft name is Pixie; my mundane name is Joan Smith.. From Latin mundanus.

Mystic adj. 1. involving or characterized by esoteric, otherworldly, or symbolic practices or content, as certain religious ceremonies and art; spiritually significant; ethereal. 2. of the nature of or pertaining to mysteries known only to the initiated: mystic rites. 3. of occult character, power, or significance: a mystic formula. 4. of obscure or mysterious character or significance. 5. of or pertaining to mystics or mysticism. n. 6. a person who claims to attain, or believes in the possibility of attaining, insight into mysteries transcending ordinary human knowledge, as by direct communication with the divine or immediate intuition in a state of spiritual ecstasy. 7. a person initiated into religious mysteries. From Middle English mystik from Latin mysticus from Greek mystikós akin to myeîn to initiate, teach

Mysticism 1. the beliefs, ideas, or mode of thought of mystics. 2. a doctrine of an immediate spiritual intuition of truths believed to transcend ordinary understanding, or of a direct, intimate union of the soul with God through contemplation or ecstasy. 3. obscure thought or speculation. From mystic + ism.

Mystery, n. 1. Anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown: the mysteries of nature . 2. any affair, thing, or person that presents features or qualities so obscure as to arouse curiosity or speculation: The masked guest is an absolute mystery to everyone. 3. Something that is not fully understood or that baffles or eludes the understanding; an enigma. 4. A religious truth that is incomprehensible to reason and knowable only through divine revelation.; From Middle English mysterie from Latin mysterium from Greek mystyrion.

New age adj. 1. of or pertaining to a movement espousing a broad range of philosophies and practices traditionally viewed as occult, metaphysical, or paranormal. n. 2. the New Age movement. Origin 1970-1975 In Wicca, New Age is generally thought of as shallow, fluffy, and overly commercial.

Occult adj. 1. Of or pertaining to magic, astrology, or any system claiming use or knowledge of secret or supernatural powers or agencies. 2. beyond the range of ordinary knowledge or understanding; mysterious. 3. secret; disclosed or communicated only to the initiated. 4. hidden from view. 5. a. not apparent on mere inspection but discoverable by experimentation. b. of a nature not understood, as physical qualities. c. dealing with such qualities; experimental: occult science. n. 6. the supernatural or supernatural agencies and affairs considered as a whole. 7. occult studies or sciences. From Latin occultus (past participle of occulere to hide from view, cover up).

Old Religion, The n. 1. Collectively, the Gods, beliefs, and religious practices of native Europeans and other peoples before the domination of monotheistic Abrahamic religions. 2. Wicca as a reconstruction or continuation of pre-abrahamaic monotheism religion. Also sometimes called Old Path or Old Ways.

Ostara (also Eostre, or Eostar. Variant spelling of Ishtar ) n. 1. A festival of fertility and spring named for the Babylonian fertility Goddess who was also revered throughout much of Europe. Celebrated on the Vernal Equinox or the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. 2. the Vernal Equinox -- middle of spring. Note: Fertility eggs and bunnies are sacred to Ishtar/Ostara.

Pagan, n. 1. A follower of any of several pre-christian religions of Western Europe. 2. a follower of any traditional nature-based religion of indigenous peoples from any part of the world. adj. 3. of or pertaining to a pagan religion. From Latin paganus, a country dweller or peasant farmer. Originally used as a derogatory term by Roman invaders to describe peasants who didn't accept the "modern" Roman pantheon, similar to "hick" or "bumpkin". Later, used by Roman christians to describe country peasants who didn't convert to their religion. Also possibly derived from Greek pagos, spring.

Pantheism n. 1. the doctrine that God is the transcendent reality of which the material universe and human beings are manifestations. 2, a religious belief or philosophical doctrin that regards God as identical with the material universe. 3. (Wiccan) Recognition or worship of all or a large number of gods. Attributed to Irish deist John Toland (1670-1722) from Greek pan - all + theos - god. Also related to Greek pantheios meaning "common to all gods."

Pentacle n. 1. A connected 5 pointed star or pentagram surrounded by a circle. 2. an object displaying a pentagram surrounded by a circle. 3. In Wicca, a symbol for the earth. From Italian pentacolo five-cornered object from Greek.

Pentagram n. a five-pointed, star-shaped figure made by extending the sides of a regular pentagon until they meet, used as an occult symbol by the Pythagoreans and later philosophers, by magicians, etc. Also called pentacle, pentangle, pentalpha. From Greek pentágrammon.

Wiccan Pentagram
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Polarity n. 1. the condition of having poles. 2. the condition of a body or system in which it has opposing physical properties, magnets, electricity, etc. 3. the state of having or espressing two oppisite tendencies, opinions, etc. Exampls; light vs. dark, up vs. down, right vs. wrong, godly vs. ungodly. Origin: 1640s, originally for magnets. Note that polar opposites attract each other and function together.

Polytheism n. the doctrine of or belief in more than one god or in many gods. poly + theism; compare French polythéisme

Power n. 1. The ability to act; capable of doing or accomplishing something. 2. a great or marked ability to do or act; strength; might; force. 3. In Wicca, power often refers to magical energy which can be used to act or do something. From Middle English pouer, from Anglo-French poueir.

Note: Witchcraft often involves raising psychic energy or power from the earth, wielding and using power to accomplish a desired outcome, and then grounding residual energy or power back to the earth.

Priest, Priestess n. 1. a person whose office it is to perform religious rites, contact divinity, and to make sacrificial offerings. 2. a member of the clergy who contacts divinity and draws down or relays divinity to a congregation. 3. a person who brings divinity to a congregation. 4. In Wicca, an Initiate Witch authorized to conduct rituals and make sacrifices. from Old English preost. from Latin prespyter. See “minister.”

Note; For several hundred years Protestant churches fought wars with the Catholic Church over the fundamental question of whether a Priest was needed to contact divinity for the congregation, or whether each person was enabled to contact divinity for himself or herself. Wiccan Priests are trained and practiced making contacts with the spirit world and with the Gods. Most cowans are not able to make those contacts. Therefore Wiccan clergy are Priests and Priestesses rather than ministers.

Pyramid, The Witches' n. a conception of the structure of a magical working having 4 sides coming together in a point at the top. The 4 sides are To see or envision, To dare or will, To know or believe, and To keep silent. The base is knowledge. The inside is filled with love.

Rede v. 1. to counsel; advise. 2. to explain. n. 3 counsel, advice. 4 a plan; scheme. from before 900 Old English raedan.

Rede, Wiccan, Wiccan n the Wiccan Rede says "An (if) it harms none, do as you will." The imperative advice of the Wiccan rede is "do as you will." It has a caution, "if it harms none." Many Wiccans today confuse the imperative advice with the caution. Do whatever you enjoy, just don't hurt anyone.

Reincarnation n. 1. the belief that the soul or spirit survives death of the body and eventually comes back to earth in another body or form. 2. rebirth of the soul or spirit in a new body. Several religions inducing Wicca and Hindu believe that the human spirit returns again and again. It was also the belief of early Christians.

Ritual n. 1. an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite. 2. a system or collection of religious or other rites. 3. observance of set forms of worship. 4. a prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service. from Latin ritualis.

Robe n. 1. a long, loose or flowing gown or outer garment worn by men or women as ceremonial dress. an offical vestment. 2. any long, loose garment. In Wicca, many covens wear robes as ceremonial dress. from Old French robe.

Sabbat, n. 1. One of 8 quarter or cross quarter holidays in the Wiccan calendar. 2. A Wiccan ritual to celebrate one of the quarter or cross quarter holidays. From Gerald Gardner, origin obscure.

Sage n. 1. a profoundly wise person; a person famed for wisdom. 2. someone venerated for the possession of wisdom, judgment, and experience. In Wicca, usually an elder High Priest. From Middle English from Old French from Late Latin sapidus wise, tasteful, equivalent to sap ( ere ) to know, be wise, orig. to taste.

Samhain n. 1. An ancient Celtic festival held on November 1 to mark the beginning of winter 2. The cross quarter day about half way between autumnal equinox and winter Solstice. It is also celebrated by modern pagans as the beginning of the dark time of the year. From Old Irish, samain

Scry scrying v. to use divination to discover hidden knowledge or future events, especially by means of a crystal ball. Origin: a shortening of descry.

Shaman n. A person who acts as intermediary between the natural and spirit worlds, between Gods and men, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc. From German Schamane from Russian shamán perhaps from Evenki šaman, saman. Also from Pali samana Buddhist monk, ultimately from Sanskrit. Originally perhaps a Priest of Shamash, the Babylonian/Assyrian Sun God and husband of Ishtar.

Sigil n. 1. A seal or signet. 2. A symbol with some occult meaning that may be used in magical workings. From Latin sigillum statuette, figure, stamped figure, diminutive of signum

Skyclad adj. Naked. (often referring to ritual nudity). From Gardner's Witchcraft Today 1954.

Solstice n. 1. Astronomy a. either of the two times a year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator: about June 21, when the sun reaches its northernmost point on the celestial sphere, or about December 22, when it reaches its southernmost point. b. either of the two points in the ecliptic farthest from the equator. 2. a furthest or culminating point; a turning point. From Middle English from Old French from Latin solstitium, equivalent to sel sun + -stit-

Spell n. . 1. A word, phrase, or form of words supposed to have magic power; charm; incantation: The wizard cast a spell. 2. A state or period of enchantment: She was under a spell. 3. Any dominating or irresistible influence; fascination: the spell of fine music. From Middle English spell from Old English: discourse; cognate with Old High German spel, Old Norse spjall, Gothic spill tale.

Spirit Guide n. an entity that remains as a disincarnate spirit to act as a guide or protector of a living incarnate being. According to Theosophical doctrine, a spirit guide is not always of human descent. Some spirit guides are energy or from a cosmic realm. Other spiritual religious beliefs such as Wiccan, Native American, Chinese or Egyptian perceive spirit guides as having ancient wisdom. They may also be called totems, angels, guardian angles, sprites, or nature spirits.

Stregheria n . a form of Italian Witchcraft. from an Old Italian word for Witchcraft.

Summerland n. the name given by Wiccans, Theosophists and some other religions to the place of the afterlife. Attributed to Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) in his major work The Great Harmonia. Most Wiccans understand the Summerland as the time and place where a person's soul or spirit remains for a time of rest and renewal before being reborn into a new life.

Summoner n. 1. A person who summons or calls others as to a meeting. 2. In Freemasonry an officer who brings people into meetings. 3. In Wicca, a man understudy and assistant of the High Priest who's job includes calling people to meetings and escorting them into the circle. From summon to call. From Medieval Latin summonere to summon, Latin: to remind unofficially, suggest, equivalent to sum- sum + monere to remind, warn.

Talisman n. 1. A stone, ring, or other object, engraved with figures or characters that possess occult powers and worn as an amulet or charm. 2. any amulet or charm. 3. anything whose presence exercises a remarkable or powerful influence on human feelings or actions. From French or Spanish from Arabic telasm from Greek télesma payment.

Tarot n. 1. A special pack of cards, now used mainly for fortune-telling, consisting of 78 cards (4 suits of 14 cards each (the minor arcana), and 22 other cards (the major arcana)) 2. a card in a tarot pack with distinctive symbolic design, such as the Wheel of Fortune. From French, from Old Italian tarocco, of unknown origin.

Thaumaturgy n. the working of wonders or miracles; magic. from Greek thaumatourgia

Theurgy n. 1. a system of beneficial magic practiced by Egyptians and others. 2. The working of magic by divine or supernatural energy or assistance. from late Latin theurgia from Greek theourgeia

Threefold Law n. In Wicca a religious tenet that whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person three times. First appeared in print in Gerald Gardner's 1949 novel High Magic's Aid Similar to Karma.

Thurible n. A censer. From late Middle English turrible, thoryble from Latin turibulum censer.

Tool n. 1. an implement, especially one held in the hand, for performing or facilitating an operation. 2. anything used as a means of accomplishing a task or purpose. 3. In Wicca a tool is any implement used to wield energy, to create items, or to perform spells or conjurations.

Totem n. 1. a natural object or animate being assumed as the emblem of a clan, family, or group. 2. an object or natural phenomenon with which a family or group considers itself closely related. 3. in Native American and some other Pagan beliefs, an object, animal, plant, or other natural phenomenon having ritual or magical properties. from Ojibwa nintotem mark of my family.

Tradition n. 1 The handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice: a story that has come down to us by popular tradition. 2. something that is handed down: the traditions of the Celts. 3. a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting: The rebellious students wanted to break with tradition. 4. a continuing pattern of culture beliefs or practices. 5. a customary or characteristic method or manner: The winner took a victory lap in the usual track tradition. 6. In Wicca,.the statements, beliefs, legends, and customs of a coven or several covens received from their elders and teachers: The Gardnerian Traditions. Sometimes called The Ways. Roughly equivalent to Denominations of other faiths. From Middle English tradicion from Old French from Latin tradition.

Trance n. 1. a state that is like being asleep except that you can move and respond to questions and commands like a person who is awake. 2. a state in which you are awake but not aware of what is happening around you because you are thinking of something else. 3. In Wicca a trance is often a sleep like state in which your spirit leaves your body and journeys into the spirit world or astral. Also related to hypnosis, mesmerized. See Shaman. From Middle English traunce, from Anglo-French transe death, from Latin transire to cross, pass by.

Transcendent adj. 1 going beyond ordinary limits. 2. superior or supreme. 3. Theology: transcending the universe, time, etc. Compare Immanent. 4. Philosophy: above all possible modes of the infinite. Not realizable in human experience.

Triple Goddess n. Historical goddess triads and single goddesses of three forms or aspects, the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. From the writings of Robert Graves.

Warlock, n. A defamatory term applied to male members of the Old Religion as part of a propaganda campaign during the Inquisition. Still used by Hollywood film makers and unknowing youth who copy films. Never used by Witches. From Old English warlogha an oath breaker or liar.

Wheel of the year n. 1. The great circle around the sun on which the Earth travels each year. 2. the cycles of light and darkness, warm and cold, derived from the solar wheel. 3. The annual schedule of festivals or Sabbats observing the natural cycles. Published by Gerald Gardner.

Wicca, n. 1. An Initiatory, oath bound, magic-using, pagan mystery religion. 2. British Traditional Witchcraft. 3. One of several pre-christian nature religions of Europe, also called the Old Religion, the Craft, or Witchcraft. From Old English wicca (masculine) or wicce (feminine). Also related to wizard or wise. Wicca is used in definitions in many dictionaries but is not itself defined.

Note: A thousand years ago Old English words had masculine and feminine forms. "Wicca" was masculine and "Wicce" was feminine. That changed several centuries ago. Unlike French, Spanish and other modern languages, English has not had gendered nouns for several centuries. In Modern English, "Wicca" has no gender and is inclusive.

Pronunciation: In Old English a "c" preceding a front vowel "e" or "i" was pronounced "ch," so the Old English feminine form, "Wicce," was pronounced "wich-e." A "c" preceding a back vowel "a," was pronounced hard as "k." In Old English "Wicca" was pronounced "wik-ka." In current usage "wicce" has morphed into "witch," and "Wicca" is pronounced "wik-ka."

Sources: You may read something else in some current publications. This information is from a respected PhD. English Professor, medievalist, and teacher of Old English.

Capitalization: Wicca and Witch are properly capitalized when used as the name of our religion or a member of our religions, it's a proper noun. Capitalization is similar to "Christianity" and "Christian."

Wicca, The n. Collectively, all those who follow the religion of Wicca.

Wiccan, n. A person who practices the religion of Wicca. adj. Of or pertaining to the religion of Wicca. From Old English wicca (masculine) or wicce (feminine).

Wiccan Rede, See Rede, Wiccan.

Wiccaphobia, n. Fear of witchcraft. See About

Widdershins adv. 1. in the direction contrary to the apparent course of the sun; anticlockwise 2. Compare deosil in a direction contrary to the usual; in the wrong direction from Middle Low German weddersinnes, from Middle High German, literally: opposite course, from wider against + sinnes, genitive of sin course.

Witch, n. A properly trained and initiated Priest or Priestess of The Old Religion. From Old English wit or wic which means witty, wise or intelligent, or alternatively to bend or to shape, and related to wit, wicked, wicker, wizard.

Witchcraft, n. 1. The Old Religion, also called Wicca, or The Craft. 2. The practice of the traditional skills, arts, expertise and abilities of a Priest or Priestess of the Old Religion. From Old English wicca craeft, the trade or craft of being wise.

Wizard, n. 1. A male Witch, sorcerer, or magician 2. A wise man or sage, 3. A skillful or clever person. From Middle English wysard, from wys or wis, wise or smart. See Witch.

Words of power. n. In Wicca the word of a Witch carries intent and energy. What a Witch says happens. Some words have more power than others, but all words spoken by a Witch have power.

Yule n. 1. Midwinter Solstice. 2. Am amcient midwinter feast later taken over by Christianity. 3. A two month midwinter season corresponding to Roman December and January. From Old English geol, geola Old Norse jol and Gothic jiulels.

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Revised Mabon 2016