Lexicon ~ Part One
An Glossary of Pagan, Wiccan, Occult, Metaphysical and Personal Terminology - A ~ L

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When one tugs at a single thing in nature,
he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
- John Muir(1838-1914)

A B C D E F G H I J K L ~ M through Z

A word about my Lexicon

Within these pages, are terms and definitions related to witchcraft, paganism, and metaphysics. Please know that I do not attempt to distil any definition to it's purified ultimate truth. On the contrary, I have tried to collect as many definitions as possible. Never the less, No single entry should be considered definitive but rather should be considered as a prompt to further research on your own. For more than 20 years, I have taken wisdom where I found it and by oath, never considered the possibility that I might want to share it outside my family. Some of the wisdom is contradictory. Some of the wisdom I reject but include as a matter of scholarship. I am not the author of most of this work. Consequently, under no circumstance should this Lexicon be reproduced, even if I have altered the copy enough of to claim copyrights. I add attribution where memory or forethought was employed, specifically on the biographies that I have researched through my good friend, George Knowles at his website Controversial.com

Any biographies I have of his will be linked to the unedited biography on his website. I cannot recommend his website enough for scholarship and detail on the founding fathers (and mothers) of modern witchcraft.

I have edited, commented or added to subjects that are different than my family traditions or personal philosophy, even though I have retained as many definitions to a subject as they may be the standard or popular definition. I do this in an attempt to define the parameters of the communities discussions on any one subject. First law of debate: define your terms. These definitions are all about communication. Not dogma. Not belief. Not law.

Please, inform me of any corrections, suggestions for new entries or request me to remove any indiscretion by e-mail. I know this Lexicon needs to be rewritten, doing all my own research, to earn the right to post it, but it's taken me twenty years to collect this version...so I'll risk reprimand to share the wealth.

One final note, one's LEXICON should always be UNDER CONSTRUCTION because the learning never ends. This section will be updated as my understanding and communications skills improve.


1734 Tradition: This tradition is a Mystery religion and less of a Fertility or Nature religion than some varieties of Wicca. It has its celebratory aspects, but its purpose is to do more than mark the turning of the wheel. Making a spirit-connection with the Old Ones and finding the path to the Castle of Rebirth are its chief concerns. Doing so requires attention to trance work (using hypnosis and other methods) and to the kind of poetic reasoning embodied in Robert Graves's The White Goddess. Formerly know as the Clan of Tubal Cain., the tradition’s founder, Robert Cochrane (pen name of Roy Bowers ) was a self-described witch, blacksmith, mystic and poet who lived in England during the 1960s.

ADEPT: Meaning highly skilled, an individual who through serious study and accomplishments becomes highly proficient in a particular magickal system. In Gardnerian Wicca, one who has arrived “at the Philosopher's Stone," the highest degree of attainment in the material world, with conscious and complete mastery of the self and the chosen path. The Philosopher’s stone is not a stone but mythical omnipresent elixir that conferred health, longevity, wealth, and spiritual renewal on the adept smart enough to find it, the secretive within the obvious. Early Wiccans used drugs. Now a metaphor for same. Given as a title of rank throughout most Magickal Orders. Many Mystery schools teach that adepts are exerting a guiding influence over the development of mankind. See Ascended Master

A.’. A.’. (Astrum Argentium or Silver Star), The order that Alistair Crowley began in 1906 based on his training in Freemasonry, after his studies in Egypt recreated the tradition of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. based on his principles of Thelema. The order combines the Jewish Mystical practices of the Qabalah (Kabbalah), Hindu philosophy & Yoga regarding posture, breathing and thought (Asana, Pranayama & Dharana) Tarot reading, Chinese I Ching & the Tao Teh Ching, and Christian symbolism. The order solicited the highest ranking people of status, wealth and position to create Crowley’s ideal of a wealthy new class of people in all areas of professional life bound by his teachings.

A.E. Waite: (1857-1947) Arthur Waite. Waite joined the Golden Dawn in 1891; left and rejoined in 1896, and was admitted into the Second Order (R.R. et A.C.) in 1899. Waite started the "Rectified Order of the Golden Dawn" (in 1904) then the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross in 1915.
Waite wrote numerous books, many of which are still available including: The History of Magic, The Mysteries of Magic, and Transcendental Magic by Eliphas Levi translated by Waite, A Lexicon Of Alchemy, Martinus Rulandus, translated by Waite, Lives of Alchemystical Philosophers, The Hermetic and Alchemical Writings of Paracelsus, Azoth or The Star of the East, Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, The Golden Stairs, The Holy Kabbalah, The Holy Grail, Studies in Mysticism and Certain Aspects of the Secret Traditions.
See Rosicrucians, Paracelsus, Aleister Crowley

Age of Aquarius: The period of 2000 years (approximately) during in which the sun rises into the astrological sign of Aquarius. Based on the work of the Greek Hipparchus who discovered the procession of the equinoxes. (The cycle that is about 21,000 years in length where the equinoxes get about 1 day later in the year each 70 years. This means that the season at which the earth is nearest to the sun (perihelion) gradually changes. Ten thousand years ago perihelion was in Northern Hemisphere summer. Perihelion occurs in early January.) This cycle is the foundation for the Age of Pisces which by modern measurement puts each age as 2,160 years long.
Aquarius is the sign of scientific knowledge and invention. It is seen as an era of coming peace, wisdom and enlightenment. One might say that the Age of Pisces is ending with the in decline in influence of the Great Religions. Now teachers can’t keep a science book in a classroom for more than a year because of it’s dated information. Scientific sacred cows are falling and should continue to fall for the next 7 years. The known universe has quadrupled in size, the oldest stars are 6 billions years too old by current theory, and it seems a new dinosaur find happenes every week creating new links in the chain of evolution, not to mention human remains that are linking cultures, races, origins.
See New Age

Air: One of the 4 classic elements. It represents intelligence and the arts and is symbolized by the color yellow or gold. It is positioned on a Wiccan pentacle as the Upper Left point.
See Elements

Airts:  Means The Winds, in Irish Gaeilge. Each wind has its own color and direction. For the four cardinal points these are Black (North), Red or Purple (East), White (South) and Green-Grey or Brown-Grey (West). 

Akasha: A Sanskrit word meaning "aether," "sky," or "emptiness” used by Wiccans as the Fifth element, the omnipresent spiritual power that permeates the universe. It is related to outer space, inner space, the Undiscovered, and the life force.
See Elements

Akashic Records:Psychic Edgar Cayce used the term Akashic Records in an attempt to label the multi faced occurrence of getting knowledge seemingly out of thin air. With the belief that time is parallel, the Akashic Records hold the knowledge of all planes of existence past present and future. The term is another attempt to describe a spiritual well of all knowledge, also known as the collective consciousness or God or cosmic consciousness. Knowledge of the past, has been characterized in our family tradition as being "genetic inheritance" accessed mentally through a biological link impelled by a spiritual will.
The concept also builds on the expanded term by Dr. Carl Jung known as “racial memory.” Like a giant data base that can be accessed for information any subject, magickal, spiritual, practical or artistic. In creative realms, being “in the zone”, “in deep”, or “with the Muses” all describes that place where one feels one being blessed with inspiration, knowledge, insight, craftsmanship that one had not learned in the mundane. Based on the physical axiom that energy cannot be destroyed, it is construed that mental and spiritual energy still exists and is accessible by the adept.
See Edgar Cayce

Alchemy: 1) the study of transmuting metals. 2) the philosophy of transmutation of the Inner Self to a spiritual plane of awareness.

Alex Sanders: (1916 -1988) Founding father of the Alexandrian Tradition of Wicca, now one of the main traditions of the Wicca/Witchcraft movement. A natural psychic and purported heritary witch, Sanders was accused of getting a copy of Gerald Gardners Book of Shadows and crediting it was being his grandmother's. Sanders was a natural showman who did much to popularize the concept of witchcraft in modern thinking. He married Maxine Morris who became his Hight Priestess.
See Alexandrian Tradition (below)

Alexandrian Tradition: Founded in England during the 1960's by Alexander Sanders, self-proclaimed "King of the Witches". An offshoot of Gardnerian, Alexandrian covens focus strongly upon training, emphasizing on areas more generally associated with ceremonial magic, such as Qabalah, Angelic Magic and Enochian. The typical Alexandrian coven has a hierarchical structure, and generally meets weekly, or at least on Full Moons, New (Dark) Moons and Sabbats. Rituals are usually done skyclad. Most Alexandrian covens will allow non-inititiates to attend circles.

Aleister Crowley: (1875-1947) Edward Alexander (Aleister) Crowley [rhymes with "holy"] (who often referred himself as “The Beast”) was born October 12, 1875 in Leamington Spa, England. On the 18th November 1898, he joined the 'Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.' The Golden Dawn was an occult society led by S.L. MacGregor Mathers which taught magick, Qabalah, alchemy, tarot, astrology, and other hermetic subjects. It had many notable members (including A.E. Waite, Dion Fortune, and W. B. Yeats).
With George Cecil Jones, he started a new order the A.’. A.’. (Astrum Argentium or Silver Star), and it became the primary vehicle for the transmission of Crowley's mystical and magickal training system based on the principles of Thelema. In 1910 Crowley was contacted by Freemason, Theodore Reuss, the head of an organization based in Germany called the Ordo Templi Orientis (Order of the Eastern Temple or O.T.O.). Crowley eventually became head of the O.T.O., and reformulated their rites to conform them to the Law of Thelema.
Aleister Crowley died in Hastings, England on December 1, 1947. Writings by Crowley include his magickal instructions: Libri Vols I- CMLXIII, Magick Without Tears, Eight Lectures on Yoga, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, Little Essays Toward Truth, The Heart of the Master, Equinox of the Gods, Correspondences with Freda Harris (on Thoth Tarot), and the fictional, The Investigations of Simon. Iff.
See A.’. A.’., Thelemetic Declaration of the Rights of Man, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, Theodore Reuss, Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.)
© 2005 George Knowles, used with permission but heavily edited by Ardriana Cahill. For the complete and excellent Crowley biography, please use the following link: Aleister Crowley

ALLAH: 1) Islamic name for God 2) originally either a sun god Enlil, and his consort, Ninlil a moon goddess 3) some evidence (including the Muslim crescent moon as their national symbol) suggests originally a moon god after Wadd in Arabia, Sin and Nannar in Babylonia, Sahar in Mesopotamia

Altar: 1) Contemporary: A special, flat surface found in nature or created exclusively for magickal workings. 2) A table where tools are placed for use during ritual and magickal work. A portable altar, a chest into which altar tools can be placed while not in use and can serve as an altar when needed. Patriarchal altars are usually tall to force the eye upward to the home of the Sky Father. Altars in Matriarchal religions are low and focus on the Mother Earth. Also in this respect, some people do not want iron (nails) on or near their altar since iron represents the metal of Patriarchy. 3) Historically: A sacred structure for sacrifice, votive or religious ritual.
Historically,there were altars to the High gods, with separate ones to the underworld gods. There were cemetery altars for votives and vigils that were often made of metal or stone. Homes and temples had stone altars in the outer court as a place for offerings, which cleansed all negative things and delivered those who made the offerings free from all problems. Those built for burnt offerings held a brass grill. Interior altars of wood or stone marked a shrine to a household god/dess or ancestor or patron deity for floral or incense offerings. In times past it is said that an household altar represented the total year's income of a farm family. Altars were carved out of stone and often the size of an altar had mathematic significance.

Altar Pentacle: a disk or plate made of metal or wood approximately 5 - 6 inches inscribed with a 5 pointed star used as a focal point in Wicca.

Amulet: The term talisman and amulet are often used interchangeably. I was taught that the specific difference being an amulet is that it is found in nature. Usually considered an object of protection that has been charged to deflect specific negative energies or thought forms. Amulets can be made of feathers, plants, stones, wood, bone etc. They are similar to talismans but occur naturally and are not man-made. A four-leaf-clover, a holey stone, a shell with a natural hole to hang on a cord are examples of amulets. One can add talismanic symbolism on an amulet to charge it and change it into a talisman used for a specific purpose.
See Talisman

Amythystian: Founded in 1968 by Lady Amethyst. A Hermetic tradition rooted in the Order of the Garter, Order of the Royal Oak. Dedicated to preserving old traditions while growing into a new generation of enlightened ones. Teaches by example in daily life, at home and at work, as well as when among their own. Known through work and deeds. Believes in a strict code of ethics exemplified by one's actions and lives by the entire Wiccan Rede - not just he last for lines. 

Ancestors: The Ancient Ones. Those who have gone before. They are consulted for advice, guidance and protection. They are the well from which we spring.

Anima/Animus: The Jungian concept of our feminine/masculine spirit, that Anima is the buried feminine element in a man's psyche & that Animus is the buried masculine element in the female. This concept is comfortable the the Pagan concept of reincarnation being experienced in either gender.

Animism: The belief that all things, both animate and inanimate, possess a soul or spirit. The doctrine that the soul is the essential principle animating the universe. The belief that spiritual beings or souls can exist without a body to house them. A hypothesis put forth by Pythagoras and Plato of an immaterial force which pervades the universe.

Ankh: The Egyptian hieroglyph depicted as a cross with a looped top is patterned after a sandal strap. An ancient symbol of Eternal Life it is widely used as a modern symbol for life, love and reincarnation.

Anton LaVey: Anton LaVey: Anton Szandor LaVey. (1930-1997) and was a 1960s' subculture guru. He was the charismatic and flamboyant creator and High Priest and Black Pope of the Church of Satan. There is no easy answer to the question, Who was Anton LaVey? That there is so much controversy about his personal history, says something about the man. He told Rolling Stone journalist Lawrence Wright in a 1991 interview, “I don't want the legend to disappear.” He liked being an enigma and is probably chuckling somewhere at the chaos he left behind among the women who continue to fight over how he should be remembered.
To answer, Who was Anton LaVey. It depends on who you ask. Apparently there were many Anton LaVeys. The one he promoted in his early “official” biography. The one recounted in a scathing rebuttal of that “official” biography as an abusive liar, as claimed by estranged “wife” and High Priestess of nearly 20 years and daughter Zeena who publicly disowned her father, and became a priestess in the rival Temple of Set. Or the one in his “new official” biography which has been edited to deleted the challengeable elements by his surviving partner and High Priestess of 13 years and “official” biographer, Blanche Barton.
After being challenged by a LeVay proponent accusing me of a highly slanted description, I have agreed to write a more balance view. I have removed my previous entry and I am presently doing a comparative study of LeVay's claims (his own words), the rebuttle of those claims of Diane and Zeena LeVay, and sanitized version by Blanche Barton that now exists on the Church of Satan official website. To which I will add my own experience with meeting LeVay. MORE TO COME.

Apollonian: A "solar-oriented" religion which emphasize mastery of the instincts by the conscious mind (named for Apollo, as the Greek God of light and the Sun)

Aquarian Age: See Age of Aquarius

Aquarian Tabernacle Church: An American Tradition of Wicca based on English Traditional Wicca, and focused on service to the larger Wiccan and Pagan community through open worship gatherings. ATC was founded in 1979 by Pierre "Pete Pathfinder" Davis. The Church is based in Index, WA. ATC also functions as an umbrella organization, accepting affiliations by Wiccan groups wishing to become recognized, open and public Wiccan churches. 
See Menhirs

Aradia: A champion Italian Goddess sworn to protect her people against the aggression of masculine faith and its persecutors during the medieval witch hunts. 1) The first Aradia was a female Christ figure in Italy who taught around 1353. She was imprisoned more than once, escaped several times and eventually disappeared. 2)The Aradia of Charles Leland's Aradia, a book of that title detailing information from an Italian Gypsy witch. 3) Aradia is the daughter of Diana and Lucifer (God of the Sun). She is considered the Queen of the Witches.
See Charles Leland

Arcadian Tradition: A branch of Neo-Wiccan practitioners comprised mostly of all gay men, with emphasis on the feminine within masculine.

Arcana: From the words Arcane (meaning secret or hidden knowledge). Referring to the two halves of a Tarot deck, The Major Arcana consists of 22 trumps depicting dominant occurrences in our lives. The Minor Arcana consists of 56 suit cards (sometimes called the lesser Arcana) that assist in fleshing out the trump situations, or indicate smaller occurrences in our lives.
See also Tarot Cards

Archetypes: Extremely basic thought forms within the human psyche; the collective unconscious, or "racial memories." Refer to the works of Dr. Carl Jung and later revisited in the works of Joseph Campbell. Jung linked the archetypes to heredity and regarded them as instinctual. We are born with these patterns which structure our imagination and make it distinctly human. In his later work, Jung was convinced that the archetypes are psychoid, that is, "they shape matter (nature) as well as mind (psyche)" (Houston Smith, Forgotten Truth, 40). In other words, archetypes are elemental forces which play a vital role in the creation of the world and of the human mind itself. The ancients called them elemental spirits. Jung found the archetypal patterns and images in every culture and in every time period of human history. They behaved according to the same laws in all cases. He postulated the Universal Unconscious to account for this fact.
See Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell

Ard-Ri: An Irish or Scottish High King. Also spelled Ard-Righ and Ard-Ridh.
My grand sire, King Cormac Mac Art (227-266 C.E.), son of Art Ui Cuinn, grandson of Conn Céad Cathach (of a hundred Battles), last pagan High King of Ireland in the court of Tara.
"Of all the ancient kings of Ireland, Cormac, who reigned in the third century, is unquestionably considered greatest by the poets, the seanachies, and the chroniclers."

Ard-Rian: An Irish or Scottish High Queen.

Arnold Crowther See Patricia and Arnold Crowther

Arthurian Tradition: Tradition from Wales & Cornwall; based on Arthurian Legend.

As Above, So Below: In Latin: Ut Supra, Ut Infra. Nearly five thousand years ago (or it could have been two thousand years ago) an Egyptian High Priest named Thrice Great Hermes, (As in the greatest philosopher, the greatest priest and the greatest king) or perhaps it was the god Hermes himself, (or some Hermes impersonating the god Thoth) who wrote under the name Hermes Trismagistus inscribed upon the Emerald Tablet "As above, so below." Godly or human, real or mythical, that was the birth of the Hermetic Mystery tradition.

Asatru Tradition: Norse for "The Belief in The Gods". An ancient Tradition. of the Scandinavia and Teutonic pre Christian era. Asatru or Ásatrú is an Icelandic word, a translation of the Danish word Asetro. The latter was coined by scholars in the mid-19th century. It was intended to mean belief in the Asir, the Gods. In Scandinavia the religion is called Forn Siðr (which means The Ancient Way as opposed to Christianity, being called The New Way), Forn sed (the Old custom), Nordisk sed (Nordic custom), or Hedensk sed (Pagan custom). The religion's origin is lost in antiquity. At its peak, it covered all of Northern Europe. In 1000 CE, Iceland became the second last Norse culture to convert to Christianity. Their prime motivation was economic. Sweden was ruled by a Pagan king until 1085 CE. Icelandic poet Gothi Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson promoted government recognition of Asatru as a legitimate religion; this was granted in 1972. Since the early 1970's, the religion has been in a period of rapid growth in the former Norse countries, in Europe and North America.
Their beliefs include: 1) Their local religious communities are called Kindreds, Hearths, or Garths. Priests are called Gothi; priestesses are Gythia 2) The Blot: (pronounced "bloats") This is their most common religious ritual; it is a sacrifice to the Gods. In olden days, as with almost all ancient religions, an animal was consecrated to the deities and then slaughtered. Currently, the animal sacrifice has been replaced by the offer of beer, juice or mead. 3) The Sumbel: Each person delivers a greeting; a toast to the Gods, ancient heroes, or one's ancestors; or a story, song or poem. He or she then drinks from the horn. 4) Profession or Adoption: This is the act of making a commitment to Asatru to the exclusion of other faiths, by solemnly giving an oath of allegiance and kinship to the Gods of Asgard, the Aesir and Vanir.
Asatru is a polytheistic religion. There are three races of Deities in the Norse pantheon. They are: 1) The Aesir: These are the Gods of the tribe or clan, representing Kingship, order, craft, etc. 2) The Vanir: These represent the fertility of the earth and forces of nature. And 3) The Jotnar: These are giants who are in a constant state of war with the Aesir.
There are several writings on Nordic customs, which include: The Eddas. 1)The Poetic Edda, called the Elder Edda, also referred to as Saemund's Edda, a famous Icelander, consists of many different tales which were put together by an anonymous person probably around 1250 CE. Birger Nerman, in The Poetic Edda in the Light of Archaeology, has the opinion that the majority of the stories were written before the Viking age. 2)The Prose Edda or Younger Edda, was written by Snorri Sturluson around 1220 CE. (means either "great-grandmother" or "poetics" or possibly "the book of Oddi". Oddi is the name of a place Snorri Sturluson was educated. Also studied: Cormac the Skald and Grettir the Strong.

Ascended Master:
Ascension occurs when a saint, master, or adept attains bodiless consciousness (transcendental illumination) and chooses to teach by way of dreams, or visions instead of reincarnating back into the material world. The Illuminated Ones secretly guide the evolution of humanity. Such groups are known variously as the Secret Chiefs, the Nine Unknown Men, the Council, the Invisible College, and the Great White Lodge. ((It is from this metaphysical philosophy that the urban myth evolved about a political body of world rulers, often called the Illuminati (the illuminated ones) another name or the metaphysical group of ascended masters.))
Supposedly, contact with this higher plane of intelligences is the hallmark of the living order or lodge. The leadership of many churches and organizations claim to be privy to this type of exalted guidance. Examples received texts include: the religious revelations of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) founder, Joseph Smith; the metaphysical texts called The Akashic Records by Edgar Cayce; the Craft writings called The Book of the Law by Aleister Crowley, (reputedly received from an emissary of the Secret Chiefs called Aiwass); and The Oahspe (Kosmon Bible, a product of automatic writing by a 19th century dentist named John Ballou Newbrough).

Aspect:  1) A monotheistic belief that the Divine Singularity (the Great One or the Knowing All) reveals its complex nature to mankind by appearing in different guises which can be misunderstood as separate or other divine beings. (i.e. the “official” explanation for the formerly, and now only seemingly, polytheistic Hindu belief system - and why it has survived in the monotheistic world culture.) 2) A duo-theistic belief that the Divine is a yin/yang duality and there are many faces for both the god and goddess as expressed in many different aspects they have revealed to mankind. The Duo-Divine may choose individual or multiple personifications to illustrate different aspects of themselves. They may exhibit their many attributes and/or powers through these aspects. An example of this can be related to the Celtic fire goddess Bridget or Brigid who has three aspects: poetry, smith craft and healing. Another use of aspects corresponds with mythology; Persephone, Kore and Artemis are seen as maiden aspects of The Goddess.

Aspergillum: 1) A perforated instrument used to sprinkle holy water (an action called the asperges). Used for blessing sacred space or participants during or preceding a Ritual. Those used in Catholic ritual are made of brass or silver, but a pagan spray of evergreens, the bough of a sacred tree, a sprig of bay laurel leaves, a flower, a pine cone, a bundle of fresh herbs, any perforated object or ones hand will do as well. 2) A small wall container of holy water with which to bless oneself. In Egypt and the Middle East, people used hyssop plants to spread or sprinkle liquids. Moses used a sprinkler of hyssop for the water and blood used to purify a house infected with leprosy (Leviticus 14:49-52). In the early Church, the aspergillum, which had by then replaced the hyssop plant of the Old Testament, still had its metal ball filled with hyssop leaves to comply with the rites of purification.

Astral: Depending on the century this word has lots of definitions. New Agers say it is the spirit world. Some say it is a strata between the spirit world and the physical world. It is referred to as "dreamtime" by Australian Aborigines. I’m content to just use it as a nonphysical metaphor.

Astral Travel/Projection: The ability or practice of “traveling” out of the physical body in the astral planes or dreamtime. This is done in a variety of ways ranging from the animal shapes of shamanism to the highly formulated “body of light” used by the Golden Dawn. Many people perceive a “silver cord” connecting the subtle (astral) body with the dense (physical) body. Highly useful for catching a cheating spouse, or working for the CIA - the ultimate in frequent flyer miles We’re not sure whether that astral body is a soul or a mind but whatever. A Atavism: 1) the re-emergence of a biological ancestral characteristics after it has not appeared for several generations; a genetic throwback. 2) An organism displaying such a characteristic. 3)Mother extended this definition to a metaphysical interpretation, being that not only is there biological atavism, but spiritual, intellectual, emotional, psychic atavism. That the otherwise non-physical traits of an ancestor can be inherited, as in talents, aptitudes and inclinations.

Atavism/Atavistic: At one time it was believed that such a phenomenon was thought to be a reversion of “throwback” to a hypothetical ancestral prototype. It refers to a hereditary characteristic, trait, talent or deformity which shows up after having skipped a generation or more. Example: Cultured red roses bearing a branch of one of its wild pink ancestors. often applied to hereditary witches with talents of their ancestors.

Athame: (Ath-aem (a blend of aim and eem) or Ath-ah-may) 1) The sacred ritual knife used to "divide this from that" and direct magickal energies borrowed by Gerald Gardner from medieval grimoires. Probably was originally “athane.” 2) Traditionally called the Black Handled Knife the athame, after being cleansed and consecrated, is the primary personal tool of the Wiccan. It usually is a dagger, a double-edged iron or steel blade and a black handle. 3) The White Handled Knife used by witches who want to separate themselves from black imagery. 4) Any dagger that calls you, can be called an Athame.
Masculine in nature, this knife represents the will, having a double edge to acknowledge the duality of light and dark magick. The athame is used to direct personal power during ritual workings to bless or banish. The blade on the athame is not usually sharp as it can prove to be dangerous when you have a lot of people in circle. The knife is never used for blood-letting from anyone but it’s owner. (a finger prick is often done for ritual and spells. It is discouraged using it to cut anything material. The term is of obscure origin, has many variant spellings among Wiccans, and an even greater variety of pronunciations. "Ah-THAAM-ee" or ah THAW-may." : P
The age of the Athame tradition:
There is some research that suggests that metal of any kind was never worn in circle unless it was sacrificial. That Gardner turned the ancient ritual dagger into a spiritual one is a relatively new concept. Older than that, for nature worshipping pagans, daggers were probably not used but sparked the traditions of the wand, staff, or broom in circle. This may also explain why Jet and Amber rather than silver or gold were the traditional ornaments of a High Priestess.

Audio: see Clairaudience: Family tradition term for the phenomena of Clairaudience or hearing what one believes is an actual voice calling you from a distance. One hearing a child crying, someone calling from outside one’s door, or from another room. A voice that when investigated has been calling you, but only in their thoughts. It was supposed that if audio was properly practiced, some day we could put Sprint out of business. <--Sweet thought. A

AUGURY: Making predictions based on signs and omens.

Auras: Bands or layers of “astral substance” surrounding and interpenetrating the physical body said by some to constitute a subtle or energy body. Formerly favored witchly authoress, Patricia Telesco thinks that our auras need texturizing and that auras can have “smells” (not scents, smells). And that we can alter the smell and texture of our auras in practicing advanced witchcraft. (I think today’s mood is a say-something plaid and bougainvillea day. “Or arrrrrrrrrgyle,” Maxxah adds.) Edgar Cayce not only gave a meaning to each of the seven auric colors, he also connected each color with a note on the musical scale, a planet in the solar system, and possible health disorders. Some people are able to “read” these health disorders in the auras of other individuals. Most of these people perceive differing layers or densities, which relate to the physical body, sexual energy, the will, the emotions, and the intellect, eventually shading into the causal field (the unified field sought by particle physicists). On the other hand, one may also see auras if one has a migraine (and I speak from experience on this one), a certain form of epilepsy, retinal fatigue or types of brain disorders. I say that if one can diagnose cancers in the curative stage by reading auras, then I’m for it! Short of that………“I like the pretty lights…. .”
See Kirlean photography, Edgar Cayce

Aurum Solis: The Aurum Solis, also called the Order of the Sacred Word (OSV), is an initiatory order practicing ceremonial magick in the Western esoteric tradition. It is similar to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in that both orders share Masonic roots, are structured around the Qabalistic Tree of Life, and endeavor to integrate Qabalah, alchemy and Enochian magick. The Aurum Solis also incorporates elements of Gnosticism and the Greek mysteries into its rituals. The Aurum Solis is currently active, but membership is by invitation only.

Auspicious: A very Indian word commonly defined as promising, but more often used acknowledging a religious or sacred influence meaning “likely to be followed by favorable events.”

Automatic Writing:  Commonly defined as an individual going into an altered state of consciousness, and channeling a spirit which controls an individual's writing arm and hand to communicate. My family tradition says that forfeiture of will is not our way. Automatic writing is an extension of the process by which the Ouija Board works which in an altered state of consciousness, one’s own ancestry, the collective unconscious or the wise recesses within oneself can be accessed. Thus, trance is not required, one simply writes the unbidden thoughts that compel the hand (without the smoke, lights and mirrors.)

Auto Suggestion: Used as a synonym for self-hypnosis. Self hypnosis is when we quiet our conscious (beta) mind, past our superconscious (alpha) mind and relax enough to access our subconscious (theta) mind through the trancelike state (theta) of deep relaxation. While there, we can transfer the new ideas of the conscious (beta) mind to the unconscious (delta) mind. One can use this theta corridor between the conscious and unconscious as an effective method to, break habits, rewrite deeply placed scripts that are counterproductive, reduce stress and induce relaxation.
In our tradition, Auto Suggestion is not the same thing as self-hypnosis. Auto suggestion was explained to me by Mother as something similar. It too, uses the subconscious (theta) mind as an access to self-programming but its source and its destination is reversed. Genetic or racial memory (or cosmic knowledge) can be accessed from the unconscious (delta) mind through the subconscious (theta mind) to the conscious (beta) mind. Gifts can be explained or brought forward, talents can be enhanced, memories of previous lifetimes (yours or your ancestors) hidden knowledge on all matter of things can be revealed. One learns to open this by force of will. However, its initiatory trigger may be activated by a serious illness, an accident, or after one has been initiated into a course of study.

Autumnal or Fall Equinox, Lesser Sabbat (Also Mabon, Winter Find) On or around September 21st, the Autumnal Equinox is the seventh Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year, beginning with Midwinter, Dec 21st, and ending with Samhain, Oct 31st. The Autumnal Equinox is also the second of three harvest festivals beginning with Lughnassadh, Aug 1st and ending with Samhain, Oct 31st. It is the fourth of the four Cross Quarter Sabbots.
See Sabbats

Avatar  It derives from the Sanskrit word "Avatara" which means "descent" and usually implies a deliberate descent of the divine into mortal realms for special purposes. 1. A manifestation of a deity in Hinduism. 2. An embodiment of a concept.

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Balefire: A bonfire lit for magical purposes, usually outdoors. Balefires are traditional most of the High Holidays and on some of the solar holidays, on Samhain, Imbolg, Beltane, Lughnassadh, MidWinter and MidSummer celebrations. The Balefires are lit from sunset to sunset on the eve of the holiday to honor the Sun/Fire god/desses.

Ban Degree: Inner courts of Witchcraft systems that originated in Europe, still practice the laws of silence. The Ban Degree refers to the level of punishment placed upon another for betrayal. Depending upon a given Ban degree: 1-3. One can be banished from Witchcraft as a coven member.

Bandha: A ritual hand position used to focus, channel, or retain prana (Hindu: life force) or various vital airs. Probably the best-known bandha is the formation of a circle with the thumb and index or middle finger. Bandhas are frequently used in conjunction with asana (Hindu: a sitting position), mantra (Hindu: chant), and pranayama (Hindu: breath control).
See Mudra

Bane: That which causes loss, destroys life, is poisonous, destructive, evil, dangerous. A spell to achieve the same. Someone who causes loss, harm, ruin, or death; a poisoner.

Banish: To turn away any unwanted person, influence or negativity. To magically end something or exorcise unwanted entities. To rid oneself or one's environment of the presence of something negative. Our family system of belief begins with a clean slate and so even the mildest form of Banishing precedes everything, even if it is just ejecting the stale air in one's lungs with three deep cleansing breaths.

Baths: Ritual bath used for cleansing, blessing or a specific magickal purpose.

Bell: Used to open and close ritual, to begin and/or end a spell, to clear negative energy. Sabbats: At Midsummer, Summer Solstice, June 1st, we ring golden bells to celebrate the Sun’s apex. We ring silver bells at Midwinter, Winter Solstice, Dec 21st to ring in the new born Son, as illustrated in the Yule carole "Silver Bells." (Although we can also use our Midsummer bells to do the same). Beltaine: Greater Sabbat. (also: May Eve, May Day, Roodmas - Medieval Catholic, Walpurgis Night- German, Cethsamhain-anti, Samhain) On or the night before May1st, Beltaine is the fourth Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year, beginning with Midwinter, Dec 21st, and ending with Samhain, Oct 31st. . Beltaine is the third of the three flower festivals that began with Imbolg (Feb 1st) and the Spring Equinox Mar 21st. It is the second of the four ancient Celtic Fire Festivals.
See Sabbats

Besom: A witches broom. Used in Handfasting and Imbolg rituals, it represents a change, a new venture, a new beginning. Because of this symbolism marriages outside of the church, were called "by the broom" and considered illegitimate. Women rode broomsticks and jumped in the air to teach the crops “how high to grow." In Ireland, the besom was also known as called the "Faery Horse." A male symbol, the word 'besom' became used as a derogatory term for an easy woman later used for any woman who was bohemian or out of step with the rules of popular propriety. The pole is always wooden, and nearly always a fairly straight pole, often Ash is selected. Ash wood is the preferred wood for spears. The material for the brush is the varied with regional variations. In many parts of Scotland heather is used. The binding is usually willow.
See Brooms/Besoms In Book of Rituals: Ritual Tools

Bi-Location: New Age: The practice of using a type of astral projection to travel in everyday reality by retaining the capability to be aware of your present surroundings. Synonymous terms are over-looking and mind-travel.

Bind: 1) To magically restrain something or someone from doing harm to themselves or to others. 2) To tie down, tie together, restrain or to prevent a specific action. 3) To compel or obligate, such as by an oath. 4) To cast a spell upon and impose your will on someone or something by the use of magick.

Blessed Be: A Wiccan expression used as greetings, and sometimes partings and general well wishing that was first used during one’s first degree initiation ritual. It now often replaces the phrase “So Mote it Be” to seal a spell or ritual.
See Fivefold Kiss

Blessing: The act of bestowing positive energy by thought, action or word upon a person, place or thing. It is used to express a wish or desire that all good fortune, especially of a spiritual or supernatural kind, may go with the person or thing. The custom of giving blessings goes back to the very earliest times.

Blood of the Moon: A woman's menstrual cycle. If this cycle occurs over a Full or New Moon (and you can arrange that) she is far more powerful than during any other time of the month, as long as she acknowledges this strength within herself. For too many years women have been told that they must regard their cycle with an unkind eye, calling it a curse when actually it is a boon. Society has so dictated this to them that many feel weak, tired and disoriented because they are supposed to. Mother said that before the patriarchal impurity applied to menses, women were positive and proud of their femininity and ablilty to give life. Grandmother boasted that she woucl still get pregnant at the age of 62 (She stopped menstruating at 63 and mother stopped at 57.) The did not have night sweats and hot flashes or mood swings. Being a woman was never a “curse” to them. Mother believed that with will and effort, there is no such thing as PMS if you decide it so. (in theory I believe this too, but she also said I could learn to cure my migraines with an aspirin, a thing I have mastered to only a small degree.) Still, if you can rearrange your thinking on this matter, the Blood of the Moon can pack a powerful creative force for you.

Blue Star: Founded in 1976 Norristown, PA by Frank Dufner ("the Wizard") and Tzipora Katz, who later moved to Manhattan, where they trained and initiated a number of people. Early rituals were based on Alexandrian and Greco-Roman Traditions. After Frank and Tzipora's divorce, in the early 1980's, Kenny Klein became high priest, steering the Tradition towards a more traditional British form, discarding Alexandrian and ceremonial rituals and replacing them with British Isles folkloric Craft practices, including the 8 Paths of Power, the 7 Tenets of Faith, and the Drawing Down of the Moon and Sun. Touring the country from 1983-1992 performing music, Kenny and Tzipora taught Blue Star, initiated many people, and founded many covens, recording and distributing lessons on cassette tapes. The rigorous training may take 2-3 years before initiation. 

Bodhran: (Pronounced bow-rahn) The traditional goatskin drum used in Celtic music and ritual.

Boleen/Boline: 1) A curved, white-handled knife used only to harvest herbs patterned after a Kierfane, the traditional golden sickle, which the Druids used to cut mistletoe on Midsummer. 2) A curved, white-handled knife used only for practical magickal purposes such as cutting a branch for a wand, inscribing talisman or carving candles, etc. An Awl or knife once called a Burin . 3) A straight bladed, any colored handled knife or Awl used for practical magickal purposes once called a Burin, but also used for cutting herbs and now called a Boleen/Boline as well.
See Burin

Book of Mirrors: Most recent name for a Book of Shadows or a Witch's magickal records, writings, experiences, dream book or other form of magickal journal.

Book of Shadows: A Witch’s book of rituals, spells and magical lore. A relatively new term credited to Gardner, for the collection of information in book form for a Witch's reference. Used to record magickal workings. Another name for this text would be Grimoire. Supposedly a century old tradition of being hand copied upon Initiation, the BoS is now photocopied or typed in some Covens. Solitaries believe that everything can be a tool of magick and so many have their BoSs on computer disc. No one "true' Book of Shadows exists; all are compilations or scattered information and relevant to their respective users. It did not exist in ages lost because of the illegality of witchcraft. Our family tradition is an oral one. In older traditions, if a written magickal record was made it was burned or buried with its owner. Mother used to quote this phrase all the time. “There is no going through the revolving door on someone else’s push.” One is expected to learn as much as one could and discover their own truths. However, I have been told by several of my witchlings that if I do not hand down my BoS, there will be no rest in the Summerland for me.

Breed/Breet: A phonetic spelling of the pronunciation in Welsh/Irish for Bride, Brighid, Bridget, and refers to the Goddess as well as an alternate name for her sacred holiday of Imbolg, Imbolc, (Wiccan Candlemas, Feb. 1st.)

British Traditional: 1) The term "British Traditional" refers to a variety of traditions which originated in the British Isles and which have certain characteristics in common, but excluding family traditions and other British traditions dissimilar to Gardnerian Wicca. There is a mix of Celtic and Gardnerian beliefs, mostly based on the Farrar studies. Worship of the God and Goddess is balanced, covens are coed, and there is a degree system. The New Wiccan Church is a federation of British Traditions (Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Mohisian, and Central Valley Wicca-Kingstone, majestic Order and Silver Crescent). NWC is dedicated to preserving the initiatory Craft. 2) Often confused with Traditional Witchcraft in Britain: Any of the old British traditions considered pre-Gardnerian, including hereditary, oral and Bardic traditions.
See Farrar. Janet and Stewart

Burin: An engraving tool, used by many Witches (and Ceremonial Magicians) to mark sacred names, numbers, runes and various magickal and/or astrological symbols ritually on their Athames, swords, brass altar bells, metallic jewelry and other tools of magick and ritual.
See Boleen/Boline

Burning Times: In reference to a historical time from around 1400 CE through the 17th century when it is said that over nine million people were tortured and burned by the Catholic Church and by public officials on the assumption that they were the Christian version of Witches. (Please note that Protestant reformers often agreed with Rome.) This number has been exaggerated to create the inevitable “persecution” aspect so necessary in a new religion. The number was closer to between 50,000 and 200,000. Although many of those killed were women and children, men were often accused of being witches, and executed for it. None of the hunts were constant over the years 1400 to 1800, but came in concentrated periods, especially intense between 1550 and 1650.   Even the much lower figure of 50,000 dead would have meant over a hundred thousand put on trial. Then, considering all the personnel involved in the justice system as court officials and witnesses, friends and family members, and those who even felt the “fear” caused by the hunts, millions of people’s lives changed, usually for the worse, because of the witch hunts. Please note the heading for this section is titled “the Burning Times” favored by neo-pagans. The most common form of execution, though, was hanging.   As a witch, I too, wish never to have the burning times return, even if they are better characterized as the hanging times. So why am I debunking the standard text of Wiccan persecution? Because it isn’t true. Even if it was only 50,000 people and not 9 million, should I be less outraged? Even if 200,000 witches dead doesn’t beat the Jews of the Holocaust, is this a competition? Witch Hunts of any flavor are repugnant and despicable. No one group was persecuted, and no one group were persecutors. It was a time when blind adherence was the norm. And yet I stand with my misrepresenting sisters and say, Never Again. Not 9 million. Not 200,000. Not 50, 000. Not 1.
See Malleus Maleficarum

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Cabala: see Kabbalah

Cairn: 1) The stone burial mounds used by the Bronze Age Celts. 2) a small pile of stones made, especially on mountains, to mark a place or event as a memorial 3) an object to remember someone or something)

Cakes and Ale:  The "Simple Feast" is a part of ancient ritual when libations are made to deities, the dead and shared with everyone in the circle. The earliest document in the possession of the Catholic Church dated 57 CE describes the format of the Christian's gathering to share their beliefs. The format of the Mass is based on this document and the offering of the bread and wine is featured. Bread or cake and wine were standard offerings to the gods, guardian spirits and ancestral spirits of many religions. Today they are also used by modern witches as a grounding tool after working magick.

Candle Magick: The magickal art and craft of projecting a need or desire into the wax of a candle that with ritual dressing, signing, visualization and incantation will bring transformation by burning from wax to ether for the completion of one’s desire.

Candlemas: The name used by Gardnerian Wiccans, created by Catholics for the Christianized pagan holiday of Imbolg, Feb 1st. The day when the Catholic Church blesses a year’s supply of candles for the following year’s use. Wiccans make and/or bless their candles as part of their tradition, too.
See Imbolg

Cardinal Colors: The colors ascribed to each of the four cardinal points. 1) Wiccan: those colors attached to the four directions also representing the 4 elements of the western tradition. East & Air (yellow); South & Fire & Red; West & Water (blue); North & Earth (green); Center = Spirit or Akasha (white0. 2) The Celtic 4 Winds at each cardinal point also have a color, Black (North), Red (East), White (South) and Grey (West).  3) The Chinese directions/elements: East or Wood (green/blue) South & Fire (red), West & Metal (white) North & Water (black) and Center & Earth (yellow). Among the Mesoamerican natives: 5) The Mayan culture: East (red), South (yellow), West (black), and North (white). These colors also represent the Iroquois American natives cardinal points 6) In the Aztec culture: East (yellow, red or green), South (blue), West (white), and North (black ).
See Elements

Cardinal Points:  The four directions; North, East, South, and West. The Magick Circle is drawn to connect these four points. Depending on one’s tradition, they cardinal points can be represented by : The Wiccan 4 elements (Earth, Air, Fire & Water) and the 4 watchtowers, the Celticor 4 winds, the Roman 4 winds (Boreas, Zephyrus, Eurus, & Notus), the Hindu 4 great trees (Ghanta, Kadamba, Ambala & G'ambu which held up the earth), also 4 great elephants, also the 4 fixed Zodiac signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), the Scandinavian 4 corners of weather or winds, the Chinese 4 pillars of earth and their guardians (dragon , bird, tiger, & tortoise), the Egyptian 4 pillars of heaven, the Mayan 4 pillars of earth, the Western Hermetic use of Judeo-Christian 4 archangels (Raphael, Gabriel, Michael, and Auriel), and the Mormon 4 sons of Horus.
See Quarters, Elements, Magick Circle

Carl Kellner: (1850 - 1905) An Austrian student of Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism and Eastern mysticism, and traveled extensively in Europe, America and Asia Minor. During his travels, he claims to have come into contact with three Adepts (a Sufi, Soliman ben Aifa, and two Hindu Tantrics, Bhima Sena Pratapa of Lahore and Sri Mahatma Agamya Paramahamsa), and an organization called the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light. During the course of his studies, Kellner believed that he had discovered a "Key" which offered a clear explanation of all the complex symbolism of Freemasonry.In 1895, Kellner began to discuss his idea for founding an Academia Masonica with his associate Theodor Reuss . During these discussions, Kellner decided that the Academia Masonica should be called the "Oriental Templar Order." The occult inner circle of this Order would be organized parallel to the highest degrees of the Memphis and Mizraim Rites of Masonry, and would teach the esoteric Rosicrucian doctrines of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light, and Kellner's "Key" to Masonic symbolism. Breaking the Masonic “men only” tradition, both men and women would be admitted at all levels to this Order. Kellner died of blood poisoning in Vienna on June 7, 1905.
See Theodor Reuss, Aleister Crowley

Cayce, Edgar: See Edgar Cayce, Akashic Records

Celts, The: (Kelts not Selts) A people who are descended from one of the current Celtic "fringe" provinces of Western Europe. Brittany, Cornwall, Galicia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Padania, Portugal, Scotland and Wales are among their numbers. The oldest remnants of Celtic peoples' culture can be found close to eastern France, Northern Italy, Southern Germany, Belgium, northern Switzerland ,Austria, Turkey and Spain. 'Celtic' from the Greek word 'Keltoi' was used to refer to certain tribes of people that shared a common language and culture.
The word literally means 'secret people'.

At a casual glance, one might think Brittany to be simply another region of France. The Breton People and the land would insist otherwise. Formerly known as Amorica during its occupation by Romans, it's people renamed it Breiz Izel (less Britain). The traditions of storytelling thrive here, from legends of King Arthur and his knights seeking the Holy Grail in the forests of Broceliande (modern day Paimont forest) to the tales of faeries and spectres. The richness of their music and beauty of their dance are testament to their heritage. Holding firmly to their Breton language and unique life ways, along with living close to the land, Breton people enjoy a community intimacy  as in ancient times.
During Roman and Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain, Cornwall became a preserve for the old Celtic ways, keeping its  language alive into the middle ages. There are currently signs of its academic revival.  Loe Bar, an inland lake, is acclaimed to have been the site where King Arthur's sword Excaliber was cast into the water. The impressive landscape of other well known places; Penzance, Land's End and Plymouth (from which the Pilgrims set out) all carry the memory of the Celtic legacy in  their Cairns, barrows & standing stones. It's people remember, and the artisans record.
Isle of Man
Ellan Vannin in Manx Gaelic, is a stronghold of Celtic and Viking roots. Currently ruled by Elizabeth of the English, but not part of the UK, the Isle of Man has its own parliament, (The Tynwald)  established by Vikings. The language of Man is Manx Gaelic which is closely related to Irish and Scottish Gaelic. The language was close to dying out , but is again being taught in schools .The Artisans & culture of Man have  their Celtic & Viking Carved stones to attest to their historical lineage.
Located in the Northwest Corner of the Iberia Peninsula of Spain, this is the land, according to our history, that King Milesius and his people traveled from to arrive and settle in Ireland. Galicia is green, hilly and rainy, most reminiscent of the British Isles. Like the landscape, the people's culture and music are distinctly Celtic in flavor.
Ireland is possibly the most obviously Celtic of all the "fringe" provinces. Like the rest of the British Isles, it was settled by Pre-Celtic peoples long before Celts began migrating. As in other areas where they migrated, Celts lived with and openly embraced  many of the ways of the indigenous people, lending their own best traditions to the mix. Although it is said that Ireland is the most invaded country, Interestingly the Romans appear to have not had much contact with the island. Due to its remoteness and the increasing pressure on other parts of the British Isles and Europe, Ireland became a repository of the ancient knowledge, traditions, lore, laws and spiritual values of the Celtic people. Although more modern attempts to exterminate the Celtic culture in Ireland have been waged, her art, music, dance and life traditions continue in an enduring and private way.
The story of the people of Scotland is colorful. Within a land region roughly 1/3 to 1/2 the size of the state of Oregon, there live people descended from indigenous Cruithne (Pictish) peoples, Celts from Ireland, Britons from indigenous tribes to the south and Norse in the Islands and Eastern Coastal areas. With such a mix of cultures, it seems inevitable that Norman and English invaders would believe that they could have this land for their own . As the Romans found out when Confronting the Cruithne, this is no easy matter. Irish Celts, Vikings and Cruithne descendants have defended tenaciously and bravely their right to independence while remaining open to cultural exchange. The music, art and innovation of the people of this land is legendary. Inventor Alexander Graham Bell, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and poet Robert Burns were all from this  string of islands. The first British top 40 music hit in the Gaelic language was recorded by Scotland's' own Capercaille (Band), proving to us all that embracing your culture can be pragmatic.
The feeling about Wales – Cymru, in the language, is one of understatement. The Land is full of hidden  treasures and its history relatively unheralded. Like the rest of Britain, Wales was originally settled 100 to 200 thousand years ago, long before Celtic  people migrated. Once joined, together they survived attacks and invasions, learning to live within new systems, secretly preserving their combined heritage. The  treasure  trove of this preservation can be seen in the learning institutions of Wales. It can be read in the wealth of ancient literature and heard in the vocal styles used in Welsh choirs. Wales ranks among the most successful in retaining her language. The first entirely Welsh language television channel began broadcasting in 1982 and new Welsh-only (language) schools have opened up in predominantly English speaking areas of Wales.
© 1997 An Ceangal Mara Foundation

Celtic:  (Kel-tic) Referring to the descendants of the Celts and the traditions of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Cornwall, Brittany and the Isle of Man. 

Celtic Tradition: The Celtic path is really many traditions under the general heading of "Celtic." It encompasses Druidism (reconstructionists, attempting to rebuild the practices of the Druids), Celtic Shamanism, Celtic Wicca or Witta, the Grail Religion, and Celtic Christianity or Culdees. Each path is unique and can stand alone or meld together with another and still be part of the Celtic tradition. It is primarily derived from the ancient pre Christian Celtic religion of Gaul, Ireland and the British Isles. Most of the Celtic paths focus on Nature and healing with group and individual rituals that honor the Ancient Shining Ones and the Earth. Most are eclectic, and hold to the Celtic myths, divinities, magic and rituals. Celtic paths are some of the more popular traditions.

Celtic Shamanism:  Celtic Shamanism is a shamanic path that is based on the Faery Faith of the Celtic peoples of Western Europe and especially of Britain, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Cornwall, Isle of Man and Brittany.

Celtic Traditionalism: This may not be a familiar term to many people, it consists of trying to reconstruct the beliefs and practices of the original Celtic people, as opposed to Druidic learnings, this tradition focuses more on the village beliefs of the average Celtic man or woman.

Celtic Witan Church: An incorporated church formed for the study and practice of the goddess-oriented nature-based religion of the ancient Celtic peoples. This is a fertility religion concerned with all aspects of prosperity, growth, abundance, creativity, and healing. The Church honors the Celtic deities with full moon rituals and Sabbat festivals.

Censer: A heat-proof container in which incense is smoldered. An incense burner. It symbolizes the Element of Air.

Centering: The process of focusing one's attention and ridding oneself of distractions, descending into the Slow Will usually in preparation for beginning a work of magick or meditation. The origin of ones center can be determined by the area in the body that reacts to excitement, anticipation or the butterflies effect. Usually centered around the solar plexus. It is often used in combination with the term 'Grounding' as in "grounding and centering."
See Grounding, Slow Will

Cerebral Anoxia: Lack of oxygen to the brain, often causing sensory distortions and hallucinations. Sometimes used by doctors to explain features of the near death experience.

Ceremonial magick: A practice of magic which usually uses Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek and/or Goetic cosmologies, Ceremonial Magic can be adapted to nearly any theological or philosophical framework.  Ceremonial Magicians generally use the theological framework of their chosen cosmology as a map to how things work and do not actually practice the religion upon which their cosmology is based--the exception to this is, of course, Christian Mages who use a Christian framework and generally either translate other deities into various archangels or who simply see those deities as subservient to YHVH/God.
  By Erilar (edited by Ardriana):
Every race and culture has held a belief in Magic. Ceremonial Magic historically uses the religion of those practicing it. As a result, Magic in Europe in the Renaissance was strongly Christian. Today Ceremonial Magic is often Hermetic and uses a mix of Greco-Egyptian and Judeo-Christian Symbolism.
Brief History:
In the Classical period, magic that we would classify as ceremonial was usually the domain of the Priesthood. During this time Egyptian mysteries held the same fascination for the educated seekers that the Oriental mysteries hold for most of us today. Unfortunately by the late period of the Roman Empire, most real knowledge of these mysteries had been lost.
In the Medieval period in Europe, there was both Christian and native magic. During this time the Christian Church came to power and any attempt to do magic based on earlier religions was considered to be evil. During the Renaissance, there was a flowering of interest in the Classical knowledge and myth. It is during this time that the Classical Gods began to reappear in the dreams of the seekers and artists. It is also during this time that Qabalah emerged as both a philosophical and magical system in the writings of Magicians.
Today Ceremonial Magic is dominated by the Golden Dawn and derivative systems. There is some interest in both older systems such as the Solomanic Cycle and alternative systems, with Chaos magic being the most favored.
QBL (or Qabalah) is the primary cosmology of modern practitioners. QBL was originally an attempt to find Mystical Truths hidden in the Torah. Its goal was to illuminate God and the relationship man has or should have with the Divine. The two primary streams of study are Mystical (associated with Sephardic Jewish practice) and Magical (associated with Ashkenazic Jewish practice). Today QBL is often viewed as a `filing’ system. This approach uses a diagram known as the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life represents the relationships of the numbers 1 through 10 and of the Hebrew letters that connect them.
The primary texts of traditional QBL include the Torah, the Sepher Yetzirah, the Bahar, and the Zohar. Modern texts tend to be explanations and extrapolations of these texts. Among the most important are The Tree of Life by Regardie, 777 attributed to Crowley and Mystical Qabbalah by Dion Fortune.
The primary cosmology of Renaissance Magic was Astrology. Like the QBL anything that can be imagined can be defined in Astrological terms. The study of Astrology can be directly traced back at least 4000 years. Most modern books express all the terms of Astrology in as positive a manner as possible. In the Renaissance , the dark sides of the planets and the Zodiac were considered to be just as important as the bright. There is a direct relationship of the Planets and Signs to the Tree of Life. The planets visible to the naked eye in a clear sky are attributed to 7 Spheres or Sepheroth and the Zodiac to one. One of the most important aspects of Astrology for the magician is to define the best time to do any given magical work. By calculating charts for the times that the magician has available to do a given working, it is possible first to determine what forces are available for use in that working, and secondly how to improve the results by changing the time when the operation is done.
Divination should always proceed any magical work. Doing a divination first can often bring up issues that sharpen the focus of the work. Knowing what forces are at play is critical, and if the working is of a personal nature, it can clarify what our primary needs and motives are.
Divination can be considered to have two primary classes; intuitive and objective. When using intuitive forms of divination the magician seeks visions. Intuitive forms of divination include dreams, crystal and candle gazing. Objective forms of divination depend on symbols associated with either natural phenomena such as the movement of the planets in Astrology or the random movement of objects such as dice in the case of Geomancy or cards in Tarot. Geomancy in Europe is a divination system that probably originated in northern Africa where a similar system is still practiced. (the eyes of Fa) A modern Geomancy chart resembles and is interpreted like an astrological chart. Tarot is actual rather modern in origin. The earliest decks are late medieval, and appear to have been used for gambling. It really wasn’t until Levi and Papus in the late 1800’s that Tarot became popular as a divination system The style of operation usually determines type of divination used. Astrology and Geomancy are common to Renaissance Style Magic while Astrology and Tarot common to Modern Magic. The intuitive styles of divination are often used within an operation rather than before it.
Outline of Rituals:
Typical Ceremonial Rituals have common elements. These elements are always multi-layered. Even the common sprinkling and censing of a space before working has meaning buried in the words spoken, the actions performed and the materials used. Rituals serve to provide a structure to allow the magician to work effectively and safely. Rituals arrange the symbolic elements in such a way as to have the greatest impact on the deep mind. By using an established ritual pattern, there is less chance the magician will overlook or forget something important.
Preparation of People involved
Sanctify the space
Sprinkling and Censing common
Perform Ritual (Lesser Banishing Pentagram, Hexagram, and/or Rose Cross Ritual)
Scribe, draw, or paint a Circle
Recite or read conjurations with appropriate actions
Interact with Forces and/or Spirits
Thank, Dismiss and Banish
Record Results
Invocations and Evocations: Just as Divination can be described as having two primary classes, so too can the process of doing magic. Magical operations can be either a ritual of Invocation or of Evocation. To Invoke is to call in while to Evoke is to call out. The choice is determined by the purpose of the ritual.
Invocations: Assumption of God or Goddess form, Orphic Rites, Practitioner is Vessel.
Evocations: Calling Spirits such as in Goetia, Scrying tool is Vessel, Talismanic Work, Talisman is Vessel.
See Christian Mage, Goetia

Chant: Non-verbal prayer, sung or repetitious prayer. The philosophy that sounds themselves are divine. 1)That god hears one’s prayers in more ways that just through one’s words, that sounds are divine and that the repetition of these sounds unifies one with the divine in a non-intellectual way. 2)Repetition of harmonic resonance or magickal phrases, syllables, or words to produce a desired effect usually to bring the chanter to a deeper meditative state.

CHARGE, To: To magickally infuse an object with ones Personal Power. To fill a magickal object, Tool, or talisman with energy, like a battery.

CHARGE of the GODDESS, The: It is the message from the Goddess to Her children. First appeared in print in Charles Lelands Aradia, Gospel of Witches (1890). Although of questionable authority it sets the stage for how one is supposed to show one's devotion to the Great Mother goddess.
Doreen Valiente is credited with writing the most popular version of the Charge in her book, The Rebirth of Witchcraft. Over the years the Charge has been adapted and there are now several versions.

Charkas: (pronounced cha ( as in church) Cha- kra) In Hindu philosophy, 1) the disc like weapon that Shiva gave to Vishnu. 2)The word Chakra is Sanskrit for wheel or disk and signifies one of seven basic energy centers in the body. Each of these centers correlates to major nerve ganglia branching forth from the spinal column. In addition the Chakras also correlate to levels of consciousness, archetypal elements, developmental stages of life, colors, sounds, body functions, etc.
Chakra Seven: Thought, Universal identity, oriented to self-knowledge This is the crown Chakra that relates to consciousness as pure awareness. It is our connection to the greater world beyond, to a timeless place of all-knowing. When developed, this Chakra brings us knowledge, wisdom, understanding, spiritual connection, and bliss.
Chakra Six: Light, Archetypal identity, oriented to self-reflection This is the brow or third eye Chakra. It is related to the act of seeing, both physically and intuitively. As such it opens our psychic faculties and our understanding of archetypal levels. When healthy it allows us to "see the big picture."
Chakra Five: Sound, Creative identity, oriented to self-expression This is the throat Chakra and is thus related to communication and creativity. Here we experience the world symbolically through vibration, such as the vibration of sound representing language.
Chakra Four: Air, Social identity, oriented to self-acceptance This is the heart Chakra and middle Chakra in a system of seven. It is related to love and is the integrator of opposites in the psyche: mind and body, male and female, persona and shadow, ego and unity. A healthy fourth Chakra allows us to love deeply, feel compassion, have a deep sense of peace and centeredness
Chakra Three: Fire, Ego identity, oriented to self-definition This Chakra is the solar plexus or power Chakra. It rules our personal power, will, and autonomy, as well as our metabolism. When healthy, this Chakra brings us energy, effectiveness, spontaneity, and non-dominating power. <--a non dominating power? It knows the difference?
Chakra Two: Water, Emotional identity, oriented to self-gratification This Chakra is the abdomen, lower back, and sexual organ Chakra, and related to the element water, and to emotions and sexuality. It connects us to others through feeling, desire, sensation, and movement. Ideally this Chakra brings us fluidity and grace, depth of feeling, sexual fulfillment, and the ability to accept change.
Chakra One: Earth, Physical identity, oriented to self-preservation Located at the base of the spine, this Chakra forms our foundation. It represents the element earth, and is therefore related to our survival instincts, and to our sense of grounding and connection to our bodies and the physical plane. Ideally this Chakra brings us health, prosperity, security, and dynamic presence.

Charles Godfrey Leland: (1824-1903) Charles G. Leland was a scholar, folklorist and author of books on English Gypsies and Italian Witches.  These include Etruscan Roman Remains, Legends of Florence, The Gypsies, Gypsy Sorcery and perhaps his most famous book Aradia: Gospel of the Witches.  In all he wrote over fifty books during his life time and his writings influenced the likes of Gerald Gardner and Doreen Valiente, as well as many other “founders” of modern day Witchcraft.
Leland was born of English descent in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 15th of August 1824. Leland He was educated at Princeton, took part in the French Revolution of 1848, and worked mainly as a journalist in America. He moved to England in 1870, and afterwards wrote his two classic books on Gypsies and established himself as the leading authority on the subject.
In the winter of 1888 Leland moved to Florence, Italy and began his study of Italian Witchcraft. His greatest source of information came from a mysterious lady called Maddalena who provided Leland with the material for his most famous book Aradia: Gospel of the Witches. Until his time no other books existed claiming to contain material obtained directly from a practicing witch.  Aradia: Gospel of the Witches is one of the most influential works to affect and influence modern Witchcraft and Wicca.  It is also one of the few books on Witchcraft to remain in print for over one hundred years. 
© 2005 George Knowles, used with permission but heavily edited by Ardriana Cahill. For the complete and excellent Leland biography, please use the following link: Charles Godfrey Leland

Charmaine Dey: Author of The Magic Candle is a treasure from antiquity. (The author is the aunt of Shamaness, artist and author Heather Valencia.) “Dey was a highly artifacted sorceress of Cherokee blood on her Mother's side. Her father's side was Celtic- British Isles. She was a full-blown Gardnerian witch of the highest order. Sybil Leek was her lifelong best friend. Her practices were flawless. When she taught me to work with the candles I learned that it is our will and attention in the moment that is the whole of a magical practice. Use this book for ceremonial candle magic - invoke her - you will have amazing results. Her work was dedicated to the Great Central Sun through the Great Pan and the Moon Goddess.” H.V.
"Candle burning is a Psychic and Psychological experience, and may compliment your particular faith by arranging your rituals to blend into it. Nevertheless, you need not do anything which you feel is unharmonious with your personal beliefs, as there are countless alternatives." ~The Magic Candle by: Charmaine Dey

Christian Mage/Witch: Seemingly, a contradiction in terms. This generally refers to a practitioner of Ceremonial Magic who is a non-dogmatic Christian.  The term "mage" is, however, becoming more and more a generic term for anyone who practices secular magick (secular: non-religious). Also sometimes refers to a Christian Witch or rarely a Christian Wizard.
The concept of the Christian Witch by unscholarly witches is “a blasphemy to witchcraft” for those of a dogmatic heart and have been told that Wicca is a pre-Christian religion but have not actually studied those Judeo/Christian texts or traditions in which the fathers and mothers of modern Wicca were very well schooled; Gnostic and Kabbalistic mysticism and magickal theory (whether adopted or redefined). Equally repugnant to dogmatic Christians who say the term is “a blasphemy to Christians who (ignore the mystical schools of religious practice in their history) and quote the biblical phrase to not “suffer a witch to live” but are not scholarly enough to know the original word meant in general “criminal”, not witch, until King James rewrote the Bible.
Suffice to say, neither side believes that the such a thing as magick and Christianity can coexist, which happily for those who consider themselves Christian witches - has effected them not at all. For the rebuttal I defer to my gifted and generous friend and Christian Mage, Ambrose Hawk who says...
“The sources of ritual magic are men such as Trithemius of Spanheim, an abbot in the Italian Alps; Agricola of Nettlesheim, a Christian mystic whose books along with The Greater and Lesser Keys of Solomon, underlay much modern theory; John Dee, a Protestant whose work sought to defend Elizabeth against her Popish foes, and whose work is the basis of "Enochian Magic" as espoused by the Golden Dawn and its offshoots; Eliphas Levi and Papus, two Catholic seminarians who found the occult path to expand, not deny, their faith; Francis Barret, a esoteric Christian who taught that alchemy was directed as much to personal transformation as it was to science. In their works, every other line turns to God in worship, praise, and submission.
If you have had the experience of participating in a magical or miraculous healing, you know the feeling of humility - that you've been honored to be there. Moreover, the most openly mystical of all the New Testament authors, St. John, wrote in his First Epistle 4:16b "God is love, and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him."
NOTE: Ambrose Hawk first emerged as an occultist in the 1960's. Hawk spent six years as a seminarian, two of them in a Benedictine college and two of them at the Pontifical Institute at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Since that time, Ambrose Hawk has sought actively to uncover the deepest links among the religious symbols and archetypes that all peoples share to some degree. This study, including a goddess principle, has led him to encourage Christians who have discovered the mystical paths of modern movements such as Wicca or New Age philosophy to be open to the potentials of the kind of synthesis with Christianity which he has found for himself.
See Ceremonial Magick, Goetia

Cingulum: 1) A cord also know as the girdle or cable tow. The latter name is derived from its use in various initiation rituals. The cord is used to measure the radius of a magick circle, for binding things - and even on occasion, for binding one's self. There are initiation ceremonies where the neophyte is bound and blindfolded. Or is bound to the altar. 2 It is usually braided, which is worn about the waist and tied in a simple knot 3)It symbolized the witch’s bond to the Goddess and is used in knot magic and binding rituals It is usually made of a natural fiber such as cotton, silk or wool It is a signature of rank. Some traditions favor one color for all members (such as red) while other traditions prefer a different color for each degree. (Often red, black and white for the 3 colors of the triple faced goddess for a three degree system.) When there are different colors for each degree the highest achieved is worn or all cords earned are worn braided together. The length is traditionally tied to laying out a typical circle with a nine foot diameter Some cords are a little longer than 4 1/2 feet long. To lay out a nine foot diameter circle with the shorter cord the witch would mark the center of the circle with a stick or athame and tie one end of the cord to it She would then use the other end to measure out the circumference of the circle by walking around it with the cord held taut.

Circle Castings: Poetic or prosaic language used to cast a circle. Usually using the metaphors of the Elements, as they relate to the seasons, the Sabbats, the god/desses, Sun and Moon, dawn and dusk, winds, stars, animals, angels, Faery, or anything that best describes or personifies the attributes of the elements. The circle is cast from one element direction to another until all are connected.

Clairaudience: Clairaudience the psychic ability to hear things that are beyond the range of the ordinary power of hearing, such as voices or messages from the dead.
See Audio

Clairsentience: An archaic term for just “knowing” something (Precognition) that refers to the paranormal obtaining of information using faculties other than the physical senses.
See Clairaudience, Clairvoyance, Telepathy, Intuition.

Clairvoyance: is a psychic ability to “see” things beyond the range of the power of physical vision. Clairvoyance is usually associated with precognition, seeing into the future or retro cognition seeing into the past. It’s distinction from Precognitive dreams is that one is usually in a conscious (Beta, state of consciousness) or superconscious (Alpha) state. The faculty of seeing into the future is called "second sight" if it is not induced by scrying, drugs, or other assisted means.
See Visions

Cledon: One of the most ancient forms of divine (or psychic) guidance is called a Cledon. A Cledon is a voice in the crowd. They are words or phrases seemingly heard at random or out of context, spoken by a stranger or passerby, but their precise timing delivers a profound personal meaning to the hearer. An audio form of Trick-sight.
See Trick Sight

Cold Reading: A reading given by a psychic or medium with no prior knowledge of the sitter. Often a mixture of general statements which could apply to anyone, together with inferences made from cues presented by the sitter (e.g., physical appearance, clothes, tone of voice, statements made).

Collective Unconscious: A relatively new term used by metaphysicians to explain the phenomena of synchronicity or "meaningful coincidences." Coined by Carl G. Jung, he believed that our minds held a universal consciousness that predates the individual.  It is the repository of all spiritual, mystical, creative and mythological symbols and experiences.  Its  primary structures Jung called "Archetypes"; a  later-Hellenistic Platonic and Augustinian Christian term that referred to the spiritual forms which are  the pre-existent prototypes of the things of the material world.  Jung brakes away from Plato’s Archetypes as spiritual realities (and therefore eternal; beyond time altogether) and interprets his archetypes in a Darwinian, biological sense.  He says that they are  "inherited", and that they "have existed since remotest times".  Yet however remote, they are  still temporal and can be located temporally.  Every artist has experienced what seemed like divine inspiration. However one calls it; a gift from god, the collective unconsciousness, a Muse or any other personification, mankind has spent millennia trying to label the experience of Inspiration. Hemingway wrote: “Every day I write the best I can, and some days, if I’m lucky, I write better than I can.” When something comes to an artist that seems larger than his/her abilities and a gift of the gods, full blown, on a silver platter - and brilliant. Jung thought inspiration, wisdom even negative experiences could be inherited from one’s ancestors..

Cone of Power: Psychic energy raised and focused by either an individual or coven to achieve a definite purpose. The most notably reported Cone of Power was raised against Hitler during WWII by English Witches.

Correspondences: In the witchly effort to connect the dots of the universe, modern pagans have tried to make the rules of usage regarding tools, seasons, structures, and traditions fit neatly with all the other rules. Correspondences illustrate the mechanical relationships in magick of colors to stones, candles, seasons, charkas, auras, oils, days, astrological signs and on and on. However there has been a tendency since the 1980s to relates all things to all things regardless of what tradition, history or mythology might have said in the past. Purple is a royal color, a noble color and all the high ideals of those things were magickally ascribed to that color in candles, stones, robes, altar cloths and that which followed. Yet Amethyst - the most purple of all purples traditionally was used for that royal if not a high purpose of keeping one from getting drunk. In connecting the dots of the universe, I caught myself doing what all new witches do. That is, connecting it all until it was so homogenous and so bland that everything is the same as everything else. I learned that the exceptions to the rules were where some of the most interesting tidbits of knowledge hid and perhaps even the most powerful.

Conscious Mind: The Beta state of mind. The analytical, materially-based, rational part of our consciousness, perceptions, memories, thoughts, and feelings.
See States of Consciousness

Conscious states of the mind: See States of Consciousness

Consecration: 1) A ritual to bless an object or person being used or participating in a sacred rite. 2) to dedicate to the service or worship of a deity; make or declare sacred. 3) to commit or devote to some goal or service i.e., one consecrating one’s life to world peace. 4) to make (something) honored, as if sacred.

Conway, D.J.: See: D.J. Conway

Cord magick: Cords in witchcraft originated from the symbols of the woven strands of Fate, the major deity of all true witches. Alexander the Great, by cutting the Gordian knot, announced to all that he was going to cut his own fate with the edge of a sword. Cords, when made properly they can contain different items --herbs, feathers and ingredients of a particular charm. Three is standard number of a cord weave, but 4 or 5 strands can be used according to tradition. They can contain three blessings, three curses, or three wishes. Cords are generally referred to as ladders or in some cases as garlands.

Crowley, Aleister: See Aleister Crowley

Crowther, Patricia and Arnold: See , Patricia and Arnold Crowther:

Cryptomnesia: Knowledge (acquired in normal ways) that may be revealed without the person remembering its source. Such memories may falsely appear to be paranormal revelations. Sometimes cryptomnesia is used as an explanation for apparently paranormal experiences such as xenoglossy or past life memories.
See Xenoglossy

Cunning-craft: Village or rural folk magick, low magick, hedge-witchery, kitchen-witchery. Pre-Gardnerian witchcraft.

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Dee, John: see Enochian Magick

D.J. Conway: Ms Conway was born in Hood River, Oregon, to a family of Irish-North Germanic-Native North American descent. She began her quest for knowledge of the occult more than 35 years ago, and has been involved in many aspects of Paganism and Wicca to the New Age and Eastern philosophies, plus history, the magical arts, philosophy, customs, mythologies and folklore. Although an ordained minister in two New Age churches and holder of a Doctor of Divinity degree. Conway claims that her heart lies within the Pagan cultures. No longer actively lecturing and teaching as she did for years, Conway has centered her energies on writing. Books by Conway include: By Oak, Ash & Thorn, Maiden, Mother, Crone, Magickal, Mystical Creatures, Dancing with Dragons, Moon Magick, Celtic Magic, Norse Magic, A Little Book of Candle Magick and Animal Magick: The Art Of Recognizing And Working With Familiars.

Dedication: 1) A ritual or act of self-initiation that commits you to a certain god or goddess through studies, practices or devotion. 2) A commitment to a particular part of the Craft or a new inclusive path 3) Vows to study and learn all that is necessary to reach adeptship in a field of study. 4) An act or ceremony to set something aside for a particular purpose. See Initiation

Degree:  In 1584, in his book The Discoverie Of Witchcraft, Reginald Scott described three levels of admission to Medieval Witchcraft. In 1931, in her book The God Of The Witches, archeologist Dr. Margaret Murray also wrote about three different admission ceremonies in organized Witchcraft. Tradition is that the first degree ritual is public, before the full coven and the second & third rituals are private. Besides the original "Witch cults," another ancestor of Wicca, Masonry, also has a three degree system, titled: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craftsman and Master Mason reflecting the guild system of the Middle Ages established by workers in a particular craft or trade in order to uphold standards and protect the members. In most Wiccan covens this system of hierarchy is based on various levels of study and other requirements as set by the coven and is divided into three degrees. The Mystery traditions were distinguished as the Lesser Mysteries and the Greater Mysteries, as with the Eleusinian Mysteries. Sometimes these levels of Initiation were designated as different degrees as in the Mysteries of Isis, which had three degrees and the Mithraic Mysteries, which had seven degrees (some scholars claim six, others claim eight). Other Hermetic traditions can have as many as thirty - three degrees. The three degree system may have been born out of the Malleus Malleficarum’s punishment of witchcraft as classed in three degrees of guilt; lightly suspect, strongly suspect and gravely suspect. Most of the Wiccan three degree systems have initiation rituals that mimic the punishments of the Malleus Malleficarum’s degree system if ever one reveals the secrets of one’s craft. These mock punishments reflect those of the Inquisition; the Punishment, the Torture and the Ordeal. Giving one “the third degree,” comes from a Inquisitor’s judgment to escalate an unconfessed heretic or witch’s torture to the Ordeal. A fairly new position, The Neophyte or Postulant sits outside the circle as a guest. During this undefined period of time s/he decides if s/he wants to begin training. Upon that decision, s/he requests of the High Priestess (HPS) to be dedicated and becomes a Dedicant or Initiate through a ritual requiring her to answer questions, take vows to honor the God and Goddess and agree to a course of study for a year and a day before receiving a First Degree title. I refer to the Neophyte, affectionately as Witchling. The First Degree ritual will include more questions, oath taking and a symbolic Punishment to prove his/her sincerity and courage. It may involve a ritualistic “rebirthing” bath, binding, “scourging”, and a blade being held to one’s heart. As a First Degree, in most modern traditions the person sits inside the circle but does not have duties in a ritual. The title given to First Degree is “Witch.” Outside of ritual a First Degree can be considered as “Maiden,” who assists the HPS with ritual preparations. In older traditions a First Degree is titled Priest/ess and Witch. At this time the High Priestess accepts full responsibility for all magickal acts of the First Degree. A very serious commitment, because should a witch decide to contradict the HPS’s wisdom or work unsupervised, all karmic consequences of irresponsibility are held against the HPS. The Second Degree is a full member of the coven with duties in ritual and has the rank of Priest/ess. In older traditions the titles are High Priest and Magus or High Priestess and Witch Queen. But in some Gardnerian kindred lines, High Priest/ess and Magician are the titles since Magus and Witch Queen can only be used after one has hived off the original coven to start their own. Having passed through an escalated mock Torture in the ritual, the Second Degree, must be capable of leading religious rituals, initiating First Degree Dedicants and under special cases hiving off from the coven. The Third Degree is reserved for those who have reached Elder status, are titled High Priest/ess and has permission to remain with the coven or to hive off to start one’s own coven. Alexandrian and Alexandrian kindred paths address the High Priest/ess of a coven as "My Lady/My Lord", or "Lady/Lord So-and-So" a custom which differs from Gardnerian practice.  The ritual involves the symbolic nature of our Ordeal to choose “death” rather than resume a mundane life. These degrees and associated rituals vary with traditions.

Den: Alternate term for a coven in my family tradition. Mother refused to call her circle a coven as a part of those secrecy vows she gave her mother who was persecuted as being a witch.

DEOSIL: (jess - ul or dee - zul) Moving clockwise or the direction of the Sun's apparent motion in the sky (sun-wise). In the Celtic fashion, lying with one’s head to the north, the sun travels from ones “cup hand ” (left) to ones “sword hand” (right). In northern hemisphere magic and religion, Deosil is attractive. It is used in spells and rituals; i.e. "walk Deosil around the Circle of Stones" and “circle candle with athame Deosil thrice.” (Wiccans below the equator, notably in Australia, reverse Deosil to Widdershins in their rituals, for the Sun "moves" in apparent counter-clockwise motion from this vantage point.) For the strict solitary this remains for all no matter what handedness one is. I agree for group work, but for the solitary, I espouse the practice that whichever is your projective hand (the one you write with) drawing circles toward you is attractive and away from you is banishing. This practice coming from my grandmother's tarot card readings tradition that after she shuffeled the cards she’d as the petitioner to cut the cards advising one to never cut the cards away from oneself, but towards oneself. That attracting good fortune was always gestured towards oneself. And banishing bad luck was gestured away from oneself. The term Deosil is a distantly related to the Latin "dexter," meaning right. See Widdershins.

Dey, Charmaine: See Charmaine Dey:

Dianic Tradition: This is the most feminist Craft Tradition. Most Dianic covens worship the Goddess exclusively (Diana and Artemis are the most common manifestations) and most covens today are women only. Rituals are eclectic; some are derived from Gardnerian and Feri traditions, while others have been created anew. Emphasis is on rediscovering and reclaiming female power and divinity, consciousness-raising, and combining politics with spirituality. The Dianic Craft included two distinct branches: The first Dianic coven in the U.S. was formed in the late '60s by Margan McFarland and Mark Roberts, in Dallas, Texas. This branch gives primacy to the Goddess in its theology, but honors the Horned God as Her beloved Consort. Covens include both women and men. This branch is sometimes called 'Old Dianic,' and there are still covens of this tradition specially in Texas. The other covens, similar in theology but not directly descended from the McFarland/Roberts line are sprinkled around the country.

Dion Fortune: (1890 - 1946) Behind the shadows of Gerald Gardner, lurks Dion Fortune. Unappreciated during her own time she was perhaps his lesser-known equal, working quietly behind the scenes she developed her own tradition and was unconcerned with the need for publicity. Dion was a respected psychiatrist, occultist and author who approached magick and hermetic concepts from the perspectives of Jung and Freud. She was a prolific occult writer of novels and non-fiction books, an adept in ceremonial magick and a pioneer psychiatrist on religious thought in occultism.
Dion was born Violet Mary Firth on the 6th January 1890 in Bryn-y-Bia, Llandudno, Wales. She took her pen name from her family motto that reads: “Deo, non Fortuna”, meaning By God, not by chance.
After the death of her friend and mentor Theodore Moriarty in 1923, Dion took over the Theosophical Society and renamed it the Christian Mystic Lodge. In 1924 she bought a property in Glastonbury called the Chalice Orchard.
Today the Society of the Inner Light is still practicing in London, but they maintain that Dion was not a witch, and was not involved in any coven. A sad tribute to a writer whose books did so much to influence the thoughts of many practitioners in the Wicca/Witchcraft movement. Some of her books: Aspects of Occultism, The Goat-foot God, Sea Priestess, Esoteric Philosophy of Love and Marriage, The Mystical Qabalah, Introduction to Ritual Magic, co-, ritten by Gareth Knight, The Secrets of Dr. Taverner, Spiritualism and Occultism, Through the Gates of Death, Winged Bull, Cosmic Doctrine, Glastonbury, Psychic Self-defence, Applied Magic - to be published, The Circuit of Force, Esoteric Orders and Their Work, Mystical Meditations on the Collects, The Principles of Esoteric Healing, Principles of Hermetic Philosophy, co-written by Gareth Knight, and The Training and Work of an Initiate.
© 2005 George Knowles, used with permission but heavily edited by Ardriana Cahill. For the complete and excellent Fortune biography, please use the following link: Dion Fortune

Directions: See Quarters, Elements:

Divination: The art of using magickal tools, symbols and Extra Sensory Perception to gather information from the Collective Unconscious on the nature of people. places, things, and events in the past, present and future. Example of these are:
AEROMANCY divination from the air and sky, particularly concentrating on cloud shapes, comets, and other phenomena not normally visible in the heavens.
ALCHEMY is the practice of transmutation of base metals into precious metals (e.g., gold or silver) with the aid of an esoteric substance called the "philosopher's stone".
ALECTRYOMANCY is divination whereby a bird is allowed to pick corn grains from a circle of letters. A variation is to recite letters of the alphabet noting those at which a cock crows.
ALEUROMANCY is divination using "fortune cookies"; answers to questions are rolled into balls of dough and once baked are chosen at random.
ALOMANCY is divination by table salt.
ALPHITOMANCY uses special cakes that are digestible by persons with a clear conscience but are unpleasant to others.
ANTHROPOMANCY is the long-outlawed means of divination by human sacrifice.
APANTOMANCY is divination through chance meetings with animals (e.g., a black cat), birds, and other creatures. Mexico City is said to have been founded where Aztec soothsayers saw an eagle flying from a cactus carrying a live snake.
ARITHMANCY or ARITHMOMANCY is an earlier form of NUMEROLOGY where divination is made through numbers and the number value of letters.
ASTRAGLOMANCY or ASTRAGYROMANCY is a form of divination by dice where the faces of the dice bear numbers and letters.
ASTROLOGY is divination using celestial bodies: the sun, moon, planets, and stars. AUGURY is the general term for the art of divination and is chiefly applied to interpretations of signs and omens.
AUSTROMANCY is divination by the study of the winds. Significance is focused on their intensity and direction.
AXIOMANCY is divination through the observation of how an ax or hatchet quivers or points when driven into post.
BELOMANCY is an ancient form of divination performed by tossing or balancing arrows.
BIBLIOMANCY involves divination by books.
BLETONISM is divination by river currents
BOTANOMANCY is divination from burning tree branches and leaves.
BUMPOLOGY strictly a modern term, a popular nickname for PHRENOLOGYCAPNOMANCY is the study of smoke rising from a fire.
CARTOMANCY is fortune telling using cards such as the Tarot.
CATOPTROMANCY is an early form of crystal gazing that utilizes a mirror turned to the moon to catch moonbeams.
CAUSIMOMANCY is divination from behavior of objects placed in a fire.
CEPHALOMANCY refers to divination with the skull or head of a donkey or goat.
CERAUNOSCOPY seeks to draw omens from the study of thunder and lightning.
CEROSCOPY, CEROMANCY is a form of fortune telling in which melted wax is poured into cold water.
CHIROMANCY is divination from the lines on people's hands. See Palmistry
CHIROGNOMY is the study of the general hand formation. See Palmistry
CLAIRAUDIENCE is "clear hearing" of divinatory information. Parapsychologist generally regard as a form of extrasensory perception. See Audio
CLAIRVOYANCE is "clear seeing" of divinatory information. Parapsychologist generally regard as a form of extrasensory perception.
CLEROMANCY is divination by "casting lots", similar to dice but with objects such as pebbles or sea shells.
CLIDOMANCY or CLEIDOMANCY is divination using a dangling key. see RADIESTHESIA.
COSCINOMANCY is divination using a hanging sieve. see RADIESTHESIA.
CRITOMANCY is the study of barley cakes.
CROMNIOMANCY is divination using onion sprouts.
CRYSTALLOMANCY is divination through crystal gazing.
CYCLOMANCY is the practice of divination from a turning wheel.
DACTYLOMANCY is an early form of RADIESTHESIA using a dangling ring.
DAPHNOMANCY requires one to listen to laurel branches crackling in an open fire.
DEMONOMANCY is divination with the aid of demons.
DENDROMANCY is divination with either oak or mistletoe.
DOWSING or DIVINING RODS are methods of divination where a forked stick is used to locate water or precious minerals.
GASTROMANCY is an ancient form of ventriloquism whereby the voice is lowered to a sepulchral tone and prophetic utterances are delivered in a trance state.
GELOSCOPY is the divination from the tone of someone's laughter.
GENETHLIALOGY is divination by the influence of the stars at birth. See Astrology
GEOMANCY is the study of figures on the ground and the influence of the Earth's "currents".
GRAPHOLOGY is the analysis of character through handwriting.
GYROMANCY is a divination procedure where a person walks in a circle marked with letters until they become dizzy and stumble at different points, thus spelling out a prophesy. <--Now they are just making this ship up A
HARUSPICATION is fortune-telling by means of inspecting the entrails of animals, as practiced by priests in ancient Rome.
HIEROMANCY or HIERSCOPY is divination by observing object of ancient sacrifice.
HIPPOMANCY is a form of divination from the stamping and neighing of horses.
HYDROMANCY is divination by water including the color, ebb and flow, or ripples produced by pebbles dropped in a pool.
ICHTHYOMANCY is divination using fish.
LAMPADOMANCY is divination using lights or torches.
LECANOMANCY uses a basin of water for divination.
LIBANOMANCY is the study of incense and its smoke.
LITHOMANCY is divination using precious stones of various colors.
MARGARITOMANCY is the procedure of using bouncing pearls. <-- Yeah sure they do! A
METAGNOMY is the divination using "visions" received in a trance state.
METEOROMANCY is divination from meteors.
METOPOSCOPY is the reading of character using the lines if the forehead.
MOLEOSOPHY is the study of moles and indicators of a person's character and future indications.
MOLYBDOMANCY draws mystic inferences from the hissing of molten lead.
MYOMANCY is the study of the prophetic meaning of behavior of rats and mice.
NUMEROLOGY is the numerical interpretation of numbers, dates, and the number value of letters.
OCULOMANCY is divination from a person's eye.
OINOMANCY is divination using wine.
OMPHALOMANCY is counting the number of knots in the umbilical cord to predict how many more children the mother will have
ONEIROMANCY is the interpretation of dreams and their prophetic nature.
ONOMANCY is the study of the meaning of names.
ONOMANTICS is the application of ONOMANCY applied to personal names, particularly in the sense of occult interpretation.
ONYCHOMANCY is the study of fingernails.
OOMANTIA and OOSCOPY is the method of divination by eggs.
OPHIOMANCY is divination from serpents.
ORNISCOPY and ORINITHOMANCY is the study of omens associated with birds, particularly birds in flight. see APANTOMANCY
OVOMANCY is another type of egg divination.
PALMISTRY is the broad field of divination and interpretation of the lines and structure of the hand.
PEGOMANCY concerns itself with spring water and bubbling fountains and the omens contained therein.
PHRENOLOGY is the long practiced study of head formations.
PHYLLORHODOMANCY is a means of divination whereby one slaps a rose petal against the hand and judges the favorability of the omen by the loudness of the sound.
PHYSIOGNOMY is the study of character analysis through physical features.
PRECOGNITION in an inner knowledge or sense of future events. Considered a form of extra sensory perception.
PSYCHOGRAPHY is a form of mysterious writing having a divinatory nature. Considered a form of extra sensory perception.
PSYCHOMETRY is the faculty of gaining impressions from a physical object and its history. Considered a form of extra sensory perception.
PYROMANCY and PYROSCOPY are forms of divination by fire or flame, often assisted by substances thrown onto the flames.
RADIESTHESIA is the general term for divination using a device such as a divining rod or pendulum. Other forms include "table tipping" which was practiced at the White House in the 19th century, the Ouija board, automatic writing (or super-conscious writing), and scrying.
RHABDOMANCY is divination using a stick or wand. These methods were forerunners of the divining rod.
RHAPSODOMANCY is a means of divination using a book of poetry whereby the book is opened at random and a passage read.
SCIOMANCY is divination using a spirit guide, a method generally employed by channelers.
SCRYING is a general term for divination using a crystal, mirrors, bowls of water, ink, or flames to induce visions.
SIDEROMANCY is the burning of straws with a hot iron, the resulting figures having divinatory properties.
SORTILEGE is the casting of lots and the assessment of omens indicated.
SPODOMANCY is divination using cinders or soot.
STICHOMANCY is another form of throwing open a book and selecting a random passage for the purpose of divination.
STOLISOMANCY draws omens from the way people dress.
SYCOMANCY is performed by writing messages on tree leaves; the slower they dry, the more favorable the omen. A modern variation is to write on slips of paper (always including one blank) and rolling them up. They are then held in a strainer over a boiling pot; the first to unroll will be answered.
TASSEOGRAPHY is the reading of tea leaves that remain in a tea cup once the beverage has been drunk.
TEPHRAMANCY is divination by ashes obtained from the burning of tree bark.
TIROMANCY is a type of divination using cheese. <-- done by French & Wisconsin witches! B R
XYLOMANCY is divination from pieces of wood, either from their shape when collected or their appearance while burning.

Dolmen: A Breton word meaning “table of stone”, describing a large unhewn stone resting on two or more supports. Prehistoric monuments were covered by a mound of earth that in most cases has weathered away. Designed as a burial chamber, the structure is typical of the Neolithic period in Europe. Dolmens, though found as far east as Japan, are mainly confined to Western Europe and Northern Africa. Magically used today as a portals for sacred or magickal earth energy focus. See Megalith, Menhir

Doreen Valiente: (1922-1999) Author of the Charge of the Goddess. Doreen Valiente was perhaps one of the most respected English witches to have influenced the modern day movement of Witchcraft and is often called the Mother of modern Wicca. Although modesty forbade her from taking the title ‘Queen of the Witches.’ She was an early initiate and High Priestess of Gerald Gardner and co-wrote with him the basic rituals and other materials that changed and shaped the modern day Witchcraft Movement. Gardner gave Doreen free access to his 'Book of Shadows' and other materials he had collected. Some, he claimed had been passed down to him from an old coven, much of which was fragmentary. Doreen immediately recognized the work of Aleister Crowley among his material, but accepted Gardner’s assertion that Crowley opened his Book of Shadows to Gardner.
Working in collaboration with Gardner, she began to re-write his 'Book of Shadows' using her considerable poetic gifts. Due to Aleister Crowley’s unsavory reputation, she removed much of Crowley’s influence and instead inserted the influence of Charles G. Leland, as evidenced by her most famous piece The Charge of the Goddess. This revised version of the Book of Shadows served as the basis for what became known as “Gardnerian Wicca”, which is today one of the most dominant traditions of contemporary Witchcraft in the UK and Europe. From it many other traditions have evolved.
Doreen was also credited with increasing the emphasis on Goddess worship and thus transforming the craft into a Religion. However by 1957 a rift was starting to fester between Gardner, Valiente (now his High Priestess), and the rest of his coven, caused mainly by his pursuit of publicity. It would lead to Doreen (and others) leaving his coven.
After the death of Gardner in 1964, Valiente was initiated into the 'Clan of Tubal-Cain', a coven run by Robert Cochrane who claimed to be a hereditary witch. He was the founder of the tradition now referred to as the 1734 tradition. Doreen soon became disillusioned with Cochrane when she decided that he was more fiction than fact. He was openly contemptuous of Gardnerian Witches which irked Doreen, and when she noticed his obsession with 'witches potions' (read: drugs), she left him.
In 1980, Doreen began a quest and search for Old Dorothy Clutterbuck, the High Priestess who had allegedly initiated Gardner into Witchcraft in 1939. So little was known about Old Dorothy that many craft skeptics believed she never existed. Doreen succeeded in proving through Birth and Death records that Old Dorothy had indeed been a real person. Her account of the search which lasted over two years is published as “Appendix A” in Janet and Stewart Farrar’s book - A Witches Bible.
Doreen authored numerous articles and several books on Witchcraft including: An ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present (1973), Natural Magic (1975), Witchcraft for Tomorrow (1978) and her own autobiography The Rebirth of Witchcraft (1989).
© 2005 George Knowles, used with permission but heavily edited by Ardriana Cahill. For the complete and excellent Valiente biography, please use the following link: Doreen Valiente
See Witches Creed

Drawing Down the Moon: 1) A major ritual used during the Full Moon by Witches to empower themselves and unite their essence with a particular deity, usually the Goddess. 2) A lesser ritual to visualize the Full Moon's reflection in a chalice of spring water as a collection of blessings from the goddess. Drinking that reflection draww those invisioned blessings into oneself to answer a request for resolution to a set of needs.

Dreamtime: The Shamanic concept of a parallel world to this one.

Druidry:  The pathways based on the practices, rituals, and magick of the early Celtic priestly class known as the Druids. Many expressions of the tradition exist, and their differences have often been cause for dissension in the Pagan community.

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