The Dictionary of Wiccan Terms


Absolute: A perfumery products produced by solvent extraction. This is a complicated process entailing, several stages, which eventuate in the production of the absolute. Jasmine absolute is one form. Compare with Otto.

Adept: Person working within a mystical tradition who has gained power and insight through various levels of initiation and self development. This person is believed to be wise and knowledgeable beyond the human norm, and is often regarded as a teacher figure.

Air: One of the four elements taught in Medieval Alchemy, Sylphs are considered air spirits and the astrological signs of Libra, Gemini, and Aquarius are considered governed by this element. Air is traditionally represented in the Eastern portion of Magickal rituals - sometimes by feathers, incense, or fans. The element itself may be employed as a component for Magick dealing with change, movement, the mind, intuition, and learning.
2 In many Wiccan traditions, the element corresponding to the East, the color light blue, mind, intellect and imagination.

Akasha: The fifth element, the omnipresent spiritual power that permeates the universe. It is related to outer space, inner space, the un manifest, and the life force. See also Elements. ²It is the energy out of which the Elements formed. 3 In occult terms the pure and uncontaminated spirit emanating into the lover Planes from the Divine Plane.

Akashic Principle: The all pervading spiritual 'ether', usually envisaged as violet in color.

Akashic Record: In Esoteric thought, a storehouse that exists beyond time and space that contain information on all things that have occurred, and all that will occur, in the universe.
2The 'recordings' left in the Akasha by every event. Advanced occultists develop the gift of retrieving past events by 'reading the Akashic Records'. 3 An aspect of the Odic mantle in which all of the thoughts and deeds that have occurred on the Earth are stored in the magnetic field of its etheric atmosphere.

Alexandrians: Witches initiated by (or stemming from those initiated by) Alex and Maxine Sanders. An offshoot of Gardnerian witchcraft, though founded independently.

Alchemy: A medieval forerunners of chemistry concerned with the transmutation of base metals into gold, but also a symbolic process of spiritual transformation of the self.

Altar: Central area of a ritual space, for most religions. The tools of that faith, which are used for ritual are placed upon it. Often symbols of the God/dess and other important icons of the religion are on the altar.
2 A flat surface holding ritual tools and symbols. In many Magickal traditions, it is placed in the East; others prefer it in the North or Center.

Amulet: 1A magically empowered object that deflects energies; a protective object, often worn or carried.See also Talisman.
2A small object, worn or carried on a person, believed to act in a protective manner for its carrier. Stones, a rabbit's foot, astrological symbols, St. Christopher medals, and the Abracadabras of the Gnostics are examples of amulets. They symbolic nature of an item may lend itself to the final application of the amulet. For example, the paw of a sure-footed animal might be kept as an amulet against falling, or the feather of an owl displayed as an amulet of wisdom. Amulets tend to give the wearer a mental sense of well-being, and when given as a gift is a means of showing concern for safety and welfare.
3 A charm worn or carried to ward off evil.
4 A magickally Charged object which deflects specific, usually negative energies. Generally a protective object. (Compare with Talisman).
5 An object worn as a protective charm against evil.
6 A natural object worn or carried for its protective powers; e.g., a seashell, stone, seed or animal claw.
7 An object worn for protection from evil or negative energies, including those generated by sickness. Traditionally amulets were made during auspicious astrological periods from natural, durable materials that could be easily worn or carried.
8Any object worn or carried for the purpose of warding off harmful or negative influences.

Anaphrodisiac: A substance, such as camphor, which lessens sexual arousal.

Ancestral Line: The means by which family patterns and beliefs are inherited from previous generations.

Angelic Realm: The energetic level where angels are said to live.

Anima: The buried feminine elements in a man's psyche.

Animal Magnetism: Lines of force that were believed to be emitted from the body

Animism: The belief that natural objects, and Nature itself, is alive and conscious; or the belief that an immaterial force animates the universe. Many witches are comfortable with this theory.

Animus: The buried masculine elements in a woman's psyche.

Ankh: The crux ansata or looped cross, Egyptian hieroglyph for 'life'. Widely used as an occult symbol for the Life Principle.

Aour: The synthesis and equilibrium of the power of Od and Ob. The spiritual light arising from the balance of Od and Ob.

Aphrodisiac: A substance (such as an essential oil) which produces sexual arousal within its user.

Aradia: Widely used Wiccan name for the Goddess, derived from the Tuscan witches' usage as recorded in C. G. Leland's Aradia: the Gospel of the Witches.

Arcana, Major and Minor: The seventy-eight cards of the Tarot (q.v.) deck. The Major Arcana are the twenty-two 'trumps'; the Minor Arcana are the fourteen cards of each of the four suits. The word Arcana means 'mysteries' (literally 'closed things').

Archetype: A common image or original models of experience found in the subconscious or collective unconscious which relates to humanity's basic emotions and states throughout the various phases of living. Tarot card images portray archetypes. The major arcana of the Tarot are believed to be paradigms of existence, personality types, and encounter. 2In Jungian theory, universally meaningful symbolic images and ideas that emerge from the collective unconscious. Archetypes transcend time, culture and heredity, although they may vary in detail from one individual to another. 3Fundamental elements of the Collective Unconscious which determine our patterns of thinking and behavior, but which can never be directly defined - only approximately, through symbols. 4A universal concept as conceived in the Divine Mind (Philo, Augustine) or in the collective unconscious mind of humanity (C.G. Jung).

Ardaynes: See "Laws of Witchcraft."

Arianrhod: A Welsh Goddess-name much used by witches. The name means 'Silver Wheel', referring to the circumpolar stars - also known as Caer Arianrhod (the Castle of Arianrhod), symbolic of the resting place of souls between incarnations.

Aromatherapy: The use of the healing properties of true essential oils. Conventional Aromatherapy utilizes massage with diluted essential oils to correct imbalances in bodily energy and to directly treat existent conditions stemming from disordered physical, mental and emotional states. It is a non-magickal practice.

Ascended Masters: Highly evolved spiritual beings who may or may not previously have been incarnated, who guide the spiritual evolution of the earth. People on earth whom seek to raise their spiritual and physical vibrations are embarking on the Ascension Process.

Aspect: A form, facet, or persona of Deity. A manifestation of the Goddess or God having its own name, appearance, qualities, attributes, and mythology. For example, Persephone, Kore and Artemis are maiden aspects of the Goddess, Helios, Ra and Apollo are solar aspects of the God.

Asperge: Sprinkling water or wine around the circumference of a circle to bless or purify the area. May also be done on objects and people for the same purpose.2Purification ritual using sprinkled water to bless devotees, and dispel negativity.

Asperger: A bundle of fresh herbs or a perforated object used to sprinkle water during or preceding Ritual, for purificatory purposes. ² A ritual tool used to sprinkle water for purification purposes. It can be a crafted artifact or something as simple as a pinecone or a twig with leaves and needles.

Asterism: A distinct and recognizable pattern of stars that is not itself a larger constellation (for example, the Summer Triangle and the "Big Dipper" of Ursa Major).

Astral: A very refined nonphysical substance existing within the Astral Plane that is shaped around thoughts and concepts to create images or forms.

Astral Bleeding: Involuntary loss of astral substance, usually from the solar plexus region.

Astral Body: The psychic 'double' of the physical body, consisting of substance more tenuous than matter, but grosser than mind or spirit. (See also Etheric).

Astral Light: The informing intelligence of astral material that is the foundation on which all forms arrange themselves. Levi sometimes referred to it as the "Imagination of Nature".

Astral Plane:The level of reality intermediate between the physical and the mental. It is the level of the emotions and instincts.2 A dimension of a higher vibratory rate than the physical dimension, in which images form prior to manifestation in the physical world.

Astral Projection: The act of separating the consciousness from the physical body and moving it about at will. ² The transferring of consciousness from the physical to the astral body, so that one perceives and moves about on the astral plane while the physical body remains inert. It may be involuntary or deliberate.

Astral Travel: The soul is able to leave the physical body behind and travel to distant locations. Also known as Out of Body Experience, or Soul Journeying.

Astrology: One of the most popular forms of divination, astrology centers around the belief that certain celestial bodies influence human life, and that the cosmic situations at the time of a person's birth can act as a prediction of their future personality. Originally a means of mapping out the earth for travelers, it dates clearly back to the Babylonians. ²A system of divination based on the interpretation of celestial configurations.

Atavistic Resurgence: A spontaneous shift in consciousness in which primal natures are evoked in an individual from the deep recesses of the Collective Consciousness.

Athame, Athalme:(a-THA-may) ¹The ritual dagger used in Wiccan ritual. It is the most personal tool of the priest/ess, usually used only by the owner. Traditionally, it has a double-edged blade and a black handle. Symbolizes the masculine aspect. ²The ritual dagger of Witches used in ceremony, an Athame is usually black handled and double edged. The two edges represent the balance in all things. The blade itself is sometimes etched with Magickal symbols which have personal meanings for the user. ³ A Wiccan ritual knife. It usually has a double-edged blade and a black handle. The Athame is used to direct personal power during ritual workings. It is seldom (if ever) used for actual, physical cutting. The term is of obscure origin, has many variant spellings among Wiccans, and an even greater variety of pronunciations. American East-Coast Wiccans may pronounce it as "Ah-THAM-ee" (to rhyme with "whammy"); others may pronounce it as "ATH-ah-may" or "ah-THAW-may." Any pronunciation is acceptable. (4) The witch's black handled knife. Its use is purely ritual (for which purposes it is interchangeable with the sword) and it is never used for actual cutting (cf. White-handled Knife). It is always a personal tool, belonging to one witch. (5) A black-handled, double edged, a knifelike tool used by Witches to channel energy, but never to cut anything material. It may be marked with the owner's name and other symbols, and may symbolize Fire or Air depending on the owner's tradition.

Attached Entities: Spirit forms can become attached to the aura of a living person.

Attunement: An activity which brings the minds, emotions, and psyches of a group into harmony prior to ritual: chanting, singing, guided meditation, and breathing exercises are common ways to attune.

Audible Oracle: An oracle that conveys its prophecies through sounds, such as cracking.

Aura: 1The subtle biomagnetic sheath that surrounds the physical body, providing a protective zone that extends for about eighteen inches to three feet from the body and contains information about the person's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state of being. This traditional name for the human energy field comes from the Greek avra, meaning "breeze." The intuitive eye can see dis-ease in the aura. See also Etheric body. 2This natural field of energy that surrounds all living things is most easily experienced through body heat, but it is visible to some sensitives. The color and texture of this field is believed to indicate health, state of mind, and even spiritual ability. 3The force-field which surrounds the human body, the inner bands at least of which are Etheric (q.v.) In substance. The aura is visible to senstitives, who can learn from its color, size and structure much about the person's health, emotional states, and spiritual development. 4The energy field of the human body, and especially that radiant portion visible to the "third eye" or psychic vision. The aura can reveal information about an individual's health and emotional state. 5An etheric energy field surrounding a body. It is a composite of mental and spiritual attributes of the indwelling spirit inhabiting the body. 6 A natural emanation of energy given out by a living being.

Automatic Writing: A type of writing that occurs when a loosely-held pen moves across the page of its own accord, or when the person holding the pen is impelled to write by thoughts passing through the mind into the pen. 2Act of writing with no conscious control or awareness.

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