The Dictionary of Wiccan Terms


Balance: The belief that we need to keep our lives on an even keel, including that of the spirit. It means acknowledging the light and dark of all things, keeping a solid perspective, temperance.

Balefire: A fire lit for Magickal purposes, usually outdoors. Balefires are traditional on Yule, Beltaine, and Midsummer.

Bane: That which destroys life, which is poisonous, destructive, evil, dangerous.Herbs such as henbane, hellebore and aconite are examples of baneful substances.

Baneful: See Bane:

Banish: The Magickal act of driving away evil or negativity. A strong purification, sometimes associated with the removal of "spirits."

Banishing: To clear away, to dispel. A ritual designed specifically to ward off or alleviate negative influences through ceremony, and/or prayer. ² (1.) Repelling an unwelcome psychic entity. (2.) Short for 'banishing the Circle', dispelling a Magic Circle after it has served its purpose. (3.) Expelling a witch from a coven for an offense; he or she may apply for readmission after a year and a day.

B.C.E.: Before Common Era. The nonreligious equivalent of B.C.

Bell: In some traditions, a bell is rung to 'alert the quarters' prior to invoking the elemental powers. It is usually a small hand bell.

Beltane, Bealtaine, Bealtuinn: A Wiccan festival celebrated on April 30th or May 1st (traditions vary). Beltane is also known as May Eve, Roodmas, Walpurgis Night, Cethsamhain. Beltane celebrates the symbolic union, mating or marriage of the Goddess and God, and links in with the approaching summer months.²A Wiccan religious festival observed on April 30th, that celebrates the burgeoning fertility of the Earth (and, for some Wiccans, the wedding of the Goddess and the God). 2The May Eve/May Day Great Sabbat, normally celebrated on the night of 30 April. The original meaning is 'Bel-Fire', after the Celtic or proto-Celtic God variously known as Bel, Beli, Balar, Balor or Belenus. Bealtaine is the Irish Gaelic form, Bealtuinn the Scottish Gaelic, and Beltane the usual anglicize form. In Irish it also means the month of May, and in Scottish, May Day.3 Known as May Day on the modern calendar, Beltane began in Rome with a festival called Floralia, which celebrates earth's renewal, vitality, and all the positive things associated with spring. 4 Ancient Irish fire festival honoring fertility. One of the eight sabbats of the Wiccan Year, celebrated on May 1.

Besom: Broom. ²The old name for a broom. In medieval days a Witch might disguise her staff as a broom to escape persecution. Some Witches use a broom to sweep and symbolically cleanse the area where the circle is to be cast. 3Witch's Broom.

Binding:To magickally hold, tie, restrict, or confine.

Bioelectrical Energy: The natural energy which is created in our bodies by muscular contraction. It is available for use during Magick. It is nurtured by personal power, which empowers our bodies and which we daily replenish with food, water, air, sunlight and other energy sources. Bioelectrical energy is the power used in all Magick. In Magickal Aromatherapy, we merge Bioelectrical energy with the powers of fragrances and essential oil.

Biomagnetic Field/Sheath:The energy field that surrounds all living things.

Between-Lives-State:In esoteric thought, the state into which the soul moves out of a physical incarnation (i.e., has died on earth). The soul exists in this state in a subtle energy body, which carries the imprint of what happened to it in former lives. Here the soul formulates its plan for the next life. The between-lives state can also be accessed by the soul during a physical incarnation. While in this state it is possible to heal the past and to access the purpose and plan for the present life.

Black Mass: A deliberate and obscene travesty of the Christian Mass for black Magick purposes, which strictly speaking can only be performed by an unfrocked or corrupt priest. It has never been a part of genuine witchcraft.

Blessed Be: An all-purpose, greeting, response and farewell among Witches. It reminds us that everything and everyone is sacred.

Blessing: The moving of Divine energy to an item or person to grant special protection, care and love. The words "blessed be" are often used among Witches as a greeting and farewell. ² The act of conferring positive Energy upon a person, place or thing. It's a spiritual or religious practice.

Blissed Out:Describes a sensation of heightened awareness in which the subject is excessively joyful, ungrounded, and light headed, unable to function properly in the physical, everyday world.

Blown Chakra:A chakra that has been damaged by drugs, unwise psychic practices, or meditating for too long a period of time. The chakra remains open and cannot perform its functions of energy filtration and mediation.

Boaz: The left pillar of Solomon's Temple (I Kings vii: 21 and II Chronicles iii: 17), making a pair with the right pillar, Jachin. Together they represent the polarized forces of strength and mercy, active and receptive, etc. Boaz and Jachin appear repeatedly in Masonic, Cabalistic and Tarot symbolism.

Bodhisattva: In Buddhism, one who attains the state of Nirvana but delays doing so in order to help others less fortunate. ²A human entity so highly developed that it no longer needs to reincarnate on Earth but chooses to do so in order to help mankind.

Boline /Bolline: (Bw - Leen) A white handled, consecrated ritual knife that is kept sharp. Used for various tasks such as to harvest herbs, make Magickal tools, fix stubborn candle wicks or charcoal during ritual, cut fruit during ritual. 2The white-handled knives, used in Magick and Wiccan ritual for practical purposes such as cutting herbs or piercing a pomegranate. Compare with Athame. 3A white-handled Witch's knife used to carve or cut materials necessary for ritual or healing. Sometimes a Bolline used to harvest herbs will have a small, silver, sickle-shaped blade. 4White-handled knife used for more mundane tasks that the athalme is considered unsuitable for.

Book of Shadows: Like a Bible for a Witch, this book contains beliefs, ritual, charms, spells and incantations. Often hand written and kept with care, this book may be passed down through covens or created by the solitary practitioner. ²A Wiccan book of rituals spells and Magickal lore. Once hand copied upon initiation, The BOS is now photocopied or typed in some Covens. No one "true" Book of Shadows exists; all are relevant to their specific users.³ A collection of Wiccan Ritual information that usually includes religious rituals, Magick and advice. There are many Books of Shadows; there is no one correct Book of Shadows.(4) A traditional book of rituals and instructions, copied by hand by each new witch from that of his initiator. Different forms are passed on by the various Wiccan traditions; the Gardnerian Book of Shadows has been most widely and publicly quoted and misquoted.(5) A personal journal in which Witches keep their notes on ritual and Magick, and perhaps records of dreams, herbal remedies, class notes, and so forth. Also, the guidelines, beliefs and common rituals of a given coven or tradition. Thus there is a distinction between, say, "Samantha's Book of Shadows" and "the Gardnerian Book of Shadows." Today frequently a "Disk of Shadows."

Boomerang Effect: A popular name for the well-known occult principle that a psychic attack which comes up against some stronger defense rebounds threefold on the attacker.

Bouquet: In perfumery, a blend of natural or synthetic scents which reproduce a specific odor, such as rose or jasmine. Also, known as a compound or a blend.

Brew: See Infusion.

'Burning Time':A term used by some witches for the period of persecution of witches (actual or alleged) which reached its height in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Used in reference to England, it is in fact a misnomer; English witches were customarily hanged, not burned, though they were burned in Scotland and on the Continent. ²The period of European history roughly between 1200 and 1700 C.E., during which the Church of Rome launched the Inquisition, an organized campaign of extermination against Jews, Heretics, Pagans, and Homosexuals. The most conservative estimate is that 60,000 people may have been killed; estimates range as high as nine million.

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