The Dictionary of Wiccan Terms

W

Walpurgis Night: See Bealtaine.

Wand:A magical tool used to invoke or conduct energy. This is generally a very personal tool of one priest or priestess, in the manner of the athame, and is often hand-crafted by its user. While usually made out of wood, a wand may also be made of metal, crystal, or any other natural substance that has a long, baton-like shape. Used in many different types of magick, often to cast or scribe a circle. 2One of the ritual tools used in Wicca, the wand is an instrument of Invocation, usually utilized to call upon the Goddess and the God. 3One of the four elemental tools, representing the Air element - or in some traditions, the Fire element. 4A ritual tool of Fire or Air, traditionally of fruitwood and about seventeen inches long, which can be used in magick to attract or repel. Modern wands are sometimes made of glass, copper, crystal, or other materials. 5Magical tool representing elemental air and the power of the will. Most often made of wood or metal, often the length of the arm from the inner elbow to the tip of the middle finger.

Waning Moon: Decreasing in size, the period marked from Full Moon to New Moon. Magicks worked during this time often have to do with releasing bad habits, any type of abatement, or even prudence.

Warlock: Not a term for a male Witch. Warlock means "oath breaker". A male Witch is called a Witch.

Watchtowers: The four directional points at the perimeter of a magick circle. The four elementals, air, fire water, and earth, are called to be guardians of the directional points, to lend their energies to the magick, and to guard the circle. ≤Another name for the Guardians or four major elements of the Magick Circle, so named because they are believed to watch over the sacred space and protect all within from harm. ≥The four cardinal points regarded as guardians of the Magick Circle.

Water: The fourth element of the alchemical tradition, water is generally considered to have a feminine delineation. Animals included in this are fish, gulls, and beavers. Magick which employs water as a component often pertains to healing, calming, fertility, emotions, and replenishing inner strength. ≤The element corresponding in some traditions to the West; light green, medium blue, and silver; emotions and intuition.

Waxing Moon: The time period from the New Moon until the Full Moon, used in magick for bringing positive change, growth, and thing your need into your life.

Wheel of the Year: A term for the seasonal cycle of Sun and Earth. Also called the Sabbats. ≤Probably had its origins with the Roman God Fortuna( thus the Wheel of Fortune in the Tarot). The Wheel of the Year is basically a representation of the seasons, of the part fate plays in all things, and of ever changing life. It is represented in the Tarot by the tenth card in the Major Arcana, and is alluded to by the circular table of Arthurian legend. ≥The cycle of seasons extending throughout the year. For most Witches, the year ends and begins at Samhain, or ends at Samhain and begins at Yule.

White-Handled Knife: A normal cutting knife, with a sharp blade and white handle. It is used within Wicca to cut herbs and fruits, to slice bread during the simple feast and for other functions- but never for sacrifice. Sometimes called the Boline. Compare with Athame. ≤ A ritual knife for use within the Magic Circle whenever actual cutting or inscribing is called for - this being forbidden for the Athame (q.v).

Wicca:A contemporary Pagan religion with spiritual roots in shamanism and in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature as manifestations of deity. Among its features are the reverence of the universal energy, the ultimate source of all life, as a Goddess and a God: reincarnation; magick; ritual observances of the Full Moon; astronomical and agricultural phenomena; spheroid temples, created with personal power, in which rituals occur.A contemporary Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence of nature as a manifestation of the divine. Wicca views Deity as Goddess and God; thus it is polytheistic. It also embraces the practice of Magick and accepts reincarnation. Religious festivals are held in observance of the Full Moon and other astronomical (and agricultural) phenomena. It has no associations with Satanism. ≥The usual witches' name for the Craft (q.v). It derives from the Old English wiccian, 'to practice witchcraft'. It is a slight mis-derivation, since wicca in Old English meant 'a male witch' (and wicce 'a female witch'). The actual Old English for witchcraft was wiccacræft. But the present usage is now long-established and there is ever reason why it should continue. (4) A beneficent and magickal Earth religion which celebrates the immanent Triple Goddess of the Moon and the Horned God of Nature; also called the Old Religion, the Craft, or Witchcraft. Also, the old term for a male Witch. From the Anglo-Saxon "holy or consecrated"; possibly related to "wise" or "to bend or shape".

Wiccan: Of or relating to Wicca.(2) The name given to anyone who follows the religion of Wicca (note that one may be a witch without being a Wiccan).

Wiccaning:A ritual for the naming and blessing of a new baby or small child. ≤In Wicca, the ritual blessing of a newly born baby; it is the witches' equivalent of a christening, except that it is not intended to commit the child permanently to any one path, since that should be the individual's adult decision.

Wiccan Rede: The ethical core of the Craft, summed up in eight words: "An ye harm none, do as ye will". In modern language: "As long as you do not harm anyone, follow your inner guidance, your True Will."

Wicce:A female Witch.

Widdershins: (wid-der-shins) Counterclockwise motion. 2Anti-clockwise motion, usually used in the Northern Hemisphere for negative magickal purposes or dispersing negative energies or conditions such as dis-ease. Southern Hemisphere Wiccans may use widdershins motions for exactly the opposite purposes; namely for positive ends, for the reason stated in the entry under Deosil. In either case, widdershins and deosil motions are symbolic; only strict, close-minded traditionalists believe that accidently walking around the altar backwards, for instance will raise negativity. Their use in Wicca stems from ancient European rituals practiced by peoples who watched and revered the Sun and Moon in their daily revolutions. Widdershins, motion, within ritual contexts, is still shunned by the vast majority of Wiccans, though others use it once in a while, for instance, to disperse the Magick Circle at the end of a Rite. 3In an anti-clockwise direction, against the sun (cf. Deosil). This is a Teutonic word (Middle High German Widersinnes); the Gaelic equivalent is Tuathal. 4Counterclockwise; the direction a magician moves when she or he wishes to banish, remove or release energy. See Deosil for the opposite term. 5Counterclockwise movement.

Witch: A term commonly used interchangeably with Wiccan. Denotes either a female or a male practitioner of Wicca. Witch is also used to refer to non-Wiccans, in other words: A Wiccan can also be called a Witch, but a witch is not necessarily a Wiccan. ≤One who practices a tradition of Wicca, the wise Craft. These traditions include, but are not limited to, Gardernarian, Celtic, European, Norse, Alexandrian, Dianic, Egyptian, and many more. Contrary to modern misconceptions, Witches do not consider themselves Satanists, as this entity has no place in the Divine order of Wiccan theology.≥ Anciently, a European practitioner of the remnants of pre-Christian folk magick, particularly that relating to herbs, healing, wells, rivers, and stones. One who practiced Witchcraft. Later, this term's meaning was deliberately altered to denote demented, dangerous, supernatural beings who practiced destructive magick and who threatened Christianity. This change was a political, monetary, and sexist move on the part of organized religion, not a change in the practice of Witches. This later, erroneous meaning is still accepted by non-witches. It is also , somewhat surprisingly, used by some members of Wicca to describe themselves. (4) A priestess or priest of the Old Religion, Wicca.(5) Someone who uses spells, conjurations, and other occult/magickal methods to rais and direct energy.

Witch Bottle: A container filled with sharp objects, vinegar, mirror parts, and urine that is kept near or in the home to protect against negativity.

Witchcraft:Usually folk magick -- that is, practical and earthy spells designed to improve the spell-caster's life. Witchcraft and Wicca are often used interchangeably, producing confusion. Many of those who call themselves "Witch" are not wiccans but spell-casters or magicians. ≤ The craft of the Witch- Magick, especially magick utilizing Personal Power in conjunction with the energies within stones, herbs, colors, and other natural objects. While this may have spiritual overtones, Witchcraft, using this definition, isn't a religion. However, some of the followers of Wicca use this word to denote their religion.(When it is used in this manner, the first 'w' should be uppercase). ≥See Wicca. From the Anglo-Saxon wiccacraeft, related to the words for magick, divination, wisdom, and bending or shaping. The term has been misused by the Inquisition and careless anthropologists to indicate devil worship, evil magick, or magick generally from any culture.

Witch Queen: A High Priestess from whose coven as least two other covens have hived off.

Witch's Ladder: A string of forty beads, or a cord with forty knots, used (like a rosary) as an aid to concentrated repetition without the need for actual counting.

Witches' Pyramid: A symbolic depiction of the qualities necessary to practice magick. The four sides of the pyramid are imagination, will, secrecy or silence, and faith. The pyramid is filled with love and rests on a foundation of knowledge.

Witches' Rune: A power raising chant accompanied by a ring dance. The words used by Gardnerians and Alexandrians were composed by Doreen Valiente and Gerald Gardner together.

Witch Jewels: Female Witches wear necklaces of gemstones or other natural materials, and some males wear a metal torc. The High Priestess may wear a crescent tiara, necklace of amber and jet, and special garter; the High Priest may wear a horned headdress. Witches of both sexes may wear an inscribed silver bracelet, rings, amulets and talismans, and other symbolic jewelry.

Working: An act of magick, e.g. "A working" , or merely, the process of doing ritual.

Working Center:Performing the function of High Priestess or High Priest for a ritual.

Working Partner: The priest or priestess with whom one customarily works ritual. More often than not, the relationship also includes that of spouse, lover, and/or domestic partner, but this is not always the case. There are working partners who are married, those who are lovers, and there are also those who are each happily and faithfully married to others, yet have an effective working partnership as High Priestess and High Priest of their circle.

Wort: An old term meaning herb. Mugwort preserves the word.

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