Wiccan Terminology

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A fire lit for magical purposes, usually outdoors. Balefires are traditional on Yule, Beltane and Midsummer.

That which is poisonous, evil, destructive, dangerous, negative, etc. Paired to indicate the negative as in "wolfbane","hensbane" and "baneberry".

To drive away that which is unwanted by using magick or ritual.

A ritual performed to remove negative or evil influences from the circle.

Used to summon deities and as instruments for sacred music.

May Eve festival (on or around 1 May). One of the Ancient Celtic "Fire Festivals" On this night, the cattle were driven between two bonfires to protect them from disease. Couples wishing for fertility would "jump the fires" on Beltane night. Also the traditional Sabbat where the rule of the "Wheel of the Year" is returned to the Goddess. This Festival also marks the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from those of Maiden to Mother.

A broom used by Witches for the ritual cleansing of an area. Contrary to popular belief it is not used for flying.

A magickal spell, which usually involves tying of knots on a cord, to restrain something or someone. Usually this is performed to stop something or someone from harming another or themselves.

A powerful magical talisman, normally made from wood or metal, and inscribed with two or more different rune symbols which are combined into an aesthetically pleasing way.

A deliberate and obscene travesty of the Christian Mass for evil (black) magic purposes, which strictly speaking can only be performed by an unfrocked or corrupt priest. This is not a Pagan term, but rather a Christian or the rebels of Christianity born term.

Tool used for divination and dark aspect meditations.

An all purpose greeting, response and farewell among Witches. It reminds us that everything and everyone is sacred. Pronounced as three syllables.

If the woman's menstrual circle occurs over a New or Full Moon it is known as the Blood of the Moon. A woman so attuned is more powerful than during other times of the month.

A human entity so highly developed that it no longer needs to reincarnate on Earth but chooses to do so in order to help mankind.

Practical knife of witchcraft used for practical purposes such as cutting herbs and inscribing objects. Traditionally this is a white handled knife but brown (wood) is also accepted. It is normally only used within the circle.

Also known as a Witches Grimoire. Traditionally this is a hand written book of a Witches spells, rituals, poems, recipes and inspirations. There is no one single Book of Shadows and each is individual to the writer. In most cases parts may have been copied from a covens "standard" Book of Shadows or from the book of another adept Witch. Traditionally this book is destroyed when the owner dies or is returned to the coven for disposal. Sometimes a book is handed down to a sibling, but this is usually only accepted if so instructed by the original owner. Some traditions have a "standard" Book of Shadows which serves as the basis for new initiates, but the initiates book soon changes as additions are made. The name is believed to be a remainder from the burning times when witches had to remain "in the shadows".

A popular name for the well-known occult principle that a psychic attack which comes up against a stronger defense rebounds threefold (though this is metaphorical) on the attacker

The term refers to that period in history when people accused of Witchcraft were hunted and executed by burning or being hanged. It is believed that actual burning only occurred in Scotland and the European continent. In other areas they were usually hanged. It is believed red-haired women were also burned/hanged because the color of their hair indicated to Christian that they had made a pact with the devil. The Christian church sought to destroy any religion they did not understand during this time. The term "devil worshipper" was not only stamped on Witches, but any other non-Christian religion which they did not understand.

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