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13 Basic Principles Of Witchcraft
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Aboriginal - Pagan tradition of the native Australian people.


Adept - Someone who is considered highly proficient in a particular magickal system or area after serious study and accomplishments.


Adventurine - A magickal stone whose qualities are that of positive, imagination, and a safe conclusion to any form of journey or travel.


Aeromancy - Divination by the stars.


Air - One of the four alchemical elements thought to make up the universe; the others being fire, water and earth. In Wiccan tradition, it is associated with the East, life, the intellect, thought, and the color white or yellow on the physical plane.


Air Signs - The Zodiac signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius which are considered to be ruled by the element of Air.


Aka - The cord between the astral body and the physical body, most likely this concept is derived from the biblical reference to a "silver cord" connected the body and the soul.


Akasha -  To some known as the fifth element of magick, this is the spiritual ether, often called the "Otherworld".

It is the energy out of which the Elements formed and which embraces the other four- earth, air, fire, and water; and from which they stem. This is the realm of pattern" or causality, from which the realm the normally thought of "five senses manifests.


Akashic Records – To some, the plane where all time and space meet, where one may find the answer to all things.  2) the source of "past life" memories.


Alchemy -  1) The science/ Medieval chemistry of changing one thing into another; a combination of chemistry and magick. 2)  A form of high magick which stems from the middle ages noted by the attempts of alchemists to make lead turn into gold.


Allegory -  Is the supreme achievement of Pagan religion. It is the art of using easily understandable symbols to describe difficult or abstract concepts. In this way for example, we describe the interaction of spirit and body, a complex and intangible concept, as the dance of Goddess and God -a concrete and easily understood image from which the higher concept can be extracted. It is allegory which allows us to speak of “energy” as “light”. It is allegory which allows us to speak of the Universe as a Divine Web, connecting all things.


Alexandrian Tradition- A form of Garderian Wiccan practice developed by Alex and Maxine Sanders in Britain in the 1960s. This tradition combines the teachings of the Hebrew Kaballah and those of Anglo-Celtic witchcraft.


Algard - A Wiccan religious tradition founded in the late 70's, by Mary Nesnick, of New York City. It combines elements of both Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions.


Alignment- Synchronization of mental and spiritual vibrations with a god, goddess, or astronomical body. Often the complete balance and centering of the chakras is called an alignment.


Altar - The ritual table in a Magick Circle, at which magickal work is done and on which magickal components, ritual tools, and the Altar Furniture is placed in times of ritual worship or magickal workings. Usually, though varying by Craft tradition and time of year, the Altar is aligned to the East (during the "light half" of the year) and the West (during the "dark half" of the year). Preferably, Altars are circular in shape and do not have any conductive metals in them. The former is the case simply because it makes sense to have a circular altar within a Circle, and the latter is because, scientifically speaking, conductive materials would deter the flow of energy.  Can be an intricately carved table made only for religious acknowledgement purpose, or as simple as a cardboard box or tree stump. Generally used during ritual. Can also be a central place for meditation, divination etc.

Altar Candle(s) - See - Candles, Altar/Ritual


Altar Cloth - A cloth that is placed over an altar or behind it to add to the energy conducted during a magickal working. Witches use many different methods to create and decorate altar cloths. They vary in color and material depending again upon tradition, time of year, and magickal purpose.


Altar Tools / Furniture - The Altar Furniture are the sacred objects for ritual and magick use that are nearly always on the altar, but always during said times of ritual and spell crafting. The objects composing the altar furniture vary from tradition to tradition. In addition, some altar furniture in some traditions shan't be found in others. Eclectic Pagans thus have the choice of what they feel they need as altar furniture. Altar furniture usually includes: deity figures, censer, libation dish (if indoors), salt and water dishes, altar candle(s), besom, athame(s), bolline(s), ritual sword, wand, chalice or goblet, and an altar cloth.


Amaethon - A God of agriculture and the harvest. Called the Harvest King, his magickal symbols are the sickle, hoe, and plow.

Amethyst - A magickal stone whose qualities are that of courage, spiritual development, and psychic or psionic growth.

Amber- One of 2 of most common stone/ jewel associated with Witches. One reason for this is when rubbed it develops negative electrical static.

Amulet - A magickally charged object, traditionally of metal or stone, which is usually prepared to deflect negative energies. Also usually has two or more feelings or effects placed upon it. (e.g. Protection, Healing, and Love.) opposite of this is a talisman.

Ancestors - Deceased family members, Ancestors represent our genetic, social, and/or generational roots. Some traditions of witchcraft employ ancestors in magickal workings as others employ the gods.

Andraste - Also "Andrasta". A Goddess of death, war, and fertility.

Anglo Saxon - (pr   an-glo _ sak-sen) The peoples of Europe. The Celts, the Goths, etc.. See Celtic


Angus - Also "Angus Og", "Oengus". A God of love and intimacy.


Anima - 1. The feminine elements hidden within a man's psyche. The true inner self of an individual, that which demonstrates ideals of conduct, in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung  2. The inner force, the soul. [Lat.]


Animus - 1.The masculine elements hidden within a woman's personality in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung 
2. Disposition or governing spirit 3. Ill will, spiteful or malevolent intent..


Ankh - (pr. aw-nik) The Egyptian symbol which represents life, love, and reincarnation


Anointing - A process of spiritual purification. During ritual, all practitioners are 'blessed' with ritual salt water, oil, or other prepared substance. To anoint a practitioner, the most common way is to 'draw' a "Celtic Cross" upon the forehead, over the 'Third Eye' or "Mind's Eye", followed by a five-pointed star (invoking pentacle) over the heart, and finally an inverted triangle connecting the nipples and pubic region. This is known as The Witches' Triangle of Life.


Anointing Oil - A skin-safe, scented oil that is dabbed on the body (at chosen pulse points or on the forehead) in order to purify and individual mentally and spiritually.

Aphrodite - ( pr  Af-ro-die-tee)  The Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty.

Apollo - ( pr  A-pol-low)  The Greek and Roman God of the Sun, poetry, music, prophecy, and healing. They felt Apollo was the highest embodiment of youthful and masculine beauty.

Apollonian - In religious studies, describes "solar-oriented" religions which emphasize
mastery of the instincts by the conscious mind (named for Apollo, as the
Greek God of light and the Sun)

Apothecary - One who practices herbalism and sometimes alchemy as well; Ancient word for "pharmacist".

Aquamarine - A magickal stone whose qualities are that of clarity, flow, and inspiration.

Aquarian Age - The period of 2000 years (approximately) during in which the sun rises into the astrological sign of Aquarius. Its starting point has been debated as the either the beginning of the 20th or 21st century. It is seen as an era of coming peace, wisdom and enlightenment. CE 2000-4100.



Aquarian Tabernacle Church - Founded in Nov. 1979  is known for it’s Wiccan institution with it’s college level degree program. It’s newest creation is the Pagan based- Spiral Scouts Program in 2001. This program similar to boy and girl scouts with the exception that they meet together and is for those of age 7 to 14.



Aradia - The Italian goddess Diana's daughter, said to be the origin of all Witches. 2) Leland's Aradia, a book detailing information of the Old Religion of Italy. 3) The daughter of Diana. A name for the Goddess used by Italian Witches or Strega, and is commonly used in many Wiccan traditions today. She is considered the Queen of the Witches. 


Arcana - The two halves of the Tarot deck. The Major Arcane consists of 22 cards that depict dominant occurrences in our lives, while the Minor Arcane consists of 56 "suit" cards that depict smaller occurrences or factors in our lives


Arcane - Secret.


Archetype- Symbolic representations of universal principles. Defining concepts in symbolic form. Apollo is an Archetype of the All Father.


Arianrhod - A Welsh Goddess of the dawn. A goddess of higher love and wisdom. She is a star and moon goddess like Sirona. She represents Air of Water. "Arian" means 'silver' and "rhod" means 'silver wheel' or 'disk'. Her magickal symbols are the crescent moon, stars, moonbeams, and a silver eight-spoke wheel, or Wheel of the Year.


Artemis - Her Roman equivalent is Diana. She is one of the twelve great gods and goddesses. She is associated with wildlife and with human birth, the divinity of the light, specifically the light of the moon as well as the twin sister of Apollo


Aromatherapy - A type of healing that utilizes certain fragrances. Scent Magick.


Arthurian Tradition- A Welsh tradition of Paganism based on the lore of King Arthur (the "Once and Future King"), Merlin the Magician, and Guinevere.


As above so below - This phrase represents the idea that all things we think and feel as well as all minor objects and occurrences in the universe are mirrored in the larger universe as a whole. The idea is also illustrated by the phrase of "the macrosm (the entire universe or big picture) is equal to the microsm (each of the host of tiny universes in existence)". Each and every being is like a tiny universe, and that tiny universe reflects the entire universe as a whole.


Asatru - This tradition is based on the Old Norse gods. Practitioners generally work in re-creations of Old Norse dress. They celebrate four Solar Fire festivals and Old Norse holidays.


Aspecting - An advanced magical practice which is seen most commonly in a coven as opposed to solitary. The practitioner attempts to manifest an aspect of the Goddess or the God. This is seen in the Pagan ritual of Drawing Down the Moon as well as in other Pagan religions such as Vodou, where the priest often allows the deity to speak through his or her body.


Asperge - The purification of the circle, sacred space or participants by sprinkling liquid such as wine or more commonly in Wiccan tradition, water to which salt has been added.


Asperger- A bundle of fresh herbs either carrying dew or dowsed with spring water, wine etc, used to sprinkle the water on an area, over yourself or others during ritual purification.


Astral Plane - Another plane or dimension, the plane of existence or energy, between the Physical and the Mental Planes. This plain is is used to affect other planes through the use of magick. It is seen as a parallel world, vibrating at a higher frequency than the physical world.

Astral Projection - From your physical body in order to travel to the Astral Plane.


Astrology- The practice of revealing the future by interpreting the arrangement of stars and planets in relation to astrological theory and the zodiac.

Athame - (pr. AH-tha-may or ah-THA-may) A ceremonial object usually used to focus energy. Most frequently a black-handled knife, but other objects may be used. Generally will only be used by it's owner.

Atheist - A person who does not believe in any form of deity, or greater power in the universe than Humankind. Witches are not Atheist, although it is possible for an Atheist to practice magick.


Athena - Also "Athene". The Greek Goddess of wisdom, arts, industries, and warfare. The Romans called her "Minerva".


Attune/ment - To bring different psyches into harmony. An activity which bring the mind, emotion, psyche and/or the chakras into balance within an individual. This is also used to harmonize the energies of a group prior to ritual, which may include chanting, meditation or breathing exercises as a focus.


Augury - Divination based on "signs" or omens.


Aura - An energy field which surrounds living beings. An aura is most often visible only to those born with the skill to see it, or those who developed this ability. A visible aura contains various colors and tells about the spiritual and emotional persona of the plant, human, or creature surrounded by it. However, an aura can also be felt, heard, or sensed through other means.

Auspice- In regards to pagan beliefs, Auspice is the phase of the moon which has influence at a given time. Used in Astrology. 2. Also meaning "omen", the ancient Romans used the way birds flew as auspices.

Authoritarian - Having leaders or higher authorities.

Automatic Writing - An individual goes into an altered state of consciousness, channels a spirit entity and allows it the use of the individual's writing arm and hand to communicate.


Auto Suggestion - Self programming, such as in self- hypnosis or trance (alpha) state.


Autumnal Equinox - The Fall Equinox. See Equinox and Mabon. 

Avalon - Land of the Otherworld, where the Gods live.

Avatar - An enlightened soul, who chooses to reincarnate in order to teach less evolved souls. Some examples of these enlightened souls are Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed.

Azurite - A magickal stone whose qualities are that of healing and clarity.

Bacchus - The Roman God of Wine. The Greeks called him "Dionysus".


Balefire - Either named from Celtic, bel meaning “bright” or Anglo-Saxon, bael  meaning “a fire”.  A bonfire, Balefires are traditional lit to celebrate old Pagan festivals/ Sabbats. This is adapted for inside use in a small cauldron on the altar for celebration.


Bane - Evil, causes chaos, destroys life, destructive.

Banish - To magickally end something or to send away. The act of removing/dispelling energy or forces when they are no longer needed.


Baphomet -  There is a bit of history sooo to sum it up, It was the deity worshipped by the Knights Templar, one of the names adopted by Aleister Crowley when he joined the Ordo Templis Orientalis, a secret sexual magic order formed around 1896 in Germany, The main symbol now used by Satanists as an inverted pentagram with the head of a goat (Baphomet) within the pentagram. Most  Wiccans, Pagans & Witches abhor it.


Bard - A poet, musician, story-teller (historian) of the pagans. The term is most commonly used to denote the priestly historians of Druidic myth.


Barley Moon, Corn Moon - August  Persephone, virgin Goddess of rebirth, carries a sheaf of barley as a symbol of the harvest.


Barrow - a burial mound, such as found in Celtic or Native American archeological


Bath - Oldest known writing of ancient Egypt 2500BCE where there is mention of the ritual bath to be both reviving and purifying. Eleusinian Mysteries required that the initiation started with bathing in the sea to cleans both physically and spiritually. Today the bath can consist of just sprinkling the initiate with water.


B.C.E  Before Common Era, -  Synonymous with B.C.  but without religious bias.

Belenus - Also "Bel", "Belanos".  In Scottish it means (May). A solar God of life, truth, inspiration, music, and health. He represents Fire of Fire and his magickal symbols are the sun disc, a golden harp, a golden curved sword, and spear.

Belisama - A Goddess of fire, the maiden aspect of the Goddess Bridget. Her name means "like unto flame" or "bright and shining one". Her magickal symbol it the rising sun.

Bell - Altar or ritual tool used for beginning or ending a ritual or ceremony. Bells are often used in ritual work to invite, call or invoke spirits to participate.

Beltane - literally "God’s fire" (Bel-tayn)- Bel or Baal- The God and Celtic teine meaning Fire. The third of the four ancient Celtic Fire Festivals. Festival of Flowering" Is the beginning of the 'Light Half' of the year, and is one of the two greatest Sabbats Samhain being the second.  The Goddess (in her feminine aspect as maiden) assumes the 'mantle' and worship shifts slightly more towards Her.  Beltaine is a Greater Sabbat celebrated on April 30th (the eve of) or May 1st. Beltane is also known as May Day, Roodmas, and Walpurgisnacht. It celebrates birth, fertility and the blossoming of all life, as personified by the union of the Goddess and the Sun God. It is reenacted ritually by both the Maypole Dance and the Great Rite. 

Besom - (pr. BEH-som) A broom; most frequently used to sweep a circle clear of unwanted energy. It symbolizes the unification of both the male and female principles with the handle as the phallic aspect and the brush as the feminine aspect. However, the besom is a feminine tool and represents the element of water. Handfastings often include the "jumping of the broom" as part of the ceremony.



Bi-location - Like astral projection but traveling in reality and realizing where you are, what your doing etc...


Bind - To magickally restrain someone or something. To cast a spell upon and impose your will by the use of magick

Black Magick  - Any negative magick performed to harm or manipulate people or situations in a negative way. Practitioners of black magick are said to be on the "left hand path."


Black Mass - This ritual dates back to the 14th century in France. This was the time when the Church was persecuting heretics as they were in retaliation of the Church.The Knights Templar, in particular, were accused of conducting these Masses and also other blasphemous rites in which they denounced Christ, spit on and trampled the cross, and worshipped the Devil. The Black Mass is not connected with witchcraft, despite popular modern belief. The Black Mass is a perversion of the highest Christian sacrament.


Black Mirror - A tool used for scrying and divination. The mirror has a black reflective coating unlike normal mirrors. See Scrying Mirror


Black Moon - A Black Moon occurs when there are two dark cycles of the moon in any given calendar month. It is believed that the second dark moon of a time of great power within the spiritual world and any magick worked during this time is especially powerful.


Blessed Be - A term derived from the ritual of the Five-fold Kiss, it is simple a blessing commonly used by wiccans and pagans as a greeting or a goodbye. Abbreviated as BB or B*B.

Blessing - The act of bestowing positive energy by thought, action or word upon a person, place or thing. It is both a spiritual and religious practice. 


Blood of the Moon - A woman's menstrual cycle. A woman's time of greatest energy or power is during the peak of her ovulations.


Blood Moon, Hunter's moon - October start of the Dark Half of the Celtic year. Scorpio heralds the dark season when the sun is at its lowest and the first snows fly.

Bloodstone - A magickal stone whose qualities are that of creativity, vitality, energy, and knowledge.

Blue Moon - A Blue Moon occurs when the moon with its 28 day cycle appears twice within the same calendar month, due to that month's 31 day duration. Many consider the Blue Moon to be a goal moon where you set specific goals for yourself.


Boleen, Bolline - A magickal tool which is a white-handled Knife with a sickle-shaped blade. It is used for cutting herbs and cords, as well as inscribing symbols, such as on a candle.

Book of Shadows -  BOS, A witch's Grimoire. This is traditionally a hand-copied book containing rituals, spells, recipes, herbal information, guidelines and other writings.  Each tradition has it's own standard version of a Book of Shadows and each Witch's book will be different as he or she adds to it over time. It may also be a personal book with information added from many different sources. 

Borvo - Also "Bormo" and "Bormanus". A Celtic "Apollo" and God of healing. Represents Fire of Water; such as hot springs and mineral waters. A God of the unseen truth and inspiration through dreams. His magickal symbols are the same as those of "Belenus" with the addition of a flute and hot springs.

Bran - Also "Bron". A protector of poets and bards. He is an excellent singer and his magickal symbol is the bard's harp.

Branwen - A Welsh Goddess of love, sometimes known as "the White-Bosomed One" and "the Venus of the Northern Sea". Her magickal symbol is a white crow.

Bride's/Brigid's Day - St. Breid's Day or Candlemas. See Imbolc.


Bridget - (pr bridge-it)  A sun and fire Goddess, representing Fire of Fire. She is the Goddess of the hearth and home and represents the sacred fire. She is a Goddess of smithcraft, healing, medicine, poetry, and inspiration. Her magickal symbols are the spindle and distaff, the sacred flame or balefire, the cauldron, and her brass shoe.


British Tradition - There are a number of different British Traditions, all of which are based on what people believe to tbe the pre-Christian practices of England. Many British Traditional groups follow Janet and Stewart Farrar, who have written a number of influential books about witchcraft. The groups tend to be structured, with training for neophytes (beginners) following a degree program. Their practices are said to be a mix of Celtic and Gardnerian traditions.


British Traditional - A Mix of Celtic and Gardenarian beliefs. Most famous organization at this time is the International Red Garters. British Traditionals move mostly from within the Farrar studies (the famous Witch husband and wife from England.) They are fairly structured in their beliefs, and train through the degree process. Their covens are co-ed.


Broom Closet - Not meant literally, this is a term used to describe someone who is "in the broom closet", or in other words, who is not public with their pagan practices.


Bruja Brujo – The name given to a female witch – Bruja  and male witch- Brujo in Mexico.


Buckland , Raymond - The man credited for the modern Craft movement in America, which he began in the 1960's and 70's. He studied with Gardner and has written many books on Witchcraft and Magick. He also founded the Tradition known as "Seax-Wica" - taken from Anglo-Saxon Witchcraft. Buckland and his wife were brought into the Craft by the same High Priestess as Gerald Gardner. See also "Gardner, Dr. Gerald B."


Bune Wand - A Scottish name for a two-pronged staff. It referred to a Witch's spirit flight upon these riding poles. In Germany, the word gabelreiterinnen was used to describe a Witch and translated as "pitchfork-rider." In some traditions, the ends of these poles are carved to represent an erect phallus that is then concealed by being bound with ash and birch twigs. In this form, the wand also becomes the besom or broom that is so often associated with the stereotypical witch.


Burning Times - The reference to a historical time around mid-fifteenth through mid-eighteenth centuries (1400-1750) When the persecution against witches was at it’s highest. See Inquisition