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Pagan / Witchy Glossary
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13 Basic Principles Of Witchcraft
Witchy names of herbs
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Halloween,  All Hallows Eve - The Pagan holiday. See Samhain.

Handfasting - A Pagan "marriage", although the word ‘marriage' isn't quite right at all. The first handfasting is of short duration, such as a year and a day, If the couple chooses to stay together a second handfasting/marriage will be the permanent bond. For the marriage to be legally binding, the Priest or Priestess performing the ceremony must be in compliance with their states laws as clergy (which varies).

Hand parting - a Wiccan, Pagan divorce.

Hare Moon, Wind Moon- April start of the Light Half of the Celtic year.  The sacred animal was associated in Roman legends with springtime and fertility.

Harvest Moon, Fruit Moon- September  Marking the season when domestic animals were sacrificed for winter provisions. Libra's full moon occasionally became the Wine Moon when a grape harvest was expected to produce a superior vintage. 

Healing - In regards to Paganism, this is both physical and spiritual. Healing is not only accomplished through medicinal substances, as offered by Herbalism, but through our own energies and minds as well.

Heathen - In Christianity it is a derogatory word used to describe anyone not of their faith, originating during the times of the spread of Christianity. The actual translation of the word, as appropriate at the time of its inception, is simply, "one who dwells on the heath/hearth".

Hecate - The Greek Goddess of ghosts and the Earth; the Dark Mother. Associated with magick and Witchcraft for centuries.

Hedge Witch - A rural practitioner who has little formal training, or one who has no recognition of the religious side of Witchcraft. But has great herbal knowledge

Heptagram - A seven-pointed star drawn with one unbroken line. Symbolic of the number seven, which is important not only to the seven traditional astrological planets but also to the seven planes and sub-planes and the seven chakras.

Herbalist - one who works with herbs

Herbalism - The science in which the magickal and other properties of herbs and other plants are utilized for certain purposes, most commonly concocting natural medicines for bettering one's health and/or healing various ailments.

Herbs - A plant (also known as wort) that has a use for medicinal or magickal purposes.

Hereditary Witch - A person who was raised in and has learned their Path from their ancestors.

Heretic - One who holds a different religious view than those of the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish churches, schools and professions.

Hertha - Also "Herdda". A Goddess of rebirth and healing. She is an earth Goddess representing the greening of spring time. Her magickal symbols are the cow, calf, and milk pail.

Hexagram - Six-pointed star. By some it represents the principle of *As above, so below*-harmony between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm.  Can be used to invoke or banish spirits.

Hierophant- A priest of the mysteries who reveals his secrets only to the initiates.

High Magick -  Is simply ceremonial or ritual magick. It is more directly related to the Divine Power of the Gods. High Magick is not necessarily more powerful than Low Magick. See Also Low  Magick.

High Priest - A male witch who has been initiated into the 3rd degree. Male leader within a coven / group  and plays the role of God in certain ceremonies. Abbreviated in written rituals as HP.

High Priestess - A female witch who has been initiated into the 3rd degree. Female leader within a coven / group and plays the role of Goddess in certain ceremonies. Abbreviated as HPS in written rituals.

Higher Self - The higher portion of ones being, through which the connection to the Divine is perceived. By attuning to the Higher Self we move in concert with the part of us which is Divine and have access to its knowledge and powers.

Hived, Hived off - A coven that has branched off part of a previous coven is said to have "hived off" the older coven, to form a new, separate entity, generally within the same tradition.  Although sometimes this is done to keep the coven a manageable size, it may also occur when there are irreconcilable philosophical or political differences. 
Hoodoo - A 200 year old religio-magickal practice started when the African slaves were brought to the Americas. It is the result of the combining of both African Voodoo and English/European Tradition(s).

Horn - 1. A ritual tool used for calling group members to circle by sounding it. It is found in Norse, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon traditions. 2. A ritual tool used in place of the Chalice for the Ale/Simple Feast.  It is found in Norse, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon traditions.

Horned God- Consort of the Goddess. The ancient God of Fertility: the God of forest, flock, and field and also of the hunt. He is Lord of Life, and the Giver of Life, yet He is also Lord of Death and Resurrection. Represents sexuality, vitality, the hunt, logic and power. Pagan father God often mistaken for, or associated with Satan, this is an incorrect assumption. He is the Celtic Cernunnos, the Welsh Caerwiden, the English Herne the Hunter, the Hindu Pashupati, the Greek Pan and the satyrs, and even the Paleolithic cave painting "the Sorcerer" in the Cave of the Three Brothers in France.

Horned Helmet - A helmet with horns used by some traditions of Witchcraft worn by the High Priest during times of ritual. During these times, the High Priest is the embodiment of the Horned God.

Hydromancy - The divination by water or other liquid (as by visions seen there in or the ebb and flow of tides)

I Ching - A Chinese system of divination in which yarrow stalks, or coins are cast to create hexagrams, which are then interpreted

Imbolc/Imbolg/ Oimelc - (pr.  ‘im molk") which means "in the belly"  The third of the four ancient Celtic Fire Festivals. 'Oimelc' (Old Irish) derives from an old Celtic word for Ewe's Milk.  It marks the successful passing of winter and he beginning of the agricultural year. Imbolc or Imbolg and signifies the growing of life in the womb of Mother Earth. It celebrates Brigid (Brigit), the Irish Celtic goddess of fire, fertility, crops, livestock, wisdom, poetry, and household arts. And brings the first signs of life to the darkness of the Earth. The Goddess prepares for the birth of the Sun God. 

Immanence - The belief that Deity exists within all things, including people, and cannot be separated from them.

Incantation - Words spoken or chanted magickally as part of a spell or ritual.

Incense - The use of incense is very ancient, have been burned during religious rituals for millennia. In its earliest form it was probably thrown directly on the fire, or used to fuel the fire. Incense is used to raise the vibration of a place and to lend its own qualities to the energies being raised there. Incense It was said that the smoke carried the 'prayers' and wishes or the practitioner(s) to the Gods. Varieties are incense cones, sticks, raw form and smudge sticks -all of which are directly lit with an open flame as from a match or lighter- powdered incense which is burned over a hot charcoal rather than being directly lit itself.

Infusion - a strong tea. Many recipes will call for a full oz. of herb to one pint of water. Some think that's too much.I just throw in the amount that feels right. This is simply the process of soaking the herb in water. Heat water until just boiling, pour it over the herb, cover the cup, let sit undisturbed for 15-30 minutes. Drink it. Wash with it. Pour it in your bath or anoint yourself with it.

Initiate - From the Latin initi (um) which literally translates as) 1)  "beginning".   2) One who has passed initiated by another person, or into a coven or by a private or 3rd degree or higher Teacher.
Initiation -  To induct into membership by special ceremonies. More specifically, however, the dictionary defines initiation as the introduction into the secret knowledge of some art or subject, and/or the formal admission into a society, club, or group that keeps such knowledge. 2) Secret ritual by which a Postulant is admitted into membership in the Craft, club or some sort of group involving a symbolic death-and-rebirth, it is a spiritual rebirth into the Craft, and adoption into the spiritual family of the Coven, and of the Tradition.

Initiation,  Coven - 1) Ritual by which a person is admitted into membership involving a symbolic death-and-rebirth, it is a spiritual rebirth into the Craft.   2) A ritual during which an individual is introduced or admitted into a coven, circle or group. In many covens, there are initiations into the progressive degrees of priest(ess)hood. The first is done when one is accepted into the coven and others are traditionally done as one learns more and attains a higher degree. Sometimes, Inner and Outer Circles come into play. See also Inner Circle, Outer Circle  and Degree System

Initiation,  Solitary - Due to vast amount of contradictions surrounding the term self (singular)-initiation (plural -to be inducted into membership) it is seen by most Elders to the Craft as a Dedication and the term self initiation contradicts itself. However any Solitary could indeed be initiated by another Solitary if certain criteria is met. The definitions are ignored mostly by Solitaries as well as some others due to two primary reasons; There are no local covens, circles or groups in which to be initiated. The person already knows that the local “thing” will not be a good fit for them.    See Dedication

Inner Circle - A coven's Inner Circle is composed of the coven's founders and/or its most learned members. Usually, one has to have attained third degree (in the coven's eyes) to be a full member of the coven's Inner Circle. If a coven has any "secrets", only the Inner Circle knows them or has access to them.

Inquisition - 1000C.E. through the 18th century when it is said that over nine million people were tortured, burned and hung during this campaign of extermination against, Pagans, Jews, heretics and homosexuals.  It is from this time that the negative connotations of the word "witch" were conceived and have survived to our modern day. Victims may or may not have been Witches. Historians indicated that the majority of people tortured and murdered were women and children. 

Inscribe - To carve or mark something. For example, carving a rune into a candle is to inscribe that candle.

Intent - We do magic by consciously focusing energy. We shape that energy through thought and emotion. The energy takes its direction from the “intent” we set into that thought and emotion. “Intent” is your goal or purpose -what you wish to achieve.

Invisibility - The withdrawal of involvement by an individual by the form of a spell so great an extent that other people fail to notice the presence of that individual, or notice but immediately forget.

Invoking / Invocation - to bring something in from without, An appeal or petition to a higher power such as the Goddess and God.

Inward Silence - An inward stilling and letting go of the emotions and mental preoccupations that prevent a ritual from working effectively.

Ishtar – The Mother Goddess of ancient Babylonian and Assyrian. Her Semitic name was Inanna and her worship spread through the middle east and Greece. In 2350 BCE was the text creation of The Exaltation of Inanna.

Isis – The great Egyptian Goddess. She was known as the one with ten thousand names. Her Consort is usually Osiris

Jack-In-The-Green - 1. (ancient) A nature spirit which guards the woodlands. He is often portrayed as a face covered with leaves, particularly on Christian churches. 2. (modern) Used as another name for the God in his Woodland Aspect. See Green Man.

Jade - A stone whose magickal  qualities are that of protection, cleansing, earth, and divine love.

Joss Stick - Incense in a stick form.

Juno Roman Godess mentioned as the Queen of the Gods. She accompanied every woman from birth to death.

Kabala -   Also known as the Cabala and Qabalah. It is the ancient magickal system, mysticism; metaphysical practices that teaches that god is in everything. Derived from certain Jewish rabbinical texts, probably originating in early Chaldean and other Mesopotamian cultures, including possibly the ancient

Kahuna - A practitioner of the old Hawaiian philosophical, scientific and magical system.

Kalends - The Roman Pagan New Year which occurred close to the Solstice. The modern word Calendar is derived from it.

Karma - a belief system that is similar to the saying "what goes around, comes around". The laws of cause and effect that applies to all of our actions and their consequences in this life or in future incarnations.

Kitchen Magick -  A practical form of witchcraft done in the kitchen.

Kitchen Witch - A practitioner of Kitchen Witchcraft mainly for suburban or lower budget witches that allows one to utilize household items instead of the often expensive ritual items.

Kitchen Witchery/ Witchcraft -  From the term "Kitchen Witch" It brings up many different images to people, The most common used today is that the high priced tools are un-attainable to the low budget Witch thus leaving them to use everyday household items, but another idea is that of a Witch who uses common everyday items drawing up memories of the Burning Times, when it was necessary to hide your working tools from those who would persecute you for their possession.

Labrys - An ancient Crete symbolization of the Goddess through a double-headed ax, portraying the "crescent moon" shapes in the blades. Still used by some Wiccans as a ritual tool.

Lady – The Goddess.  We refer to Her by any of the names of Her aspects.  She is a triple Goddess; Maiden Mother and Crone. We identify ourselves with different aspects of Her at different points in our lives, as well as appealing to different aspects for different things.  She is all encompassing, containing especially all creative and procreative properties, all aspects of nurturing and healing, all forms of birth and rebirth, all growth and plenty.  All women partake of Her nature, and are part of Her.  All things are Her children.  She is the earth, the moon, the stars and the rain.  Together, the Lord and the Lady bring forth all the life that is on the earth. It is also a ritual title for the High Priestess. See Lord

Lammas - From the Old English, meaning "Loaf Mass"; the Christianized Pagan Festival of the First-fruits of the Harvest. See Lughnassadh.

Lamen - Originally a plate of metal upon which magic names or symbols were inscribed, usually worn around the neck during ritual.

Lapis Lazuli - A Stone whose magickal qualities are that of psychic development, divination, protection, creativity, and power.

Law of Return - Whatever energy is sent out returns to the sender multiplied.  Some traditions say it is multiplied by three, and therefore call this principle the “Law of three”/ "Threefold Law".

Law of Three - A law that states "whatever you do returns threefold". (Harming someone returns harm on you three times, helping someone returns good things three times.) Some mean this literally, others mean it symbolically: that you will repeat the experience as many times as necessary to learn the lesson it offers, “Three” here simply meaning “multiple times.” The true meaning of the Law of Three has nothing to do with the number of times, but with the concept that Karma is about
learning rather than simply balancing out ones acts.

Laws of Witchcraft - A list of rules for Witches, focusing on individual conduct and coven operations.  They are sometimes called the 'Ordains'.  Several versions exist.  Their origins are unclear: they may be from the Burning Times, or recent, or a pastiche of ancient and modern.  Generally, each coven has a set of Laws, sometimes divided into Spiritual, Physical (or Mundane) and Magickal categories.

Left-hand Path- A term for people who feel that they are justified in using magick for purposes that are not constructive to other human beings.

Levitation- To float in the air without aid. This is accomplished through meditation and the utilization of mental powers.

Ley Lines - Are straight channels of energy which travel from one center to another and stretch across the World. Ancient sites such as Stonehenge, Avebury and Glastonbury are all positioned on ley lines.

Libation - An ancient Pagan act of wine and cakes being ritually poured and placed on an altar or directly on the ground as an offering of thanks and a sign of respect to the God and Goddess. This act is an essential part of today’s “cake and ale or cakes and mead”.

Libation Dish - A bowl that is used to pour offering of wine, beer, ale, mead, or fruit juice to the Gods when rituals are held inside, then it is poured on the ground outside after the ritual. Libation is poured before the practitioner(s) drink.

Libanomancy - the study of incense and its smoke.

Lineage - Direct hereditary descent from an ancestor; family.

Litha - (pr Lih-tha) Summer Solstice A solar festival. In the European tradition, the night before was Midsummer’s Eve; a time for great magic , especially for love charms. Certain herbs were picked at midnight to bring protection against disease and ill fortune. Great bonfires are lit to help change the course of the sun in the sky, the rites resemble those of Beltane. Burning wheels are rolled down hills, and burning disks are thrown at the sun. The zenith of the power of the Sun God is manifested in the flourishing of crops and livestock. The sabbat was Christianized to St. John’s Day (for John the Baptist).

Lord – The God.  We refer to Him by the names of His aspects.  He is the Horned God of the Hunt, the Lord of Death and Resurrection. Fertility of the fields. He is the Consort of the Lady, who dies and is reborn each year. He is the sun sky, strength and fertility. All men take part of his nature and are a part of him. Together, the Lord and Lady bring forth all the life that is on the Earth. It is also a ritual title for the High Priest.  See Lady

Lore - Legend, mythology, history and historic events, practices, etc.

Low Magick - Any magick that is not ceremonial or ritualistic in nature. Pretty much any spell not cast during an Esbat or that is not held in a ritual circle or on sacred ground.

Lower Self - That part of ourselves of which we are easily aware; the physical, the emotional, and the mental aspects of the being. Through meditation and magic we can access our Higher Selves.

Lugh - Also "Lug", "Lleu", "Llew". Uncontested master of all arts. A God of war, smiths, poets, and bards. He is associated with the setting sun and the moon. He is a champion of the Gods, a historian and powerful sorcerer. He has a very lusty appetite and is known for his generosity and prowess. His magickal symbols are the cock, turtle, goat, a magick sword and a bag of coins.

Lughnasadh/Lughnasa (pr. loo-na-sah) - four of the four great Celtic fire Festival, of the First-fruits of the Harvest. A great festival of games and dance, named in honor of the Irish Celtic solar god Lugh. The word Lughnasadh is related to words meaning "to give in marriage" and once was associated with marriage contracts. Nine moths away is the next Beltane, the birth of summer and life. According to medieval legend, the festival celebrates Lugh’s marriage to "the Sovranty of Ireland," the goddess Eriu. A hag, Eriu is transformed into a beauty who personifies the land of Ireland. First harvests are made, along with thanksgivings and rites to ensure the bounty of the crops for the coming year. To ensure this same purpose, some traditions observe, as a sacrifice, the death of the Sacred King. In old pagan customs, the blood of a cock would be scattered over the fields.

Luna - The Roman Goddess of the Moon.

Lunar Phases - Nature is attuned to these phases, and Pagans strive for that same attunement. The tides and animals' "moods"  are governed largely by this. The moons' phases are: Dark or New Moon, then the Waxing Moon (getting "larger") through the First and Second Quarters to the Full Moon. Then from the Full Moon we find the Waning Moon (getting "smaller") through the Third and Fourth Quarters back to the Dark Moon.

Lunar Infusions - Put fresh or dried herbs in a jar with cool water placed under the moonlight (all night) then used for ritual baths. Also known as “Witch Water”