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Pagan Terms A - C

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Pagan Scriptures - Chapters 1 - 44
Breaking Spells 01

I'd like to make it clear that I did not compile this glossary of terms, it was sent to me by e-mail. I'm not sure who the author is or I would give them credit for their work, In any case I dont want to take the credit as that's really bad karma!

The list itself is very informative and helpful for those who need any clarification on words that are common to paganism. I dont agree, in full, with all the definitions, but it does give you a place to start from.

ADEPT:

An individual who through serious study and accomplishments is considered highly proficient in a particular magickal system. A person can be an adept at Egyptian magickal practices, but a total failure at practical kitchen magick.

AKASHA (Akasba) :

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. Some define it is the "other" of the "two worlds" that the witch or magician walks between.- the spiritual ether (or Aether); the omnipresent fifth occult element.

AKASHIC RECORDS:

In the early part of this century the famed psychic Edgar Cayce brought to general society the thought form of Akashic records. Supposedly, there is a giant data base somewhere that can be accessed for information on subjects such as past lives, healing, and other magickal/spiritual practices. This record system cannot be accessed by material equipment, such as PC networking with a larger computer. In this case, the mind of the psychic or Witch accesses the data through Universal Connections.

ALTAR:

A special, flat surface set aside exclusively for magickal workings or religious acknowledgment.

AMULET:

Usually considered an object of protection that has been charged to deflect specific negative energies or thought forms. Amulets can be made of feathers, plants, beads, etc. The horseshoe and the four-leaf-clover are two examples of amulets.

ANKH:

An Egyptian hieroglyphic that is widely used as a symbol for life, love and reincarnation. It is depicted as a cross with a looped top.

ARADIA :

Daughter of the Goddess Diana, and a name for the Goddess used by Italian witches or Strega, commonly used in many Wiccan traditions today.

ARCANA:

The two halves of a Tarot deck. The Major Arcana consists of 22 trumps depicting dominant occurrences in our lives. The Minor Arcana consists of 56 suit cards (sometimes called the lesser Arcana) that assist in fleshing out the trump situations, or indicate smaller occurrences in our lives. See also Tarot Cards.

ARCHETYPES:

(EF) Extremely basic forms within the human psyche; the archaic "racial memories." Refer to the works of Dr.Carl Jung.

ASPECTING:

Any advanced magickal activity in which a practitioner manifests a particular aspect of the Goddess or God, in thought, feelings, behavior, appearance, etc.; Often as a direct result of a "Drawing Down". Often a minor variation of this phenomena occurs with the selection of a "Magical Name", of Craft Name.

ASPECTS:

Forms, facets, or personas of Deity: for example, Brighid, Iseult, Eos, and Kore are all aspects of the Maiden, and the Maiden is an aspect of the Goddess.

ASTRAL:

(SR) This word conjures lots of definitions. To keep it simple, let's describe it as another dimension of reality. Referred to as "dreamtime". This reference is from the Australian Aboriginal people and their teachings, which are well worth further study.

ASTRAL TRAVEL/PROJECTION:

The process of separating your astral body from your physical one to accomplish travel in the astral plane or dreamtime.

ATHAME :

A Wiccan ritual knife. Generally double edged with a black handle, but not always. This knife is seldom used for physical cutting, if at all, and need not be sharp. It is *never* used to draw blood and Wicca do not draw blood or use blood in ritual. Its primary use is as an energy directing device, much like the wand, though with different common uses. compare: Boline, Wand. Principally used to cast and dissolve the circle, for which purposes it is interchangeable with the magic sword. A tool of the "Element" of Fire in the Georgian Tradition and some others.

BALEFIRE :

A fire laid and lit for magical or religious purposes, usually outdoors. Physically similar to the non-magical non-religious bonfire.

BANE :

That which is harmful, destructive or evil.

BANISH :

To make go away, To magically end something or exorcise unwanted entities. To rid the presence of, to cast out ,etc.

B.C.E :

Before Common Era, non-Christian version of B.C.

BI-LOCATION:

This is an interesting practice. You use a type of astral projection to travel in everyday reality by retaining the capability to be aware of your present surroundings. Synonymous terms are Over-looking and mind-travel.

BIND :

To prevent or limit. in the magickal context the act of limiting a spell (ie: to ensure it will harm none) or person (i.e.: to prevent them from harming others). Some consider it unethical to bind people other than yourself.

BLOOD OF THE MOON:

A woman's menstrual cycle. If this cycle occurs over a Full or New Moon (and you can arrange that) she is far more powerful than during any other time of the month, as long as she acknowledges this strength within herself. For too many years women have been told that they must regard their cycle with an unkind eye, calling it a curse when actually it is a boon. Society has so dictated this to them that many feel weak, tired and disoriented because they are supposed to. Wrong. If you can rearrange your thinking on this matter, the Blood of the Moon can pack a powerful wallop for you. if you feel spacey, try grounding.

BOLINE :

A Wiccan ritual knife used for more practical purposes, such as cutting herbs, etc. *never* to draw blood. Generally white handled with a curved blade. compare: Athame.

BOOK OF SHADOWS :

Traditionally hand copied book of rituals, recipes, and training techniques, guidelines, and other materials deemed important to a Witch or a coven. Each tradition has it's own standard version of the Book and each Witch's book will be different as he or she adds to it with time from many different sources. Only another Witch can see your book of shadows. Also, traditionally, it may never leave your hands or possession until death, when it should be destroyed, or (in some traditions) returned to the coven to be disposed of. (Also Grimoire)

BURNING TIMES :

A term used by some Witches for the period of persecution in the Middle Ages and later. It is in fact a misnomer in some places, as Witches were only burned in Scotland, and on the continent of Europe. In England and the U.S., they were hanged.

CABALA:

Also seen as Kabbala, Kabbalah and Qabala. The ancient Hebrew magickal system.

CALL:

Invoking Divine Forces.

CARDINAL POINTS :

North, South, East, and West, marked in the Georgian Tradition by candles of green, red, yellow, and blue, respectively. The Circle is drawn to connect these four points.

C.E.:

Common Era, non-Christian version of A.D.

CENSER :

An incense burner.

CHAKRAS:

Seven major energy vortexes found in the human body. Each is usually associated with a color. These vortexes are: crown - white; forehead (third eye position) - purple; throat - blue; chest - pink or green; navel - yellow; abdomen - orange; groin - red. Smaller vortexes are located in the hands and feet, as well.

CHALICE :

One of the tools of the Witch. Placed on the altar to represent the element of Water.

CHANNELING:

New Age practice wherein you allow a disincarnate entity to "borrow" your body to speak to others either through automatic writing or verbally. Channeling does not have a very good track record simply because it is difficult to prove and the information imparted is usually not about things that can be "tested." Subjects normally involve distance prophecy, what the after-life is like, the structure of other dimensions, words of wisdom that everybody really needs to know before it is too late, etc. Channeling is the new buzz-word for mediumship. The best known and most accurate medium within our present century was the later Edgar Cayce. Most book stores will carry some of his material and it is well worth your time to read. channeling is not the same as contacting the dead for information or help.

CHARGE OF THE GODDESS:

The Traditional words of the Goddess to her followers, or "hidden children". Normally declaimed by the HPS at every coven Circle.

CHARMS:

Can either be an amulet or talisman that has been charged by saying an incantation over it and instilling it with energy for a specific task.

CIRCLE :

The area in which the magickal worship and spells takes place. Can also be used to designate a particular group of Witches or Pagans such as "Silver Acorn Circle".

CIRCLE, MAGIC :

A sphere of magical energies in which Wiccan rituals are usually practiced. The area inside the circle is seen as being sacred ground in which Wicca and their deities may meet. The circle is deconstructed (released, grounded, etc) after use. Often constructed using the athame, along with incense, salt, and water, but methods vary greatly.

CLEANSING:

The act of removing any negative energy, vibrations or images from an object or place by utilizing positive, psychic energy.

CONE OF POWER :

Power raised in the circle by the Witches assembled, and sent out into the world to work magick, is usually visualized as being retained and built in the form of a "cone" prior to release.

CONSECRATION:

The act of blessing an object or place by instilling it with positive energy.

COVEN :

An organized group of Witches, led by a High priestess and/or a High Priest who meet regularly for worship and fellowship. The traditional membership is 13, but in fact most covens number considerably less. 3 is the minimum in the Georgian Tradition. In Middle English, "Covin" a group of confederates; In Old French "Covine" a band or group with a single purpose; Latin "Com"-together, "Venire"-to come or move.

COVENSTEAD :

Regular meeting place for a coven. Usually the home of the High Priestess or High Priest. There exists a traditional 20 mile radius between covensteads, in some a 50 mile. This means that one covenstead can't move into another's already established covenstead, without the permission of the high Priestess in the first covenstead. To do so would be a breach of conduct and those involved would been seen as without honor.

COWAN :

A non-Witch. Formerly used in a very derogatory manner. Still used in Masonic ritual to indicate the non-initiate and/or pretender to "real craft". Not often used today among most Witches.

COYOTE ENERGY :

Trickster energies. Named for the American Indian Trickster, Coyote, who tricks man into learning what he needs to learn. Applies to one who constantly jokes and clowns. Also applies to the concept of "Holy Fool" in many traditions.

CRAFT, THE :

Witchcraft, Wicca.

CROSS QUARTER DAYS :

The modern name for the Celtic Fire Festivals of Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lammas.