There are many words in the pagan vocabulary that might be new to people who are strangers to
our religion. On this page some of them are explained.
Here is a shortcut: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Some witches have a place reserved in their home as a focus for their faith. Others just set
it up when they need it. Just like altars of any other religion ours carry props that we
need for any particular working. They could also carry seasonal/holiday decorations.
There are two arcanas; the major and the minor. These are the two halves of the Tarot deck.
The major contains the trump cards, which are most important and also the most famous ones
among people who don't use them. The minor cards adds the finer details in a reading.
The other world, the place we are in when we dream. Some people can perform astral projection,
which means consciously separating your astral/dream body from your physical, and basicly 'dream
A special knife used in workings. No, we don't use it to cut ourselves and others. And no,
we don't kill little children or animals with it either. It is used to stir, draw in the air with
and other harmless things. It is a tool, not a weapon.
Book of Shadows:
A witch's recipe book. Where we write down anything and everything that is magickal to us. A beautiful
poem, something special that happened today, our favourite herbal tea... This probably originated
with the cookbook of the kitchen witch.
Like the athame this is a knife especially for magick. This is more for practical purposes,
like cutting, harvesting herbs and the like. It is a small curved knife and in the old days
it was carried by everyone hanging from the belt.
A reference to the time when it is said that over 9 million people were tortured and burned
because they were believed to be the Christian version of witches. This lasted up through the
17th century.This is also discussed on the About witches page.
System of worship of the ancient Hebrew.
The seven centers of energy in our bodies, corresponding to the seven endocrine glands.
This is discussed more in depth in the Healing Guide.
Cone of Power:
When power is raised by one individual or a group it is imagined as a cone containing
the desire to achieve a definite purpose.
Blessing by filling the something with positivty.
A group of witches that practise, celebrate holidays, share joy and sorrow together.
Old word for clockwise movement.
The art of seeing what lies beyond. Further discussed in the Divination Guide.
Drawing Down the Moon:
Witches don't believe that they can actually take down the moon. This is the process of filling
oneself with the power of the moon and the Goddess.
Earth, air, water, fire. Sometimes Spirit is refered to as the fifth element. They each have their own directions:
Earth-north, water-west, fire-south, air-east and spirit-center. Their qualities will be thouroughly discussed in
the Element Guide
Calling something out from within.
Most of us feel a special connection with an animal. This is often a family pet, but can also be a wild animal
that one feels particularily drawn to. This is called a familiar.
Another name for the world of nature, the great outdoors.
A marriage ceremony.
Bringing something in from without.
Praying with a very focused mind, concentrating on a desire and communicating with the divine.
The kind of hocus pocus culture that we are often associated with. It is not always a bad concept,
but people tend to sneer at it and it is commonly assumed that they are the mumbo jumbo people
who are only in it because it is 'in'. I used to a think of myself as a newager during my
first year in the craft, but then realised that pagan is a much better name. Now I avoid the term New Age.
Follower of a nature-based religion.
A group of God/desses in a particular region, or religion. For example there's the Roman pantheon, Greek, Egyptian, Celtic and so on.
Better explained on the Lord and Lady page.
A five-pointed encircled star that witches and pagans wear as a symbol of their religion. Please note that this has
absolutely nothing to do with satan. Satan is a Christian invention and has nothing to do with us.
A male/female dedicated to both the service of his/her chosen deity/ies and humankind. A High Priest/ess is a
leader of a group or a coven.
Ancient symbols used in writing, divination and as focus in magick. Found for example in ancient Scandinavia and in Ireland.
The art of magickal prayer performed by most but not all witches.
A deck of 78 cards with symbolic pictures used for divination. Consisting of the major and minor Arcana, see above.
Wheel of the Year:
The yearly seasonal changes. Discussed in depth in our guide to witches holidays; Days of Celebration.
An old word for counterclockwise.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
For any queries or comments maybe other words you don't know, the webmistress will be happy to hear from you.