A Dictionary Of WitchCraft Terms


Affirmation: An affirmation is a statement designed to have a positive effect on the conscious mind when repeated at frequent intervals throughout meditationritual spells.

Alchemy: Alchemy is the medieval chemical science designed to purify and perfect the prformance of chemical experiments and magic rituals.

Altar: In witchcraft, an alter is a flat surface designed to hold rituals tools and symbols throughout the course of a spell being cast.

Amulets: Amulets are objects infused with magical properties and which offer the wearer a sense of protection. They also help maintain health, produce virility and fertility, and create luck. The style of object varies greatlyt in different cultures but the purpose of amulets is generally the same.

Aspecting: Any advance magic activity where the practioner manifests a particular aspect of a goddess or god (whether in speech, appearanve, behaviour or thought) is known as aspecting.

Binding: To bind a spell, the spellcaster chants a verse upon completion, announcing the end of the ritual and asking for the spell to begin its magic.

Cakes-and-wine: Every meeting of a witches’ coven (known also as a “circle” or “esbat”), handfastings, and rites of intiation traditionally end with cakes-and-wine, a sharing of food and drink, and relaxed conversation. The food – often cakes, biscuits or cookies – and the drink – usually wine buut occassionally mead, ale, beer or fruit juice – will have been blessed by a high priest or prietess, and is considered an offering to the deities as thanks for the necessities of life.

Casting: In various methods of divination, stones, cards, sticks and other objects are cast onto the ground or a special cloth so that an insight into the life patterns can be revealed.

Casting the circle: In ritual, a psychic sphere of energy is cast to focus power and to ward off unwanted influences and distractions. This is known as casting a circle.

Cauldron: A cauldron is a cooking pot used to heat herbal healing preparations for rituals.

Chanting: Chanting is the harmonious vocalization of key words, names and pharses that are used in ritual to attune oneself, raise energy, celebrate success and to become centred.

Charge: In witchcraft, to charge is to intentionally empower ritual tools with energy.

Consecration: To consecrate is to solemnly dedicate or devote something or someone to a sacred purpose, to cleanse and protect.

Coven: A coven is a congregation of witches who gather regularly to celebrate their faith and to work together to perform magic rituals. The size of each coven varies, and one must be an initiate.

Divination: Divination is the practice of foreseeing future trends by the use of such tools as the Tarot, runes and I Ching. Divination is extremely useful in witchcraft, and can denote good and bad times for specific rituals.

Drumming: Drumming is literally pounding on a surface. This is used in witchcraft to raise power and to change emotional states.

Element: In classic magic, Earth, Air, Fire and Water each represent a class of energies within the universe. These ‘elements’ are referred to throughout rituals.

Evocation: To evoke is to summon a particular spirit or psyhic energy from within your own psyche.

Familiar: A familair is the term used for animal companions, such as cats, that are either trained to assist imn magic, or are used as a mascot.

Fire: Fire is the element that corresponds to the South, the colour red, energy, passion, ambition and will power.

Grimoire: This is a book of magically spells and techniques designed to act as a guide for the spellcaster.

Grounding: In witchcraft, to ground yourself is to psychically reinforce your connection with the Earth by reopening an energy channel between your aura and the ground.

Healing: Healing is the ultimate outcome of many magic rituals. This may be accomplished, with the “patient’s” permission, by the laying on of hands, visualisation, crystal work, specific spells etc.

Hermetic: This is a style of magic that achieves results through mental concentration and inner awareness.

Initiation: Initiation is an important part of ritual, and is used to describe the profound spiritual experience that occurs when one’s unity with Deity and the Universe is realised; when one is welcomed as a fully-fledged member of a particular group; and the celebration of a successful ritual.

Invocation: Invocation is calling on a “higher spirit” for assistance in ritual.

Jewellery: Personalised pendants, rings, braclets and other jewellery items are often worn in witchcraft to symbolise power, devotion and specific goals.

Karama: Karama is the word used to describe one’s fate or destiny, whether good or bad.

Lunar cycle: The lunar cycle is the 28-day cycle during which the visible phase of the moon waxes from dark to full and wanes to dark again. This is a very powerful time for ritual ceremonies to be preformed.

Meditation: Meditation is a focused and disiplined form of contemplation or reflecting, whereby one is able to alter an emotional state and to receive self-insight.

Necromancy: Necromancy is the communication with the spirits of the dead via a ouija board, on which messages are splet out and interpreted.

Occult: To study the occult sciences is to obstain “hidden” knowledge of magical principles and techniques using various means of divination.

Pentagram: A pentagram is a star-like, five-pointed figure of ancient origin that is used ceremonially to bless, protect and balance. The five points represent the four elemnts and the spirit. Planetary days: Each day of the year is related to one of the planets, the moon and the sun. Energies differ in accordance with the position of the planets.

Quarters: The quarters is an abbreviated term for the four elemental powers and the directions they correspond to.

Querent: In divination and ritual, the querent is the asker of questions.

Ritual: A ritual is a co-ordinated series of events that ultimately leads to the accomplishment of a goal through means of magic and witchcraft.

Sacred space: Although all space is considered sacred, in ceremony, Sacred Space refers to the area enclosed when the circle is cast.

Scrying: This is the area of divining by gazing into a reflecting surface.

Sorcery: Sorcery is the use of witchcraft for negative and manipulative purposes, often with the aid of “evil spirits”. This is not recommended.

Talismans: Talismans are objects imbued with magical or supernatural powers and transmit them to their owners.

Tasseomancy: The art of reading tea leaves and coffee grounds to divine the future. Tasseomancy evolved from the Middle Ages practice of reading blobs of wax or molten lead. When tea was introduced from the orient in the 17th century and gained popularity, the shapes and symbols formed by leaves left in the bottom of a cup seemed an obvious target for interpretation. The Italians claimed to have developed the art of reading coffee grounds in the 18th century.

Temple: The temple is the sacred area reserved specially for religious and magical activites.

Thaumaturgy: Thaumaturgy is magic used to influence everyday events
in life to protect the house, travel, health etc.

Thirteen: The number of bad luck and associated with evil power. Witches’coven were thought to always contain 13 members, but there is no firm evidence for this. Most covens range in size from 4 to 20 members. Many neo-Pagan witches consider 13 to be a lucky number!

Uncasting: Uncasting is opening a circle at the end of a ritual.

Visualisation: It is important in ritual to be able to visualise or image a goal or outcome before working magic. This gives the goal power in your mind and helps to charge the spell.

Ward: To ward is to spiritually protect someone or something with energy, usually performed prior to a ritual.

Wicca: Wicca is a magicall Earth religion that focuses on healing and spiritual growth.

Widdershine: The counterclockwise circular movement used in casting and banishing spells and curses. The opposite motion is called deosil. In noe-Pagan witchcraft, magic circles are usually cast deosil, but in Australia they are normally cast widdershins to match the southern hemisphere counterclockwise movement of the sun through the sky.


Yantra: A yantra is a word, pharse or verse used as a sacred formula in meditation and witchcraft.




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