When one thinks of witchcraft and witches, one generally thinks of Halloween costumes and tall hats and brooms. But many people, especially in times past, would not think so nonchalantly of the mention of witches or witchcraft. Many live in fear of a witch casting an evil eye on them or laying a curse on their family. And many just live in fear of the fact that they exist on a plane of understanding unknown to them. Below is a list of terms relative to witchcraft and the practice of sorcery, and not one of them involves a costume.
Wicca is a religion started by Alex Sanders. He originally claimed he was taught witchcraft by his grandmother, thereby making him a Hereditary Witch, but later he admitted otherwise, and confessed he based his teachings upon Gardenerian techniques.
An altar is a religious symbol. Traditionally in witchcraft it is a large, flat surface used in rituals.
An amulet is a special necklace that allegedly holds magical powers such as healing or protection. They may also serve as a good luck charm.
A balefire is a fire lit for ceremonial or magical purposes.
BOOK OF SHADOWS
This is the book of spells and information for Wiccans. It can also be called grimoire.
A cauldron is a very large cooking pot used to mix together ingredients for spells. The cauldron is often thought to represent the womb of the Mother Goddess.
Witches will repeat phrases or words over and over as a spell or to concentrate and focus on an activity.
Charms can be amulets or talismans that have had spells put over them to put them to a specific task such as protection or good health.
A coven is a group of witches. Generally there are 13 witches in a coven, but there could be fewer. In order to join a coven, a person must be initiated. A coven of witches will perform witchcraft together.
This is a clockwise movement, which is what many rituals and spells call for during their incantation.
DRAWING DOWN THE MOON
This takes place during the full moon, and it is used by witches to unite their essences to a particular deity, usually the Goddess.
Druidry is a Celtic pagan religion sharing some similarities with Wicca.
There are four elements: fire, earth, wind, and air. Some witches also add spirit, or Akasha, to this as well
An enchantment is an object that is secret and hidden and magical. No human eyes must see it. Often gems and magical writings are used as enchantments.
Esbat is a Meeting of Witches at the full or new moon to perform rituals or spells.
A familiar is a witch’s animal friend. It will be with her most all the time, and often it will be seen as a family pet to outsiders.
Gaea is the Greek Goddess of Earth. She is often referred to as Mother Earth.
He was the founder of the Wicca movement in the 1950’s. He wrote several books on witchcraft, and his religion is still followed today.
“Handfasting” is a Wiccan or pagan marriage ceremony.
A person who is taken into a coven of witches is considered an initiated. She must undergo a transformation into a witch to become an initiate.
Karma is the belief that if you do either good or evil to people in your life, then good or evil will come back to you.
The lunar cycle is the cycles of the moon’s path, the 28 days in which we see the moon go from full to dark to full again. This is considered a very magical time for witches.
Meditation is a focused, inward pattern of though. Usually the mind should be cleared of all clutter and the person should allow a time of contemplation and serenity.
The occult refers to the study and following of magic, whether it be white magic or black magic.
A pagan is someone who is a follower of an earth-bound religion, such as one who would worship Mother Earth.
A pentacle is a circle around a star, touching it at all five points. This is also known as a pentagram. It is worn as a symbol for the witch and also in ceremonies and rituals. The points of the star mean earth, water, fire, air, and spirit.
A ritual is a religious ceremony performed for a particular purpose.
Something spoken out loud by a witch in order to invoke spirits to act in a particular way that is pleasing to the witch. Spells can be used for good or for evil.