Glossary of Terms

A Wiccan Ritual knife. It may possess a double-edged blade and a black handle. The Athame is used to direct Personal Power during ritual workings. It is seldom used for actual, physical cutting. The term is of obscure origin; has a variety of spellings among Wiccans, and an even greater variety of pronunciations. British and American east-coast Wiccans may pronounce it as "ah-THAM-ee" (to rhyme with "whammy"); Or it may be pronounced "ATH-ah-may" or also "Adh-THAW-may."

A fire laid and lit for magical or religious purposes, usually out doors. Balefires are tradition adjuncts to Wiccan Ritual on Yule, Beltane, and Midsummer.

That which destroys life; is not useful, is poisonous, destructive or evil.

See Bane

Before Common Era. The non-religious equivalent of B.C.

A Wiccan religious festival, observed on April 30th, that celebrates the burgeoning (bursting) fertility of the Earth (and, for some Wiccans, the wedding of the Goddess and the God). Synonyms include May Eve, Roodas, Wallpurings Night and Cethsamhain.


The white-handled knife, used in Wiccan and magic rituals, for practical purposes such as cutting herbs or piercing pomegranates. Compare with Athame.

The act of conferring positive Energy upon a person, place or thing. It's a spiritual or religious practice.

Book of Shadows
A collection of Wiccan Ritual information that usually includes religious rituals, magic and advice. There are many Book of Shadows; there is no one correct Book of Shadows.

Cakes and Wine
Also known as Cakes and Ale, this is a simple ritual meal shared with the Goddess and God, usually within the Circle , near the compleation of a religious ritual. Such ritual meals predate Christianity.

Common Era. The non-religious equivalent of A.D.

A heat-proof container in which incense is smoldered during ritual. An incense burner. Usually associated, in Wicca, with the Element of Air.

Circle, Magic
A sphere constructed of Personal Power in which Wiccan rituals are usually enacted. The area inside the circle is seen as being common ground on which Wiccans and their Deities can meet. The term refers to the circle that marks the sphere's penetration of the ground, for it extends both above and below it. The magic circle is created through Magic.

Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. These four essences are the building blocks of the universe, and ancient magical sources of Energy.

A general term for the currently unmeasurable (but real) power that exists within all natural objects and beings-Including our own bodies. It is used in Folk Magick. See also Personal Power

The movement of natural (yet subtle) Energies to manifest positive, needed change. Magic is the process of rousing energy, giving it purpose (through Visualization), and releasing it to create a change. This is a natural (not supernatural) practice.

Personal Power
That energy which sustains our bodies. We first absorb it from our biological mother within the womb and, later, from food, water, the moon and sun and other natural objects. We release personal power during stress, exercise, sex, conception and childbirth. Magic is usually a movement of personal power for a specific goal.

Projective Hand
The hand that is normally used for manual activities such as writing, peeling apples and dialing telephones is symbolically thought to be the point at which Personal Power is visualized as streaming from the body. In ritual, personal power is visualized streaming out of the palm or fingers of the hand for various magical goals. This is also the hand in which tools such as the Athame and wand are held. Ambidextrous persons simply chose which hand to utilize for this purpose.

The previous information was taken from:

Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner- By Scott Cunningham
Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner- By Scott Cunningham

There are more terms forthcoming

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