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Pagan Glossary F-P

The following information below was taken from the following books/authors: "Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner", "Living Wicca: A Further Guide For The Solitary Practitioner", "Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs", "The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews", "Spell Crafts: Creating Magical Objects", "Earth Power: Techniques of Natural Magic", & "Earth, Air, Fire, & Water: More Techniques of Natural Magic" all these books are by: Scott Cunningham. Also, "The Wiccan Garden" By: Gerina Dunwich. Also, "The Witches Bible" By: Janet & Stewart Farrar.


      An animal kept by a witch for the psychic help it can give; cats, dogs and horses in particular react very sensitively to negative influences, supplying early warning or corroborative evedence. Their human 'owners' (or rather, partners) are careful to give them psychic protection in return. Certain kinds of deliberately created and maintained thought-forms may also be called familiars.


      The art of placing other people under one's power through sounds, gazes, colors, etc.


      One of the eight seasonal Sabbats (q.v.).


      (1) 'The apparition, double, or wraith of a living person' (Oxford English Dicionary). (2) A projected astral body of thought-form deliberately sent out to make its presence known to a particular person. (3) A witch (usually male) sent out by a High Priestess as a confidential messenger or escort; sometimes called the Summoner of the Officer.


      The practice of magic utilizing PERSONAL POWER, in conjunction with natural tools, in a non-religious framework, to cause positive change.


      Witches initiated by (or stemming from those initiated by) Gerald Gardner or one of his High Priestesses. There are also many witches today who practise the Gardnerian system but whose initiation does not ultimately derive from Gardner's coven, and it would be sectarian not to call them Gardnerians.


      The traditional name for an Elemental (q.v.) spirit of the nature of the Earth element.

    GOAL, THE:

      See INTENT.

    GOD, THE:

      Generally, in Wicca, the God is the male principle; the perfect complement to the GODDESS. He's often identified with the sun; with deserts and forests, and with wild animals. Some see Him as the Lord of Death and Resurrection. In the eight SABBATS the Wiccans celebrate His birth, maturity, union with the GODDESS and His death. The God is not to be confused with common Christian conception of ‘God.’


      There are as many definitions of the Goddess as there are Wiccans. Generally, She's seen as the creatress of the universe; the unfaltering, ultimate source of fertility, wisdom, love, compassion, healing, and power. Often associated with the Moon, the seas and the Earth in Wiccan thought, the Goddess has been worshipped in many religions across the globe and throughout time.


      An occult Order founded in London in 1887 by three Rosicrucians, which became a major influence in Western ritual magic. Its rituals (partly written by the poet W.B. Yeats, who was a prominent member) are basically Cabalistic, with elements of the Chaldean Oracles, the Egyptian Book of the Dead and Blake's Prophetic Books. They were later published in full, under the title "The Golden Dawn" by Israel Regardie.


      In Wicca, the major ritual of male-female polarity, which is also the third-degree initiation rite. It can be either symbolic, in the presence of the coven, or 'actual' - i.e., involving intercourse - in which case it is always conducted in private. In our tradition, only a married couple or established lovers may perform the 'actual' Great Rite together.






      A nickname for a female or male Witch who is skilled in the art of wortcunning. The herb magick practiced by a Green Witch is called “the Green Arts” or “Green Magick”; the use of medicinal herbs is known as “Green Healing.”


      A magical workbook with information on rituals, magical properties of natural objects, preparation of ritual equipment. Many include “catalogues of spirits.” The most famous of the old grimoires is probably The Key of Solomon. Most were first committed to paper in the 16th and 17th centuries, though they may be far older.


      The process of temporarily shutting down PSYCHIC AWARENESS and reorienting the CONSCIOUS MIND to the material world.


      A Wiccan, Pagan or Gypsy wedding. More broadly, any wedding or solemn betrothal.


      A plant used in magic. Herbs are usually strongly scented and are prized for their specific energies. Includes trees, ferns, grasses, seaweeds, vegetables, fruits, and flowering plants. The dictionary defines an herb as “a fleshy-stemmed plant that generally dies back at the end of each growing season” or “any plant or plant part used specifically in medicine or as seasoning.” Herbs are mainly thought of as the green leaves of any plant or tree (both fresh and dried) that is valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities. Although many herb books regard seeds, roots, flowers, berries, and bark as herbs, they are more accurately classified as spices, Trees also do not come under the technical heading of an herb; however, tree leaves and some shrubs are considered to be herbs by many.


      A book about herbs and plants, especially those which possess medicinal and healing properties (based on scientific evidence) or those whose medicinal values are based entirely or in part on conjecture or folklore. One of the most interesting and popular herbals of all time is Nicholas Culpepper’s astrologically influenced herbal guidebook entitled The English Physician (also called The Complete Herbal). It was originally published in the mid-seventeenth century and remains popular in modern times, especially among Witches and students of herbalism and plant lore.


      The practice of cultivating, gathering and using plants for medicinal, cosmetic, ritual and culinary purposes. See HERB MAGIC. The practice of identifying and using plants or plant parts that are: aromatic, savory, and medicinal. A man or woman who grows, collects, or specializes in the use of herbs (especially those that are used medicinally) is called an herbalist. The study of herbs is known as herbology.


      See HERBALISM.


      The practice of directing energies found within plants to create needed change. A branch of magic. Practitioners utilize PERSONAL POWER as well as other forms of energy, such as colors, candles, stones, sounds, gestures, and movements.


      Witches who claim a continuous family tradition and practice of the Craft, from long before the current revival.


      A British God-name, the best-known manifestation of whom is Herne the Hunter, leader of the legendary Wild Hunt in Windsor Great Park. The name may derive from the same original as Cernunnos (q.v.).


      An evil spell; a curse.


      (1) A six-pointed star, formed by two interlaced equilateral trinagles. It is generally called the Star of David in non-occult circles, but its use as an occult symbol is far older than its use as a badge of Judaism. It signifies the Hermetic principle of 'as above, so below'. (See MACROCOSM.) (2) Any one of the six-line figures of the I Ching (q.v.)


      In group Wicca, either one of two visible leaders of a COVEN; a man who co-leads the rituals, or a man who has reached a certain level of proficiency, achievement and wisdom. The term usually denotes a man who has received not one but several initiations.


      A highly experienced leader of a COVEN; the woman who leads or co-leads the rituals, or a woman who has reached a certain level of Wiccan proficiency, achievement and wisdom. The term usually denotes a woman who has received not one but several initiations.


      The process whereby two or more members leave their parent coven to form their own coven.


      In the folklore of many parts of Europe, including the British Isles, the God of the Waning Year. At the Summer Solstice he 'slys' his twin, the Oak King, God of the Waxing Year; and at the Winter Solstice the Oak King is revived to 'slay' the Holly King in turn. Oak King and Holly King are each other's 'other self', in an eternal cycle of death and rebirth.

    I CHING:

      A Chinese system of divination involving sixty-four 'hexagrams' or six-line combinations of unbroken (yang) and broken (yin) lines. It is one of the few categories of Eastern esoteric learning which transfer wholly satisfactorily to the West, without risk of cross-cultural confusion, and it is widely used here.


      A Wiccan festival celebrated on February 2nd. Imbolc marks the first stirrings of spring and is a traditional time to practice magic.


      The manifestations of a living entity into physical form; specifically, any one of the earthly lives of an immortal human Individuality (q.v.) in the continuing Reincarnation (q.v.) process.


      A male demon or spirit which was believed to sexually tempt and abuse women; the succubus was the corresponding female demon.


      The immortal, reincarnating part of a human being, consisting of the Upper Spiritual and Upper Mental levels; contrasted with the Personality, which consists of the Lower Mental, Upper Astral, Lower Astral, Etheric and Physical levels, and which only persists for one Incarnation (q.v.), a new Personality being built up around the immortal Individuality for each Incarnation. (See REINCARNATION.)


      A liquid produced by soaking herbs in very hot (but not boiling) water. An herbal tea. A brew or potion. An infusion is a medicinal or magickal fluid made by pouring boiling water over one or more herbs (usually one cup of water to every teaspoon of dried herb) and allowing the mixture to steep like a tea, usually for ten to fifteen minutes, in order to extract the soluble elements and active principles.


      A process whereby an individual is introduced or admitted into a group, interest, skill or religion. Initiations may be ritual occasions, or may spontaneously occur.


      Other levels of being and consciousness than the physical or the 'normal' Ego-consciousness.


      In magic, the goal of the working.


      An appeal or petition to a specific conception of Deity. A prayer. A request for a deity's appearance or attendance during a ritual. Also, a mystical practice that produces an awareness of Deity within. Compare with EVOCATION.


      A practitioner of the old Hawaiian philosophical, scientific and magical system.


      The 'spiritual bank balance' carried by the Individuality (q.v.) from one Incarnation (q.v.) to the next. The literal meaning of the word is 'action' or 'cause-and-effect'.


      Alexandrian (q.v.) form of the God-name Cernunnos (q.v.).


      A double-headed axe which symbolized the GODDESS in ancient Crete, still used by some Wiccans for this same purpose. The labrys may be placed on or leaned against the left side of the altar.




      A wiccan belief that our actions, both positive and negative, will be returned to us three-fold.


      The linear-logical, word-and-number-using, analysing, basically masculine function of the left hemisphere of the brain, which also controls the right side of the body; balanced by the right-brain function, the intuitive, image-forming, synthesizing, basically feminine function of the right hemisphere of the brain, which also controls the left side of the body.


      The Summer Solstice, a wiccan religious festival and a traditional time for magic. Also known as MIDSUMMER.

    "LUCK, GOOD":

      An individual's ability to make timely, correct decisions, to perform correct actions and to place herself or himself in positive situations. “Bad luck” stems from ignorance and an unwillingness to accept self-responsibility.


      An old harvest festival celebrated on August 1st or 2nd in Europe, reverencing the abundant (harvested) fruit of the Earth. It is still observed by Wicca.


      A Wiccan festival celebrated on or around September 21st, the Autumnal Equinox, which marks the second harvest. Autumn transmutes into winter. A time of thanks and reflection.


      The Cosmos as a whole, in relation to the Microcosm, its detailed manifestion (the human being in particular). In accordance with the Hermetic principle 'as above, so below', the Microcosm is of the same essence as the Macrocosm and reflects its nature.


      The practice of causing needed change through the use of powers as yet undefined and unaccepted by science. 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.


      A ritually-created circle (or sphere) that offers protection to the magician during magical rites.


      A person of either sex who practices magic.


      In general, a male occult adept. In Wiccan usage, a second-degree or third-degree male witch.


      In a coven, the Assistant High Priestess for ritual purposes, who may or may not be the High Priestess's deputy in leadership. In earlier times, the title of Maiden was sometimes applied to the leader whom we would now call the High Priestess.


      The product on one level of being of a phenomenon or entity already existing on a higher level. Thus physical Nature is a manifestation of creative Divinity; the Earth itself may be regarded as a manifestation of the Mother Goddess principle; and on a much lower level, a seen ghost, or a poltergeist phenomenon, is a visual or physical manifestation of an entity or activity on the astral plane.


      Reflection, contemplation, turning inward toward the self or outward toward Deity or nature.


      A huge stone monument or structure. Stonehenge is perhaps the best-known example of megalithic construction.


      A standing stone probably lifted by early peoples for religious, spiritual or magical reasons.


      The Summer Solstice, usually on or near June 21st, one of the Wiccan Festival days and an excellent time to practice magic.


      Beings, deities or presences often INVOKED during wiccan ceremony to witness or guard the rituals. The Mighty Ones are thought to be either spiritually evolved beings, once human, or spiritual entities crated by or charged by the GODDESS and GOD to protect the Earth and to watch over the four directions. They are sometimes linked with the Elements.


      Literally, new-pagan. A member, follower or sympathizer of one of the newly formed Pagan religions now spreading throughout the world. All Wiccans are Pagan, but not all Pagans are Wiccan.


      A newcomer to the coven, awaiting initiation.


      Incense which is compounded without potassium nitrate, and which requires heat to release its scent. Compare with COMBUSTIBLE INCENSE.


      A wiccan term often used to encompass all aspects of the GODDESS and GOD. Some Wiccans view it as an alternative of THE MIGHT ONES.


      A Wiccan festival occurring at the Spring Equinox (on or around March 21st), which marks the beginning of true spring. A Fire festival celebrating the resurgence of Earth fertility, and an ideal time for magic.


      From the Latin paganus, a “country dweller” or “villager.” Today it's used as a general term for followers of WICCA and other polytheistic, magic-embracing religions. Pagans aren't Satanists, dangerous, or evil.


      A tool of Divination which consists of a heavy object suspended from a string or cord. The end of the cord is held between the thumb and forefinger; questions are asked and their answers divided by the movements of the pendulum.


      A ritual object (usually a circular piece of wood, clay or metal) upon which a five-pointed star (Pentagram) is inscribed, painted or engraved. It represents the Element of Earth. The words ‘pentagram’ and ‘pentacle’ are not interchangeable in wiccan use.


      A five-pointed star which has been used in magic for centuries. Highly symbolic, it is also a protective device.


      The 'comforting cloak' of the Ego (q.v.); the self-image which the Ego builds up to reassure itself and to present to the world.


      That energy which sustains our bodies. We first absorb it from our biological mothers 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.



      An herbal aphrodisiac used in magickal spells with incantations to arouse love or sexual desire. Also known as “love potions,” philtres have been used by Witches since ancient times and have consisted of many different herbal ingredients. They are often put in foods or drinks and work the best when prepared and used on a Friday (the day of the week most sacred to Venus, the ancient goddess of love) or at the time of the month when the Moon is positioned in the astrological sign of Taurus.


      The treatment of illness by the use of herbs or medicinal substances which are derived from plants. Witches refer to this art as “Green Healing” and have practiced it for centuries.


      The concept of equal, opposite energies. The Eastern yin/yang is a perfect example. Yin is cold; Yang is hot. Other examples of polarity: Goddess/God, night/day, Moon/Sun, birth/death,dark/light, Psychic Mind/Conscious Mind. Universal balance.


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