Welcome to the Witchipedia's glossary of occult terms. Here you will find terms often used in the Pagan, Heathen, magical and occult communities that may confuse a newcomer. This encyclopedia of magical terminology is a wonderful place to get started if you don't know where to start in the Witchipedia. If you don't see the term you are looking for here, feel free to bring your question to the community in our forums or Ask A Witch!
We have 254 terms listed in our glossary with more being added each day.
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Absinthe - Absinthe is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from wormwood, anise, fennel, and other herbs. Absinthe is a very strong alcoholic beverage that is usually diluted with ice water and melted sugar before drinking. In good quality absinthe, with actual plant oils, ice water makes the absinthe turn from green (or sometimes dark brown) to milky white. Oils are fats which solidify when exposed to cold temperatures.
Acupuncture - Acupuncture is a traditional healing methodology originating in China. It utilizes small needles inserted into the skin at very specific points to direct the flow of chi. Acupuncture is popular in the West as a drug free treatment for chronic pain and nausea associated with surgery or the treatment of certain illnesses.
Adept - One who has studied and mastered (and continues to study) a magical system is often referred to as an adept. Some organizations have formal guidelines for conferring this title upon a member.
Aeromancy - Aeromancy is a form of divination using the element of Air by observing the sky, particularly meteorological and cosmological events, including the movements of clouds, winds and sometimes comets, the appearance of rainbows and other phenomena such as auroras. The word Aeromancy comes from the Greek words aero for "air' and manteia for "divination".
Akasha - Akasha is a Sanskrit word referring to the base material contained in all things. The literal meaning is "space" or "sky" and the closest Western synonym is Aether and it has also been related to modern Paganism's fifth element, Spirit or aether
Alchemist - Alchemy is both a spiritual and magical practice and a philosophy. Its aim is famously to achieve immortality but also to achieve wisdom through transformation of both the alchemist and the substances he manipulates.
Alchemy - Alchemy is both a spiritual and magical practice and a philosophy. Its aim is famously to achieve immortality but also to achieve wisdom through transformation of both the alchemist and the substances he manipulates.
Animism - The term animism comes from the Latin word anima meaning "life" or "soul".
Arete - Arete (ἀρετή) is a Hellenic virtue meaning "excellence". Arete is about being all you can be, the best at what you are, giving it your all, meeting your potential. The word arete is often translated as "virtue".
Asperge - Asperging is a form of ritual purification involving the sprinkling of liquid on the item, person or area to be purified.
Astral Body - The astral body is the theoretical subtle or spiritual body, a third option between the eternal soul and the body (according to Platonic theory) though some believe that the astral body and the soul are equivalent. The astral body maintains your personality separate from your physical body, the mind and emotions, separate from the physical brain. Some refer to this body as the etheric body. The word "astral" means "of the stars".
Astral Projection - Astral projection is the act of separating your astral body or your consciousness, from your physical self. It is a (usually) voluntary out of body experience that allows the practitioner to perform any number of tasks as pure consciousness that would be otherwise impossible, or at least more difficult, due to the limitations of the physical body.
Astrology - Astrology is the art and science of predicting certain events and patterns based on the observation of planetary movements and relationships and the study of how these movements and relationships affect terrestrial world events and the health, moods, relationships and personalities of individuals. Predictions are made by observing the relative positions of the moon, sun and planets in relation to one another and their perceived locations in the sky as observed from Earth. It is important to note that while modern Astronomy calculates planetary position from the solar center of the Universe, Astrology uses the ancient geocentric model to make calculations. Once a single study, Western Astrology and Astronomy separated into two different disciplines in the 17th century CE.
Athame - An athame (pronounced: ath-uh-may) is a ritual blade used in modern Witchcraft tradition. In Wicca, it is a (usually) black handled, double sided blade, ritual knife. Its purpose is strictly symbolic. The blade is usually strait and dull. It represents the male aspect of divinity and can be used to cast and cut a circle during ritual as well as to direct energy in much the same way as a wand.
Atheist - Atheist philosophy holds that there are no Gods. It does not mean necessarily that there are no spirits, that there is no magic or that we simply cease to exist when we die, although many atheists do believe that is the case. The word comes from the Greek meaning simply, Godless.
Aura - The aura is a subtle luminescence that surrounds all objects hinting at the energy contained within. With training, individuals can learn to see auras and "read" them, using their brightness, color, and consistency to learn about health, mood and personality. Some believe that the aura provides some protection against psychic attack while others believe that the aura is something of an energy overflow, that is, the energy that doesn't fit inside hovers around the outside in the form of an aura. The belief also exists that both ideas are true. Either way, the brightness of the aura is believed to be directly related to the spiritual strength and health of its owner and, as the spirit, mind and body are tightly connected, his or her physical and mental health and strength as well.
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