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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!

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We have 340 terms listed in our glossary with more being added each day.

What you see on this page is the titles and first paragraph of the articles in our occult glossary whose titles begin with the letter W. To view the full article, please click on the title. You will also be able to comment, ask questions and add more information to the article once you've navigated to its page.

The Wiccan Rede

The Wiccan Rede is a poem, usually summed up in a couplet Eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, An it harm none do what ye will first publicly spoken by Doreen Valiente in 1964. It makes up the basic ethical code of the various branches of Wicca that adhere to it, though it is considered advice, not commandment. There are several versions of the Wiccan Rede and of these interpretations may vary between covens. In 1974 a 26-line version appeared in Earth Religion News. That version (I believe)...

The Witches Creed

The Witches Creed is a poem that appeared in Doreen Valiente's Witchcraft for Tomorrow that some Witches use as an ethical guide. The full text can be found at http://www.paganlibrary.com/introductory/witches_creed.php

Wand

A wand, or a rod, is a stick that has been carefully gathered and prepared to be used for ritual work. They are associated with masculine energy and the element of air or fire depending on the tradition. Wands are used for pointing and focusing energy, and for stirring. A wand may also be used to represent the masculine principle during ritual. Some people make wands out of metal or glass. Copper is a preferred metal because it conducts energy well. Many people make wands out of wood, especially...

Waning Moon

The waning moon period is the period during which the moon appears to be getting smaller in the sky, from the full moon to the dark moon.

Ward

Noun: A ward is a protection or guardian. It may be maintained by a spell, an talisman, a symbol or some other physical or energy object. Wards may be temporary, such as those put in place to mark the barriers of a magick circle and then taken down upon completion of a ritual. Or a ward may be a more permanent magickal structure, such as those placed on the boundaries of a piece of property. These wards must be maintained by a periodic repetition of the warding spell or charging of the symbolic...

Warlock

The term warlock is often used to denote a male witch and some male witches embrace it though many consider it a derogatory term. Some witches use this term to name someone who has betrayed or broken the rules of his or her coven, who does not follow the Wiccan Rede or who practices black magic. The term warlock is said among modern witches to mean oathbreaker . The word descends from the proto-Indo-European *wēr-, meaning true which gave way to the Old English wǣr, meaning promise and loga...

Water Sign

In Astrology, a water sign is a zodiac sign associated with the element of water. There are three water signs Cancer, Pisces and Scorpio. Water People People who are born under a water sign tend to be sensitive to emotional vibrations. They may instinctively recognize emotional cues, knowing when to make a move and when to play it cool. Water signs also tend to be deeply affected by the emotions around them and in extreme cases may present as psychic vampires. Water signs also tend to have...

Waxing

The word waxing refers to the application of wax on something. This would cause the thing to grow in girth, or to appear to, as the layers of wax thicken. Most often when we witches use the word waxing, we are referring to the waxing phase of the moon. This is the phase when the moon appears to be growing, or thickening, from the period of the new moon to the period of the full moon. Magickally, the waxing moon period is considered the best for magick and mundane actions related to growing,...

Well Dressing

Well dressing is an ancient Celtic custom that continues in the remote regions of England, particularly Derbyshire and Staffordshire. It may be that remoteness of these regions helped preserve these traditions by making it difficult for invaders to reach them. The tradition of well dressing likely began as a sacrificial act to thank the spirit of the well or perhaps a God or Gods for providing the community with water throughout the year, or perhaps just to celebrate the fact that it was there....

Wicca

Wicca is a modern Pagan mystery religion that was introduced to the public in the 1950s by Gerald Gardner. It combines traditional British folk magic beliefs with early 20th century hermetic ritual practices into a dynamic whole. Much of its folkloric history is based on the work of Archaeologist Margaret Murray. Wicca is a Witchcraft tradition, meaning Wiccans are taught and encouraged to practice Witchcraft as part of their spiritual experience and religious expression. There are many Wiccan...

Wiccan

The word Wiccan used as a noun refers to an individual that belongs to the religion Wicca. As an adjective the word Wiccan is used to describe anything relating to Wicca. For example, a Wiccan ritual, a Wiccan altar, a Wiccan esbat, a Wiccan Sabbat, the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. Wicca itself is occasionally described as the Wiccan religion . For an exceptionally redundant example: Stacy is a Wiccan, she discovered Wicca 10 years ago and joined our Wiccan coven last month.

Widdershins

Widdershins is a Scottish term (Lowland Scots) meaning counterclockwise or against the sun. The Scottish Gaelic term is tuathal, which means Northerly . The opposite direction is deosil or, more correctly, deiseal, or sunwise (clockwise). The term Widdershins is also used to mean any direction that isn't the proper or usual way. Traditionally, it is bad luck to move widdershins around a building or person while walking deiseal confers good luck and protection. Walking widdershins around a...

Wildcrafting

Wildcrafting means gathering plants and mushrooms for food and medicine from the wild. This is also referred to as foraging. Wildcrafting is a good choice for obtaining herbs that grow in your region if these herbs have a healthy native population. In the case of threatened herbs, it is best to attempt to grow them yourself or to obtain them from a reputable grower. Some herbs are invasive species that cause damage to the native plant populations by competing for local resources. If the herb you...

Will

The idea of the Will or the True Will was first explored in writing by Eliphas Levi and further explored and publicized by Aleister Crowley. It has also been identified as the True Self, but this term is somewhat limiting. The Will is the defined roughly as your true path in alignment with your purpose in the Universe. You are your Will and everything else, your petty desires, disappointments, lusts, are simply built up around this Will, they are window dressing. The Will isn't the soul though....

Winter Solstice

The winter solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year when the sun appears at noontime to be at its lowest altitude above the horizon of the year. It occurs around December 20-22 in the Northern Hemisphere and around June 20-22 in the Southern Hemisphere. The winter solstice marks the moment when Sun is at its weakest and can only grow stronger as time progresses until it reaches its peak strength at the summer solstice and begins its gradual decline. There is quite a body of...

Witch

A Witch is one who practices magic, particularly the sort of magic associated with spells and charms and various folk magic. In the modern first world, the word witch describes anyone who practices this sort of magick, whether for helpful or harmful purposes. In fact, there is some dispute among the general community of witches as to whether anyone who practices harmful magick has the right to call him or herself a witch at all. However, historically and in many third world communities, the term...

Witchcraft

Definition of Witchcraft according to Merriam Webster dictionary - The use of sorcery or magic - communication with a devil or familiar - an irresistible influence or fascination - Wicca Practitioners of Witchcraft understand that the definition is much more complicated and detailed than this. The definition of Witchcraft varies by culture, religion and time period in history. Witchcraft in Academia In the academic community and the definition posited by Social Anthropologist E.E....

Wizard

The word wizard derives from the Middle English wys or wise and denotes a philosopher or sage or One who knows . The use of the word wizard to denote one who is proficient in occult sciences came into being during the 1500s when philosophy became interwoven with magick. In modern usage, the word wizard refers to one who is excellent in his field. Some male magick-users identify as wizards, and so do some computer programmers, chefs and craftsmen of all sorts.

Wortcunning

Wortcunning is the knowledge of healing and magickal properties of plants combined with the practical skills required to make use of this knowledge. That is, the knowledge of herbal lore and the use of simples as well as the skills for making salves, potions, and other herbal preparations for healing, cosmetic and magickal use as well as the skills and knowledge involved with growing and wildharvesting the necessary herbs. Brewing beer, wine and spirits can also fall under the skills implied by...

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