The purpose of Witchipedia’s Glossary of magical and occult terms is to provide an easily referenced guide to the jargon often used within the witchcraft, Pagan, and magical communities in order to facilitate better communication between communities and between generations within communities.
Achaiah is one of the Seraphim. The angel of patience.
Achilles is a hero of Hellenic-lore, a major actor in the Trojan War and the main character in Homer‘s tale of the conflict The Iliad.
Adad, Master of the Earth is a Mesopotamian Storm God responsible for nature’s destructive and regenerative powers.
One who has studied and mastered (and continues to study) a magical system is often called an adept.
Adonia was a movable festival that took place in ancient Athens (and possibly Rome).
Aeron is a Welsh God and also the name of a river.
Aether is the fifth element or quintessence described by ancient philosophers to explain natural phenomena that were beyond what could be explained using the four physical elements, earth, air, fire, and water.
Baba Yaga is a Russian Goddess who takes the form of an old crone.
A balefire is a ritual bonfire used by some Pagan traditions in Sabbat celebrations, particularly Fire festivals such as Beltane and Litha.
Balm of Gilead
Balm of Gilead is mentioned in the Bible and scholars are not entirely sure what product or plant is being referenced.
Baneful herbs are herbs that can cause death or severe illness in the hands of one with malicious intentions, and also simply by accident.
Banishing spells are spells designed to send something or someone away or to prevent their return.
Bast, also B’sst, Baast, Ubaste, Baset, Bastet, was a cat-headed protectress of the Pharaoh.
A bath tea is an herbal bath with both healing and magickal applications.
Bay is an evergreen shrub (often referred to as a small tree) native to Asia Minor and areas around the Mediterranean.
Bayberry grows in thickets near swamps in sandy areas, especially near the Atlantic coast and near Lake Erie.
The symbol of a bee can seal a spell with sweetness for allies and those who appreciate goodwill and a sting for thieves and cheaters.
The name Bel comes from the Akkadian bēlu meaning “lord” or “master”.
Cakes and Ale
Cakes and ale refer to a communal meal that takes place as part of a magical ritual or a Pagan religious ceremony.
Calcite occurs in masses, stalactites, scalenohedral and rhombohedral crystals found throughout the world in several color varieties.
Calendula is a Mediterranean annual that has become a popular garden plant in much of the world.
It is an evocation to elemental energies tied to the four cardinal directions of the compass meant to bring the energies into the magick circle.
To calm oneself in the beginning stages of an anxiety attack.
Cancer is the fourth sign of the Zodiac and symbolized by the Crab.
A candle is wax or tallow surrounding a central wick that is burned for illumination.
Candomblé means ‘dance in honor of the gods’ and music and dance are an important part of Candomblé ceremonies.
A cardinal sign is a zodiac sign whose beginning occurs at the moment of seasonal change.
Caristia, or Cara cognatio, was a Roman feast day that fell on the 22nd of February, between the Feralia and the Terminalia.
The word daisy comes from “day’s eye”. Bellis perennis closes up at night and opens up during the day, like a long-lashed eye.
Damiana is a small, woody shrub of the passion flower family native to the Southern United States, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean.
Dandelions are common weeds all over the world with varieties native to Asia, Europe, and North America.
The dark of the moon refers to the end of the lunar cycle when the moon is absent from the sky.
Days of the Week
Each of the days of the week corresponds to the energies of one of the classical planets and carries a magical energy all its own.
December is the 12th month of the Julian and Gregorian calendars.
Decoction is a method of extraction of herbal constituents from stems, roots, barks and rhizomes through boiling.
The Dei Lucrii is the collective title of the local or personal Gods of commerce worshiped who were invoked by ancient Romans to ensure success in business and a good profit.
Demeter is a Hellenic Mother Goddess, Grain and Harvest Goddess and founder of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Devana is the name of a Russian Goddess of the hunt who is said to roam the Carpathian forest.
Devil’s claw is the common name of a group of plants in the Sesame (Pedaliaceae) family of plants native to South Africa.
A diamond is a very hard, clear stone popular for jewelry and also used for industrial purposes.
The planet Earth, also known by its Latin name Terra, is the only planet in our solar system known to support life.
The element Earth is a classical Western element associated with the physical body and material abundance.
Many Pagan traditions honor a Mother Goddess as Earth Mother who is often the head or primary Goddess of the Pantheon.
Echinacea is a native of North America and can be found in wild prairies and open woodlands.
An effigy is a three-dimensional image created to resemble a specific person or entity.
Eggplant is a tender perennial native to Asia. It grows up to 3 feet tall with a similar spread and has wide, coarsely lobed leaves.
Eggs are powerful spiritual symbols in nearly every tradition, though their specific significance does vary.
The word egregore comes from the Greek ἑγρήγορος egrḗgoros meaning “wakeful” or “watching”.
El Dia de Los Muertos
El Dia De Los Muertos, translated the Day of the Dead, is celebrated in Mexico and Latin America.
Our elders are people who are established in the Pagan and magickal community who have made impacts on the community, our knowledge base, our lore, or our shared culture in some meaningful way.
Elemental spirits are spirits associated with each of the four elements.
A familiar is a magic-user’s spiritual helper manifest in animal form.
Faunus is the ancient Italic agricultural God who watched over the fertility of flocks and fields who was adopted by the ancient Romans and identified with the Greek God Pan.
Feast of Epicurus
Epicurus was a philosopher in the third century B.C.E. who established a community he called “The Garden”.
The ancient Romans called the tools used for purification Februa and the purification rituals performed during the festival of Lupercalia.
February is the second month of the year, according to the Julian Calendar and the Gregorian Calendar.
In magick, the feminine mind refers to the unconscious mind.
Fennel is a hardy perennial member of the family Apiaceae (carrots) that is used for food, medicine, and perfumery.
Feverfew is a short-lived perennial native to southeastern Europe which is now widespread across North America, Europe, and Australia.
The firs are a genus of about 50 species of coniferous evergreen trees.
Garlic is similar to onion, except the bulb, rather than being one large bulb, is made of several cloves.
Garnet is a silicate crystal in hues of red, burgundy and green found throughout the world.
Gathering Your Magickal Toolkit
Magical tools generally come in two different types. Pointing tools and containers.
Gemini is the third sign of the zodiac in the third House.
A geode is a stone made by volcanic forces that appears like a normal round stone on the outside but its inside is filled with crystals.
Pale pink and purple flowers and the various cultivars bloom all sorts of colors well into autumn.
The ginger root, which is the part that is used, is a twisty, knotted grayish-yellowish rhizome that is somewhat juicy with a pungent, spicy aroma.
The word gnome comes from the Greek genomus meaning “earth dweller”.
Gods of Olympus
The Gods of Olympus or the Dodekatheon are the 12 Gods who resided on Mount Olympus who were worshiped in ancient Greece and by Hellenic Polytheists today.
Hades is the Greek God of the Underworld. The name relates to the Doric word Aidas meaning “unseen”.
Hag stones, also called holey stones, holed stone, fairy stones, Odin stones, spindle whorl or adder stones are stones with a naturally occurring hole through them.
Halite is the mineral better known as rock salt or sodium chloride (NaCl).
Halloween, Hallowe’en or All Hallows Eve is celebrated on October 31st and is the Eve of the Christian celebration All Saint’s Day or All Hallow’s Day.
Hapy is the ancient Egyptian God of seasonal flooding which allowed the people along the Nile to grow crops.
Hard polytheism is the belief that there are many Gods and each is a distinct being with an existence separate from the other Gods, each with their own unique personality.
Hathor is the ancient Egyptian Goddess of happiness and protectress of the hearth.
The botanical name Crataegus oxyacantha comes from the Greek kratos, “hardness”, oxcux, “sharp” and akantha “thorn”.
Hazel has been used in traditional medicine for draining and restoring the elasticity of lungs.
One who adheres to these faiths usually self-designates as Heathen.
Imbolc is an early spring/late winter festival.
An incantation is the collection of words that are recited as part of a spell or sometimes as the spell itself, such as a short rhyme spoken to make a wish at the sight of the first star of the evening.
Indigo is a small, subtropical, perennial shrub from the Fabaceae (pea) family.
An infusion is water or oil in which plants have been steeped so that the menstruum becomes infused with the plant goodness.
Magical intent is the purpose of magickal work – the true purpose, with all of the unnecessary frills stripped away.
For when one wishes to keep themselves or their deeds unnoticed.
To invoke a spirit is to summon or draw a spirit being into your own body.
Isaac Bonewits was an influential member of the America Pagan community
The ancient Roman God Janus, or more properly Ianus, is the God of beginnings, endings, transitions, times, doorways, gateways, passageways, movement and traveling.
Jasper is a type of quartz with powerful nurturing properties.
Jewitchery is the practice of Witchcraft by a Jewish person or the integration of Wiccan or another Witchcraft spirituality with Jewish culture.
Job’s Tears is the grain of the grass-like plant, Coix lacryma-jobi also known as adlay, adlay millet, coix seed, tear grass.
Joe Pye Weed
Joe Pye Weed is a Native American perennial found in all parts of the US with the exception of the deep south and the far north.
John Michael Greer
In 2013, he founded the Druidical Order of the Golden Dawn.
The term journey is often used in the metaphysical community to describe an active meditation or astral projection that is undertaken as a truth-seeking mission.
She was a Wiccan Priestess born in the Bronx on March 3, 1945 and passed quietly in her sleep on March 20, 2014.
Julius Ceasar introduced the Julian calendar in 45 BCE in response to the confusion of the previous Roman calendar, which was very inaccurate.
Khnum was a creator God who molded the first people out of clay from the Nile.
King Solomon, was one of the great figures from the Old Testament/Torah and is also mentioned in a similar light in the Islamic Q’ran.
La Llorona means the Weeping Lady. In addition to being a Woman in White – a lady ghost who wanders by lonely roadways at night.
Lammas is a Christian celebration of Anglo Saxon origin that is common within many modern Pagan communities as well.
Lapis lazuli is a silicate of sodium, calcium, and aluminum with sulfur in the pyrite inclusions.
Lavender is an aromatic member of the mint family native to the Mediterranean region, Northern and Eastern Africa and parts of India.
Lemon trees have smooth, green oval leaves that produce fragrant flowers in the winter followed by the tart yellow fruits we know and love.
Lenormand is a system of cartomancy very loosely based upon that developed by Marie Anne Lenormand during the Napoleonic era.
A libation is a beverage poured out as an offering to a deity, spirit or beloved dead within a ritual context as a form of communion or to give honor and thanks.
Libra is the seventh sign of the Zodiac. It is a Cardinal sign and an Air element, ruled by Venus.
Within a spiritual context, a litany is a long, repetitious series of prayers, invocations, and supplications often led by a priest/ess with responses from the group.
Journaling is an exercise practiced by many magic-users for a variety of purposes and in many different methods.
Magick is accomplishing change according to one’s will using methods beyond the realm of general understanding.
Gardening can be a meditative practice and it also helps us get in touch with the cycles of the Earth
If you have a spell and you don’t have all the ingredients, you may be able to swap out one thing for another.
A magico-religious practice combines elements of religion, as in propitiating a divine entity while engaging in ceremonial acts to bring about a desired result.
Magnetite is a major iron ore and is best known for its magnetic properties.
It is a corvid, like a raven or a crow, and many of the folklore associated with these originated with the Magpie including the traditional “counting crows” children’s rhyme.
Nabu is the Babylonian God of wisdom and writing. Nabu writes the will of the Gods on the tablet of each human life.
Narcissus are popular garden flowers and harbingers of springs native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia.
Nature-based spirituality refers to any religious or spiritual path that embraces nature as divine.
Neit, Nit, Net, or Neith was a war Goddess honored in the town of Sais.
Neo-paganism is either the modern practice and adaptation of an ancient religion, or a new religion based on either ancient or new religious concepts, but usually based on a combination of these.
Neptune is the eighth furthest planet from the sun in our solar system, the fourth largest in diameter and the third most massive.
The new moon is the first phase of the moon. Traditionally, it occurs when the first waxing crescent of the moon is visible in the sky.
Nicotiana’s blooms are in their finest glory in the evening with a strange luminescence and a pleasing scent.
Nine Herbs Charm
An Anglo-Saxon charm recorded in a 10th century manuscript.
Nocturnal magick is magick done at night, usually using lunar energies, working with “darker” entities- not necessarily evil, mind you.
Oak is well known for its astringent and antiseptic properties and has been used as a tonic for a long time.
Oak Pentagram Amulet
Protection for the home, Beacon to other Magick Folks & Symbol of Midsummer.
Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass that is formed when lava that is rich in feldspar and quartz is cooled too rapidly for crystals to form.
The word “occult” comes from the Latin occultus which means “hidden” or “secret” and the word occult refers to secret or hidden knowledge and typically refers to the paranormal.
October is the 10th month of the Julian and Gregorian calendars, with a length of 31 days.
Okra is a member of the hibiscus family and an African import to the American South.
The olive is a small evergreen fruit tree native to the Mediterranean area of Europe and the Middle East.
An omen is an unusual event that foretells a greater event. Omens can be good or bad.
Pachi Mama, Patchi-Mama or Pachimama is the Quechan or Inca word for “Mother Earth” or more accurately “our mother in space and time”.
In a modern context, the word Pagan is often used to describe any religion that isn’t part of the Judeo-Christian family of religions and in many cases.
At its most basic, the term Paganism, is an umbrella term covering all religions that are not related to the Judeo-Christian family of religions
Panentheism holds that God is in everything that exists.
The word Pantheist refers to the belief that God is everything.
The Pantheon is a temple in Rome dedicated to all the Gods of the Roman people. In modern usage the word Pantheon has come to describe the family of Gods itself.
The word paranormal describes any phenomena that is well-known in popular culture but that has no scientific evidence to back up its existence.
Parsley is a relatively hardy biennial though it needs some protection from cold.
Unlike most gemstones, they are not formed within the Earth, but are instead formed as a sort of immunological reaction within the soft tissue of the body of a mollusk.
The word Pelargonium comes from the Greek pelargos meaning stork, because the seed pod is said to look like a stork’s bill.
Someone who wishes to emanate and practice their religion in a manner they best understand the ancients of a particular culture practiced it.
A resin (plant resin) is a thick, sticky liquid exuded by some plants as a defense mechanism against predators.
When a planet is in retrograde or exhibiting apparent retrograde motion, that planet appears to be moving in reverse orbit.
Rice is a grass seed that grows in moist areas. It is the most important crop for human nutrition in the world.
The word Rite in the community vernacular generally describes a formal, ceremonial act often prescribed for a specific occasion.
Rite of Passage
A Rite of Passage is a ritual that marks the movement from one phase of life to another.
A ritual is a series of actions performed in a pre-defined order, usually involving religious observances, spirituality or magical activity.
Ritual garb is the clothing that you wear for magical or ceremonial purposes.
There are many varieties of roses. The wild forms have five petals and are usually white to pink.
Also known as the hieros gamos, the Sacred Marriage is the perfect union of male and female within alchemy to create a spiritually and physically perfected whole.
Sacred space is any space designated for a specific sacred purpose.
Saffron is harvested from the flowers of the saffron crocus. Each flower has three stigmas, the threads of saffron.
The name Salvia derives from the Latin word Salveo, “to heal” or “to save” (more like, to salve, as in, apply a salve).
Saint John’s Eve
Saint John’s Eve is occurs the evening before the celebration of the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist.
St. John’s Wort
This is a bushy little perennial and very winter hardy. It grows well in zones 5 to 9 to about one to three feet tall.
Saint Lucia’s Day
Saint Lucia’s Day or Saint Lucy’s day is a Winter Solstice festival held December 13th in honor of Saint Lucia, a martyr who survived her sentence of death by fire, though she later fell to the sword.
Saint Valentine is said to be a Roman Christian martyr who lived during the 3rd century CE.
Salt is essential for life and has been used for food seasoning and preservation since time immemorial.
Table of Color Correspondence
Many witches like to use color to symbolize their magickal intent during spellwork. Color is especially utilized in candle magick.
Metaphysically speaking, a taglock is a personal item that creates a link to the target.
A talisman is an object specially made and charged to embody a specific energy or force.
Tammuz is the name of the ancient Sumerian God of food and vegetation. The name means “faithful son”. He was the consort of Innana.
Tansy is a European native that was brought by colonists for its important properties. It has naturalized and now grows wild across much of the US.
Tawaret is an ancient Egyptian Goddess associated with women, infants and childbirth.
Teacup Spell for Anxiety
To easy anxious feelings and distress.
Tefnut is the ancient Egyptian Goddess of moisture. She is the wife of Shu and the mother of Nut and Geb.
Tektite is a glassy substance created when small meteorites strike the earth. It can be found throughout the world.
The All is part of the Hermetic philosophy as outlined in the Kybalion but similar to concepts seen in many other philosophies and traditions throughout history.
Ukko is the Finnish sky God and companion to Akka the Finish Goddess of fertility.
Uncrossing is the removal of a type of curse or “cross” that has been laid upon an individual that makes a certain area of their lives difficult because of negative energy that is attached to them causing them to see and experience only difficulties in that area.
Unicorn plant is the common name for several species of plants native to the Americas in the genus Proboscidea.
Unverified Personal Gnosis
Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG) or Unverifiable Personal Gnosis, refers to any spiritual beliefs, truths or revelations experienced or adhered to by an individual that is based on personal experience that differs from or does not exist in accepted lore.
For some modern Western astrologers, the planet Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius.
Using Herbs for Magick
Once, magick and medicine were one in the same or at least overlapped significantly. Now, medicine relies largely on synthetic drugs and herbs are used in magick not just for healing, but for many other purposes.
It is a pretty plant with long, graceful leaf stalks topped with white or light-colored flower head sometimes tinged with pink or a fleshy color.
It is the planet closest to Earth and has been called Earth’s sister planet, even her twin.
The Latin Goddess Venus was originally a Goddess of the vine (Venus, Vino) and a protector of vineyards and gardens.
The Vernal Equinox is the point at which, on Earth, the sun crosses the equator and in the sky crosses the celestial equator which lies in the constellation Pisces.
Vervain or Verbena is an herbaceous, sometimes woody perennial with opposite, narrow, oval-shaped, toothed leaves and small, five-petaled flowers that are usually blue to purple in color but may be pink or white.
In the mundane and scientific world, the word vibration refers to the movement of an object back and forth around a central point, an oscillation, a quivering.
There are about 500 species of violet around the world. Most are small perennial herbs, but there are some annuals and shrubs in the family as well.
Visualization is a meditative technique by which a magic-user formulates his desired magickal result in his mind’s eye.
Void of Course
The term void of course is usually applied to the moon and refers to the period of time when the moon is no longer aspecting any planets in the last sign it was in but has not aspected any planets in the sign it will go into next.
Volturnalia was the Roman festival of the Volturnus, the God of fountains and the river Volturno.
There are several species of walnut trees, each producing a slightly different nut.
The Was is an ancient Egyptian symbol depicting a staff made from a dried bull’s penis that was the symbol of power and dominion.
Water is used extensively in Magic as both a symbolic and a literal entity and a tool for purification and to contain and transfer energy. (i.e. moon water).
Water hemlock, (Cicuta spp.) is a common name for four closely related, highly toxic plants in the carrot family.
Water lilies are aquatic plants that grow in still waters throughout the tropical and temperate world.
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.
Yule is a word of Germanic origin that refers to a holiday celebrated at and around the winter solstice from which many Christmas traditions were taken.
The log itself is traditionally the largest, hardest log that can be gotten from the nearby forest with the intention that it will burn hotly and brightly through the longest night of the year.
The zodiac refers to the constellations that ring the apparent path the sun takes throughout the year. As the sun passes through the location of each constellation we say that the sun is in the house their associated signs of the zodiac.
The correspondences outlined in this table are provided to assist the magical practitioner in creating powerful spells supported by the energies of the zodiac.
Zoroastrianism is a dualistic religion that was the official religion of Persia for 1000 years, from 600s BCE to 600s CE. It was founded about 3500 years ago in what is now Iran by a prophet named Zarathustra.