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 331 terms listed in our glossary with more being added each day.

What you see on this page is the name and first paragraph of the articles in our occult glossary. 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 Delphic Maxims - The Delphic Maxims serve as guidelines for living for many Hellenic Pagans.

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.

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

Third eye - The term "third eye" varies by community in specific meaning but the general meaning across communities refers to a literal or metaphorical sensory organ which allows one to "see" beyond the normally defined five senses into the realm of the psychic.

Tincture - A tincture is an alcoholic extract of herbal constituents.

Tisane - A tisane is an herbal infusion made from any plant that is not made from the tea leaf Camellia sinensis. Today it is often referred to as herbal tea in common language and only purists will disagree.

Totem - The word totem is of Ojibwe origin. It derives from the word dodaem meaning "brother/sister/kin" and refers to an ancestral or tutelary spirit, usually in the form of a plant or animal, that protects a family, clan or tribe. Everyone with the same totem is considered a family member with kinship obligations and the animal or plant archetype that the totem represents is also family with similar obligations. It is taboo to marry a person born under your totem and also taboo to kill your totem animal.

Trance - A trance state is one of half-consciousness in which the practitioner is connected to another state of being. It is associated with hypnosis or self-hypnosis, and is often used to describe various altered states of consciousness.

Vibration - 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. Atoms, those bits of energy that make up matter, vibrate at different rates. Vibration in an object is a mechanical phenomenon that can release other types of energy such as heat and sound, the degree of which varies by the speed of the vibration. These vibrations can transfer from one object to another. When you touch a vibrating object to one that is not vibrating (although all objects are really vibrating to some degree) the second object will begin to vibrate as well, though neither object will vibrate as quickly as the first object was originally vibrating.

Visualization - Visualization is a meditative technique by which a magic-user formulates his desired magickal result in his mind's eye. It is extremely useful for ensuring spell success but has many mundane applications as well. Many books and teachers in the leadership and self-help arenas encourage positive visualization as a tool for helping to achieve goals and changes in one's self.

Void Of Course - A planet is said to be void of course when it is not aspecting any other planet. 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. This void of course period may last only a few minutes or it may last several hours to a day. During this time, the moon is still in its previous sign, though some treat this period as if the moon is in no sign at all.

Voodoo - Voodoo or Vodou is a syncretic African American magico-religion with such variety that it is very difficult for sociologists to study. It has its roots in West African Vodun spirituality imported to the Southern United States along with the West African people kidnapped from their home continent and sold here as slaves. For many, their native religion was forbidden by their new masters and some were encouraged to adhere to the Christian faith instead. Some embraced Christianity and blended it with their native beliefs while others continued to practice their native religion while dressing it up in Christian disguise for the benefit of their captors. This led to a blending of two faiths that, because many slave communities were strictly isolated from others, was unique to the area in which it occurred while still holding true to its core. Thus, Haitian Voodoo and New Orleans Voodoo have some differences from one another but still also very similar, especially to the casual observer. In New Orleans the loa may be called orisha.

Voodoo doll - The term Voodoo doll is a Western term for a poppet or effigy used for sympathetic magic, usually implying that the magick is negative and harmful.

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.

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 warding object.

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.

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".

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.

Wildcrafting - Wildcrafting means gathering plants and mushrooms for food and medicine from the wild. This is also referred to as foraging.

page 16 of 17« previous12...14151617next »

If you wish to discuss a specific article in this glossary, please click on the article's title and submit your comments in the article's comment section.

How can we improve this section?

Add a New Comment