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.

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Black Moon - The term black moon is the dark of the moon's (or new moon) equivalent of the term blue moon, which is applied to the full moon.

Blue Moon - In modern vernacular, the term "blue moon" most often refers to the occasion of an extra full moon occurring in a month. Most months have only one full moon, but sometimes there will be a second full moon in a month known as the blue moon. This can occur during any month of the year, except February.

Boline - A boline is a functional ceremonial blade used for any purpose that may require a sharp blade- cutting and harvesting herbs, cutting cords, ribbons, string, etc., carving symbols into candles and objects are a few possibilities. Traditionally the boline has a white handle, (it is sometimes referred to as the "white handled knife").

Book Of Shadows - A Book of Shadows is a Witch's journal. It contains notes on experiments, information she's picked up along the way, spells, recipes, correspondences, chants, traditions and more. A Coven may have a collective Book of Shadows outlining its basic beliefs, rules and practices with information about how to perform its own traditional ceremonies.

Braucherei - Pennsylvania Dutch "witches", known as hexenmeisters or braucher are often, but not always, male. The magical system itself is called Pow-Wow or Braucherei. The system combines Christian prayers with traditional European folk magic and Medieval Catholic charms.

cakes and ale - In the magical community, cakes and ale refers to a communal meal that takes place as part of magical ritual or a Pagan religious ceremony. This sharing symbolizes and celebrates abundance and our gratitude for it and often serves as a grounding activity.

Calling The Quarters - Calling the Quarters, or Quarter Calling is a ritual performed at the start of magickal or spiritual work by many magickal practitioners and is prescribed by several traditions including many types of Ceremonial Magick, particularly Golden Dawn and Wicca and its many offshoots. It is an evocation to elemental energies tied to the the four cardinal directions of the compass meant to bring the energies into the magick circle to make them available for the practitioners' use and to bolster the practioners' own energy toward the protective strength of the Circle and any further work to be performed within it.

Candle - A candle is a block of wax or tallow surrounding a central wick that is burned for illumination.

Candomblé - Candomblé means 'dance in honor of the gods' and music and dance are an important part of Candomblé ceremonies. Candomblé originated with African slaves in Brazil. It is a mixture of traditional Fon, Bantu, and Yoruba beliefs blended with a generous portion of Catholicism. Catholic saints that bore a resemblance to African deities and ancestor spirits were worshiped since slaves were persecuted for the worship of non-Christian deities. The African slaves also fraternized with the indigenous population of Brazil. The commingling of indigenous beliefs enforced the belief in ancestor worship.

Cardinal Sign - A cardinal sign is a zodiac sign whose beginning occurs at the moment of seasonal change. The sun passes into Aries at the moment of the Vernal Equinox, it passes into Cancer at the moment of the Summer Solstice, the sun enters Libra at the moment of the Autumnal Equinox and the sun enters Capricorn at the moment of the Winter Solstice.

Cascarilla powder - Cascarilla powder is a ritual powder made from crushed hens' eggs used primarily for protection and banishing.

casting a circle - During spellwork and some magico-religious rituals, a Circle is cast to define the sacred ritual or work space and separate it from its mundane surroundings. This Circle is a construct of energy and it is designed to contain energy within it. Beyond that, the purpose of the Circle can vary by tradition.

Cauldron - The cauldron is a symbol of rebirth, the hearth, of abundance and of well being. Ancient Celtic tales tell of cauldrons that that no one ever went away from hungry and cauldrons that, when the dead were thrown into them, would bring the dead back to life. These days, cauldrons represent the female aspect of divinity, the womb, and are used thusly in conjunction with wands, swords and athames (depending on their size and the tradition) in symbolic representation of The Great Rite.

Celestial Longitude - Celestial longitude is a measure of the distance of a celestial body from the Vernal Equinox along the ecliptic in degrees Eastward.

Censer - A censer is a vessel that is used to hold smoldering charcoal (from a fire or self-igniting disks) upon which one burns the herbs, resins, gums, etc that make up their incense.

Centering - Centering is an energetic practice. When we center ourselves we gather our energy, which may be scattered in many different places, and we harness it toward our intention.

Ceremonial Magick - Ceremonial Magick is a magical modality involving specific ceremonial actions and magical tools to bring about the desired result. Ceremonial magicians are often working toward self-improvement or spiritual enlightenment. Evocation is very often part of the ceremony.

Ceremony - A ceremony is an official or formal event, undertaken with intent and often solemnity, often ritualistic in nature or containing ritual elements that celebrates an official occasion (esbat, sabbat, rite of passage) or recognizes and honors an individual or group (including a God or group of Gods).

Ceromancy - Ceromancy is a method of divination using a candle. The candle is lit and the flame examined for clues to the mood and energy surrounding the situation and then the wax is allowed to drip into a bowl of cold water or sometimes onto a piece of paper. The practitioner examines the shapes formed by the melted wax and makes predictions based on his or her interpretation of the shapes.

Chakra - Chakras can be viewed as "gateways" in the body through which subtle energy flows. These gateways, or nodes, are also points at which the subtle (or astral) body and the physical body are connected. When energy flows freely through the chakras, all is well, but blockages can lead to dis-ease.

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