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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 331 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 S. 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.


Smudge

The word smudge is used in magickal circles as both a noun and a verb. As a noun, a smudge is an herb that is burned and made to smoke so as to purify an area. As a verb, to smudge is to purify the area through the use of smoke. See also smudging and smudge stick

Smudge Stick

A smudge stick is a bundle of dried herbs that is burned to produce smoke used to purify or bless an object or area in a process called smudging A variety of herbs are used to create smudge sticks, the most popular being sage. It is my recommendation that you use what grows near you so that you can be assured that it has been collected responsibly. Other smudging herbs include:

Smudging

Smudging involves burning of herbs to release their aromatic scent in order to purify an object, person or area. Etymology The word smudge comes from Middle English and refers to making a very smokey fire specifically to ward off insects1, from there it was applied (by English speakers) to the Native American purification practice of purification by smoke. Each tribe that practices purification by smoke has its own methods, traditions and name for the practice, applying the word smudge to...

Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Sun and the Earth causing the Sun to be fully or partially obscured by the Moon, as seen from Earth. This happens only during the New Moon. A total eclipse happens when the moon appears large enough in the sky that its disc can nearly completely obscure the sun's disc, leaving only a red ring around the dark shadow of the moon. This happens when either the moon is closest to the Earth (perigee) in its orbit or the Earth is furthest from the...

Solitary Witch

A solitary witch is one who practices alone, without a coven or circle either by choice or necessity. A witch may be forced to work alone due to geography or physical disability may hinder his ability to meet with other witches, thus necessitating her solitary practice or a witch may decide to practice alone because he finds his magick is more satisfying, practical or effective worked alone or because of negative preconceptions or unpleasant past contacts with other witches. There are degrees of...

solstice

A solstice is a solar event marking one of the two annual extremes of the sun's appearance of height in the sky/distance from the horizon. During the Summer Solstice, the sun appears at its highest point for the year and the day of the Summer Solstice receives the longest period of sunlight for the year. On the day of the Winter Solstice, the sun appears lowest in the sky and the day receives the least amount of sunlight. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice takes place in December,...

Sorcerer

A sorcerer is a practitioner of magick or sorcery. This title is often given to or adopted by those who practice High Magick or Ceremonial Magic. It may be used by a male witch in preference over the term witch or warlock or it may be used as a general term for any magic-user who does not self-identify as a witch, though some reserve this term for those who practice the dark arts. A woman may choose to identify by the feminine variant sorceress. The word sorcerer comes from the Latin sors...

Sorcery

Sorcery is traditionally defined as any magical system that involves the use of tools and other materials to bring about magical change for personal gain or improvement. Sorcery may involve evocation, or not and is generally lumped in with High Magick arts. For some, sorcery implies the left hand path. For others, it implies Judeo-Christian magical systems such as Goetia. Many people who self-identify as sorcerers enjoy magical and spiritual exploration and experimentation.

Spare's Technique

Spare's Technique is a method for creating sigils that was developed by Austin Osman Spare right around the turn of the 20th century. It involves creating a sigil using the letters in a written statement of intent. First, the statement of intent is written on a piece of paper. Traditionally, the statement begins with This is my will or This is my wish Though I've seen modern practitioners use MY Will = etc. Or dispense with this part altogether. Most modern practitioners who have...

Spell

According to the most modern definition, a spell is focusing energy to achieve a goal, but spells were traditionally written or spoken, the power of words being paramount. Although ritual movements and other actions probably accompanied historical spells, more attention is paid to those than seems to have been in the past. Still, most spell-workers will agree that speaking your statement of intent out loud or writing it down is a very important part of any spell, though sometimes it is necessary...

Spellcraft

Spellcraft is the art and craft of creating and casting spells. Spellcraft honors the power of the well-crafted word. Once, it was perhaps comparable to oratory, a highly esteemed talent especially among honor societies, the ability to speak in a way that roused people to act, to think, to not think, to not act, according to your Will. But spellcraft is more subtle as the words are not written or spoken to people, but to Nature, or the energetic Universe, in order to bring about a change. Spells...

Spellwork

Spellwork references magical operations involving the casting of spells. It may involve multiple spells and other techniques toward a single goal or it may reference specific techiques that make up a larger spell.

spirit

Spirit is non-physical, energetic consciousness. 1. The word Spirit is often used to describe the collective energetic consciousness of the universe. For example, someone might say I appeal to Spirit to help me solve this problem implying not a specific entity, but the overarching Spirit of the universe. 2. The spirit of a living thing is the energetic part of them. We are generally not conscious of this part though many magic users seek to engage with it. Some believe that our unconscious...

Spirit Animal

A spirit animal is a spirit that embodies all of the characteristics of the species it represents. It is usually not viewed as the spirit of a specific animal, but as an archetype of that animal. Many individuals claim a spirit animal as a personal guide for their path or life or simply to aid them through a specific phase in their life. In this case the spirit animal may be referred to as a power animal, a spirit guardian, a spirit guide or a totem. People select spirit animals (or are chosen...

Staff

The staff represents the masculine aspect of the divine and is associated with air or fire depending on the tradition. It is used to direct energy, to establish sacred space, to tap out hypnotic rhythms, for hiking out to remote a nematon and for leaning. Otherwise, it is used in much the same way as a wand.

Statement of Intent

A statement of intent is the verbalized purpose of an action or spell. A good spell begins with a statement of intent and the statement is often woven into incantations or used to create sigils using Spare's Technique. In all cases, the intent of the spell, clearly stated, is the foundation of the work. A good statement of intent looks somewhat like an affirmation. It is a positive statement clarifying the intention of the spell (or other activity) based on the Will of the person performing the...

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a circular monument of standing stones, earthworks and burial mounds located in Wiltshire, England that was built between 2000 and 3000 BCE. It is a British Scheduled Ancient Monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important pilgrimage site for many modern Pagans and followers of Magico-religious paths rooted in ancient Celtic culture as well as New Age practitioners interested in the energetic character of the place. It is a destination for solstice celebrations due to...

Suffumigation

Suffumigation is the act of burning something to create smoke or fumes as part of a spiritual or magical practice or ritual. It specifically means fumigation from below . Suffumigation may be used to burn resins in offering to a spirit or deity or to attract certain spirits. Or it may be used to purify an object by placing the object over the burning substance so that it is bathed in the rising smoke or fumes. This is pretty much synonymous to smudging, but smudging implies the use of dried...

Summer Solstice

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year because, on that day, the area angled toward the sun receives the longest duration of the Sun's light. The moment of the Solstice, is at the peak of the angle. In the Northern hemisphere, the Summer Solstice occurs in June and in the Southern Hemisphere, the Summer Solstice occurs in December. See the chart below for exact dates for upcoming years. Year Northern Hemisphere Southern Hemisphere 2016 June 20 @ 22:34 UT December 21 @ 10:44 UT ...

Sun Sign

A sun sign is the sign of the zodiac that the sun is moving through in the celestial sphere. The sign that the sun is passing through at the moment of your birth is your personal sun sign. It is this sign that is being reference when you read your horoscope in the newspaper. There are twelve signs of the zodiac. The sun moves through each of these for approximately thirty days before moving into the next in a cyclic pattern. The sun moves from one sign to another about the middle of the month,...


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