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Book of Shadows
Children's Circle


Adept- To be considered highly proficient in a particular magical system. A person can be adept at Egyptian magical practices, but a total failure at practical kitchen magick, etc.

Akasha- The fifth element, the omnipresent spiritual power that permeates the universe. It is the energy out of which the Elements formed.

Akashic Records- A supposed giant data base somewhere that can be accessed for information on subjects such as past lives and other magickal practices, but which can only be accessed on a psychic level through Universal Connections.

Alignment/Attunement- The art and practice of placing our spiritual and mental selves in sync with the energies of an astronomical event (i.e. a full moon) or another being (i.e. a God or Goddess.) This can be achieved through mental exercises, evocation, invocation, or ritual.

Altar- A special flat surface set aside exclusively for magickal workings or religious acknowledgement.

Amulet- an object worn, carried or placed to dispel or drive away negativity or other vibrations; a protective object.

Aphelion- The point of a planet's or comet's orbit most distant from the sun.

Apogee- The point of the moon's orbit most distant from the earth.

Arcana- The two halves of a Tarot deck. The Major Arcana consists of 22 trump cards, and the Minor Arcana consists of 56 suit cards.

As above, so below- A Wiccan way of saying that natural laws apply universally and that our inter-connectedness makes all realms metaphors for one another

Aspect- The apparent position of a body in the solar system with respect to the sun.

Asperger- A bundle of fresh herbs or a perforated object used to sprinkle water during or preceding a ritual for pacification purposes.

Aspurge- To purify ritually by sprinkling with salt water. Often this is done by dipping a fragrant branch, such as rosemary, into the water and sprinkling it over the participant in a ritual.

Astral- The word conjures lots of definitions. To keep it simple, let’s describe it as another dimension of reality.

Astral travel/projection- The process of separating your astral body from your physical one to accomplish travel in the astral plane of dreamtime.

Athame- A ceremonial knife used in ritual work to draw the magick circle and to store and direct energy.- not used for cutting things on the material plane.

Aura- The energy field existing around all living things.


Balefire- A ritual fire that is set for a holiday such as Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnassadh and Mabon.

Bane- That which destroys life, which is poisonous, destructive, evil, dangerous.

Banish- To magically end something or exorcise unwanted entities. To rid the presence of.

B.C.E.- Before Common Era. The non-religious equivalent to B.C.

Besom- An old English word for the Witch's broomstick. European folklore tells of Witches riding their besoms through the sky, which many feel is an uninformed explanation of astral projection. As a magickal tool, the besom is used to sweep a sacred area, ground a circle, or brush away negative influences.

Bi-location- A type of astral projection in which you project yourself astrally while maintaining an awareness of everything around you.

Bind- To magically restrain something or someone.

Bless- To bless something or someone is to set it apart as sacred, or, as the dictionaries prefer, to make it "holy." The word is sometimes used synonymously with "consecrate."

Blood of the Moon- A woman’s menstrual cycle.

Book of Shadows- A collection of Wiccan Ritual information that usually includes religious rituals, magick , advice, and other information deemed important by the creating witch(es). Each witch or coven builds their own book, so  there is no one "standard" Book of Shadows.

Boline- A curved white handled knife used for magickal purposes that involve cutting, such as harvesting herbs. It is not used as a weapon.

Burning Times- Lasted from around 1000 CE through the 17th century, where it is said that over nine million people were tortured and burned by church and public officials on the accusation or assumption that they were Witches. Many have stated theories about what happened, but my suggestion is that you read up on this particular time, in term paper fashion. Find all you can about the subject and be better prepared to defend yourself and your beliefs against persecution.


Cabala- also Kabala and Qabala. The ancient Hebrew magickal system.

Call- Invoking Divine forces.

Cakes and wine- Also known as cakes and ale, this is the ritual meal shared with the God and Goddess. Juice may be substituted for wine, and any bread for the cakes.

Cauldron- Linked to witchcraft in the popular mind, this primal Goddess image is used like a chalice or cup. This was a common magickal instrument in the Celtic traditions because it was a practical object as well, which could be used for cooking or washing as well as making brews and magick potions. In many of the mythological stories from Ireland and Britain, the cauldron is symbolic of the womb of the Mother Goddess in which all life begins, ends, and regenerates.

Celestial Equator- The apparent meeting of two or more celestial bodies in the same degree of the zodiac.

C.E.- Common Era. The non-religious equivalent of A.D.

Censer- A heat-proof container in which incense is smoldered during ritual. An incense burner. Usually associated, in Wicca, with the Element of Air.

Ceremonial Magick- a system of magick that uses intricate rituals to effect either material or spiritual results.

Chakras- Seven major energy vortexes found in the human body. Each is associated with a color. They are: Crown- white; forehead (third eye)- purple; throat- blue; chest- pink or
green; navel- yellow; abdomen- orange; groin- red. Smaller vortexes are located in the hands and feet as well.

Chalice- A ritual goblet.

Channeling- allowing a disincarnate entity to “borrow” your body to speak through others either through automatic righting or verbally.

Charging- To use magical energy to infuse an object with Personal Power.

Charms- Can either be an amulet or a talisman that has been charmed by saying an incantation over it and instilling it with energy for a specific task.

Circle- A ritually dedicated sacred space where Witches'' rites are conducted "between the worlds." Marked at least by psychic energy and the HP's sword or athame, the border also supports "Quarter Candles" at the compass points. It may also be marked with stones, more candles, drawn lines, or with an embroidered or painted mat. Once cast, a circle may not be entered or left until a door, quickly resealed, is ritually cut. The psychic energy of a circle is always grounded at the close of ritual and celebration, but the physical demarcations may be left in place if the circle is on safe private property.

Cone of Power- Psychic energy raised and focused to achieve a definite purpose.

Conjunction- The apparent meeting of two or more celestial bodies in the same degree of the zodiac, also combining.

Cleansing- The act of removing any negative energy from an object or place by utilizing positive psychic energy.

Consecration- The act of blessing an object or place by instilling it with positive energy.

Coven- (1)A group of 13 or fewer witches that work together in an organized fashion for positive magickal endeavors or religious ceremonies.(2) A group of Wiccans, usually initiatory and centering around one or two leaders, that gathers for religious and magickal workings.

Covenstead- The place where witches meet.


Days of Power- The Sabbats, as well as a few other days throughout the year. These days can be triggered by astrological occurrence, your birthday, a woman’s menstrual cycle, or your dedication/initiation anniversary.

Declination- The angular distance north or south from the celestial equator measured along the great circle passing through the celestial poles.

Dedication- The process where an individual accepts the Craft as their path, and vows to learn and study all that is necessary to reach expertise in a given tradition.

Deosil- Clockwise movement.

Descending Node- The point of a planet's orbit in which it crosses the plane of the earth's orbit extended to meet the celestial body from north to south.

Divination- The art of divining the future through magickal tools, scrying, etc.

Dowsing- The science of using a pendulum or dowsing rods to find the actual location of a person, place, thing or element.

Drawing down the Moon- A ritual used during the full moon to empower yourself.


Earth Magick- A practical form of magick wherein the powers and forces of the Earth Mother are used to conduct magickal workings or celebrations. Usually items associated with the Earth and nature hold a particular significance in the ritual or spell.

Empowering- The act of moving energy into an object.

Eclipse, lunar- The total or partial obscuring of the moon from the sun by the earth's shadow.

Eclipse, solar- The total or partial obscuring of the sun when the moon moves in orbit between the sun and the earth.

Elder- a Witch who is established in his or her coven.

Elements- Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit or Akasha

Equator- The great circle of the earth that is equally distant from the two poles and divides the earth into the northern and southern hemispheres.

Equinox- The point of equinox is reached twice each year when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are everywhere the same length. Once about March 21st the vernal equinox brings spring, and once again about September 23rd, the autumnal equinox begins fall.

Era- A fixed point in time marked by a memorable or important event or date from which a series of years is reckoned.

Esbat- A Wiccan religious ritual usually held on a full moon.

Evening Star- A bright planet seen especially in the western sky at or after sunset.

Evocation- To call something out from within.


Familiar- An animal who has a spiritual bond with the Witch. Familiars can also be entities who are created to protect your home from the astral.

Fascination- A mental effort to control another person or animal’s mind. Also called “mind bending”.


Gaia/Gaea- A Greek Goddess, now meaning Earth Mother, or Mother Earth.

Green Man- Another name for the God, as in his kingdom of the forest.

Greenwich Time- The mean solar time of the meridian of the city of Greenwich, England, used as the prime basis of standard time throughout the world.


Handfasting- a Wiccan or Pagan marriage ceremony.


Initiation- An experience that so transforms the individual that their concept of personal and worldly reality has been altered. Not to be confused with a dedication ceremony.

Invocation- To bring something in from without.


Karma- The belief that what you send out always comes back to you. The laws of cause and effect.


Law of the Witches- The Witches' Rune, or specifically, the phrase "An it harm none, do as you will."

Left-hand path- A path of action in which the individual is self serving and negative.


Macrocosm- The world around us.

Meridian- A great circle of the celestial sphere passing through its poles and the zenith of a given place.

Meditation- Reflection, contemplation, turning inward toward the self or outward toward Deity or nature.

Microcosm- The world within us.

Morning Star- A bright planet seen in the eastern sky before or at sunrise.

Magick- The art and science of focusing your will and emotions to effect change both in the world around you and the world within you. Magick is neither good nor evil, positive nor negative. It is the use of the power that determines the path it will take.

Magick Circle- A circular boundary that protects the witch from outside forces while conducting ritual magick. While in the circle, you are considered in between worlds.

Magickal Systems- Can refer to Traditions, denominations, sects or pantheons. It is a basic set of guidelines relating to specific Gods and Goddesses or cultural traditions.


New Age- Usually refers to mixing metaphysical practices with a structured religion.


Occultation- Eclipse of a star by the moon. Also occult, meaning the shutting off of light.

Opposition- The time when one celestial body is 180 degrees from the position of another in the opposite sky.


Pagan/Neopagan- Follower of a nature-based religion. The term “neopagan” means “new pagan” and is generally not a popular term, though I like it. It seems to be a direct result of the New Age lingo.

Pantheon- A particular religious or mythical structure. Ex, Greek, Roman, Arthurian, etc.

Pendulum- A divinatory device consisting of a string attached to a heavy object. The free end is held in the hand while the question is asked. The movement of the heavy object reveal the answer -- clockwise rotations indicate yes, while counter clockwise movements mean no.

Projective hand- The hand normally used for manual activities and is the symbolic point of where Personal Power leaves the body.

Perigee- The point of the moon's orbit closest to the earth.

Perihelion- The point of a planet's or comet's orbit closest to the sun.

Pentagram- A circle surrounding a five-pointed, upright star. A symbol of a Witch’s belief and used in magickal workings and ceremonies.

Priestess- A female dedicated to both the service of her chosen deities and humankind. A High Priestess is the feminine leader of a coven or Wiccan organization and plays the role of the Goddess in certain ceremonies. A solitary witch can be a priestess by dedicating herself to a particular God of Goddess.

Priest- A male of the same type as above.

Psychic Vampire- An individual who figuratively sucks the life out of another. These are people who knowingly or unknowingly cause disharmony and self-doubt. They are not satisfied unless someone near them is fighting with someone or otherwise in a state of turmoil. The actions of these people are emotionally draining on their "victims". Several good resources can be found to help defend you from these attackers.


Reincarnation- The belief that one has lived before in another lifetime.

Receptive hand- The left-hand in right-handed people, the reverse in left-handed people. This is the hand through which energy is received into the body.

Retrograde- The movement of a celestial body seen as backward to that of the general motion of similar bodies.

Ritual- A focused mental/physical ceremony to either honor or thank one’s chosen pantheon, or to perform a specific magickal working or act.

Runes- A set of symbols that are used both in divination and magickal workings. There are several types of runes with different origins. A few are the Norse, Scandinavian and
Germanic Runes. They can function as an alphabet and are useful in vision questing, dream recall and controlling your environment.


Sabbat- Pagan holidays marked by the solar calendar. Often depicted as describing the life cycle of the God through his birth, death and rebirth, the Sabbats are all power days, and days of celebration.

Scrying- A divination method using specific tools such as a bowl of inked water, a mirror, etc, where the diviner “sees” either normal visual pictures, mental pictures, or information
without any pictures at all!

Sigil- A magically oriented seal, sign, glyph or other device used in a magickal working. Most powerful when created by yourself.

Sky father- assigning deification to the sky as a male entity. A name for the God.

Sky clad- Working magically in the nude.

Spell- Extended mental and emotional energy spoken aloud, written, spoken to oneself, drawn or even danced. To work, it should be clear, concise, focused and emotional. The need must be present to bring any spell to a successful culmination.

Spiral- the symbol of “coming into bringing”.

Spiral Dance- A dance that celebrates the spiral symbolism.

Solstice- The point of solstice is reached twice each year when the sun is most distant from the celestial equator: once about June 22nd in the north to begin summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and once again about December 22nd in the south to begin winter in the Northern Hemisphere.

Synodic Month- The time required of the moon to pass through its lunar phases and return to the start.

Syzygy- The nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies.


Talisman- An object that has been magically charged in order to bring something to the bearer. Such an item could be a gemstone to win a court case, or a drawing to put in your pocket that will bring good luck.

Tarot Cards- A set of 78 cards that are used for divination.

Tarologist- One who is adept at the art and science of reading the Tarot.

Tide- The alternate rising and falling of the seas and oceans that occurs twice a day and is caused by the gravitational attraction of the sun and the moon occurring unequally on different parts of the earth.

Tradition- An organized, structured, specific Wiccan sub-group, usually initiatory, often with unique ritual practices.

Trilithon- A stone arch made from two upright slabs with one lying atop these.

Transit- The passing across a meridian on a celestial body by another celestial sphere.

Trine- The favorable astrological aspect of two celestial bodies 120 degrees apart.


Vision Questing- Using astral projection, bi-location, or dreamtime to accomplish a specific goal. Also called pathworking.


Web weaving- networking with other witches and magickal people.

Wheel of the Year- One full cycle of the seasonal year, beginning with the Samhain celebration.

Widdershins- Counterclockwise motion.

Working (Magickal)- The process of using magick to reach a desired positive goal.


Zenith- The highest point in the heavens, vertically above the observer and directly opposite the nadir (lowest point)

Zodiac- An imaginary belt in the heavens usually 18 degrees wide that includes the paths of all the planets except Pluto, and is divided into 12 constellations called signs, each claiming 30 degrees of longitude, for astrological purposes only.


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Last modified: 07/11/04