Through his work in astronomy, Thales would almost certainly have become familiar with the night sky and the motion of the heavenly bodies. There is evidence that he gave advice to navigate by Ursa Minor, and was so involved in observation of the stars that he fell into a well.
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So, I often get asked things like ; what is a ___, What does ___ do? so i thought i would put together this little glossary :)
an Altar: A space set out with a cloth and other items used to represent magick. This place should be full of useful things during a spell as it aids as a focus point for your magick. Many witches like to change their altars around with the cycles of the seasons.
Amulet/ Charm/ Talisman: An item worn to attract certain energies (example: Luck, love)
Athame (Ath-Ah-May) : A witches knife, traditionally black handled and double edged, it is used to direct magickal energy.
Arcana: The 2 groups of cards in a Tarot deck - They are Major and minor
Astrology: The belief and study of the effects of the movements and placements of planets and other heavenly bodies have on the lives and behaviour of those born at certain times.
Aura: A field of energy layers that surround a physical body.
Banish: To rid of or to remove something like negative energies
Beltane: A Sabbat elebrated traditionally from Sundown on October 31st to November 1st sundown in the
Southern Hemisphere whereas in the Northern Hemisphere it is celebrated on April 30th to Sundown May 1
Besom/Broom: The most well known item that a witch carries! And no we do not fly on them, they are usually used for sweeping out negative energies. They can be made from dried herbs like lavender and rosemary, for their magickal properties.
Bind: To restrain or hold onto something magickally
“Blessed Be”: a greeting and a blessing
Boline: A knife used for the physical part of magick (Not for hurting anyone or anything EVER) This knife is traditionally white handled, as opposed to an Athame, and is for cutting up herbs or carving and engraving.
a Book Of Shadows/ Grimoire: A witches’ personal book of spells, rituals, magickal properties, experiences and lessons learnt.
Casting Circle/ Sacred Circle: The ‘circle’ is a protective space in the metaphysical world for you to perform your magick in! Although not every witch casts circle, i do recommend it, as from my point of view not casting circle would be like leaving your front door open for strangers. But really, as long as feel safe and protected while working you will be fine. The circle can be visualised as a white sphere of energy manifested around oneself. The four elemental quarters are usually set out in their appropriate directions within this circle.
Cauldron: A heat proof pot that can be used for magickal cooking and such, and is symbolic of the womb and fertility
Censer: A big heatproof bowl for dispensing incense smoke.
Chalice: Essentially a cup, this represents feminine energy and if filled with water, can represent the element on your altar.
to ‘Charge’: To fill an item with magickal energy, entrusting it with a task
Chakra; An energy centre in the body of a living being. There are 7 major chakras.
Consecration: The claiming and cleansing of any magickal item. Consecration clears an item of any unwanted energies and it is recommended you consecrate all your tools before use. Consecration is done in alignment with each element, for example, passing the item through smoke, dipping it in water,plunging it into the earth and passing it over a flame.
Dark Moon: The ‘new’ moon phase, when the moon is completely overshadowed and invisible
Deity: Deities are forms of Gods and Goddesses
Deosil: ‘Anti-sunwise’, ‘anti - clockwise’ meaning against the direction of the sun. (This is opposite for the Northern Hemisphere)
Diviation: Any method of seeing and foretelling the future. Methods include scrying, the tarot, reading tea and runes.
Dowsing: A form of Divination using a Pendulum to answer yes and No questions
Earth: Well the thing we live on, but in Elemental speech the earth is sand, sand, soil, anything derived from the ground.
Elements: The 5 points on the pentacle - Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. These are usually always present on an altar, whether they be actual items (Sand, Soil, Salt, A Bowl Of water, incense, etc) or simple an appropriate coloured candle.
Eostre/Ostara: A Sabbat, a celebration of the Spring Equinox which is around the 20th - 25th of Septemeber in the Southen Hemispher and March in the Northern Hemisphere.
Esbat: A celebration of each full moon
Familiar: A Witches animal ‘helper’. A familiar can aid and enhance a witches focus or power. The are not chosen and you can not pick a random pet or animal and claim it as your familiar. Your familiar will find you and you will definitely feel the connection difference.
Fire: An element, fire is a living organism and is represented on the western point of the Pentacle
the Goddess : The Goddess is the female energy and aspect of the universe. She is mother of all and the balance to the male energy. A representation of the goddess is usually on an altar
Grounding yourself: This is the process of dispelling excess and accumulated energies.
Handfasting: A traditional wedding ceremony
Herbalism: The act of using the properties of herbs to assist in workings, whether they be magickal or not
Hex: A curse or bad energy placed placed on someone
High Priest/Priestess: Essentailly thse are the male and female ‘leaders’ of a coven
the Horned God: He is the symbol of the male aspect of the universe, balancing the goddess. He is often seen as Cernunnos and Pan, gods of the earth, woodlands, hunts and animals.
Imbolc: A Sabbat celebrated around the 1st week of August. It symbolises new growth and beginnings. During this time in Australia the forests are bright with Yellow wattle and Acacia trees are coming into full bloom. Imbolc is celebratedat the start of February in the Northern Hemisphere.
Initiation: This is basically the first step to becoming a witch. It is a ceremony where you tell the universe that you are a WITCH and announce your magickal intentions. If you are a solitary or working on your own you can easily perform a self initiation ritual, whereas coven initiation rituals are done by the High Priest and Priestess.
Knot magick: A magickal technique used to secure energy in a cord which can be released when the knot is untied, or can store energy to complete its task.
Litha: A Sabbat dedicated to Summer Solstice! This is usually celebrated around December 20/21/22 in Australia. This time is most dedicated to the God as he is at his most powerful.
Lughnasah/Lammas : A Sabbat known as the cross-quarter day, A load of bred or similiar is usually baked ad shared in the name of the goddess. It is celebrated around the start of February in The Southern Hemisphere and August in the Northern.
Mabon: A Sabbat to celebrate the Autumn equinox, Where the nights grow longer and colder.It is the separation point between The Light and Dark halves of the year. celebrated around March 20th in the Southern Hemisphere and September in the Northern.
Nature Worship: A part of the Pagan religion, worshipping and honouring nature is of great importance to me and many other witches. It is what gives us life, a home and food.
Ostara (see Eostre)
Paganism: Paganism is a nature based religion and many witches fall under its umbrella of religion, although it is not necessary to be a Pagan. A witch can be of any religion.
Pendulum: An object (usually a crystal of sorts) attached to a piece of string and used to answer yes or no question during Dowsing.
Pentacle/Pentagram: The 5 pointed star depicted with interwoven cross points which symbolise the elements and their continuous cycles. The representations are Spirit, Air, Water, Earth and Fire.
Philter: A magickally enhanced liquid, usually to be drunk.
Polytheism: The belief of the existence of multiple Deities.
Poppet: A Doll made to represent a person for the purpose of a spell
Ritual: A magickal ceremony
Rune: A figure from an ancient alphabet, These symbols are carved into materials such as crystals and woods and are used as a form of Divinations, as each symbol has its own meaning.
Sabbat: The 8 main Solar celebrations, which are set out around seasonal changes
Sachet: A small pillow sewn from fabric and stuffed with herbs or desired other materials.
Samhain: A Sabbat, The start and the end of wheel of the year, this day is commonly associated with Halloween though it is Southerly celebrated on the 31st of April.It is a time to look back and reflect on the past year and honour those who have gone before us. It is also the time where the Goddess reigns in her powerful aspects of the Crone.
Scrying: A form of divination where one will gaze into a reflective surface, usually dark water or a crystal ball to see images
Skyclad: derived from the term “To be clad as the sky” which is basically just to be naked. many witches chose to perform magickal workings this way as energy has nothing to barricade it.
Sex Magick: The magickal properties of sex are a true form and many witches use the heightened power of orgasm during spell work.
Sigil: A Sigil is a symbol designed for a particular task of your intent. When charged, a Sigil will bring about what you have intended for it to do.
Smudging: The act of burning a stick of dried herbs to ward negative nergies. most commonly sage is used.
a Spell: to put it most simply, a spell is energy created and sent into the universe.
a Solitary witch: Is one who practises alone, or mainly practises alone.
Symbols: A Symbol is a representation of something. There are many different symbols used and related to Witchcraft, and obviously everyone will have their own opinions and interpretations, so don’t be afraid to feel differently than someone else.
Tarot: a Divination method using a deck of 78 cards, where the user draw a certain amount of cards, lay them out a certain way and interpret their meanings
Triple Goddess: This symbolises the goddess in her triple form of Maiden, Mother and Crone and also the phases of the moon. When the goddess is the maiden she is pure, innocent, the beginning and joyful. As the Mother, she is the giver of life, fertility and of nurturing nature. In her Crone aspect, the goddess is wise and powerful and the symbol of endings.
Visualisation: I think of this as “seeing is believing”, like controlled day dreaming, you form a mental image of your desired outcome and really believe it will happen
Wand: A Magickal tool, common made from a wood with a crystal in the end, it is used to guide and direct energy during a magickal working
Wicca: Wicca is simply a religion from under the Paganism umbrella. You don’t have to be a Wiccan to be a witch.
Wheel Of The Year: This is a calender for Witches, it symbolises the Sabbats and Esbats.
Widdershins: Clock/Sun wise direct. to move in the same direction as the sun. Obviously will be opposite in the Northern Hemisphere
Witch: A witch is someone, Male or Female, of any race, any religion, any sexuality (etc) who practises magick. A witch is not just someone who wears a pentacle or related symbol. (yes my hate is people who claim they are witches and infact do not even knot the damn basics)
Yule: A sabbat, Yule is the Winter Solstice celebrated late June in the Southern Hemisphere and December in the Northern.
I know I probably missed many (If you have something to add message me and ill put it in!) , and these are also how I see things, they vary witch-to-witch so be respectful even if you disagree with something :)