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Timerift - Wicca Glossary
Category: People and society > Wicca
Date & country: 11/09/2007, USA
Words: 37


Alexandrian Wicca
The Tradition founded by Alex Sanders. For many years Sanders insisted he was a Hereditary Witch, taught by his grandmother, but he eventually confessed to basing his Tradition upon Gardnerian teachings. It is one of the British-Traditional paths.

Asatru
Sometimes known as Odinism, although many Asatruar now reject the later term for a variety of reasons, including a non-focus on the god Odin. A Pagan religion based around old Norse traditions. Not Wiccan. A small number of Asatru/Odinist groups are dedicated to white-supremacy, and they are frequently unwelcome in both Pagan communities and the wider Asatru community.

Athame
Ritual dagger. One of nine Working Tools. The term, so far as can be determined, was created by Gerald Gardner, although it may have been based on a similar, obscure word.

British Traditional Wicca
An umbrella term encompassing several lineaged and oathbound Traditions, of which the Gardnerians and Alexandrians are the most well known.

Burning Times
Erroneously applied to the period of the witch-hunts, or even to the entire Christian period up until modern times. Based on the myth that the Church was hunting members of the Old Religion.

Ceremonial magician
Magical practitioners who stress exact performance of complex rituals involving systems of correspondances. Well known groups include the Order of the Golden Dawn, Thelema, and the OTO.

Coven
A tightly knit group of Wiccans who regularly worship together and generally require initiation.

Cowan
Someone who has not been initiated. May or may not be used derogatorily.

Craft
Erroneously thought to be short for witchcraft, this term is actually Masonic in origin, as in the craft of masonry that Masons were originally employed within. Many witches and Wiccans continue to refer to their practices as the Craft.

Cross-quarter days
The Sabbats falling between the solstices and equinoxes Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine, and Lughnassadh. They begin the seasons and are also called the major Sabbats or the Fire Festivals. They are named after Celtic festivals, although celebrations may vary significantly from their original forms, purpose and meaning.

Crowley, Aleister
Occultist and ceremonial magician from the turn of the century. Founder of Thelema. Considered a major influence (at least indirectly) on Gerald Gardner, although he has no direct connections to Wicca.

Dedication
A private declaration of religious intent between you and the gods. Some authors erroneously refer to this as self-initiation.

Dianic Wicca
Tradition centered on women's mysteries. There are also non-Wiccan, Dianic traditions, and the term 'Dianic Wicca' has been fading from use as its follows find other terms that may better describe their beliefs and practices.

Druidry
A Pagan religion based at least partially on old Celtic traditions. Not Wiccan.

Eclectic Wicca
The branch of Wicca including those seeking a path that does not fall into the realms of the more organized Traditions or who have never had the opportunity to explore another Tradition. Eclectic Wiccans are most often Solitaries.

Equinox
Roughly March 22 and September 22, when day and night are equal in length. They are celebrated (in the northern hemisphere) as the Sabbats of Eostara and Mabon.

Esbat
Coven meeting that's not on a Sabbat. Often timed with the full or new moon, but not required. The word is found in a single witch-trial document involving a torture-induced confession. In Basque. It may have been a corruption of Sabbat. The modern usage is based on the writings of Margaret Murray.

Feri Tradition
The Tradition founded by Victor Anderson. Some previously referred to it as Feri Wicca, but it is solidly its own religion. Also spelled Faery or Faerie. Very shamanistic. Has nothing to do with the images of cute little winged people the name might invoke.

Gardner, Gerald
Founder of Wicca in the 1950s.

Gardnerian Wicca
The Tradition founded by Gerald Gardner.

Hereditary Witch
Someone who has passed the skills of witchcraft down through his family.

High Magic
Historically, the 'educated' forms of magic alchemy, astrology, numerology, Qaballah, etc. These forms of magic were considered to be spiritually enlightening, allowing the practitioner to grow closer to God.

Initiation
To be formally accepted into a Tradition or coven.

Judeo-Christian
One who follows Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. These three religions share a considerable amount of mythology and belief. Some refer to these religions as the Abrahamic religions, because all three can trace their lines back to Abraham in the Old Testament. Christ was himself a Jew, and Jews see themselves as the Abraham's descendants. Muslims recognise him as the ansestor of both Jewish prophets (which they recognise as prophets) and the prophet Mohammed, who founded Islam.

Low magic
Folk magic, generally practical (as opposed to spiritually enlightening) in nature. Historically, the largely sympathetic magic practiced by the peasant class.

Neo-Pagan
Issac Bonewits divided paganism into three sub-classes: Paleo-Paganism, Meso-Paganism, and Neo-Paganism. (see Pagans for Bonewit's definition) Many Neo-Pagans simply describe themselves as Pagans, while Meso-Pagans and Paleo-Pagans generally do not.

Pagan
When captitalized, it is anebulous term including a number of modern religions influenced by older practices. All Wiccans are Pagans. When not capitalized, pagan simply means non-Christian or non-Judeo-Christian and is frequently (although not nearly always) at least mildly derogatory.

Sabbat
Any one of the eight Wiccan holidays. The solstices and equinoxes comprise the minor Sabbats. The cross-quarter days make up the major Sabbats.

Self-Initiation
While some books (particularly older ones) suggest that Solitaries perform a self-initiation ceremony, the modern community generally accepts that this is a non-sensical term, as initiation is something distinctly performed upon upon another. The term Solitaries now use is dedication.

Skyclad
The practice of doing rituals in the nude. Required in some Traditions, but not for all of Wicca.

Solitary Practitioners
Those Wiccans which generally practice alone, either by choice or because of a lack of access to appropriate covens.

Solstice
Roughly December 22 and June 22, when day and night are at their most extreme lengths. They are held (in the northern hemisphere) as the sabbats of Yule and Litha.

Strega
Italian witch, generally not considered Wiccan.

Tradition - Trad
Denominations of Wicca or witchcraft.

Warlock
Literally, 'oath-breaker'. Male Wiccans and witches do not use this term. They are Wiccans and witches, just like everyone else.

Wheel of the Year
The cycle of eight Sabbats, depicted as a circle as we view time as cyclical, not linear.

Witchcraft
The practice of certain forms of magic, whether it has religious overtones or not.