The Tradition of the Witches Circle

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Listed below are words that I have come across in the many different books I have read & webistes I have visited. The shamanistic terms I added were taken from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Shamanism by Gini Graham Scott, Ph.D. If you see something that I have missed (or misspelled) then please let me know at


adept an individual who through serious study and accomplishments is
considered highly proficient in a particular magical system
Akashic Records astral record of everything that has ever happened
alpha state A state of consciousness characterized by longer, slower brain waves, called alpha waves. Associated with a state of relaxation
alpha waves Longer, slower brain waves that are associated with an alpha state of consciousness
altar A special, flat surface set aside exclusively for magickal workings
or religious acknowledgement. Usually set in the center of the
altered state of consciousness A non ordinary state of consciousness that can range from states of light meditation and hypnosis to states of trance.
alternative healing The use of non biomedical healing practices, such as using herbs, touch, and spiritual methods to heal.
animal helper The animals that shamans call on for assistance when they are seeking knowledge or attempting to do a healing. Also known as "power animals"
animism The notion that all things in the world have a spiritual essence or spirit, including all animals, plants, landforms, bodies of water, and elements.
archetypes Deeply held symbolic images that are common in all cultures, such as the image of the "hero" or "mother." They are part of the collective unconscious, which is why they are common to all cultures and are such powerful, deeply held images.
amulet Usually considered an object of protection that has been
charged to deflect specific negative energies or thought forms
ankh An Egyptian hieroglyphic that is widely used as a symbol for
life, love, and reincarnation
Arcana The two halves of a Tarot deck. The Major Arcana consists of
22 trumps depicting dominant occurrences in our lives. The
Minor Arcana consists of 56 suite cards that assist in fleshing
out the trump situations, or indicate smaller occurrences in our
ASC Abbreviation for Altered State of Consciousness.
astral Another dimension of reality. Pertaining to the etheric world,
the invisible world of spirit.
astral travel/ projection The process of separating your astral body from your physical
one to accomplish travel in the astral plan or dream time.
athame A cleansed and consecrated ceremonial knife used in ritual
work by Witches. The knife is never used for blood-letting, and
rarely used for cutting anything on the material plane. Used to
direct personal power.
aura bio-energy field of living creature
ayahuasca A brew which is made from the vine Banisteriopsis Caapi. Sections of this vine are boiled with the leaves of a number of other plants, and drinking the brew produces a hallucinogenic effort.
bane Bad, evil, destructive
banish To magickally end something or exorcise unwanted entities. To
rid the presence of.
behaviorism A psychological approach founded by John B. Watson in the early 1920's that is based on measuring, predicting, and controlling behavior. Behaviorists have been particularly interested in examining the relationship between how a stimulus produces a particular response.
behaviorists or behavioral psychologists Psychologists who study behaviorism, whereby the seek to measure, predict, and control behavior.
besome A decorative broom used for sweeping away negative influences or bad vibes.
bind To magickally restrain something or someone.
blessing Benediction. The laying on of hands to confer personal power,
energy, or good will to a person or material object.
Blood of the Moon A woman's menstrual cycle
bolline A curved, white-handled knife used for practical magickal purposes. This knife is used for cutting things on the material plane.
Book of Shadows The collection of information in book form for a Witch's
BOS Abbreviation for Book of Shadow
botanica a Saterian shop that sells herbs, charms, candles, religious
statues, etc.
bruja/brujo Spanish word for witch
Burning Times A historical time from around 1000CE through the 17th century
when it is said that over nine million people were tortured and
burned by church and public officials on the assumption that
they were the Christian version of Witches.
Cabala The ancient Hebrew magickal system (Kabbala[h] or Qabala)
Call Invoking Divine forces
censer An incense burner or heatproof container for burning incense
and magickal offerings.

Seven major energy vortexes found in the human body. Each is
usually associated with a color. Smaller vortexes are located in
the hands and feet.

Crown - white
Forehead (third eye position) - purple
Throat - blue
Heart - pink or green
Navel - yellow
Abdomen - orange
Groin - red

chalice A Witch's magickal cup. Represents the element of water during
magickal rites. Considered a sacred symbol of the Goddess.
channeling Wherein you allow a disincarnate entity to "borrow" your body
to speak to others either through automatic writing or verbally.
Charge, The Originally written in modern form by Doreen Valiente, it is a
story of the message from the Goddess to Her children
charms An amulet or talisman that has been charmed by saying an
incantation over it and instilling it with energy for a specific task
circle a group, less formal than a coven, of witches who practice,
worship, celebrate, or study together
clairvoyance psychic ability to know things beyond your immediate
knowledge (ESP or second sight)
cleansing The act of removing any negative energy, vibrations or mages
from an object or place by utilizing positive, psychic energy.
Cone of Power Psychic energy raised and focused by either an individual or
group mind (coven) to achieve a definite purpose.
consecration The act of blessing an object or place by instilling it with
positive energy
corn spirit spirit of a grain crop, embodied in an entity, person, or animal
coven A group of thirteen or fewer Witches that work together in an
organized fashion for positive magickal endeavors or to perform
religions ceremonies.
covenstead The meeting place for a coven of Witches, and is often a fixed
building or place where the Witch can feel safe and at home.
Craft witchcraft
croning ceremony held to mark a woman's transition from mother to crone, the final phase of a woman's life
crystallomancy divination by crystals, usually a crystal ball
Days of Power Although usually referred to as Sabbats, there are other days
throughout the year that can be considered days of power. These days can be triggered by astrological occurrences, your birthday, a woman's menstrual cycle, or your dedication/ initiation anniversary.
dedication the process where the individual accepts the Craft as their
path, and vows to study and learn all that is necessary to reach
adeptship in a given tradition
deosil Clockwise movement
divination The art of using magickal tools and symbols to gather
information from the Collective Unconscious on the nature of
people, places, things, and events in the past, present and
dowsing The art/science of using a pendulum or stick to find the actual
location of a person, place, thing or element.
Drawing Down the Moon A ritual used during the Full Moon by Witches to empower
themselves and unite their essence with a particular deity,
usually the Goddess
Earth Magick A practical form of magick wherein the powers and forces of
Earth Mother are used to conduct magickal workings or
eclectic a witch who works with deities from or worships within more
than one culture or mythological system
Elder These people have usually gained their positions a combination
of their abilities which may include education, experience,
magickal adeptship and counseling
elements Earth - North
Air - East
Fire - South
Water - West
Spirit (Akasha) - Center
Enchantment A magickal object that must be kept absolutely secret and
hidden from all human eyes and affects a hidden aura.
Enchantments must be charmed first. Gems and magickal
writing are good items to use for Enchantments.
Esbat coven meetings held at the Full Moon
evocation To call something out from within.
familiar An animal who has a spiritual bond with a Witch. Familiars
can also be entities who are created to protect your home from
the astral.
fascination a mental effort to control another animal or person's mind.
Fivefold Bond ritual tie that links wrists, neck and ankles
Fivefold Kiss ritual greeting of eight kisses between witches of opposite
genders in classical Wicca, on the feet, knees, pelvis, breast, and
flying ointment paste, usually containing herbs, that is applied to the skin to aid
in astral projection
folk magic a culture's traditional magical practices
granny woman a female shaman
grimoire Book of Shadows, a handwritten book of spells and magical
gris gris French patois word for a charm
handfasting A Wiccan or Pagan marriage ceremony
hedgewitch a non-Wiccan witch with a shamanistic path
hex usually a negative spell or to cast a negative spell
hidden children witches who must keep their religion secret, the hidden
children of the Goddess
High Priest The male leader of a coven or Wiccan organization and plays
the role of the God in certain ceremonies.
High Priestess The feminine leader of a coven or Wiccan organization and
plays the role of Goddess in certain ceremonies.
I Ching, The Book of Chinese system of divination that uses yarrow stalks or coins Changes inscribed with hexagrams
incubus malevolent male entity that takes sexual possession of sleeping
initiation An experience that so transforms the individual that their
concept of personal and worldly reality has been altered.
invocation To bring something in from without.
juju West African word for magic
Karma The belief that one's thoughts and deeds can be either counted
against them or added to their spiritual path during several life
times. Follows the laws of cause and effect
kitchen witch witch who uses mainly practical magic centering on the home,
hearth, and family
kundalini dormant bio-energy resident in the base of the human spine, in
the root chakra, released through yoga and other practices for
enlightenment, intelligence, and spiritual insights
left-hand path Those people that feel they are justified in using magick for
purposes that are not constructive to other human begins
libation liquid offering to a God/dess
macrocosm The world around us
mage, magus someone who is adept at magic but not a witch
magic(k) the are 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. T is the
use of the power that determines the path it will take
magick circle A circular boundary drawn in visionary blue flames or white
light that protects the Witch from outside forces while
conducting ritual magick.
magickal systems Traditions, denominations, sects, or pantheons. It is a basic set
of guidelines relating to specific Gods and Goddesses or
cultural traditions.
magickal working The process of using magick to reach a desired positive goal.
maiden stage of a woman's life between menarche and motherhood or
Matrix word used to describe the universe as the Goddess-web-of-life
medicine bag a pouch, usually containing herbs, stones, feathers, etc.
medium person who is able to channel spirits or other entities
microcosm The world within us
mojo Afro-American word for magic
mojo bag small bag, containing charms or talismans, worn around the
neck for power, protection and so on
necromancy divination via spirits of the dead
New Age Mixing metaphysical practices with a structured religion.
novice someone who has just begun studying the craft
OBE out-of-body experience, astral projection, lucid dreaming
Ogham any ancient Celtic magical alphabet
Old Soul person who has been reincarnated several times
Omen anything that may be interpreted as a sign, positive or negative,
from the universe
oracle place or method for divination by means of deities, as
interpreted by a priest/ess
Ouija Board board printed with letters and simple words that is used for
communicating with spirits and operated by two or more
people touching a paten that moves around the board pointing
to letters or words
Pagan/Neopagan Follower of a nature-based religion. The term Neopagan means
"new Pagan" and is not a popular term.
pantheon A collection or group of Gods and Goddesses in a particular
religious or mythical structure.
pathworking Using astral projection, bi-location, or dreamtime to
accomplish a specific goal.
pentacle A circle surrounding a five-pointed, upright star (pentagram).
Worn as a symbol of a Witch's belief and used in magickal
workings and ceremonies. Each point on the star has a specific
meaning: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit.
pentagram pentacle that is written, printed, or drawn; five-pointed star
inside a circle
poppet humanoid figure that is used to represent someone for a spell or
other magical working
postulnt, neophyte new member of a coven, someone who has not yet been
prana Hindu word for bio-energy, the vital force shared by every
living creature
Priest A male dedicated to both the service of his chosen deity(ies) and
Priestess A female dedicated to both the service of her chosen deity(ies)
and humankind
psychometery drawing psychic impressions from objects while handling them
psychopomp God/dess who guides souls to the underworld or afterlife
quarters The four major divisions of the year - the winter solstice, spring equinox, summer solstice and fall equinox. Also term for calling North (Earth), East (Air), South (Fire) & West (Water).
reincarnation The belief that one has lived before in another lifetime.
REMs The rapid eye movements that occur when an individual is dreaming. Also found in sleeping animals.
right-hand path Considered positive in nature
ritual A focused mental/physical ceremony to either honor or thank
one's chosen pantheon, or to perform a specific magickal
working or act.
Rorschach test A psychological test for interpreting the meaning of images seen in an inkblot.
runes A set of symbols that are used both in divination and magickal
Sabbats eight annual Wiccan festivals
sacred object An object considered to have a spiritual force or energy that shamans can use in a ritual. Also called a power object.
sacred place A place that is considered especially powerful; often it is a place where very powerful or sacred spirits reside. Also called power place.
Samhain The halfway point between the fall equinox and winter solstice, which occurs on October 31.
San Pedro A type of cactus that is the source of the power hallucinogen used by many shamans in South America, including Peru.
Sands of Time sand taken from between the paws of the Great Sphinx in Egypt,
used to make spells and charms permanent
scrying A divination method using specific tools such as a bowl of
inked water, a mirror, crystal ball, etc., where the diviner "sees"
either normal visual pictures, mental visual pictures, or
information without any pictures at all.
séance gathering of people, usually seated around a table, to
communication with ancestral spirits and divination
seeing The process of deep looking that the shaman or practitioner of shamanism engages in, so that he or she can look into a non ordinary reality and truly see and understand what is there in this other world.
seguro A glass jar which the shamans use for collecting the magickal herbs used in their rituals.
shaman A religious or healing practitioner who practices shamanism.
shamanic The characteristics of someone who is using the techniques of shamanism or the qualities of beliefs or techniques that make them part of shamanism. This term is also used to refer to techniques and practices that are "shamanistic," meaning that they are like shamanism or adapted from it, but the person using them isn't actually a shaman.
shamanic journey The trip a shaman takes when he or she goes into an altered state of consciousness or trance in order to communicate with or contact the spirits in the spirit world.
shamanism A deeply rooted traditional system for healing and solving personal and community problems, in which a religious or healing practitioner contacts the spirits for wisdom and advice, usually through going into a trance or other altered state consciousness.
shamanistic A term that refers to techniques or practices that are like shamanism or adapted from it, but that aren't actually shamanism; however this term is often used as an alternate term for shamanic.
Shamanic Practices include magi, healing, shapeshifting, communication with
ancestral spirits, and divination
shamanizing Refers to the activities of the shaman when he or she is engaged in the religious or healing practices of shamanism.
shapeshifting/skinwal shamanic practice, often aided by drugs, drumming and dance,
king of mentally assuming animal form
sheikh/sheikha modern Egyptian Arabic words for magical adepts
sigil A magically oriented seal, sign, glyph, or other device used in a
magickal working.
skyclad Celebrating or doing a magickal working in the nude
solitary/solitaire witch who practices alone, without a coven
somatization A term used by medical practitioners to refer to the process of expressing a mental or emotional condition as a disturbed bodily function. It is especially common in non industrialized societies where people don't recognize mental illnesses or deal with psychological problems as medical conditions.
sorcerer/sorceress traditionally a person who practices black magic, usually by aid
of malevolent spirits; modern term used by some magic-users to
differentiate themselves from witches
sorcery The use of negative and destructive forces to harm others, such as by causing them to fall ill, experience bad fortune, or die.
soul travel A term that is sometimes used to refer to going on a shamanic journey or journeying, though is is most commonly used by groups with a particular religious or spiritual orientation; it is commonly known as: shamanic journey or journeying.
Soyal ceremony A ceremony among the Ojibwa Indians which begins the ceremonial year, when the seed corn is blessed during the winter solstice in the hopes it will bring a good harvest in the coming year. It is led by the Sloyal chief and priests.
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 successful culmination.
spiral The sacred spiral plays an important part in magickal workings.
It is the symbol of "coming into being."
spirit A being or entity who has no physical or bodily form and is believed to exist in the spirit world. An essential element of shamanism is being able to contact and communicate with these spirit beings.
spirit world The world of spirit beings, who exist in a non ordinary reality.
spiritual guide(s) Beings who assist shamans and which may take many forms. They are also called guides and teachers.
spiritual healing A type of healing in which the healer draws on the help of the spirits, deities, or God to heal a patient.
Spring Equinox The time when the sun and earth are perfectly aligned, so that the days and nights are the same length. The occurs around March 21 or 22.
succubus (succubi) malevolent female entity that takes sexual possession
of sleeping men
Summer Solstice The height of summer, when the days are the longest and the nights are shortest - generally around June 21 or 22.
Summerlands place where we rest after death and in between reincarnations
synchronicity meaningful coincidence
syncretism The combining and merging of different elements or factors together; a combination of one from the many.
talisman An object that has been magickally charged in order to bring
something to the bearer.
Tantra hindu path based in kundalini yoga and sex magic as a way to
Tarologist One who is adept at the art and science of handling the Tarot.
Tarot cards A set of 78 cards which carry pictures and symbols used to
connect the diviner with the collective unconscious.
teacher(s) Beings who assist shamans and who may take many forms. They are also called guides or spiritual guides.
telekinesis ability to move objects with your mind
theta state A state of consciousness characterized by even longer, slower waves called theta waves. It is associated with a very deep state of relaxation or trance or with sleeping.
theta waves The long, slow waves that are associated with the theta state of consciousness.
third eye chakra in the middle of the forehead
totem animal animal that represents a person, tribe, or other group
traditional The practices and beliefs that are rooted in the past.
trance An altered state of consciousness in which an individual loses touch with everyday reality and enters another world of seeing. Often individuals in this state may feel they can see and communicate with spirits, and they may or may not remember what they have experienced in this alternate state of consciousness.
transpersonal psychologist A movement in the field of psychology that is based on bringing in a spiritual or religious dimension to personal development and growth. besides focusing on the whole person, it uses techniques to spiritual healing and explores alternate states of consciousness as a source of promoting wellness and resolving psychological problems.
trigger or triggering device An indicator, such as a sound or motion, you can use to cause you to do something. You might use it in shamanism to stop a difficult experience or redirect your thinking from negative to positive thoughts.
Tunkashila The Lakota name for the Creator.
underworld The spiritual realm that is located underground or below the earth. It is also referred to as the lower world. It is often the area where power animals are found in addition to being on earth.
upper world The spiritual realm that is located in the air or above the earth. It is also referred to as the higher world. It is often the area where teachers, spiritual guides, and spiritual helpers are found in addition to being on earth.
Urban Revolution The third major change in the history of humanity. It began in about 3,000 B.C.E., initially in the river valleys where the agricultural revolution first began, and then independently developed or spread to other areas around the world. It marks the beginning of civilization as we know it today.
vision questing Using astral projection, bi-location, or dreamtime to
accomplish a specific goal.
visionary plants Plants that have hallucinogenic properties, such as ayahuasca, peyote, datura, and psychedelic mushrooms.
waking dream Another term for lucid dreaming, in which you are both awake and dreaming.
webweaving Networking with other magickal people through conversation,
in writing, or by computer to gather information to mutually
assist each party in their studies and life goals.
Wheel of the Year One full cycle of the seasonal year, beginning with the Samhain
white witch witch on the right-hand path
widdershins counterclockwise motion used in some magickal workings or
wiiwuchuim ceremony The annual ceremony of the Hopi in which the young men who have reached the age of puberty are initiated into manhood.
Winter Solstice The height of winter, when the days are shortest and the nights are longest - generally falls on December 21 or 22.
witch doctor African shaman
Witch Queen high priestess whose coven has hived off two or more new
witch's ball/witch ball mass of dried entwined herbs blown about by the wind
witch's bottle sealed bottle placed in the house or buried on the property for
witch's ladder type of knot magic in which charms are knotted or braided,
with specific magical intention, into cords, to make a powerful
wizard someone who practices magic but is not Wiccan
world tree A tree that Mayans and other groups believe stands at the center of the cosmos and connects the lower, middle, and upper worlds.
yin/yang opposite but balancing male and female principles - yin is female
(Moon) energy, negative and passive; yang is male (Sun) energy,
positive and active
Yoni female genitalia as a sacred symbol of life; creation, fertility,
sexuality, the Goddess, etc


We are the Ones, We are the Power