GLOSSARY OF TERMS COMMONLY USED IN WICCA
PART 1 of 5
Copyright 1991 by Rowan Moonstone and Durwydd MacTara
AKASHA- the spiritual ether (or Aether); the omnipresent
fifth occult element which embraces the other four- earth,
air, fire, and water; and from which they stem. This is the
realm of "pattern" or causality, from which the realm the
normally thought of "five senses manifests. Some define it
is the "other" of the "two worlds" that the witch or
magician walks between.
ARADIA- Daughter of the Goddess Diana, and a name for the
Goddess used by Italian Witches or Strega, commonly used in
many Wiccan traditions today.
ATHAME- black handled, double edged dagger. Principally used
to cast and dissolve the circle, for which purposes it is
interchangeable with the magic sword. A tool of the
"Element" of Fire in the Georgian Tradition and some others.
BELTANE- May Eve festival. One of the Ancient Celtic "Fire
Festivals." on this night, the cattle were driven between
two bonfires to protect them from disease. Couples wishing
for fertility would " jump the fires" on Beltane night. Also
the traditional Sabbath where the rule of the "Wheel of the
Year" is returned to the Goddess. This Festival also marks
the transition point of the threefold Goddess energies from
those of Maiden to Mother.
BOOK OF SHADOWS- Traditionally hand copied book of rituals,
recipes, training techniques, guidelines, and other
materials deemed important to a Witch or a coven. Each
tradition has it's own standard version of the Book and each
Witch's book will be different as he or she adds to it with
time from many different sources. Only another Witch can see
your book of shadows. Also, traditionally, it may never
leave your hands or possession until death, when it should
be destroyed, or (in some traditions) returned to the coven
to be disposed of.
BURNING TIMES- a term used by some Witches for the period of
persecution in the Middle Ages and later. It is in fact a
misnomer in some places, as Witches were only burned in
Scotland, and on the continent of Europe. In England and the
U.S., they were hanged.
CANDLEMAS- Festival held on Feb. 1. One of the 4 Celtic
"Fire Festivals. Commemorates the changing of the Goddess
from the Crone to the Maiden. Celebrates the first signs of
Spring. Also called "Imbolc" (the old Celtic name). This is
the seasonal change where the first signs of spring and the
return of the sun are noted, i.e. the first sprouting of
leaves, the sprouting of the Crocus flowers etc. In other
words, it is the festival commemorating the successful
passing of winter and the beginning of the agricultural
year.This Festival also marks the transition point of the
threefold Goddess energies from those of Crone to Maiden.
--- FD 1.99c
* Origin: The Mountain Oracle - Pagan/Occult Distribution System (1:301/9)