Glossary

I’ve put together a quick glossary of terms and religions a person may come across when learning about magic for quick reference. I’ve only added enough information about each entry to convey the definition of the term. Let me know if there are any terms that I’ve missed or you’d like to see on the list. Note that I am not adding information about individuals and books (the I Ching and Necronomicon being exceptions) as this would make the list much larger. I’m also only including groups that are very large or influential, like the Golden Dawn and OTO.

72 Names of God – The 72 different names ascribed to the Judeo-Christian God in the Torah.

A.A. – A Golden Dawn offshoot and Thelemic order founded by Aleister Crowley after the dissolution of the Golden Dawn.

Abrahamic Faiths – Also Abrahamic Religions and Abrahamism. Refers collectively to those religions, most notably Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which believe their foundation begins with Abraham in the Book of Genesis.

Abrahamic Religions – See Abrahamic Faiths.

Abrahamism – See Abrhahamic Faiths.

Abyss – In systems influenced by Kabalism, the abyss refers to what needs to be crossed in order to move from the middle triad to the highest triad.

ACM – See Anticult Movement.

Acosmism – The spiritual belief that the entire physical and metaphysical universes are illusionary.

Acolyte – A person who is not a member of the clergy, but is tasked with performing some duty during a ritual.

Acupuncture – An Eastern form of healing which involves sticking needles in the body at specific points in order to control the flow of energy.

Adept – One who is adept at practicing magic.

Aeon – Within a spiritual context, aeon is usually synonymous with age, and refers to a long period of time which is defined by one or more unique spiritual properties.

Aesir – The Norse pantheon, or sometimes only the male gods of the Norse pantheon, collectively. The term may also refer to a subset of the Norse Pantheon which were preceded by the Vanir, and into which the Vanir were eventually incorporated.

Aether – One of the five elements in older Western belief systems. Synonymous with the element of spirit found in modern systems.

Age of Aquarius – The Age of Aquarius is one of the spiritual ages determined through astrology, each of which lasts 2150 years. Due to differences of opinion about calculating the exact beginning of ages, the Age of Aquarius is either the current spiritual age or an upcoming spiritual age. Likewise the exact qualities and meaning of the Age of Aquarius differs between different spiritual groups.

Agnosticism – The belief that the existence or nonexistence of deities, and also several other spiritual beliefs, are unknowable and unprovable. Although similar to Atheists in the sense that Agnostics usually lack any sort of spiritual beliefs, Agnostics differ in that they do not deny the possibly that at least some spiritual beliefs may be correct.

Akasha – One of the five elements in several Eastern systems, particularly Hinduism. Akasha is synonymous with the element of spirit found in most Western systems.

Alegard Wicca – A form of Wicca that combines some aspects of Alexandrian Wicca, Gardnerian Wicca, and the published works of the Farrars.

Alexandrian Wicca – A Wiccan sect created by Alexander Sanders with a strong influence from Gardnerian Wicca.

Alchemy – Both a medieval science and theological philosophy. Alchemy deals with the different ways in which matter can be combined and manipulated.

All, the – A reference to a supreme deity who consists of the entirety of the universe and all things within it.

Alpha et Omega – A group founded by Golden Dawn leader McGregor Mathers after the dissolution of the Golden Dawn and originally consisting of those Golden Dawn members which remained loyal to Mathers.

Alphabet of the Magi – A magical alphabet created by Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim. The alphabet was used to engrave the names of angels on magical talismans.

Altar – A space set aside for a specific deity, entity, or type of entity.

Altar Cloth – A cloth which is used to cover an altar.

Ancestor Worship – The worship of ones deceased ancestors.

Ancestral Spirit – A spirit that is attached to a person because of the family they were born into, a group they have been initiated into, or the line of spiritual teachers they descend from. Sometimes in the first case the spirit of a deceased relative who has ascended.

Anchor – Typically an object, but sometimes also a place or person, to which a person has a strong connection and can find, connect with, or astrally travel to with ease.

Ancient Astronaut Theory – The theory that all, or at least some, of the gods are really extraterrestrial beings that came to Earth thousands of years ago and aided man in the early development of civilizations and technology.

Animal Magnetism – The original name for Mesmerism. See Mesmerism.

Animal Sacrifice – The act of killing an animal for spiritual or magical purposes, usually as an offering or sacrifice to an entity.

Animism – A belief that all physical things are spiritual beings (including animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature), and that each of these things has a soul.

Angel – Also Angelic. A specific species and type of realm guardian, although the term is generally used, even among angels, to refer to any type of realm guardian. Distinct and different from a Guardian Angel and Holy Guardian Angel.

Angelic – See Angel

Angelic Alphabet – See Celestial Alphabet

Angelkin – An incarnate person who was, in a past life, a realm guardian or angel. Generally considered an otherkin despite angels being native to Earth.

Angelology – The study of Angels.

Annihilationism – Beliefs about life after death.

Antedeluvian – Chiefly Christian term referring to the period of time prior to the great flood.

Anticult Movement – Abbreviated ACM. A secular movement which is opposed to smaller religions and to the formation of new religions, mainly due to a perceived tendency towards unethical recruiting practices and brainwashing techniques.

Antitheism – A belief that there are no deities, or that a particular deity or group of deities does not exist. May also refer to one who opposes organized religions in general, or a specific organized religion.

Apikoros – Chiefly Jewish term for an unbeliever.

Apocryphia – Initially, written spiritual works which were hidden due to possessing a perceived spiritual power or profundity that was believed should only be revealed to the initiated. Later the term came to include Christian spiritual works which were hidden or surpressed by the church because they did not conform to church beliefs, were written by Christian groups that were later deemed heretical, or were of questionable value to the church. Later still the term came to mean false spiritual works, and also Christian spiritual works omitted from the bible.

Apochryphon – Singular of apochryphia.

Apocalypse – Traditionally apocalypse refers to when something hidden from the majority of people is finally disclosed to them. However in its modern context apocalypse usually refers to the end of the world or a major event which causes the world to be completely and suddenly changed in a very drastic way.

Apostasy – A person’s separation from previous spiritual affiliations and beliefs.

Apostate – A person who was once part of a religion or faith, but has now left it.

Apparition – The appearance of any non-physical entity or object which can be seen.

Archaeoastronomy – The academic study of the relationship between ancient peoples and the sky.

Ariosophy – A religion originating in Austria that combines aspects of Theosophy and reconstructed German Paganism with ideals of nationalism and racial superiority. Ariosophy was a forerunner to and direct influence on Nazi ideology and mysticism.

Armchair Magician – A disparaging term which refers to anyone involved in any sort of metaphysical faith, religion, or spiritual path who does not (at least normally) practice magic. The term originates within Ceremonial Magic and is still most often used to refer to Ceremonial Magicians, although the term is becoming more widespread.

Art, the – See magical arts.

Art of Magic, The – See Magical Arts

Artificial Elemental – See imaginary elemental.

Ascended Master – A previously incarnate person who has died and still exists as a spirit, yet who, through whatever means, is always entirely lucid and aware of their death.

Asana – A Yoga position.

Asatru – A modern Germanic Pagan religion that attempts to reconstruct the various Norse religious traditions, and is often times combined with Wiccan ideals.

Asceticism – A belief in abstinence from worldly or sensual pleasures and from the accumulation of wealth for spiritual purposes.

Ashram – Chiefly Hindu, a spiritual retreat center where a student can learn from a spiritual teacher.

Astral Body – A body possessed by all living things and disincarnate entities composed of both energy and mass, typically far more energy than mass, and able to move freely through the astral realms.

Astral Projection – The act of shifting ones state of consciousness from ones physical body to ones astral body, which effectively results in projecting out of body and allowing oneself to travel in a spiritual form. Astral projection is also sometimes used to refer to a shift of consciousness to ones mental or emotional bodies.

Astrology – Divination by the position of the stars and planets.

Asura – A malevolent deity in the Hindu Pantheon. The Asuras were half-siblings to the benevolent Devas.

Asynjur – The goddesses of the Norse pantheon collectively.

Athame – A double edged knife or dagger.

Atheism – The spiritual belief that there are no deities. Often times also defined as an absence of any spiritual belief.

Atlantis – A mythical city which sank into the ocean over 10,000 years ago which was first mentioned in Plato’s dialogues.

Aura – Also biofield. The energy that a person naturally produces and then releases around their body which will eventually dissipate into the area. Some individuals perceive this energy in the form of colors and/or shapes that give clues as to its nature.

Automatic Writing – The act of giving over some control of your body so that an entity can write information with your hand. A form of mediumship.

Autosuggestion – A psychological theory that our mental state and beliefs have an effect on our physical state, and the various techniques that have been developed to manipulate this phenomena. Autosuggestion is used to explain, for instance, why patients may have some success taking a placebo medication. The techniques of autosuggestion are sometimes used in various magical systems.

Azali – See Azali Bábí.

Azali Bábí – A small religion which developed from the Bábi Faith and consists of those followers of the Bábi Faith who do not recognize Bahá’u’lláh as the prophesied Chosen One of God.

B.O.T.A – See Builders of the Adytum.

Bábi Faith – A mid-19th century Persian religion that broke off of Islam and was preceded and directly led to the founding of the Bahá’í Faith.

Bábism – See Bábi Faith.

Bacchic Mysteries – Also Dionysion Mysteries. A set of secret ritual practices centered around Bacchus and reserved for the initiated, which involved using intoxication, dancing, and music to remove inhibitions and achieve trance. Initially the cult was centered around the chthonic nature of Bacchus, but later the group became more concerned with spiritual transcendence. Much of the group’s lore and rituals have been lost.

Bahá’í Faith – A monotheistic faith first developed in 19th century Iran which believes in the unity of all concepts of god, the unity of all religions, and the unity of all of mankind. The religion was directly developed from the Bábi Faith, and it acknowledges it’s founder, Bahá’u’lláh, as the Bábi Faith’s prophesied Chosen One Of God.

Ball Lightning – An unexplained electrical phenomena, usually connected with thunderstorms, in which a ball of light is sighted. Although the phenomena is as of yet unexplained, scientists generally admit to its existence.

Balm – A substance which is meant to be topically applied to the skin of an individual.

Banishing Ritual – A ritual designed to clear an area of all entities, magical energies, and supernatural influences. The Lower Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is the most well known banishing ritual.

Barrier – A wall of energy placed around an area and intended to prevent energy, entities, and/or magical attacks from passing it.

Beast, the – A creature in Christian mythology associated with the apocalypse and mentioned in Revelations. Along with the Dragon and the False Prophet, the Beast forms the unholy trinity which opposes the Christian god.

Bell – A piece of curved metal which creates an audible sound when struck and which is sometimes used in ritual, especially in Pagan religions.

Beltane – Originally a Celtic holiday, it has more recently been adapted as a holy day by several Pagan religions. Beltane is celebrated in early May, and in most Pagan religions is the most important holiday after Samhain (and sometimes Yule). The meaning, importance, practices, and rituals associated with Beltane vary between different groups.

Besom – A small broom.

BFSD Trad – See Big Fat Stupid Druid Tradition

Bible Code – A theory largely popularized in the 1990s that hidden prophecies of past and future events could be found within the Jewish Torah or the original Hebrew language Old Testament of the bible.

Biblicism – A Christian belief found in some denominations and among some individuals that the bible is the word of god and the supreme authority on all spiritual matters.

Bibliomancy – Divination by means of pulling random words from out of a book.

Big Fat Stupid Druid Tradition – Sometimes BFSD Trad or just BFSD. A derogatory term applied to a Druid or Druids in general (as in ‘he’s a member of the BFSD trad’), which refers to the stereotype of Druids being overweight, ignorant, and generally not knowing what they’re talking about.

Bind – To completely, or less often partially, limit the magical ability of another, or to restrict the freewill of another through magic. Also to force a spirit into servitude.

Binding – Any spell which completely, or less often partially, limits the magical ability of another person. Also any spell which restricts the ability of another to perform an action or actions as per their own freewill.

Biofield – See Aura.

Bishop – Within Christianity, usually a member of the clergy given some oversite authority within their spiritual organization. The rank of Bishop is usually above that of a priest

Bitheism – A belief in two supreme deities of equal power which compliment one another.

Black Magic – Indefinite term used by some to describe magic which they perceive as evil, immoral, dark, selfish, or in contrast with their particular spiritual beliefs.

Black Mass – Also Satanic Mass. A mass done in parody of the Catholic mass, usually for the sole intent of blasphemy.

Black Mirror – Any glass colored black. Primarily used for scrying purposes.

Blasphamey – Being disrespectful towards that which is considered sacred or holy.

Blast – Energy that comes out of a wand or a staff.

Bless – To charge an object with the divine energy of a deity, or to have a deity otherwise enchant an object, or to otherwise make an object associated with a specific deity. In regards to a person, to be given favor from a deity or to receive special aid from a deity.

Blessed Be – Common greeting used among Wiccans and other Neopagans. The term is a rough equivalent to Bless You, or Have A Blessed Day.

Blessing – Divine energy used to charge an object, or an enchantment put on an object by a deity, or favor given on to a person from a deity, or special aid received from a deity. The term may also be used to refer to a spell or ritual meant to procure a blessing from a deity.

Blood Magic – Any act of ritual magic that uses human blood, including menstrual blood, or the drawing of human blood in any way.

Blot – In the ancient Norse religion, a blood sacrifice ritual which was usually accompanied by a feast and drinking alcohol. Blot rituals have been incorporated into modern Pagan religions, namely Asatru.

Bodhi – Buddhist term for enlightenment. More specifically, a buddha’s understanding of the nature of things.

Bodhisattva – Buddhist term meaning, literaly, an enlightened existence. The term refers to anyone who has chosen to attempt reaching Buddhahood as quickly as possible for the benefit other sentient beings.

Bodhicitta – Buddhist term that refers to the intention to achieve Buddhahood as quickly as possible for the benefit of other sentient beings.

Bok – The Proto-Norse word for book.

Bokor – In Hatian Voodoo, a Houngan or Mambo which practices both light and dark magic. Sometimes also used to refer to an initiate of Hatian Voodoo who only practices dark magic in contrast with a Houngan who only practices light magic.

Boline – Also Bolline. Chiefly Wiccan, a small knife which usually has a white handle and is usually single-edged, and which is usually used during rituals for utilitarian purposes such as carving into candles and cutting herbs.

Bolline – See Boline.

Bon – A spiritual system that developed within Tibet. Some belief it to have been a regional spiritual belief system preceding the introduction of Buddhism that eventually adapted elements of Buddhism. Others believe that the system developed in synchronicity with Tibetan Buddhism and represents a second form of Tibetan Buddhism.

Bonding – Attaching oneself to a foreign entity. In extreme cases partially or completely merging with a foreign entity to become a part of each other.

Book of Shadows – Chiefly Pagan terminology originating in Wicca which refers to a personal journal which collects spiritual information, practices, rituals, and spells.

Book of Thoth – The tarot. Also the title of several tarot decks and books on tarot.

BOS – See Book of Shadows.

BOTA – See Builders of the Adytum.

Braucherei – Also Pow-Wow, Hex Work, and Spielwerk. A system of folk magic developed in the 19th century within the Pennsylvania Dutch community of the United States. The system combines elements of faith healing, folk remedies, spells, and talismans, and is partially influenced by European grimoires.

Brahmanism – Also Vedism or Vedic Brahmanism. An ancient Indian religion and the predecessor to Hinduism. Brahmanism was a major influence on other Indian religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism and is still practiced in some remote areas of India today.

British Traditional Wicca – Wiccan groups and sects which originated in the New Forest region of England, or which have a clear lineage to a group which originated in the New Forest region of England.

BTW – British Traditional Wicca

Buddha – Not a specific person, as commonly believed, but rather a title given onto various people and entities which means enlightened one.

Buddhism – A group of religions originating in Northern India, which was originally developed as one of the Shramana traditions that opposed Brahmanism. Since then it has spread, mostly through out Asia, and has become one of the largest religious followings in the world. The religion was initially based off the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. Some key concepts of Buddhism include karma, reincarnation, the four noble truths, and nirvana.

Buddhist Prayer Beads – Also Buddhist rosary. Any of the various types of prayer beads used within Buddhism. Also sometimes refers to those beads used in Hinduism and Sikhism.

Buddhist Rosary – See Buddhist prayer beads.

Builders of the Adytum – Abbreviated BOTA. An organization based in Ceremonial Magic founded by Paul Foster Case.

Burning Times – A reference to periods of time in parts of Europe and the United States when those suspected of witchcraft were heavily persecuted and frequently executed, often times by being burned on a cross.

Buzz – See energy buzz

Cabal – A group of loosely associated magical practitioners that nevertheless at times share information and practice magic together.

Cabalah – See Kabalah.

Call – An incantation.

Candle – A disposable tool of various shapes meant to be burned which consists of wax and a wick.

Candle Magic – Any magical spell or ritual which involves the use of a candle.

Candomblé – A religion originating among the slave population in Brazil which incorporates the beliefs and practices of Western and Central Africa with some aspects of Christianity.

Cao Dai – See Caodaiism.

Caodaiism – A monotheistic religion originating in Vietnam in the early part of the 20th century. The religion combines elements of Buddhism, Taoism, and the Abrahamic faiths, among other faiths, and also includes some unique elements. Adherents believe that the faith was received directly from god.

Cardinal – Within some denominations of Christianity, a senior member of the clergy, usually the highest rank achievable within the organization outside of the organization’s head.

Cardinal Directions – Also Cardinal Points. The directions North, East, South, and West.

Cardinal Points – See Cardinal Directions.

Cartomancy – Divination through playing cards.

Cauldron – A large metal pot originally invented for boiling which is sometimes used as a magical tool.

Celestial Alphabet – Also Angelic Alphabet. A magical alphabet first published by Agrippa,who attributed it to and believed its name was derived from the fact that its letters are based on the positions of the stars. The alphabet is based on the Hebrew alphabet with which it has a one to one correspondence.

Censer – A vessel used to burn incense.

Ceremonial Magic – A general term applied to various systems of magic first appearing in Europe around the 18th century which combine several different sets of magical beliefs, most of which were developed in Europe and the Middle East during the middle ages, and which generally place a heavy emphasis on the ritual aspects of spellwork and magic. Alchemy, Ancient Egyptian mythology and spirituality, Christian Mysticism, Enochian Magic, Freemasonry, Greco-Roman mythology, Hermeticism, Kabalah, various medieval grimoires, the occult tarot, and Rosicrucianism were all major influences on systems of Ceremonial Magic. During the early part of the 20th century Ceremonial Magic was further influenced by several Eastern systems, such as Taoism and the practice of Yoga, and the New Thought Movement. Ceremonial Magic is the forerunner to both modern Paganism and Chaos Magic.

Cessationism – A Christan belief that the mystical or magical abilities possessed by some early Christians in the bible no longer occur among modern Christians. This belief is in opposition to continuationism.

Chakras – Points on a person’s physical body in which energy can be drawn in, pushed out, or otherwise manipulated.

Chalice – A cup used for ritual purposes.

Changeling – In folklore a fae child that was switched with a human infant so that it would be raised by human parents. In some folklore the fae is not a child but an elderly fae.

Channel – Gathering information into oneself from an outside source. Also the route or construct through which the information travels to reach oneself.

Chaos Magick – Also Kaos Magick. A system of magic founded on the theories of Peter Carroll, particularly that most aspects of magic, and even reality, are actually due to internal forces and perceptions, and also that magical success is based on faith and belief in external forces.

Charge – To put energy into an object.

Cherub – In Christian mythology a specific school of angels. Sometimes also used as a general term to refer to angels.

Chi – See Ki

Chinese Astrology – A form of astrology native to Asia that developed primarily in China.

Chiromancy – See palmistry.

Christian Mysticism – Magical practices, which are typically Ceremonial in nature, based on the theological beliefs of Christianity.

Christianity – Consisting of many different sects and varied beliefs, Christianity is a monotheistic religion and the largest religion in the entire world. Christianity was initially a sect of Judaism which first appeared in the Middle-East and which later broke off and became a separate religion. The central belief of all sects of Christianity is that the historical figure Jesus Christ was born the son of and embodiment of the Abrahamic god.

Chthonic – Of or relating to the underworld, usually used in reference to deities.

Church – A place which is set aside for the worship of one or more deities, or which is set aside for other spiritual practices or gatherings. The term is primarily Christian, although it is sometimes used by other religions and spiritual groups. Also, within Christianity, a reference to the governing body and agents of a denomination collectively, and the institution as a whole.

Church of Satan, The – A Satanic religion founded by Anton Levay based on his various spiritual and philosophical beliefs as outlined in the Satanic Bible.

Church of the Subgenius – A religious organization founded in the early eighties (although the church claims to have been founded in the fifties), which is often described as a parody religion or satirical religion. The religion is meant to satire both mainstream and alternative spiritual organizations along with psuedo-religious topics such as space aliens and conspiracy theories.

Circle – A circle, real or imagined, and of varied complexity, that appears in many magical rituals. Also, especially in Paganism, may refer to a group of practitioners who regularly perform rituals together or a group of practitioners that are currently performing a ritual together.

Cleaning – Removing unwanted energy and/or entities from a place.

Cleansing – To remove energy or entities from an object or place, or energy from a person.

Client – Usually a person who has paid money or otherwise traded goods or services for a psychic reading. It may also refer to a person who has paid money or otherwise traded goods or services for a spell to be cast.

Cloud Busting – The act of causing clouds to break up through pure thought or other magical means.

Cold Reading – A psychic reading in which no real psychic or magical acts are performed and instead the reading is based on information gathered through psychology, trickery, and deception.

Collective Unconscious – The theory that the minds, thoughts, and knowledge of all people are connected together in a way that is, at least usually and under normal circumstances, not perceivable by anyone.

Commune – To have discourse with a deity either through direct communication or through the sending and receiving of energy. Sometimes also refers to discourse with a non-divine spirit.

Communion – Also divine communion. Discourse with a deity, either through direct communication or by sending and receiving energy. A message to a deity in which no reply is received is not communion, but a prayer. Within some Christian denominations Communion is also another term for the Euchirist.

Comparative Religion – Comparing and contrasting the mythologies and rituals of various religions in an effort to derive spiritual truth. Comparative religion is a central theme of Theosophy and is present in most of the religions and groups that were influenced by it.

Community – See Magical Community.

Confucianism – A quasi-religious Eastern philosophical system first developed in Ancient China and based upon the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius.

Conjuration – See Hoodoo.

Conjure – See Hoodoo.

Conjurer – See Hoodoo doctor.

Conjure Doctor – See Hoodoo doctor.

Continuationism – A Christian belief that some Christian individuals possess mystical and magical abilities similar to those possessed by the early Christians which appear in the bible. The belief is in opposition to cessationism.

Cord – A rope with a small diameter.

Cosmogony – Any theory or idea about how the universe or reality came into existance.

Cosmology – The study of the origin, structure, and future of the universe.

Cosmos – An ordered system. Also the midpoint between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm signified as man.

Coven – A structured spiritual group which gathers for unity and/or ritual practice. The term is chiefly Wiccan, but is used by some other groups, usually other pagan religions.

Covenstead – Cheifly Wiccan, the physical location where a coven usually meets.

Cowan – Usually derogatory. Is used to refer to a non-initiate of a particular group, or to someone  perceived to be a faker and not a real magician.

Craft – Chiefly Wiccan. Used to refer to the study and practice of magic, or the the Wiccan religion in general.

Creationism – The belief that the universe was created by a deity or deities.

Croomstick – A staff with a hooked end.

Crone – In some belief systems, the third and final aspect a woman will take on during her lifetime, the first two being maiden and mother. Also used in some systems to refer to older female elders.

Cross – See Holy Cross.

Cross-Quarter Days – The four days of the year which fall in the middle of an Equinox and Solstice. Traditionally these four days have been associated with the holidays of many different religions and cultures.

Crossroads – The point where two roads interesect resulting in paths leading in four different directions.

Crucifix – A large cross made out of wood for the purpose of crucifixion. Also a Christian religious symbol of the Crucifixion of Christ.

Crucifixion – A means of execution by which a person is attached to a large wooden cross and left to die of exposure. Within Christianity, this was the means through which Christ was executed.

Crucifixion, the – Christian term which refers, specifically, to the Crucifixion of Christ.

Crystal – In metaphysics, usually short for Quartz Crystal, although its exact definition encompasses more minerals than just Quartz Crystal.

Crystal Ball – A ball traditionally made out of polished quartz crystal or beryl, but more recently typically made out of glass, which is used for scrying.

Crystal Skull – Skulls carved out of quartz crystal and which are purported to be of pre-Colombian American origin and which are believed to have special metaphysical properties. The technology required to create the skulls is beyond the known technology of pre-Colombian American societies. So far all crystal skulls which have had their origins scientifically scrutinized have turned out to not be of a pre-Colombian American origin, which has led to many of these skulls no longer being displayed in museums.

Crystal Wand – See energy wand.

Cthulian Mythos – See Lovecraftian mythos.

Cult – A system of ritual practices. More recently the term has been used in a derogatory manner to refer to small religious orders which psychologically control or otherwise coerce members into joining or staying with the group.

Curse – Any type of magic which is intended to harm, control, or have some other negative effect on another. Also the act of doing any type of magic meant to harm, control, or have some other negative effect on another.

Daemon – See demon.

Daggers Alphabet – A magical cipher alphabet based on the Latin alphabet which was created by Aliester Crowley and first published in his book The Vision and the Voice.

Dalai Lama – The highest spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism.

Dark Night of the Soul – A chiefly Christian term, although it is sometimes used outside of Christianity. The phrase usually refers to a personal crisis which threatens ones spiritual path. It may also be used to describe the trails one must undergo to achieve spiritual enlightenment.

Degree – A measurement of rank within some groups. In meaning the word is synonymous with grade or level, although groups rarely use these words interchangeably.

Deism – A belief that the universe was created by a supreme being or god which is impersonal and does not interfere or manipulate with human affairs and events.

Deity – A god or goddess. Sometimes used by Wiccans as a proper noun to refer to a genderless supreme being.

Demiurge – In some belief systems a creationary deity which is believed to have shaped and designed all, or at least a significant part, of the universe, but which is not the supreme creationary deity.

Demon – Also daemon. Usually the term refers to a set of spirits (not all of which may technically be demons) that individually exist as combined intelligences. Sometimes used as a catch all term to refer to metaphysical beings that are perceived as negative, hostile, or evil. Although demon and daemon are usually synonymous, sometimes the terms are used as differently defined classifications.

Demonologist – One who practices demonology. Often times has an over-inflated ego and sense of self worth.

Demonology – The spiritual belief system which studies spirits from a primarily Christian perspective and which labels all spirits and gods with the exception of some angelic spirits as being demonic and negative. The belief system has a negative view of most magical practices (labeling them as dangerous and possibly evil) and other non-Christian spiritual practices, although exorcisms and house cleanings are commonly performed and approved when done in accordance with their beliefs. Demonlogy is closely related to and influenced by paranormal investigation and parapsychology (and often times members of these three groups work together). There are also some influences of Spiritism, Spirtualism, Ceremonial Magick, and medieval grimoires.

Deosil – Clockwise.

Deva – A benevolent deity in the Hindu Pantheon. The Devas were half-siblings to the malevolent Asuras. The term may also be applied to any benevolent spirit. Within Zoroastrianism, the term refers to an order of malevolent spirits.

Dharma – Spiritually ones obligations and duties within their lifetime.

Dianic Wicca – A Wiccan sect that places a high emphasis on feminism.

Dionysion Mysteries – See Bacchic mysteries.

Discordia – A modern religion which is based on the teachings (as derived from divinely inspired works) of the Greek goddess of discord Eris.

Disassociation – A psychologically recognized state in which a person feels disconnected from their physical selves as if they are watching themselves act. Although in extreme cases a sign of a psychological disorder, dissociative states are a common occurrence among the general population. Disassociation is a common side-effect of certain magical practices and can also be caused after experiencing certain types of metaphysical phenomena. Dissociation is also a common side-effect of drug use.

Divination – To foretell the future, or gather information about the past or present through metaphysical means.

Divine – In monotheism, of or relating to the religion’s deity. In polytheism, of or relating to one or several deities.

Divine Communion — See Communion

Divine Inspiration – The act of creating a written or otherwise artistic work as per the instructions of a specific deity while in direct contact with that deity.

Divinely Inspired – Being a product of divine inspiration.

Djinn – Also Jinn. A type of spiritual creature from pre-Islamic Arabia that is also featured in the Islamic faith. Initially the term seems to be used to refer to any type of spiritual creature, although later the term became directed at specific types of spiritual creatures. There exist several different types of Djinn both in Islamic sources and pre-Islamic sources, and there are also various interpretations of the Djinn mythologies.

Docetism – Within Christianity, a belief that Jesus was not human, but a spirit or apparition that appeared human.

Doomsday Cult – A religious group that is centered around prophecies of an apocalypse, or which is actively attempting to bring about an apocalypse.

Dowsing – Using wooden or metal rods to find water or energy in an area through the way in which energy reacts to the rods. Also sometimes done with a pendulum.

Drain – To take energy out of a person, animal, other living organism, spirit, or object.

Dragon – A species of creature that is not native to earth. Although their natural form is that of a giant lizard, they are able to shape-shift and temporarily incarnate. Dragons are long lived and very slow in doing things, and are often concerned with long term investments in regards to accumulating things (typically knowledge and power). They are often seen as the opposite of fae creatures.

Dream Walking – The act of entering another’s dream.

Dress – To apply oil to a candle, or less often some other object, in preparation of a ritual.

Dressing Cloth – A special cloth used solely for dressing candles.

Druid – A practitioner of the modern Pagan religion Druidism. Also a member of the priestly caste in pre-Christian Britain, Ireland, and Gaul.

Druidism – Usually refers to a modern day pagan religion which attempts to reconstruct druidic traditions and which is often times combined with elements of Wicca. It may also refer to the original religious practices of the Druids found in Great Britain, Ireland, and Gaul, of which very little is known.

Drum Circle – A group of individuals gathered in a circle playing drums.

Dualism – A spiritual belief that certain, or possibly all, things come in pairs of opposites, such as good and evil or man and woman.

Duotheism – A belief in two supreme deities of equal power which exist in opposition to one another.

Dystheism – A belief that a god, or the gods in general, are not wholly good and may possibly be evil.

Eastern Magical Tradition – The spiritual beliefs, practices and religions that originate in Asia and certain islands of the pacific ocean.

Echatology – The study of the end times or apocalypse.

Eclectic – In terms of spirituality it refers to the mixing of several different spiritual beliefs, practices, and/or religions.

Eclectic Wicca – Refers to Wiccan sects or the beliefs of individual Wiccan practitioners which draw influences from several different Wiccan traditions, and possibly from spiritual sources outside of Wicca.

Ectoplasm – A substance purported to be excreted by some mediums through orifices on their bodies which could then be manipulated and otherwise used by spirits to affect the physical world.

Egregore – A powerful thoughtform created by a group of individuals.

Elder – A very experienced adept, usually older, who has been an adept for a long time and is actively involved in the magical community.

Elder Futhark – A Germanic rune alphabet believed to have been given to man by the god Odin and possessed of magical powers in Norse mythology.

Elder Gods – A group of specific deities within the Lovecraft Mythos.

Electromagnetic Field – A measurable field produced by electrically charged objects often times used by Paranormal Investigators as evidence of the presence of spirits or other supernatural phenomena.

Electronic Voice Phenomena – Abbreviated EVP. The phenomena of words, voices, or other distinct sounds appearing as background noise in a recording which are usually attributed to ghosts or spirits.

Element – The five purest and most basic aspects of which all things in the universe are made up of. In the Western Traditions, Hinduism, and Japanese spirituality these five elements are Fire, Water, Air, Earth and a fifth element referred to as Spirit, Akasha, or Void. In Chinese spirituality the five elements are Fire, Water, Earth, Wood, and Metal.

Elemental – A spirit connected to a physical representation of an element.

Eleusinian Mysteries – Secret initiation mysteries performed in the Greek city of Eleusis and centered around the cult of Demeter and Persephone. Participants were required to take a vow of secrecy and believed they would recieve some reward in the afterlife for having been initiated.

Elf – An intelligent species that is non-native to earth, and typically appears in this world only as a non-incarnate spirit, although incarnate elves have been sighted in the past. Physically and culturally elves are very similar to modern humans, so much so that they are probably just an alternate evolution of the same concept within a world that has a different climate and ecology.

Elysian Fields – Also Elysium. In Greek mythology, a heavenly area of the afterlife reserved for those who were heroic or virtuous in life, or related to the gods.

Elysium – See Elysian Fields

EMF – See Electromagnetic Field

Empathy – In metaphysics, the ability to sense, and to an extent feel, the emotions of (usually) those in close physical proximity. All people are empathic to some extent.

Empath – A person who has a strong and highly sensitive empathic ability.

Empath Sickness – A condition sometimes experienced by empathically sensitive people, which creates a discomfort or fear of crowds, and, if it progresses far enough, eventually a discomfort or fear of small groups and possibly even individuals.

Enchant – To cast a spell upon an item so that the item will perform some metaphysical function. Sometimes also used to refer to charging or blessing an item. Less often the term is used to refer to a, usually beneficial, spell upon a person which will have some continuous effect.

Enchanted – To have cast a spell on, also less frequent to have blessed or charged. See also Enchant.

Energy – In metaphysics, an invisible yet sensible and relatively quantifiable force which can cause change and which can be manipulated and directed.

Energy Buzz – Sometimes shortened to buzz. Also energy drunk. A mental state brought about by a person rapidly absorbing more energy than they are used to working with. The state is similar to being buzzed on alcohol or certain other drugs, and in some cases it may have a mild euphoric affect on the person.

Energy Drunk – See energy buzz.

Energy Manipulation – Any act of moving, changing, or raising energy.

Energy Wand – Also crystal wand and reiki wand. A wand typically made out of a single long piece of crystal.

Energy Work – To work with energy. For the most part synonymous with energy manipulation.

Energy Vampire – See psionic vampire.

Enochian Alphabet – A magical alphabet supposedly channeled from angels by Edward Kelly while working with John Dee.

Enochian Alphabet (Pantheus) – This is a magical alphabet created by Pantheus and first published in his book Voarchadumia. This should not be confused with the Enochian alphabet which was channeled by Dee and Kelly.

Enochian Magic – A system of magic that uses a purported angelic alphabet developed from the channeled works of Edward Kelly as interpreted by Dr John Dee.

Enochian Chess – A four player variation of chess created by McGregor Mathers and used by the Golden Dawn as a training tool. The full rules to the game may no longer exist.

Ephemeris – A book which gives the position of celestial objects at specific times.

Epicureanism – An Ancient Greek philosophy developed around the 4th century BC, and one of the three major Greek philosophical schools. Epicureanism was based on the belief that what was pleasurable determined what was good, and the true pleasure came from the tranquility achieved through a humble life and the pursuit of knowledge.

Equinox – The two days of the year when daytime and nighttime are of equal length. The Equinoxes have traditionally been associated with the holidays of many different religions and cultures.

Esbat – Within some forms of Paganism, namely Wicca, any religious gathering of group members other than for a sabbat.

Esoteric – Information which is known to, shared, or understood by only a small group of initiated individuals.

Esoteric Buddhism – Also Vajrayana Buddhism and Tantric Buddhism. The third branch of the Buddhist religion, although it is sometimes classified as a kind of Mahayana Buddhism. Esoteric Buddhism is the newest form of Buddhism, features a wider variety of beliefs among the different sects, and places a much heavier emphasis on ritual than the other two branches of Buddhism.

ESP – See extrasensory perception.

Eucharist – A Christian ritual in remembrance of the last supper of Christ in which bread and wine, or possibly a non-alcoholic substitute, are ingested, and are meant as symbolic representations of the body and blood of Christ.

Evocation – A magical ritual in which something is summoned forth.

Exercise – A magical operation designed solely for the purpose of enhancing ones magical abilities through frequent use.

Exorcism – To forcefully remove an entity from a living body which it was not born into. Sometimes also used to mean to forcefully remove an entity from a place.

Extrasensory Perception – The ability to gather information about the external world through senses other than those recognized by science.

EVP – Abbreviation for Electronic Voice Phenomena.

Fable – A story which illustrates a lesson and may be sacred, but is generally not believed to be factual by the culture in which it originates.

Fae – Also Fay. A specific intelligent species that is not native to earth, and also a catch all term for a group of species related to Fae (including pixies, trolls, goblins, brownies, and gnomes, among literally hundreds of others). The exact nature, personality, and culture of Fae creatures are dependent both on the exact species and the individual Fae, however all Fae creatures are creatures of desire, living entirely in the moment and acting on the current whims of their desires. They are often seen as the opposite of dragons.

Faekin – An otherkin which was specifically some type of Fae or Fae-related species in a past life.

Faerie Wicca – Several different sects of Wicca all that emphasize fae creatures and fae lore.

Faith Healing – The belief that a person can be completely healed, or otherwise receive positive medical benefits, solely through the act of believing in a higher power.

Familiar – Any non-incarnate entity with which a practitioner routinely associates and works with. Shortened from familiar spirit.

Far-sighted – The ability to see into the future.

Fay – See Fae.

Feng Shui – The study of how architecture, landscape, and interior design affect the movements of energy, and the application of this data to benefit those inside.

Feri Tradition – A Pagan religion founded by Victor and Cora Anderson which predates Wicca, and is unrelated to Faery Wicca.

Fertility Magic – A classification for magic, spells, and rituals which are intended to increase the likelihood of an individual person or group of people having children through sexual intercourse, or which are intended to prevent miscarriages.

Fertility Religion – A religion or belief system which is centered around rituals, and possibly mythologies, based in the acts of sexual procreation, conception, and birth. The religion may also include an additional emphasis on death as part of the birth-death cycle.

Fertility Spell – A spell intended to increase the likelihood of having a child through sexual intercourse, or a spell intended to prevent miscarriages.

Flagellation – Methodically whipping or beating a person for spiritual or non-spiritual purposes, sometimes in order to induce an altered state of perception. Today flagellation is largely associated with Christianity, where it is used to experience Christ’s pain during his flagellation prior to the crucifixtion, although there is a long pre-Christian history of ritual flagellation. Flagellating oneself is known as self-flagellation.

Flood Myth – A reoccurring myth found within many different cultures, religions, and mythologies from around the world about a flood that happened long ago and wiped out much of humanity.

Fluffy – See fluffy bunny.

Fluffy Bunny – Also just Fluffy. A disparaging term, chiefly Wiccan, used to describe other Wiccans. The exact definition of the term varies, but is generally used to describe Wiccans who are perceived as stupid, ignorant, not true Wiccans, have fantastic or magical world views, are overly optimistic, and/or are white lighters.

Flying Ointment – A topical ointment made by combining lard with various drugs, usually hallucinogens, so they can be absorbed through the skin. Several different recipes for flying ointments exist. Flying ointments are believed to have been used by Traditional Witches to fly or astrally project.

Fnord – A nonsense word created by Discordians which is randomly inserted into sentences, lists, speech, and whatever else in an attempt to incite randomness and chaos.

Forn Sior – Used chiefly in Scandinavia and Germany, the term refers to Germanic Paganism. Forn Sior is also the name of a Danish Asatru and Vanatru religious organization.

Fólkvangr – In Norse mythology, a heavenly area ruled over by Freya to which half of those who died in battle are brought in order to prepare for Ragnarök.

Folklore – The collection of oral history, music, tradition, customs, and general beliefs of a culture or group of people.

Fortean – Any supernatural or paranormal phenomena which cannot be explained by science. The term is named after paranormal researcher and author Charles Fort.

Fortune Telling – Gaining information about future events, and possibly past and present events, through magical or spiritual means. Fortune telling is synonymous with divination.

Fortune Teller – One who practices divination.

Fo Zhu – See Shu Zhu.

Frater – Latin for brother. A common title given to members of many different groups.

Freemasonry – A fraternal organization that, at least initially, was steeped in ceremonial ritual. In the last half century the emphasis of ritual has been downplayed and the group has become more focused on aspects of fraternity and community outreach.

Friendship Spell – A spell intended to aid in gaining friends, or to make someone be looked upon more favorably by others, or to make a specific person become a friend to or otherwise look favorably upon the practitioner or another.

Furry – A person who prefers to be dressed up as a specific type of animal and possibly engage in non-human animalistic behavior. Although not usually spiritual, some furries have claimed that their actions serve a spiritual purpose, and many furries have been showing up in otherkin based or otherkin friendly groups.

Futhark – Also known as the rune alphabets, a set of archaic Germanic alphabets thought to possess magical powers which includes the Elder Futhark, the Younger Futhark, and the Futhorc.

Futhorc – A variation of the Elder Futhark used by Anglo-Saxons.

Galdrabok – A Proto-Norse word for a book of magical spells or techniques. Similar in meaning to the word Grimoire.

Gambling Spell – A type of spell which is both a luck spell and a prosperity spell, and which is specifically intended to help win at games of chance or skill where money is wagered.

Gardnerian Wicca – The very first Wiccan sect, Gardnerian Wicca is a modern day Pagan religion which initially incorporated some aspects of Traditional Witchcraft, Ceremonial Magic, Celtic mythology, European Folklore (concerning witches), and BDSM. Later theological philosophies of the hippie counterculture movement were added to it.

Gematria – A method of applying numerical values to the letters in a word or phrase and then associating that word or phrase to other words and phrases which share its numerical value.

Gemstone – Usually a mineral which is sometimes used to make jewelry. The term may also refer to several non-minerals, such as amber, which are used in jewelry.

Genie – A French word that initially meant helpful spirit. Due to the similarity in sound and meaning the word was used in place of the Arabic word Djinn in translations of the Arabian Nights.

Geocentrism – A belief that the Earth is the center of the universe and all things revolve around it.

Geomancy – Methods of divination that utilize markings on the ground or patterns formed by throwing dirt.

Georgian Wiccan – A Wiccan sect founded by George Patterson in the United States. It is closely related to Gardnerian Wicca.

Germanic Neopaganism – – See Germanic Paganism.

Germanic Paganism – Also Germanic Neopaganism. The various Pagan religions which are specifically based off of the Norse pantheon and the pre-Christian beliefs of Scandinavia, Germany, and the surrounding areas.

Ghost – Usually the spirit of a dead person, but sometimes also used to describe the spirit of a dead animal.

Ghost Box – A device that allows one to record and hear EVPs in real time (rather than the traditional method of recording sound and then later analyzing the recording for EVPs) in order to facilitate real time communication between humans and spirits. The device is most often used by Paranormal Investigators.

Ghost Hunter – See Paranormal Investigator.

Ghostie – Slang term for ghost.

Ghoul – From the Arabic Ghul, the term initially referred to a type of Djinn known to frequent graveyards. The term has now come to have many varied meanings. In modern magical usage, the term generally refers to the original Arabic myth, or to sighted creatures (which are strikingly similar to the Arabic myth) which appear as living corpses.

Glamour – Any spell which attempts to change a person or thing so that it is perceived differently than it actually is.

Gnosticism – A group of religions which have been argued to have originated as an early form of Christianity (there are other arguments, and some evidence, that gnosticism predated Christianity). Gnostic beliefs typically include the belief that the biblical God, although existing, is not the true god, and the goal of gnosticism is to reach enlightenment, something that is typically believed to be capable of by only an elite few.

God – A male deity or a deity of any gender.

Goddess – A female deity.

Goddess, the – A term which is used to refer to a supreme monotheistic, possibly pantheistic, creator deity that is perceived as feminine. May also refer to just the feminine aspect of a supreme monotheistic pantheistic deity. The term is usually used within certain Pagan religions.

Gods – All deities, regardless of gender, referred to collectively. Less often all male deities referred to collectively.

Goetic Daemon – See Goetic Spirit.

Goetic Demon – See Goetic Spirit.

Goetic Spirit – Also Goetic Demon and Goetic Daemon. One of the various spirits which are listed in the first book of the Lemegaton, the Goetia. Less frequently it may also refer to one of the various spirits listed in the second book of the Lemegaton, the Thurgia Goetia.

Golden Dawn – Also Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a secret organization concerned primarily with Ceremonial Magic, Enochian Magic, Kabalah, and Tarot that lasted for about fourteen years around the turn of the 20th century. The group spawned many splinter groups and included several major occult authors, leading to the group being one of the largest influences of the Magick Revival.

Gospel – Christian term referring to an account that describes the life of Jesus Christ. Outside Christianity it is sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to any important religious or spiritual work.

Grade – A measurement of rank within some groups. The meaning of the word is synonymous with degree or level, although groups rarely use these words interchangeably.

Gray Magic – Also Grey Magic. Indefinite term used by some to describe magic which they perceive as amoral or of arguable morality.

Great Rite – Sexual intercourse. May refer to actual sexual intercourse, spiritual sexual intercourse, or symbolic sexual intercourse.

Great Work – Also Magnum Opus. Anything which is done in order to aid a practitioner in reaching some perceived high point of spiritual attainment, often times what is thought to be the highest possible point of spiritual attainment. The end goal of the great work, the point of spiritual attainment which is being sought after, varies between different magical systems.

Greco-Roman – Of or related to the spiritual beliefs or cultures of either Ancient Greek or of Ancient Rome after it’s acclimation to Ancient Greek culture.

Grey Magic – See Gray Magic.

Grimoire – A term of medieval European origin that originally referred to a book of spells and/or magical instruction. In recent times the term has sometimes been applied to books which deal with magic in any way. It is also sometimes used to specifically refer to classic books from medieval Europe or books closely modeled after them.

Grounding – The act of pushing energy into the ground.

Ghul – See Ghoul

Hades – In Greek mythology the underworld or land of the dead. Also a title sometimes given to the Greek god of the dead Pluto.

Haitian Vodou – A voodoo religion originating in Haiti, the religion combines elements of West African Vodun with Christianity. The religion is similar to, but distinct from, Louisiana Voodoo.

Handfasting – Several different types of marriage ceremonies which, for the most part, are performed as part of several different Pagan religions.

Haunting – In regards to a place, the state of being actively inhabited by a spirit or spirits which are active and usually noticeable to those with no metaphysical training or magical ability.

Hearth – A stone fireplace used for warmth and cooking that was once common place in residential structures. Hearths feature prominently in a lot of Pagan lore.

Heathenism – Synonymous with Paganism and Neopaganism, the term is used by certain Pagan groups which reconstruct Germanic Paganism.

Hellenistic Astrology – A now defunct form of astrology practiced in Hellenistic Egypt which was the forerunner to both western astrology and jyotish astrology.

Hellenic Polytheism – A modern Pagan religion which attempts to reconstruct the spiritual beliefs and practices of the Ancient Greeks.

Henotheism – A belief in or worship of a single deity, while believing in the existence or possible existence of other deities.

Heresy – A change in spiritual or religious beliefs which is usually controversial and in contrast to established dogma.

Herb – A plant, usually dried, which is used for magical or medicinal purposes.

Herbalism – The study of various plants in regards to their medicinal and metaphysical properties.

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – See Golden Dawn.

Hermeticism – A series of metaphysical beliefs derived largely from the Emerald Tablet, also from the Corpus Hermeticum.

Hex – A spell which is usually intended to have a negative effect on its target.

Hex Work – See Braucherei

Hex Break – The act of undoing a spell.

Hexenmeisters – A practitioner of Braucherei.

High Magic – Magic thats primary purpose in application is to further ones spiritual attainment.

High Priest – In some systems a male who is the head of a group or a designated ritual leader. Sometimes the position is shared with a high priestess.

High Priestess – In some systems a female who is the head of a group or a designated ritual leader. Sometimes the position is shared with a high priest.

Higher Planes – See higher realms.

Higher Realms – Also higher planes. May refer to those areas thought to be located directly above our current plane of existence or alternatively all areas thought to be located above our current plane of existence.

Hinduism – A religion that was directly developed from Brahmanism in India.

Hollow Earth – The belief that the Earth is either hollow, or consists of a large network of tunnels, and that through various means this area of the Earth may possibly be able to support intelligent life.

Holy – That which is connected to a god or the gods.

Holy Communion – See Euchirist.

Holy Cross – A Christian symbol, which ranges in style from very simple to elaborate, and which is meant to represent the crucifixion of Christ. The Holy Cross is the general symbol of Christianity.

Holy Guardian Angel (HGA) – See Mental Body.

Homeopathy – An alternative form of medicine which is based on the belief that like cures like. Homeopathic patients are given very diluted medications which, in stronger doses, would cause the same symptoms the patient is suffering from in healthy individuals.

Honorian Alphabet – See Theban Alphabet.

Hoodoo – Also conjure and conjuration. A set of magical practices and rituals that combine elements of West African spirituality with elements of Native American spirituality, European grimoires, and Christianity. Hoodoo was initially developed among slave populations in the southeast United States.

Hoodoo Doctor – Also conjure doctor, conjurer, root doctor, root worker, and two-headed doctor. A practitioner of Hoodoo of either sex.

Hoodoo Man – Also Two-Head Man. A male practitioner of Hoodoo.

Hoodoo Woman – Also Two-Head Woman. A female practitioner of Hoodoo.

Host, the – In Catholocism, and some other Christian religions, the bread used during the Eucharist which is believed to be literally transformed into the body of Christ.

Hot Reading – A psychic reading in which information is gained through some sort of psychic or magical act in contrast to a cold reading. Also, within some skeptic circles, a psyhcic reading in which the information divined is procured by the reader beforehand through mundane methods.

Houngan – In Haitian Voodoo, an initiated high priest. Sometimes used to refer to an intiate of Hatian Voodoo who only practices light magic in contrast with a bokor who only practices dark magic.

HP – High priest.

HPS – High priestess.

Hylic – Within Gnosticism, the lowest of the three worlds, the material world. Also sometimes used to refer to a person, in which case it is synonymous with Somatic.

Hypnosis – A scientifically recognized altered state of mind, although some critics argue it is not a true state of mind but instead derived from role enactment. In addition to its more common uses in therapy and entertainment, hypnosis is often times used for spiritual purposes. Hypnosis was also one of the main tools used to discover false repressed memories which fueled the Satanic Scare.

Hypnotic Induction – The act of putting someone into a state of hypnosis.

I Ching – Also known as the book of changes, the I Ching is a Taoist spiritual text which is also used as a divinatory system.

Ice Magick – A system of magic developed in Germany by Frater U.D. while he was part of the Illuminates of Thanaeros and another practitioner known as Hemult. The creation of Ice Magick lead directly to the Ice Wars.

Ice Wars – A reference to the battle for control of the Illuminates of Thanaeros between cofounder Peter Carrol and those who remained loyal to him and Frater U.D. and those who sided with him. Ultimately Carrol retained control of the group which survived the ordeal, but lost many members in the process.

Illuminates of Thanateros – A group dedicated to Chaos Magick founded in 1978 by Peter Carrol and Ray Sherwin.

Illuminati – A secret group or network of groups believed by some conspiracy theorists to politically, financially, or otherwise control the world.

Image Candle – A candle shaped like a person.

Imaginary Elemental – Also artificial elemental. A spirit which is initially a thought form but is then imbued with sentient thought, freewill, and self-sustentation, in other words has been given a soul.

Imbolic – Imbolic was originally an Irish holiday which celebrated the beginning of spring. More recentally it has been adapted by several Pagan relgions and is celebrated on February 1st or 2nd. The meaning, importance, practices, and rituals associated with Imbolic vary between different groups.

Imp – A type of spirit which is often times employed by or bound into servitude to magicians, and which is typically malicious or amoral and prone to pranks and slightly harmful behavior. Due to superficial similarities imps are often mistaken for Fae creatures, although no relationship exists between imps and fae creatures.

Incantation – Words said or recited as part of a magical ritual.

Incense – Woods, herbs, and other substances which are burned in order to produce a specific smell.

Indigo Children – The theory that some children are now being born with a previously unforeseen, or rarely seen, indigo color within their aura, that the rate at which these children are being born is constantly increasing, and that these children represent a higher stage of spiritual evolution which is entering this world. The term may also be used to refer specifically to children with the indigo color.

Initiate – A general term used to describe someone who has found focus and direction in their spiritual path and in doing so has moved beyond the general exploration stage of the neophyte but has not yet become an adept. Also used to refer to someone who has been initiated into a specific group or spiritual system. Also used as the title of one of the lower ranks in several spiritual systems.

Initiation Mattress – Much like Hollywood’s casting couch, a reference to group leaders who require (sometimes selectively) sex from new members as a prerequisite to group initiation, or teachers who require sex from their students as a prerequisite to receiving spiritual training.

Initiation Ritual – A group ritual which is performed when a new member first joins a group or spiritual system, or sometimes when a group member achieves a new, predetermined, grade within the group. Initiation rituals are usually centered around introducing the new member to their new spiritual path or to the spiritual world in general, and sometimes also introducing the member to and forming a bond with the group. See also self-initiation.

Inner Order – Within some magical orders which segregate between two differently ranked types of group members, the inner order refers to the higher ranked division, which is usually trusted with all or at least most of the available group knowledge and allowed to attend all of the group rituals.

Inner Mysteries – Sometimes the term is synonymous with sacred mysteries. Sometimes it refers to specific information and rituals reserved for initiates of a specific group. In regards to a specific group, it can also refer to information and rituals reserved for members of the inner order of that group.

Intelligent Design – The belief that the complexity of systems within nature and the improbability of various necessary factors occurring solely through chance proves that the universe was created by an intelligent higher power.

Inverted Cross – A Christian religious symbol which denotes a sinner in repentence. The symbol is in reference to Saint Peter, who denied Christ, repented, and is later believed to have been crucified on an upside down cross. The is sometimes used by Satanist, many who incorrectly believe it to be a Satanic symbol which is meant to mock Christianity.

Invisibility Magic – Any magic, ritual, or spell that is designed to render the practitioner or another invisible, or otherwise intended to hide the practitioner or another, either from the physical senses (such as making someone unseeable) or from magical senses (such as masking an energy signature), so that they will not be noticed.

Invisibility Spell – A spell designed to render the practitioner or another invisible, or otherwise intended to hide the practitioner or another, either from the physical senses (such as making someone unable to be seen) or from magical senses (such as masking an energy signature), so that they will not be noticed.

Is, the – A reference to a supreme creationary deity. Derived from the first name the Judeo-Christian god refers to himself in the Old Testament, Yahweh, which translates into English as I am.

Islam – Consisting of many different sects and varied beliefs, Islam is a monotheistic religion based, at least partially, in Judeo-Christian beliefs. The major differences between Islam and Christianity is that Islam does not regard Jesus Christ as the son of god, although he is regarded as a prophet of god, and Islam also contains further revelations about god which were obtained from the prophet Muhammad.

Jah – An alternative name for the monotheistic god of the Abrahamic faiths, most often used within the Rastafari Movement of Jamaica.

Janism – An ancient religion developed in, and still mostly practiced in, India. Jans attempt to reach higher enlightenment and remove themselves from the cycle of life and death by removing karmas. This is achieved, primarily, through wisdom and self-control and following several basic principles of Janism which includes non-violence towards all living things, non-materialism, and celibacy.

Japa Mala – See Mala.

Jehova – Alternative spelling of Yanwah. Refers to the monotheistic god of the Abrahamic faiths.

Jinn – See Djinn.

Jinx – Chiefly hoodoo. Negative magic directed at a person. Synonymous with curse or hex.

Jötunn – Beings found in Norse mythology which were of comparable strength and ability to the Norse gods of the Aesir and Vanir, but were separate from them.

Judaism – Consisting of many different sects and varied beliefs, Judaism is the oldest monotheistic religion still in existence and a predecessor to Christianity. Judaism was first developed in the middle-east among the Hebrews.

Judeo-Christian – Refers either to that which is among the collected beliefs, practices, and mythologies that exist in both Christianity and Judaism, or to any of the beliefs, practices, or mythologies which exist in either Judaism or Christianity.

Juju – The magical properties or powers of an object.

Juzu – See Nenju.

Jyotish Astrology – A form of astrology which developed in India and is primarily practiced there.

Kabalah – Originally a form of Jewish mysticism, Kabalah has since been expanded and adapted to Christianity and almost all western magical traditions. Kabalah attempts to explain the method of the creation of the universe in order to understand the nature of the universe.

Kaos Magick – See Chaos Magick.

Karma – An idea originating in Hinduism that is simplified as an idea of action and reaction. The basic idea of karma is if you do good things (defined as thoughts, words, actions, and actions done under your instruction), you will have good fortune in your future, and if you do bad things, you will have misfortune in your future, and that this can transcend from one lifetime to the next. The idea has been shaped and molded in many different ways as it has passed through several different religions and spiritual beliefs.

Katana – A curved single-edged Japanese sword which can be used with two hands.

Kemetic Reconstructionism – A modern Pagan religion which attempts to reconstruct the spiritual practices of Ancient Egypt.

Ki – Also Chi. A term used in some Eastern systems to describe energy, or alternatively to describe life energy. See also energy.

Kitchen Witchcraft – See Kitchen Witchery.

Kitchen Witchery – Also Kitchen Witchcraft. Refers to forms of Wicca and Traditional Witchcraft in which commonplace objects used in non-magical everyday activities are also used as sacred magical tools.

Knife – A tool or weapon which consists of at least a blade and a hilt and which is shorter than a sword.

Knights Templar – A medeival Christian organization endorsed by the Catholic Church. Eventually the French monarch, owing a large debt to the group, arrested and tried several members for a multitude of crimes, including heresy and idoltry, and pressured the Catholic church into disbanding the group. In the 18th century, largely due to the French accusations and the subsequent legends that arose about the group, several European secret societies started claiming an unbroken lineage to the Knights Templar.

Knob Candle – A candle which contains seven sections which are usually meant to be burnt on seven different days.

Knot Magic – Ritual magic which is performed, at least in part, by tying different kinds of knots.

Koan – Unique to Zen Buddhism, it is a question, sometimes with an answer, usually phrased into a story which can only be understood through spiritual means and by the spiritually enlightened.

Kundalini – A force of energy that is believed to emanate from the base of the spine in several different Eastern systems.

LBRP – Lower Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. See also Banishing Ritual.

Lama – Chiefly Tibetan Buddhist. A Spiritual teacher.

Lammas – See Lughnasadh.

Lamp – An oil lamp which is commonly used in a variety of magical rituals.

Lampadomancy – Divination which is done using flames or through fire.

Land of the Dead – Also underworld. A metaphysical place that is inhabbited primarly by the spirits of those who have died.

Lantern – A portable device which burns oil in order to produce light. Lanterns are used in the magical rituals of many different systems.

Law of Attraction – In its simplest form, the law of attraction states that like attracts like and dissimilar things repel. The law of attraction is at the foundation of many theories involving magic, spirituality, and the nature of the universe.

Left Hand Path – Initially an Indian concept, the term is now used in contemporary western systems to describe any belief systems or practices that are perceived as dark, negative, evil, harmful, violent, and/or selfish.

Lemuria – A sunken continent believed to have been located in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Originally Lemuria was created as a scientific hypothesis to explain inconsistencies in biogeography, however no evidence of the existence of Lemuria has ever been found. Later the idea of Lemuria was incorporated by Blavatsky into her Theospian writings, which led to it also being incorporated into the works of several occultists who were influenced by Blavatsky.

Level – A measurement of rank within a group. The term is most often used informally or generally as groups seldom use this term internally to refer to rank (although it isn’t unheard of). In meaning the word is synonymous with grade and degree, although groups rarely use these words interchangebly.

Levitation – The ability to magically lift ones entire body off the ground.

Ley Lines – Strong and invisible lines of energy which runs across the Earth.

LHP – See left hand path.

Liber – Latin for book.

Lilith (Moon) – A disputed second moon of Earth which is believed to be too dark to normally be seen by telescope first discovered by the scientist Georg Waltemath and later rediscovered and named by astrologer Walter Gornold. The moon is used by modern astrologers both under the assumption that it is a real hidden body and that it is an imaginary body.

Limited Possession – A momentary spiritual possession that results in personality changes, with the possessed retaining aspects of the possessing spirits personality and/or aspects of the possessed’s personality becomming more pronounced, and in some cases with the possessed gaining knowledge which was known by the possessing spirit.

Lineage – In regards to metaphysics, it refers to your spiritual or magical lineage, which consists of your family relations (and particularly any practicing relatives you may have), the spiritual and magical groups you have been or are a member of, your spiritual teacher, their teacher, and the teacher’s that came before them in their line of magical training.

Link – A metaphysical connection usually between two people, but can also refer to connections people have with objects and places. Any time people come into contact with each other or otherwise interact a link is formed.

Little White Book – Also LWB. A small white book that is usually included with tarot decks and which typically contains specific information about the deck and general information about reading tarot cards.

Liturgy – The public worship or ritual performed by members of a religious group in accordance to their particular traditions.

Loa – Also Lwa. Powerful spirits which are worked with as part of the Vodun religions.

Lore – The collection of knowledge, rituals, and traditions used by a magical group.

Louisiana Voodoo – A Voodoo religion originating in Louisiana and primarily developed early on within the slave population of the state. The religion combines elements of West African Vodun with Christianity and has been influenced by elements of Hoodoo. The religion is similar to, but distinct from, Haitian Vodou.

Love Spell – A spell intended to help gain or keep a romantic or sexual partner.

Lovecraftian Mythos – Also sometimes refered to as the Cthulian mythos. The mythology of the collected fictional works of H.P. Lovecraft and other authors who wrote stories within his shared universe. In the 1970s, based largely on the theories of Kenneth Grant and later Simon who he influenced, the Lovecraftian mythos was incorporated into various systems of Ceremonial Magic, Satanism, and Luciferianism.

Low Magic – Magic thats primary purpose in application is the attainment of things in the material world.

Lower Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) – See banishing ritual.

Lower Planes – See lower realms.

Lower Realms – Also lower planes. May refer to those areas thought to be located directly beneath our current plane of existence or alternatively all areas thought to be located beneath our current plane of existence.

Lucid Dreaming – The act of being conscious that one is dreaming when they are dreaming.

Luciferianism – A group of modern religions that worship Satan, typically as a deity. It is distinct from Satanism.

Luck Spell – A spell intended to bring someone good luck, or to help them win at games of chance. See also gambling spell.

Lughnasadh – Also Lammas. Lughnasadh was a Celtic holiday celebrated on August 1st. More recentally the holiday of Lughnasadh has been combined with the Anglo-Saxon holiday of Lammas and adapted into a holy day by several modern Pagan religions. In regards to Pagan holidays, the terms Lammas and Lughnasadh are interchangeable. The meaning, importance, practices, and rituals associated with Lughnasadh vary between different groups.

Lunar Cycle – The cycle of changes the moon goes through every 28 days.

Lure – Any spell which acts to incite a person’s desire for a person or object and draw them towards it.

Lust spell – A type of love spell specifically intended to get another to engage in sexual intercourse or other intimate acts, or a type of love spell that is intended to make a person more sexually desirable, or which otherwise makes it more likely that they will attract a sexual partner.

Lwa – See Loa

LWB – See Little White Book.

Lycanthrope – Traditionally any person able to physically transform themselves into any type of animal through any means. Recently the term has also been used to describe people who can or prefer to transform their astral body into an animal form.

Mabon – Mabon is a holy day celebrated by several Pagan religions which is connected to and celebrated on the Fall Equinox which occurs in late September. The meaning, importance, practices, and rituals associated with Mabon vary between different groups.

Macrocosm – Under the belief that the same patterns persist on different scales, the Macrocosm is the largest possible scale encompassing the entire universe.

Maiden – In some belief systems the first of three aspects a woman will take on during her lifetime, the other two being mother and crone.

Mage – Short for magician. May also be derived from a misunderstanding of the singular form of magi.

Magi – The plural of Magus.

Magic – Any action or occurrence that would fall under the study of metaphysics.

Magic Name – See Magical Name.

Magic Square – In mathmatics a square filled with numbers where the numbers from each row and coloumn add up to the same number. Metaphysically these magic squares are thought to hold special powers and are often used as talismans. Additionally in metaphysics magic squares are sometimes created using letters and power words.

Magical Arts – Also The Art, or the Art of Magic. Refers to the study and practice of magic collectively.

Magical Community – Also Community. Refers collectively to all persons in the world of various faiths and beliefs who practice some form of magic.

Magical Hours and Days – A system of determining the best and worst times to cast a specific spell by looking at the gods or angels assigned to different times of the day.

Magical Ink – Ink that has been specially prepared, charged, enchanted, or blessed for magical use.

Magical Name – Also magic name and Pagan name, although the later term is only used within Pagan religions. A magical name is a name given to a person to be used during their spiritual work. A magical name may serve mundane purposes, such as helping to conceal personal information about the individual, it may serve symbolic purposes, such as symbolizing a birth as a person enters a new spiritual phase of their life, or it may serve spiritual purposes, such as a belief that a person will gain attributes associated with their magical name.

Magical Operation – Often shortened to operation. Any magical act or ritual.

Magical System – Also sometimes shortened to system. A set of beliefs, practices, rituals, and methods that compromise a specific path to spiritual enlightenment and attainment.

Magician – One who practices magic.

Magick – An alternate middle-English spelling of the word magic which was used in many grimoires written in that period. The spelling continued to be used by several spiritual groups before being used in publication in the early twentieth century. Some have proposed the alternate spelling be used to distinguish real magic discussions from stage magic or magic in fictional fantasy works, however with a growing trend of stage magicians, writers, and role playing games using the alternate spelling for realism this proposal has become largely unattainable.

Magick Revival – The current trend over the last hundred years or so of renewed interest, acceptance, and popularity of metaphysics. First coined by Kenneth Grant who regarded it as starting with Crowley’s reception of the Book of Law.

Magnum Opus – See great work.

Magus – Latin for Magician.

Mahayana Buddhism – One of the two or three branches of the Buddhist religion. Mahayana is the newer form of Buddhism, is in contrast to Theravada Buddhism, and the most widely practiced form of Buddhism.

Mala – Also mala beads and japa mala. Prayer beads used by Hindus, Buddhists, and Sikhists to count the recitations of mantras or names of deities.

Mala Beads – See Mala

Malachim Alphabet – A magical alphabet first published by Agrippa who attributed it to the Hebrews. The alphabet is based on the Hebrew alphabet with which it has a one to one correspondence.

Malaikah – Plural form of Malak.

Malak – Singular form of Malaikah. Term for angels used within Islam.

Maltheism – A monotheistic belief, usually Christian, that although god does exist, he is naturally manevolant.

Mambo – In Haitian Voodoo, an initiated high priestess.

Mana – Originating in the Pacific Islands, the word refers to a force which exists in people, animals, and objects. The word is almost synonomous with the modern metaphysical idea of energy. In recent times the word has become more popular due to it’s usage in video games and role playing games as an alternative term for magic points.

Manicheanism – A major world religion that was at its peak between the third and seventh centuries BC, eventually fading out entirely around the 14th century. Manicheanism is a Gnostic religion founded on the works of its prophet Mani.

Manifest – To take a physical form, or a form that can be seen or otherwise sensed. Usually in reference to a spiritual being, or the spiritual body of a physically incarnate being.

Manifestation – A spiritual being or body which has taken on some element of physical form, or has become completely physical, for a limited period of time.

Manifestation Magic – Usually purely psionic magic, which is used to make an item appear from nothing, or which is used to make an event occur.

Manipulation Magic – A classification for any type of magic, ritual, or spell that is intended to change another’s perception of reality, their emotions, or their thoughts, usually in an attempt to modify or control their actions or decisions. Glamours, projections, and lures are all examples of manipulation magic.

Mantra – Spoken sounds or words used for a spiritual practice or advancement.

Mark of the Beast – Generally written as 666, but actually spelled out as six-hundred-and-sixty-and-six. In Christian mythology, the number that all will be required, by punishment of death, to tattoo on their left hand prior to the apocalypse.

Martyr – One who has died for or because of their spiritual or religious beliefs.

Meditation – Bringing the mind and body into a state of rest and the mind into a state of clarity, typically but not always for the purpose of achieving trance.

Medium – One who is adept at practicing mediumship. Also one who is currently possessed by a spirit.

Mediumship – The act of taking a foreign spirit or ghost into ones body and allowing it some degree of control over ones body for a limited period of time. Alternatively the term is sometimes used to refer to an incarnate person easily and clearly communicating with disincarnate entities and passing these communications on to other people.

Menorah – A candle holder with seven or nine branches used in Jewish rituals.

Mental Body – Also Holy Guardian Angel. A separate and distinct body which exists and acts within the mental planes and, at least initially, operates independently of the physical and astral bodies. This body can be reconnected to the astral and physical bodies, at which point the mental body will cease to operate independently and one can shift their state of consciousness to their mental body.

Mentor – One who gives one-on-one spiritual teaching and guidance to another. In some instances the term is synonymous with teacher.

Mesmerism – Also Animal Magnetism. Mesmerism is a system of spiritual healing through energy manipulation.

Metaphysics – The study of the physical laws of the universe which cannot be measured or objectively proven under the current model of modern sciences.

Metaverse – See multiverse.

Microcosm – Under the belief that the same patterns persist on different scales, the Microcosm is the smallest possible scale theorized to exist at the subatomic level.

Middle Pillar – Refers collectively to the first, sixth, ninth, and tenth Sepiroth in Kabalism, which are all on the center of the tree of life.

Misbaha – Also Sibha, Tasbeeh, and Tespih. Prayer beads used by Muslims consisting of 99 beads.

Misotheism – – Belief in but hatred of a deity or the deities.

Missionary – A member of a religous group sent to a forgien area for the primary purpose of proselytizing the religion to non-believers or otherwise developing and promoting the religion there.

Mithraism – A mystery tradition that existed in Rome between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. The group was centered on the worship of the pre-Zorastorian Persian god Mithras.

Monotheism – The belief in the existence of only a single god or supreme being which created and controls the universe.

Mojo – Also sometimes Mojo Bag. Of Hoodoo origin, a small magical charm bag containing one or more magical items which is meant to be worn by an individual.

Mojo Bag – See Mojo.

Moogle – Term coined by J.K. Rowling in her Harry Potter series of books to describe people who had no magical ability. The term is very similar in meaning to the term mundane.

Mortar and Pestle – A two piece device, often made of stone, of which one piece is a bowl and the other is a small club like object. A mortar and pestle is used for grinding herbs.

Mother – In some belief systems the second of three aspects a woman will take on during her lifetime, the other two being maiden and crone.

Mu – A once populated sunken continent, usually believed to have been located in the Atlantic ocean, and believed to be the origin of Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Greek, and Mayan Culture. The idea of Mu comes from Mayan archeological digs, and was presented as the Mayan name for the Greek Atlantis.

Multiverse – Also metaverse. In a model that allows for multiple universes to exist, the multiverse is a term which refers to all of the different universes and everything in existence.

Mundane – Of or pertaining to the physical world as opposed to the magical world; the opposite of metaphysical. Also used to describe people who are not practitioners or have no magical ability, also known as mundies.

Muslim – One who practices Islam.

Mysteries – See Mystery Tradition

Mystery Religion – See Mystery Tradition.

Mystery Tradition – Also Mystery Religion and Mysteries. A spiritual group, usually consisting of spiritually like-minded individuals, which is open only to initiates of the group and in which some effort is made to keep ritual practices or group beliefs secret from outsiders.

Myth – A sacred story which, at the time it was created, was more or less believed to be factual in the culture in which it originated.

Mythology – A specific body of myths, or the general study of myths.

Mythos – The shared elements, settings, themes, and characters in a set of works.

Nadis – The channels in the physical body through which energy flows.

Namaste – A general greeting used in India, the word literally translates to ‘I bow to you’. The greeting is used by some New Agers and other Western adherents to Eastern religions and beliefs.

Native American Spirituality – The pre-Columbian beliefs, spiritual practices, and religions of the Native American people of North America.

Nature Based Religion – Any spiritual faith which either claims to worship nature as if it were a deity, or which largely practices within the wilderness, or which works to conserve or protect the wilderness. Many Pagans and Pagan groups identify themselves as practicing a nature based religion.

NCTT (Non-Contact Therapeutic Touch) – See Therapeutic Touch

NDE – See Near Death Experience.

Near Death Experience – Abbreviated NDE. A spontaneous astral projection or out of body experience which occurs due to a person almost dying, or having clinically died but afterwards being resuscitated.

Necromancy – Any magic that deals specifically with the dead or with death energy. It may also refer specifically to any magic or ritual which is meant to bring forth spirits of the dead, e.g. a seance.

Necronomicon – Initially a fictional grimoire created by H.P. Lovecraft for use in his horror stories. Later several different metaphysical authors would use the title for their own books.

Nenju – Also Juzu. Prayer beads used in Japanese schools of Buddhism.

Neo-Confucianism – A form of Confucianism developed in the 9th century that attempted to expunge some of the more spiritual aspects of Confucianism borrowed from Buddhism and Daoism and instead create a more rational and secular philosophy.

Neopaganism – See Paganism

Neophyte – A person who has begun exploring their spiritual path. The neophyte stage is marked by a general exploration of spirituality and is proceeded by the initiate stage. Also the title of the lowest rank in several magical systems.

Neoplatonism – A spiritual belief system that developed around the 3rd century BC which combined elements of Plato’s works, Judaism, and Egyptian mythology. Neoplatonism is founded on the Enneads of Plotinus, which were derived from the teachings he recieved from Ammonius Saccas.

Neopythagoreanism – A revival of Pythagoreanism which occured between the 2nd century BC and the 2nd century AD.

New Age – A decentralized religion developed within the United States which stresses an individual approach to spirituality and religious practices, and draws influences from a wide range of metaphysical practices and religions.

New Atheism – A modern 21st century movement within Atheism which believes that all religious and spiritual beliefs are inherently harmful and false and is completely intolerant of any spiritual or religious beliefs or institutions, and attempts to destroy and remove these beliefs and institutions wherever they are found while proselytizing Atheism.

New Thought – A spiritual movement that developed in the United States that is largely concerned with the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction.

Nexus – A point where two or possibly more ley lines intersect.

Nian Zhu – See Shu Zhu.

Nicherin Buddhism – A form of Mahayana Buddhism and one of the most widely practiced forms of Buddhism in Japan. The system is based on the teaching of the Buddhist Monk Nicherin.

Night Hag – A spiritual creature which looks like an ugly old woman which paralyzes and then rapes sleeping men.

Nigromancy – Literally refers to black magic. May also refer to magic that is based in non-Judeo-Christian beliefs or is anti-Christian, or magic which places an emphasis on working with demons, especially outside of Christian Mysticism. The term is mostly seen in works from later medeival and early modern era Europe and is largely archaic today.

Nigromancer – One who practices Nigromancy.

Nirvana – A state of attainment in several Eastern religions. The actual definition of the state depends on the specific religion.

Non-Contact Therapeutic Touch – See Therapeutic Touch

Non-Euclidean Geometries – Self-contained systems of geometry first developed in the 19th century which do not conform to all of the five basic axioms of standard Euclidean geometry. In fiction non-Euclidean geometries are often portrayed as the standard geometry used in the architecture of alien worlds and species that have not been influenced by humans, and the idea features heavily in the Lovecraftian Mythos.

Non-Secular – An adjective which describes something which is in some way religious or spiritual or is somehow connected to or based on a particular religion or spiritual belief.

Nous – Within classical philosophy, a facualty of the human mind believed to exist which was necessary to discern what was true and right, and in many ways is similar to the concept of intuition. The word was also used in common practice to denote something similar in concept to the modern day idea of common sense.

Numerology – The study of the mystical or spiritual qualities possessed by numbers, or the use of numbers within a spiritual practice, such as divination.

O.T.O. – Ordo Templi Orientis.

Oathbound Material – Secret material within a group which is only supposed to be given to members of the appropriate rank. Also material a person has made an oath not to divulge or not to divulge except to the appropriate people.

Obsession – When a person is being influenced by a spirit in any way. Usually the term obsession isn’t used when dealing with gods or angels, except when the gods or angels are believed to be false. The term in its current denotation originates in Spiritism, but is derived from an earlier term in Christian theology. The term has since migrated to many other systems, especially Ceremonial Magic systems.

Occult – The original definition of the word is hidden. The word came into use within the realm of metaphysics to refer to secret or hidden knowledge or secret or hidden practices. In modern usage the word is used to refer to nearly anything relating to magic, especially in regards to things relating to Ceremonial Magic.

Occultist – A general term to describe one who practices magic, particularly one who practices ceremonial magic.

Odinism – A Pagan religion meant as a reconstruction of Germanic Paganism. Unlike Asatru which it is closely related to, Odinism contains clear racist overtones and promotes a racial kinship, although it no longer promotes racial supremacy.

Offering – Anything which is offered to an entity which it values, either as a show of respect, gratitude, or love, or as a means to procure its service. Note that an offering is valued by the entity which receives it, where as a sacrifice is valued by the person giving it away.

Oil – A liquid substance which does not combine with water and which is often used in magical rituals.

Old Ones – Old Ones refers to spirits or creatures which predated man and were roughly as intelligent or more intelligent than the average person. The term sometimes refers specifically to spirits and creatures that are believed to have been on Earth at or shortly after its creation. In the Lovecraft Mythos the term Old Ones specifically refers to the spawns of Cthulu, which are often times associated with primals by practitioners.

Old Religion – Cheifly Wiccan term used to refer to Witchcraft, or the Wiccan religion.

ONA – See Order of the Nine Angles.

Oneiroi – A legion of spirits or gods concerned with the dream realm and the creation or control of dreams. According to Greek mythology they are ruled over by the god Morpheus.

Oneromancy – Divination through dreams.

Onomancy – Divination based on the letters in a person’s name.

OOBE (Out of Body Experience) – See astral projection.

Operant – One who performs a magical act or ritual.

Operation – See Magical Operation.

Oracle – A person who, either through divine inspiration or through direct contact with a deity or deities, is able to predict the future or otherwise offer counsel in a matter.

Order – A magical or spiritual group, or a collection of magical or spiritual groups which share a heirarchy.

Order of Nine Angles – A Satanic group with Neo-Nazi influences that encourages its members to perform human sacrafices and commit illegal acts for spiritual enlightenment, and which encourages the rising up against and eventual overthrowing of modern mundane controlled governments.

Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) – Originally a Freemasonry organization founded by Carl Kelner and Theodor Ruess, the group was eventually taken over by Allister Crowley and morphed into a Thelemic organization. After a period of inactivity following Crowley’s death the group was revived by surviving members.

Orlog – Norse word referring to the concept of fate, doom, and fortunes. Corresponds to the Old English word Wyrd.

Orphic Mysteries – Also Orphism. A set of ancient Greek beliefs and practices centered around the myths of the Greek hero Orpheus which also had special reverence for the Greek deities Persephone and Bacchus (both having returned from the underworld as Orpheus had). Initiates were promised special rewards in the afterlife, and the mysteries had some influence on pythagoreanism, however to what extent they influenced pythagoreanism is unknown. Much of the system has been lost.

Orphism – See Orphic Mysteries

Orthodox – That which conforms to the approved method of a ritual, belief, or spiritual practice within a religion or other spiritual system.

Orthopraxy – The correctness of a spiritual practice.

Ostara – A holy day in some Wiccan and Pagan systems which is celebrated on the spring equinox. The meaning, importance, practices, and rituals associated with Ostara vary between different groups.

Otherkin – A person who is currently an incarnate human but was, in a past life, a (usually intelligent) creature that is not native to earth. Some also include people who were animals in past lives and vampires as otherkin.

OTO – Ordo Templi Orientis.

Ouija – The brand name for a spirit board sold by Parker Brothers.

Ouroboros – Also Uroborus. A symbol of a serpent eating itself. Ouroboros is usually symbolic of the ideas of cycles, infinity, primordal unity, and self-reflexivity.

Outer Order – Within some magical orders which segregate between two differently ranked types of group members, the outer order refers to the lower ranked division, which is usually restricted from some of the group knowledge and barred from attending certain group rituals.

Pagan – Initially a derogatory term applied to members of the European countryside who were seen as uneducated, uncultured, and backwards, and would be synonymous with the word hick in modern language. Later the term came to be applied to those who had not fully converted over to Christianity and had retained at least some of the beliefs and practices of older religions, eventually becomming synonymous with terms like infidel and heathen. In modern language the term is now used to identify a person who follows any of the reconstructions of pre-christian European religons. See also Paganism.

Pagan Name – See magical name.

Pagan Pride – A modern Pagan festival held on various dates and in various localities, which is usually held annually, and which usually invites all of the Pagan groups in the local area which wish to attend and participate. It is also not uncommon for Pagan Pride events to invite other non-Pagan spiritual groups and individuals to the event.

Paganism – Also Neopaganism. A set of modern day religions that claim to be reconstructions of pre-christian European spiritual beliefs and rituals which includes the various forms of Wicca, Asatru, and some forms of Druidism. Most Pagan religions have been widely influenced by Wiccan beliefs.

Palm Reading – Divining facts about a person’s personality, past, or future by reading the lines on their palm according to the methods of palmistry. Also any sort of divination or introspection of a client achieved by gazing at or holding the client’s hand.

Palmistry – Also chiromancy. The method of divining facts about a person’s personality, past, or future based on the lines on their hand.

Pantheism – The belief that the entirety of the universe or nature is god or the supreme being, although this god may still be incorporated into multiple divine presences.

Pantheon – A collection of gods which have been grouped together usually due to having been historically worshiped or venerated in the same area and by the same people.

Paranormal Investigator – A person who uses quasi-scientific methods to investigate supernatural occurrences, usually in the hopes of gaining objective evidence as to its existence, or less often to stop or end the supernatural occurrence.

Parapsychology – A division of psychology which studies metaphysical occurrences and abilities. Despite what is said in Ghostbusters, I know of no accredited institution that offers degrees in parapsychology (the degree would be a psychology degree).

Passing the River – Also Transitus Fluvii. A magical alphabet first published by Agrippa who attributed it to the Hebrews. The alphabet is based on the Hebrew alphabet with which it has a one to one correspondence.

Past Life – A life someone lived prior to their current incarnation.

Past Life Regression – The act of regressing memories or personality traits from past lives in any number of ways.

Pecti-Wita Runes – A magical alphabet developed and used by the Pecti-Wica tradition. The alphabet is based on the modern Latin alphabet.

Pendulum – A device consisting of a stone or piece of metal or both suspended from a chain or string. Used as both a means to communicate with spirits and a means to detect and measure energy.

Pentacle – A talisman with a symbol drawn on it.

Pentagram – A five pointed start. The pentagram is used in many rituals and is used by many groups for a variety of purposes.

Petro – In Haitian Voodoo a family of loa which are connected to Haiti and the Haitian history of slavery.

Pharmakeia – Biblical Greek word referring to sorcery or the practice of magic. Used within Gnosticism to refer to the practice of magic.

Philosopher Stone – In alchemy, a mythological substance which was believed to be able to turn any type of metal into another. Less often it was also believed that it not only had transmutative properties, but could also grant immortality. The philosopher stone has been regarded both as a physical object which is sought after and as a metaphorical concept used to describe spiritual attainment.

Philosophical Skepticism – An Ancient Greek philosophy developed around the 4th century BC and one of the three major Greek philosophical schools. Philosophical Skepticism is based on the belief that there are errors within all schools of philosophy, and true inner peace comes from an acknowledgement of ones own ignorance.

Phrenology – A method of judging someone’s behavior and personality based on the shape of their skull.

Pictish Swirl Script – A magical alphabet developed and used by the Pecti-Wica tradition. The alphabet is based on the modern Latin alphabet and the letters are based on the letters used in ancient Pictish writing.

Pipe Wand – A wand made out of a hollow metal pipe and which may also include herbs, gemstones, cloth, crystals, and other objects in its make-up.

Pillar Candle – A cylindrical candle which stands up on its own.

Planchette – A small piece of wood or plastic, which contains either a hole or piece of transparent plastic or glass which can be seen through, and which is meant to be used on a spirit board, usually by two individuals, in order to derive letters and numbers.

Pnuema – the highest of the three worlds within Gnosticism, the world in which the spirit exists.

Pnuematic – Within Gnosticism, the highest grade of humans consisting of those who have escaped the doom of the material world by achieving Gnosis through the embracement of secret knowledge.

Polyamorous – Engaging in relationships which are emotionally or physically romantic with multiple partners.

Polytheism – The belief in the existance of multiple gods.

Pope – The title given to the head of the Catholic church, and the highest rank within that religious institution. Pope is also a nominal title given to all professed Discordians. The title is also used in several other spiritual groups and systems, usually in an attempt to mock the Catholic Church or as a general statement against religious authority or organized religion.

Poppet – A doll, sometimes made to look like a specific person, which is used to cast spells on a person through sympathetic magic.

Portal – A magical field which spiritually connects one place to another regardless of the actual distance between the two. May also sometimes be used to describe a magical field which physically connects two places.

Possession – When a foreign entity has entered into a body it was not born into, has taken partial or complete control of that body for a period or periods of time, and in which the original host’s spirit also remains in the body and has partial or complete control for periods of time.

Pow-Wow – See Braucherei.

Power Animal – See Spirit Animal.

Practical Magic – Refers to magical acts (for example ritual, spellwork, astral projection, and mediumship) as opposed to magical information.

Practitioner – One who practices magic.

Prana – Either energy or specifically life energy. Similar to the concept of Ki. See also Energy.

Prayer – A message communicated through physical or purely mental means which is intended to be recieved by a divine entity.

Prayer Beads – Also worry beads. A spiritual tool consisting of a set of beads strung together which are used by many different religions around the world. The beads are usually used to count prayers, mantras, or recitations, however they are sometimes also used for meditation.

Prayer Rope – Prayer beads used by members of the Eastern Orthodox monks and nuns to count prayers.

Primals – An intelligent species which existed on earth prior to mankind of which some remnants still remain. Typically they are hostile and not friendly towards humans. Often times associated with Lovecraft’s old ones.

Primestave – A wooden almanac and calendar which contains information on the lunar cycle and other celestial events. A primestave is chiefly used in Germanic Paganism.

Probability Magic – Any type of magic that attempts to manipulate probability shifts and increase or decrease the likelihood that events will occur rather than directly cause the events to occur.

Probability Shift – A change in the likelihood that a specific event will occur. In a spiritual context usually a change brought about solely through magic or through a combination of magical and mundane means.

Process Church – An offshoot of Scientology that formed in the 1960s, the organization’s full name is the Process Church of the Final Judgement. The church worshiped three deities, Jehovah, Lucifer, and Satan, along with Jesus Christ, and were awaiting the eventual reunification of Christ and Satan. The group began to fall apart in the mid 70s, and today it exists only as a secular non-profit organization dedicated to animal welfare and no kill shelters, known as the Best Friends Animal Society.

Profane – In a spiritual context, to insult, misrepresent, deny or make some other negative expression towards that which is considered sacred, or to take an action against that which is considered sacred, or to take an action with malice towards that which is considered sacred. The word is usually used in regard to deities, either collectively or individually.

Projection – Emotional energy which is, intentionally or unintentionally, projected outward from ones body and may have an emotional effect on people who come into contact with it.

Prophecy – Information about future events that will transpire usually claimed to have come from a divine source.

Prophet – One who relates information about the future, or one who relates general spiritual information that was otherwise unknown. Usually this information is derived from a supposedly divine source.

Proselytization – Attempting to change the religion of others.

Prosperity Magic – A classification for any type of magic, ritual, or spell that is intended to increase or protect wealth, or to otherwise bring forth money or other material goods.

Prosperity Spell – A spell intended to protect or increase wealth or otherwise bring forth money or other material goods.

Psionic Magic – Magic that is performed entirely by thought and willpower as opposed to ritual magic. It may also refer to those aspects of a ritual which are done purely through thought and willpower.

Psionic Vampire – Also an energy vampire or psychic vampire. Generally any person who engages in taking, through coercion or force, energy from another living thing. The term is also used to refer to a very specific, albeit the most common, type of psionic vampire, all of which have similar behavior patterns and use similar methods in order to take energy.

Psychedelic Drugs – Haullicigens that alter perception and cognition, several of which are often used to gain spiritual insight.

Psychic – One who is possessed of some sort of magical power which is often times associated with divination. The term is often times also used to refer to those who sell divinatory services. Within Gnosticism, the term refers to the second of the three worlds, the world where the soul exists, and is also used to refer to those individuals who are of the middle grade.

Psychic Healing – The art of healing physical ailments, diseases, and injuries through entirely spiritual or magical means.

Psychic Reading – The act of divination.

Psychic Surgery – The act of cutting and physically removing a tumor or foreign body thought to have caused a disease or illness from a patient then completely healing the patient through an act of magic.

Psychic Vampire – See psionic vampire.

Psychometry – The ability to divine the history of an object or the history of people who have been in contact with the object through touch.

Ptolemaic – Of or related to Ptolemy. Usually used in reference to astrology to denote something that was mentioned by Ptolemy in his highly influential early Greek treatise on astrology, meaning that it is part of ancient Western astrology and not a later development.

Pure Land Buddhism – A popular form of Mahayana Buddhism founded in the Pure Land sutras. Pure Land Buddhism teaches that Nirvanah has become harder to attain since the time of Siddhartha Gautama (the founder of Buddhism), although through proper devotion one can, after death, be reincarnated into a world of enlightenment (the Pure Land) where attainment of Nirvanah after death is garunteed.

Pyrokinesis – First coined by Stephen King in his fictional novel Firestarter, the ability to create or control fire.

Pyromancy – The ability to control fire through magical means, or less often the ability to create fire. It may also be used to refer to different forms of divination which involve fire.

Pythagoreanism – The collection of mystical and esoteric beliefs, largely based in mathmatics, developed by Pythagoras and his followers in ancient Greece around the 5th century BC. Never having written anything down himself, today pythagoras’s beliefs are only known through the surviving written works of his followers.

Qabalah – See Kabalah

Qigong – A practice, first developed within China, of aligning breath, physical activity, and awareness in order to promote both spiritual and physical health. Qigong is an essential element of many different Eastern mystical systems.

Qlippoth – In Kabalism the collection of ten spheres and twenty-two paths that exist on the tree of knowledge and are in contrast to the Sepiroth. Also each of the ten individual spheres on the tree of knowledge.

Quabalah – See Kabalah.

Quartz Crystal – Sometimes shortened to just crystal. A common mineral often used in jewelry which is believed to have numerous special metaphysical properties.

Querent – A seeker. Usually used to refer to the person seeking an answer, or the client, in a psychic reading. Unlike the word client, querent may refer to a person who has not paid for the service or to a reader who is reading for themselves.

Quill – A pen made from the feather of a bird which is sometimes used in magical rituals, especially in rituals where magical ink is also used.

Rabbi – A spiritual leader within the Jewish faith.

Rada – In Haitian Voodoo a family of loa which are connected to Africa.

Ragnarök – An apocalypse prophesized in Norse mythology in which the gods will battle each other, many will die, and the world will subsequently be submerged in water before finally being reborn anew and repopulated by two human survivors.

Raise – To bring forth into the general area or into ones self. Usually used in reference to either energy or spirits.

Rapture – In some forms of Christianity, a belief that Christians, or certain Christians, will be pulled up into the sky and taken away from earth by Christ prior to the apocaylpse.

Rastafari – See Rastafari Movement.

Rastafari Movement – Also Rastafari and sometimes incorrectly refered to as Rastafarianism. A Christian religious movement originating in Jamacia. The movement emphasizes a resistance to Western culture, a return to African culture, the spiritual use of Marijuana, and the worship of Ethiopian king Haile Selassie I as a modern day incarnation of god.

Rastafarianism – See Rastafari Movement

Reader – One who performs a psychic reading or divination of some sort.

Reading – See psychic reading.

Realm Guardians – Partially incarnate entities tied to a specific area and charged with guiding and protecting the area and its inhabitants. Often times referred to as angels, although not all Realm Guardians are angels.

Rede – Chiefly Wiccan. A Rule or Law.

Rede, The – See Wiccan Reed.

Reflexology – A system of healing based on the theory that all parts of the body are connected to areas on the hands and feet, and that proper hand and foot massages can benefit other parts of the body.

Reiki – A system of energy manipulation developed in Japan and used primarily for healing.

Reiki Wand – See energy wand.

Reincarnation – The belief that everyone, or at least some people, following their death will be reborn as a new person (or possibly other creature), thus creating a cycle of birth-life-death-birth.

Religious Pluralism – Two or more religious or spiritual belief systems coexisting within a single area, culture, or society. Usually used in reference to religious freedom, diversity, and tolerance.

Remote Viewing – Viewing a physical location on Earth you are not at in the present moment.

Retrograde – When a planet appears to be moving backwards in orbit due to the illusion that the planets and the sun revolve around the earth.

Rite – A ritual.

Ritual – Any magical act that involves a physical component, such as using a tool, moving ones hands, or speaking specific words, as opposed to a magical act which is done entirely with thought and will.

Ritual Abuse – Any form of physical or sexual abuse, torture, rape, or murder that occurs as part of a religious ritual. Although there are a few instances of proven ritual abuse, there exists no evidence to support the vast majority of alleged instances besides uncorroberated victim testimony. See also Satanic Scare.

Ritual Mask – Also Tribal Mask. Masks which depict specific gods, animals, or spirits, and which are used in magical rituals.

Ritual Sacrifice – The act of making a sacrifice, or sometimes an offering, as part of a magical ritual. See also sacrifice, offering, and ritual.

Robes – Within magic, special robes which are usually only worn during magical rituals.

Root Doctor – See Hoodoo doctor.

Root Worker – See Hoodoo doctor.

Rootwork – Another name for Hoodoo. See Hoodoo.

Rosary – Prayer beads used by Catholics to count prayers in veneration of the virgin Mary.

Roshi – Chiefly Zen Buddhist. A Spiritual Teacher.

Rosicrucianism – A religion or theology, usually practiced within secret groups, founded on the works of Christian Rosenkreuz.

Runes – Depictions of the futhark, a pre-Latin Germanic alphabet, which is traditionally believed to hold magical power and is often put on wood chips or stones where it is primarily used for divination, the individual runes being randomly pulled from a bag. Runes are also used in other magical practices.

Sabbat – Generally a holy day. Within Wicca, and some other forms of Paganism, eight sacred holy days.

Sabbath – In Judaism and Christianity, a day within the week set aside for rest and spiritual worship. Usually Saturday or Sunday.

Sacraments – Those rituals within a religion or spiritual belief system which are believed to be the most important, or those in which a divine presence is believed to always be present.

Sacred – That which is revered because it is spiritual, has a spiritual connection, or is used for a spiritual use.

Sacred Mysteries – Knowledge which is hidden or hidden from most and which is considered spiritual in nature.

Sacrifice – A thing which holds personal value and which is willingly given to an entity to express respect, gratitude, or love. Note that a sacrifice is valued by the person giving it away, where as an offering is valued by the entity that receives it.

Sacrilege – To intentionally steal, damage, destroy, or otherwise indignify an object held as sacred within a religion or spiritual system. More broadly, sacrilege can refer to general offenses against a religion or person held to be sacred by a religion.

Samadhi – A higher, or the highest, level of meditation.

Samaritanism – An Abrhamic religion closely related to Judaism.

Samhain – Pronunced Sow-Inn, Samhain was originally a Celtic holiday which was later adapted into the North American holiday of Halloween. More recentally Samhain has been adapted as a holy day by several Pagan religions and is usually celebrated on October 31st or November 1st, and in most Pagan religions is considered to be the most important holy day. The meaning, importance, practices, and rituals associated with Samhain vary between different groups.

Saint – Generally, within Christianity, a deceased person who a church recognizeas as being of exemplarly religious character and who is believed to currently reside in heaven. Each Christian denomination has its own methods and procedures of recognizing saints and the exact definition of the term varies. Saints, especially those recognized by the Catholic church, are commonly used in magical workings within Christian mysticism and certain Afro-Caribiean systems.

Samsara – The cycle of birth, death, and rebirth found within certain Eastern religions. The term literally means continous flow.

Sang – See Sanguinarian Vampire.

Sangha – The community of ordained Buddhist monks and nuns, collectively.

Sanguinarian Vampire – Also sang, a person who, for whatever reason, feels a compulsion to drink human blood (as opposed to someone who drinks human blood for purely magical purposes), and may or may not believe this act bestows special powers or enlightenment upon them.

Santaria – A religion, originating in Cuba, based on aspects of the Yoruba religion, Catholicism, and Native American spiritual beliefs.

Sarkic – In Gnosticism,the lowest level of human nature which is largely concerned with instincts and material and physical pleasures.

Satanic Altar – An altar built on top of a naked woman’s body.

Satanic Mass – See Black Mass.

Satanic Ritual Abuse Scare – See Satanic Scare.

Satanic Scare – Also Satanic Ritual Abuse Scare. Refers to a period in the United States and Canada in the 1980s and 1990s when many individual citizens along with prominent church groups, popular members of the media, many members of law enforcement, and many within the justice system came to believe in the existence of a massive underground conspiracy in North America consisting of Satanists who murdered and raped adults, children, and infants along with engaging in other deviant and often illegal sexual acts despite the fact that the only evidence of the existence of this movement and its crimes were eye witness accounts from people who had regressed memories through hypnosis, people who had been diagnosed schizophrenic, and children who were coherced into giving testimony. During this period members of minority faiths along with heavy metal fans, role playing game enthusiasts, and members of the goth subculture were often targeted for harrassment by church groups and individual citizens with many also being suspected of crimes by their local law enforcement agencies. In several instances people were brought to trial and sometimes even convicted of serious crimes with little solid evidence besides the fact that they were suspected Satanists.

Satanism – A group of modern religions based on the philosophical and theological beliefs of Anton Levay. Satanic groups do not worship or believe in Satan, and most do not worship or believe in any type of deity.

Saturnalia – Saturnalia was a holiday honoring the god Saturn celebrated by the Ancient Romans that, at various times, lasted between one and seven days. On the modern calender Saturnalia is celebrated between December 17th and 23rd and is connected to the winter solstice. Many of the traditions and rituals of Saturnalia have been incorporated into the modern holiday of Christmas. Although not officially recognized as a holy day by any major modern religions, Saturnalia has been adapted into a modern holiday that is celebrated by many modern practitioners of magic.

Scandanavian Alphabet – See Younger Futhark.

Scientology – A religion founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, which was originally based on alternative healing practices developed by Hubbard and later added a full mythology concerning ancient space aliens. In addition to now famous claims that Scientology uses brainwashing and blackmail on its members, Scientology is also known for targetting members of the entertainment industry for membership, a model of paying large sums of money in order to gain spiritual enlightenment, and using the justice system to file frivolous lawsuits against its detractors.

Scrying – A form of fortune telling that involves looking into a reflective surface to divine information.

Seal – To forcibly trap energy or a spirit into an object or place. Also a physical or spiritual barrier which forcibally traps energy or a spirit into an object or place.

Seance – A ritual intended to evoke and/or communicate with the dead.

Seax – A single edged knife.

Seax Wicca – A Wiccan sect founded by Raymond Buckland. Seax Wicca places a higher emphasis on traditional Anglo-Saxon beliefs and practices.

Seax Wicca Runes –A magical alphabet created by Raymond Buckland for use in his Seax Wicca tradition.

Secret Chiefs – Spiritual masters (believed by some to be living humans, by others to be spiritual beings) which are theorized to control certain esoteric orders or to have some other form of high authority over the cosmos.

Secret Society – A magical or spiritual order which attempts to keep some of its rituals, practices, or information hidden from non-members.

Sect – A smaller portion of a larger religion of which the members share similar beliefs and possibly the same hierarchy.

Secular – An adjective which describes something which is not religious or spiritual in any way and is not connected to any religion or spiritual belief.

Seer – A person who can predict the future.

Self-Flagellation – Performing acts of flagellation on oneself. See flagellation.

Self-Initiation – The act of initiating onself into a magical system or magical group, usually because a group is not available to perform the initation or because the practitioner does not want to associate with the group.

Sensory Deprivation – The act of completely, or almost completely, cutting off sensory input of all five senses for a period of time. Used sometimes as a means for spiritual discovery.

Sepiroth – In Kabalism the collection of ten spheres and twenty-two paths that exist on the tree of life. Also each of the ten individual spheres on the tree of life.

Sepher – Hebrew word for book.

Seraphim – In Christian mythology a specific school of angels. Sometimes also used as a general term to refer to angels.

Sex Magic – A term used to describe any ritual that involves sexual energy, a sexual act, or masturbation.

Sexual Sublimation – Also sexual transmutation. An attempt to ritually or magically transform sexual acts or energy into a creationary force, or a belief that this is possible.

Sexual Transmutation – See sexual sublimation.

Shadowlands – A Name given to a realm in close proximation with our own which is unusually dark, lacking in colors (especially bright colors), and where light is a scarcity.

Shadow People – Commonly seen spirits which appear as dark shadows and have a humanoid shape.

Shadow Walking – The act of physically (not astrally) moving into the Shadowlands, also physically moving into any realm outside of our own.

Shaktism – One of the four major sects of Hinduism. Shaktism regards Shakti as the supreme deity.

Shaman – One who practices Shamanism.

Shamanism – In modern metaphysical usage Shamanism refers to the eclectic spiritual beliefs of a person calling themselves a shaman which typically have a heavy emphasis on communication with and travel through the spiritual world.

Shaivism – One of the four major sects of Hinduism. Shaivism regards Shiva as the supreme deity.

Shield – A barrier created using the energy of ones aura, and typically used to deflect magical attacks or prevent oneself from being magically probed.

Shielding – The act of consciously creating and controlling a shield.

Shingon Buddhism – A form of Esoteric Buddhism and one of the most widely practiced forms of Buddhism in Japan.

Shinto – A religion composed of the various spiritual beliefs originating in the Japanese islands prior to the introduction of other religions from mainland Asia.

Shruti – Also sruti or sruthi. Literally translates to that which was heard. Shruti refers to early Hindu religious texts that are believed to have been directly recieved from divine sources, and is in contrast to Smriti.

Shu Zhu – Also fo zhu and nian zhu. Chinese term for Buddhist prayer beads.

Sibha – See Misbaha.

Sidereal Astrology – Based off of Ptolemaic theories, this is a form of western astrology. In contrast to tropical astrology, sidereal astrology theorizes that meanings are derived by the position of the star signs themselves and not by the procession of seasons, and so they take into account the changes in the signs due to the movement of the stars in a method which was developed from joytish astrology.

Sikhism – A monotheistic religion which first developed in Punjab in the 15th century, and is the fifth largest organized religion today. The religion is largely based on the works of ten gurus who lived between the 15th and 18th centuries, and puts a heavy emphasis on the ideas of faith and justice.

Sigil – A symbol with inherrent magical power, often times put on talismans.

Silver Cord – A metaphorical cord which connects the astral body to the physical body used as a means to explain the connection between the two bodies in some forms of astral projection theory.

Skeptic – Traditionally one who questions and requires a good deal of evidence before they accept something as fact. Within a spiritual context though skepticism usually refers to one who practices a form of proactive Atheism where contrary evidence is often dismissed outright, complementary evidence is sometimes fabricated, and the sole purpose of such actions is to remove or destroy spiritual and religious beliefs and systems.

Skertru – A Pagan religion which attempts to reconstruct prechristian Norse beliefs, and which combines elements of the Pagan religions Asatru and Vanatru.

Skull and Bones – A secret society consisting of select Yale University seniors and alumni. Several prominent individuals, including major US politicians, have been members, which has in turn led to the creation of a wide variety of conspiracy theories concerning the group.

Skyclad – Being nude (clad only in the sky), particularly when performing spiritual activities.

Sleep Paralysis – A medically recognized state where a person mentally wakes up but their body remains paralyzed as if they were still asleep. The state is often times associated with astral projection and other magical acts.

Smartism – One of the four major sects of Hinduism. Smartism regards all major Hindu deities as forms of the supreme deity.

Smriti – Literally translates to that which was remembered. Smriti refers to later Hindu religious texts which are not believed to have been directly recieved from divine sources, but were rather written by man, and is in contrast to Shruti.

Soak – To receive energy, usually involuntarily, from the general area and hold it inside oneself.

Society of the Inner Light – Also the Fraternity of the Inner Light, a group founded by Dion Fortune which broke off of the Alpha et Omega.

Solitary – Refers to magical work done alone by oneself. May also refer to a solitary practitioner.

Solitary Practitioner – Also sometimes shortened to solitary. A practitioner of magic who is currently working alone, or a title for a practitioner of magic that usually works alone.

Solitary Wicca – Wicca practiced by a solitary practitioner which is not affiliated with any particular coven, and often times, though not always, not affiliated with any particular Wiccan sect.

Solstice – Either the longest day of the year (the Summer Solstice) or the shortest day of the year (the Winter Solstice). The Solstices have traditionally been associated with the holidays of many different religions and cultures.

Somatic – Within Gnosticism, the lowest grade of humans who are largely bound to the material world.

Spaghetti Monster – An obviously fictitious deity created for the sole purpose of challenging government allowed expression of religion.

Spielwerk – See Bracherei.

Spellwork – Ritual work, typically done in solitary, which is meant to achieve a specific desired goal.

Spirit – A catch all term that refers to anything that is sentient or appears to be sentient that is currently without an incarnate physical body.

Spirit Animal – Also Power Animal. A spirit which is representative of a particular species of animal which is tied to a specific individual and will usually be related to that person’s personality and nature.

Spirit Board – A board containing letters and possibly numbers, words, phrases, and other symbols used as a means to communicate with spirits.

Spirit Guide – A spirit which is tied to a specific individual and which gives the individual guidance.

Spiritism – A religion originating in France based on the works of Allan Kardec. Spiritism is largely influenced by, and very similar to, Spiritualism. Unlike Spiritualism, Spiritism takes a definitive stand in favor of reincarnation.

Spiritualism – A monotheistic religion originating in the United States with a definite Christian influence which is largely concerned with contacting spirits through mediumship in order to gain spiritual insight.

Spontaneous Combustion – A belief that, on very rare occasions, individuals have been burned alive with a fire that started from inside of them, and in most cases barely affected the outside area. The evidence for spontaneous combustion has been based entirely on unrelated cases through out history where the remains of individuals have been found after being burned alive. So far there is no record of the phenomena having been witnessed as it happened.

Sruthi – See Shruti.

Sruti – See Shruti

Staff – A large piece of wood which is usually cylindrical.

Stoicism – A philosophy developed in Athens around the 4th century BC, and one of the three major Greek philosophical schools. Stoicism is centered around the ideas of self-control and will power, and is based on the belief that negative or destructive emotions are due to logical errors in judgement.

Stregheria – A group of religions which are modern day reconstructions of Italian witchcraft whose classification as a Pagan religion is disputed. Still these religions have been influenced by Wiccan beliefs and practices.

Subconscious – The thoughts and activities of and the memories stored within an individual’s mind of which the individual is not aware.

Subtle Body – A term which may refer to one or more non-physical bodies depending on the system and the context. The term most often, but not always, refers to the astral body.

Succubus – A spiritual creature which forcefully drains men of energy through sex which it may instigate through seduction or rape.

Sun Sign Astrology – A simplified form of western astrology based on which zodiac sign the sun is in at the time of birth.

Survivalism – The belief that some aspect of a person’s consciousness survives the death of their physical body.

Sweat Lodge – A humidified and heated room that is used in the ceremonies of some Native American religions. Sweat lodges were also used in some of the ancient spiritual practices of Europe and the Middle East, and have more recentally been incorporated into the belief systems of some members of the New Age movement.

Sword – A weapon consisting of at least a blade and a hilt which is longer than a knife.

Sympathetic Magic – Any magic that utilizes either or both of Fraizer’s two magical laws, the Law of Similarity, the idea that like produces like or imitation magic, and the Law of Contact, that things that have been physically connected to each other will continue to act upon one another after being separated.

Syncretism – Combining the beliefs and practices of two or more systems together and creating a new unified spiritual system. In many ways syncretism is synonymous with eclectisism, however some use the term in practice to refer to a more intensive merging of multiple belief systems. This is often done to show disapproval or disdain for eclecticism while professing a belief in a system which was originally derived from eclectic practices.

Synchronicity – Two or more seemingly unrelated experiences or events that are perceived as having some meaningful connection. Within a purely spiritual context synchronicity is seen as a phenomena which is achieved through some spiritual or supernatural means (such as the interconnectedness of the universe) and which holds some special meaning to the recipient about external events (such as omens foretelling an impending disaster) or is about the recipient specifically. However the term was first developed within the realm of psychology, and at least initially it was used to describe the theory that the human mind will group unrelated experiences together and ascribe to them some special meaning.

System – See magical system.

Talisman – Any small and easily movable object which either contains a sigil or otherwise has inherent magical power.

Tantra – A religion, or arguably a set of spiritual beliefs, originating in India and closely related to Hinduism and Brahmanism. Tantra is sometimes incorrectly used to refer to anything related to tantric sex.

Tantric Buddhism – See Esoteric Buddhism.

Tantric Sex – In the west, a set of sexual practices and techniques, some non-spiritual and some spiritual, usually done to increase sexual pleasure and performance.

Taoism – A religion composed of various theological beliefs and practices native to China.

Tap – To deeply probe and feel the energy of a person, spirit, or animal in an attempt to determine identity, species, personality, aggressiveness, power, or energy signature.

Taper – A thin candle which cannot stand up on its own and needs a special holder.

Tarot – A deck of playing cards (of which the modern standard is 78 cards) which originated in Italy and was used to play a game called Tarochi. The cards have since been widely used for divination, meditation, the transmission of esoteric knowledge, and spellwork.

Tasbeeh – See Misbaha.

Tea-Light – A small candle enclosed in metal.

Teacher – A person who provides another with significant spiritual training and guidance.

Teleology – The belief that occurrances in nature were intentionally designed for a specific purpose or to achieve a specific goal.

Televangelist – A Christian minister who regularly preaches on television.

Temple – A sacred place where one or more gods are worshiped, or in which other spiritual practices take place. The word is used by many different religions, spiritual groups, denominations, and individuals.

Temple of Set – A Satanic religion that broke off of the Church of Satan and worships the Egyptian god Set.

Tent Women – Term coined by Isreal Regardie to describe the very obese and loud women who push people around that are a common occurrence at Wiccan gatherings and a staple of the pagan community.

Tespih – See Misbaha.

Theban Alphabet – Also Honorian Alphabet and Witch’s Alphabet. A magical alphabet that was first published by Johannes Trithemius who attributed it to Honorius of Thebes, and widely used as a cipher alphabet in Wicca to hide spiritual writings. The alphabet has a letter for letter correspondance with the letters of the classical Latin alphabet.

Theism – A belief that the universe was created by one or more supreme beings or gods, and that these gods take a personal interest in human affairs and events which they actively manipulate.

Thelema – A religion founded by Allister Crowley and based on certain theological and philosophical beliefs that were either held by Crowley or contained in works he channeled.

Theocracy – A government which is controlled by those who are believed to have been divinely guided, or in which the government is led according to the beliefs and doctrines of a particular religious faith.

Theodism – A Pagan religion which is a recontruction of Germanic paganism. Theodism attempts to reconstruct not only the religious practices, but also the social structures and languages of Germanic Paganism. The religion has been named defunct by its founder under the grounds that it is impractical, but some active groups still remain today.

Theology – The study of religion. Often times used to specifically refer to Christian theology, or the study of Christianity.

Theophagy – The eating of a god. It refers to a ritual in which the practitioner consumes what they believe to be a portion of a deity’s body.

Theophany – The appearence of a deity to a human or other being.

Theoretical Magic – Refers to information and ideas concerning the practice of magic, as opposed to the actual acts themselves.

Theosophical Society, The – A group founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky to promote her religion Theosophy.

Theosophy – A highly influential religion founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky that was concerned with the study of comparative religion and metaphysics.

Theravada Buddhism – One of the two or three branches of the Buddhist religion. Theravada Buddhism is the oldest surviving form of Buddhism.

Therapeutic Touch – Also Non-Contact Therapeutic Touch and abbreviated NCTT. Therapeutic touch is a system of healing developed in the 1970s in which the practitioner lightly touches or holds their hands slightly above the patient and manipulates fields of energy in order to heal and to allieviate pain, anxiety, and stress.

Thought Form – A mass of energy that creates an astral body that has a specific shape yet lacks a soul or the ability for sentient, independent thought. Thought forms are created, however briefly, whenever a person thinks of something.

Thought Suggestions – The magical act of forcefully placing an idea into a persons mind while they are not channeling and without their permission, and often with the intention of disguising it as a genuine thought developed by the victim.

Thule – Thule was an island in the far north first written about by the Greeks, although the exact location being described by the Greeks is disputed. Through out the middle ages the name Thule was used to describe areas to the far north, and several different Northern islands (such as Iceland and Greenland) have been named Thule. The Thule Society, an Ariosophic group which was essential in the formation of the Nazi party, believed Thule to be a lost island from which the Aryan race first descended.

Thule Society – A mystical group which existed in Nazi Germany and practiced Ariosophy, which was largely concerned with combating percieved threats from communists and Jewish people. Members of the Thule Society formed the German Workers Party, which later became the Nazi Party, and were early supporters of Adolph Hitler. Several influential Nazi political figures were part of the Thule Society.

Three-Fold Law – A Wiccan belief which is sometimes incorporated into other Pagan religions. The three-fold law states that any harm done to another will be inflicted back on oneself three-fold.

Tibetan Buddhism – A form of Esoteric Buddhism originating in Tibet and largely practiced in Tibet and surrounding areas.

Tikkun Olam – Hebrew phrase that translates to ‘repairing the world’. Within Judaism and Kabalism it is the concept that members of the faith should do good works for the betterment of humanity.

Tithe – Tithe literally means a tenth, and is the practice of paying a tenth of ones income to a religious organization. Within some organizations the amount of the tithe is changed to more or less than ten percent.

Trad – Tradition. See also tradition.

Tradition – Chiefly Wiccan. A group of covens which share beliefs and a common descendancy. For the most part synonymous with sect, although generally the term is only used to refer to sects within the Wiccan religion.

Traditionalism – A belief that certain older rituals or spells should be performed exactly as they were written, or that a certain system or religion should be practiced exactly as it was in the past, without any new additions or omissions, due to the belief that, in practice, this will produce the strongest results.

Traditionalist – One who believes in, practices, or promotes the ideas of traditionalism.

Traditional Witchcraft – A set of spiritual beliefs originating in the UK which can be traced back several hundred years. Traditional witchcraft is matriarchal and uses the pre-Christian Celtic pantheon. Spiritual beliefs have a large focus on herbalism and divination, along with spellwork largely focused on love spells, fertility, prosperity spells, healing, and curses.

Trance – A mental state which is marked by increased clarity, mental prowess, and magical ability.

Tranfitu Fluuij – A magical alphabet which combines elements of Agrippa’s Malchium, Celestial, and Passing the River alphabets together. The alphabet was created by Pantheus and first published in his book Voarchadumia.

Trans-Neptunian Planets – 8 planets proposed to exist beyond the planet Neptune in Uraniun astrology. Four planets were originally proposed by Witte, with an additional four proposed by Sieggrun. These planetary positions were based off of observations by Witte of additional forces acting upon a person’s astrological chart, and where these planets would have to orbit. Some have theorized that the trans-neptunian planets may not be planets at all, but rather other bodies such as gravitational fields or nodes of other planets. So far the existance of the tran-neptunian planets has neither been proven nor disproven by modern astronomy.

Transitus Fluvii – Latin for Passing the River. See Passing the River.

Transmutation – In alchemy, the act of turning one metal into another, usually a cheap metal into an expensive one, e.g. turning lead into gold.

Tree of Knowledge – Sometimes used to refer to an abstract Kabalistic diagram mapping the Qlippoth (although omitted from the tree of life, the Qlippoth are still referenced due to their association to the Sepiroth). Also in the book of Genesis a tree in the Garden of Eden which granted man the potential to gain all of the knowledge and power of god.

Tree of Life – An abstract Kabalistic diagram which shows the make-up of the universe and the methods of creation and division. Also in the book of Genesis a tree in the Garden of Eden with the power to grant immortality.

Triangle – A triangle, real or imagined, and of varied complexity, that appears in many rituals.

Tribal Mask – See ritual mask.

Trickster God – Any of the gods from the various pantheons which are known for being generally deceptive and possibly partial to pranks. Examples of trickster gods include Coyote, Loki, Monkey, and Prometheus.

Triple Deity – See triple goddess.

Triple Goddess – A triad of three connected goddesses or a single goddess which is seen as having three different forms. Triple goddesses are a common occurance through out mythology. Sometimes the term triple deity is also used, in which case the term may refer to female goddesses or male gods.

Tropical Astrology – Based off of Ptolemaic theories, this is the most common form of western astrology. Tropical astrology theorizes that meanings are derived from the procession of seasons in the northern hemisphere, not from the actual placement of the constellations which are moving, and is in contrast to sidereal astrology.

Two-Head Man – See Hoodoo Man.

Two-Head Woman – See Hoodoo Woman.

Two-Headed Doctor – See Hoodoo doctor.

Typhonian Order – The new name which has been adopted by the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis.

Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis (T.O.T.O.) – More recently known as the Typhonian Order, an organization founded by Crowley’s student Kenneth Grant after his expulsion from the Ordo Templi Orientis. In addition to Crowley’s work and the additional texts which make up the core spiritual beliefs and practices of the Ordo Templi Orientis, the TOTO also incorporates Grant’s original work.

Umbanda – An Afro-Brazillian religion with elements of Christianity and Spiritism. The religion is mainly practiced in Brazil and neighboring countries.

Underworld – See land of the dead.

Unitarian Universalism – A religion that combines elements of the Unitarian and Universalist churches. Despite the fact that both Unitarianism and Universalism are Christian religions, Unitarian Universalism is not a Christian religion. The Unitarian Universalist church has no doctrine and allows its members to follow any religious or spiritual beliefs they choose, including none at all, with the primary goal of the church being to support the free and responsible search for spiritual truth and growth. Individual Unitarian Universalist churches have been known to sponser Pagan groups composed of members of its parish and local Pagan community events.

Universe – Traditionally the word universe refers to everything in existence, however more modern theories in spirituality, philosophy, physics, and literature allow for the existence of multiple seperate universes, in which case the word multiverse or metaverse is used to refer to everything in existence. If a belief model which allows for multiple universes is being employed, the exact definition of what constitutes a single universe varies.

Upanishads – A large collection of Hindu religious texts which postdate and explain the Vedas, and which were originally transmitted orally.

Uraniun Astrology – A relatively rescent form of Western astrology which places a greater emphasis on precission and also on deriving and validating astrological theory through observation rather than following traditional theories. Uraniun astrology also introduced the theory of trans-Neptunian planets.

Urglaawe – A German Pagan reconstruction originating in the Pennsylvania Dutch community of the United States and which combines elements of Germanic Paganism with Braucherei.

Uroborus – See Ouroboros.

Vaishnavism – One of the four major sects of Hinduism, and currently the largest sect in the world. Vaishnavism regards Vishnu as the supreme deity.

Vajrayana Buddhism – See Esoteric Buddhism.

Valhalla – In Norse mythology, a heavinly area ruled over by Odin to which half of those who died in battle are brought in order to prepare for Ragnarök.

Vampire – See psionic vampire, sanguinarian vampire.

Vampire Hunter – An individual, who may or may not be loosely associated with a vampire hunting group, that has dedicated themsleves to seeking out and combating vampires, possibly professionally, and may concentrate on fighting only psionic or sanguinarian vampires, or may seek out both. Generally they hold a negative view on magic and alternative spiritual beliefs and are usually closely related to demonologists in their beliefs and practices.

Vampirism – Any magical act that takes, by force or coercion, the energy from any living creature.

Vanatru – A Germanic Pagan religion which attempts to reconstruct prechristian Norse beliefs. The religion is similar to Asatru, however it differs in that it has a heavy emphasis the deities which are classified as the Vanir, sometimes to the exclusion of other Norse deities.

Vanir – In the Norse Pantheon, a subset of gods which preceded the Aesir and were eventually incorporated into the Aesir.

Vedas – A collection of Vedic Sanskrit texts which form the foundation of Hinduism and are believed to have been directly received from divine sources. The Vedas are both the oldest Hindu texts and the oldest Sanskrit texts.

Vedic Astrology – A form of astrology that originates in India and has roots in Hellenistic Astrology.

Vedism – See Brahmanism.

Veil – A reference to the seperation between the physical world and the spiritual world.

Venerable – A title given to a person who is considered to have lived a spiritually virtuous or holy life. The exact definition of the term varies between religions.

Villian Hitting – A type of regional Chinese folk magic. Villian hitting is centered around cursing those who are harming the client, or whom the client hates for some reason.

Vision Quest – Initially this was a ritual rite of passage in some Native American religions which generally involved having a child, usually near the onset of puberty, enter the wilderness in search of a vision or dream to guide them into their future path. The ritual has been incorporated into the beliefs of some members of the New Age movement, however they usually undertake the vision quest at a much older age.

Visualization – The act of constructing images and situations within ones mind. Visualization is a common tool employed in magical operations.

Void – One of the five elements in Shintoism and Japanese philosophy. Void is synonymous with the element of spirit found in most Western systems.

Voodoo – A set of religions compromised of Vudon and those religions that are partially based off of Vudon beliefs and practices. The Voodoo religions are Vudon, Haitian Vodou, Louisiana Voodoo, and Hoodoo.

Vortex – A point where numerous Nexus points are clustered closely together, a relatively rare occurrence.

Vudon – Also West African Vudon, an organized religion originating in the coastal regions of Western Africa.

Walk-in – An entity which comes to permanently and totally inhabit and control a physical body in which it was not originally incarnated into, and in which the original incarnate spirit no longer resides. This differs from a possession where the original incarnate spirit still resides within the physical body and passes control back and forth between it and the entity which possesses it.

Wand – A small cylindrical object, whose composition varies dependent on the type, meant to be grasped in one hand and often used as a magical tool. See also energy wand, pipe wand, and wooden wand.

Ward – A type of barrier put around a space which, through filtering, either blocks or repulses only specific attacks, energies, and/or entities.

Warlock – A term used to describe one who practices magic, or specifically one who has the power to bind spirits. In the past few decades a lot has been made out of the term originally being used to describe oathbreakers or liars, especially by Wiccans who, for the most part, prefer that male members are also titled witches and not called warlocks. Because of this the term has largely fallen out of use among practitioners.

Watchtower – A spiritual guardian (of which there are four) evoked for general protection and other uses during ritual work in several different systems.

Weird – Modern alternate spelling of Wyrd.

Werewolf – A person who can, through whatever means, shapeshift between their human body and a wolf form. More recently the word is also sometimes used to describe a person who can or who prefers to transform their astral body into a wolf.

West African Vudon – See Vudon.

Western Astrology – A form of astrology based on the information contained in Ptomely’s Tetrabiblos, which has roots in Hellenistic Astrology.

Western Magical Tradition – The magical beliefs, practices, and religions originating in Europe, parts of the Middle-East, and post-colonial Americas, except for those religions and practices originating in the post-colonial Americas that are influenced by African religions.

Wheel of the Year – In Wicca and certain other Pagan religions, a reference to the cycle of seasons and the eight holidays that fall through out the year.

White-Lighter – A disparaging term used to describe a zealot devoted to what they perceive as the good or light side of spirituality and which typically attempts to change, cleanse, destroy, exorcise, or attack that which they perceive as dark, negative, or evil.

White Magic – Indefinite term used by some to describe magic which they perceive as good, moral, selfless, or done according to their particular spiritual beliefs.

Whore of Babylon – In Christian mythology, a biblical character described in the prophecies given in the Book of Revelations. Generally believed, by historians and Christian theologins alike, to be symbolic and not refer to an actual person.

Whyzard – A male practitioner of magic. A variation of wizard. The term is not in wide use.

Wicca – A group of Pagan religions originating in the UK. There are many different and varied traditions of Wicca, although most combine elements of Celtic mythology and practices, European folklore concerning witches, Traditional Witchcraft, and Ceremonial Magic.

Wiccan Rede – Also the rede. A Wiccan poem that includes several important Wiccan practices and beliefs, most notably the three-fold law.

Widdershins – Counterclockwise.

Witch – Traditionally a woman who practices witchcraft, or sometimes a woman who practices any kind of magic. Also refers to members of the Wiccan faith of either gender.

Witch War – Cheifly Pagan, the term refers to a battle between two magicians or two magical groups, usually but not always fought spiritually.

Witch’s Alphabet – See Theban Alphabet.

Witchcraft – A set of specific pre-Christian and/or non-Christian spiritual practices and beliefs practiced originally in parts of Europe. Also refers to ritual, spellwork, and/or magical aspects of the Wiccan religion.

Witching Hour – A time of night in which random metaphysical occurrences seem to be at a peak, and which is generally believed to be a preferable time to perform magic. Generally the Witching Hour is believed to take place sometime between one and five AM, usually at approximately three AM, although the exact time varies depending on the length of the night and the time the sun sets.

Wizard – A male practitioner of magic. Due to its over use in fantasy fiction and role playing games, the term is rarely used in a spiritual context today.

Wooden Wand – A wand primarily made out of a piece of long wood, but may also include other objects attached to it, such as gemstones.

Worry Beads – See prayer beads.

Wotanism – Wotanism is a Germanic Pagan religion developed by David Lane, who at the time was a convicted felon serving a life sentence for numerous violent crimes and a noted racist. The religion is largely centered around the ideas of white racial superiority and national socialism and contains many political undercurrents.

Wyrd – Fate or personal destiny. Wyrd is an Old English word, sometimes spelled weird in modern works, which corresponds to the Norse word Orlog.

Yana – Within Buddhism the vehicle through which spiritual attainment is achieved. In a more broader sense, a spiritual journey. The idea of yana is synonymous with the metaphorical concept of a spiritual path or road.

Yanweh – The most popular name ascribed to the Judeo-Christian God in the Torah. The name has also been translated as YHVH and Jehovah.

Yggdrasil – In Norse mythology, a tree on which the nine worlds of Norse mythology rest. Yggdrasil is the ancient Norse interpretation of the universe.

YHVH – An alternate English transliteration of the Hebrew word Yanweh, one of the names of the Hebrew God given in the Torah.

Yin and Yang – Literally the dark and the light. Within Chinese philosophy and some Eastern religions the idea of Yin and Yang is used to describe the idea of the existence of polar opposites through out the universe which act in a complimentary fashion to each other.

Yoga – Physical and mental practices originating in India meant to spiritually strengthen the practitioner.

Yogi – Traditionally a male practitioner of yoga. Also used to refer to yoga practitioners of either gender.

Yogini – A female practitioner of yoga. Also a term of respect for female spiritual teachers.

Younger Futhark – Also known as the Scandanavian alphabet. An alphabet derived from the Elder Futhark and used in Scandanavia from the 16th through the 20th centuries.

Yule – Yule was originally a pre-Christian German holiday that took place on the winter solstice and many of the traditions and rituals have been incorporated into the modern holiday of Christmas. More recentally it has been adapted by several Pagan religions and is usually celebrated on the winter solstice on December 21st or 22nd, but is sometimes moved to either December 24th or 25th to correspond with Christmas eve or Christmas day. The meaning, importance, practices, and rituals associated with Yule vary between different groups.

Zen – In modern metaphysical usage, a momentary state of meditation, peace, or enlightenment, or a continuous higher understanding of the universe and its meaning, or a continuous state of higher being. May also refer to that which brings about a state of enlightenment, understanding, or higher being. Originally the term referred to a school of Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, however the common modern connotation of the term has little to do with Buddhist beliefs. See also Zen Buddhism.

Zen Buddhism – A form of Mahayana Buddhism developed in Japan which places a greater emphesis on wisdom gained through experience, such as meditation and actions, rather than on theoretical knowledge. Zen Buddhism was initially developed as a Japanese variant of Chan Buddhism.

Zombie – A person who has, through the herbalism of Haitian Voodoo, been drugged into a state of mindless obedience and servitude.

Zoroastrianism – An ancient religion originating in what is today Iran which is based on the works of the prophet Zoraster.

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