Seasons of Wicca: The Essential Guide to Rituals and Rites to Enhance Your Spiritual Journey - Ambrosia Hawthorn 2020


ALTAR a designated flat surface to perform rituals or other magical workings

ASPERGING sprinkling water around an altar or space for purification purposes

ATHAME a consecrated, ceremonial ritual blade used to direct energy, not to cut; usually double-edged and black-handled and can be used interchangeably with a wand during casting and opening a circle of protection

BANISH to end or get rid of negative energy or unwanted spirits

BELL often used as a ritual tool to raise energy

BESOM a broom used to sweep energy and can cleanse or purify a space

BIND to magically restrain

BLUE MOON the second of two full moons that occur in one calendar month

BOLINE a knife, often with a curved blade and white handle, used in magic and ritual for purposes such as cutting herbs, string, or knots

BOOK OF SHADOWS a witch’s book of spells, rituals, and magical lore

CALLING invoking elemental or divine energy

CALLING THE QUARTERS verbal or symbolic acknowledgment of the elements in a ritual environment

CAULDRON a vessel used to hold ingredients for ritual workings; fire-safe cauldrons should be used for rituals involving fire

CHALICE a ritual cup or goblet used to hold ritual drinks, such as the “ale” in cake and ale ceremonies

CHANTS repeating phrases or words in spells or ritual to raise energy

CHARGE to infuse an object with energy

CHARMS an item created for a specific magical use; can be sachet bags, spell jars, amulets, talismans, or knots

CIRCLE a sacred, protected space created with energy to perform rituals

CLEANSING removing negative energy from an object or space

COVEN a group of Wiccans that work together to learn, grow, and perform rituals and ceremonies

CRAFT the practice of witchcraft

CRONE one of the three aspects of the Goddess, represented by the old woman and the darkest part of the year

CROSS-QUARTER DAYS the sabbats that occur between the solstices and equinoxes—Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain

DEDICATION a ritual or rite in which an individual chooses to make an oath to accept their path as Wiccan or witch; not to be confused with initiation

DIVINATION the act of connecting to one’s inner self and the universe to seek answers; divination can be done through scrying, dowsing, using Tarot or Oracle decks, casting runestones, and reading Ogham staves

DRAWING DOWN THE MOON a ritual performed during the full moon

DRAWING DOWN THE SUN a ritual performed during Litha or the Summer Solstice

DUMB SUPPER a silent or “dumb” dinner feast to honor the dead

ELEMENTS the physical elements of earth, air, fire, water that make up the building blocks of the universe. The fifth element, spirit, exists in all the physical elements and in the divine.

ESBAT a circle or ritual to honor the full moon, often used to celebrate the Goddess aspect of divinity

FULL MOON CHARGED WATER water that has been allowed to sit overnight to charge under the light of the full moon

GARDNERIAN WICCA a tradition of witchcraft created from the teachings of Gerald Gardner

GOD the masculine aspect of deity

GODDESS the feminine aspect of deity

GRIMOIRE a magical workbook or journal containing ritual information, notes, and ritual properties

GROUNDING to disperse excess energy generated during rituals by sending it into the earth

HANDFASTING a Pagan wedding ceremony

HERBALISM the art of using herbs, both magically and medicinally

HIGH PRIEST/HIGH PRIESTESS a coven leader who has reached a certain high level of initiation in their coven

HORNED GOD one of the most prevalent God-images in Paganism, one not associated with the Christian devil or Satanism

INCANTATION words spoken during rituals or spells

INCENSE herbs, oils, or other aromatic items that can be burned to scent, cleanse, or purify space during acts of ritual

INITIATION a process by which an individual is accepted or admitted to a coven; not to be confused with dedication

INVOCATION to bring or call something, such as a deity, to assist you

KABBALAH is a form of ancient Jewish mysticism. The name comes from the Hebrew word meaning “to receive.” According to Judaism, Kabbalah predates Jewish Creation. Sometimes stylized with a Q as Qabalah. The spelling Qabalah is more often used by occultists.

KARMA the belief that a person’s actions can be counted toward or against them on their spiritual path across several lifetimes

LIBATION ritually giving a portion of food or drink to a deity or spirit; often called an offering or cake and ale offering

MAGIC the projection of natural energy or power to bring about change

MAIDEN one of the three aspects of the Goddess, represented by a young woman or girl who has not yet awakened

MEDITATION a quiet time, reflection, or contemplation spent turning inward toward the self or divinity

MOTHER one of three aspects of the Goddess representing motherhood, midlife, and fertility

NEW AGE the mixing of newer spiritual practices with traditional religion

OCCULT a term meaning “hidden” that applies broadly to a wide range of metaphysical topics often misunderstood by the general population

OGHAM is the ancient alphabet of the Celtic people. Ogham is often carved into wood pieces to create Ogham staves, similar to rune-stones and “cast” to gain insights and information.

OLD RELIGION a name for Paganism, as it predates Christianity; sometimes also called the Old Ways

ORACLE a divination deck of varying size that uses symbolism to connect the user with their subconscious and the universe

PAGAN/NEOPAGAN a general term for followers of Wicca and any other magical, shamanistic, or polytheistic Earth-based religion

PANTHEON a collection or group of Gods and Goddesses in a particular religious structure; examples are Celtic, Roman, Greek, African, or Scandinavian

PENTACLE a circle with a five-pointed upright star, often used or worn as a symbol of a witch’s beliefs; it can also be used to represent the element of earth in ritual

QABALAH is an esoteric tradition that involves the occult and mysticism (sometimes called Hermetic Qabalah). Qabalah combines elements of Kabbalah, Egyptology, divination, Tarot, and astrology. Often thought of as a precursor to Neopagan, Wiccan, and New Age movements.

QUARTERS the north, south, east, and west parts of a circle or ritual area. The quarters are the Guardians of the physical elements. The terms quarters, elements, and cardinal directions are used interchangeably when casting a circle.

REDE is the Basic tenet of Wicca, summarized as “An it harm none, do what ye will.”

RITUAL a ceremony or rite to honor divinity and raise and use energy for an intended purpose or celebration

RITUAL TOOLS objects used in ritual and placed on an altar; they often include deity and elemental representations

RUNES a set of symbols or letters used for divination; examples are Scandinavian, Norse, and Germanic

SABBAT a sun celebration including a solstice, equinox, or cross-quarter day

SCRYING a method of divination involving gazing at or into an object or surface to receive images or messages

SKYCLAD celebrating or performing rituals in the nude

SMUDGE STICK a bundle of dried herbs, often white sage, the smoke of which is used to banish unwanted energy

SOLITARY a Pagan who often practices alone rather than as part of a coven

SPELL a magical manipulation of energy to create an intended outcome; often implements charms, sachets, herbalism, and incantations or chants

SUMMERLAND the Pagan afterlife

TAROT a 78-card divination deck that uses symbolism to connect the user with their own subconscious and the universe

THREEFOLD LAW a karmic principle that states that when a person releases energy out into the world, it will be returned to them three times

TRADITION a given branch of Paganism, often in the form of a coven or group, that follows a specific path

TRIPLE GODDESS: a Goddess in all her three aspects: Maiden, Mother, and Crone

VISUALIZATION the process of forming mental images to raise and harness energy for an intended purpose

WAND a ritual tool used to direct energy; can be used interchangeably with an athame

WHEEL OF THE YEAR a full cycle of the seasonal year that includes the eight Wiccan sabbats

WICCA a modern Pagan religion with spiritual roots; emerged in the 1950s

WICCANING a ceremony to bless a baby or child and welcome them to the Wiccan religion

WITCH a practitioner of magic, often one that uses crystals, colors, herbs, energy, and ritual

WITCHCRAFT the craft of a witch, often implementing crystals, colors, herbs, energy, and incantations