Wicca Terms

Astral Projection – the practice of separating the spirit from the body and having that spirit move around the world

Balefire – a fire used for magical purposes

Book of Shadows – a book of rituals and spells, there is no single official book, but many versions

Blood of the Moon – the time of a woman’s greatest energy, usually during menstruation

Chakra – a location of energy in the body, typically there are said to be seven specific locations

Channeling – the practice of allowing another spirit to speak through you

Chanting – the use of reptitious words and or rhymes

Coven – a group of Wiccans, usually thirteen

Familiar – an animal that has a bond with a witch

Runes – figures or symbols in rocks, clay, or candles that enhance magic

Skyclad – ritual nudity

Underworld – the spirit realm of the dead

Holy Days (Sabbats)

Wiccans celebrate four major dates based on the seasons. They claim that these days have been followed for thousands of years by ancient cultures such as the Nordic, the Celtic, and the Greek.

Imbolc – aka Groundhog’s Day, Festival of Milk, Feb. 2, celebrates fertility, middle of winter, milk was traditionally poured out upon the ground, associated with amethyst, turquoise, dill, white, pink, and red

Beltane – aka May Day, April 30 or May 1, celebrates return of fertility after winter, associated with sapphire, honeysuckle, jasmine, green, yellow, and red

Lughnasadh – aka First Harvest, Aug. 1, celebrates the beginning of harvest, associated with ginseng, grapes, potatoes, berries, green, and orange

Samhain – aka All Hallows Eve, Day of the Dead, Oct. 31, celebrates new year, associated with obsidian, onyx, apples, corn, pears, and black

The Burning Times

“The Burning Times” is a period spanning from 1300 to 1800 in which many Wiccans were persecuted and killed throughout Europe and in the British American colonies. About 80% of the accused were women who were magicians, diviners, scholars, midwives, and healers. The accusers included the Catholic Church, the Inquisition, secular governments, intellectuals, the common folk, doctors, and Wiccans themselves. The Catholic Church used one verse in Exodus as an excuse:

Exodus 22:18 – A witch thou dost not keep alive. (YLT)

Also, Wiccans themselves often blamed each other to protect themselves. “White” witches often blamed “black” witches. White witches healed and removed spells, while black witches cursed and killed. However, from a Christian point of view, we are all sinners, and we are only alive due to the grace of God. It is not our place to judge others as “good” or “bad,” but God’s alone. Eventually, upper class rationalists realized that too many people were being senselessly hurt or killed without any proof. The lower class then followed, and the Buring Times came to an end.

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