Wicca terms and definitions

by Matt Slick

  1. Altar - a surface that has been prepared for the work of doing rituals and magick.
  2. Amulet - an object that deflects negative energy. It is usually worn on the person.
  3. astral projection - the practice of separating the spirit from the body and having that spirit move around the world.
  4. astrology - the study of the stars and how their position affects personality and future events.
  5. Athame - a short ceremonial knife, sometimes with a double edged blade. It is used to direct energy during the Wiccan rituals.
  6. autumnal equinox - a day of the year in autumn when the night and day are of equal length.
  7. Balefire - a fire used for magical purposes, often used in the ceremonies during Yule, Beltane, and Midsummer.
    Beltane - a Wiccan festival celebrated on April 30 or May 1.
  8. Between the worlds - the concept that a Wiccan Circle, when properly performed, exists between the physical and spiritual dimensions where people may contact other spirits.
  9. Blessed be - a phrase used by Wiccans in both greeting and parting.
  10. Blood of the moon - the time of a woman's greatest energy, usually during her menstrual cycle.
  11. Book of Shadows - a book of rituals and spells. There is no single official Book of Shadows. Each book of shadows is relevant to the person who uses it and develops a set of spells and rituals used for gaining influence and power.
  12. Burning Time, the - a time from the 1500s to 1600s where the Catholic church killed many pagans because they practiced older pagen rituals. 
  13. candle magick - the use of candles in spells and rituals.
  14. Centering - to focus your thoughts and energies.
  15. Chakra - a location of energy focus and human body. Typically, there are said to be seven.
  16. Chalice - a cup used in rituals that can contain wind, water, or other liquids.
  17. Channeling - the practice of allowing another spirit to speak through you.
  18. Chanting- the use of repetitious words and or rhymes designed to induce an altered state of consciousness.
  19. Charge - to infuse energy into an object.
  20. Charm - an object that has been charged with energy.
  21. Circle - a group of people, usually Wiccans, who have been gathered to perform a ritual.
  22. Cleansing - removing negative energy.
  23. Coven - a group of Wiccans. A group of witches, usually numbering 13.
  24. Cowen - someone who is not a witch.
  25. Craft - another term for Wicca.
  26. Crone - one of the three aspects of the goddess. Also, someone who has passed the stage of menopause.
  27. Deity - a god or goddess, a particular view about a God or godess held by a Wiccan.
  28. Deosil - Clockwise motion.
  29. Divination - discovering the unknown by observing and interpreting random patterns are symbols through such tools as clouds, tarot cards, flames, smoke, etc.
  30. Dowsing - the use of an object, such as a stick, to find something or someone, and sometimes to find an answer to a question.
  31. Drawing down the Moon - a ritual for the invocation of the goddess done at the full moon where energy is drawn into a female witch.
  32. Drawing down the Sun - a ritual for the invitation of God where energy is drawn into a male witch.
  33. Earth Magick - magic that is centered around the energies of Mother Earth.
  34. Earth Power - the natural energy that exists within the earth. Therefore, there is energy within plants, rocks, water, the wind, etc. Wiccans often try and tap into the earth power in their rituals and spells.
  35. Elementals - creatures associated with the elements. Gnomes with the earth, Sylphs with the air, Salamanders with Fire, and Undines with Water.
  36. Elements, The - the building blocks of the universe are the four elements: Earth, fire, air, and water.
  37. Equinox - occurs two times a year on March 21 or Sept. 23 where the day and night are of equal length.
  38. Esbat - a Wiccan ritual performed in a coven.
  39. Evocation - calling up spirits and/or other non-physical entities.
  40. Familiar - an animal that has a bond with a witch.
  41. God - The male divine principle: horned God, God of the hunt.
  42. Goddess - the female divine principle: Moon Goddess, maiden.
  43. Handfasting - a wedding.
  44. High Priest/Priestess - a witch who is the leader of a coven, sometimes a person who has received the third degree initiation.
  45. Imbolc - a Wiccan festival celebrated on February 2 also known as Candlemas, Feast of the Waxing Light.  It celebrates the arrival of spring.
  46. Invocation - a request to a higher power, god or goddess.
  47. Lughnasadh - a Wiccan festival celebrated on August 1 which signifies the harvest.
  48. Mabon - a Wiccan festival celebrated on September 21st, a celebration of the second harvest and preparation for winter.
  49. Magick - a term first used by Aleister Crowley (a Satanist). It refers to any ritual or spell that is designed to bring about a change in a person or the environment. Magick allegedly works within natural laws and cannot violate them.
  50. Merry Meet - a phrase used as a greeting.
  51. Midsummer - the summer solstice that occurs around June 21. It marks the time when the sun is at the height of its power.
  52. Neo Paganism - It is a bit broad in its meaning, but generally it is a group of religions based out of old European and pre-Christian belief systems.
  53. New Moon - the phase of the moon when it is entirely dark.
  54. Old Religion - another term for Wicca.
  55. Ostara - a Wiccan festival of March 21 that celebrates the beginning of spring.
  56. Pagan - Generally it refers to those who hold to religious beliefs but are not Jews, Christians, or Muslims. Pagans are often polytheistic and/or pantheistic.
  57. Paganing - a ceremony where on infant is presented to the circle and to the God and Goddess.
  58. Pentacle - an object used in rituals upon which a pentagram (five pointed star in a circle) is engraved or inscribed.
  59. Pentagram - a five pointed star.
  60. Path - the particular religious journey that a person is on.
  61. Quarters - north, south, east, and West. The four corners of ritual circle.
  62. Reincarnation - in Wicca, the teaching that people souls continue on after death, go to a holding place (Summerland) where there lives are contemplated, and the decision into which location and time to be born occurs.
  63. Ritual - a Wiccan ceremony where objects and movements are designed to bring about desired effects.
  64. Runes - sticklike figures such as symbols that were once carved in rocks, play, candles, which are supposed to have energies that can be used during magick.
  65. Sabbat - a Wiccan festival.
  66. Samhain - a Wiccan festival celebrated on October 31, Halloween.
  67. Scry - to look upon object intensely as in a meditative state and opening oneself up to visions.
  68. Skyclad - Wiccan terminology for nudity.
  69. Solitary - a Wiccan who practices the craft by him or herself.
  70. Spell - a ritual designed to bring about a certain effect.
  71. Summerland - A place of peace and paradise that all spirits go after death where they are rejuvenated and reflect upon their previous life before proceeding on to another incarnation.
  72. Talisman - A ritually charged object designed to attract a specific energy.
  73. Threefold Law - All the good you do will return to you threefold in this life. Likewise, all the harm you do will return to you threefold also.
  74. Tradition - a particular type of Wicca that a person practices.
  75. Underworld - the spirit realm of the dead.
  76. Widdershins - movement that is counterclockwise.
  77. Witch - someone who participates in magick, male or female.
  78. Witchcraft - the practice of the earth based and pagan religion focusing on nature and its manipulation through rituals.
  79. Wicca - A religion derived from ancient Celtic belief systems that focuses on the goddess and nature. It is sometimes referred to as witchcraft.
  80. Wiccan Rede - "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will" This means that as long as you don't harm anyone, you are free to do what you want in Wicca including casting spells.
  81. Yule - a Wiccan festival celebrated on December 21 marking the rebirth of the sun god.1




  • 1. Cantrell, Gary, Wiccan Beliefs and Practices, St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2004, p. 35; (2) Drew, A. J., A Wiccan Bible: Exploring the Mysteries of the Craft from Birth to Summerland, Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page Books, 2003, p. 138-139; and (3) Grimassi, Raven, Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchraft, St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2003.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.