Definitions

Occult 

Occluded or hidden/secret; the study of secret or hidden knowledge. Secret societies include the Rosicrucians and certain fraternal orders.

Earth Religion 

A religion whose main tenet is that the worshipper is in harmony with the Earth and with all life. Such religions oppose the idea that the world is a resource to be subdued and exploited.

Pagan 

A practitioner of an Earth Religion; from the Latin paganus, a country dweller.

Neo-Paganism 

A modern Earth Religion which borrows and adapts from the best of pre-Christian Pagan religions, sometimes with additions from contemporary religious thinkers.

Witchcraft 

A magical religion with many diverse traditions derived from various cultural sources around which covens and individual practitioners base their practices. Modern Witchcraft traditions include:

  • Alexandrian
  • Celtic
  • Circle
  • Dianic
  • Faery
  • Gardnerian
  • Georgian
  • Isian
  • NECTW
  • NROOGD
  • Reclaiming
  • Shamanic
  • 1734 and others.

The Craft 

Another name for Witchcraft.

Coven 

A congregation of Witches, usually limited to 13 members or less.

Witch 

One who worships the Goddess, and sometimes also Her Consort, the God; practices magic; and considers her/himself to be following the spiritual path of Witchcraft.

Magic 

A conscious direction of will to accomplish a goal.

Sabbat 

One of the eight seasonal festivals equally spaced during the year, celebrated by individuals and covens of Witches.

Esbat 

Monthly meeting of a coven, usually held at full moon. There are about 13 full moons each year. Some groups also meet at the dark of the moon.

Athame:

A ritual knife associated with the Element of Air or Fire, depending upon tradition.  Often a two-sided blade with a black handle; however, individuals may choose or craft their own athames which are neither, and any kind may be personalized with inscriptions.  Pronunciation of this word varies by region and/or tradition.  Not used for cutting.