Elf Arrows

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Arrowhead-shaped flints from the Stone Age found in many parts of the British Isles, Europe and northern Africa, which witches supposedly used as weapons against animals and people. Elf-arrow superstitions predominate in Ireland, Scotland and parts of En­gland, where fairy lore is strong (see fairies). According to lore, many witches learn their craft from fairies and elves. Elf arrows are …

Elementals

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Spirits that personify the four elements— earth, air, fire and water. The term elementals also is applied to nature spirits, which exist in all things in nature and look after animals, insects, birds, rocks and plants. Elementals are summoned to assist in magic related to nature. Earth elementals are known as gnomes; fire as salamanders; water as undines; and air …

Duncan, Helen (1898–1956)

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Duncan, Helen (1898–1956) British Spiritualist whose conviction on flimsy charges of witchcraft led to the repeal of Britain’s Witchcraft Act of 1736, thus clearing the way for the public practice of Witchcraft. Helen Duncan, a Scotswoman, was renowned for her natural mediumistic abilities by the 1920s. During the 1930s and 1940s, she traveled around Britain giving seances. Audience members said …

Druids

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An exalted caste of Celtic priests. Little is known about the Druids. Reconstructions of their tradition form a central part of Paganism. The Celts were a tribal people who spread throughout Gaul, Britain, Ireland, Europe, Asia Minor and the Balkans by the fifth century b.c.e. In the first century c.e., the Romans launched a series of suppressions of the Celts, …

Drawing Down the Moon

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Drawing Down the Moon An important ritual in some traditions of Wicca in which a coven’s high priestess enters a trance and becomes the Goddess, who is symbolized by the Moon. The transformation may be accomplished with the help of the high priest, who invokes, or draws down, the spirit of the Goddess into the high priestess. The origins of …

Doctor John (19th century)

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Famous American witch doctor, Doctor John (also called Bayou John and Jean Montaigne) was a free black man who owned slaves in antebellum New Orleans. A huge man, Doctor John claimed he was a prince in his homeland of Senegal, sent into slavery by the Spaniards and taken to Cuba. There he became an excellent cook and convinced his master …

Divination

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Foretelling the future, finding objects and people, and determining guilt by means of information obtained from signs, omens, dreams, visions and divinatory tools. Divination traditionally is an important skill of the folk witch. In some societies, divination has been performed only by special classes of trained priests or priestesses. Divination is an important skill for many Wiccans and Pagans. Since …

Diana (Artemis)

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 Classical goddess of the Moon and the hunt and one of the most important aspects of the Goddess in Wicca. Diana (counterpart to he Greek Artemis) personifies the positive attributes of the moon, which is the source of Witches’ magical power, as well as independence, self-esteem and fierce aggressiveness. A virgin goddess and maiden warrior, she is the eternal feminist, …

Devil’s pact

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A pledge to serve the Devil or one of his demons. The pact may be made orally, but according to lore it is best to write it on virgin parchment and sign it in blood. The pact provides that in exchange for allegiance and one’s soul, the Devil will grant whatever a person wishes. Pacts with the Devil or demons …

Devil’s Marks

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 According to witch-hunters, the Devil always permanently marked the bodies of his initiates to seal their pledge of obedience and service to him. He marked them by raking his claw across their flesh or using a hot iron, which left a mark, usually blue or red, but not a scar. Sometimes he left a mark by licking them. The Devil …

Devil

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Christianity’s Prince of Supreme Evil. The Devil, or Satan, is not a god of Wiccans and Pagans. The association of witches with the Devil grew in the Middle Ages and Reformation, when belief in a personal Satan as the agent of all evil was particularly strong. Accusations of Devil-worship were not limited to witches. Christians charged the same of Jews, …

The Hierarchies and Functions of Demons

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Demons have been catalogued, ranked and classified since at least 100–400, the period in which the Testament Belial and djinn presenting their credentials to King Solomon (Jacobus de Teramo, Das Buch Belial, 1473) demon 95 of Solomon appeared, describing Solomon’s magic ring for commanding the djinn and listing the names and functions of various Hebrew, Greek, Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian and …

Sex between Humans and Demons

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Demons have sexual appetites for intercourse with humans. In The Zohar (“Book of Splendor”), the principal work of the Kabbalah, any pollution of semen results in the birth of demons, including intercourse with the night-terror demons such as lilith. Demons in the shape of human males (incubi) prey on women, while demons in female shapes (succubi) prey on men. In …

Demons

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A lesser spirit that intervenes in the physical world. Demons usually are associated with evil, but in pre-Christian and non-Christian cultures, demons were, and are, not necessarily good or evil. There are good and bad demons, and demons capable of both kinds of behavior. The study of demons is called demonology. The term demon means “replete with wisdom”; good demons …

Demeter

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Demeter Greek goddess of the fertile soil and agriculture and an important aspect of the Goddess. As a goddess of nature, Demeter also represents women, marriage, harmony and health. She controls the seasons, the dying of the earth in winter and its rebirth in spring. She is acknowledged in the spring and autumn equinox celebrations, just as she was worshiped …

Dafo

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 The pseudonym or magical name of the woman who initiated Gerald B. Gardner into witchcraft around 1939–40. The identity of Dafo remains uncertain. She is sometimes confused with Old Dorothy Clutterbuck, who was Gardner’s first high priestess. He described her as his teacher and an authority on witchcraft. Little is known about Dafo’s life. She lived in Christchurch, Hampshire, and …

Curse

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A spell intended to bring misfortune, illness, harm or death to a victim. The most dreaded form of magic, curses are universal. They are “laid” or “thrown” primarily for revenge and power but also for protection, usually of homes, treasures, tombs and grave sites. A curse can take effect quickly or may be dormant for years. Curses have been laid …

Cunning Man/Cunning Woman

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Village witch or healer who provided cures, remedies, charms, spells and divination, usually in exchange for a fee or gift. Scott Cunningham (Courtesy Llewellyn Publications) 86 cunning man/cunning woman “Cunning” comes from the Old English term kenning, meaning “wise” or “knowledgeable.” Other terms for cunning man and cunning woman are wise man, wise woman, sorcerer, wizard, conjurer, charmer, blesser, white …

Cunningham, Scott (1956–1993)

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Cunningham, Scott (1956–1993) Prolific Wiccan author and expert on earth and natural magic, best known for his books on magical herbalism, earth power, crystals, gems and metals and “the truth about Witchcraft.” Born June 27, 1956, in Royal Oak, Michigan, Cunningham lived in San Diego from 1961 until his death in 1993. He began practicing Wicca in 1971. A full-time …

Crowther, Patricia C. (1927– )

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A Witch and high priestess of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, and one of the last surviving high priestesses initiated by Gerald B. Gardner. Patricia Crowther has, since the 1960s, been a leading spokesperson for the Old Religion in books, the media and lecture appearances. Initiated formally into the Craft by Gardner, she is regarded by many as Gardner’s spiritual heir. She …

Crowther, Arnold (1909–1974)

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English Witch and skilled stage magician, friend of Gerald B. Gardner and husband of Patricia C. Crowther. According to Patricia, Crowther, like Gardner, was an “old” soul who had lived many earthly lives. He discovered a past life as a Tibetan monk, and he experienced vivid dreams in which the secrets of ancient magic were revealed to him. Crowther was …

Crowley, Aleister (1875–1947)

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The most controversial and perhaps least understood magician and occultist of his time, Aleister Crowley has been both vilified and idolized. He was a man of both low excesses and high brilliance. He considered himself to be the reincarnation of other great occultists: Pope Alexander VI, renowned for his love of physical pleasures; Edward Kelly, the notorious assistant to occultist …

Crossroads

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A heavily charged place of magic. The Greek goddess of witchcraft, Hecate, was also goddess of the crossroads, and animals were sacrificed to her at such locations. It was believed that Hecate appeared at crossroads on clear nights, accompanied by spirits and howling dogs. Offerings were placed there to propitiate her and ask for her intercession in cases of madness, …

Crosses

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One of the oldest amulets in the world, predating Christianity by many centuries. In the commonest form of a cross, all four arms are of equal length rather than in a T-shape. Crosses have been associated with sun deities and the heavens, and in ancient times they may have represented divine protection and prosperity. Crosses also are represented by the …

Covens

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The formal organization and working unit of witches and Wiccans. The origin of the word coven is not clear. Most likely, it derives from the verb convene, which includes in its variant convent, which once referred both to a religious meeting and the place of a religious meeting. Chaucer used the term covent in Canterbury Tales to refer to the …

Corn Dolly

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A ritual doll, or variation of a poppet, used in traditional seasonal rites for fertility of the land. The corn dolly is a harvest figure made of either the last or first sheaves of grain. It is placed in the fields or used as a charm in fertility rites or as a centerpiece in seasonal celebrations (see Wheel of the …

Corey, Martha (d. 1692)

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The fourth person to be accused of witchcraft in the Salem Witches hysteria of 1692–93, who was tried and executed. Martha Corey was the wife of Giles Corey, who also was executed. The Coreys were well-to-do, pious residents of Salem Town. Martha’s age at the time of the trials is not known. Presumably, she was beyond child-bearing years. She was …

Corey, Giles (d. 1692)

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Executed in the Salem Witches hysteria of 1692–93 by being pressed to death for not acknowledging the right of the court to try him on charges of witchcraft. Giles Corey was a well-to-do man of Salem Town, in his 80s when the hysteria started. He owned a farm of 100 acres and other properties as well. Though hardworking, he was …

Cone of Power

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 The raising and directing of a spiral of psychic energy in ritual and spellcraft. Gerald B. Gardner described the cone of power as one of the “old ways” of witches; most likely, he borrowed the concept from the various magical sources he used in constructing his rituals and book of shadows. The raising of psychic energy is intrinsic to ritual …

Cole, Eunice (17th century)

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  Accused repeatedly of witchcraft, who was staked like a vampire when she died. Eunice Cole of Hampton, New Hampshire, was in her 70s when she was found guilty of witchcraft in 1656. She was sentenced to a flogging and life imprisonment in jail in Boston. Her 82-year-old husband, William, was too frail to take care of their farm by …

Cole, Ann (17th century)

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Accused witch in Hartford,Connecticut, who was believed to be under demonic possession. The case was recorded in a letter written by Reverend John Whiting, which in turn was published by Increase Mather in An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences (1684). Ann Cole was described by Mather as a woman of great integrity and piety. In 1662, she was …

Cocks

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Symbols of light and goodness, cocks have been favored birds of sacrifice to the gods. The cock is sacred and is associated with sun deities; it has the power to banish evil. The cock is a bird of omen, both of luck (in Wales) and death and evil (in Hungary). It is also a symbol of fertility and has been …

Clutterbuck, Old Dorothy (1880–1951)

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High priestess of a coven of hereditary Witches in the New Forest of England, who initiated Gerald B. Gardner into Witchcraft in 1939. Little was known about Clutterbuck for many years, prompting some outside observers to speculate that she had never existed at all but was fabricated by Gardner. In 1980 Doreen Valiente, English high priestess and an early initiate …

Clan of Tubal Cain

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 Influential Witch mystery tradition founded by Robert Cochrane in England in the 1950s. The Clan of Tubal Cain, named after the legendary Hebrew blacksmith, Tubal Cain, was never intended by Cochrane to become a religion. Its concepts were passed to America in the 1734 Tradition and also were absorbed into the Roebuck Tradition and Ancient Keltic Church. Cochrane, who claimed …

Apple Cider Vinegar Brew

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Mix up a cup of this for what ails you and drink it in Apple Cider Vinegar Cayenne Pepper Cold Remedy will fix sinus infection, coulds, flu, coughs and more, with the cold season just around the corner you need this recipe. INGREDIENTS 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 …

Elderberries for the Flu

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Elderberries are thought to protect against infection with the influenza (flu) virus. And once the person comes down with the flu, elderberries may also reduce the severity and duration of the illness and its symptoms. Elderberries are also believed to relieve upper respiratory congestion caused by colds or allergies, and are currently being studied as possible treatment for the herpes …

Pork and Apple Skewers With Orange Balsamic Glaze

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For the Orange Balsamic Glaze: 2 cups orange juice ½ cup balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper For the Skewers: 1 pound pork tenderloin, silver skin removed and cut into 1 inch cubes 2 granny smith apples cored, skin left on and cut into 8 wedges each 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ½ …

Grilled Maple Dijon Pork Chops

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The key to super juicy pork (anything) is to brine the meat. It’s the same idea as turkey or chicken. Even if all you have is 2 hours it totally makes a difference, but ideally 6-8 hours for these is the perfect amount of time for it to break down some of the muscle tissue, and it will help the …

Love spell

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Love spell that would make your love ones you desire fall in love with you or u want to repair your lost relationship or attract a lover,this is the kind of spell u need,this is a powerful love spell that u can cast on your lover or crush using Osun(Goddess of love)Ososgbo river water Holy water,Osun Oshogbo Holy sand,Osun leaves,red …

Black Cat Cocktail

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1 oz blue curacao 1 oz vodka 3 oz lemon lime soda 1 oz cranberry juice ½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice Lime twist for garnish Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Add curacao, vodka and lime juice. Shake until mixed well. Add soda and stir. Pour cranberry juice into a tall glass. Over the back of a spoon, gently …

WHY DO WE CAST CIRCLES?

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  They say that the longest journey begins with a single step. So, too, the exploration of Magickal studies begins with a single step. Though the first step in a physical journey is often self-evident, the First Step on a Magickal journey is often not quite so clear. While formally organized groups often have a path of lessons to instruct …

Garlic, Mushroom, and Herbed Ricotta Toast

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3 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 (8 ounce) packages sliced crimini mushrooms ¼ cup white wine 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press, plus 1 whole clove, peeled, divided use 2 teaspoons thyme leaves Salt Black pepper 6 slices of your favorite rustic-style bread Herbed Ricotta Spread (recipe below) Thyme leaves, for garnish Herbed Ricotta Spread: ½ cup whole milk ricotta …

Mushroom and Garlic Spaghetti

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Mushroom and Garlic Spaghetti . . 1 pound dry spaghetti 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (I prefer White Button) Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 6 cloves garlic 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves . . . …

Five Techniques to Quiet Your Mind

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  In many ways, the uncontrolled mind resembles a five year old child wanting to run amok through the city streets, only able to sit still for a few seconds before getting the urge to jump up again. If you allow your brain to continuously run a mile a minute without ever interjecting, it will only press on with the …

Four Ways to Make Everyday Magickal

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For some, magick isn’t something to be contained into back room rituals and secretive assemblies in the dark depths of the forest, it’s something to be celebrated daily and integrated into the most mundane aspects of our lives. Magick, intention, energy can be harnessed and used to make your life better, keep yourself grounded and provide spiritual enlightenment and growth. …

Wicca-Altar-Pentacle-Tile

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The Pentacle, a 5-point star within a circle, usually is placed in the centre of the altar. The pentacle is one of the most The Pentacle represents the Element of Earth and is the fourth major sacred tool. The Pentacle is the symbol of Witchcraft and is over 8,000 years old. It is the most powerful and popular symbol used …

Circle Sanctuary

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Circle Sanctuary One of the most active and well established interfaith Pagan centers. Circle Sanctuary, a Wiccan church, is located on a 200-acre nature preserve and herb farm between Mt. Horeb and Barneveld, Wisconsin. Circle was formed in 1974 in Madison, Wisconsin, by Selena Fox with the help of Jim Alan and a small group of Pagans. Fox continues to …

Circe

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Circe In Greek mythology, a sorceress renowned for her enchantments, who turned Odysseus’ men into swine. Described by Homer as fair-haired, she was sometimes said to be the daughter of Hecate, patron Goddess of witchcraft and magic. Homer said she controlled fate and the forces of creation and destruction with braids in her hair (see knots). She is seen both …

Church of All Worlds

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Church of All Worlds One of the first and most influential contemporary Pagan churches. The key founder was Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (formerly Tim Zell, Otter G’Zell, Otter Zell and Oberon Zell), president, and his wife, Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart. The headquarters are in Cotati, California. The Church of All Worlds (CAW) espouses pantheism but is not a belief-based religion. Rather, it is …

Church and School of Wicca

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Religious and educational institutions founded by Gavin and Yvonne Frost, located in Hinton, West Virginia. The Church of Wicca, founded in 1968, is the oldest recognized church of Witchcraft in the United States, achieving federal recognition in 1972. Its teaching arm is the School of Wicca, which offers correspondence courses. History. The Frosts, who were living in St. Louis, Missouri, …

Children of Artemis

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Children of Artemis (CoA) Educational and networking organization for the promotion of Wicca based in the United Kingdom. Children of Artemis organizes the world’s largest witch festival, Witchfest, held annually in London, Cardiff, Wales, and Glasgow, Scotland. The CoA was formed in the early 1990s as a ritual group. In 1995 it became a public organization. Since 60 Children of …

Chelmsford witches

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Chelmsford witches Four major witch trails in the 16th–17th centuries that resulted in numerous convictions and executions. The first trial occurred in the summer of 1566, under the rule of Queen Elizabeth, whose Parliament had passed the second of England’s three witchcraft acts in 1563. The Act of 1563 tightened penalties for witchcraft, making it a felony to invoke evil …

Charms

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Magical words, phrases, chants (see chanting) and incantations used in the casting of spells. Charms have been common since ancient times. Some charms are verbal—a phrase, formula or prayer—while others are inscriptions on paper, parchment, wood or other materials and are worn on the body. Still other charms combine phrases with actions, such as spitting (see spittle). Charms exist or …

Charge of the Goddess

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Charge of the Goddess In Wicca, a poetic and inspiring address given by the Goddess to her worshipers through her intermediary, the coven high priestess. The Charge of the Goddess is used primarily in the Gardnerian and Alexandrian traditions, but is not limited to them. It was authored and popularized in the 1950s by Gerald B. Gardner and Doreen Valiente, …

Chanting

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In ritual, the repetition of sacred or magical words, names and phrases to alter consciousness and raise psychic power. Chanting, done in conjunction with dancing, drumming, visualization and body movements and postures, is one of the oldest and most universal techniques to align human consciousness with the realms of spirits and the gods. The principle behind chanting is expressed in …

Cerridwen

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Cerridwen (also Keridwen) Celtic goddess of wisdom, intelligence, magic, divination and enchantment. She possesses the gifts of prophecy and shape-shifting (see metamorphosis) and presides over the mysteries of the Druidic bards. She is associated with water and the Moon, which represent the emotions, the unconscious and intuition. Her primary symbol is the cauldron, in which she makes a magical brew …

Cernunnos The Horned God of the Celts

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Cernunnos The Horned God of the Celts, associated with the hunt and with fertility. He was sometimes portrayed with serpent’s legs, a man’s torso and the head of a bull or ram; or he was shown with stags or wearing stag Witches stirring up brew in cauldron (Abraham Saur, Ein Kurtze Treue Warning, 1582) 54 Cernunnos antlers. Cernunnos was ruler …

Cauldron

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Usually an iron pot, the cauldron is a tool of witches and sorcerers (see sorcery). In European witch lore, the cauldron was the receptacle in which poisons, ointments and philtres were brewed. Wiccans may have cauldrons, but use them for burning fires and incense in rituals or for decoration in the home. If used in rituals, the cauldron is placed …

Caul

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Amniotic fetal membrane that sometimes clings to a newborn’s head or body after birth. Being born with a caul, or veil, has significance in folklore related to magical powers. A person born with a caul was believed to have psychic gifts such as the ability to see ghosts and spirits and to divine the future. In seafaring lore, such a …

Cats

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Cats have been associated with the supernatural since ancient times. Cats are associated with either good or bad luck, healing or harm. In folklore, the cat is one of the favored animal companions of witches, sorcerers (see sorcery) and fortune-tellers. Superstitions about cats abound. The cat was sacred to the ancient Egyptians, who associated it with the Moon and Bast, …

Cassandra

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In Greek mythology, a seer whose prophecies, including the fall of Troy, were ignored. She was the daughter of Priam and also was called the daughter of Hecate. Cassandra received the gift of clairvoyance by sleeping in the temple of Apollo and allowing snakes to lick her ears. When Apollo tried to seduce her, she rebuffed him, and he punished …

Carpenter, Dennis (1954– )

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Carpenter, Dennis (1954– ) Prominent American Pagan scholar and, with his wife, Selena Fox, codirector of Circle Sanctuary in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. Since the mid-1990s, Dennis Carpenter has served as a leading academic Pagan spokesperson, participating in interdisciplinary and interfaith networking and dialogue around the world. Carpenter was born on January 16, 1954, in Hillsboro, Wisconsin, a farming community in …

Canon Episcopi

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One of the most important ecclesiastical documents of the Middle Ages was the Canon Episcopi, ca. 900, which defined witchcraft as Devil-worship but declared it to be nothing more than a foolish delusion. The origin of the canon is unknown. When it was made public at the beginning of the 10th century by Regino of Prüm, Abbot of Treves, it …

Canewdon Witches

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According to a prophecy by the famous 19th-century cunning man James Murrell, the Essex village of Canewdon, located in England’s “witch country” of East Anglia, would be populated with witches “forever.” Indeed, the village and the surrounding area have been steeped in witch lore since at least 1580, when a woman named Rose Pye was accused of witchcraft, tried and …

Candles

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Candles have a long history in religious worship, magic and folklore. Candlelight repels evil spirits while attracting benevolent ones. In liturgy, they are offerings of fealty to a deity. In magic, candles are used in various rituals and spells. Beeswax candles were used in Egypt and Crete as early as 3000 b.c.e. Egyptians of about the 3rd century c.e. used …

cakes-and-wine

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cakes-and-wine (also cakes-and-ale) In Wicca and Paganism, a relaxed sharing of refreshments, conversation, dancing and singing that follows rituals, circles, seasonal celebrations (see Wheel of the Year), rites of passage and other sacred occasions. The food and drink, which help to replenish energy after psychic work has been done, are consecrated and blessed by the high priest and priestess, which …

Cabot, Laurie (1933– )

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Witch, author, artist, businesswoman, civil rights watchdog and founder of two traditions of contemporary Witchcraft. Known as “the Official Witch of Salem” in Salem, Massachusetts, Laurie Cabot has attracted attention for her dramatic dress of flowing black garments and pentacle pendants, which she always wears when in public. Cabot (her maiden name) is descended from a line of Cabots from …

Butters, Mary (late 18th–early 19th centuries)

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Butters, Mary (late 18th–early 19th centuries) An attempt to cure a cow of bewitchment with white magic ended in disaster for Mary Butters, the “Carmoney Witch,” who narrowly escaped a trial in Carricfergus, Ireland, in March 1808. Butters was a reputed wise woman, skilled in herbal knowledge and various spells. In August 1807 Butters was hired by Alexander Montgomery, a …

Bury St. Edmonds Witches

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Bury St. Edmonds Witches Of the various witch trials of Suffolk, England, conducted in Bury St. Edmonds during the 17th century, two episodes stand out. In 1645, 68 witches went to their deaths on the gallows, victims of the witch-hunting zeal of Matthew Hopkins and John Stearne. Seventeen years later, in 1662, Sir Matthew Hale presided over trials that led …

Burroughs, George (d. 1692)

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Burroughs, George (d. 1692) Minister accused of witchcraft and executed in the Salem Witches hysteria in Massachusetts in 1692 to 1693. George Burroughs served as minister of Salem Village from 1680 to 1982. He was a man of good reputation, having graduated from Harvard in 1670. He had distinguished himself as a preacher in Maine, especially in the face of …

Burning Times

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 A term used by Wiccans and Pagans to refer to the period in Western history of intense witch hunting and executions, generally the mid-15th to mid18th centuries. Burning, one of the most extreme forms of execution, was urged by St. Augustine (354–430), who said that pagans, Jews and heretics would burn forever in eternal fire with the Devil unless saved …

Budapest, Z (1940–

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Founder of the first feminist witches’ coven and the main branch of Dianic Wicca. Z Budapest (her feminist name) was born Zsusanna Mokcsay in Budapest, Hungary, on January 30, 1940. Her mother, Masika Szilagyi, was a medium and ceramics ar40 Budapest, Z tist whose work was Goddess-inspired. Her grandmother Ilona was a herbalist and healer. At age three, Budapest had …

Buckland, Raymond (1934– )

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Buckland, Raymond (1934– ) English Witch called “the Father of American Witchcraft,” who introduced Witchcraft to America. After moving to the United States in 1962, Raymond Buckland became a leading authority on witchcraft and Wicca and enjoys a career as a prolific author, public speaker, media consultant and media personality. He has written more than 50 books translated into 17 languages. …

Bruja/Brujo

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The feminine and masculine names, respectively, for the witches of Mexico, Mesoamerica and Hispanic communities in the United States. Of the two, the bruja, the woman, is more prevalent and considered the more powerful. The bruja holds a visible, important function: she is sought for remedies for physical illness, and spells and charms to remedy emotional, romantic and social problems. …

Broom

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A primary means of travel for witches, enabling them to travel at tremendous speed, according to lore. There are different origins of the association of brooms with witches. One is old pagan fertility rites, in which brooms, poles and pitchforks were ridden like hobbyhorses in fields and in dances. In some lore, witches are afraid of horses and ride brooms. …

Bradley, Marion Zimmer (1930–1999)

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Best-selling science fiction and fantasy author and mentor of women in Wicca. Marion Zimmer Bradley’s novels carry such Wiccan themes as the power of women and worship of the Earth Goddess. Bradley was sometimes called a witch or Wiccan priestess, which she publicly disavowed. She described herself as an occultist and student of ceremonial magic, but not a witch. “That …

book of shadows

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book of shadows In contemporary witchcraft and Wicca, a book of beliefs, rituals, Witchcraft laws and ethics, herbal and healing lore, incantations, chants, dances, spells, divination methods, rituals and miscellaneous topics that serves as a guide for Witches in practicing their Craft and religion. There is no definitive book of shadows for Witchcraft in general; each tradition may have a …

Bonewits, P. E. I. (Isaac) (1949– )

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American Pagan, author and scholar, and a leader in contemporary Druidry and Paganism. Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits was born October 1, 1949, in Royal Oak, Michigan—the perfect place, he likes to joke, for a future Archdruid. The fourth of five children (three girls, two boys), he spent most of his childhood in Janet and Gavin Bone (Courtesy Janet and Gavin …

Bone, Gavin (1964– )

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Wiccan and author and companion/partner with Janet Farrar. In his work with Janet and her late husband, Stewart Farrar, Gavin Bone has advocated a “progressive” and more shamanic trance Craft based on direct relationship with deities. Bone was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, in 1964. He trained as a registered nurse and studied complementary healing, such as herbal remedies and …

Bone, Eleanor “Ray” (1910–2001)

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English Witch, one of the original high priestesses initiated by Gerald B. Gardner. Eleanor “Ray” Bone followed Gardner’s footsteps in the media attention and was sometimes called the Matriarch of British Witchcraft. Bone was born in London; her mother was a school headmistress. As a child, she saw the ghost of a pet, which stimulated her interest in reincarnation, folklore, …

Boguet, Henri (1550–1619)

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French grand judge, lawyer and demonologist, known for his cruelty and torture. Boguet presided over witch trials in Saint-Claude, Burgundy, France. Boguet exhibited a preoccupation with lurid accounts of witches’ sabbats and copulations with the Devil. His interrogations focused on these aspects, and he was successful in coercing confessions from his victims. He said he wished that all witches could …

Bodin, Jean (1529–1596)

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Bodin, Jean (1529–1596) French demonologist and political theorist who encouraged the vicious persecution of witches and helped fan the fires of the Inquisition throughout Europe. Jean Bodin said that people who denied the existence of witchcraft were witches themselves and said that, with rare exceptions, no accused witch should go unpunished. Bodin was born in Angers, France. For a time, …

Blymire, John (b. 1895)

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In the secret world of Pennsylvania Dutch witchcraft, John Blymire became the central figure in a celebrated murder trial in York, Pennsylvania, in 1929. Blymire, a witch of mediocre repute, and two other men were charged with the murder of a well-known witch, Nelson Rehmeyer, known as “The Witch of Rehmeyer’s Hollow.” After a trial that attracted journalists from all …

Bloodstone

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bloodstone A semiprecious stone with magical or healing properties. Perhaps the best known is green jasper with red flecks, used in rituals and charms by sorcerers and witches. It is considered an enabling stone, bringing about the wishes of the user. It protects health, drives away night demons (see lamia), guards against deception and pacifies. It is also used in …

Blood

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blood Called the “river of life,” blood is identified with the soul and is the vehicle that carries the vital energy of the universe through the body. In magic, blood is revered and feared for the miraculous power it possesses and confers. Blood that is let is believed to unleash power: sacrificial blood scattered on the earth regenerates the crops. …

Blight, Tamsin (1798–1856)

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Famous witch, healer and pellar of Cornwall, England, known as “the Pellar of Helston.” Stories about her were recorded by the Cornish folklorist William Bottrell in the 19th century. Tamsin Blight was born in Redruth in 1798, probably to a poor family. Her first name is sometimes given as Tamson in records. She also was called Tammy Blee (blee is …

Blasting

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The ability of witches to interfere with or destroy the fertility of man, beast and crop. This malicious destruction was considered a common activity among witches, and remedies and preventive actions circulated in folklore and magic. Blasting is the antithesis of rituals to enhance fertility, and accusations of it date to the second century c.e. Witches also were credited with …

Black Mass

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An obscene parody of the Catholic Holy Mass firmly entrenched in the popular notion of Devil worship. Black Masses are erroneously associated with all witches. They are not performed by Wiccans and Pagans, who do not worship the Devil, and it is doubtful that they were ever performed, at least in any significant numbers, by anyone in centuries past. The …

Black Animals

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A favored shape-shifted form of the Devil and demons, especially demons who serve as the familiars of witches. Dogs and cats were the most common black animals mentioned as demons and familiars in the trials of the witch hysteria. Black birds, especially crows and ravens, were also thought to be forms taken often by demons. black animals 23 In the …

Bishop, Bridget (d. 1692)

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Bishop, Bridget (d. 1692) The first victim of the Salem Witches hysteria in Massachusetts in 1692–93. Bridget Bishop was the first to be accused and examined, and the first to be tried and executed. Bishop was an easy target when the hysteria began. She was not well regarded by her neighbors, for she owned a tavern and exhibited “loose” behavior. …

Biddy Early (1798–1874)

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Irish seer and healer, often described as a witch. Most of what is known about Biddy Early has been collected from oral tradition, and many of the stories about her have numerous variations. Nonetheless, Biddy seemed to have possessed real powers, and many people from all over Ireland and even England came to her for cures. She was widely believed …

Bibliomancy

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The use of the Bible for divination. The Bible served as an important instrument of magical divination, particularly during medieval and Reformation times in Britain and parts of Europe. It was believed that the Bible, opened at random, would reveal one’s fortunes or answer questions. Bibles laid on a child’s head would induce sleep. Reading from the Bible to a …

Berkeley Witch

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In English folklore, the Berkeley Witch was a wealthy woman who lived during the time of the Norman Conquest in the town of Berkeley in England’s heartland. She was wealthy and well liked, and lived luxuriously. Her secret, kept until she was close to death, was that her wealth was given her by the Devil, in a pact for her …

Benandanti

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Participants in the lingering remnants of an ancient agrarian cult in northern Italy, which came to the attention of the Inquisition in the late 16th century because of the cult’s nocturnal battles with witches and warlocks over the fertility of the crops and livestock. The term benandanti means “good walkers.” The cult flourished in the Friuli region of Italy, an …

Bells

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bells Repellers of witches and evil spirits. Bells are associated with the divine: their sound is symbolic of creative power, their shape a symbol of the female force and the celestial vault. The sound vibrations created by the ringing of bells have been believed for centuries to possess magical and/or spiritual power. Bells are used in many religious rites. In …

Bell , Book & Candle

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bell, book and candle A phrase from the Roman Catholic ritual for excommunication that sometimes is used to denote a witch or witchcraft. Excommunication, or exclusion from the religious fellowship of the church, represents a condemnation to spiritual darkness, with repercussions in society. The excommunicated becomes an outcast in secular as well as religious life. The rite is the equivalent …

Bees

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bees According to the demonologists of the Inquisition, witches or sorceresses who managed to eat a queen bee before they were arrested would be able to withstand torture and trial without confessing. This is one of the many ready explanations witch-hunters had for victims who refused to buckle under, thus enabling them to condemn the accused to death without confessions.

Bargarran Witches (1696–1697)

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Bargarran Witches (1696–1697) Scottish witchcraft hysteria started by a girl. The case bears similarities to the Warboys Witches and to the Salem Witches, in which the fits of supposedly possessed children led to the executions of accused witches. The cause of the hysteria was Christine Shaw, the 11- year-old daughter of John Shaw, the laird of Bargarran, near Paisley in …

Baphomet

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Baphomet The symbol of the “sabbatic goat,” portrayed as a half-human, half-goat figure, or a goat head. It is not a symbol of modern witchcraft. Baphomet by Eliphas Levi Baphomet 17 The origin of the name Baphomet is unclear. It may be a corruption of Mahomet (Muhammad). The English witchcraft historian Montague Summers suggested it was a combination of two …