Glossary of Terms

I thought it would be helpful to start a glossary on here for terms that may or may not need explaining. If you’d like me to define anything not listed, please leave a comment.

Besom: A magickal broom or a broom used for magickal purposes.

Book of Shadows: Abbreviated to BoS, this is a relatively modern coinage showing up in the 1940s at the absolute earliest and attributed to Gerald Gardner. It’s a handy term for a witch’s personal book of spells and personal magickal workings. It is specific to the witch, coven, and/or time in which is was created. Originally Wiccan, any witch of any affiliation may maintain a BoS, though some may choose not to use this term due to its Wiccan association.

Cosmic Witch: Cosmic witchcraft focuses on using the energy of the constellations, planets, and stars for their magickal practice. While many witches uses cosmic element in their craft, a cosmic witch would work exclusively with these energies.

EBBS: Acronym for “Earth Based Belief System,” an umbrella phrase incorporating any system of belief to which the Earth is an inexorable part or of foundational importance.

Esbat: A ritual or coven meeting other than the Sabbats. Full Moon rituals are frequently referred to as Esbats.

Grimoire: Sometimes used interchangeably with “Book of Shadows,” Grimoire is a much older term used across many religious affiliations. In witchcraft, a Grimoire is a collection of magickal information that is ‘evergreen’ (ie: not attached to a specific time or witch’s personal experience).

Kitchen Witch: Kitchen witchcraft is the art of infusing home life with magick with an emphasis on cooking, cleaning, and organization magick. Generally speaking, kitchen witches concern themselves with their families’ lives and use magick to make the home more harmonious and prosperous.

Magick: Used to differentiate between magic (card tricks, illusions, etc.) and magick (performing spells). This term is falling out of use, but I feel that it’s still quite helpful.

Muggle: A non-magickal person. Originating with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, this term has been adopted by the real life magickal community. Many witches and pagans find this term offensive because it either discriminates against the non-magickal and is used as a slur, or because they object to incorporating terms from fiction into their practice.

Void-of-Course: When the Moon is “void-of-course,” it means that it has exited the last major aspect of the previous astrological sign, but is not yet in the first solid aspect of the next astrological sign. Sometimes the process takes minutes, other times it takes hours; doing magick during this time can be fruitless. Generally marked as “v/c” on astrologically-minded calendars.

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