The collective name of the Gods of Scandinavia, who lived in Asgard. Their composition varies, one such list includes: Odin, Thor, Tiu, Balder, Brag, Vidar, Hoder, Hermoder, Hoenir, Odnir, Loki, and Vali.
A special, flat surface set aside exclusively for magical workings or religious acknowledgment.
A magically charged object which deflects specific, usually negative energies. A protective object.
A person, typically one more remote than a grandparent, from whom one is descended. The ancestors were of great importance for the self-image of the family and people believed that they were still able to influence the life of their descendants from the land of the dead.
The Anglo-Saxons were the population in Britain partly descended from the Germanic tribes who migrated from continental Europe and settled the south and east of the island beginning in the early 5th century.
Animals have meant different things to different people and cultures all through time. In many modern Pagan traditions, animal symbolism - and even actual animals - are incorporated into magical belief and practice.
Ancient universal images and symbols, commonly used to represent Gods in forms we can all understand on a subconscious level.
It is the contemporary revival of historical polytheistic Germanic Paganism. Dedicated to the ancient Gods and Goddesses of the North, the focus of Germanic Neopagan varies considerably.
A cleansed and consecrated ritual blade. Usually double edged and black handled. It is never used to cut anything on the physical plane. It is also used to dip into water to represent the union of the Goddess and the God in rites.
An axe was a common tool and weapon of the Vikings. In the eldest days, the axe was a holy sign. It appeared as a warding amulet from the Bronze Age and it is often thought that the Hammer of Thor may have developed from the axe.
A fire lit for magical purposes, usually outdoors. They are traditional on Yule, Beltane, Midsummer and Samhain.
To magically end something or exorcise unwanted entities. To rid the presence of.
Often used as ritual tools. They can be used to invoke directional energies, to ring in the sunrise on a Sabbat, or to frighten away faeries and baneful spirits. Bells are sometimes worn by priests.
An ancient Norse warrior known for savagery and reckless frenzy in battle.
A Witch's broom. A broom made of twigs tied round a stick. As a tool the broom is used to sweep a sacred area, ground a circle, or to brush away negative influences.
The rainbow bridge between Midgard, the human world, and Asgard, the realm of the Gods.
A term derived from the ritual of the Five-fold Kiss, it is simple a blessing commonly used by Wiccans and Pagans as a greeting or a goodbye. Abbreviated as BB or B*B.
A blessing, (also used to refer to bestowing of such) is the infusion of something with holiness, spiritual redemption, divine will or one's hope or approval.
In Germanic Paganism and Germanic Neopaganism, a blot is a sacrifice to the Gods or other beings. The sacrifice often took the form of a sacramental meal or feast.
A Witch's book of spells, rituals and magical lore. No one 'true' book exists; all are relevant to their respective users. Also known as a BOS.
A wooden bowl to receive libations. Especially used indoors, as most folk will simply pour the libation onto the ground when outdoors. The Blessing bowl comes from the tradition of Blood Bowls. Blood Bowls were used to collect the blood from animals that had been slaughter for food or sacrifice. Often, an evergreen sprig would be used to sprinkle the gathered folk with blood from the Blood Bowl, giving them a blooding or 'blessing'.
Not meant literally, this is a term used to describe someone who is "in the broom closet", or in other words, who is not public with their Pagan practices.
Invoking Divine forces.
One of the easiest and fasted ways to cast a spell, give thanks or hold a ritual is through simple candle work. It can be as simple as lighting a candle, concentrating on your intention and/or saying a quick chant or prayer. The candles should always be snuffed, rather than blown out.
Linked to Witchcraft in the popular mind, this symbolizes the Goddess, the waters of rebirth; like a chalice or cup.
Grounding your energy through meditation, often before rituals to help harness and direct the balanced energy.
A ritual tool. It represents the female principals of creation. The chalice or cup as a ritual tool represents water and the west.
A crown for the head usually made of flowers and worn at Beltane.
Sacred space wherein all magick is to be worked and all ritual contained. It both holds ritual energy until the Witch is ready to release it and provides protection for the Witch.
Removing negative energies from an object or space.
At age 13 for boys and at the time of a girl's first menses, Pagan children are seen as spiritual adults. The ritual celebrates their new maturity. Generally this is the age when they are permitted membership in covens if they chose to.
The act of blessing an object or place by instilling it with positive energy.
A group of thirteen or fewer Witches that work together in an organized fashion for positive magical endeavors or to perform religious ceremonies.
A rite of passage into being a crone or sage (saging).
Rock crystal was often used by our forebears as a holy stone. The Continental Germans of the Migration Age sometimes hung large hex-shaped crystal beads from the hilts of their swords.
In religious belief, a deity is a supernatural being, who may be thought of as holy, divine or sacred. Some religions have one supreme deity, others have multiple deities of various ranks.
In Norse mythology, a dis ("lady", plural disir) is a ghost, spirit or deity associated with fate who can be both benevolent and antagonistic towards mortal people. Their original function was possibly that of fertility Goddesses who were the object of both private and official worship called disablot, and their veneration may derive from the worship of the spirits of the dead.
The magical art of using tools and symbols to gather information from the collective unconsciousness. This can be on people, places, things and events past, present and future.
A member of a mythical race of short, stocky human-like creatures, skilled in mining and metalworking.
A leader or senior figure in a community or tribe. Many Wiccan organizations have a group or board of elders who oversee the operations of the church and its variety of functions.
Usually Earth, air, fire, water. The building blocks of the universe. Everything that exists contains one or more of these energies. Some include a fifth element - spirit.
A supernatural creature of folk tales, represented as a small, delicate human figure with pointed ears and a capricious nature.
A force or inherent power which is part of all living things, seen and unseen. The power of energy is a strong force with the universe. Energy exists in all things; us, plants, stones, colors, sounds, movements and words.
A ritual usually occurring on the Full Moon and dedicated to the lunar aspect.
To call something out from within.
An animal that has a spiritual tie; many times a family Witch. Familiars can also be entities that dwell on the astral plane.
Fylgja is, according to Scandinavian mythology, a supernatural creature which accompanies a person. It usually appears in the form of an animal, and as it was believed to correspond to a person's character or way of living, it can be conceived of as a form of a person's soul, separate from the body and thus not identical with it.
Galdr is one Old Norse word for "spell, incantation", and which was usually performed in combination with certain rites by both women and men.
In the old days, having a glass cup was a major status symbol; a few such pieces made their way up to Scandinavia as early as the third century.
Masculine aspect of deity.
Feminine aspect of deity.
The Gothar or Gothi are the priesthood of the Asatru Community.
To disperse excess energy generated during magical work by sending it into the Earth. It also means the process of centering one's self in the physical world both before and after any ritual or astral experience.
Synonymous with coven. Working together in an organized fashion for positive magical endeavors or to perform religious ceremonies.
Hair is a sign of life, might and holiness, the chief marker of beauty in Northern thought. The name “Odinkaur” may well mean “the one with hair hallowed to Odin” – that is to say, someone who grew his hair long as a sign of his dedication. It could also be the special emblem of a vow: Haraldr inn harfagri vowed never to cut nor comb his hair until he had brought all Norway under his rule.
The Hammer is the symbol of Thor and also the general sign of hallowing. The hammer is a tool that can be used for either creation or destruction. It is a sign of the God’s ability to effect change. A representation of the Hammer is commonly worn as protection.
The Hammer is an object of protection, and a bringer of fertility and new life. The Hammer-rite establishes the holiness of a place. The Hammer-rite is different from a Wiccan Circle in that it does not create separate sacred space. The Hammer-rite is more like the ringing of a bell, a sort of clearing of the air.
A Pagan wedding. The joining of two humans in a bond of love before the Goddess and God. Yes, they can be made to be a legal marriage, there is no requirement that a marriage be Christian to be legal in the U.S.
Similar to a separation or divorce, symbolically the cutting of the binds created by a handfasting.
Havamal is presented as a single poem in the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poems from the Viking age. The poem, itself a combination of different poems, is largely gnomic, presenting advice for living, proper conduct and wisdom.
One who does not recognize the God of the Bible. Can be used in this context as a derogatory term for a Pagan, despite the fact that it's an inaccurate generalization.
It is used for warding; gives its wearer might and fills those who come against its wearer with terror. Traditional Icelandic sign.
Art of using herbs to facilitate human needs both magically and medicinally. Our forebears had a wide range of herb-lore, some of which is preserved in the Anglo-Saxon charm spells and in folklore.
The drinking horn has many potent symbolic associations. It is an all-natural vessel, that was not made by man. When we use the horn in ritual, the naturalness of the horn should remind us that the runes and the Gods, and our traditions are natural and not an artifice of man’s creation.
Ritual burning of herbs, oils, or other aromatic items to scent the air during acts of magick and ritual and to better help the Witch attune to the goal of the working.
A process whereby an individual is introduced or admitted into a coven. Usually a ritual occasion.
The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
To bring something in from without. Invocation is actually a method of establishing conscious ties with those aspects of the Goddess and God that dwell within us. A prayer or appeal.
A jotunn (jotunn, jotun or giant) in Norse mythology, is a being of a race of nature spirits with superhuman strength, described as sometimes standing in opposition to the races of the tribes of the Aesir and Vanir.
In the Heathen movements, a kindred is a local worship group and organizational unit. Like a coven or a grove.
A complicated regular network of passages or paths. Labyrinths are Pagan instruments used as gateways into the spirit.
Ritually given portion of food or drink to a deity, nature spirit or ghost.
Cloth spun from flax, the finest native cloth available to our forebears and the best for ritual gear and use in sauna. Embodies womanly might and fruitfulness.
The projection of natural energies (such as personal power) to being about needed change. Magick is the process of raising this energy, giving it purpose, and releasing it. Magick is a natural, not supernatural, practice, but is little understood. Magick is neither black nor white. It simply is.
Reflection, contemplation - turning inward toward the self, or outward toward Deity or nature. A quiet time in which the practitioner may either dwell upon particular thoughts or symbols or allow them to come unbidden.
The set consists of two pieces - the mortar, which is typically a bowl, although it can be flat as well, and the pestle, which is held in the hand. The mortar and pestle set is a handy tool that many use for grinding and blending herbs and dried ingredients together.
Nails driven into pillars in the house. This custom is believed to have derived from the myth about Thor having a piece of flint hit his forehead. It was believed that by striking a piece of flint against the nail divinations could be made by the pattern of sparks. This was more popular among the Rus than in more Western Scandinavian countries.
Norse is a generic term, much like Celt. It refers to a region of ancient peoples and languages that spanned Norway and Scandinavia. One of the more popular groups of Nordic people were the Vikings.
Norse Wicca is a small faith, often practiced by solitaries and small covens. We use of Norse symbols and symbology. Nature is sacred, the Eddas and sagas are the texts they draw strength, wisdom and inspiration from, there are Norse Wiccans focusing more on the Aesir, many on the Vanir and some even on the Rokkr, depending on their personal preferences or inclinations.
A solemn promise, often invoking a divine witness, regarding one's future action or behavior. To is to take an oath, to make a solemn vow. The oath you speak is your very soul, all your life and luck and might together.
General term for followers of Wicca and other magical, shamanistic and polytheistic Earth-based religions. Also used to refer to pre-Christian religious and magical systems. It can be interchanged with Neo-Pagan.
In the Victorian era, it became popular to send people messages told in the language of flowers. Many of these centuries-old flower meanings translate well into modern Paganism and Wicca - after all, if magic uses symbolism, we can take this language of flowers and incorporate it into our day-to-day magical living.
The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems primarily preserved in the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript Codex Regius. Along with Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, the Poetic Edda is the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends, and from the early 19th century onwards has had a powerful influence on later Scandinavian literatures, not merely through the stories it contains but through the visionary force and dramatic quality of many of the poems.
A solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity. Prayer can be a form of religious practice, may be either individual or communal and take place in public or in private. It may involve the use of words or song.
A male dedicated to both his chosen deities and humankind. A High Priest is a male leader of a coven or a Wiccan organization and plays the role of the God in certain ceremonies. HP is the shortened version of High Priest.
A female dedicated to both the service of her chosen deity or deities and humankind. A high priestess is a feminine leader of a coven or Wiccan organization that plays the role of Goddess in certain ceremonies. HPS is the shortened version of High Priestess.
The four directions; North, South, East and West. The four elements; Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. Used in some witchcraft traditions to creating a magick circle or sacred space for ritual, ceremony or spiritual work.
A rule or creed.
A group of people who have organized a fundamental set of common spiritual beliefs as the foundation for their religious practice. The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or Gods. Many religions have narratives, symbols and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.
A ritual. An established, ceremonious, usually religious act.
A focused mental/physical ceremony to either honor or thank ones chosen pantheon or to perform a specific magical working or act.
A set of symbols used both in divination and magical work. Used for magical and religious purposes, though sometimes for ordinary communication as well.
Rune casting should be seen as a tool for guidance, working with the subconscious and focusing on the questions that might be underlying in your mind. Some people believe that the selections made within the runes drawn are not really random at all, but choices made by your subconscious mind. Others believe that they are answers provided by the divine to confirm what we already know in our hearts.
Any of eight Wiccan festivals that celebrate the transition of each season.
Seidr is an Old Norse term for a type of sorcery which was practiced in Norse society during the Late Scandinavian Iron Age. Various scholars have debated the nature of seidr, some arguing that it was shamanic in context, involving visionary journeys by its practitioners.
Shielding is a technique to protect yourself from negative or even dangerous energy. It can be as simple as creating a clear bubble of energy or light around your body. Sometimes used to also shield a car, bed or entire living space.
The act of celebrating or performing magical works in the nude. Considered deeply spiritual, not sexual. Going skyclad is always a personal choice.
A smudge stick is a bundle of dried herbs, usually bound with string in a small bundle and dried. The herbs are later burned as part of a ritual or ceremony.
A phrase used often in rituals to close a chant or incantation. It literally means, "It must be so" or "So it shall be".
The qualities of a spear shaft are balance and directness. Divination was performed when a horse walked over two spears placed in the ground in front of a temple. The pattern in which the horse stepped over the spears – including whether or not a hoof touched the spears – all helped the shamans determine the outcome of the matter at hand.
A magical ritual, usually non-religious in nature and often accompanied by spoken words. It should be clear, concise, focused and emotional. Need must be present.
Spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body. The word spirit is often used metaphysically to refer to the consciousness or personality. The notions of a person's spirit and soul often also overlap, as both contrast with body and both are understood as surviving the bodily death in religion and occultism, and spirit can also have the sense of ghost, i.e. a manifestation of the spirit of a deceased person.
The term spirituality lacks a definitive definition, although social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for "the sacred," where "the sacred" is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration.
Runic Yoga. It is gestures and postures forming some part of almost every metaphysical or magical form of the runes.
The basic weapon of the well-born Germanic warrior. In the past, swords were the athame of the nobility. Most magical of weapons, most frequently named and most often seen as the embodiment of the family soul.
An object charged with personal power to attract a specific force or energy to its bearer.
The language of the ancient Germans; the Teutonic languages, collectively.
An ugly cave-dwelling being depicted as either a giant or a dwarf. In Old Norse sources, beings described as trolls dwell in isolated rocks, mountains, or caves, live together in small family units and are rarely helpful to human beings.
Often abbreviated UPG. Ideally the term is used to label one's own experience as a new and untested hypothesis, although further verification from the spiritual interactions of others may lead to a certain degree of verifiability. At other times, the term is used in either a value-neutral or disparaging sense, about someone else's experience.
In Norse myth, the Vanir are originally a group of wild nature and fertility Gods and Goddesses. They were considered to be the bringers of health, youth, fertility, luck and wealth, and masters of magic.
One of the Scandinavian seagoing peoples that raided the northwestern European coast in the 8th-10th centuries.
Behavior showing high moral standards. A virtue is a positive trait or quality deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.
The process of forming mental images. Magical visualization consists of forming images of needed goals during ritual. It is also used to direct personal power and natural energies for various purposes during magick, including charging and forming of the magick circle.
One full cycle of the seasonal year. An annual cycle of seasonal festivals in contemporary Paganism. It consists primarily of eight festivals based around the solstices and equinoxes.
A modern Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature. Some major identifying motifs are; reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magick; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magical circles for ritual purposes.
A ceremony or ritual analogous to a christening or baptism for an infant. There are numerous alternate names for this rite, including Paganing. Unlike a Christening though, the child is placed in the care of the Goddess and God for protection, not declared to be a Pagan. The child is free to chose whichever religion they like with they come of age later.
A practitioner of folk magick, particularly that kind relating to herbs, stones, colors, wells, rivers, etc. A witch is not necessarily a Wiccan, though if a Wiccan practices witchcraft they can be called a witch. This term has nothing to do with Satanism.
In Anglo-Saxon culture, Wyrd is a concept of fate or personal destiny.
In many Wiccan traditions, it is customary for someone to study for a year and a day prior to being formally initiated. In Scotland, a couple who lived together as husband and wife for a year and a day were accorded all the privileges of marriage, whether or not they were formally wed. In some feudal societies, if a serf ran away and was absent from his lord's holdings for a year and a day, he was automatically considered a free man.
One of the best known Tree of Life symbols. In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is an immense tree that is central in Norse cosmology. It was said to be the world tree around which the nine worlds existed.