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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Vocabulary of Witchcraft

"English is the sacred language of the Witches." (Stephen Warlowe)

Every word's a story.

The vocabulary of modern Wicca, like the religion itself, is late and composite.

Wicca < Old English wicca, “magic-worker [male]” That the word retains its Anglo-Saxon form and has been both redefined and re-pronounced (OE pronunciation: witch-ah) shows that this is a modern, not a continuous, usage.

Athame < Med. French atamer, “to cut”

Skyclad < Loan-translation (19th c.) of Sanskrit digambara, "dressed in air"

Coven < Latin

Sabbat < Latin < Hebrew. Murray's frolicsome s'esbattre derivation is non-historical. The term is a wholesale and hostile borrowing from Jewish vocabulary; compare yet another Trial Era name for the witch-meeting, the “synagogue of Satan.”

These two last are both clearly "words from without." What, one wonders, would be our "words from within"?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Yes, sabbat and sabbath both stem from Hebrew shabbat. Sabbat reflects Latin sabbatum; Latin didn't have a way to spell sh. Of co
  • m
    m says #
    Sabbat Hebrew. Murray's frolicsome s'esbattre derivation is non-historical. The term is a wholesale and hostile borrowing from Je
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    And the most common word for lords, both heavenly and earthly is 'hlaford' which incorporates the word for loaf, thus the one who
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Old English sure did have a lot of words for "lord," as you imply; I can think of 4 just off the top, and I'm virtually certain th
  • Kate Laity
    Kate Laity says #
    Actually 'wicce' the female form of the word is pronounced 'witch-uh' but the male form is pronounced 'wick-uh, because of the bac
Pagan News Beagle: Faithful Friday, April 17

Welcome back to Faithful Friday, faithful readers! This week we'll be looking at the intersection of religion and society as a whole, particularly in regards to how the law and morality comes into play. Is compelling a Christian baker who believes homosexuality is a sin to make a wedding cake for a gay couple religious discrimination? Or is giving the baker the ability to refuse a license to discriminate? How might you raise a moral robot? These questions and more are addressed in the following stories.

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To be a priestess or not to be...

Something is shifting. I feel deeply called to stand even more in my priestess power. I realize my whole life there's been a 'but'- even though I have been teaching others on the Priestess path for more than 15 years. It feels very energizing to know that now the time is ready, I am a ready. It's now about the very essence: connecting to the sacred feminine.

I feel deeply moved to finally honor myself and her for this essence. It has taken me all those years to trust her to this deep level, every minute, every decision. The core is now: how can I be there to make the connection to Her?

Today in a meeting I was listening. Suddenly I realized that only a week ago, I would have been listening with the ear: 'I don't understand this thing called life, maybe he or she has the answer'. Not now. 'they are in the confusion of thinking it's about what is being done, said or thought. When I follow that, I get so confused, and start looking for orientations outside myself. But I don't need to do that. It's their confusion, and I may stay rooted in my knowing of how life works and my presence with her.'

I'm smiling all day, dancing in between everything. And in my ears I keep hearing beautiful music. Life is good. Life is priestess.

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Magical Mood Mastery (Or Why Happy Doesn't Equal Good)

Have you ever been in the midst of an almost frenetic happiness, only to have lonely, uneasy feelings creep up on you as if out of nowhere? I have: plenty of times. Just a few nights ago it happened, actually. And while in decades past I would have reacted with resistance, worry, or even panic, it struck me that these days, I react totally differently, and it makes all the difference. Let me explain.

First of all, can we just face it? Our culture is weird about mood. In countless ways, we clearly receive the message that happy=good, sad=bad. Not only does this oversimplify the nuances of our emotions and moods, it also makes it all too easy to think, "Oh no, I'm having "negative" feelings, what's wrong with me?" Of course, it doesn't help that television ads reinforce the belief that something is indeed wrong with you if you're not completely happy all the time. And have you heard of "New Age guilt"? It's when you feel guilty for feeling bad: you must not be saying enough affirmations or something...I mean, seriously, can't we cut ourselves a break?

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5 Awesome Beltane Celebration Ideas for Solitaries

5 Awesome Beltane Celebration Ideas for Solitaries

Beltane is a time for fun, mythology, food, and happy indulgence. It is great to spend the day in the sun with those you admire. Group outings and coven experiences are wonderful this time of year.

BUT….

Groups and covens are not the only ones allowed to have all the fun. I have been a solitary for MANY years and I have yet to miss a Beltane celebration. Why should I? There are so many fun and inexpensive things to do. With or without a coven or group, you can have a blast.

The best part of going at it alone is, you don’t have to clear or coordinate your plans with anyone! Why? You call the shots!  There are no misunderstandings about when and where to meet. You don’t have to hear anyone complain about this that, and any other issue than may pop up. The only winer in the group is you, so if you can tolerate yourself you’re in business. *chuckle*

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • DeborahMarchant
    DeborahMarchant says #
    Please excuse me. Many people are not aware of what I am about to post. Therefore it is understandable that burning a fire is sug
Pagan News Beagle: Earthy Thursday, April 16

How can we make the world a better place? This is a question many people have asked throughout the ages, with many different answers. For this week's Earthy Thursday we look at those who are trying to create a more sustainable future—either by advancing new technology that's greener and more efficient or by utilizing nature's own solutions—alongside a few other choice stories about humanity's intersections with the natural world.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Ritual for the Elements

Working with the Elements is a core piece of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition. I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last five articles I've chronicled my explorations with Air, my connections with Firemy dive into Water my complex dance the Earth and finally finding myself standing in the Center.

A Ritual for the Elements

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