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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Subject: Magic and Ritual

In Greek numerology, ninety-three is the value of the word “thelema,” or “will.” This is the word that has been adopted to represent the teachings of Aleister Crowley, as typified by the expression, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” Although this seems to mean “do whatever you want,” in actuality it means find out what your true will is, your God-oriented purpose in life, and then do only those things that will lead to achieving it. The second part of this philosophy is “Love is the law, love under will.” Also in Greek numerology, 93 is the valuation of the word “Agapé,” selfless love.

People who follow this path, Thelemites, will often greet or part by saying or writing “93” as shorthand to remind them of the central words of their philosophy. The spiritual energy that drives this path is often called the “93 Current.”


See A∴A∴.


The Qliphothic Sentinel of Ayin, the 26th Path on the Tree of Life. His number is 237. His name should be uttered in the key of "A."

A. A.

See A∴A∴.

A. E. Waite
A member of the Golden Dawn, he broke it into pieces by demanding that they cease doing magick and that advancement in the Order not be due to knowledge and work but mere time in the Order. He wrote several books that were basically compilations from other sources with his comments. His writing style is not considered modern, and whatever wisdom he may have wished to share (suspect as some hold it to be) is often hidden beneath turgid prose.

A.·. A.·.
This is a special abbreviation for the name of a magical order, the Astrum Argentum (sometimes the words are reversed or spelled differently) which means “Silver Star” in Latin. The three dots that form a triangle after each “A” not only mean that there is something further that is hidden (that is, there is a spiritual abbreviation), but also form a Masonic symbol indicating that the order possesses the mysterious “Lost Word” of Masonry.

A.·. A.·.
(Argenteum Astrum, or Order of the Silver Star) A magical order founded in 1907 by Crowley after leaving the Golden Dawn. It was reputed to reflect Crowley’s bisexuality. See the website http://www.ordoaa.org/ for information and essential instructions for aspirants of the A.A.


The Trumpeter of the Enochian Watchtower of Fire. He heralds the presence of the Great King in court. This name is intersected by the 38th Governor. By Gematria it equals 2.


The first of the Six Seniors found on the Enochian Watchtower of Fire, Martial in nature. This name is intersected by the 20th, 24th, 38th, and 41st Governors. By Gematria it equals 467, a Prime Number. 


The second of the Six Seniors found on the Enochian Watchtower of Air, Jupiterian in nature. This name is intersected by the 43rd, 45th, 53rd, and 56th Governors. By Gematria it equals 149, a Prime Number.


The fourth of the Six Seniors found on the Enochian Watchtower of Fire, Venusian in nature. This name is intersected by the 38th and 39th Governors. By Gematria it equals 181, a Prime Number. 

Aaronic Order
Group founded in 1942 by an excommunicated Mormon who believed he had contacted the angel Elias five years earlier.


The first Gate of the Sepher Yetzirah. It has a value of three. There is an opposition in the meanings of the letters A, or the Hebrew aleph meaning ox and the B, or the Hebrew Bet meaning house as well as their respective Tarot correspondences of The Fool and The Magician. AB has the meanings of father, master, source, and ancestor. Astrologically this Gate corresponds to Air and Mercury, which brings to mind the elasticity of the god Mercury; however this is before he is sent on a mission (as the messenger of the gods), as when he is about to work then his nature is of Water.


The 56th Enochian Governor. This Angel is believed to rule over the region of northwest France and Belgium, and resides in the Enochian Aire known as POP. He has 6732 Servitors. By Gematria, the word itself has a value of 138.

Abbey of Thelema

The name of a small commune dedicated to the practice of magick. It was formed in 1920 by Aleister Crowley and his "Scarlet Woman," Leah Hirsig (her magickal names was Alostrael) at Cefalù, a city in the province of Palermo on the northern coast of Sicily, Italy on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Other people, including his secretary, Israel Regardie, joined them there.

One of the people who came there, a young man named Raul Loveday, drank water from a nearby well. The well was contaminated and Crowley had warned people about it. Loveday died from the bad water, and it was falsely claimed that this was due to drinking the blood of a sacrificed cat. This drew the ire of authorities and they raided the place, claiming that an espresso machine was a device for making drugs. In 1923 they were expelled by Mussolini's government.


A name for a banishing. To abjure.


Literally "to swear away from," (from the Latin Ab, meaning "away from" and jurare, meaning "to swear"). To abjure means to banish or exorcize.

A charm of the Gnostics, written in the form of a triangle with one point down. It was used to protect against the forces of evil. Although it doesn’t show well in English because the “th” was originally one letter, it is actually a palindrome, written the same way forward and backward. Traditionally, it would be written from ink derived from the dried acorn cups of the Valonia oak, a majestic, semi-evergreen (the leaves thin from October until January) native to the eastern side of the Mediterranean. It was written as follows on a piece of parchment: A B L A N A T H A N A L B A B L A N A T H A N A L B L A N A T H A N A L A N A T H A N A N A T H A N A T H A T H This is similar in design to the use of the more famous word of power, Abracadabra.


Although commonly used to mean washing yourself or a ritual wishing, among alchemists it means to wash away what is impure through repeated cleansings, that reducing the matter you have to a pure state.


A traditional word of power, used by Western magicians from classical times to the present. Written in the falling way, it was used in talismans to cure fevers and asthma:












In recent times, Abracadabra has mostly been used by stage magicians. English mage Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) altered the spelling to make it fit his new magical religion of Thelema, and in this new form the word has been much used in the Thelemite community. See also Abrahadabra.

The spelling of the word was changed by Aleister Crowley to “Abrahadabra” to place the name Had, the second person of Crowley’s Thelemite trinity, at the center. Abracadabra is traditional outside the Thelemite community.

A rewriting of the famous magical word Abracadabra by Aleister Crowley. This places the name “Had,” a short form of the Egyptian Hadith that, according to some sources, represents Horus of Behedet, an area in Egypt. Hadith is the second person of the Thelemic trinity. Crowley believed it was the Word of the Aeon. One aspect of this is that it has eleven letters, thus linking the symbol of humanity, the pentagram (five identical letters) with the number of God, the hexagram, (six diverse letters). It therefore represents the Great Work of personal spiritual development.

Not to be confused with “Abracadabra.” Crowley declared Abrahadabra to be the “Word of the New Aeon” that would unite microcosm with macrocosm in the new phase of human evolution. In itself, the word is understood as a formula of sex magick performed within the Great Work.

The name of an Egyptian magician cited in The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, a magical text translated by S. L. Mathers. The French manuscript was written in the eighteenth century, but it purports to be a translation from an original text in Hebrew, dating from 1458. The grimoire contains elaborate instructions in the form of a six-month program of purification and prayer, designed to lead the magician to higher states of consciousness in which "knowledge and conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel" is possible.

Abramelin Incense

A mixture of four parts olibanum, two parts storax, and one part lignum aloes. If the last ingredient is unavailable, then cedar, rose, or citron will suffice. These must be turned to fine powder. Although many sources give frankincense as another name for olibanum (and that's what you get when you buy it), they are actually two different species of the genus Boswellia in the Burseraceae family. Due to their similarity, however, either can be used. 

Abramelin Oil

The formula for this scented oil comes from The Book of the Sacred Magick of Abramelin the Mage and is mentioned in Crowley's The Book of the Law (Liber Al). It is made from eight parts cinnamon, four parts myrrh (described as being in the form of "tears"), two parts galangal, and seven parts olive oil.


A popular magical deity in the ancient world, Abraxas (also called Abrasax) was depicted on classical amulet gems as a humanlike figure with a rooster’s head and serpents for feet, wielding a charioteer’s whip. The letters of his name in Greek add up to 365, the number of days in a year, which marked him as a solar deity and a lord of time.

In modern times, Abraxas has achieved a new popularity by way of the writings of psychologist Carl Jung, who gave him a central place in his Gnostic work, The Seven Sermons to the Dead, and elsewhere in his writings.

The void between the supernal sephiroth and the lower sephiroth on the Tree of Life that separates the ideal and the real.

A division on the Tree of Life separating the top three sephiroth from the rest of the Tree. A separation of the noumenal from the phenomenal, and the perceived separation between the upper, unmanifest, trinity of Kether, Chokmah and Binah, and the lower seven Sephiroth that are manifest. It is believed that only adepts can access those higher levels.

Achas B’Tay-ah
A form of Biblical interpretation and making codes. See Temurah.

Another term for the high magickal arts.

Generally considered someone following a particular spiritual path, it specifically means person who assists in a ritual.

(Magick – Ceremonial) “Morvan’s duty was to keep this brazier fed and at an even height temperature, also to serve him generally as an acolyte serves a priest. She had, however, a much more important part to play in the actual ritual, which was to fix her mind unwaveringly on the work, to do her best to make it fluid, so that in welding it with his as it were, he derived added strength. For this concentration of the will upon the object of the ritual there must be no means of distraction. Everything used must be with this object in view, so everything used brings to the brain of the Magus, the reason of the work. Therefore was Thur clad in the symbolically pure, clean white linen robe, signifying light, strength and purity, also this is important, bearing no color or pattern that could distract the mind of the wearer or his acolyte. For the same reason the girl was nude, this signified purity unsullied, and the natural magnetism in the human body could flow unhindered to the support of the Magus.” Pg 252 High Magic’s Aid, by "Scire" (Gerald Gardner), 1949, Michale Houghton, London

Ad Lib
See Ad Libitum

Ad Libitum
Latin for “at one’s pleasure,” it means to make things up as you go. Once you know the basic concepts of rituals and magick, it is possible to make up parts of rituals “on the fly” rather than depending upon repeating memorized scripts or reading written instructions. Often shortened to “ad lib.”

Adam Kadmon
The human body projected upon the Tree of Life.

Adam Kadmon
The primordial man.

A person who is very skilled or proficient in a particular ability as in “When it comes to magick, he is an adept.” A description of such a person as in “He is adept at astrology.” In certain magickal orders, an adept is a person who has achieved a certain level of advancement in that group, sometimes using the original Latin form of the term, adeptus. In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, there are two different grades, the Adeptus Minor and the Adeptus Major. Each has subgrades, such as the Neophyte Adeptus Minor.

Unfortunately, the term is used loosely and variously to mean either one who has reached a recognized higher grade in one of the initiatory orders, one who has made contact with their Holy Guardian Angel, one who has "crossed the Abyss," or for an advanced student. It is not a “grade” or “credentialed position” universally recognized like an academic degree. Beware of the self-annointed!

Adeptus Exemptus

Literally, the "Exempt Adept." In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a title given to people who have reached the 7° of the Order. Initially, the 5th and 6th degrees each had four sub-degrees. In many modern versions of the Golden Dawn, the sub-degrees are ignored and as a result of passing tests, members move directly from the 5th to the 6th, and 6th to the 7th.

Adeptus Major

Literally, the "Greater Adept." In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a title given to people who have reached the 6° of the Order. Initially, the 5th and 6th degrees each had four sub-degrees. In many modern versions of the Golden Dawn, the sub-degrees are ignored and as a result of passing tests, members move directly from the 5the to the 6the, and 6th to the 7th.

Adeptus Minor
“Lesser Adept,” the title of the lowest level of the second Order of the Golden Dawn. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was actually composed of three groups. The Outer Order, the Golden Dawn per se, was where students learned about magick and some of its very basic techniques. After going through all the degrees of this Outer Order, a student might be invited into the second or Inner Order, known as the Roseae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis (R.R. et A.C.). Here the student first starts practicing magick based on what they had learned. The first degree of this Order was known as Adeptus Minor. A person who has achieved any of the levels of Adeptus Minor (there were several sub-degrees) could do all of the magick of the system. The third Order was composed of non-physical beings.

A command made to stop another from doing something. In magick, most commonly used to order an evoked spirit not to do something harmful. The strength of an adjuration may be compounded by using a deity’s name.

Aesch Metzareph
The name of a famous book on alchemy from the 17th century. It is a Hebrew expression meaning “purifying fire.”

A spiritual plane of initiation in the Enochian system of magick.


A type of silica, primarily chalcedony, known for their bright colors and clear layers that appear to be lines. Magically, it is a stone of strength and protection. It is believed to strengthen the intellect. It can also be used to cleanse and stabilize the aura and supposedly can bring invisibility.

Famous as part of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, AGLA is actually an acronym for Ah-tah Gee-boor Lih-oh-lam Ah-doh-nye or “Thou art great forever, my Lord.”

The fourth of the Four Kabalistic Worlds in descending order. It is the World of Action.

Ain Soph
Without Limit. A description of the ultimate, unknowable divinity.

Ain Soph
"(Kabbalah – Tree of Life) Limitless.” The middle of the three veils of negative existence.

Air Dagger
In the system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a symbolically decorated dagger. It is used by an adept to direct elemental air energy.

The entity who communicated the Book of the Law to Aleister Crowley.

The name of Aleister Crowley’s Holy Guardian Angel. Crowley spent many years trying to determine if Aiwass was merely his higher self or was, in fact, a non-physical being.

Al Awwa
The 11th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Virgo.
Influence: Creates harmony between lovers
Spirit: Neciel

Al Baldah
The 19th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Sagittarius.
Influence: Causes misfortune for enemies
Spirit: Amutiel

Al Batn Al Hut
The 26th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Andromeda.
Influence: Aids the fisher
Spirit: Tagriel

Al Butain
The 28th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Aries. Influence: Aids in reconciliation Spirit: Amnixiel

Al Dabaran
The second Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Taurus. Note similarlity to the star name, Aldebaran.
Influence: Ill will, separation, revenge
Spirit: Enediel

Al Dhira
The fifth Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Gemini.
Influence: Secures material desires
Spirit: Gabriel

Al Farch Al Mukdim
The 24th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Pegasus.
Influences love and favor.
Spirit: Abrinael

Al Fargh Al Thani
The 25th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to parts of the constellations Pegasus and Andromeda.
Influence: Fouls liquids
Spirit: Aziel

Al Ghafr
The 13th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Virgo.
Influences friendship and good will
Spirit: Fazeriel

Al Hak'ah
The third Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to the constellation Orion.
Influence: Favor with authority
Spirit: Anixiel

Al Han'ah
The fourth Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Gemini.
Influence: Secures love
Spirit: Azariel

Al Jabhah
The eighth Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Leo.
Influence: Aids in childbirth and healing
Spirit: Amnediel

Al Jubana
The 14th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to the constellation Libra.
Influence:Material increase
Spirit: Ergediel

Al Kalb
The 16th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Scorpio.
Influence: Aids against poisons
Spirit: Azeruel

Al Na'am
The 18th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Sagittarius.
Influence: Aids the hunter
Spirit: Egibiel

Al Nathrah
The sixth Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to the constellation Cancer.
Influence: Aids in battle
Spirit: Dirachiel

Al Sa'd Al Ahbiyah
The 23rd Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Aquarius.
Influence: Aids the harvest, and plants in general
Spirit: Requiel

Al Sa'd Al Bula
The 21st Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Aquarius.
Influences destruction and decline
Spirit: Bethnael

Al Sa'd Al Dhabih
The 20th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to the constellation Capricorn.
Influence: Aids the fugitive
Spirit: Kyriel

Al Sa'd Al Su'ud
The 22nd Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Aquarius.
Influence: Aids fertility in animals
Spirit: Geliel

Al Sarfah
The tenth Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Leo.
Influence: Causes disharmony between lovers
Spirit: Ardefiel

Al Sharatain
The 27th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Aries.
Influence: Aids in the destruction of enemies
Spirit: Atheniel

Al Shaulah
The 17th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Scorpio.
Influence: Aids childbirth
Spirit: Adriel

Al Simak
The twelfth Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Virgo.
Influences divorce and separation
Spirit: Abdizuel

Al Tarf
The seventh Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Leo. Spirit: Scheliel

Al Thurayya
The first Mansion of the Moon, beginning at the Pleiades and corresponding to part of the constellation Taurus.
Influence: Good fortune
Spirit: Geniel

Al Zubrah
The ninth Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Leo.
Influence: Causes fear or reverence
Spirit: Barbiel

Name for any person who practices alchemy.

The word alchemy is an Arabic term comprised of the article "al" and the noun "khemi.” The later word relates to "Khem" the Coptic name of Egypt. Alchemy thus means, "that which pertains to Egypt.” Thus the words alchemy and chemistry are a reminder of the scientific legacy of Egypt. Another possible origin of the word is the Greek "cheo" which means "I pour" or "I cast"—a word often used in reference to the ancient Greek metalworkers who used many alchemical formulae. Together, alchemy and astrology are two of the oldest sciences known to humanity. The specialized fields of herbalism, mineralogy, natural science, chemistry, pharmacology, and medicine all evolved from the mother science known as alchemy.

Alchemy is the art and science of transformation. This is not an easily understood art, because the primal medium of alchemical expression is through the use of allegory and mythological symbols, which can be interpreted simultaneously both at a material and a spiritual level. The primary goal of alchemy is to bring all things, including humanity to its pre-ordained state of perfection. To that end, the alchemical theory states that eternal wisdom remains latent, dormant and obscure in humanity so long as a mundane state of ignorance and superficiality exists. The objective of alchemy is the uncovering of this inner wisdom, and the removal of the veils and obstacles between the mind and its intrinsically pure divine source.


The art and science of creating medicines from plants and minerals for healing physical and psychic diseases, thereby restoring the alchemist to a state of perfect harmony. These medicines can be either liquid, such as the Elixir of Life, or solid, such as the Philosopher’s Stone. Alchemy is also known as the Royal Art.

The alchemy of the occultist and of sex magick is the transformation of the "baser" self into the "gold" of the higher self. The procedures, tools and materials of the physical alchemist become symbols for the psychological and magickal operations of the occult alchemist.

Aleister Crowley
Born Edward Alexander Crowley, he was a remarkable poet, writer, mountain climber, and occultist. His strong positions on magick (his spelling), including the use of sexuality in magick, have made him highly controversial. He “received” (what today might be called “channeled”) a short text, The Book of the Law, in 1904, and modified the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn’s magical system to fit this revelation. It also became a religious system. Followers of this system are called Thelemites.

The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Represents the number 1. The first of the three "mother letters." A Hebrew word meaning "ox." Corresponds to the element of Air, the 11th Path (between Kether and Chokmah), and Tarot trump The Fool.

One of the books of The Lesser Key of Solomon.

General term for a talisman made from pure, white wax, and inscribed with various names and symbols.

Alpha et Omega

English occult order, founded after the breakup of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1900 by former GD head Samuel Liddell Mathers and his supporters. There were two temples in Great Britain, one in London and the other in Edinburgh. The former Golden Dawn temples in the United States—Thme No. 8 in Chicago and Thoth-Hermes No. 9 in New York City—sided with Mathers during the breakup and became part of the Alpha et Omega afterwards. Three other American temples were founded after the First World War: Ptah No. 10 in Philadelphia in 1919, Atoum No. 20 (sic) in Los Angeles in 1920, and Themis No. 30 (sic) in San Francisco in 1921.

The history of the Alpha et Omega is uncertain at best, as few documents survive. All of the temples of the order appear to have gone out of existence by the Second World War.

In the GBG magickal order, Alphaism means first or beginning because alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Alphaism was the beginning of the GBG instruction on Sex Magick. Alphaism simply means no sexual intercourse. Erotic thoughts of imaginations should not even be entertained in the mind during the one or two months that the practice was required. Instead of sex, the Alphaist member was to begin with the first verse of the first chapter of The Book of the Law, and take one sentence every day, in sequence, and meditate/concentrate on that sentence for at least an uninterrupted fifteen minutes one or more times daily. "Beware against making an intellectual study of this book. This is a very cryptic book, and is beyond intellectual rationalization. Get what you are capable of getting by inspired meditation." Concentration is defined as: "Close mental application or exclusive attention." The mental activity is confined to a definite point. When one visualizes tracing a pentagram in green light, one must really concentrate in order to make it subjectively real. Note that it is not mere physical chastity that is of value, but rather that one should reserve sexual interest and imagination for the time of actual sexual congrex and its preparation. The goal of Alphaism is discipline, strengthening our self-control over body and emotion so that we can engage in prolonged sex. It is more of what is called “Tantric Sex” today. Alphaism should be considered immediately in contest with Dianism, which see, below along with the articles on the Borderland and Congrex.

At the center of the circle is placed the altar, which magically represents the center of the universe and the center of the self. It is the working surface of ritual, the focus of awareness and power. When there is no space for a material altar, one may be visualized in the astral. The altar is square on top, cubic or doubly-cubic in dimension, and should be made of, or contain, natural stone. All these aspects symbolize that the altar is the material foundation that supports the work; it is the fixed place, the earthly buttress, where power is manifested and made actual in the world.


An altar is really a work bench holding your magickal tools. Usually it is placed at the center of the circle or working area. Sometimes it may be moved to face any of the four corners. Traditionally it is composed of two equal size cubes, one on top of the other.

Altar Candle
Candles used to provide light for an altar during a magickal ritual or worship. Altar candles are usually white.

A word used at the end of prayers and sections in Jewish and Christian rituals, as well as in some Pagan and ceremonial magick rituals. It is usually translated as “so be it,” thus equating with the magickal expression, “so mote it be.” However, it is actually a notarikon or Kabalistic acronym for the Hebrew words, “El Melech Ne’eh-mahn,” meaning “God is a faithful king.” Thus it signifies that concept that by repeating certain phrases, prayers, or rites, God will be faithful and fulfill His part of the agreement and do what is expected from the repetition of those words or actions.


Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, they claim to be the Rosicrucian Brotherhood. Although most Rosicrucians date themselves to early 17th century manifestos, AMORC claims to go back to Pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt circa 1500 b.c.e. The order itself was founded in the US by Harvey Spencer Lewis (1883–1939), who had worked in advertising as an illustrator. Around 1915, Lewis hit upon the idea of marketing AMORC via mail order, and their ubiquitous advertisements appeared in numerous popular magazines. The organization began in New York City, but in 1918 the police raided them and Lewis was arrested for selling fraudulent books and collecting money under false pretenses. Charges were dropped, but Lewis moved the Order to San Francisco and then Tampa, Florida. In 1927 AMORC moved to San Jose, California, and incorporated as a religion. This was abandoned after a few years and the fraternal nature of the Order was stressed. In San Jose they created Rosicrucian Park, including faux Egyptian buildings, a museum, and the fifth planetarium built in the USA (and still in use today). Teachings seem very similar to “New Thought,” the mystical system that evolved out of late 18th-century Spiritualism.

Upon his death, leadership of the order switched to his son, Ralph Maxwell Lewis (1904–1987). After Ralph's death a new leader was selected, but shortly afterward he was fired, the Order was reorganized, and the Supreme Grand Lodge moved to Quebec, Canada.

AMORC has worked hard to support their claim to being the true Rosicrucian Order. In the past they have fought other groups over this, including taking R. Swinburne Clymer and his Fraternitas Rosae Crucis to court, where each claimed the other practiced black magic. At one time, Aleister Crowley made a weak attempt to take over AMORC.

A magical device used for protection. Although often used synonymously with talisman, amulets are made to keep things away (such as illness) while talismans are used to bring things to you (such as good luck).

A device of some sort worn to protect the wearer from some specific evil or malady. The term amulet seems to be derived from the Latin word amulteum, a “means of defense.” Amulets are Barrier and Guardian talismans.


Usually a physical object of metal or stone that has been deliberately crafted to represent and be additionally charged with particular energies believed to inspire or stimulate corresponding energies in a person carrying or wearing the amulet. Most often, the material is associated by traditional correspondences, and then is shaped or inscribed with symbols likewise derived from correspondences. The amulet may be activated and its energies transferred by prayer, manipulation, or magical use


Greek word meaning “rise up” and referring to the concept of the resurrection of the dead. However, it is also used to mean the point in an initiation ritual where the candidate moves from the old life to the new life, reborn as an initiate in a new existence.

Word of Power used in Hexagram rituals, it is a Notarikon stating that the ultimate divinity is unitary in nature.

Arbatel of Magic
Originally intended to have nine books, we only have the first book, “Isagoge,” that concerns the basics of magickal procedure in general. It contains 49 “aphorisms,” divided into groups of seven called “septenaries,” which must be learned and followed in order to succeed in magickal experiments.

Something that is understood by only a few people. Mysterious or secret.

Armchair Magickian
A magickal theoretician; one who theorizes about magick and its techniques but does not actually perform any rituals. Some practicing magickians use it as a derogatory term for people who don’t “practice what they preach.”

A secondary use of talismans from the isometric crystal system. These talismans have an internal structure that is perfectly arranged and holds the energy we need to help us arrange our life in a more orderly manner. When there is a need for arranging our paths through life, establishing equality or equilibrium, reducing chaos, aligning priorities, or just “squaring” things away, talismans made from crystals from this system are very powerful.

Art Magick
Another name for High Magick.

Artificial Elemental
Like an elemental, but created by a magician for a specific purpose related to the qualities associated with a particular magickal element.

The practice of shaking or sprinkling water to purify and/or consecrate individuals, places, or things as part of a ritual.

A special device, a leaf, bundle of herbs (usually fresh), etc., used to sprinkle water during a ritual purification or consecration. Also, the title of the person using such a device.

A special device—usually a type of brush or a small container perforated with small holes, used to asperge during a ritual.


One who aspires to something. It frequently is used to describe a person who seeks or aspires to membership in an occult order or, once a member, seeks to move to a higher level in that order. In the occult Order of the Astral Star, "Aspirant" is the title of someone in the "zero degree" of associate membership. It corresponds to Earth of Earth in the Sephirah Malkuth (In the Golden Dawn's coloring, the black colored quarter of Malkuth using the Queen Scale of color).

The "Material World." The final, fourth, and most dense of the four Qabalistic worlds or stages of manifestation. Assiah is the dense world of action and matter. It is attributed to Malkuth, the element of earth, and the Hebrew letter Heh (the final letter Heh, as opposed to the second letter Heh in the name Yod Heh Vah Heh).


The World of Action. The fourth and lowest of the Kabbalistic worlds corresponding to the material level, the world of sensation, the dominion of Primordial Earth and its four elements. Assiah pictured either on the Tree of Life as Malkuth only, or as a fourth Tree of life below the other three.

Suggested Reading – Regardie & Ciceros: A Garden of Pomegranates

Assumption of Godforms
A technique used in several magickal systems. The magician creates the image of a deity by various means, including visualization of an archetypal image of the deity, concentration of the sigil of the deity, vibration of the deity’s name, etc. Once created, the magician “steps into” the image (this may be done mentally, physically, or both). The magician then functions as a manifestation of that deity. This is typically done in certain initiatory rituals, so that it is a deity performing the initiation for the purpose of using powers and abilities attributed to the deity for healing, divination, practical magick, etc., or as part of certain forms of sexual magick.

Astral Temple
A place on the astral plane or in the imagination created by force of will and visualization as an astral location that is represented on the physical plane by a magician’s actual temple. When magicians consciously project into the astral plane, this is usually the first place they will go. As it is familiar to the magician, it can be used as a place of refuge in case of attack or perceived danger on the astral plane.

Astrum Argentum

See A∴A∴ .


A tool used by Witches that combines the functioning of both wand and sword is the athame, or magical knife. It is an all-purpose instrument, used for making the material objects of ritual and also for projecting power. Some Witches even use it in their cooking! They explain that since magic embraces all of life, cooking is an integral part of their Art and this is no profanation.

The magical knife is quite old. In medieval times it was divided into two—a knife with a white hilt, used for all common purposes, and a knife with a black hilt, used for drawing magic circles and compelling spirits. This distinction is still frequently observed by modern Witches. The white and black-hilted knives are in some ways analogous to the wand and sword of high magic.


Possibly a misspelling of “Arthame” taken from the grimoire known as The Greater Key of Solomon (or perhaps vice versa). The Athame is primarily used by Witches and Wiccans. It is traditionally sharp on both sides and has a black handle. It may have symbols on it.

To many, the Athame is seen as an extension of their ability to direct energy. As such, although sharp, it is not used to cut any physical object. It is only used to direct energy or cut non-physical energy streams. To practitioners who use the Athame in this way, the carving of physical items was done with the knife known as a Boline.

In alchemy, a special type of oven. In sex magick, the penis.

The uppermost of the Four Kabalistic Worlds. It means the World of Archetypes or Emanations.

The "World of Nobility." The highest and most abstract of the four Qabalistic worlds or stages of manifestation. Atziluth is the divine world of archetypes. It is attributed to Kether, the element of fire, and the Hebrew letter Yod.


The first and highest Kabbalistic world, the divine world of the Archetypes. The domain of Primordial Fire. It corresponds to Kether, Chokmah and Binah.

Aurum Solis

An initiatic Order reactivated under this name in England in 1897 by George Stanton and Charles Kingold. Focused on Theurgy, High Magick, and Hermetism, it claims to descent from the Ogdoadic (Hermetic) Tradition of Ancient Egypt and then Greece. It is one of the main schools that offer a modern powerful training in the foundation of the Western Mystery Tradition. It is best known through the published works of three of its leaders, Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips (pseudonyms of Vivian Godfrey and Leon Barcynski), and today Jean-Louis de Biasi. Together, they authored many books on magical practice, such as Astral Projection and Creative Visualization, and the comprehensive curriculum presented in The Magical Philosophy. Jean-Louis de Biasi, nominated lifetime Grand Master, perpetuates this tradition with books such as The Divine Arcana of the Aurum Solis, Rediscover the Magick of the Gods and Goddesses, and more to come.

The Tradition of the Aurum Solis is defined by what is called the "Golden Chain" (of the Masters). This lineage is rooted in Hermetism, which is a tradition associating Theurgic practices with a rational approach to the inner mysteries of the life. The tradition first describes the high origins of the human soul and how it descended into physicality and what that means; secondly, it reveals the path by which the soul may again return to the Eternal and Supreme and what that involves.

This pre-Christian Tradition has given to humanity some of its greatest Scientists and Humanist Philosophers. Polytheism, the main religious expression of this time, provided the tradition of tolerance for any spiritual practice and experience. Many are the ways! But organization, self-discipline, and practice lead onward to the Next Step!

These progressive manifestations of non-theologic science and humanist spirituality were severely attacked during the rise of the institutionalized monotheistic religions in Europe and the Middle East, leading directly to the Dark Ages. However, in the fifteenth century, the Theurgic Neo-Platonist Ogdoadic tradition reappeared in Florence, Italy. The Renaissance was really a universal rebirth of the human consciousness igniting the beginning of modern civilization: breaking the religious and monarchist domination of human thought, science, and philosophy and leading to the industrial, technological, and information ages, to democracy and human rights and the abolition of slavery, religious tolerance, universal education, and the metaphysical traditions, etc.

From this earlier time the Theurgic/Hermetic Tradition was secretly continued in Europe until its rebirth in 1897. Aurum Solis is a unique example of an initiatic and spiritual organization that remained rooted in the original humanist spiritual values developed by the founders. From the beginning, Aurum Solis chose to maintain a clear and unique lineage, working hard to improve the visibility of the original Western Tradition. By highlighting the unique characteristics of this spiritual path, Aurum Solis is showing the urgency to see life differently. Dogmas are dangerous; chaos is risky, while rediscovering a tolerant and traditional path to the divine is paramount. This is the Modern Renaissance! For information: www.aurumsolis.info.

Aurum Solis

Latin for "Gold of the Sun." A magical order founded in England in 1897 by George Stanton and Charles Kingold which claims descent from the Ogdoadic Tradition of the Western Mystery Tradition. It is best known through the published works of two of its leaders, Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips, pseudonyms of Vivian Godfrey and Leon Barcynski. Together, they authored many books on magical practice, such as Astral Projection and Creative Visualization, and The Magical Philosophy. More information is available on Web.

Automatic Painting
A concept similar to automatic writing. The basic idea is that a person goes into a trance and is able to transfer information from their unconscious (and from whatever sources might be influencing the unconscious) into paintings or drawings. In chaos magick, a technique often used to design sigils for use as a talisman.

A term meaning “strongly opposed to” something. In magick, it generally refers to a practice used against someone or something.

The sixteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a "voiced laryngal spirant." Represents the number 70. The tenth of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "eye." Corresponds to Tiphareth and Hod), and Tarot trump XV The Devil.

A word composed of the first and last letters of the Hebrew and Greek alphabets. It is also called the Akasha or Astral Light. It appears as brightness and is changeable according to a person’s will.


The universal “medicine” that is the living spirit.

The Builders of The Adytum. Founded by Paul Foster Case, a member of the Golden Dawn, it was the first organization to present a deck of Tarot cards with the Golden Dawn correspondences of Hebrew to each Major Arcana card. In his rituals he removed all mention of Enochian magick.

Latin for a stick or staff, it is a name used as an alternative for a wand. In animal physiology, it is a special bone found among some mammals that aids in sexual intercourse, also known as a penile bone.


Literally, the "Bath of Mary," it is the original name for the common double boiler used in cooking. The "Mary" in this instance was a Jewish woman who lived in ancient Alexandria and was known to be one of the earliest practitioners of alchemy. It was used to slowly heat substances, a practice necessary for alchemy.

Baneful herbs are poisonous. Such herbs - including henbane, hemlock, hellebore, mandrake and datura - were popular in Renaissance magic for inducing visions, creating the illusion of psychic awareness, drawing love, tormenting the mind and even dulling the pain of those about to be executed for the “crime” of magic.

Baneful Magick
Any spell, ritual, or technique that is used in a way that is harmful—mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually—to the subject of the magick.

To send away. On a spiritual level, a ritual or technique used to send away unwanted entities or energies.

To send away. In metaphysical terms, a banishing is a ritual or technique that has the effect of sending away unwanted energies, entities, etc. Although banishings are used in healing (sending away the ailment), they are most often used in conjunction with magickal rituals. They are used before such rituals to make the area blank, a tabula rasa, leaving it open for any magickal work. They are used after such rituals to disperse any energies or entities that may have been attracted to the energy raised during the ritual.


A ritual approach to psychic self-protection. Many books provide the details of the practice, but a beginner should also gain understating of the theory. The suggested title does that.

 Suggested Reading – Regardie, with Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero: The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic.

Banner of the East
A banner displayed in the east of Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn temples used to represent the dawning light. It consists of a white background on which is a golden cross, over which are interlaced red and blue triangles, forming a hexagram. In the center of this is a white “T.” It has red tassels and is suspended by a red cord.

Banner of the West
A banner displayed in the west of Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn temples used to represent the fading light. It consists of a black background on which is a white triangle. Inside the triangle is a red cross.

A term that first appeared during the trials of the Knights Templar. Although there have been many suggestions as the source of the term, including mystical ones, its etymology is unknown. In a book by occultist Eliphas Levi, he produced a drawing of Baphomet that he also identified as “The Sabbatic Goat.” It has been adapted as part of the Devil card found in many Tarot decks.

Barbarous Words

These are really "words of power," whether intelligible or not. Originally, the name comes from the languages spoken by the "barbarians," those who did not speak Greek when the Greeks thought they had invented civilization. 

In ritual, barbarous words and names don't have to make sense or be understood by the ritualist. Many are derived from Hebrew, ancient Egyptian and Persian; some are based on the Enochian language provided to us by Dr. John Dee. Rather than rational sense, they make emotional sense with the drama. 

There is some evidence—see Patrick Dunn’s book, Magic, Power, Language, Symbol: A Magician's Exploration of Linguistics—that experienced magicians created certain barbarous words without regard to proper language but entirely to have a magical effect.  

Or, rather, the magician spontaneously speaks these words without plan as if derived from or through the sub-conscious mind. It is, perhaps, related to "speaking in tongues" where a person speaks with no awareness of what she is saying.

Suggested Reading:

Dunn, Patrick: Magic, Power, Language, Symbol: A Magician’s Exploration of Linguistics

Talismans made from minerals that form in the triclinic crystal system possessing the form of a trapezium, a structure with no right angles. This structure gives these talismans strength in all directions, allowing them to provide barriers to attack from all directions simultaneously. Their crystal structure gives Barrier talismans the crystal energy to form an effective amulet that can aid in defending against the misfortunes of this world.


A type of pool or tank of water, appropriately decorated, that is used in some Voudoun rituals. It is used by participants who are ridden (possessed) by serpent Loa that are aquatic in nature and who enjoy a watery plunge.


This term has two meanings in Voudoun. First, it is the name of a set of drums. Second, during a ritual, it is a rhythm that marks a division of the ritual, often between the opening section and that of the actual rite. This rhythm has everyone playing together, and may include people clapping hands, drums, and the asson (sacred rattle).

The second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, B or V. Represents the number 2. The first of the seven "double letters." A Hebrew word meaning "house." Corresponds to the planet Mercury, the 12th Path (between Kether and Binah), and Tarot trump I The Magician.

Between the Worlds
This is based on the concept that there is a physical plane or “world” and a non-physical or astral world. It is in this non-physical world where magickal practices have their initial effect. Later, this manifests on the physical plane. As physical beings we exist in the physical world. When performing magickal rites it is common to first create a circle or magickal space. This space is neither wholly in the physical or non-physical worlds, but “between” both. Thus, when sacred space is created for magickal or spiritual practices, it is said to be “between the worlds.”

See Fascinate.


A common and literary expression having nothing to do with Witchcraft. Rather it is used to represent an affliction—more often emotional than physical—of an unknown and bewildering nature. Also used in connection with an emotional attachment to another person similar to the expression of being under that person’s "spell."

See Fascinate.

The third Sephirah of the cabalistic Tree of Life, the topmost Sephirah on the Pillar of Severity. The term is a Hebrew word meaning "Understanding." It represents the archetype of the number 3, the feminine aspect of the Godhead. It corresponds to the divine name YHWH Elohim, the archangel Tzaphqiel, the angelic choir called Aralim (The Mighty Ones) and Shabbathai, or heavenly Sphere of Saturn.

In Binah is a thick darkness which yet veileth the Divine Glory in which all colours are hidden, wherein is mystery and depth and silence, and yet, it is the habitation of the Supernal Light. There is the Supernal Triad completed. And the Sphere of its Operation is Shabbathai, or rest, and it giveth forms and similitudes unto chaotic matter and it ruleth the sphere of action of the planet Saturn. And Jehovah Elohim is the perfection of Creation and the Life of the World to Come. And its archangel is Tzaphqiel, the Prince of the Spiritual Strife against Evil, and the Name of the Order of Angels is Aralim, the Strong and Mighty Ones who are also called the Order of Thrones. The angel Jophiel is also referred unto Binah.


Aima Elohim, the Divine Mother, the third Sephirah on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, Understanding. It is the primal feminine power. Also known as Ama, the dark sterile mother; Aima, the bright fertile mother; and Marah, the great sea. It is located at the top of the Pillar of Severity.

  • Name of God: Tetragrammaton Elohim
  • Archangel: Tzaphqiel
  • Angelic Host: Aralim
  • Astrological Correspondence: Saturn
  • Body: right side of head
  • Colors: 
    • in Atziluth: crimson, 
    • in Briah: black, 
    • in Yetzirah: dark brown, 
    • in Assiah: gray flecked with pink
  • Consciousness: Neshamah, spiritual understanding
  • Element: Water
  • Magical Image: an old woman with long white hair
  • Symbols: all vaginal symbols
  • Tarot: The four Three and Four Queens


(Noun) A type of magickal restraint used on something or someone.


(Verb) To magickally restrain someone or something.

Made up of combinations of two or more rune-staves, bind-runes expand and further refine the power and aim of runic formulas.

Magickal acts ranging from a complex ritual to a simple spell that have the goal of preventing someone from committing a specific action or set of actions.

Bishop of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica

In the O.T.O., the first part of the seventh degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as Magus of Light.

Pronounced Bee-toh-em, it is the Enochian name for the Spirit of Fire.

Black Arts
There are two beliefs as to the source of the term. The word root “necro-“ means “dead” or dead body.” Originally, “necromancy” was a term describing a form of divination using parts of dead bodies. By about 1300, it came to mean divination by communicating with the dead. Unfortunately, this became confused with the Middle Latin word root niger (pronounced nee-gair) meaning “black.” Thus, “nigromancy” or communicating with the dead became a “black art.” Alternatively, it was believed that magickal arts came from ancient Egypt. In ancient Egyptian, the word for the Egypt was Kemt, which means “The Black Land.” Thus, magick that comes from Egypt is the black art. Today, the “black arts” is an expression used to identify (often derogatorily) any magickal or spiritual practices that are outside of the mainstream.

Black Magic
Black Magick's aim is to harm yourself or another either purposely or accidentally. Some magicians feel that it would not be working to hurt someone else, except that they, themselves will suffer as a consequence. "As you sow, so shall ye reap" is not merely a philosophical aphorism to a magician, it is an actual physical fact. Most magicians do not want to chance getting "zapped" by the law of Karma for a foolish act of Black Magick.

Black Magic

Magic performed to cause harm. Louis Culling’s point about "it is prevailing mental aberration of the ignorant to label as 'Black Magic' the pentagram with two points upward" is that it not the tools of magic that are evil but only the intentions of the magician. A pentagram is a pentagram no matter which end is up; a knife is a knife no matter how it is used, and a gun is a gun no matter it held by a policeman or a murderer. 

Traditionally a blessing is a magickal act wherein spiritual energy imbued with positive concepts is conferred to another person. Today, it often means simply wishing a person good luck.

Blood of the Moon
The blood from a woman’s menstrual cycle. It is considered by some magicians to contain a great deal of magickal power and is highly desired. A small amount was traditionally baked into the Gnostic Catholic Church’s “Cakes of Light.”

Blood of the Red Lion
An alchemical term that, in sex magick, means semen.

One of the two pillars found in a temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It is black in color, and has white drawings on it of certain Egyptian images. It is feminine in nature and associated with the Pillar of Severity on the Kabalistic Tree of Life.


In Voudoun, a bokor (sometimes called a boko) is a magician or sorcerer who will perform magick for people in exchange for money or some other form of payment. Although most practitioners will only do positive magick, bokors are known for working with "both hands," meaning that they will also do negative or harmful magick as well as mind control.

A white-handled knife used by some Witches and Wiccans for carving items, especially items used in ritual. For example, it would be used to carve a sigil on a candle used in a ritual. For some, it would also be used for many daily cutting purposes. To people who use the white knife in this way, the better-known black-hilted knife, the Athame, is not used to cut anything physical. Rather, it is used to direct energy.

Talismans that are made from minerals that form in the Class VIII-5 “Sheet Silicates” class. These crystals are formed when silicate tetrahedrons connect in sheets producing very cohesive minerals. They are very tough to cut. They are outstanding minerals that have the chemical earth power to make effective talismans when the need to create something that is bound tightly. Bonder talismans are useful in cementing relationships and agreements.

Book Collectors
A term that became popular in the 1960s and 1970s to refer to people who attempted to collect Books of Shadows from as many covens and traditions as possible. Usually used in a derogatory fashion as Book Collectors were generally either academics with no interest in actually practicing, or individuals seeking the secrets of other groups without dedicating themselves to the practice of that tradition.

Book M.N.

Obviously, "M.N." is to be replaced with your Magickal Name. I make this point simply because I have found some people so literal that they use such abbreviations in their rituals. So, if the instructions say "Call the Angel,'" that is exactly what they do rather than calling the Angel by its name. 

Book of the Law
The Book of the Law, also known as Liber AL vel Legis, was channeled by Aleister Crowley in Cairo in 1904 from a "preternatural" entity calling himself Aiwass. It is divided into three sections, respectively attributed to the Egyptian deities Nuit,Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Its chief tenets are "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law," "Love is the law, love under will," and "Every man and every woman is a star."

Book of the Law

This book, also known as Liber AL vel Legis [or just Liber AL], is composed of three chapters, each written down by Crowley in one hour starting at noon April 8, 9, and 10 in 1904 in Cairo, Egypt. The words were spoken to Crowley by an entity named Aiwass, later referred to as Crowley’s Holy Guardian Angel. 

The Book of the Law is the holy book for Crowley’s followers. It teaches the Law of Thelema, usually represented by these two phrases:

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law (AL I:40) and 

Love is the law, love under will (AL I:57)  

Thelema is both religion and philosophy, and yet—as used in the GBG—it is more a source of inspiration to the student to continue with the Great Work of attaining the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.

Boomerang Effect
The idea that if you have a strong magickal defense, the result of a spell worked against you will bounce the negative current back to the sender like a boomerang returning to the person who threw it. Those who accept the three-fold law believe that the effect will be three times as potent as the attacking force.

Boomerang Effect

Negative telepathic messages and psychic-energy transfers have a traditional "return to the sender" phenomenon noted in magical literature as bouncing back with a three-fold increase in power.

Interruptions in concentration. Aleister Crowley gave techniques to develop concentration and overcome these breaks.

The second of the Four Kabalistic Worlds in descending order. It means World of Creation.

The "World of Creation." The second of four Qabalistic worlds, consisting of Chokmah and Binah. Briah is the realm of archangels. It is attributed to the element of water and the Hebrew letter Heh.


The second of the Kabbalistic four Worlds, the archangelic and creative world of pure intellect. The world of Creation and the dominion of Primordial Water. It corresponds to Chesed, Geburah, and Tiphareth on the Tree of Life.

Talismans made from Class III “Halides.” That are often very brightly colored, among the brightest of the mineral kingdom. These crystals and minerals such as Halite and Fluorite are prized for their ability to bring out the beauty in something. As talismans, the Brighteners have the chemical earth energy to help us in enhancing efforts that focus on the sensual aspects of life in which some aspect has become dull, tarnished, or dingy.

Brother of the Shadow
Archaic term for someone following a negative spiritual path. Alternatively, those who follow a materialist path rather than a spiritual one. Sometimes called a "black magician."

Talismans made from Class VII “Phosphate” minerals. These minerals are mostly derived from phosphoric acid which forms compounds that buffer, balance, and neutralize both acids and alkalis. Other talismans from this class have similar chemistry. Buffers have the chemical earth power to help us when we need to promote stability, balance, and centering. Also sometimes called Balancers.

Talismans made from minerals of the Class V “Carbonates” classification. These are minerals that are rarely in their final forms, but rather in a transitional state. The Builders have the chemical Earth Power that is needed in applications in which something new needs to be made from something old. Woodworkers, stoneworkers, artists, painters, and others efforts involved in the creative arts benefit from these types of talismans. The Builder talismans can help artists and craftsmen to focus on the artistic outcome they are trying to achieve.

A tool used in rituals by the Aboriginal people of Australia. It consists of a small piece of wood tied to the end of a string. When swung through the air it produces a buzzy, humming sound. Shown being used as a signaling and communications device in the film Crocodile Dundee.

Cabala...is a system of mysticism with its origins in Judaism, stemming in part from the "chariot" visions of first-century mystics, in part from Gnosticism and Neoplatonism, in part from the theological speculations of medieval Spanish Jews, and in part from later thinkers. For many centuries, cabala was the accepted form of mysticism and theology within Judaism, but for the most part it has now fallen out of favor in religious contexts. Nevertheless, many rabbis and Jewish scholars still take an interest in it. As a philosophy and as a way of looking at God and the universe, it survives in yet wider quarters. Especially in the form developed by Christian enthusiasts in the Italian Renaissance and by 19th-century Christian and pagan occultists, cabalism retains vast importance as the key to mystical thinking outside of the mainstream and to the practice of ceremonial magic.

A human-made pile of rocks. They may be very simple or quite elaborate and often are made in the form of a cone. In modern times they are used to mark such things as a path or the top of a mountain. In ancient times they may have marked burial sites, astrological sites, or as aids for hunting.

A term for a summoning, sometimes used to indicate the summoning of a spirit as part of an invocation or evocation.


When testing for ESP using such things as guessing which playing card an investigator is holding, each response to a question such as “What card am I holding?” is known as a “call.”

Calling the Quarters
Usually performed near the start of a ritual, the practice of evoking protective entities, deities, or powers that correspond to the specific energies of the cardinal directions as determined by the beliefs of the tradition being followed.

An officer of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In a full temple, this officer is present on the dais when the temple is open for Neophytes. The purpose of this officer (the name is Latin for “chancellor”) is to keep records. When this office is held by a woman, she is called the Cancellaria.

Candle Magic
“The use of candles in magic dates back many centuries, but the specific system of magic in which colored, anointed candles are the primary tools is a relatively recent innovation, developed in the nineteenth century out of Catholic devotional practices using candles of various kinds. The southern United States, with its rich heritage of hoodoo magic and African tradition, seems to be the homeland of candle magic, with New Orleans probably the original place of invention.

“The basic practices of candle magic involve a detailed color symbolism in which red candles represent sexual desire, green stand for money, white for spirituality and healing, black for cursing and banishing, and so forth. Candles used in magic are “dressed” or anointed with specific oils, which are typically rubbed onto the candle from the middle out to both ends. A candle magic working may simply involve lighting one or more candles and reciting a charm while it burns; it may also involve rearranging candles on an altar to represent the rearrangement in the world that the working is intended to bring about.

“Originally, candle magic was mostly practiced among Southern folk magicians of various kinds, but in recent decades it has spread far more widely. Many Witches and Pagans in the current Pagan revival movements make use of it, as do a great many occultists who simply picked up a book on the subject and found it to their liking.”


A stone that completes the top of a structure. When it is placed at the top of a column, it usually has a pyramidal shape. This is found in the pillars used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It is symbolic of the highest level of one's consciousness.

Cardinal Points
Also known as the “cardinal directions,” they are the North, South, East, and West. Many magickal rituals are directed toward one of the cardinal points, and some rituals have work done at each point. In mathematics, points dividing the cardinal points, such as the northeast, southwest, etc., are known as “ordinal points,” but in magickal traditions they are frequently called “cross-quarter points.”

Casting the Circle
The practice of using a ritual to spiritual build a magick circle (as opposed to the physical movement of objects into the area) for use in magickal rituals and religious rites. Some say it is the activating of the spiritual aspects of a Wiccan or Pagan Temple.

An incense burner. Traditionally, a censer is a metal container, filled with incense, that is swung on the end of a chain.

Central Gaze
In European magical traditions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a method of using the eyes to prevent another magician from gaining control of one’s mind and will. To use the central gaze, the magician focuses his or her eyes intently on a point between the attacker’s eyebrows, at the location of the “third eye” center. The crucial point lies in not allowing oneself to meet the attacker’s gaze directly, even for a moment; concentration must be maintained on the chosen point.

Ceremonial Magick
Ceremonial Magick is one of the most complicated systems of spiritual attainment in the world. It is a mixture of Jewish, Christian, and ancient Egyptian philosophy mixed with ancient Indian and Chaldean ideas spiced with a hint of earlier Paganism. This is mixed with the ceremonial aspects of Catholicism and Masonry. It usually heavily involves the study of the Kabbalah, the mysticism of the world put into Jewish and Judeo-Christian terms.

Ceremonial Magick

The object of ceremonial magick is to stimulate the senses, to power-up the emotions, and to firmly conceptualize the purpose of the operation—which is to create a transcending experience to unite Personality with the Divine Self. To this end, rituals, symbols, clothing, colors, incenses, sound, dramatic invocations and sacraments are selected in accordance with established "correspondences" of one thing to another to transport the magician towards a mystical reality.  

A person living in the area of ancient Babylon (modern Iraq) associated with the Sumerian city of Ur, which was eventually ruled by the Chaldees (the biblical “Ur of the Chaldees”). Chaldea was associated with magic, and by the seventeenth century in Europe, any person who was an astrologer, diviner, or magician was generically known as a “Chaldean.”

A large goblet, frequently stemmed, used to hold wine in religious rituals. Also used to represent the element of Water in magickal rites.

The process of repeating sounds, words, or phrases. This can be done melodically or simply rhythmically. The goal is to induce an altered state of consciousness that may be used for magickal purposes.


The repletion of words or short phrases in a vibrating voice that stirs psychic energy and may induce trance.

Suggested Reading: Andrews, Ted: Sacred Sounds: Magic & Healing Through Words & Music


The act of vocalizing and usually repeating a chant.

(Pronounced "kay-oh-ist) Term for a practitioner of Chaos magick. Such a person could also be referred to as a "Chaote."

Chaos Magic
A term coined by Peter Carroll in 1978 in his book Liber Null (published in the US in combination with another work as Liber Null and Psychonaut) to describe a system of magick that its practitioners (who usually call themselves Chaoists or Chaotes) consider to be radically different from previous forms of magick. Important concepts in this tradition include the power of belief (expressed as “fake it until you make it”), the Gnostic state (being extremely focused) as necessary for most magick, and extreme eclecticism including the use of any belief system (even ones that are known to be entirely fictional) for the working of magickal rituals. Carroll, with Ray Sherwin, founded the Magical Pact of the Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT), which is an important force in the very loosely organized Chaos Magic movement.

(Pronounced “kay-oat”) A term that describes a person who practices Chaos magick.

The process of infusing some object with magickal power for a specific purpose. For example, a ring, pendant, or belt can be charged to protect the person who wears them.

To infuse an object with magical power.

Charging Cup
A large cup (or small bowl) that contains sanctified (or exorcised) water. Usually located on the main Altar. It is carried around an area to asperge the Circle and coven members. Also called the water bowl.

An object imbued with some type of energy for magical purposes. See “talisman.”

Term that comes from the same root as charisma and chant. A magick spell, particularly one that makes you more attractive to another person as in, “She charmed me.” Also, an object that has been magickally charged. Another term for a talisman or amulet.

Charm Bag

A small bag, usually made of cloth with a string around the top that allows you to close it and either wear it as a necklace or attach it as a pendant to a necklace. The owner or magician making it will place in it various herbs (making it similar to a sachet) stones, crystals, talismans, and other magickal objects turning the charm bag into a potent magickal tool.

The fourth Sephirah of the cabalistic Tree of Life, the middle Sephirah on the Pillar of Mercy. The term is a Hebrew word meaning "Mercy." It represents the archetype of the number 4, the merciful aspect of the Godhead. It corresponds to the divine name El, the archangel Tzadqiel, the angelic choir called Chashmalim, and Tzedek, or heavenly Sphere of Jupiter.

In Chokmah is the Radix of blue and thence is there a blue colour pure and primitive, and glistening with a spiritual Light which is reflected unto Chesed. And the Sphere of its Operation is called Tzedek or justice and it fashioneth the images of material things, bestowing peace and mercy; and it ruleth the sphere of the action of the planet Jupiter. And Al is the title of a God strong and mighty, ruling in Glory, Magnificence and Grace. And the Archangel of Chesed is Tzadkiel, the prince of Mercy and Beneficence, and the Name of the Order of Angels is Chashmalim Brilliant Ones, who are also called the Order of Dominions or Dominations. The Sephira Chesed is also called Gedulah or Magnificence and Glory.


The fourth sephirah on the Tree of Life, Mercy. It is also called Gedulah, Greatness. Located at the center of the Pillar of Mercy.

The eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Ch or H. Represents the number 8. The fourth of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "fence" or "enclosure." Corresponds to Cancer, the 18th Path (between Binah and Geburah), and Tarot trump VII The Chariot.

The second Sephirah of the cabalistic Tree of Life, the topmost Sephirah on the Pillar of Mercy. The term is a Hebrew word meaning "Widsom." It represents the archetype of the number 2, the masculine aspect of the Godhead. It corresponds to the divine name Yah, the archangel Raziel, the angelic choir called Ophanim (Wheels) and the Mazloth, or heavenly Sphere of the Zodiac.

In Chokmah is a cloud-like grey which containeth various colours and is mixed with them, like a transparent pearl-hued mist, yet radiating withal, as if behind it there was a brilliant glory. And the Sphere of its influence is in Masloth, the Starry Heaven, wherein it disposeth the forms of things. And Yah is the Divine Ideal Wisdom, and its Archangel is Ratziel, the Prince or Princes of the knowledge of hidden and concealed things, and the name of its Order of Angels is Auphanim, the Wheels or the Whirling Forces which are also called the Order of Kerubim.


The second sephirah on the Tree of Life, Wisdom. The primal masculine. Located at the top of the Pillar of Mercy.

  • Name of God: Yah
  • Archangel: Raziel
  • Angelic Host: Auphanim
  • Astrological Correspondence: the Zodiac, Sphere of the Stars
  • Body: left side of head
  • Colors: in Atziluth: pure sort blue; in Briah: gray; in Yetzirah: iridescent pearl gray; in Assiah: white flecked with red, blue and yellow.
  • Consciousness: Chiah, the spiritual will
  • Element: Fire
  • Human Soul: Chiah, the Divine Will
  • Magical Image: An old man
  • Symbols: All phallic symbols
  • Tarot: The four Twos and the four Kings

Choronzon Club

Also known as the C∴C∴, it appears to have been a magical group active in Chicago as early as 1931 and at least as recently as 1979. Exactly what it was, or is, is confusing and probably of no pertinence to our study here. According to the occult scholar P. R. Koenig, in 1933 a small group of homosexual men split off from C. F. Russell's original group in order to practice Crowley’s XI°. It was led in recent history by Michael P. Bertiaux teaching Haitian Voodoo and O∴T∴O∴  magic. 

Unfortunately, the study of Western magical philosophy is often obscured by the number of secret orders cast on Masonic models that claim to teach true magic. At least in some instances these are successful business operations and in some other cases provide opportunities to indulge the vanities of members who adore dressing in expensive robes and addressing each other by their secret names. Most of their magical teachings of value were derived from the serious work of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Aurum Solis. These teachings were long ago made available in book form. Experience demonstrates that the study and practice of magic is as suitable to the solitary person as to group membership. 

Cipher Manuscripts
A collection of loose papers that are the original source of the Golden Dawn ritual and magical system, and which played a complex and still uncertain role in the founding of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

The magic circle is drawn in the astral world about the Magus and the place where the ritual is worked. It forms a division between the magical place and the ordinary world, setting the interior space apart. This allows the region inside the circle to hold a heightened charge of magical potency, and because it is a pure space devoted to worship and magic, it permits the manifestation of spiritual Intelligences that could not be readily perceived in the ordinary environment. The circle also acts as a barrier that protects the Magus from the intrusion of discordant, chaotic forces that seek to disrupt communications with higher spiritual beings, or even to harm the Magus in emotional and physical ways.

The circle is always inscribed from the inside, ideally from the center, in a sunwise direction, and visualized as a glowing or flaming band of light that sustains itself in the air at the level of the heart. Often a corresponding physical circle of the same radius is marked on the floor of the chamber beforehand; but the magic circle does not actually exist until it is made in the astral by a deliberate act of will. For convenience, the circle is made of a size great enough to enclose the ritual place. A single ritualist, if working without an altar in a confined space, might project a circle of six feet in diameter. With an altar at the center, the circle might be nine feet in diameter to permit movement around the altar. Since the circle is drawn in the astral, it can be made larger than the actual physical chamber.

Whatever its size, the circle should always be large enough to comfortably hold all who work within it. Because the circle is magically real, even though immaterial, it must never be casually broken. It is extended from the heart center of the Magus clockwise from the point of the right index finger, or the point of the wand, sword, or knife. It should be reabsorbed at the end of the ritual in through the left index finger, or magical instrument held in the left hand, by retracing it widdershins——against the course of the Sun. It must never be stepped through, although this is a common mistake among occultists. To disregard the substantiality of the circle is to weaken it, and so render it a less useful tool.


A temporary boundary within which a séance or magical operation may take place. The theory is that is becomes a kind of psychic container for the energies used in the operation and a barrier to unwanted energies from outside.

The Magick Circle—whether drawn physically or in the imagination—is the "container" of magickal operations. The "Opening" and the "Closing" of the Temple—or of the Circle—is an operation that is both magickal and psychological. The rituals of Opening and Closing are various but all are simple projections of energy guided by will power with the express intent to provide a barrier against exterior forces while establishing the Circle (or Lodge) as container of the magickal energies

Circle of Bluestone
Small ring carved from Preseli Bluestone, the substance from which the Inner Ring of Stonehenge is made. It is used with Touchstones on the equinoxes and solstices to unify talismans—combining their power with all other talismans.

Circle of Protection
A magickal circle wherein magick workers are protected from unwanted entities and energies.

Circle of Protection
A circle of people, often holding hands, at a séance.

Circle of Protection
Part of the popular game Magic: The Gathering, which protects you from certain types of damage.

A concept based on the idea of an electrical circuit, which must be complete for a device on the circuit to function. That is, there must be a source of electrical energy, the device to be powered, and then a ground, usually associated with or near the source. This is translated to psychic or magickal energy, where some hold that there must also be a completed circuit to be effective. Thus, when you are sending healing energy to someone, you are the source, the person to be healed is the “device,” and then you receive energy back from that person which needs to be “grounded.” If you block the return—that is, if the circuit is incomplete and you get nothing back—the healing will not be effective. If you do not ground the energy you receive, the working may be effective, but you become the ground, resulting in the absorption, by you, of the negative charge on the energy from the person you were healing. Healers who do not know how to “ground” the energy often end up exhibiting the symptoms of the person they heal. See Also Grounding.

Circulation of the Body of Light
A ritual developed from the Middle Pillar Ritual wherein you move spiritual energy throughout and around your body.

To walk in a circle. In temples of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, this was a clockwise circling of the temple. It was said to represent the rise of Light. In the Golden Dawn’s inner order, the circumambulation of the temple by initiates would create energy in the form of a cone or vortex. This may be the source of the Pagan/Wiccan concept of a “Cone of Power,” although the influence may have gone the other way. A reverse circumambulation, going anti-clockwise, was symbolic of the fading Light.

A term most often used by ceremonial magicians describing moving within a magickal circle either as part of a ritual or as a way of raising magickal energy.

City of Pyramids
The destination of the Adept crossing the Abyss. The City of Pyramids is located in Binah.

A term used to describe the removal of forms of negativity. This can be done spiritually (as in the performance of a banishing ritual) or physically (as in covering an area with salt and then sweeping the purifying salt away).

Clearing a Bad Psychic Atmosphere

There are many advanced magical techniques, but there are also simple folk practices. Here are a few:

  1. String some garlics, or strew some garlic cloves, about the place. Leave over night, then take up and burn.
  2. Place an onion in a prominent place when unpleasant visitors are expected. Afterwards, burn the onion.

The end of a ritual. At the beginning or opening, the magick circle was formed. During the closing, the circle is taken down, returning the space to its normal level of sacredness. If people have dedicated temple space, they may choose to close or end the ritual but allow the sacred space to remain as charged by the ritual.

Clothing for Rituals

The G∴B∴G∴ calls for simplicity. The requirement is only that the ritual clothing be different from one’s customary clothing. While fancy ceremonial robes would fulfill this requirement, they would be contradictory to the G∴B∴G∴ emphasis on the Great Work in contrast to the accessories. A simple garment cut from cloth with holes for neck and arms could be sufficient, as could an inexpensive bath robe or night shirt.

In some Wiccan circles the choice is "skyclad—nakedness—so that all are equal before the gods and nothing is in the way of the body’s natural energy. The observation can be made that nakedness does not make us equal since we are very conscious of our physical appearance—slim, fat, tall, sort, hairy, etc.—a distraction from the Magick. 

In Postmodern magick, a set of filters through which we deal with any aspect of life. We have a set of codes for money, health, sex, learning, etc. The group of codes that allows us to live in the “real world” is called a “semiotic web.” Magick allows us to change our codes.


A necklace. Specifically, a ritual necklace that is given to a Voudoun initiate to mark their initiation into the group.

Companion of the Holy Graal

In the O.T.O., the third part of the fifth degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as Illustrious Knight (Templar) of the Order of Kadosch.


A term used by the G∴B∴G∴ to describe intercourse used in sex magick.


See Conjure.

Originally a practice that may have included such things as chanting and physical motions with the purpose of evoking a spirit. Now often used as a generic term for “magic.”

The process of dedicating a person, place, or thing to a spiritual path or entity, usually a deity. Often follows a cleansing (or banishing or purification).

Focusing your attention on something. The second step in true meditation.

Abbreviation for “Circle of Protection.”

A sweet gum excreted by certain trees used as an incense by some Pagans and ceremonial magicians.

Cord Magick
The use of ropes that are knotted in a certain manner in order to focus and release power.

A method of assigning meaning and interdependent connections to the various aspects of the visible and invisible worlds wherein each color, sound, metal, plant, animal, organs of the human body, or anything in the material world, is said to have its origin in the invisible through specific energetic signatures. Astrology plays a significant role in assigning and deciding correspondences.


The Kabbalah, using the symbolic system of the Tree of Life and numerological associations provided through the Hebrew language, Astrology, and Natural Science, identifies a wide range of correspondences between subjects, planets, herbs, plants, metals, crystals, colors, animals, angels, deities, etc. that allow substitutions of one thing for another, or that augment understanding about one thing by knowledge of another of corresponding value. 

Mostly the applications of correspondences are divided into Magical, Medical, Numerical, and Tarot usages.

Suggested Reading:

Critical Observation

The careful observation and remembrance of details making their later organization and analysis possible. It is an essential feature of astral and magickal training.

Name of a temple that was an offshoot of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Anglican clergymen.

Also see Dolmen.


A crossing spell is the name for a folk magick rite that puts a curse or cross (in the form of an “X”) on a person 

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was the foremost ceremonial magician of the first half of the 20th century. He was born in Leamington, England, on October 12, 1875, the son of fanatical Plymouth Brethren. His mother called him the Beast of Revelation, whose number is 666, and Crowley embraced this identification. He attended Cambridge and began to study occultism. He was an accomplished chess player, mountain climber, and poet. In 1898, he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In 1903, he married Rose Kelly. In 1904, while on an extended honeymoon with Rose in Cairo, he received The Book of the Law from a "praeternatural" entity calling himself Aiwass. This book identified Crowley as the Logos of a New Aeon, and Crowley spent the rest of his life trying to spread the new religion. He died in a rooming house in Hastings on December 1, 1947.


Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was one of the most controversial figures in recent Western occultism. He inherited a considerable fortune, and died a pauper. He had great intellectual genius and wasted a lot on shocking the world as he knew it with occasional bizarre antics and lifestyle. He was trained in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and later formed his own Order of the Silver Star and then took over the O∴T∴O∴ (Ordo Templi Orientis). He was a prolific and capable writer of magick technology, and is best known for his transcription of The Book of the Law received from a spirit named Aiwass proclaiming Crowley as the Beast 666 in the Book of Revelations and announcing a New Aeon of terror and advancement for the world. His magickal books and his Thoth Tarot Deck are worth study.

Cube of Space
A model, found in the Sepher Yetzirah, of how the invisible energies expressed by the Hebrew alphabet interact with one another to create the invisible worlds.

A type of alchemical container. In sex magick, the vagina.

A spell or ritual—or the result of the spell or ritual—used to harm someone or punish the person. It may be transferable to the family of the cursed person. A curse may also cause a building, location, or object to bring “bad luck” to an owner or renter.

The Qabalistic Sephirah of Daath is the conjunction of Chokmah and Binah on the Tree of Life, the Child of Wisdom and Understanding. It refers to the symbolic sphere formed within or above the Ruach by means of experience obtained, and this assimilated becomes transmuted into intuition and faculty of mind. But fundamentally it is the ascent of the Dragon or, if you wish, an upwelling of the Unconscious archetypes—a highly dangerous and unbalancing ascent, until they are assimilated to consciousness—which first renders Daath a possibility.

An officer of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The term is Greek for “torch bearer.” It’s the duty of the Dadouchos to use a censer to consecrate the temple and the members with fire. That is, the Dacouchos uses incense as a representative of the pure elemental Fire. When a woman holds this office she is called the Dadouche.

The tool of elemental Air.

Derived from the Greek word dagos, meaning “doll,” a dagyde is a doll similar to the famous “Voodoo doll.” The doll represents a person who is going to be the subject of a magickal ritual or spell. Needles or pins or even thorns are inserted in various places of the doll (a form of sympathetic magick) to indicate where magickal energy, for good or ill, is to be sent. Author and Pagans define the terms as “Witches’ needles and pins."

The fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, D or Dh. Represents the number 4. The third of the seven "double letters." A Hebrew word meaning "door." Corresponds to the planet Venus, the 14th Path (between Chokmah and Binah), and Tarot trump III The Empress.

Dark Night of the Soul
Term now familiar in Western mystical psychology: 16th-century Spanish Carmelite St. John of the Cross (whose writings reveal much Qabalistic understanding) used it to describe the intense desolation which characterized the eighth of his ten stages of spiritual ascent, corresponding to the experience of Binah, the Third Sephira.

A small, narrow, pointed missile. Today, a game is played where darts are tossed at a circular target. The location of the dart on the board determines the score, and there are many game variations. According to Lewis Spence, the Laplanders used darts in a form of magick. The darts were made of lead and were only a few inches long. They would throw these against their absent enemies, and believed this would result in giving them horrible pains and ailments. From his description, this was a form of sympathetic magic.

Dee, Dr. John

(1527-1608) With Edward Kelley [sometimes given as Kelly] as clairvoyant, the source for the Enochian language and the eighteen Enochian Calls.

Different levels of grades within spiritual organizations such as magickal lodges or covens. Also used to identify the level that a member of such a group has achieved, such as a first degree, third degree, etc.


The division of a circle into 360 equal parts with each one known as a degree. In astrology, this unit of measurement is used to indicate the positions of signs, planets, etc., in a chart.

Demon CO
A humorous reference to carbon monoxide. When charcoal for incense is burned, it can exhaust the air of oxygen and replace it with carbon monoxide (chemical formula: CO). The lack of oxygen can cause dizziness, sickness, unconsciousness, or death. A magician should always have plenty of air in a room when burning incense.


Name for a séance where people sit outside the group of sitters observing the events of the circle.

Diana's Bow
On the third day after the New Moon, the crescent moon appears to take the shape of a bow. Some covens use this time for ritual work, especially for rituals based around new beginnings and starting new endeavors.


The Second Degree of Sex Magick in the magickal order known as the GBG.

Dion Fortune
Pen name of Violet Mary Firth (1890–1946) based on her family motto (which she used as a magical name) “Deo Non Fortuna,” Latin for “God, not fate.” She developed psychic abilities early in life, leading to a nervous breakdown. Upon her recover she became fascinated with the occult and the new studies in psychology, eventually becoming a lay psychotherapist. After studying Theosophy she eventually joined a branch of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.

In order to increase membership, she formed the Fraternity (later changed to Society) of the Inner Light. It worked, but it brought her fame and the leader of the Golden Dawn supposedly didn’t like that and ousted her. But her Society continued to grow and her books became famous.

There were three major trends in her writing. Traditional Western occultism and the Qabalah filled many of her non-fiction works. Her fiction works were focused more on Pagan traditions. Those associated with her Society are more focused around mystical Christianity with a focus on King Arthur and Merlin. Her famous books include The Mystical Qabalah, Sane Occultism, Moon Magic, The Sea Priestess, and Avalon of the Heart.

She respected and corresponded with Aleister Crowley, was responsible for Israel Regardie getting initiated into the Golden Dawn, and claimed to have been involved in what was known as the “Magical Battle of Britain” where occultists used magick to prevent a German invasion of England during WWII. It is known that Hitler intended to invade England, but for some reason (about which there is much speculation) he called it off.

A method for getting rid of unwanted energy, either from a person or object. Typically, this involves a ritual to discharge an object, and some form of grounding to discharge energy from a person.

Dismiss Quarters
A term used to describe that part at the end of Wiccan or similar rituals where the entities or energies called in at the beginning of the ritual are released or dismissed. Some people took offense at the idea of ordering spiritual entities around, so for some the dismissal includes phrases such as “Stay if you can. Go if you must.”

Dismissing the Quarters
See Dismiss Quarters.

Talismans that form in the orthorhombic system with a “diamond shape” internal crystal arrangements. They often appear as small multiple diamond-shaped crystals like a multitude of arrowheads or pyramids. The diamond shape of their crystal lattice acts like a radiator, with sharp points from which the energy can flow easily outward. This outward flow of energy can carry with it the undesirable elements in our lives. Dispellers are talismans used when the need is to rid ourselves of undesirable elements in our lives.

The process of boiling a fluid and then cooling the resulting gas, resulting in a purified liquid. In alchemy, the gas produced during the distillation was considered the spirit of the substance being distilled, and the purification through heat is also a form of spiritual purification of the substance being distilled.

See Doorway.

An entrance cut into a Magickal Circle after it has been completed. Commonly done by using one or two knives to visually “cut” a door through the circle so that someone can enter or leave the circle without destroying the integrity of the circle. The purpose of cutting a doorway may be designed into a ritual or to deal with an emergency. Traditionally, the doorway is cut in the northeast of the circle, but groups will cut it anywhere.

Double Cube
A cube placed on top of an equally-sized cube. This is the traditional model of an altar as used in the Western Magickal Tradition.

Dove's Blood

A reddish writing with ink used to write spells, especially love spells. Although the name seems sanguinary and gruesome, it is actually unrelated to any bird or body fluids. It is composed primarily of the resin from a specific palm tree, known as Dragon's Blood, combined with scented oils such as cinnamon, bay, and rose along with ingredients that make it useful as an ink.

A practitioner of magick who uses dragons in their workings. Such “dragons” range from symbolic to a believed astral reality.

Druidism is the cultural and spiritual heritage of the Celtic peoples, a polytheistic religion originating in the archaic proto-Indo-European past. It was carried into Western Europe by Indo-European tribes speaking Celtic dialects.

Druidism is a spiritual path in harmony with the natural flow of the cosmos. It is one of the many folk or “earth” religions that can brig us back into reverence for living things and the disciplines of hard work, productivity, physical strength and health. It beckons us to follow the wisdom of our ancestors.

The ancient use of a drum (or drums) for spiritual or magickal purposes. This may include work to raise power, alter consciousness for shamanic work, or to give a beat for magickal rituals and rites. In modern festivals, drumming is superficially seen as merely keeping the beat for dancers, and for many people that’s all it is. However, for those who can see beneath the surface, the combination of dance and drumming has magickal and spiritual consequences.

One typical method of using the drums is simply keeping a steady beat for a long period of time. This can have the result of altering the state of mind. A modern version of this is called isochronic tones.

One of the four creative elements in magick. It is the element of form, binding, and manifestation. From an occult perspective the element of Earth is the lowest in vibratory rate of the four elements. Most modern Witchcraft/Wiccan traditions consider Earth to be a feminine element. In an occult sense, “feminine” refers to the characteristics of energy rather than to gender.


Planet Earth is alive—and that includes the entire electro-magnetic system that reaches out from the planet’s core to the Moon and beyond. The Solar System is alive, and with it vast fields of energy connect from all planets and other solar bodies to Moon and Earth, and the inhabitants of Earth. We are part of the Whole, and the Whole is within us.

Earth Magick
Any of a wide set of spiritual traditions that revere or “honor” the Earth and nature as the manifestation of the Divine. Often strongly opposed to pollution and the wanton exploitation of natural resources, many Pagan religions describe themselves as an Earth religion.

Earth Pentacle
In the system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a symbolically decorated, disk of wood. It is used by an adept to direct elemental earth energy.

Earthenware Virgin

A system developed by artist-magician A. O. Spare which involves a man masturbating into a container designed to function as an artificial vagina for the purpose of sex magick.

Eastern Star

An organization allied with Freemasonry that is open to women. Often, the wives and daughters of Freemasons will become involved with the Order of the Eastern Star.

The most famous emblem of the Eastern Star is an inverted five-pointed star, or pentagram. Each point of the star represents:

  • One of the Order's five degrees
  • A virtue such as loyalty or courage
  • One of five heroines of the Bible 


The mixed fluids of Male and Female in the vagina make up the “First Matter” which is to be transmuted by the magical imagination by their aspiration and inspiration, and by the Fire of their sexual/mystical ecstasy while engaged in Sex Magick.

An energized astral form produced consciously or unconsciously by human agency. In particular, (a) a strongly characterized form, usually an archetypal image, produced by the imaginative and emotional energies of a religious or magical group collectively, or (b) an astral shape of any kind, deliberately formulated by a magician to carry a specific force.


An artificial entity created of astral light by magical intent or religious devotion, often in the form of a guardian creature (such as an Eagle or Lion) to protect a building or a spiritual group. The form can originate in mythology or be adapted from folklore and can be ritually charged with additional functions such as observing distant events, carrying out an act of revenge, or to serve as a focus of devotion to unite the group. 


Invisible power that is the result of a group working ritually. This egregore may progressively become autonomous and independent from its source.

Consider that you are composed of two parts: a spiritual (invisible) part and a material (visible) part. You can apply the same concept to groups. Any group can be considered as a meeting of visible and invisible bodies. There is more to a group than the mere sum of its parts. A ritual group (Lodge, Coven, Chapter, etc.) gives birth throughout its existence and during each of its ritual practices, to a kind of independent psychological creature, which progressively develops its own unique character, thereby becoming more and more effective. This identity is larger than any individual participant and is commonly considered by initiates to be something called an Egregore or a "thought-form" (to use the Theosophical expression created by H.P. Blavatski). Over the years this archetype somehow becomes autonomous. This may be helpful or not, depending on whether the character of the group (and therefore the Egregore) is well balanced.

Eighth Degree

In the system of the O.T.O., this refers to a degree of the Order in which a person learns about (and is thus a code used by magicians to represent) masturbatory sex magick.

Elemental Symbols
Much of magic is done through the mediation of the four occult elements, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. They determine both the type of energy that accomplishes the work and the avenue through which it acts. For this reason a clear understanding and proper use of the elements is vital in ritual. Each element is represented by its own material symbol, which is placed atop the altar beside the lamp in the appropriate elemental quarter. If a ritual concerns only one element, its symbol is placed on the altar alone; if all four elements are involved, all four symbols are present.

Fire is embodied in a short rod about nine inches long. This has a very specific design in the Golden Dawn magical system, but the details are not really necessary. It is the essential shape of the rod that is most important. The nature of elemental Fire is in accord with this strongly phallic symbol.

Air is embodied in a short dagger. Again, it is the associations of the blade—its flashing quickness, its piercing quality, its brightness——that are important, not details of the hilt and so on. The difference in tone between the rod and the dagger says much about the essential difference between elemental Fire and Air.

Water is embodied in a cup or chalice. It should be rounded and womblike, enclosing and protective. It is also more harmonious if the cup is made of a watery, or at least a natural, material. Blue hand blown glass is good, or earth-tone ceramic.

Earth is embodied in the disk or pentacle. This is a flat disk painted with Earth colors. Ideally it should be made of clay or stone. Usually it is of wood. It must not be too large to conveniently hold in the hand—four inches in diameter is a good size, because four is a material, earthy number.

So far as I know, the use of elemental symbols originated with the Victorian Order of the Golden Dawn in the last century, and received its inspiration from the symbols of the lesser arcana—the number cards—of the Tarot. Specific, formal symbols of the four elements were not used in medieval times, and are not strictly necessary. However, the employment of these symbols has become almost universal in modern magic, and they can be very useful. It is important that they be made to harmonize with the sensibilities of the one who will actually use them, not merely according to some arbitrary standard.

Elemental Weapons
The four tools used in traditional magical work, corresponding with the four elements and four suits of the Tarot.

Elementals are spirits of the four elements. As defined by Paracelsus in the 16th century, they are:

Earth - gnomes
Air - sylphs
Fire - salamanders
Water - undines


1) Non-human nature spirits associated with different the state, quality, and character of the five elements or Tattwas.

Air (gaseous; mediating, embracing & pervasive; intellect): Sylphs

Earth (solid; stable & enduring; sensation): Gnomes

Fire (energy; active, energizing & transforming; will): Salamanders

Spirit, Ether (underlying; universal & originating; awareness):--

Water (fluid; receptive & responsive; feeling): Undines

2) A thought form charged with energy and intention by a magician to carry out a particular operation, such as a household guardian.(Sometimes called an "artificial elemental.")

Eleventh Degree

In the system of the O.T.O., this refers to a degree of the Order in which a person learns about using anal sex for sex magick. Some people have assumed that this is limited to sex magick as practiced by males (and is thus a code used by some magicians to mean sex magick practiced by gay or bisexual men). However, Crowley's diaries (Crowley introduced the degree into the O.T.O.) show that he used the term to represent sex magick using anal sex with men or women.

Eliphas Levi
Part of the name Eliphas Levi Zaed used by Alphonse Louis Constant (1810–1875) when he wrote books and articles. It was an attempt to translate and transliterate his name into Hebrew. Levi’s writings on magic, especially

A magically charged liquid designed for consumption. The creation of an elixir varies from magickal tradition to tradition. Some are herbal concoctions enhanced with rituals or spells. Others contain ingredients with innate magickal value. Still others include a crystal or gem, which has been in the mixture for a specific amount of time before it is ready to drink.


The "Elixir" or "blood of the Red Lion" is the essence of the male orgasm.

Empty Ones
Entities who personify despair on a physical or non-physical level. Physical Empty Ones have no soul, no hope for the future.

To perform a magical ritual, usually with the purpose of having an effect on someone. The rite is known as an “enchantment.”

See Enchant.

Relating to Enoch.

A system of magick channeled by Dr. John Dee, advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, and his assistant Edward Kelly. It was attributed to Enoch by them, and is sometimes called “Angelic.” The system was further developed by the Golden Dawn.

Enochian Calls

Also known as the Enochian Keys, these are the invocations to the Enochian angels revealed to Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly in their scrying work in 1582 and later, and further developed by the Golden Dawn and Aleister Crowley.

Enochian Chess
A variant of chess practiced in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and devised by the order’s cofounder William Wynn Westcott. Based on chaturanga, the ancient Hindu version of chess, it is a game for four players in which the pieces are Egyptian gods and the board is derived from one of the four Enochian elemental tablets.

Enochian Keys

See Enochian Calls.

Enochian Language

[Also known as the Language of the Angels, and the Secret Angelic Language.] The words transcribed by Dr. John Dee (1527-1608) and Edward Kelly in their spiritual contacts, starting in 1582,  that were eventually seen to form a genuine language as well as a system of magic.

Enochian is pronounced "Eh-no-kee-an" or "Ee-no-kee-un" and is supposedly the same language spoken by the angel Ave to the prophet Enoch whose name in Hebrew is spelled Heh Nun Vav Kaph.

Enochian Magick
The ultimate goal of the Enochian Magician is to become a living embodiment of spiritual knowledge and power. Enochian Magick works by employing techniques which strengthen the will and give control over the mind, allowing a magician to bring about personal changes as well as changes for others.

Enochian Magick

A particular division of modern magickal systems in which the Enochian Calls are employed. 


Derived from a Greek word meaning "divine inspiration," "being in ecstasy," or "being possessed by a god," enthusiasm to a magician describes the amount of total involvement and absorption a person has toward achieving his or her goals. Such ritualized enthusiasm can lead to rapture and even a level of altered states of consciousness. Aleister Crowley described this in a small book entitled Energized Enthusiasm.

Epopt of the Illuminati

In the O.T.O., the name for the second part eighth degree of the Order. Part of the first or "Hermit" Triad. 

Equinox of the Gods
The beginning of the Aeon of Horus; specifically, the Spring Equinox of March 20, 1904.

Eroto-Comatose Lucidity

We owe this complex phrase and system to Aleister Crowley, described in several of his books to consist mainly of one person stimulated to multiple orgasms by one or more assistants using any means to the point of exhaustion and the falling into a trance state.

Donald Michael Kraig writes about this in Modern Sex Magick under the heading of “Kabalistic Sex Magick Trance” as a practice between just two partners stimulating each other and says that it would often lead to oracular insights. In a later section he describes a full ritual of Eroto-Comatose Lucidity involving a several people focusing on a single person to lead to a state between wakefulness and sleep in which divination and prophecy will manifest. He states that the ritual could last for many hours or even several days and that the participants other than the primary person may also engage in sexual activity among themselves to add to the overall flow of sexual energy.

Etheric Body
An emanation of all created things. Halfway between the astral and the physical.

Etheric Body

The second, or energy body that is closest to the physical body. As with all the subtle bodies, it has two layers:

The first, sometimes called the "Etheric Double," is fully coincident with the physical body in health and extends about an inch beyond physical skin. It is the psycho-physical circuitry of the human body (the  chakras, nadis, and meridians) through which the life-force flows under direction of the astral matrix. To clairvoyant vision, it is the health aura and appears as very fine needles of radiation—standing straight up in health and lying down in illness.

The second layer, along with the astral and mental bodies, forms the egg-shaped aura surrounding the human body. It is an interface between the individual and dynamic planetary energies and cosmic forces the sustain life.

The Etheric Body can be projected (see Etheric Projection) and can be molded by intense thought and thus shape the physical body.


In sex magick, the magically charged fluids of the man and woman which have united at final orgasm/ejaculation in the woman’s vagina; also, the use or consumption of these fluids.

The process required when Evoking.

To call forth [a force or influence] from within the psyche.

To bring an entity from the higher planes into your field of awareness.

Pronounced “Ex-ar-pay,” it is the Enochian name for the Spirit of Air.

Expectancy Effect

The effect of expectation on the future, to include personal performance and outcomes, with expectations of success typically facilitating success.

Fairy magic
Magical operations based upon the legendary fey folk, elemental in nature and relating to the seasons and their associated activities, especially Midsummer, Beltane eve, and All Hallows eve.
(2) Any specialized ceremony requesting and honoring fairy folk assistance in magickal ways. Both light and dark fey folk can be involved.

A word that first shows up in the late 16th century. Its original source is unknown, possibly coming from Thracian, Greek, or Greek modified by Latin. When it first showed up it meant bewitch or enchant. Today it generally means “to hold someone’s attention.” Magickally, it refers to any magickal techniques that in some way control another person’s mind against that person’s will. Most commonly this is done through herbalism or direct psychic control. Generally considered manipulative and negative as well as contrary to the Wiccan Rede.

A type of spell or ritual effecting a person in a way that the subject of the spell sees things in a particular light. For example, as a result of such a spell a person may see another as being highly desirable when previously the subject did not feel that way.

In magical traditions, especially in non-industrialized or “primitive” cultures, an object that is believed to have magical qualities.


A sexual fixation on a body part or an object, not necessarily something that is commonly considered erotic. Human beings have the ability to fetishize virtually anything. 

A magickal concept that can be compared to the idea of radio waves which are composed of two parts, the energy of the radio wave itself and the content (such as music) that is carried by the wave. Some magicians will create a psychic shield that is more of a filter than a mirror or block. This will allow the pure energy to get through while anything negative, such as a curse, is blocked. Some healers also use filters so they can interact with the energy of another while preventing any illness from entering their aura or body.

Fire Wand
In the system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a symbolically decorated, phallic appearing wand with a magnetic bar running its length. It is used by an adept to direct elemental fire energy.

A type of negative magick similar to a hex or curse that is designed to last only a short time and then dissipate. Similar to the concept of a “quick fix” for a difficult situation.

The practice of whipping, usually with a whip that has multiple strands or “tails” known as a flogger. Some magicians use self-flagellation to increase the flow of endorphins, resulting in an altered state of consciousness that can be used in magical rituals. In certain Wiccan traditions, flagellation is used—often symbolically—as part of initiation.

Flashing Colors
In the Golden Dawn system of magic, colors that produce a flashing or “strove” effect in the eyes of a view…If two colors are chosen so that each is the other’s exact opposite, and the two are placed side by side, each will appear to pulse with the other after a short period of concentrated gaze. The Golden Dawn knowledge lectures stated that this effect was associated with a stirring up of the etheric energy, and flashing colors were therefore used in consecrated working tools and talismans as a source of additional energy.

The part of a plant that bears seeds. It contains the plant’s reproductive organs (carpels and stamens) that are frequently surrounded by colorful petals. In the Victorian period (1832-1901), flowers were given various meanings and were sent to others for communication in what was called the “Language of Flowers” or “floriography.” Different flowers are also used for various magical purposes.

Fluid Condenser
In European traditions of magic, a substance used to store etheric energy. The most common fluid condensers are liquid, and made by dissolving small amounts of gold in water, then combining this with herbal infusions of various kinds; there are also solid fluid condensers, which are less often used. The term fluid condenser derives from the concept of etheric energy as a subtle fluid.

Flying Roll
In the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, various incidental papers and lectures were termed “flying rolls” and circulated among the adepti of the order.

Dion Fortune was the pen-name of Violet Mary Firth (Dec. 6, 1890-Jan. 1946). She is well known for her many books relating to ceremonial magick. She was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn but broke with the society after a quarrel with Moina Mathers, widow of founder MacGregor Mathers. She established her own magical order, the Fraternity of the Inner Light. During World War II, she and her followers enlisted the aid of the archangels against Hitler's Luftwaffe. A powerful psychic and medium, she considered herself a Priestess of the Great Goddess.

Four Worlds
A traditional way of looking at the Tree of Life as being composed of four divisions or Worlds. There are many variations on this theory. See Ha-oh-lahm.

Four Worlds

The four worlds are the four fundamental levels of being or consciousness as considered in the Kabbalah:

Atziluth (nearness): the archetypal or divine world—Fire and the Spiritual Plane

Briah (creation): the archangelic world of eternal patterns of Platonic ideas—Water and the Mental Plane.

Yetzirah (formation): the angelic world of force and form—Air and the Astral Plane.

Assiah (action): the physical world of matter and energy—Earth and the Physical Plane.

In relation to the Tree of Life, the Four Worlds are presented in two different ways:

A. Four different levels on one Tree:

    1. Atziluth corresponds to the first through third sephiroth: Kether, Chokmah, and Binah.
    2. Briah corresponds to the fourth through sixth sephiroth: Chesed, Geburah, and Tiphareth.
    3. Yetzirah corresponds to the seventh through ninth sephiroth: Netzach, Hod, and Yesod.
    4. Assiah corresponds to the tenth sephirah: Malkuth.

B. Four different Trees one on top of the other so that Malkuth of the highest Tree is also Kether of the next Tree lower, and so on.

Meditation on both these ways will be meaningful.

Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy
A version of the Heptameron with large portions of the original Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Influenced by the Lemegeton.

Frater Achad
Magickal name of Charles Stansfeld Jones (1886-1950). In his book Liber 31 he revealed previously unknown keys to understanding Aleister Crowley’s seminal Book of the Law. Crowley was so impressed he acknowledged Jones as his “magical son,” changed the “technical” name of the Book of the Law from Liber Legis to Liber Al vel Legis, and wrote Liber Aleph for him. Unfortunately, Jones created a version of the Tree of Life that reversed the order of the Tarot and also claimed higher spiritual advancement than Crowley. As a result, Crowley disowned him.

Frater Superior

In the O.T.O., the title for the holder of the twelfth degree of the Order. Part of the first or "Hermit" Triad. Also known as the Outer Head of the Order.

Full Moon
Phase of the moon when it has waxed fully and the entire circular disk can be seen. Considered to be one of the best times for performing magick to obtain things. Also, the time when many covens meet for regular rituals (esbats).

To spread or fill an area with incense smoke.

Great Brotherhood of God. An occult order whose objective existence dates from 1931 to 1938 inclusive. Its founder, C. F. Russell (Frater Genesthai), had been a student of Aleister Crowley. Crowley gave Russell permission to found his own Order based on Crowley’s famous Book of the Law, the concept of doing your Will, and the idea that we were now in the age of Horus. In practice, the Order taught such things as dream recall, Tarot, Qabalah, the “Calypso Moon Language,” and three degrees of sex magick. It was not until 1969—more than thirty years after the Order closed—that one of its members, Louis T. Culling, published a brief version of its teachings and rituals.

See Doorway.

The fifth Sephirah of the cabalistic Tree of Life, the middle Sephirah on the Pillar of Severity. The term is a Hebrew word meaning "Severity." It represents the archetype of the number 5, the just aspect of the Godhead. It corresponds to the divine name Elohim Gibor, the archangel Kamael, the angelic choir called Seraphim, and Madim, or heavenly Sphere of Mars.

In Binah is the Radix of Red, and therein is a red colour, pure and scintillating and flashing with flame which is reflected unto Geburah. The Sphere of its Operation is called Madim or violent rushing Force and it bringeth fortitude, and war and strength and slaughter, as it were, the flaming Sword of an avenging God. And it ruleth the Sphere of Action of the Planet Mars. And Elohim Gibor is the Elohim, Mighty and Terrible, judging and avenging evil, ruling in wrath and terror and storm, and at whose steps are lightning and flame. And its Archangel is Kamael the Prince of Strength and Courage, and the Name of the Order of Angels is Seraphim the Flaming Ones who are also called the Order of Powers. The Sephira Chesed is also called Gedulah or Magnificense and Glory, and the Sephira Geburah is also called Pachad Terror and Fear.


The fifth Sephirah on the Tree of Life at the center of the Pillar of Severity. In Assiah—the world of expression. It breaks up accumulated mass to release suppressed energy. It has the potential for evil, but is not itself malific or evil, rather, it is the necessary corrector of unbalance by drastic means through discipline or destruction. In the body, it purges old material for better health. As harsh judgment, it is the negative aspect of the feminine principle.

Name of God: Elohim Gibor

Archangel: Kamael

Angelic Host: Seraphim

Astrological Correspondence: Mars

Body: left shoulder

Colors: in Atziluth: orange, in Briah: red, in Yetzirah: bight scarlet, in Assiah: red flecked with black

Consciousness: the Will as part of Ruach, (the Conscious Self)

Element: Fire

Magical Image: a warrior king (or queen), fully armored, standing in a chariot

Symbol: the pentagram

Tarot: The four Fives


The different positions and motions of the hands are as important as the Signs—or positions and movements—in magickal and religious ritual, and in energy healing. They are also found in various ecstatic and shamanic dances. They are not "empty" gestures as a little experimentation will readily show. 

Strength. The 5th Sephira on the Tree of Life.

The third letter of the Hebrew alphabet, G or Gh. Represents the number 3. The second of the seven "double letters." A Hebrew word meaning "camel." Corresponds to the Moon, the 13th Path (between Kether and Tiphareth), and

Glamour is the art of enchantment. In occult lore, glamour is the ability to create an illusion around a person, place, or thing. In legend, the art of glamour was used to make the old appear young or to disguise one's appearance in different ways. It was also used to hide or camouflage something and to make one thing appear to be another.

Gnomes are elemental spirits of Earth. The name was invented by Paracelsus in the 16th century. He identified spirits of the four elements, or elementals.

gnome - one of a fabled race of diminutive beings supposed to inhabit the inner parts of the earth, and to be the guardians of mines, quarries, etc. The name gnome was given by Paracelsus to beings having earth as their element, so that they can move through it as freely as a fish through water (cf. sylph, salamander, undine). In later use the conception has been largely influenced by popular ideas about dwarfs, elves, and fairies, probably in particular by the Teutonic belief in "dark elves."

Gnostic Trance
In Chaos Magick, an altered state where you are totally focused on one thing. Such an intense focus induces trance.

God Position
A stance taken by a High Priest with the feet together and the arms crossed at the wrists over the center of the chest. It is used to symbolize the Horned God. Others may use it contain power. In ceremonial magick it is known as the Osiris position.


The ritual construction of an archetypal image and personality of a chosen deity out of astral substance, and its “assumption” by the ritualist to connect with the deific nature and power.

Goetic Magick is named for the most popular grimoire of its genre, the Goetia (Greek for "sorcery" or "Witchcraft"). Goetic Magick is the art of summoning spirits, demons, jinn, angels, and elementals.

Golden Dawn
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is an initiatory magical group that was founded in London in 1888. It is a society that is dedicated to philosophical, spiritual, and psychic evolution.

Golden Dawn

Founded in England in 1888, this magical order provided the impetus and source for magical study and practice within the Western Esoteric Tradition. 

Israel Regardie’s The Golden Dawn is an encyclopedic resource for the rituals and knowledge  lectures of the GD, while his The Tree of Life, The Middle Pillar and A Garden of Pomegranates provide in-depth exposition of the GD’s magical system.

See also:

Christopher: Kabbalah, Magic, and the Great Work of Self-Transformation—based on the Order of the Golden Dawn, a step-by-step program towards spiritual attainment.

Cicero: The Essential Golden Dawn: an Introduction to High Magic—explores the origins of Hermeticism and the Western Esoteric Tradition, the Laws of magic and magical philosophy, and different areas of magical knowledge.

Cicero: Self-Initiation into the Golden Dawn Tradition—Become a practicing magician in the Golden Dawn tradition with essential knowledge of Qabalah, Astrology, Tarot, Geomancy, and Spiritual Alchemy.

Denning & Phillips: The Sword & the Serpent: the Two-fold Qabalistic Universe—the philosophy of ceremonial magic and its relationship to the Qabalah.

Golden Sickle
A traditional tool of Druids and some Wiccans. It is often considered a symbol of Druidism much as the Athame is a symbol to Witches. It’s most famous use among Druids is to cut the sacred mistletoe on Yule. This Mistletoe is not allowed to touch the ground and so is caught in a white cloth. Some Wiccans use it cut any herb used for magick.

Goofer Dust
A generic term used in Hoodoo referring to any powder used in casting a spell that controls or harms someone. Specificlly, it is synonymous for dust from a graveyard or moss from a grave. The word “goofer” is derived from “kufwa,” a word in the Bantu language of Kikongo meaning “to die.” The actual formula may include such things as ash, powdered sulfur, powdered bones, powdered insect chitin, dried manure, or salt.

Grady McMurtry

See McMurtry, Grady.

Grand Inquisitor Commander

In the O.T.O., the first part of the sixth degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as Member of the Grand Tribunal.

Grandmaster of Light

In the O.T.O., the second part of the seventh degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as Inspector of Rites and Degrees.

Great Voice
Silently. In some situations it is impossible to vibrate words out loud. In these instances you can say them to yourself, thus using the “Great Voice.” However, they should still cause the universe to vibrate (see Vibratory Formula).

Green Magick
Magick that emphasizes the agriculture and the use of herbs for healing.

Grey Magick
The science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science, for the purpose of causing either physical or non-physical good to yourself or others, and is done either consciously or unconsciously.

A Grimoire is a book of ceremonies, rituals, and spells, usually dating from the Middle Ages.

A term describing how, at the conclusion of a ritual, any remaining magickal energy is dispersed by sending it to the earth. Also, in healing, getting rid of illness by sending the energy of the illness to the earth.

The Guardians of the Watchtowers (AKA Guardians of the Four Quarters) are used in ceremonial magick as protectors of the ritual space. Many Wiccans have adopted calling on them during rituals.

The title given to the apprentice of a High Priest in some covens. Similar to the Summoner. The Guardian was also responsible for physically protecting the High Priest, the High Priestess and the Book of Shadows from attacks or harm. Supposedly, during the Burning Times Guardians would remain behind to fight attackers, allowing the rest of a coven to escape. In such instances they would usually die, often by suicide with herbs from the coven’s herbalist before being tortured after capture.

The physical body as an aspect of the mind.

The World or Universe. In particular, one of the Four Kabalistic worlds.

Sometimes personified as a deity, Haoma is a magical drink of ancient Persia (modern Iran). It was made from milk, water, and the haoma plant and was said to give immortality.

Pronounced “Hay-coh-mah,” it is the Enochian name for the Spirit of Water.

An officer of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. When the temple is set up for Neophytes, the Hegemon (Greek for “guide”) sits in the center next to the altar and represents a force of balance between the other two major officers, the Hierophant and Hierus. When a woman holds this office she is called the Hegemone.

The fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, H. Represents the number 5. The first of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "window." Corresponds to Aries, the 15th Path (between Chokmah and trump IV The Emperor. (In the system of Aleister Crowley, Heh corresponds to the Tarot trump XVII The Star.)

Hekas, Hekas, Este Bebeloi

According to the Golden Dawn tradition, this is a phrase taken from the ancient Eleusinian Mysteries. Spoken at the beginning of some rituals, it is a type of exorcism, sending away anything not spiritual. It is said to mean, "Far, far be removed the profane."

There is a history of similar versions, with the main difference being that the "H" is considered silent, making it "Ekas, Ekas, Este Bebeloi." According to Walt Whitman (in Liberator, 1860), it was "Ekas, ekas, este bibelot," and was the "exorcism uttered by the grand mystagogue before beginning the ceremony of initiating an aspirant into the mysteries of Bacchus." However a "bibelot" is a small decorative object or trinket, making this version questionable.

Hell Broth
A description given by some Christians to supposed herbal formulas made by Witches in cauldrons for evil purposes. The most famous example appears in Shakespeare’s Macbeth that includes the lines, “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble…”

Hephaestic Transference
A magickal technique to transfer the powers or properties of one object to another object. The technique involves burning the first object followed by rubbing the resulting ashes on the second object.

Attributed to Peter de Abano (1250–1316) and translated by Robert Turner in 1655, this was apparently written as a “how-to” accompaniment for the theories and philosophies in Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy.

An “herb” can be a cactus, a flower, a seaweed, a moss, a mushroom, a grass, a vine, shrub, bush or tree. “Spices” are also classified as herbs. The parts of plants used in herbalism include seeds, flowers, fruits, leaves, barks and roots.

The word “herb” implies that the plant has a specific use. Such uses may be medicinal (goldenseal); culinary (spearmint); cosmetic (almond); aesthetic (rose) or magical (sandalwood). Many herbs enjoy a rich variety of uses.

herb magic
Herb magic is the utilization of the energies contained within herbs to create positive transformations. This practice doesn’t solely rely on plant power to create these changes, though. The magician sends energy into the herbs from her or his own body. The two energies (human and plant) are mixed, given purpose, and sent forth to their magical goal.

A book containing descriptions of plants and their uses. The first herbals were written in ancient Greece. Most herbals included magical as well as medicinal information. Such books were copied and recopied for centuries, further spreading magical herbal lore.

Related to the Greek god Hermes. Hermes, seen by many as a form of the ancient Egyptian Thoth, is the god of magic. Therefore, it is descriptive of any person or project involving magic. Often this involves Egyptian (or supposedly Egyptian) magical practices.

Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor
Occult order founded in England sometime before 1884; the H.B. of L. was among the first examples of the occult correspondence school. Candidates for membership who responded to its advertising or were recommended by a member would be requested to send a photograph and an astrological birth chart; upon acceptance, the new member would be placed in contact with a mentor, who would send out a series of manuscripts in exchange for fees and a pledge of secrecy.

They had a running feud with the Theosophical Society, the major player in contemporary occult circles. Members went on to found the O.T.O., the Brotherhood of Light, and the Church of Light.

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
Full name of the magical order commonly called the Golden Dawn.

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
The recent legal conflict has been resolved and we are pleased with the outcome. Our organization, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Inc., a Florida non-profit corporation (also known as H.O.G.D.) is the sole and exclusive owner of United States Trademark Registration No. 2, 034,866 for our mark THE HERMETIC ORDER OF THE GOLDEN DAWN & Design.

Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn
A secret society organized in the late 1880’s, often referred to simply as The Golden Dawn or the G.D. It was able to synthesize several forms of magick and occult philosophy into a coherent but complex whole. Most books on magick written in the 20th and 21st centuries have been written by people who were members of that Order, or who were directly or indirectly influenced by that organization.

A later manifestation of the Hermetic tradition that grew out of ancient Hermetism. The magic and mysticism of the Western world that is descended from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It also includes Rosicrucian, Jewish, Arabic, and indigenous European spiritual traditions. The Western Esoteric Tradition.

Mercy. The 4th Sephira on the Tree of Life.

A spell, frequently a curse, created by a Pagan or Witch, typically someone practicing folk magic. The word probably comes from the German hexe meaning “Witch.”

A six-pointed star usually formed by two interwoven triangles. Today, it is frequently seen as a symbol of Judaism (having replaced the previous symbols of the pentagram and seven-branched candlestick) and is known as the Shield or Star of David (Mogen David). A popular interpretation of the symbol is that the triangle with one point down represents God reaching for humanity, while the triangle pointing up represents humans striving to reach for the Divine.

Mystically, the downward-pointing triangle represents the feminine powers while the triangle pointing up represents the masculine powers. Thus, it is a symbol of mystical union, a Western version of the famous Yin-Yang symbol of Taoism. Magically, each point represents the astrological powers of one of the planets visible to the unaided eye. According to the book The Golden Dawn, by Israel Regardie, Saturn is at the point at the top, the Moon is at the point at the bottom, Jupiter is at the upper right point, Venus is at the lower right point, Mars is at the upper left point, Mercury is at the lower left point, and the center is given to the fire of the Sun. These attributions are used in many rituals, the most famous (due to its original publication by Regardie in the late 1930s) being the Greater Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram.

A symbol of divinity and the macrocosm, associated with the seven planets, particularly the Sun.


1) A six-pointed star consisting of two superimposed triangles, one whose apex is up and the other apex down. The upward triangle is masculine, the downward is feminine—together they symbolize union of energies or sexual congress. In ritual magic they are used to invoke or to banish planetary forces.

2) One of sixty-four combinations of long and broken lines used in the I Ching (or Yi King) system of Chinese divination that are traditionally determined by throwing Yarrow Sticks, or by means of coins (heads, tails), dice, dominoes or other means.

3) As a symbol, it is the Hebrew "Star of David."

Suggested Reading:

Regardie, with the Ciceros: The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study in Magic

Kraig: Modern Magick: Twelve Lessons in the High Magickal Arts

McElroy: I Ching for Beginners: A Modern Interpretation of the Ancient Oracle

Nishavdo: I Ching of Love—a boxed set of 64 illustrated cards with booklet.

An officer of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. When the temple is set up for Neophytes, the Hierus (Greek for “priest”) sits in the West end of the hall, representing fading Light. When a woman holds this office she is called the Hiereia.

High Magic
A form of magic that evolved in cities. Cities tended to be in higher locations to help water and sewer drainage and improve defensive abilities. The term “high” relates to the location of its origin and does not imply superiority in any way, although some people have attempted to give it that definition.

High Magic(k) is typified by more involved rituals and elaborate tools than are regularly found in the practice of Natural or Low Magic. Today, the Kabalah (Qabbalah, Cabala, etc.) is often a major part of High Magic. Also known as Ceremonial Magic.

High Magick
Ritual or Ceremonial Magick. It is called “high” because it was first developed in places which were at a higher elevation than where farming was done.

Wisdom. The 2nd Sephira on the Tree of Life. It is at the top of the right or masculine pillar of the Tree.

Hocus Pocus
An expression meaning magic. Used by conjurors to imply that some sort of magic is being used. Today it is more often used in a derogatory manner by doubters in an attempt to mock the reality of magic, as in “That’s just a bunch of silly hocus pocus.” The exact origin of the phrase is unknown. Some believe it is related to a magician of Norse folklore named Ochus Bochus. However, as early as the 17th century it was suggested that it was based on the words of Catholic priests during the mass. At the high point of the ritual, where it is believed that the wafer literally becomes the body of Christ ("transubstantiation”), the priest says, “Hoc est corpus,” meaning “this is the body.”

Splendor. The 8th Sephira on the Tree of Life.


Generally this term is used to indicate the area where a Voudoun ritual takes place. This can include the grounds, sacred trees and landmarks, etc. Traditionally and specifically, however, it means just the inner room of the ritual.


In Voodoo, the inner sanctuary where the religion is practiced.


A fully-initiated male priest of Voudoun who presides over the rites and gives counsel and magickal aid to worshipers of that religious faith. He has received the sacred rattle, or Asson. The term is derived from the African Nganga (chief priest) combined with the prefix Houn-, a Fon word that means "spirit."


A devotee of Voudoun who is accepted at a Hounfor (Voudoun ritual site) but not a priest. Those who do not have training are limited to superficial tasks such as cleaning. They're called "hounsis bossale" ("bossale" means "wild"). Those who are fully trained and help with the ritual aspects of a rite are called "hounsis canzo" because they have participated in the an ordeal of fire called a "canzo."

A powerful method of getting rid of negative things in your life, based on Golden Dawn techniques mixed with methods of exorcism. It means Identify, Objectify, Banish.


It is through symbols and images, and icons, that we open the doors of our inner perception. The great secrets of magicians, shamans, and modern scientists are in the associations they attach to such icons, and in the power of certain signs and formulae to function as circuits and pathways—not in the brain but in consciousness. 


An image, often of a religious or spiritual figure, believed to have a spiritual value.

Iklil Al Jabhah
The 15th Mansion of the Moon, corresponding to part of the constellation Scorpio. Influence: Inhibits thieves Spirit: Atliel

Illuminates of Thanateros (IOT)
International magical order, founded in Germany in 1976 by two Chaos magicians, one English and one German. Its formal name is “The Magical Pact of the Illuminates of Thanateros;” the word Thanateros is a fusion of the Greek thanatos (death) and eros (sexual love). The IOT’s central focus is Chaos magic; its teaching methods and practical work emphasize the use of altered states of consciousness, on the one hand, and the rejection of fixed patterns of belief, on the other.

The emblem of the pact is a black circle from which eight black arrows radiate. This is based on the “Banner of Chaos” from the fantasy novels of English author Michael Moorcock, and is one of several common Chaos magic borrowings from fiction.

The pact offers four grades of initiation—Neophyte 4°, Initiate 3°, Adept 2°, and Magus 1°. The honorary grade of Supreme Magus 0° is held by the head of the pact as a whole. Ordination as a Priest or Priestess of Chaos is available to members at the 3° or 2° levels.

IOT’s most important spokesman is Peter Carroll, one of the two founders and the author of several influential books on Chaos magic. According to Carroll, the IOT came into being out of a fusion of Thelemic magic, Tantra, Taoism, and the work of English occultists Austin Osman Spare (1886–1956), whose Zos Kia Cultus was ancestral to most current Chaos magic systems.

Illustrious Knight (Templar) of the Order of Kadosch

In the O.T.O., the third part of the fifth degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as Companion of the Holy Graal.


See Icon.

Image Magick

Magick that uses some sort of image or target as a focus. Alternatively, a type of magick that uses an object to link the magick to the actual focus of the spell or ritual. See: Sympathetic Magick.

Imitative Magick

A very old form of magick, most often found in pre-industrialized cultures, where actions performed during a ritual or spell resemble or are imitative of the desired results. For example, a ritual enacting a successful hunt in order to ensure a successful hunt.


To chant, sing, intone, or say a spell or part of a spell or ritual.

A set of words or phrases, often chanted or repeated in a “sing-song” fashion, for a magickal purpose.

Inflame Thyself With Prayer
Advice given in the grimoire The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, explaining that for success in rituals you must become exceedingly passionate—inflamed—about achieving your magickal goal.

Inflame Yourself With Prayer
See “Inflame Thyself With Prayer

As a verb (pronounced “in-ih-shee-ate”), the process—usually involving a ritual—of bringing someone into a group or magickal organization. As a noun (pronounced “in-ih-shee-uht”), a person who has gone through the process.

Initiate of the Eleventh Degree

In the O.T.O., the title for members of the eleventh degree of the Order. Part of the first or "Hermit" Triad. This degree is technical and, according to the O.T.O., has no relation to the general plan of the Order.

Initiate of the Sanctuary of Gnosis

In the O.T.O., the name for the ninth degree of the Order. Part of the first or "Hermit" Triad. 

A ritual or event that indicates a spiritual and/or psychological change and movement to a new period in life or a new awareness. Traditionally, the candidate for initiation would symbolically die and be reborn into this new way of being. In some traditions, being initiated is supposed to confer various spiritual powers.

In magical orders, initiation also provides entry into the private organization. According to occultist Dion Fortune, there are two basic types of initiation, physical and non-physical. It is hoped that they either occur together or that the physical initiation triggers the non-physical one, however a non-physical initiation can occur at any time and at any place.

Inner Alchemy
A method of controlling the psychic energies of the body as they are raised during sexual excitation for the purposes of working magick and achieving enlightenment.

Inner Order
In magickal organizations such as orders or covens, an in-group where the most potent secrets are taught to and practiced by people who have been in the Outer Order and proved their worthiness.

Inspector of Rites and Degrees

In the O.T.O., the 2nd part of the 7th degree of the Order. Part of the second or “Lover” Triad. Also known Inspector of Grandmaster of Light.

For a magickal ritual, the participants’ goal or purpose.

The process required when invoking.


Invocation and Evocation are often, mistakenly, used interchangeably and with little appreciation of their vast difference. Invocation precisely means to actually bring a spirit or divine presence into the psyche and even the body of the magician.

Evocation, in contrast, calls a spirit or other entity into the presence, not the being, of the magician and usually into a magical triangle placed outside the magic circle of the magician.

Invocation requires psychological and spiritual strength as well as proper preparation. It’s not just that there are dangers but that the opportunities are so great.

To call [the power or presence of, for instance, a deity] in from outside the psyche.

To allow an entity to use your body as a temporary vehicle for communicating with the physical world.

Invultation is the practice of sticking pins in a wax doll in order to cause pain or harm to a victim.

Isaac Luria
Famous Jewish Kabalist. His prayers form part of standard Jewish prayer books today. One of his major interests was reincarnation and transmigration of souls.

Jack Parsons
Born Marvel Whiteside Parsons (1914–1952) and also known as John Whiteside Parsons, he was an early expert in modern rocketry, especially solid fuel rockets, and helped found Pasadena’s famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Aerojet corporation. Parsons was so instrumental in the JPL that some said the initials stood for “John Parsons’ Laboratory.” Parsons was an early follower of occultist Aleister Crowley and eventually became the head of the Agape Lodge of Crowley’s OTO, one of the only lodges in the world during the 1940s. Another member of the Lodge was L. Ron Hubbard, who would eventually found Scientology. Allegedly, Hubbard cheated Parsons out of both a great deal of money and his girlfriend. Parsons became depressed, but did magick to find a new partner. Eventually, he resigned as leader of the OTO and was planning to move. An explosion of a chemical used in rocket fuel that he was supposedly keeping in his garage took his life.

A title known as the Pentagrammaton.

The techniques and practices of Kabbalah.

Kabalistic Pathworking
Astral projecting through the Tree of Life in order to meet and communicate with non-physical spiritual entities.

A mystical system which forms the mystical underpinnings for the three major Western religions as well as for modern Ceremonial Magick. The word is transliterated Hebrew, and is spelled in English in various ways, including Qabala, Cabala, etc.


Also spelled Qabalah, Cabala, Cabbala, and even Quabala, the Kabbalah is a complete system of knowledge about all the dimensions of the universe and of the human psyche organized into "the Tree of Life" diagram showing the inner construction and the connections between levels and forms of consciousness, energy, and matter. It provides a resource for understanding and applying the principles of Magick, for understanding the dynamics of the psyche, and for interpreting human history and action. The present-day Tarot specifically relates to the Tree of Life.

Suggested Reading:

Christopher: Kabbalah, Magic, and the Great Work of Self-Transformation— A Complete Course

Dennis: Encyclopedia of Jewish Myth, Magic and Mysticism

Godwin: Godwin’s Cabalistic Encyclopedia—A Complete Guide to Cabalistic Magick

Gonzalez-Wippler: Kabbalah for the Modern World

Gonzalez-Wippler: Keys to the Kingdom—Jesus and the Mystic Kabbalah

Malachi: Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ—A Gnostic Christian Kabbalah

Regardie & Cicero: A Garden of Pomegranates—Skrying on the Tree of Life

Regardie & Cicero: The Middle Pillar—the Balance Between Mind & Magic

Stavish: Kabbalah for Health and Wellness

Trobe: Magic of Qabalah—Visions of the Tree of Life

A magical square consisting of numbers and/or Hebrew letters used in planetary magick.

In Tibetan spirituality a trumpet made from the thighbone of a human.

The eleventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet, K or Kh. Represents the number 20. The fourth of the seven "double letters." A Hebrew word meaning "palm of hand." Corresponds to the planet Jupiter, the 21st Path (between Chesed and Netzach), and Tarot trump The Wheel of Fortune.

Kelley, Edward

(1555–1595) Dr. John Dee’s assistant. As a clairvoyant he could see the angels and what they were doing.

An officer of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. His sign of authority is the caduceus wand. In an initiation for a Neophyte, the Kerux (Greek for “herald”) leads all of the circumambulations. When a woman holds this office she is called the Kerykissa.

The first and topmost of the Sephiroth of the cabalistic Tree of Life. The term is a Hebrew word meaning "Crown." It represents the archetype of the number 1, the undifferentiated Godhead. It corresponds to the divine name Eheieh, the archangel Metatron, the angelic choir called Chayoth ha-Qadesh (Holy Living Creatures) and the Rashith ha-Gilgalim, or Primum Mobile.

In Kether is the Divine White Brilliance, the scintillation and corruscation of the Divine Glory—that Light which lighteth the universe—that Light which surpasseth the glory of the Sun and beside which the light of mortals is but darkness, and concerning which it is not fitting that we should speak more fully. And the Sphere of its Operation is called Rashith Ha-Gilgalim--the beginning of whirling (or whirls, or whorls), the Primum Mobile or First Mover, which bestoweth the gift of life in all things and filleth the whole Universe. And Eheieh is the Name of the Divine Essence in Kether; and its Archangel is the Prince of Countenances—Metatron or Metraton, He who bringeth others before the face of God. And the Name of its Order of Angels is called Chaioth ha-Qadesh, the Holy Living Creatures, which are also called the Order of Seraphim.


The first sephirah on the Tree of Life, Crown. It is located at the top of the Middle Pillar.

God Name: Eheieh (I AM)

Archangels: Metatron

Angelic Host: Chaioth ha-Qodesh

Astrological Correspondence: Primum Mobile (the turning movement in Space)

Body: above the crown of the head


Consciousness: the Yechidah, Divine Self

Element: Air

Magical Image: a human face looking right

Symbol: the point

Tarot: The four Aces

Key of Solomon
One of the famous classical grimoires also known as the Greater Key of Solomon. In French it was available in the fourteenth century. A.E. Waite is willing to allow as much as two centuries before this time for the book to have been created and transmitted (perhaps orally), placing its true original as far back as the twelfth century. It would seem that scholars generally agree on the idea that the Key (along with the Lemegeton) is the fountainhead of Medieval grimoiric writing; providing the format, style, and even the content of those which followed.

The Key is composed of two books. Book one concerns the art of spirit summoning—without offering any set hierarchies of intelligences or the use of a triangle. Instead, the spirits arrive at the edge of the circle, and it is up to the mage to question them about their names and functions. Book two concerns itself with all ritual preparations—purifications, the construction of magickal tools, incense, holy water, etc. It is also the book from which Gerald Gardner drew much of his material in his formation of Wicca.

Kitchen Magick

A type of magick or Witchcraft that focuses on down-to-earth practicality. Often practiced by suburban Pagans, it uses household items rather than expensive, rare, or unusual ritual tools.

Knight of the East and West

Also known by the abbreviation K.E.W. In the O.T.O., an unnumbered degree of the Order between the fourth and fifth degrees. It is also not part of any of the triads associated with the Order. 

Knight of the Pelican and Eagle

In the O.T.O., the first part of the fifth degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as the Sovereign Prince Rose-Croix.

Knight of the Red Eagle
In the O.T.O., the 2nd part of the 5th degree of the Order. Part of the second or “Lover” Triad. Also known as Member of the Senate of Knight Hermetic Philosophers.

Konx Om Pax

Greek expression supposedly used in the Eleusinian Mysteries, itself supposedly derived from the ancient Egyptian "Khabs Am Pekht." It means, "Light in extension" or "Light rushing out in a single ray."

A yogic technique of breath control, and specifically holding the breath. Its purpose is to help manifest the Divine and the faculties or powers of the Divine that are within us.

In Tibetan spirituality the name for a magickal circle.


In Voudoun, a conch shell made into a trumpet. It is sounded in rituals dedicated to the sea Loa Agwe.

The twelfth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, L. Represents the number 30. The seventh of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "ox goad." Corresponds to Libra, the 22nd Path (between Geburah and Tiphareth), and Tarot trump XI (or VIII) Justice.


A medallion, often made of metal, that is attached to a long necklace so it is located over the heart. It often has magickal symbols inscribed on it. Its purpose is generally to indicate a position of power, authority, or command.

The spiritual focus of the circle is the flame of the lamp, which is always lit during rituals, and which resides in the middle of the altar top. The absolute magical center of the circle is the invisible point where the flame of the lamp tapers up and vanishes into infinity. Usually a ceramic or metal oil lamp is used, but a candle is acceptable. Some groups maintain a perpetual flame on their altars. This is beyond the reach of small circles or individuals, but the flame should be maintained without failing in the astral temple in the mind of each ritualist. This is the true occult perpetual lamp.

The flame is the focus of the awareness of those working the ritual. They direct their prayers to it and meditate upon it. The point at which it disappears into infinity marks the doorway in the Veil of Unknowing, which the ritual is designed to open. The flame should be conceived by the Magus as burning in the center of his or her being, throwing its light across the circle of self. When the circle is filled with light, the self is purified and exalted.


A set of words used in some Voudoun rituals. Some of the words may be mispronounced from an African language. They are generally handed down from priest to priest. They may be used in communicating with Loa and may be heard when someone, often possessed, is making oracular statements.

Law of Thelema
Definition: The basic rule of those following the system of Aleister Crowley: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” This appeared in Liber Al vel Legis, or The Book of the Law. It has early versions in Rabelais’ book, Gargantua and Pantagruel (where it was the French fay çe que vouldras or “Do what thou wilt”) and in a sermon by St. Augustine’s where he wrote, “Love, and do what you will.”

Some people have made the assumption that “Do what thou wilt” means you are free to do whatever you want. This, however, contradicts Crowley’s intent. Here, the term “wilt” means the will of your higher self, and your higher self is completely in agreement with the will of God. Therefore, the Law of Thelema is saying that a follower is called to do the sometimes long and difficult work that will enable him or her to consciously access their higher self, and then only do what is in the nature of the higher self. Thus, their actions will eventually be in harmony with the will of God.

There is a much older Sanskrit term, Svecchacarya, which means the “path of doing one’s will.” This is a belief and practice followed by some Tantrics. It should be pointed out, however, that karma is also in play. Therefore, a Tantric following this path is free to do whatever he or she wills to do, but is responsible for their actions.


See Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram.


See Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

Left-Hand Path
A path in Western magick that is “evil.” Possible derivation from the Latin sinister or French sinestre (the source of the English word “sinister”) which means “left.” In Tantric magickal traditions, Left-Hand Path refers to traditions where practitioners actually perform rituals while Right-Hand Path refers to meditative techniques. Some Western magicians are adopting these Tantric definitions.

Also known as the Lesser Key of Solomon, the Lemegeton is composed of five texts that may have been separate but were collected into this book. The first and best-known section is the “Goetia,” which introduces the use of the magickal Triangle of the Art for evoking spirits.

The second part is the “Theurgia-Goetia,”which has many other spirits for summoning. The Third part is the “Pauline Art” which was supposedly discovered by the Apostle Paul and delivered in Corinth. It deals with spirits allotted to every degree of the zodiac, as well as the signs, the planets of the signs, and of the hours. It includes the way to find the Angel of your Ascendant, which is called “The Conjuration of the Holy Guardian Angel” and uses a crystal ball.

The fourth part is the “Almadel” which refers to a square tablet of wax with holy names and characters on it for the summoning of Angels. The fifth part is the “Ars Nova” (New Art) in one version and “Ars Notaria” (Notary Arts) in most others. Both versions consist of prayers and orations.

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram

A powerful ritual technique popularized by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to rid your area of unwanted positive influences from higher planes. Used in conjunction with the LBRP, to clear an area of all energies and psychic influences, creating a "blank slate" from which to perform magick.

Although it may seem strange to want to get rid of positive influences, they are still influences that can take you away from achieving your desired goals.

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
Abbreviated LBRP. A basic Golden Dawn ritual that uses the figure of the pentagram to cleanse the temple or ritual space of unwanted energies.

Lesser Key of Solomon
Another name for the Lemegeton.

Latin for “book.” Used in the title of some medieval magical works. The practice was continued by Aleister Crowley and remains a popular naming practice by some magical writers today.

License to Depart
In the magickal practice of spirit evocation, the oration given to dismiss the entity summoned. An example might be, “O thou spirit ______________, because thou has diligently answered unto my demands and hast been very ready and willing to come at my call, I do here license thee to depart unto they proper place. Go now in peace to thy abodes and habitations, causing neither harm nor danger unto humans or beasts. Depart, then, I say, and be thou very ready to come at my call, when duly conjured by the sacred rites of magick. I charge thee to withdraw peaceably and quietly, and may the peace of God be ever continued between thee and me! So mote it be!”

In the space the magicians would name the spirit who had been evoked. Variations of this occur in both the Greater and Lesser Keys of Solomon. Gerald Gardner, popularizer of Wicca, was familiar with ceremonial magick, and may have adapted some parts of this for the dismissal used in Wiccan rites.


The conjuration of spirits. This is described in the 16th Canon Law that was enacted by King Edgar in the 10th century.

Little Nasties
Non-physical dwellers on the astral plane that can be shocking when first seen. This happens when the practice of magick opens up the ability to see onto the astral plane. They may be surprising, but are harmless.

(Greek, “word”) The word of creation.

Longsword Dance
A form of English ritual dance usually performed between December 21 and January 6. Six or eight dancers carrying flat, dull, interlinked dancing swords and perform various figures, culminating in a “lock”, a six- or eight-pointed star. The lock is raised high for the audience to see.

Lotus Wand
A wand associated with the element of Water and used in the Adeptus Minor Ritual.

Love Magick

A spell or ritual designed to increase the feelings of attraction, love, and lust between two people. As this might be coercing an action contrary to a person’s will, many magickal practitioners will not perform love magick. Some Wiccans consider love magick to be a violation of the Wiccan Rede.

Love Potion

A magickal mixture of herbs and other substances designed to be consumed (usually without knowing it) for the purpose of increasing feelings of attraction, love and lust toward another person. 

Love Spell

A spell or ritual designed with the purpose of increasing feelings of attraction, love and lust toward another person.

Howard Phillps Lovecraft (1890–1937) was an American writer who specialized in short horror stories. Eventually, the stories ended up having a set of common themes, including the human race being battled over by god-like entities, a set of evil deities with the best known being “Cthulhu,” the inevitability of fate in our lives, and a mysterious book, the Necronomicon, that revealed all of this information and how people could make use of it.

Lovecraft not only used these themes in his own stories, but also within stories he ghost wrote for others such as the famous escape artist, Harry Houdini. Other contemporary writers liked the concept so much that they began to use the concepts, and expand upon them, in their own stories, eventually including even each other as inside jokes. For example, “Klarkash-Ton” was a name of a high priest, and is a play on the name of writer Clark Ashton Smith, and author August Derleth named a character “Ward Phillips” as a play on Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s name.

Because so many writers included aspects of the “Cthulhu Mythos” in their stories, and because Lovecraft wrote many stories which were published under the names of others that also used references to these ideas, some people came to conclude that there must be some validity in them. For decades, people would go to used book dealers looking for copies of the mythic Necronomicon. Eventually several versions were published.

Due to a perceived inner consistency in the Cthulhu Mythos, some occultists have assumed that Lovecraft actually tapped into something very magickal, and use concepts from his writings in their works. Some independent magicians use one of the Necronomicon versions as a basis for their magick. Others acknowledge that it is mythic, but contend that all deity pantheons are mythic and the one created by Lovecraft is as good as any other such pantheons.

Low Magick
The magick of Paganism that was developed in the low lands where farming was performed.

Lunar Trance

In the magickal tradition of the G∴B∴G∴, the Lunar Trance is a state of willed engrossment of the mind in being absorbed in some particular facet of the emotions and feelings—even though it might lead to a state of ecstasy. 

Lusting for Results
Being focused on results rather than on the ritual to obtain the results. It uncenters you, diminishing your focus and chances for success.


Term for a female magician.


Title for a person trained in magick, usually for someone who is a master of the arts.

Magic is the art of affecting the manifest through the Unmanifest. The manifest is all that can be seen, touched, perceived, manipulated, imagined, or understood. The Unmanifest is none of these things. It is the place, or rather the non-place, from which everything issues. All that comes into being comes from the Unmanifest. All that passes away goes back to the Unmanifest.

According to the famous occultist Aleister Crowley, magick is "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." ... In fact, Crowley... says that "every intentional act is a Magickal Act." If you follow his line of reasoning, there is a great deal of validity in what he says, although it is not what we are seeking at this time. We need to make the definition of magick a bit longer: Magick is the science and art of causing change (in consciousness) to occur in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science.

The movement of natural (but little understood) energies from the human body and from natural objects to manifest change. Once a world-wide practice, Christianity attempted to stamp it out because magic placed power in the hands of the people. Early Christians linked magic with “Satan,” a false association that continues to this day.

Magic Circle

See Magick Circle.

Magic Circle

See Circle.

Magic Circle Exercise

A basic practice in which a circle about the magician is formed by projecting and visualizing energy in a continuous line punctuated at the four quarters with the creation and visualization of pentagrams. The circle is both a defense against outside disturbances and a container of energies within.

Suggested Reading – Slate, J.H. & Weschcke, C.L.: Astral Projection for Psychic Empowerment, 2012, Llewellyn

Magic Mirror
A mirror used for divination. Unlike most mirrors, a magic mirror is black instead of silver.

Magical and Ritual Tools
The implements or weapons often used in the performance of rituals and magical rites. Traditionally these include tools for each of the magical elements: a stemmed goblet or chalice to represent water; a disk, paten, or pentacle to represent earth; a wand to represent fire; and a dagger to represent air. Some practitioners reverse the wand and dagger associations.

Other tools can include candles, sigils, Tarot cards, talismans, other types of wands, other types of daggers (especially the black-handled blade, sharp on both sides, known as the Athame and the lesser-used white-handled knife known as a Boline, most often used by Wiccans and Witches), gemstones, and many others.

Magical Bath
This type of bath is not intended to merely take the dirt off your skin. Rather, it cleans negativity and the cares of the day from your spirit. First, take a shower to get the dirt off. Then run a warm bath. Be sure to put in some bath salts or Epsom salts with some nicely scented oil or perfume added. Then get in and just soak for a few minutes. Feel all of your cares, worries, and negativity going into the water. Now, pull the plug and let the water drain while you stay in the water. As the water drains you will feel all of the negative things which were troubling you go down with the water. After all of the water has drained out of the tub, get out and dry yourself with a clean, fresh towel.

Magical Diary
A personal notebook kept to record details of Otherworld journeys or rituals carried out during your Practical Work. It is by keeping such a diary accurately and meticulously that you will be able to gauge your progress and learn in the years to come. The diary can also be used to record any coincidences which occur in your day-to-day life, or any thoughts, realizations, or ideas that may come to you at any time during of day or night, which may be of importance later.

Magical Goal

See Magickal Goal.

Magical Memory
A term primarily used by followers of Thelema, the magickal system of Aleister Crowley, to mean the memory of past lives.

Magical Memory
The memory of past lives.

Magical Mirror of the Universe

See Aura.

Magical Name
A magical name is more than a mere name-word. It is a name to which much thought has been given. Found at the end of a search of one's heart, mind, and self, it is the result of a quest for the perfect name.... It can be more than a name; it can be a tool. A tool for transformation.

Magical Name

It is likely that the original purpose of taking on a name used while doing magick was for protection. If others only knew you by this name, they couldn’t reveal your true identity to those who would harm, kill, or imprison you. Later, family mottoes rather than names were adopted for this purpose. Outsiders, seeing the spiritual value of such a name, changed the protective concept to that of something representing your highest ideals or spiritual views, such as Aleister Crowley’s Perdurabo, “I shall endure to the end.” Today, many Pagans take the name of animals or colors, sometimes because they have a meaning, sometimes because they are simply a sort of disguise. Many people spend hours considering their magickal name. They then use this name only within a magickal context. Its use represents their magickal persona, and they use it much as putting on a magickal robe indicates they are no longer in a mundane world, but are entering the world of magick. Magickal names are often taken from a variety of historical or mythic sources, and may be in one’s native tongue or in a foreign language, especially Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Enochian, Sanskrit, etc.

Magical Name

It is common practice with magical orders as well as Wiccan, neo-Pagan, and other "secret" groups that members will adopt a magical name or motto for use within the group. In many magical groups, the name is in Greek or Latin, whereas in others is may be a name derived from mythology, folklore, Sanskrit, various African languages, etc. The purpose is both secretive and a declaration about one’s personal goals or sense of inner identity.

The meaning of C. F. Russell’s Hebrew name, Genesthai,is somewhat confusing in the absence of a statement from him. It is generally interpreted to mean "To cause to be" or "to become," or even "to become again." From a purely magical perspective, it may be better translated as: "to become," a statement of intent to be transformed.

Magical Oath

An oath to do something or strive for something that is made to a spiritual or magickal authority such as a magickal group or a deity. For example, swearing not to reveal the membership of an occult group you join or vowing to an archangel, following the magickal traditions you know, that you will strive to be a better person.

Magical Personality

A constructed personality, given a magical name, that can be compared to the created avatar used in some virtual games. It is an idealized self-image for the Whole Person you are coming to be. 


A magickal practitioner. Also spelled "Magickian, Majikian," etc. A person who practices and performs magic (also spelled "magick"), either for religious or secular purposes.


In the O.T.O., the second degree of the Order. Part of the third or "Man of Earth" Triad.

According to the famous occultist Aleister Crowley, magick is "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." ... In fact, Crowley... says that "every intentional act is a Magickal Act." If you follow his line of reasoning, there is a great deal of validity in what he says, although it is not what we are seeking at this time. We need to make the definition of magick a bit longer: Magick is the science and art of causing change (in consciousness) to occur in conformity with will, using means not currently understood by traditional Western science.

Magick Circle

Both the circular boundary drawn to protect a magic practitioner or designate sacred space for a ritual, and the sacred space within that boundary. The outer circumference demarcates the split between the outer physical world and the magickal space within the circle. A magick circle is formed in numerous ways, depending upon the tradition you follow. Often it is created using the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.

Magick Square
A box design enclosing a group of numbers. The numbers, when added vertically, horizontally, or diagonally have the same total. Each magick square contains numbers that correspond to planets. Each planet is said to influence various aspects of life, spirits, and elementals, as well as natural and supernatural phenomena. Magick squares are used for invocation or evocation. Traditionally the name of a spirit associated with the planetary magick square is selected, then each letter of its name is given a number. Next, a line is drawn on the magick square beginning with the number of the first letter of the name. This continues in a process similar to “connecting the dots” until each number of each letter of the name has been connected. The resulting design is the sigil of the spirit.

Magickal Axiom

As derived from the Hermetic axiom, "As above, so below," i.e. that man is a microcosm of the vast macrocosm, therefore there is no magickal phenomenon outside of oneself that is not also inside oneself. Thus, if you believe in the existence of "elementals" in the astral then, perforce, you must also accept that there are likewise elementals within your own psyche.

Magickal Catharsis

The concept of catharsis became well-known as part of the description by Aristotle (in Poetics) of Greek tragedy where a play’s climax resulted in an emotional release by the audience. It is believed by some that this emotional release was just a shadow of the magickal catharsis that occurred during the Greek Eleusinian Mysteries. A magickal catharsis is the powerful release of magickal energy toward achieving a specific goal that should occur at the climactic moment of a ritual, ceremony, or rite. Those actively involved in the ritual may find that this magickal release is linked to an emotional release. Thus the emotional aspects described by Aristotle are merely a side effect of magickal catharsis. In sex magick, the magickal catharsis occurs at the point of physical climax where the energy is directed toward a goal. 

Magickal Childe

The non-physical result (i.e., an affect on the astral plane which must eventually manifest) of every act of sexual intercourse between two people. The two may be any sexual pairing, or a person may work alone (i.e., through masturbation) with a non-physical entity as a partner.

Magickal Diary
A record each magician keeps of his or her magical workings. It should include such things as date, time, moon phase, weather, your emotions at the start, your physical condition, name of the rituals performed, purpose of rituals, how everything went, etc. Later, complete entries with the results (success, partial success, etc.). By viewing this over time you will see which conditions encourage success and have proof of your developing magickal abilities.

Magickal Goal

A strongly held desire that is the purpose of a magickal ritual. Techniques to enhance the magickal goal, making it stronger and more effective, include visualization and the creation of a talisman or amulet. It is believed that the stronger and more vivid the magickal goal, the more likely it is to be achieved.

Magickal Hours
See Planetary Hours.

Magickal Identity

The instruction in the GBG was for the student to get a blank book and name it "Magickal Identity". Every evening, perhaps during your daily review, you are concentrate on what you want to be—not what you want to do. You are discovering who you really are, the person you are coming to be.

See: The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.B.G. by Louis T. Culling and Carl Llewellyn Weschcke


Magickal Powers

Superhuman powers or abilities that are believed to be attainable through the practice of magick.

Magickal Systems

Generic term representing the many traditions and paths that include magickal practices and/or thinking.

Magickal Voice

A commanding and assertive voice used to say special words of power aloud during rituals. Often, the words of power are the names or titles through which entities are called. The magickal voice indicates perfect confidence and self-assuredness. Although frequently loud in volume, the attitude of the magickal voice is maintained even if the words of power are sung or spoken in low volume.

Magickal Work

Expression used to describe the techniques used in a working of magick. According to Carl Llewellyn Weschcke, the foundation of Magickal Work is in accurate and detailed visualization of carefully constructed images and programs according to the nature of the higher plane where you are working. In most cases this means strongly visualized images on the astral plane charged with energy from physical and astral actions.

An adept who has crossed the Abyss and who has mastered the science and art of magick.

Magus of Light

In the O.T.O., the first part of the seventh degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as Bishop of Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica.

Kingdom. The 10th and last Sephira on the Tree of Life. It is at the bottom of the central pillar and relates to our physical plane.


Literally, the "master of the head." In Voodoo, each worshiper has a special Loa, most often the one who first "rode," or possessed, the worshiper. This is the Mait-Tete. The worshiper usually has a special, familiar relationship with this Loa.

The tenth Sephirah of the cabalistic Tree of Life, the bottom Sephirah on the whole Tree. The term is a Hebrew word meaning "Kingdom." It represents the archetype of the number 10, the manifested aspect of the Godhead. It corresponds to the divine name Adonai ha-Aretz, the archangel Sandalphon, the angelic choir called Eshim (flames), and Olam Yesodoth, the sphere of the elements.

And from the rays of this Triad there appear three colours in Malkuth together with a fourth which is their synthesis. Thus from the orange tawny of Hod and the green nature of Netzach, there goeth forth a certain greenish 'citrine' colour, yet pure and translucent withal. From the orange tawny of Hod mingled with the puce of Yesod there goeth forth a certain red russet brown, 'russet' yet gleaming with a hidden fire. And from the green of Netzach and the puce of Yesod there goeth forth a certain other darkening green 'olive' yet rich and glowing withal. And the synthesis of all these is a blackness which bordereth upon the Qlippoth.

In Malkuth, Adonai ha-Aretz is God, the Lord and King, ruling over the Kingdom and Empire which is the Visible Universe.

And Cholem Yesodoth the Breaker of Foundations, (or Olam Yesodoth—the World of the Elements) is the Name of the Sphere of Operation of Malkuth which is called the Sphere of the Elements from which all things are formed, and its Archangels are three:Metatron, the Prince of Countenance reflected from Kether, and Sandalphon, the Prince of Prayer (feminine), and Nephesch ha Messiah, the Soul of the Reconciler for Earth. And the Order of Angels is Ashim or Flames of Fire, as it is written 'Who maketh his Angels Spirits and his Ministers as a flaming Fire,' and these are also called the Order of Blessed Souls, or of the Souls of the Just made Perfect.


The tenth sephirah on the Tree of Life, the Kingdom. It is located at the bottom of the Middle Pillar.

  • God Name: Adonai
  • Archangel: Metatron and Sandalphon
  • Angelic Host: Ishim (Humanity)
  • Astrological Correspondence: The Elements
  • Body: the feet
  • Colors:
    • In Atziluth: clear yellow
    • In Briah: citrine, olive, russet and black
    • In Yetzirah: citrine, olive, russet and black flecked with gold
    • In Assiah: black rayed with yellow.
  • Consciousness: Guph, the physical body
  • Element: Earth
  • Magical Image: a young woman sitting on a throne
  • Symbol: an altar or temple
  • Tarot: The four Tens, the four Pages (or Princesses) 


A priestess of Voudoun. In some traditions a Mambo is lower in status than the Houngan, or priest, even though her function is similar.

Man and Brother

In the O.T.O., the 1st degree of the Order. Part of the third or "Man of Earth" Triad. Women are known as "Woman and Sister."

Mansions of the Moon
Manions of the Moon refer to the influence of the Moon as it travels across the sky viewed against the background of constellations.... The Janarric system begins in the Pleiades and ends in Perseus.... The Chaldean system was in use as late as the nineteenth century and was popular in medieval grimoires.... Each of these [28] mansions was believed to emanate an influence that could be harnessed by magick.

Master Magician

In the O.T.O., the third degree of the Order. Part of the third or "Man of Earth" Triad.

Material Basis

A physical object of some type that allows non-physical things or entities to manifest. It gives substance to their incorporeal form.

Mathers, MacGregor
Samuel Liddell "MacGregor" Mathers (Jan. 8, 1854-Nov. 20, 1918)—"The true magician of the Golden Dawn, S.L. MacGregor Mathers, was an accomplished ritualist. Of the three founding members of the Order, Mathers was the one most responsible for making the Golden Dawn a truly magical, initiatory Order."

Mathers, Moina
Moina (or Mina) Mathers was born Mina Bergson on February 28, 1865, and died July 25, 1928. She was the wife of MacGregor Mathers, one of the founding members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and probably contributed the bulk of the Order's study material and methods by channeling via the Ouija Board. After the death of her husband in 1918, she continued to be active in the order, establishing a temple called Alpha et Omega.

McMurtry, Grady

Grady Louis McMurtry (1918–1985), a student of Aleister Crowley, was largely responsible for giving new life to the OTO, which he headed from 1971 until his death.

He studied engineering at Pasadena Junior College and met Jack Parsons at nearby CalTech through their mutual enthusiasm for science fiction. In 1941 he was initiated into the OTO. In 1942, as a member of R.O.T.C he was called to active duty amd took part in the Normandy invasion. He was recalled to active duty in the Korean War and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Stationed in England in 1943-1944, he was a personal student of Crowley. Back in California after WWII, Crowley gave him a controversial letter that appointed him OTO representative for the United States, subject only to Karl Germer. When Crowley died in 1947, Germer became head of the OTO. McMurtry ended his involvement with the OTO in 1961 over disputes with Germer and moved to Washhington, DC.

Germer died in 1962 and in 1969 McMurtry returned to California to take charge of the OTO. By 1985, there were over 700 members in several countries. Since his death, the OTO has continued to grow to several thousand active members in over fifty countries.

The thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, M. Represents the number 40 (or, as a final letter, 600). The second of the three "mother letters." A Hebrew word meaning "water." Corresponds to the element of Water, the 23rd Path (between Geburah and Hod), and Tarot trump XII The Hanged Man.

Member of the Grand Tribunal

In the O.T.O., the first part of the sixth degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as Grand Inquisitor Commander.

Member of the Senate of Knight Hermetic Philosophers

In the O.T.O., the second part of the fifth degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as Knight of the Red Eagle.

(also MENSTRUUM OF THE GLUTEN) In alchemy, the result of the slow heating of a substance in the Athanor. In sex magic, the female sexual lubricating fluids and/or female ejaculatory fluids.


The "menstruum" is the "solvent of the White Eagle" in the retort.

The flow of energy, consciousness, and matter through its various phases of expression in the Tree of Life, from subtle unity of the absolute to the dense realm of matter.

Man; the internal, subjective universe.

Middle Pillar
The central pillar on the Tree of Life. The Exercise of the Middle Pillar is a Golden Dawn technique for awakening the sephiroth or Galgalim of the Middle Pillar within the magician's sphere of sensation.


In the O.T.O., the preliminary or 0 degree of the Order. Part of the third or "Man of Earth" Triad. In this degree, people are not full members. Instead, they're considered "honored guests" of the Order. This degree gives the Minerval a chance to see if he or she should become a full member, and it lets full members decide if the Minerval is ready to become a full member.

Mirror Working

A technique for using a mirror to achieve astral projection. It was described by Dion Fortune this way:

"The big mirror is the doorway to the higher planes. We hang on it the symbol of whatever force we are working with, and shift the other symbols around accordingly. . . "

"How do we go through the astral temple?"

"Through the mirror."

"I see. So that's what the big mirror if for, is it?"

"Yes, this is what we call the mirror working. It is much easier to see psychically in a mirror than in the actual room, and one can build the astral images in the mirror and the crystalline structure of the glass will hold the magnetism. . .."

Pgs. 128-129, Moon Magic, by Dion Fortune, London, Aquarian Press, 1956 

Mojo Bag

See Mojo.

Morris Dancing
A form of English ritual dance usually performed in the spring. Dances consist of either a set of six or a solo performance known as a jig. Morris dancers wear shin pads or garters covered with small brass bells, and have either staves or large white handkerchiefs in their hands.

An old English word that means “must.” Many Pagan and magickal rituals include it at the end of a section in the phrase “so mote it be.” Its use is thus similar to the use of the word “Amen” in Jewish and Christian traditions.

A magickal name or expression. Magicians choose one for themselves as a representation of what they magically represent. The use of such mottos is common in many magical orders, the most famous known examples being from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. However, most of those mottos were simply family mottos or taken from a book of family mottos. Similar to the magickal name used by many contemporary Pagans.

Mutus Liber
A famous alchemical book, written anonymously, first published in 1677. The title means “wordless book,” and the entire work consists of fifteen illustrations that supposedly reveal the secrets of how to accomplish the “Great Work” and create the Philosopher’s Stone.

Naming Service

A Spiritualist ceremony in which a person is given a new first name, or "spirit name."

Pronounced “En-ah-en-tah,” it is the Enochian name for the Spirit of Earth.

Natural Magic
Natural Magic is the type of magic that uses natural objects from the world around you. This includes such things as herbs, roots, oils, crystals, stones, and various other items. It may include various chants, spells, charms, and incantations and tends to exclude the complexities found in some other forms of magic.

Natural Magic is commonly used by followers of various Pagan paths, ranging from solitaries and Hedge Witches to members of traditional covens. In the past, Paganism was most frequently associated with people of the fields. Since they didn’t have lots of irrigation systems, they needed to be in lower lands where water from rains would accumulate for their crops. As a result, Natural Magic is also known as “Low Magic.” This should not imply that it is in any way lower, of less value, or less spiritual than other forms of magic, only that its European sources were in the fertile lowlands.

Natural Magick

See Natural Magic

Nature Magick

See Natural Magic

Nature Magick

In the World of Nature there are many natural powers and natural remedies. At the same time, through the Natural World there are intelligences at work—from the "animal spirits" of the group minds to the Nature Spirits of Element Forces that can both be invoked and evoked, and on to the Earthern Energies that can be called into the Magician's Body and Mind.

Nature Magick is a class of magick unto itself, residing between Folk Magic, Practical Magic, and Ceremonial Magick, while the World of Nature is a resource for all kinds of magic.


A practitioner of necromancy.

Horror story writer H. P. Lovecraft invented the entire idea of an evil book called the Necronomicon. In January of 1934, Lovecraft wrote a letter where he says that the Necronomicon is nothing but a figment of his imagination.... There are many books which claim to be THE Necronomicon. I have several books with that name and several articles which are supposed to be excerpts from the "real" thing. They all have just one thing in common: they are nothing but inventions of contemporary authors.


The familiar Egyptian headdress that somewhat resembles a "pageboy" hair styling. The colors and designs all have meanings, and additional meanings beyond the traditional associations makes the nemyss in different colors and patterns a convenient ceremonial garment to distinguish ritualists from one another, and signifying their ceremonial function.

Literally a “new plant,” a name or term used to describe a person just starting and growing in a particular spiritual path. In some Orders, it is the name given to a newly initiated person.


The word means "beginner," of course, but it also has another meaning, "novice," which suggests a certain naiveté, even a person who has unwittingly "bitten off more than he can chew;" and both Neophyte and Novice are applied to a recent religious convert or a new resident to a religious community who has not yet fully committed to the community by taking religious vows usually involving chastity, devotion, isolation from the outside world, etc.

Personally, I think it is an inappropriate word to apply in a magickal situation as it also suggests that the interest is emotional rather than intelligent. Magick, first of all, does require intelligence. Emotion is recognized as the engine of energy that can be directed into a magickal operation, but not as the basis for the understanding an application of magickal principles.  

The seventh Sephirah of the cabalistic Tree of Life, the lowest Sephirah on the Pillar of Mercy. The term is a Hebrew word meaning "Victory." It represents the archetype of the number 7, the raw creative aspect of the Godhead. It corresponds to the divine name YHVH Tzabaoth, the archangel Haniel, the angelic choir called Elohim (gods), and Nogah, or heavenly Sphere of Venus.

The beams of Chesed and of Tiphareth meet in Netzach and thence in Netzach arises a green, pure, brilliant, liquid, and gleaming like an emerald. And the Sphere of its operations is that of Nogah of External Splendour, producing zeal, love, harmony, and it ruleth the Sphere of Action of the Planet Venus and the nature of the vegetable World. And Jehovah Tzabaoth is a God of Hosts and of Armies, of Triumph and of Victory, ruling the Universe in justice and Eternity. And its Archangel Hanial is the Prince of Love and Harmony, and the Name of the Order of Angels is Elohim or Gods who are also called the Order of Principalities. The Angel Cerviel is also referred unto this Sephira.


The seventh sephirah on the Tree of Life, Victory. It is located at the bottom of the Pillar of Mercy.

  • God Name: Tetragrammton Tzabaoth (Lord of Armies)
  • Archangel: Hanial
  • Angelic Host: Tarshishim
  • Astrological Correspondence: Venus
  • Body: the left hip
  • Colors: in Atziluth: amber, in Briah: emerald, in Yetzirah: bright yellow green, in Assiah: olive flecked with gold.
  • Consciousness: the Emotions, as part of Ruach, (the Conscious Self)
  • Element: Fire
  • Magical Image: a beautiful naked woman
  • Symbol: the rose
  • Tarot: The four Sevens

Ninety-Three Current

Expression used by followers of Aleister Crowley as both a name for their path and the egregore of their tradition. According to numerology, 93 is the value of the words "Love" and "Will," important to Crowley's Thelemic tradition. It is also the numerological value of Aiwass, who gave The Book of the Law, the source of the key Thelmic motto, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." As such, Thelemites us it a greetings and in opening and closing letters, reminding people of their spiritual path.

Ninth Degree

In the system of the O.T.O., the degree in which people learn about (and thus a code among magicians to represent) heterosexual sex magick.


See Notarikon.

An aspect of the Kabalah that works with acronyms or abbreviations.


A person who has begun learning something. Often a novice has no previous experience with what they are learning. A complete beginner. In some Wiccan traditions a type of “degree” wherein a person can start learning about Wicca from a coven without actually being initiated. This training is also known as being in the “Outer Court.”

The fourteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, N. Represents the number 50 (or, as a final letter, 700). The eighth of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "fish." Corresponds to Scorpio, the 24th Path (between Tiphareth and Netzach), and Tarot trump XIII Death.


See Order of the Astral Star.


A person who has an important role in a magickal group such as a coven or ceremonial magickal order.

Olympian Spirit
Planetary entities described in the grimoire the Arbatel of Magick. The sigils of the spirits are often used in magick, especially on talismans.

Opening by Watchtower
A powerful ritual to begin any Magickal operation.

Order of Aaron
Alternate name for the Aaronic Order.

Order of the Astral Star

The O.A.S. is an occult order founded in 1980 by ten people that combines Christian Mysticism and Ceremonial Magick.

Ordo Templi Orientis
(Latin, “Order of Oriental Templars”) One of the largest magical orders in the world today, the Ordo Templi Orientis emerges from the complicated world of central European fringe Masonry in the early twentieth century. Its beginning dates back to 1895 when Freemasons Carl Kellner (1851-1905), a wealthy Austrian industrialist, and Theodor Reuss (1855-1923), a journalist and former opera singer, began discussing the possibility of forming a “Masonic Academy” of esoteric studies.

Osiris Position

See God Position

A term used in voudoun traditions relating to charms, amulets, talismans, etc. It especially relates to fetishes for love. An Ouanga that has a negative or evil purpose is known as a Wanga.

Outer Alchemy
Making use of the magically charged sexual fluids for magickal purposes.

Outer Head of the Order

In the O.T.O., the title for the holder of the twelfth degree of the Order. Part of the first or "Hermit" Triad. Also known as Frater Superior.

Outer Order
In magickal organizations such as orders and covens, a wider membership wherein people are taught the basic theories and concepts of the group. If people last through this training and prove their worthiness and dedication, the move to the Inner Order.

Paradigm Shifting
A concept from Chaos magick where a practitioner uses a deity from one pantheon in a ritual from a completely different paradigm. For example, using a deity from Lovecraft’s fictional Cthulhu mythos in a ritual based on a Kabalistic paradigm or a Wiccan paradigm. Paradigm shifting can have a powerful effect on a practitioner, opening him or her up to potentials that are not limited to their normal worldview.

Passing Rite

A funeral rite for Pagans. Will often include a spell to assure that the soul of the deceased will be reborn within a Pagan family.


A small plate or disk used to hold items during a ritual. It is especially used to hold blessed bread or cakes. 

Originally the process of astrally or mentally projecting up and around the paths of the Kabalistic Tree of Life in order to gain information, instructions, meet entities there, and ask favors of those entities. More recently, some popular writers have described any visualized journey as pathworking, and this has become the popular meaning of the term. Some occultists now refer to the original concept as “kabalistic pathworking.”

The seventeenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, P, Ph, or F. Represents the number 80 (or, as a final letter, 800). The fifth of the seven "double letters." A Hebrew word meaning "mouth." Corresponds to the planet Mars, the 27th Path (between Netzach and Hod), and Tarot trump XVI The Tower.

Pen of Art

A pen, often consecrated, used exclusively to write spells, design sigils, etc. 

A star drawn with five points. This image can be drawn without lifting the drawing tool from the paper. Also known as the Star or Seal of Solomon, it was a symbol for Judaism (as was a seven-branched candelabra) until replaced by the hexagram starting around 1800 C.E.

The five points are said to represent the five elements: earth, fire, water, and spirit, and because the image can be drawn without lifting the drawing tool, it indicates their interconnection. Today, the pentagram is symbolic of occultism in general and Wicca or Witchcraft in particular.

When drawn or worn with one point (spirit) up, it is said to represent positive concepts. This is also an image of a human standing upright, with the head at the top point, the hands at the next two highest points, and the feet at the lower points. If the pentagram is drawn or worn with two points up (frequently called “inverted”), it is said to represent negativity with the feet above the head. It is also used in this mode to represent Satanism, as the two upper points are like the horns in the popular image of Satan.

Five letter name YHShVH or YHVShH which is pronounced Yeh-hah-shu-ah or Yeh-ho-vah-sha respectively. It adds the Shin to the Tetragrammaton, indicating the addition of the Spirit of God to the formula of the ultimate divinity.

Perfect Initiate

In the O.T.O., the second part of the fourth degree of the Order. Also known as the Prince of Jerusalem. Part of the third or "Man of Earth" Triad.

Perfect Magician

In the O.T.O., the first part of the fourth degree of the Order. Also known as the Companion of the Holy Royal Arch of Enoch. Part of the third or "Man of Earth" Triad.

Perfect Pontiff of the Illuminati

In the O.T.O., the name for the first part of the eighth degree of the Order. Part of the first or "Hermit" Triad. 

Philosopher's Stone
A term used in alchemy to describe a substance that is the catalyst in the reaction that transmutes a base metal such as lead into gold. Although called a “stone,” it is probably not a stone at all. The name is used to hide the true nature of the substance. It is also believed to be an elixir that provides perfect health and great longevity or even immortality.

For some, alchemy is a metaphor for increasing spirituality. In this case the philosopher’s stone is the result of purifying the self with years of prayer, meditation, and focusing on the spiritual rather than the physical world.

Philosopher's Stone
The goal of alchemical work, a substance that brings good health and long life to those who ingest it.

The fifth grade of initiation in the Golden Dawn associated with the element of Fire and the sephira Netzach.

Phoenix Wand
A wand associated with the element of Fire and used in the Adeptus Minor ritual.

In Tibetan spirituality a ceremonial dart. It may appear to be similar to a knife, but will have three sides rather than two.

A small box or case, traditionally made of leather, containing magickal words, phrases, or symbols on parchment. Phylacteries are generally not popularly used today, but were used as talismans for protection, health, luck, etc. Orthodox male Jews wear two of them, known as tefillin, during certain religious practices.

An officer of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The word itself is Latin for “sentinel,” which is the more common named used in many Golden Dawn temples. The purpose of the Phylax is to act as a guardian of the temple. When a woman hold this position she is known as the Phylakissa.

An Arabic text (Ghâyat al-Hakîm fi’l-sihr) that may be a major source of the famous classical grimoires such as the Key of Solomon. Not currently available in English, its Latin was available in 1256 CE. Topics in the book include talismans, magick, astronomy, astrology and love, and practical magick.

In some English folk traditions of magic, a staff with a forked upper end into which a crystal or a hen’s egg painted red is inserted. Pilebogars are used to dispel disruptive magical energies.

Pillar of Mercy
The right-hand column on the Tree of Life. It is composed of the 2nd, 4th, and 7th Sephiroth, and said to be masculine in nature.

Pillar of Mildness
The central column on the Tree of Life. It is composed of the 1st, 6th, 9th and 10th Sephiroht. Also known as the Middle Pillar.

Pillar of Severity
The left hand column on the Tree of Life. It is composed of the 3rd, 5th, and 8th Sephiroth and is said to be feminine in nature.

Place of Comfort
A special place within a magical circle for a couple to engage in sex magick.

Planetary Hours
Also known as “Magickal Hours,” a division of the day and night into sections ruled by the energies of the planets. To determine the length of each planetary hour, divide the daylight hours by 12. They will be different in length than the night hours (to discover the length of which you divide the total time of darkness into 12 equal periods) except on the equinoxes when the planetary hours are all sixty minutes in length. Used for selecting the optimum time to perform a magickal ritual.

Planetary Magick
The art of invoking and evoking, directing and experiencing, the forces related to the luminaries of our Solar System: a magical art developed through more than two millennia.

The sixth grade of initiation in the Golden Dawn associated with the element of Spirit.


A doorway to another reality or dimension. 

Portal Adeptus

In the occult Order of the Astral Star, a portal adeptus is a sub-grade of Adeptus Minor. Besides using this period to work on and achieve competency in an occult discipline, it is also supposed to be used for time to consider what it means to be an Adept.

A reaction to the Modernism, it views every paradigm as having its own sets of beliefs, ideologies, and theories and attempts to reject them.

Postmodern Magick
A system of magick that abandons all previous beliefs about why any form of magick works while acknowledging that it does work. It replaces them with concepts based around linguistics and semiotics.


The center post that stands in the middle of the ceremonial enclosure for Voudoun rituals. 


Traditionally, a herbal mixture, often made to be consumed, with the purpose of having a magickal effect like healing or love. Today it is not limited to being a mixture of herbs.


The way rituals and magick are actually performed. Often, a practice or set of practices is associated with the magickal or spiritual tradition a person is following.


Rehearsals of rituals, divination, magick, etc. to build familiarity, expertise, and power.

The fourth grade of initiation in the Golden Dawn associated with the element of Water and the sephira Hod/a>.

An officer of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The word itself is Latin for “prophesier.” He is responsible for teaching members either verbally or through issuing manuscripts. He may also assign others to do this. When a woman holds this office, she is known as the Praemonstratrix.

Priapic Wand

In Gardnerian Witchcraft, a riding stick or pole with a phallic tip. During some fertility rituals they are ridden similar to a child’s hobbyhorse.

Prince of the Royal Secret

In the O.T.O., the second part of the sixth degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. 

Projecting Sign
A physical action used in magick to project raised magickal energy that is within the body toward a local or distant location, such as to charge a talisman. Step forward with the left foot, thrust the arms forward with the fingers together and the finger tips pointing forward. Look down your arms and past your thumbs. The energy flows out of you through your eyes and arms.

Projective Energy

The magickal energy that is also said to be electrical, masculine, active, outgoing, positive (in the sense of the positive pole of a battery), etc. It can be protective in nature.

Projective Hand
The hand of a person believed to most easily give off directed magickal energy. Usually the hand a person uses for complex manual activities. The right hand in most right-handed people. Opposite to receptive hand, which receives energy and good wishes.

Psychic Attack
An attack on a person using magickal or psychic methods. In reality they are very rare, almost non-existent. When they do occur they are usually caused by a current of anger or rage and hit you at your “weakest link.”

Psychologization of Magick

Expression popularized by Donald Michael Kraig in Modern Sex Magick where he noted that due to the influence of people such as Freud and Jung, some people contend that all magick is merely part of the mind and that all gods and spirits are nothing more than mental creations. That is, they have no identity and reality outside of the magician.

Once the lamp has been lit and the circle made, the interior of the circle is purged with the materials of purification, which represent one or more of the occult elements. Some groups purify with all four elements, or with the three active elements of Fire, Water, and Air (Earth is regarded as a mixture of these three), as described in The New Magus.

In my personal rituals I often use the ancient materials of cleansing: salt, water, and flame. Salt symbolizes elemental Earth, water elemental Water, and the flame combines elemental Fire and Air in the form of a smoking candle or incense stick.

The salt, previously blessed by prayer and consecrated to its purpose, is cast in small pinches sunwise around the circle at the four cardinal points of South, West, North, and East. The water, likewise consecrated, is sprinkled from the fingertips in a similar manner at the four quarters. The flame is waved three times in the air at each of the corners of the circle. Usually the entire act of cleansing is accompanied by prayer.

Remember that you are cleaning the house of the spirit so that the light of the spirit will descend and reside within it. This is a sacred act. It has been said by other writers that purification is the most important part of any ritual. It sets the stage for what is to follow. When done negligently, the work that comes after it will likely be futile, because it will lack a solid foundation.


A ritual or part of a ritual to remove unwanted energies or influences. The ritual may include aspects that are considered cleansing in an of themselves, such as the use of incense, or words and actions, as in the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram.


"Qabalah" is a Hebrew word that means "tradition.” It is derived from the root word "Qibel," meaning, "to receive." This refers to the ancient custom of handing down the esoteric knowledge by oral transmission. What the word Qabalah encompasses is an entire body of ancient Hebrew mystical principles that are the cornerstone and focus of the Western Esoteric Tradition. Virtually all Western spiritual systems can trace their roots to the Qabalistic Tree of Life. The exact origins of the Qabalah are unclear, but it certainly contains some vestiges of Egyptian, Greek, and Chaldean influence.

By its nature, mysticism is knowledge that cannot be communicated directly, but may be expressed only through symbolism and metaphor. Like other esoteric systems, Qabalah also draws upon the mystic's awareness of the transcendence of the Divine or the Eternal. Another element of Qabalah is that of theosophy, which seeks to reveal the hidden mysteries of the Divine as well as the relationship between the Divine Life on one hand, and the life of humans on the other. The goal of the Qabalist is to discover and invent keys to the understanding of arcane symbols that reflect the eternal mysteries.

Qabalistic Worlds
A fourfold division of the Tree of Life that separates the Tree into four levels of manifestation in accordance with the YHVH formula. The highest level is the most abstract and ethereal, while the lowest level is the most dense. They include Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah.

Qabalistic Worlds

Cabala speaks of the Four Worlds, from the most spiritual to the most material, which correspond to the consonants of Tetragrammaton. Yod - Olam Atziluth (World of Nobility) - Divine names Heh - Olam ha-Briah (World of Creation) - Archangels Vau - Olam ha-Yetzirah (World of Formation) - Angels Heh - Olam ha-Assiah (Material World) - Heavenly Spheres

Some attempt to divide the Tree of Life into four parts that correspond to the Four Worlds (Kether, Chokmah and Binah, Chesed through Yesod, and Malkuth). Others say that a complete Tree exists in each World. These two approaches are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Qlippoth is a Hebrew word meaning "shells." The Qlippoth are the Evil Demons of Matter and the Shells of the Dead.

The nineteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Q or hard K. Represents the number 100. The twelfth and last of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "back of head." Corresponds to Pisces, the 29th Path (between Netzach and Malkuth), and Tarot trump XVIII The Moon.

The division of a circle into four sections related to the four prime directions, east, south, west and north.


Term used to collectively represent the four major directions, north, east, south, and west, as parts of a magickal circle

R. Swinburne Clymer
(1878–1966) Heavily influenced by 19th century occultist and sex magician Paschal Beverly Randolph, he kept several of Randolph’s books in print and used the concepts in the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis when he became the Grand Master of that group in 1922 (succeeding Edward H. Brown). Besides running that order and writing numerous books, Clymer is famous for battling another Rosicrucian group, AMORC, in court.

R.R. et A.C.
Roseae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis. The Second or Inner Order of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The R.R. et A.C. practiced Ritual and Ceremonial Magick while the Golden Dawn Outer Order, the one with which most people are familiar, did not. In English it means “Red Rose and Gold Cross.”

Rainbow Wand
A central tool for use by a magician, based on the Lotus Wand as used by The Golden Dawn. It is not associated with any one element, being more directed toward planetary energies.

Raising Energy

Also known as raising power, it is the internal and/or external processes whereby a magician or Witch will produce energy (the ability to do work) from within his or her own body and/or from an external source (such as a divinity) for use in magick. 

Receptive Energy

The magickal energy that is also said to be magnetic, feminine, passive, soothing, attracting, negative (in the sense of the negative pole of a battery), etc. It is often used in meditation, relaxation, to promote calm, etc.

The twentieth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, R. Represents the number 200. The sixth of the seven "double letters." A Hebrew word meaning "head." Corresponds to the Sun, the 30th Path (between Hod and Yesod), and Tarot trump XIX The Sun.

In alchemy, a type of container. In sex magick, the vagina.

Rex Summus Sanctissimus

In the O.T.O., the name for the holder of the tenth degree of the Order. Part of the first or "Hermit" Triad. It is the title held by the National Master General of the O.T.O. in a particular country.

Right-Hand Path
A path in Western magick that is “good.” Possible derivation due to being the opposite of the Latin sinister or French sinestre (the source of the English word “sinister”) which means “left.” In Tantric magickal traditions, Left-Hand Path refers to traditions where practitioners actually perform rituals while Right-Hand Path refers to meditative techniques. Some Western magicians are adopting these Tantric definitions.

The final essential instrument that I mean to mention here is the ring. This fits over the index finger of the right hand, and acts as a sort of magical magnetic coil, magnifying the force of the will that passes along the index finger. It also serves as a miniature representation of the magic circle, and protects its wearer from harm. Perhaps the best form of the ring is a plain gold or silver band, a bit broader than usual. By it the Magus is wedded to the Art of magic. It is customary to inscribe the ring with names of power such as the Hebrew YHVH, the divine Tetragrammaton.

Several different rings may be made for specific purposes. For example, an individual spirit can be made to reside in a ring, and its power utilized when the ring is put on. The ancient Greek magician Apollonius of Tyana possessed seven rings named after the seven planets, given to him as a gift by Iarchas, leader of the Brahmans of India. He wore each of these rings in rotation on the day of the week related to its planet. As is true of all the instruments, there is no exact pattern for the magic ring. The shape and choice of inscription depends on its use, and the personality of its maker.


A synonym for “ritual.” 

Ritual Desire

A term used by Donald Tyson describing the emotional motivation that is the empowering source and driver that manifests in the form of a specific ritual. A magician seeks to satisfy the ritual desire by performing a ritual.

Ritual Magic
Magic is real. It exists. It works. It is the most potent and beautiful force in the universe. Magic is the flowing lifeblood of the Soul of the World. It is the essence that separates the living from the dead. It is the divine gift that renders humankind immortal. Magic moves below the surface of things. It can give you inner peace and self-confidence, personal magnetism, the power to attain your goals in life, and most important of all, a true understanding of yourself and your place in the universe.

Ritual Magick
Ritual magick allows practitioners to make changes to their consciousnesses or the world around them through the repetition of certain words, phrases, and actions. Some rituals used in magick are quite old, while some are very modern. The rituals of this form of magick tend to be longer than those of many other forms of magick. They are popular among practitioners because they have proven their effectiveness over years, decades, or even centuries.

Ritual magick is usually performed alone or in front of a small or large group. It is often used synonymously with “Ceremonial Magick,” although the latter tends to be oriented toward groups rather than individuals, wherein many or all members participate.

Any set of repeated actions. Usually thought of in terms of such things as religious rituals and magickal rituals. In the latter instance, the repetition of certain actions is done with the goal of achieving certain ends. Thus, a banishing ritual clears away unwanted energies in the area.

The Magus is usually robed in a special garment used only for ritual purposes. Since it is kept pure and apart, and since it is only worn after the Magus has bathed and purified his or her own body, donning it is akin to putting on a cloak of light. It can be helpful both in raising the consciousness to a higher awareness of spirit, and also to shield the Magus from discordant influences. The robe must be comfortable, and more importantly must feel appropriate to its wearer. I prefer white because of its benign associations. Colors tend to have specific emotions bound up with them, and these are not merely social commonplaces, but run to the primal roots of human response. For example, red is always a color of violence and rage, no matter what a particular political propagandist or French designer might wish it to be. Any loose, comfortable clothing can become the ritual garb, provided it is set aside and treated with reverence.

Rose Cross
A symbol of the Great Work accomplished, traditionally consisting of a rose of five petals (man) and a cross of six squares (divinity).

Roseae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis

From Latin, it translates into English as "Red Rose and Cross of Gold." The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was composed of three orders. The outer order, what most people know, was the Golden Dawn per se. It was a teaching order and not a magickal order. The second, or inner, order of the GD was the R.R. et A.C. Although all members who achieved the grade of Adeptus Minor and above became members of the second order, it seems there may have been two branches: one for those who showed no magickal aptitude and was strictly ceremonial, and a second, hidden even from the others, that actually did practice ritual and ceremonial magick. A third level of the Order, known as the A.A., was only for people who had crossed the veil and were no longer physically alive, although with their magickal skills it is assumed they could take human (or other) form to better communicate from the spiritual planes.

A mystical, philosophical movement that emerged in the seventeenth century and spawned several secret organizations or orders concerned with the study of religious mysticism, alchemy, Qabalah, and professing esoteric spiritual beliefs. The symbolism of Rosicrucianism is primarily Chrstian and the Rosicrucian path emphasizes the way of transformation through the Christ impulse.

Ruach is a Hebrew word meaning breath, wind, or spirit. It is also used as a term for Air as one of the four elements. In cabalism, Ruach is used to designate the mind and reasoning powers and is considered to be the middle part of the three-part soul. As such, it is associated with the Sephirah Tiphareth.

1) The psychic energy, similar to Prana and Kundalini.

2) The conscious, consisting of the will, memory, imagination, reason, and desire. Corresponds with the 4th-8th Sephiroth. Also corresponds to the psychic center at the solar plexus.

Ruach Eloheem
The Spirit of Divinity. Similar to Ruach, but on a cosmic scale. Corrupted into the Christian notion of the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit.

Salamanders are elemental spirits of Fire.

salamander [ME salamandre, F salamandre, L salamandra Gr. salamandra; cf. Per. samander, samandel.] In the theory of Paracelsus, a being inhabiting the element fire.

The fifteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, S. Represents the number 60. The ninth of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "prop" or "support." Corresponds to Sagittarius, the 25th Path (between Tiphareth and Yesod), and Tarot trump XIV Temperance.

Sanctum Sanctorum

In the original Temple of Solomon, there was a special inner place known as the “Holy of Holies” wherein God was supposed to dwell. Sanctum Sanctorum literally translates as “holy of holies,” and is metaphorically that part within us that is connected to the divine. Some occult groups use it as the name for a special location where the most advanced members perform their workings.

Ceremonial conch shell used as a musical instrument. In Tantric and Hindu traditions it is used to summon people for worship and to call in deities. In Tibetan spirituality it may be used to chase away demons.

A method used in meditation where you memorize small strips of a figure or diagram.

School of Mysteries

See Mysteries.


Derived from a Latin word meaning a small image or symbol engraved in wax, it means a symbol or “signature” of a spirit or non-material entity.  It is used either in evoking the spirit for communication, invoking the entity for inspiration, or using the power of the being in talismans, amulets, etc.



A term from the 13th century meaning to close up (as in "seal an envelope") using wax, cement, lead, etc. Magickally, it refers to closing something off, as in sealing an unwanted spirit in its own plane or sealing unwanted energy out of a magickal circle.

Secret Chiefs
In certain magical and mystical Orders, especially in the 19th century, it was popular to have leaders other than the known leaders. They would generally stay out of the regular functioning of the group and hand out mystical information through the known leaders, thus giving the very human known leaders extra authority and leading cynics to doubt their existence. The best known of these were the teachers of the Theosophical Society who would leave written notes known as the “Mahatma Letters” for one of the society’s founders, Madame Blavatsky. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn moved the Secret Chiefs into the non-physical realm and was founded through their auspices.


A prolonged period. In sex magick, the sederunt is an extended period of sexual arousal and sexual stimulation.

Semiotic Web
In Postmodern magick, an interlocking group of symbols that form the codes which allow us to live in the “real world.”


The magickal practice of raising energy and sending it to accomplish a particular task, ranging from communication to healing or something else. Sometimes the sending is associated with an elemental quality or a non-physical entity.


An officer in an occult order, such as the Golden Dawn, whose responsibilities were to guard and protect the temple, especially when a ritual was being held. The Sentinel is the "watcher without" (i.e., outside the temple) while the Kerux is the watcher within. 

Sepher Yetzirah
The Book of Formation. A brief Kabalistic book that supposedly dates to the second century C.E. or earlier. Although not printed until the middle of the sixteenth century, it is mentioned in many earlier sources. It does not have many of the later concepts of the Kabalah. Instead, it is limited to the ten Sephiroth (although not described as a tree), the powers of the Hebrew alphabet (although not described as being paths that connect the Sephiroth) and how God controls the universe through the transposition of His four-letter name, the Tetragrammaton, Yud-Heh-Vahv-Heh. Sometimes the title is incorrectly translated as The Book of Creation. Occasionally has other works attached to it, including The Fifty Gates of Intelligence and the better-known Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn uses the Sepher Yetzira in its teachings.

A sphere or area or emanation on the Tree of Life.

Cabalism, at least in the Western occult tradition, is built around a diagram called the Tree of Life. This diagram contains ten circles representing the Sephiroth (singular: Sephirah); that is, the "spheres," "numbers," or "emanations." The Sephiroth are the numbers 1 through 10 considered in their archetypal sense. Each Sephirah is an archetypal idea. Also, the Sephiroth represent emanations from God and describe the process of creation. In the material world, they represent the heavenly spheres according to the classical conception.

In alchemy, the result of heating a substance in the Athanor. In sex magick it is the semen.

Seventh Degree

In the magickal system of the O.T.O., the information given in the seventh degree included instructions on magical celibacy and veneration of the sexual organs.

Sex and Tantra
While sexual activities are most commonly practiced for pleasure and procreation, there has been a secret knowledge held among various groups that that the energy raised during sexual activity, as well as the mental state that occurs during prolonged sexual activity, can be united to create remarkable changes in our spiritual selves and physical environment. The techniques to do this are commonly called Sex Magick.

Many thousands of years ago, the philosophy and techniques that would become known as Tantra developed in northern India. Over the centuries, it developed into a complete spiritual system, involving worship of deities, rituals, magick, healing, and virtually every aspect of life. This includes an in-depth study of the non-physical aspects of the body (such as the aura, chakras, and energy paths) and sexuality, especially the use of sex in a way that can lead to spiritual enlightenment. In the West, the Tantric sexual techniques (often confused with the complete spiritual system that is Tantra) have been popularized and described by numerous writers and authors.

Over the past century, there has been an increasing link between Western Sex Magic and Tantric sexual techniques such that some people equate them.

Sex Magic
Sex magic directs the energies raised during sensual arousal to achieve a desired goal. Western sex magic often uses alchemical terminology, although its sources go back to ancient shamanism, pre-Christian Pagan practices, and some sects of Gnosticism. Basic concepts include the extension of sensual activity to build up the energy and that the thought held at orgasm comes to pass. Prominent proponents include the O.T.O., Louis T. Culling, and Aleister Crowley. In recent decades, these Western practices have been influenced by Indian and Tibetan Tantra as well as Chinese Taoist alchemy.


Protect. The innate ability or a ritual used create a psychic or magickal barrier that prevents negative energy or unwanted non-physical entities from effecting you, touching you or even perceiving that you exist. 

The twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Sh or S. Represents the number 300. The third and last of the three "mother letters." A Hebrew word meaning "tooth." Corresponds to the element of Fire, the 31st Path (between Hod and Malkuth), and Tarot trump XX Judgment.

Shroud of Concealment
In [Hermetic Order of the] Golden Dawn magic, a shell of etheric substance built up around the magician by intensive ritual work that prevents other people from perceiving the magician. The creation of the Shroud of Concealment is fundamental to the Golden Dawn method of magical invisibility. The technique is closely related to the odic shield of other magical systems.

(From the Latin sigilum, meaning “seal” or “signature,” although some say it may be related to the Hebrew segulah, which means action, word, or something that has a spiritual effect.) In ceremonial magick, a sigil is considered to be the signature of an entity summoned by the magician and used to control that entity. In some forms of magick, a sigil is a representation of the Will of the magician and used to empower the goal of the Will through various means.

Sixty-Nine Current

Expression used by students and members of the occult Order of The Astral Star as a code expression for their path or tradition. The number comes from the Order's numerological analysis of the Hebrew words for "Manger" or "Stable." This indicates that the Order is based on the story of the Wise Men visiting the stable where Jesus was supposedly born.

Codified and clarified by author Peter Drucker in relation to management concepts in the 1950s, the concept of SMART goals are also associated with determining the most effective goals for magickal rituals. SMART is an acronym indicating that your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and given a Time frame in which to occur.

Smudge/Smudge Stick
To spiritually cleanse an object by waving incense over and around it. A smudge stick is a bundle of several incense sticks.


To smudge an area, usually for banishing or cleansing See: smudge 

Solomonic Magick

Solomon, son of King David and ruler of the united Israel, has achieved mythic status. As a result, stories about him are more important for their spiritual and mythic message than for any supposed objective historicity. One of the myths about him is that he could control spirits, including evil spirits, and it was they who built the First Temple in Jerusalem for him.

The myths and legends have resulted in styles of magick supposedly attributed to him. These are perhaps best described in the system revealed in the book, The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage. The system works this way:

  1. Spend a great deal of time purifying yourself through acts of prayer, bathing, meditation, reading holy books, etc.
  2. Summon an angel who will give you the secrets of how to command lesser spirits or demons.
  3. Call on the spirits and control them with the techniques given to you by the angel. Have them bring you information or perform tasks for you.

This has been modified in modern times to eliminate the aspect of "evil spirits." Instead, you simply purify yourself then directly summon the entity qualified to bring you the information or perform the tasks you require.

A person who practices sorcery or magick.

Another name for magick or the use of magick. Also used to describe the practical rites of Witches.

Sovereign Prince Rose-Croix

In the O.T.O., the first part of the fifth degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as the Knight of the Pelican and Eagle.

The “Spagyric Art” is another name for alchemy. “Spagyric” is derived from two Greek words meaning “to tear apart” and “to unite,” which is a good description of what is done in alchemy. The term is traced back to the Gnostics of the second century c.e., but it is not in common use today.

Spare, Austin Osman
(1886–1956) Acclaimed artist, occultist, and contemporary of Aleister Crowley. His ideas were ignored for years but have come to heavily influence modern magickal systems, especially Chaos Magick.

A simple and basic act of magick that incorporates the use of raised power or drawn power. In a spell the mind is conditioned by each step or phase of the spell as it unfolds. The process of performing a spell allows the mind to draw upon its inner powers. The spell is a focus for the mind, a catalyst to unlocking its abilities, and it enables the mind to create changes in the astral substance, which will then cause changes to occur in the physical world.


The techniques and methods of creating spells. This may include general patterns, such as spell outlines, determining and arranging correspondences used in the spell, and collecting and using the words of spells that are appropriate for the new spell, or coming up with original words. 

Spells are magical rituals. Magical rituals may also be spells (though there are many different types of rituals). A spell, then, is an act of magic in which energies are raised, “programmed” with a magical need (such as love or money) and directed to do their work.

A few spells are secret; most are not. Secret spells aren’t more effective than their non-secret cousins. Any spell will work, provided that it’s been properly written, and provided that it’s properly performed.

Spells usually consist of gathering together the needed items, charging them with power, and using them in some fashion. Herb spells are among the easiest to master. [In this guide,] I’ll use the words “spell” and “ritual” interchangeably.


A large stick, typically four feet or more. Traditionally used to aid in walking and for personal defense. Some magicians use it as a container for magickal energy and as a means of directing that energy. As such, it may be used in place of a magick wand.

A practitioner of Sufism.

Less useful, but still necessary for high magic or theurgy that involves chaotic spirits, is the sword. This is similar in its functioning to the wand, but whereas the wand has a neutral nature, the sword is overtly offensive, projecting power to dominate and hurt. It is supposed to be made by the Magus, but I hazard to say that not one in a thousand occultists who possesses the magic sword has actually fashioned the blade by hand. It is considered acceptable to procure a short sword, or long knife, and after thoroughly purifying it, consecrate it by anointing and prayer to its magical purpose. I use an old British army bayonet myself, which is shaped as a sword, hilt and all, and find it effective—perhaps especially so due to its military associations.

A tool used in many Wiccan/Witchcraft traditions to cast ritual and magickal circles. The sword is also employed in rituals of initiation by the challenger or guardian. In many traditions the sword is a symbol of the God and it is often assigned to the High Priest as a token of his office.

Sworn Book of Honorius
The introduction states that the book was fashioned in response to the Medieval inquisitions. It could be called a Catholic magickal text related to the “Ars Notoria” of the Lemegeton. The magickal operation described consists of twenty days of purification followed by the actual magickal work. This is similar to the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.

Sylphs are elemental spirits of Air.

sylph [F. sylphe, m., prob. fr. L. Sylphus, Sulfus, name of some divinity] An imaginary [sic] being inhabiting the air; a name given by Paracelsus to the elemental beings of the air, conceived as mortal but soulless.

Sympathetic Magic
This may be the most practiced form of magic on earth; it is certainly the best known. The basic idea for this style of magic is the occult concept that “like attracts like.” Thus, jumping in freshly-planted fields is an attempt to bring, by magic, the same result in the crops. Since red is considered an energetic color, according to sympathetic magic burning a red candle can bring you energy.

One of the best-known forms of sympathetic magic is that of using a doll. This practice is found in most cultures around the world. The doll represents a person (yourself or someone else), and doing magic with the doll as a focus results in the magic having an effect on the person whom the doll represents.

In James Frazer’s The Golden Bough, the author suggests that there are invisible connections between all things and that sympathetic magic works through these bonds. To add to the connection, people add personal items from the person being represented to the doll. This could be anything from a lock of hair or fingernail paring to a ring or snip of clothing. Sometimes a picture of the person is used. Often, the doll is very primitive in appearance as in “Voodoo” dolls or the “poppets” of Witchcraft.

Sympathetic Magick

See Sympathetic Magic.

A talisman is any object, sacred or profane, with or without appropriate symbols, charged or consecrated by appropriate means and made to serve a specific end.

The twenty-second and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Th or T. Represents the number 400. The seventh and last of the seven "double letters." A Hebrew word meaning "tau cross." Corresponds to Saturn, the 32nd Path (between Yesod and Malkuth), and Tarot trump XXI The World.

Greek for the letter “T,” and a cross with the horizontal bar at the top of the vertical line. The shape of the traditional magician’s robe.

A Hebrew word meaning “correct.” It is synonymous with the Sanskrit word Karma.

Telesmatic Image
A system used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to develop images for visualization of a non-physical entity for magickal purposes based on the letters of the name of the entity to be given an image.

A kabalistic method of finding new meanings in words by exchanging letters in them with other letters according to codes. There are several forms of Temurah. In Atbash, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is replaced by the last, the second by the second to last, and so fourth. In Albam, the first Hebrew letter is replaced by the twelfth, the second by the thirteenth, etc. In Avgad each letter is replaced by the following letter. One of the most used forms of Temurah is Aik Bekar, which begins by setting up a pattern like a tic-tac-toe board. Into each of the nine squares, three Hebrew letters are placed according to a predetermined system. A letter in any of the squares or “chambers” can be replaced by either of the other letters in same box.

Testament of Solomon
A text written in Greek before the end of the fourth century C.E., it includes a great deal of mythic and magical information on how King Solomon was able to control demons and build the Temple in Jerusalem. It has a great deal of astrological information, relating such things as how the decans are ruled by demons.

The ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, hard T. Represents the number 9. The fifth of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "serpent." Corresponds to Leo, the 19th Path (between Chesed and Geburah), and Tarot trump VIII (or XI) Strength.

A word based on the ancient Greek and often translated as “wonderworking.” Some people equate this with practical magick: magick that helps a practitioner obtain money, health, etc.

The Art
Among magickal oriented people, a term relating to the art of magick. Therefore, the skills and practices of magick.

The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage
Although often linked with other grimoires, the principal upon which the text is based is that all material happiness can only come from spiritual evolution. The text is divided into three books. The first is an autobiography of the author—a man who calls himself Abraham the Jew. The second book has the instructions for the sacred magick given to Abraham by Abramelin. It involves six months of purifications after which an Angel will appear and bond with the aspirant. The third book is a collection of magick-square talismans.

The Equinox
A series of book-sized journals created by Aleister Crowley. The ten issues of the first volume appeared on the equinoxes between 1909 and 1913. Volume II was never published. The first issue of volume III was published in 1919 and was known as the “Blue Equinox” due to the color of the cover. The second issue of the volume was not published. Crowley published issues 3–5 between 1939 and 1944. Other issues and volumes have been published after Crowley's death by people representing—or claiming to represent—Crowley’s legacy.

Controversy began with the first issue as it revealed some of the secrets of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Order’s head, MacGregor Mathers, filed a lawsuit to halt publication, but lost. (Curiously, Israel Regardie was attacked by members of the Golden Dawn for publishing material about the Order in the volumes of his book, The Golden Dawn, even though Crowley had published much of the same material almost 30 years earlier.)

The articles in "The Equinox" comprise one of the most complete explications of the Western occult tradition and magick ever published, combined with poetry, book reviews, and even personal attacks. In 1974, Israel Regardie published only the magical information from the ten numbers of volume I and the "Blue Equinox" in Gems from The Equinox (originally from Llewellyn Publications, now from New Falcon Publications).

The Grand Grimoire
Also known as the “Red Dragon,” this best known of the “black” grimoires includes instructions for making pacts with devils.

The Grimoire of Armadel
Often confused with the Lemegeton’s “Almadel” or the Arbatel of Magic (it borrows from the latter), it is a very simple book, full of colorful Sigils related to recognizable Angels and spirits along with borrowed conjurations. Apparently, one is intended to inscribe the Sigils on consecrated parchment, and use them to contact Angels and spirits who have mysteries to reveal.

The Magus
Published in 1801 and also known as the “Celestial Intelligencer,” it was meant as a textbook for classes in magick the author, Francis Barrett, was teaching. The material was taken from earlier works, including Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, the Heptameron, and the Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy.

Concerning the religion of Thelema as propounded by Aleister Crowley.

A follower of the religion of Thelema as propounded by Aleister Crowley.


In the O.T.O., the third part of the sixth degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as Very Illustrious Sovereign Grand Inspector General.

The third grade of initiation in the Golden Dawn associated with the element of Air and the sephira Yesod.

Magick, and especially the use of rituals, for the purpose of becoming more spiritual or achieving oneness with the Divine. Also refers to working with Divine spirits as opposed to lower entities or demons.


A spiritual tradition founded on the belief that specific rituals (if they are associated with a moral commitment and philosophy) can be used in order to raise the soul and ascend to the Divine, the goal of our terrestrial life.

According to the oral tradition, the word Theurgy was invented by the elder Julian—father of "Julian the young," who wrote the famous Chaldean Oracles. (The Oracles were destroyed by Christian fanatics during the first few centuries of the Common Era. A few excerpts were miraculously preserved as quotations in various books.)

Both Magic and Theurgy agree on and accept the existence of a spiritual world that is invisible to your physical senses. Both also accept the existence of a spiritual and invisible body deeply linked to your physical body by way of your current life.

The Magus uses his knowledge to perform rituals to obtain material results without any intention of raising his soul to the Divine. The Magus works with the chthonic daemons in order to obtain what he wants. By contrast, the Theurgist relies on his relationship with the Divinities for his spiritual work. Thus, the Theurgist is focused on a higher and purer form of magic called Theurgy. The essence of Theurgy is the liberation of the soul and the ascent to the Divine by the use of precise ceremonies. This is a vertical ascent and relationship between the humanity and Divinities. The Theurgist uses a conjunction of piety, devotion, and ritual.

Thought Control
A form of sex magick that is a method of controlling sexual energy via the mind during sexual excitation and orgasm.

Thought Form
Similar to an Artificial Elemental, it is a magical procedure for creating a non-physical entity to accomplish a specific task.

Three Books of Occult Philosophy
First drafted in 1509–10 by Henry Cornelius Agrippa (student of Johannes Trithemius), this is the single most important grimoiric text in existence. It is not, in fact, a practical manual, but is instead a compendium of the theories and philosophies upon which Medieval and Renaissance magick are based.

Three Triangles
A way of looking at the Tree of Life as if composed of three triangles. These triangles are:

CELESTIAL: The uppermost triangle, with one point up. MORAL: The central triangle, with one point down. MUNDANE: The lowest triangle with one point down.

Three Veils of Negative Existence
Descriptions of the ultimate unknowable deity, beginning with Ain, or no-thing understandable, then the Ain Soph or the quality of limitlessness. The third veil is the Ain Soph Or, or limitless white light.


See: thurible. 

Beauty. The 6th Sephira on the Tree of Life.

Ceremonial cymbals. In Tibetan spirituality they tend to be clangorous rather than sonorous. Thus, their purpose is to chase away demons.

The sixth Sephirah of the cabalistic Tree of Life, the central Sephirah on the Middle Pillar. The term is a Hebrew word meaning "Beauty." It represents the archetype of the number 6, the descent of the Godhead into consciousness. It corresponds to the divine name YHWH Eloah va-Daath, the archangel Raphael, the angelic choir called Melekim (Kings), and Shemesh, or heavenly Sphere of the Sun.

In Kether is the Radix of a Golden Glory and thence is there a pure, primitive and sparkling, gleaming golden yellow which is reflected unto Tiphareth. Thus is the first reflected Triad completed. And the Sphere of its operation is that of Shemesh, the Solar Light, and bestoweth Life, Light and Brilliancy in metallic matter, and it ruleth the sphere of action of the Sun. And Yhvh Eloha va-Daath is a God of Knowledge and Wisdom, ruling over the Light of the Universe; and its Archangel is Raphael, the Prince of Brightness, Beauty and Life. And the Name of the Order of Angels is Melechim or Malakim, that is Kings or Angelic Kings, who are also called the Order of Virtues, Angels and Rulers. The Angels Peniel and Pelial are also referred unto this Sephira. It especially rules the Mineral world.

Trans-Pantheonic Pairings

The practice of sex magick after invoking deities from different pantheons into the bodies of the participants. Also used to describe unusual pairings of deities (i.e., not the usual myth-based partners) into the participants of a sex magick ritual.

Treasure Map
A drawing or collage used to help you with Creative Visualization.

Tree of Life
Cabalism, at least in the Western occult tradition, is built around a diagram called the Tree of Life. This diagram contains ten circles representing the Sephiroth (singular: Sephirah); that is, the "spheres," "numbers," or "emanations." The Sephiroth are the numbers 1 through 10 considered in their archetypal sense. Each Sephirah is an archetypal idea. Also, the Sephiroth represent emanations from God and describe the process of creation. In the material world, they represent the heavenly spheres according to the classical conception.

Triangle of the Art
A large figure wherein non-physical entities appear to those trained to see them.

The eighteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Tz or Ts. Represents the number 90 (or, as a final letter, 900). The eleventh of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "fishhook." Corresponds to Aquarius, the 28th Path (between Netzach and Yesod), and Tarot trump XVII The Star (or, in the system of Aleister Crowley, IV The Emperor).


Just as many rituals begin by casting a circle, the process of opening a magickal circle at the end of a ritual is sometimes called uncasting a circle.


A crossing spell is the name for a folk magick rite that puts a curse or cross (in the form of an “X”) on a person. Uncrossing is the process of breaking a crossing spell.

Uncrossing Ritual

See: uncrossing.

Undines are elemental spirits of Water.

undine [G. undine or F. ondine, fr. L. unda, a wave, water.] 1. One of a class of fabled female water spirits who might receive human souls by intermarrying with mortals;--so called by Paracelsus, who conceived them as the elementary beings of water. 2. [cap.] (German pronunciation, oon-dee-neh) Such a being, the heroine of a romance of this name by De la Motte Fouque'. She was a changeling in the hut of a fisherman, where Sir Huldbrand fell in love with her and married her. But he soon neglected his wife for the lady Bertalda, and Undine was carried away by her sisters into the sea. She returned on the day of her husband's wedding with Bertalda, and gave him a fatal kiss.

The sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, V or W. Represents the number 6. The second of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "nail." Corresponds to Taurus, the 16th Path (between Chokmah and Chesed), and Tarot trump V The Hierophant.


In Voudoun, the personal seal of a Loa, or deity. It is traditionally drawn with flour or ashes upon the earth around the center post in the peristyle or ceremonial enclosure. Also called the Vévé in voodoo.

Very Illustrious Sovereign Grand Inspector General

In the O.T.O., the third part of the sixth degree of the Order. Part of the second or "Lover" Triad. Also known as Theoreticus.


Name for a séance where people stand in a circle holding hands rather than sitting around a table. 

Vodou and Voudoun
Vodou is an animistic Caribbean spiritual tradition, most usually associated with Haiti, which traces its lineage to the shamans of ancient Africa. It blends together (through a process known as "syncretisation") a number of traditional African beliefs with elements from other faiths, most notably Catholicism (the religion of the French slave traders who took the shamans of Africa to the Caribbean New World), but also those of the indigenous Haitian Taino and Arawak people and the European pre-Christian pagans who also came to settle there. Vodou believes in one creator-God called Gran Met ("Great Master") and a pantheon of lesser deities known as the Lwa. These entities, as well as the spirits of the ancestors ('zanset yo') are directly available to man through the mechanism of possession, a trance-like state where a person is taken over by one of these spirits so it may dispense healing, advice, or wisdom to the community faithful, who are known as Vodouissants. The shaman-priest of Vodou is known as the Houngan and the priestess as the Mambo. Often accomplished healers, magicians, and leaf doctors (herbalists), these spiritual leaders are also experts on the nature, desires, and ways of interacting with the spirits, as well as therapists, counselors, and doctors for their community.

To get smaller. The waning Moon occurs when, due to the positions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon, the visible Moon appears to be decreasing in size. This is the period from the full Moon to the new Moon when sunlight does not reflect off the Earth’s neighbor. When doing magick, this is traditionally a time for doing rituals to get rid of or end things such as bad habits, unwanted relationships, banishings, etc.

Something used for protection from outside forces. A ward can be a spell of protection. Magickal barriers.

Water Bowl
See Charging Cup.

Water Chalice
In the system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a symbolically decorated, stemmed goblet, usually made of glass. It is used by an adept to direct elemental water energy.

Getting larger. The waxing Moon occurs when, due to the positions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon, the visible Moon appears to be increasing in size. This is the period from the new Moon to the full Moon when sunlight reflects off the entire visible surface of Earth’s neighbor. When doing magick, this is traditionally a time for doing rituals to bring things to you and for growth, such as gaining wisdom, positive relationships, love, money, etc.

William Wynn Westcott (Dec. 17, 1848-June 30, 1925)—"The primary creator of the Golden Dawn was Dr. William Wynn Westcott. A London coroner who was interested in occultism, Westcott was a Master Mason and Secretary General of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia or the Rosicrucian Society in England (also called the SRIA). Westcott, along with two others founded the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1888. However, the Golden Dawn was definitely Westcott’s brainchild."

White Magic
White Magick has [divine] union as its goal. It is also known as contacting your higher self, contacting your spirit guides, cosmic consciousness, mysticism, or gaining the Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel. There are many other names for this type of magick, too.


Ancient Germanic term meaning sorcery or divination, especially divination by observing the Moon. 


A hope or desire to obtain something currently not possessed. Often, the means desired to obtain the wish is via some form of magick. Some fairy tales describe a wish being made and then fulfilled by a supernatural figure, often resulting in unexpected and undesired situations. In many magickal traditions, a wish, in comparison to a magickal goal, is not seen as being seriously held by the magical practitioner, and is therefore unlikely to be achieved.


See Witch Doctor.

Witches' Pyramid
A concept employing the triangle of manifestation. The Witches’ pyramid consists of three mental faculties: the will, imagination, and visualization. By employing the imagination, directed by the will, and merging with visualized images, the energy of magick begins to condense. This technique employs the ability of the mind to raise power or energy and to form it into a conceptual desire.


See: widdershins.  

A term for a magician, sorcerer, etc. Usually applies to a male. The female equivalent is “wizardess.”

William Robert Woodman (1828-1891)—"Dr. Woodman was a retired physician and a leading member of the SRIA [Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia]. Along with Mathers, Woodman was asked by Westcott to become one of the leaders of his new Order [of the Golden Dawn] in 1887. Woodman was an excellent Qabalist who had probably had a leading role in developing in the Qabalistic studies of the Golden Dawn. However, he died in 1891, before the Order was fully developed."

Word of Power

A word or name (especially of a deity or spirit) that is believed to possess great power when spoken aloud. In some cases, it is the vibration and pattern of sounds that is believed to have power as the word may have no meaning in any known language.


A term for any magickal operation. Similar in nature to the Latin term “opus” as it applies to a musical work. 

A ritual or magickal rite.

Working Partners

A pair of people, traditionally male and female, who work magick together. It is their interest and energetic polarity that empowers and strengthens their magickal working. May also refer to a couple working sex magick to differentiate them from their romantic partners. When performing sex magick, working partners and romantic partners are frequently the same.

Wort Cunning

The magickal use of herbs. 

Name of the white pillar in a temple of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. It is male, representing active energy, and associated with the Pillar of Mercy on the Kabalistic Tree of Life. Sometimes spelled “Jachin.”

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish poet, dramatist, and essayist who won the Nobel Prize in 1923. He was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which influenced much of his poetry, and feuded with Aleister Crowley.

Psychic center just above the head, it is also the deepest level of the unconscious. The Higher Self.

The ninth Sephirah of the cabalistic Tree of Life, the third Sephirah on the Middle Pillar. The term is a Hebrew word meaning "Foundation." It represents the archetype of the number 9, the manifesting aspect of the Godhead. It corresponds to the divine name Shaddai El Chai, the archangel Gabriel, the angelic choir called Kerubim, and Lebanah, or heavenly Sphere of the Moon.

The beams of Chesed and Geburah meet in Yesod and thence ariseth in Yesod a brilliant deep violet-purple or puce, and thus is the third Triad completed. And the sphere of its operation is that of Levanah, the Lunar beam, bestowing change, increase and decrease upon created things and it ruleth the Sphere of Action of the Moon and the nature of mankind. And Shaddai is a God who sheddeth benefits, Omnipotent and Satisfying, and Al Chai is the God of Life, the Living One. Its Archangel is Gabriel the Prince of Change and Alteration. And the name of the Order of Angels is Kerubim or Kerubic ones who are also called the Order of Angels.

The "World of Formation." The third of four Qabalistic worlds or stages of manifestation and the realm of angels. Yetzirah is attributed to the spheres of Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, Netzach, Hod, and Yesod. It is attributed to the element of air and the Hebrew letter Vav.

An English representation of four Hebrew letters, Yud Heh Vahv Heh. A code for the ultimate name of Divinity, indicating that the Divine is a blending of everything physical and spiritual. Mistakenly pronounced Jehovah or Yahweh by some ill-informed people.

The tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Y. Represents the number 10. The sixth of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "hand." Corresponds to Virgo, the 20th Path (between Chesed and Tiphareth), and Tarot trump IX The Hermit.

The yod is formed by two planets in sextile aspect, each forming a quincunx to a third. Also called the Finger of God, the "finger" is the planet receiving the two quincunxes. This configuration suggests a need to blend opportunity with an apparently discordant element, which adds a different level of vibration to the personality. Sometimes a need to develop special talents or awareness is associated with this pattern.

The seventh letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Z. Represents the number 7. The third of the twelve "single letters." A Hebrew word meaning "sword." Corresponds to Gemini, the 17th Path (between Binah and Tiphareth), and Tarot trump VI The Lovers.

The second grade of initiation in the Golden Dawn associated with the element of Earth and the sephira Malkuth on the Tree of Life.

Arguably the most famous of all Cabalistic books, the Zohar is a mystical commentary on the Jewish holy scriptures. Although attributed to Simeon bar (or ben) Yochai (or Jochai) of the 2nd century C.E., it was first published (and many say written) by Moses de Leon in the 13th century.

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