ATHAME (also ATHALME): A dagger used to cast a circle and perform other
THE CRAFT: Witchcraft.
CIRCLE: The space within which Wiccan rituals are held and where it is believed
contact with greater spiritual forces can be achieved.
COVEN: A group of people who convene for ritual magic or pagan worship. Though
usually numbering 12 or 13, a coven may range from three to a score or more.
DIANIC: In Margaret Murray's "The God of the Witches," published in 1933, the
Dianic cult worshiped a two-faced, horned god known to the Romans as Janus or
Dianus, who represented the cycle of the seasons. This was supposed to be the
ancient religion continued by covens of witches. Today the Dianic tradition
refers to the ritual worship of the triple goddess (maiden, mother, and
ESBAT: Meeting of a coven held at regular intervals, such as once a week or at
some phase of the moon. The word appears to have been invented by Margaret
GROVE: A group of covens.
OLD RELIGION: This term for the alleged universal pre-Christian goddess
religion first appears in "Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches," published in
1899. The author, Charles G. Leland, claimed to have met a woman in Italy who
was descended from a with family that practiced "la Vecchia Religione" (the Old
PENTAGRAM: A continuous line that crosses itself to form a five pointed star.
Shown with one point up, it is a symbol of the Old Religion. Two points up are
supposed to indicate devotion to Satan.
SABBAT: Meeting of a coven to mark the eight major annual festivals of the Old
Religion. These are Samhain (Halloween), the Celtic religious new year;
Oimelc (Feb. 1), a festival of winter purification and the approach of spring;
Beltane (May 1), the great fertility festival; Lughnasadh (Aug. 1), the
festival of first fruits and, in some traditions, the time of the death of the
sacred king; the vernal and autumnal equinoxes; and the winter and summer
SATANISM: The worship of the devil, often employing inversions of Christian
rituals. (Witchcraft is non-Christian, therefore not Satanism).
WICCA: The Old English word for a male witch; today widely used by followers of
the Craft to refer to wisecraft, that is:
WITCHCRAFT: The craft of the wise.