ATHAME (also ATHALME) A dagger used to cast a circle and perform other witchcraft rituals.

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------------------- ATHAME (also ATHALME): A dagger used to cast a circle and perform other witchcraft rituals. 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 crone). 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 Murray. 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 Religion). 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 solstices. 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.


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