Witchcraft Glossary give discussions to myth and ritual,alchemistry and other relatives,witchcraft and witchery!Witchcraft, in various historical, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. Historically, it was widely believed that witchcraft involved the use of these powers to inflict harm upon members of a community or their property.
Since the mid 20th century, the term witchcraft has sometimes been used to distinguish between bad witchcraft and good witchcraft, with the latter often involving healing. The concept of witchcraft as harmful is normally treated as a cultural ideology, a means of explaining human misfortune by blaming it either on a supernatural entity or a known person in the community. A witch (from Old English wicce f. / wicca m.) is a practitioner of witchcraft.
The "witch-cult hypothesis", a controversial theory that European witchcraft was a suppressed pagan religion, was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Since the mid-20th century, Witchcraft has become the self-designation of a branch of neopaganism, especially in the Wicca tradition following Gerald Gardner, who claimed a religious tradition of Witchcraft with pre-Christian roots.
Contents: âshipu |asûtu |āšipūtu |āšipu |Artemis |Amulet |Annual |All in Good Thyme:A Divination Spell |All-Purpose Herbalist's Spell |Alder |Apple,domestic |Ash |Avens |Adamova golova |Adrian i Mar'ia |Arkhangel |Artamon |Atsarosha golova |Aloe Vera |Anemone |Aneglica |Aster | | |
âshipu:means a 'cleric',the exorcist in Akkadian,rather like a 'conjurer'(of evils),or 'purifier'(of the misdeeds or blemishes deemed to have provoked the said evils),its another means of combating illness,for its aim was to get rid of the 'evil of suffering' as such,and its base is no longer on empiricism,but on a true system of thinking that was mythological and in short 'theological', of reliance on the gods and recourse to their powers,its specialist was called âshipu in akkadian.1,the âshipu effaces himself completely before the gods he represents,as from the final address(5),they are the true healers,the sickness here is regarded as a material reality,brought from outside('Hell") by 'demons',and deposited in the body of the sick man,who has found himself exposed and defencelss against such a danger by his god,whom he had offended and who had handed him over to the executors of his vengeance.2,in exorcist medicine,only the gods took action;the exorcist merely implored them by means of ritual that was traditional and reputed to be capable of influencing them more surely...from start to finish,exorcists and doctors may be seen striving side by side,often at the bedside of the same patients.3
asûtu:the physician's craft,the large collections of medical recipes of ancient Mesopotamia..4
āšipūtu:the exorcist's craft,taxt rather medical in our view in ancient mesopotamia.5
āšipu:the performer of magical rituals for healing and apotropaic purposes and for purifications, or with a loan word from Sumerian,mašmaššu,in what follows both titles are rendered by 'exorcist',an admittedly somewhat incorrect translation because exorcizing demons was not his only task,āšipu was a scholar,his knowledge came for the most part from written sources,although the oral tradition,passed from master to apprentice,was also important,āšipu replied on the text,the fixed wording representing the tradition of the old masters.6
Artemis:Artemis is a Maiden who is often referred to as a virgin;this term denotes that she belonged to herself.It was rumored that Artemis had lovers both male and femal,but according to mythology,her lovers usually met with a sad end.Artemis and her roman counterpart,Diana,are associated with the waxing crescent moon.This divine huntress is called on to assist in childbirth,to protect women from violence,for courage,and for daring to be yourself and walking your own path.She is associated with the following lunar herbs:daisy,date palm,myrtle,and mugwort.Mugwort's botanical name is Artemisia- isn't that interesting?Artemis is also associated with the herbal trees hazel,willow,and cypress.
Amulet:A type of herbal charm,ornament,or jewel that aids and protects its wearer.
Annual:A plant that completes its life cycle in one growing season.
All in Good Thyme:A Divination Spell:This enchantment process during the full moon.For this spell you will need a pair of your shoes,a few tablespoons of water,a sprig of thyme,and a sprig of rosemary.(If you can't get your hands on the fresh herbs,use a pinch of dried thyme and dried rosemary.)Tuck the thyme in your right shoe and the rosemary in your left.Then confidently set the shoes in your bedroom in a place where the light of the full moon will shine down on them.Sprinkle three drops of water on the shoes and herbs(just a bit of water--you don't want to ruin your shoes),and then just before you turn in for the night,repeat this charm three times:
In the light of the moon,I work this old herbal spell,
By my will and desire,may it all turn out well.
A vision of my future love,reveal to me this night,
A dream conjured from rosemary,thyme,
and silver moonlight.
In the morning,write down any dreams you had.Return the herbs to nature,and keep your eyes open until the next full moon to see what,or who,turns up.7
All-Purpose Herbalist's Spell:Here is an all-purpose spell for your herb magic.It calls upon the historical knowledge of the wisewomen and the cunning men,the first true "wise ones."This herb magic also taps into your own innder wisdom and power.The following spell will work nicely with rose color magic or for other positive spells that you will soon be conjuring up on your own.Happy casting!
May the wise ones of old hear me in this hour,
As I call on the herbalist's inner power.
By color and scent,this herbal spell is begun,
As I will so mote it be,an let it harm none.
Alder:Alder(Alnus glutinosa),a dried sacred tree in celtic magic.The pith is easily pushed out of fresh green alder shoots to make whistles.Several shoots bound togethor side by side,one end stopped with plugs of wood,clay or sealing compound,can be used to entice Air Elementals to your area.Trim the end of each shoot to produce the notes you want.The old superstition of whistling up the wind comes from this.8
This tree yields three dyes:red from the bark,brown from the twigs,and green from the flowers.It is said that the Elves use the green dye from alder.10
Apple,domestic:A dried sacred tree.Cut an apple into three pieces.Rub the cut side on warts,saying:"Out warts,into apple."Bury the pieces;as the apple decays,the warts will disappear.Use apple cider in any old spells calling for blood or wine.
Apple or Crab Apple(Pyrus malus),also known as Fruit of the Gods,Fruit of the Underworld,Silover Bough,Tree of Love.An apple cut crosswise will reveal a five-point star,symbol of Freyja and Idhunn.Apples are a Norse symbol of long life.Apple wood can be carved into charms for long life and wisdom.Wands of this wood are used in love rituals.Cider is an excellent substitute for blood when called for in old spells.11
Apples,the Goddess' fruit of immortality,wisdom and fertility.Avalon means "apple land."Cut crosswise and see the pentacle formed by the seeds.Long before the so-called "sin" of Eve,apples were the fruit offered humanity as Hueva,Hebrew Mother of All.The wild apple gives poetic immortality and is the fruit of Olwen,Welsh love goddess.21
Ash:Ash(Fraxious excelsior),a Druid sacred tree.Druid wands were often made of ash and carved with decorations.Ash wands are good for healing,general and solar magic.Put fresh ash leaves under your pillow to stimulate psychic dreams.
Gather ash leaves and take them to a place outdoors where you can work undisturbed.With your sword or knife,scratch a circle around you in the ground.Make it large enough to work in without crossing the line.Face the East,holding the ash leaves in both hands.Say:"Elementals of the East,rulers of Air,bring me knowledge and inspiration."Throw a few leaves to the East.Turn to the South,say:"Elementals of the South,rulers of Fire,bring me energy and change."Throw a few leaves to the South.Turn to the West,say :"Elementals of the West,rulers of Water,bring me healing and love."Throw a few leaves to the West.Turn to the North,say :"Elementals of the North,rulers of Earth,bring me prosperity and success."Throw a few leaves to the North.Stand in the center of the circle with both hands raised:"Blessings to all who come to my aid.Between friends is this bargain made."Rub out the cut line.9
Ash,Mountain(Fraxinus excelsior or F.americana).An ash twig hung over the doors repels evil,as does scattering the leaves to the four directions around your house.Burning as wood at Yule (Winter Solstice) brings prosperity.Ash wands are for healing.12
Avens:Avens(Geum urbanum).Also known as Herb Bennet,Star of the Earth,Yellow Avens,Blessed Herb,Golden Star.Its three leaves represent Thorr,Odhinn and Freyr.An exorcism plant when added to incenses,but when carried it attracts the opposite sex.13
Adamova golova:Adamova golova(Adam's Head).This is variously identified by Dal'(who notes no magical qualities) as mandragora and Centaurea scabiosa.Magicians were supposed to gather in on St John's Day and keep it hidden until Holy Thursday.It was used for the magical fumigation of the equipment used in duck-shooting on that day.This 'tsar of herbs' was to be culled using a cross and a prayer;if brought into the house of anyone blighted by an evil spell or of a woman unable to conceive,they would be relieved if given the plant in a drink.If blessed with holy water and placed on the altar for forty days it would enable the wearer to detect demons and magicians.It could heal wounds in three days.In the Ukraine its property was to attract gifts and ease childbirth.14
Adrian i Mar'ia:Adrian i Mar'ia,also called Ivan da Mar'ia,Lokim i Mar'ia,trava Ivan.Koren identifies Ivan-da Mar'ia as Melampyrum nemorosum.It was used by znakhari to restore marital harmony as well as curing several illnesses.It could also be gathered on St John's Day before sunrise,and placed at the four corners of a house as a protection from burglars.Dal' lists only Ivan-trava,with several possible identifications,and no magical attributes.15
Arkhangel:Arkhangel,Arkharik,Arkhalim,(Tsar'-)Arkhilin,/arkhiton,Akhtonom,Tsar'-sil,Tsar'-simtarim(local variants and equivalents).Dal' lists Arkhilin as a fabulous plant.Seventeenth-eighteenth-century herbals say it grows from the ribs of a corpse and is culled with a gold or silver coin on St John's Day.Whoever wore it need fear no devil or sorcerer or evil man,would win cases in court,and all would love him.Prepared with milk it would remedy childlessness and ward off porcha.See also simtarina below..16
Artamon:St Artamon's day,12 September,was the 'snakes' holiday'.A plant named after the saint was a specific against evil spirits.17
Atsarosha golova:This had to be gathered with a cross and three hundred repetions of the prayer 'Lord Jesus Christ,Son of God,have mercy on me,a sinner'.If taken as an infusion it would counter malefic magic(porcha) and help women in labour.Anyone wishing to detect the Devil or a 'heretic'(i.e.wizard) could soak the root in water and place it on the altar for forty days,after which he would be able to see the demons of air and water.18
Aloe Vera:Aloe Vera(Aloe.barbadensis):Climp forming perennial succulent with basal rosettes of tapering,thick,sword-shaped leaves,mottled green,later greygreen.flower stems carry bell shaped,yellow flowers in summer.Native to southern Africa,Arabia,and the Cape Verde Islands,this genus comprises of 325 species of tender,evergreen perennials,shrubs,trees and climbers.Introduced to Europe in the 10th century.(Family:Liliaceae Aloeaceae). The old ancient civilisations knew a lot about the virtues of the plants growing in their environment and many of the great minds belonging to those societies recorded the amazing benefits they discovered Aloe Vera had for mankind.From Persia and Egypt to the Middle East,to Greece,Italy,India and the African continent,her praises were,and still are,sung. Aloe Vera,it could be said,is the oldest flowering plant on the planet Earth,for now.Discoveries in China of flowering plant fossils,in 1998,have dated this type of plant to between 142 to 148 million yeats old!
To Survive on the Earth for that long,any living thing would need to evolve well enough to meet nature's challenges and perhaps that is why Aloe Vera has developed so many healing and life giving properties.In 1994,a Dr.Winters of the University of Texas health Science Centre,reported that Aloe contains at least 140 substances which control cell growth and division,reduce inflammation,stimulate the growth of white cells and other immune-function cells.Aloe heals wounds and is also an infection healer.Dr.Winters calls Aloe "a pharmacy in a plant."
According to Professor Marilyn Reid,"the earliest record reference to Aloe Vera is noted on the Sumerian clay tablets,which are over four thousand years old,and were found during excavations in the ancient city of Nippur.The tablets describe Aloe's whose leaves were used as a laxative.Ever since then,over the ages,references can be found on the materials of the day,written by the great minds of all these times,touting the benefits of Aloe.To the Egyptians,she was the plant of immortality and her magic healing effects were worshipped as a god.Aloe was used in the embalming of the Pharaohs by them and Cleopatra and Neferetiti regarded her gel as a fountain of youth and used it to protect their skin."
Her fame for healing wounds,convinced Aristotle to persuade Alexander the Great to capture the island of Socratra,in the Indian Ocean,where so many of these fragrant desert lilies grew,so that he may obtain the plants and use them to treat his wounded soldiers.
From as early as 400 BC,the Aloe plant has been processed and exported to Asia.Since then,she has been grown in India for her healing properties and is still used today for these purposes,including a new method of the use of her leaves which are baked into bread to relieve mental illness.
According to the Bible too,Aloe was an embalming ingredient and the body of Jesus Christ was wrapped in linen impregnated with myrrh and aloes.(St.John 19:39.40).
To the Chinese,Aloe Vera is "Lu Hui", and they have been using this remarkable plant for at least 2000 years.Today,they use it as a treatment for radiation burns,thermal burns,chapped and dry skin,leg ulcers and to help heal disorders of the stomach,spleen and liver.
In ancient Greek pharmacology,Dioscorides gives the first detailed description of Aloe Vera where he notes how her juice had the "power of binding and inducing sleep," whereas the whole leaf,"could stop bleeding of many wounds."
Additionally,Aloe is used around the would in a plethora of cosmetics and is consumed as a healthy drink.Today,serious studies of Aloe Vera are taking place because this plant's leaves can seemingly help almost any ailment,externally and internally,in relation to nearly every part of the body,from bruises to H.I.V.
In the old days,Aloe was said to have the powers of luck and protection and some believed,and some still do,that an aloe plant in the home guards against evil influences and prevents accidents.
She can ease the pain of body and mind,and if you can't grow one in your garden,try growing one in your greenhouse.Ancient amongst the flowers,the fragrant Aloe Vera,magnificent gift from nature,is truly The Wand from Heaven..19
Anemone:Anemone:the Bride of the West Wind,a perennial found throughout N.temperate and artic regions,flowers with 5-9 perianth-segments ranging from white to yellow,pink or blue,but hybrids exhibit and even greater range of colour:the flower stalks have small divided leaves two thirds of the way up,basal leaves appear later.Family:Ranunculaceae.Over 150 species,Hepatica nobilis has a long history of medicine in Europe.the fragile and pretty Anemone derives its name from the Greek 'anemos,' signifying the wind.For the Greeks,Anemones was the bride of the west wind.At one time Anemone was on the favourite nymphs of Chloris,queen of flowers,who,jealous of the attention Zephyr,the wind god paid to the graceful nymph,banished Anemone from her Court.Zephyr turned her into a flower he could caress. In olden times,wonderful powers were attributed to Anemone.Magicians ordered that every person should gather the first Anemone that he saw in the year as a remedy against disease,a tradition which continued in Britian for many a year.To the Dutch,she is the Easter flower,as she is to the French,when wearing her purple blooms,and in Palestine,where she wears red,Anemone is said to have originated from the drops of blood that flowed from the wounds of Christ at the time of the Crucifixion,which accounts for Anemone being one of the flowers chosen by the Christian Church as a symbol of the Holy Trinity.
At the approach of rain,or night,the delicately tissued petals of the wind flower are curled up as she goes to sleep and this is said to be the wood fairy nestling inside the flower and drawing the petals closely around itself.
The blooms of Anemone decked the halls of Venus and one old classic legend tells how,as Venus,mourning her beloved Adonis,wanders through the woodlands,Zephyr,god of wind,said to produce fruit and flowers from the sweetness of his breath,watches Venus from afar,and is so moved by her sorrow,that he turns each crystal tear into a flower as it falls to earth:
"Wind flowers,we since these blossoms call,
So very frail are they,
Tear-drop from Venus' eye let fall,
Our wood anemone." .20
Aneglica:Angelica(flowers of the Angels),this is a genus of about 150 biennials native to temperate parts of the Northern Hemisphere.Can be found in northern and Eastern Europe,Greenland and central Asia.Aromatic,with thick hollow stems and deeply divided leaves,Angelica produces umbels of tiny green-white flowers that appear in early summer.Stems have culinary usage and when crystallised may be used for confectionery decoration.
Angelica's tiny blooms appear at the time of the Feast of the Annunciation which celebrates the angel Gabriel's foretelling to Mary of the birth of Jesus and of the promise of his greatness.
According to legend,the archangel Michael appeared to a medieval monk,and told him about the healthy and protective properties of this wonderful plant.Her name comes from the Medieval Latin,"herba angelica,"meaning 'angel herb,' from the belief that it would protect against evil and cure all ills.St.Michael is one of the four archangels in both Jewish and Christian scriptures.He is considered the patron angel and guardian of Isreal.A feast honouring St.Michael(Michaelmas) is held on November 8th. Angelica did not cure the plague,but to protect themselves against it,people would place a piece of the plant's root inside the mouth as an antiseptic and it is said that Angelica protected entire villages during the plague.
The word 'angel' from the Greek,refers to the 'messenger,' who was God's envoy to man and a divine link with the world of spirit.Serving God in various capacities,such as acting as a messenger or as a guardian of individuals,angels,in traditional Christianity,were understood to be created before the world and are often depicted with a human body and wings.This concept began in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament.
A gift from the angels,Angelica is used in many parts of the world for medicinal purposes and as an essential oil in perfumes.Her leaves are used for herbal tea,to decorate food,and the fragrance of them is said to smell like that of an angel's! Her seeds are used for making candy and her stalks for making jam. Chinese medicine uses at least ten varieties of Angelica,to strenthen the heart and immune system.One form of Angelica---Angelica.sinensis is probably the most important Chinese tonic after Ginseng,dating back to about AD200.
In Europe during the 15th century,Angelica was rated the most important of all medicinal herbs.In England,dried Angelica roots helped painful stomachs and abated lust!
Around the world,various types of Angelica are used mainly as a tonic for women.Although not given to pregnant women,chicken soup with Angelica root is a popular folk remedy after childbirth.All parts of the plant were believed once to be effective against spells and enchantment.In Germany,where Angelica was known as The Root of the Holy Ghost,people believed that the plant could eliminate the effects of intoxication and render witchcraft harmless.
For protection against witchcraft,Angelica was once worn against the body and placed around the house.To protect the house and its inhabitants from evil or all kinds,Angelica was planted in the garden at all Four Corners of the house.
American Indians too,used Angelica for medicinal purposes and if Angelica is included amonst the dried herbs and flowers in a Dream Pillow,it is believed by some that it will give a pleasant,relaxing sleep.Associated with divine magic and inspiration,our gardens can only be enhanced by the presence of the amazing and useful Angelica,the flower of the angels..21
Aster:Aster:star flowers from teardrops,Aster is a member of a large group of mainly perennials from America,Asia and Africa,whose flower heads are daisy-like with outer ray florets of blue,pink,purple,or white.flowering later than most perennials they continue to colour our gardens brightly until late autumn.(Genus:Aster,over 250 species.Family:Compositae).Commonly known as Michaelmas Daisy and Starwort.
According to the Victorian writers of the language of flowers,the heart-cheering Aster is the symbol of love,daintiness,and was once a talisman of love.But in the early days,to the ancients,Asters were thought to hold magical powers.People of old used to burn the leaves of Aster,believing the odour would drive away serpents and evil spirits. Her name,Aster,means 'star,' and according to one story,this beautiful flower originates from the tears of Astraea,the Greek goddess of justice,daughter of Zeus and Themis.The god Jupiter,was so angered once by people fighting each other with iron weapons,he decided to send a great flood to destroy the entire race.All the gods left the Earth and the last to leave was Astraea,who was so saddened at having to go that she asked to be turned into a star.When,eventually,the waters receded,all that could be seen was mud and slime.Astraea was so sorrowful when she looked down and saw how Earth had lost its beauty,she wept tears of stardust,and where each rainbow particle touched the Earth,a lovely starflower appeared and they were named Aster,in honour of the goddess.
To the English,Aster was known once as Starwort,owing to the healing properties of the flower's root.The purple Aster is cultivated by the Chinese for medicinal use and was first mentioned in Chinese literature c.AD200.The purple Aster is found in meadows and beside rivers in Eastern Asia.
Virgil wrote that the flavour of honey would be improved if Aster flowers were boiled in wine and placed near a beehive.This association between the Aster and honeybees continues in herbal medicine today where the Aster is used as an expectorant herb with honey to help clear the bronchial system of infection.
The Cherokee Indians tell a different story about the origins of Aster.According to one of their legends,two warring tribes once battled over a hill and down into a village,where all the villagers were killed except two little sisters who hid in the woods.The sisters both wore skin dresses,one dyed lavender-blue with fringes,the other bright yellow. When it was safe to leave the woods,the two sisters sought out the herb woman who lived over the mountain in another valley.The herb woman gathered herbs by day and made magic potions at night.
One night,as the sisters slept,the herb woman looked into the future and saw that the enemy would hunt down the two girls.So,she sprinkled them with a magic brew anc covered them with leaves.
In the morning there were two flowers where the little sisters had once been.One was the lavender-blue Aster;the other was the yellow Golden-rod.Also known as Michaelmas Daisy,this name was given first to North American species when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced which brought Michaelmas forward by 11 days,to 29th September,the time of flowering.
Wreaths of Asters were once placed on the altars of the gods and owing to her association with love,the Aster is also known as the herb of Venus.To the French,the Aster is their flower emblem,to the Chinese,she signifies fidelity.Whether they grow in meadows or mountains,near rivers or fountains,the rainbow-coloured starflowers of Aster are a heavenly vision and a grace to every garden..22
1: see p.169,chapter 10,Magic and Medicine,Supernatural Forces,from Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia,by Jean Bottéro,translated by Antonia Nevill.Published by Johns Hopkins University Press,Baltimore,Maryland 21218-4363;Originally published as Initiation à l'Orient ancien,by Editions du Seuil,Paris.
2: Ibid.,p.171.,the final address(5) said:"The oral rite,in the form of a final invocation:'May the divine healer Gula,who is able to restore the dying to life,make him whole again by the touch of her hand!And you,compassionate Marduk,utter the formula that will free him from his trouble, so that he is completely out of danger!"
4: see p.14.part 1,witchcraft and magic in ancient mesopotamia,by Marie-Louise Thomsen,under title "Religion",from Witchcraft and Magic in Europe:Biblical and Pagan Societies,by Frederick H.Cryer,Marie-Louise Thomsen,edited by Bengt Ankarloo and Stuart Clark.Published by University of Pennsylvania Press Philadelphia,ISBN:0-8122-1785-3,www.upenn.edu/pennpress.
7: see p.53~54.Chapter 3,unde title "Loving Spells from the Spice Rack",from Herb Magic for Beginners: Down-to-Earth Enchantments,By Ellen Dugan,Published by Llewellyn Worldwide, 2006,ISBN 0738708372, 9780738708379
8: see p.133~146,chapter 10,Spell work,under title "herb magic",from Celtic Magic,by D. J. Conway,Published by Llewellyn Worldwide,1990,ISBN 0875421369,9780875421360.
10: See p.164~174,under title "Herb Magic",from Norse Magic,by D.J.Conway.Published by Llewellyn Worldwide, 1990.ISBN 0875421377, 9780875421377
14: See p.271.3.Herbs and Roots,under title "The Bathhouse at Midnight",from The bathhouse at midnight: an historical survey of magic and divination in Russia,by William Francis Ryan,Published by Penn State Press,1999,ISBN 0271019670, 9780271019673.
15: Ibid.see p.272
16: Ibid.see p.272
17: Ibid.see p.272
18: Ibid.see p.272
19: See p.7~10.from Mythical Flower Stories,By Marilyn Reid,Published by Lulu.com, 2007.ISBN 1847535216,9781847535214
20:22: Ibid.see p.11~12,13~16.19
21: See p.293.chaper "Cycle 11.Plant Magic",from Ariadne's Thread: A Workbook of Goddess Magic,By Shekhinah Mountainwater.Edition: illustrated.Published by The Crossing Press, 1991.ISBN 0895944758, 9780895944757
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