A word often associated with Witches, yet it has a simple meaning in the OED dictionary, which is: To charm someone through deceit.


Also known as "May Day". One of the main sabbats celebrated on 1st May. Beltane is the time for celebrating the union of the Goddess and God, and is considered a fertility festival. (Note that in ancient times, fertility didn't mean erotic activity, but the prospering of farms and animals.) 

Beltane marks the "death" or the winter season and the "birth" of spring.  It is also one of the few festivals that has remained true to its original form through the centuries. Beltane is considered a time of "renewal and hope".



Divination, banishing, absorbing negative energy, protection, binding


Blessed Be

A traditional Wiccan greeting that has been shortened from "Blessed be the Great Mother, without beginning and without end, everlasting into eternity." The accent is on the second syllable of blessed, and is pronounced bless-ihd be.


Courage, strength, victory, wealth, self-confidence, business and legal affairs, stops bleeding, helps regulate the first four chakras.


Truth, tranquility, protection, hope, honour, change, psychic ability.

Book of Shadows

A journal kept by Wiccans of personal spells, rituals, magickal successes and failures and spiritual progress.


This is the only Witch's tool, except perhaps for the cauldron, which is identified with the popular image of the Witch; so quite apart from its ritual uses, many Witches regard it affectionately as a symbol of the Craft, and keep one even if it isn't used. 

It was originally a riding and dancing-pole, disguised as an ordinary household besom for security reasons.  Stories about Witches riding through the air on broomsticks doubtless arose from their use in crop fertility rites.  Women would ride them around the fields, leaping as high as they could. This was a sympathetic magick in two ways.  The higher the leap the higher the crop would grow.

The fertility theme would be dramatized, in those less prudish days, by the way in which the women used their phallic poles during their "riding".  After which it is hardly necessary to add that the broomstick is a masculine symbol. 

It was also the symbol of Hecate's priestess-midwife, who swept the threshold of a house after each birth to remove evil spirits who might harm the new born child.



Stability, integrity, justice, sensuality, endurance, animals, concentration, grounding.