When many people think of witches, they imagine a scene from the Dark Ages. They think of old warty women cackling, pointed black hats, and bubbling cauldrons. While those exaggerated images are fun around Halloween, they are far from the reality for a group of modern day witchcraft practitioners known as Wiccans. When many people think of the term witch, they think of iconic witches such as the Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz," but these stereotypes are not what modern Wicca is about at all.
Wicca is an earth-based religious movement and form of modern paganism. It is estimated that there are over a million practicing Wiccans in the United States alone. And while Wicca has no central authority, like how Catholics defer to a Pope there are various teachings and traditions that are understood throughout the entire movement. There truly are many ways to be Wiccan.
So if you'd like to put your Wiccan vocabulary knowledge to the test, summon some courage and take this magical quiz.
Wiccans practice witchcraft. In Wicca, all practitioners of witchcraft are called witches, regardless of sex or gender.
Many Wiccans worship the Goddess in three aspects. These include the young maiden, fertile mother, and wise crone.
Astrology studies the movements of the planets and other heavenly bodies. It says that they effect human lives.
Some Wiccans adopt a craft name to use in their practice. This gives them a magical identity separate from their legal and day-to-day name.
Many modern Wiccans are solitary witches. This means that they largely practice the craft alone.
Covens are groups of witches who meet regularly to practice. They can be large or small.
Wicca was invented in England during the 20th century. All Wiccan practice branches off from what is known as British Traditional Wicca.
Some Wiccans or Witches call their religious practice The Craft. This term was borrowed from Masons.
Eclectic witches practice on their own terms. They draw from a variety of traditions to practice what feels right to them.
An Esbat is a Wiccan ceremony. It can be either for worship or spell casting.
Witches begin rituals and spellwork by casting a circle. This denotes sacred space and separates it from mundane space.
One of the most well-known pagan rituals is that of drawing down the moon. Typically, a Wiccan high priestess will invoke the spirit of the Goddess into her body.
Skyclad means naked. Some covens who practice in private do ritual work skyclad.
The elements are earth, wind, fire, and air. In Wicca these are also known as the four corners, or quarters.
Widdershins means "counterclockwise." It has Irish roots.
An athame is a ritual knife. They are used as symbols of air or fire and not used to actually cut anything.
A bolline is a special knife used by traditionalist witches. It can be used to cut herbs or cords or scratch symbols.
Cups are a symbol of water. Pentacles symbolize earth, swords air, and wands represent fire.
This is the act of sprinkling saltwater or clean water. It can be done with the fingers, a wand, or other magical tools.
Channeling is when a medium lets a spirit or other entity borrow their body. The entity will then speak through them.
Elemental spirits are sometimes called Faeries. They are associated with the four elements.
Many witches are drawn to animals they feel spiritual connections with. A stereotype is for witches to be associated exclusively with black cats, though, any animal may be a familiar.
Fascinations are attempts to control the minds of others through magic. This is considered dark magic.
Hand fastings are Pagan commitment ceremonies. These can accompany legal weddings, or stand on their own.
Astral projection is a concerted effort that results in someone's consciousness leaving their body at will. It is a difficult skill to master.
Divination is a popular magical practice. There are numerous ways to do it.
Reincarnation is a belief that all humans hold an ageless and sexless soul that has been and will be reborn again. It is common amongst Pagans, Wiccans, Hindus, and Buddhists.
Many magic practitioners believe in reincarnation. They believe that, through the use of magic, one can gain insight into their past lives.
The Wiccan Rede provides the basic ideas of Wicca. It includes the famous phrase "An it harm none, do what thou will."
Sigils are often used in magic working. Many witches make their own for their own uses.
Many practitioners of Wicca call the afterlife Summerland. It has no negative or positive connotation.
All classic tarot decks contain 78 cards. These include the major arcana and minor arcana.
According to the threefold law, the energy you release comes back to you three times more intensely. This is true of positive and negative energy.
Herbalism is a common kind of witchcraft. Even without knowing it, many people use herbs and plants for healing.
Witches often keep journals of their spellwork and things they find useful for it. A book like this is called a Grimoire or Book of Shadows.