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Pagan Dictionary





MABON: The Lesser Sabbat celebrated on or about September 21st. This sabbat marks the balance and harmony in the days and nights being equal before the God gives way to the night. Also known as Alban Elfed, Alban Elued, Autumnal Equinox, Meán Fómhair.

MACHAROMANCY: Divination by interpreting knives or swords.

MACROCOSM ("big world", or universe): The universe. Macrocosm connotes the "bigger picture", or larger world view.

MACUMBA: The Brazilian form of Vodoun and Santería. Macumba is not in itself a religion but the umbrella for the two principal forms of African spirit worship in Brazil: Candomblé and Umbanda. Macumba is sometimes used to refer to harmful magick, but that is more properly called Quimbanda. Macumba is also called Spiritism.

MAGE: A practitioner of ceremonial magick. The term mage is usually reserved for fully trained and adept practitioners.

MAGICIAN’S PENTACLE: A round disk or circle inscribed with the five pointed star, circles, squares or crosses inscribed with the names of angels and demons or the Names of Power. The five points on the star pentacle represent God or man and the four elements of nature; the five senses; the five wounds inflicted on Christ on the cross; and the five points of man in the outstretched position. As an amulet the pentacle protects a mage against attack from demons or spirits; as a talisman, it enables him/her to conjure and command them. Also known as Pentacle of Solomon.

MAGICK: Consciously focusing will (thought), form (physical) and emotion(desire) to effect change. Technically speaking, any conscious act is a magickal act. Magick is neither good nor evil, positive nor negative. The practitioner, not the energy form, determines the path and outcome it will take.

MAGICKAL NAME: The name of a practitioner of magick that is their true identity and therefore usually kept secret. Differentiated from a Craft Name in that the Craft Name is the name a Witch uses to identiy him/herself publicly.

MAGICKAL SYSTEMS: A basic set of guidelines relating to magickal and cultural traditions, sometimes including religion.

MAGICKAL WORKING: The process of using magick to reach a desired positive goal. Also known as Working.

MAGICK CIRCLE:  

A representation of unity and immortality;
Space that is ritually cleansed and protected to conduct ritual and/or magick. Many traditions believe that it is most effective if the space is in the form of a nine foot circle. Also known as Circle, Circle of Being (COB), Circle of Protection (COP).
MAGICK SQUARE: A square array of numbers or letters in which the sum or spelling of each row and each column (and sometimes each diagonal) is the same. Magic squares have been found in ancient writings from many parts of the world and are considered to be potent talismans.

MAHATMA:

An individual who through serious study and accomplishments is considered highly proficient in a particular magickal system. A Master.
An individual with an earnest desire to better the world who, through arduous self-denial and self-development, has attained knowledge and powers that befit them to assist in the ruling of the world;
Also known as Abdal, Adept, Rishi, Rahat.
MAIDEN:

An aspect of the Goddess symbolized by the waxing moon, creation, and the time between Beltane and Imbolc.
In Wicca or Witchcraft, the assistant to the High Priestess.
MAJOR ARCANA :

The 22 Trump Cards depicting dominant occurrences in a Tarot deck. The Minor Arcana consist of 56 suit cards that assist in fleshing out the situations indicated by the Trump Cards, or indicate smaller occurrences in our lives. The Minor Arcana are also known as the Lesser Arcana. See also: Tarot Cards.
The primary chemicals of early alchemy. The Major Arcana consists of the four compounds: Vitriol, Natron, Liquor Hepatis, and Pulvis Solaris. The seven chemicals comprising the Minor Arcana are: Sulfuric Acid, Iron, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Nitrate, Liquor Hepatis, Red Pulvis Solaris, and Black Pulvis Solaris. 
MAMA, MAMBO, MANMAN: Mambo is a Vodoun priestess. "Houngan" is the term for priest. A Mambo's congregation often calls her manman or mama.

MANDALA (Sanskrit, mandala: "disc; circle"): A symbolic circular figure representing the universe that is used for ritual purposes in Hinduism and Buddhism . The Mandala also appears under different names in Christianity, Gnosticism, Alchemy and Native American traditions.

MANITOU (Algonquian, manito: "he has surpassed"): A Native American term for a good or evil spirit. In modern usage it is most commonly associated with the Creator.

MANTICORE: A mythical creature with the head of a man, the body of a lion, a porcupine's quills, and the tail of a dragon or scorpion.

MARGARITOMANCY: Divination using pearls and interpreting the light reflected or the way they fall. Similar to Lithomancy.

MARRIAGE OF THE DIVINE POLARITIES, The: The Wiccan ritual enacting the union of the Goddess and the God that can be symbolic (in the presence of others) or actual (in private and only between established lovers and working-partners); it is an essential part of the Traditional Wiccan rite of Third Degree Initiation. Also known as the Great Rite, Heiros Gamos, Sacred Marriage of the Goddess and the God.

MARTINMAS: The August 1st Greater Sabbat that celebrates the first harvest, when the fruits of the Earth are cut and stored for dark winter months. The sabbat also marks the weakening of the God as the days grow shorter. Also known as August Eve, Bilberry Sunday, Fraughan Sunday, Crom Dubh Sunday, Death of the God-King, Domhnach Chrom Dubh, Feast of Bread, Feast of Lug (Lugh), Festival of the First Fruits of Harvest, Festival of the Sacrifice and Death of the God-King, Garland Sunday, Laa Luanistyn, Laa Luanys, Lammas, Lammas Day, Lughnasa, Lughnasadh, Lugnasad, Lúnasa, Lúnasdain, Lúnasdal, Lúnasduinn, Martinmas, St. Martin's Eve.  

MATERIAL BASIS:

An item or substance serving as the physical focus, or means of manifestation, such as herbs, crystals, incense;
The preparations or physical actions performed to assist in achieving a magickal goal.
MATRASS: A round-bottomed flask with a very long neck used in alchemy. Also known as Bolt-Head.

MAY DAY, MAY EVE: The May 1st Greater Sabbat that celebrates the beginning of the Light Half of the Year. Also known as Bealtaine, BealeTeine, Bealltuinn, Belltaine, Beltain, Beltaine, Beltane, Beltine, Bel-tine, Boaldyn, Cala' Me, Calan Mai, Calan Me, Cétshamain, Cyntefin, Dydd Calan Mai, Feast of Bíle, Kala-Mae, Kala-Hañv, Lady Day, Walpurgisnacht.

MAYOMBERO: A Santero (Santeria practitioner) who specializes in necromancy, revenge, and destruction (the Left hand path).

MAYPOLE: The central feature of the festivities of Beltain. It is a freshly cut green tree stripped of its branches and decorated with ribbons and flowers. In the most common maypole tradition, young men and women take ribbons, alternating male and female, and dance around the pole, weaving over and under each other until the ribbons are braided around the pole. The pole is customarily burned at the end of the year at Mabon (Autumn Equinox) Sabbat.

MEÁN EARRAIGH: The Lesser Sabbat celebrated on or about March 21st, marking the beginning of the return of the evident fertility of the Earth and the return of the God, the Sun. It is a celebration of Balance and Harmony as the day and night are equal in length. Meán Earraigh is a fire and fertility festival. Also known as Alban Eiler,, Ostara, Spring Equinox, Spring Solstice, Vernal Equinox.

MEÁN FÓMHAIR: The Lesser Sabbat celebrated on or about September 21st. This sabbat marks the balance and harmony in the days and nights being equal before the God gives way to the night. Also known as Alban Elfed, Alban Elued, Autumnal Equinox, Mabon, Meán Fómhair.

MEÁN GEIMHRIDH: The Lesser Sabbat celebrated on or about December 21st marking the rebirth of the Sun God from the Mother Goddess, it is a celebration of Renewal and Rebirth as the dark force gives way to the Sun. Also known as Alban Arthan, Alban Arthuan, Jul, Jol, MidWinter. Winter Solstice, Yule.

MEÁN SAMHRAIDH: The Lesser Sabbat celebrated on or about June 21st , marking the point of the year when the God is at the height of His power as evidenced by the Sun during the Longest Day of the Year. Also known as Alban Heruin, Litha, Midsummer, Summer Solstice.

MEDICINE: Native American term for magick, consciously focusing will (thought), form (physical) and emotion(desire) to effect change. Technically speaking, any conscious act is a magickal act. Magick is neither good nor evil, positive nor negative. The practitioner, not the energy form, determines the path and outcome it will take.

MEDICINE BAG: A small bag of amulets, charms and talismans gathered by a Medicine Person to enhance and/or protect their abilities. The Medicine Bag is sacred and usually kept next to the practitioners skin. It's contents are not often displayed and the bag is not handled by others in most traditions. Also known as Mojo Bag.

MEDICINE PERSON/MAN/WOMAN: Someone skilled in healing and magickal arts, sometimes used synonymously with shaman.

MEDICINE WHEEL: A circle divided in quarters that represents the spiritual beliefs and cosmology of many Native American Traditions. The circle is used to instruct and guide individuals in both Medicine practice and life.

MEDITATION: Reflection, contemplation, turning inward toward the self or outward toward Deity or nature. A quiet time in which the practitioner may dwell upon particular thoughts or symbols, or allow them to come unbidden.

MEDIUMSHIP: Unlike the concept of demonic possession, where a person is taken over by malicious spirits for harm, mediumship is a voluntary, culturally sanctioned displacement of personality. The spirits, deities, demons, advanced entities or the dead, are invited to enter a human being to educate or communicate with the living. Mediumship is not the same as contacting the dead for information or help (necromancy) and because it is voluntary it is considered distinct from Obsession or Possession. Some mediumship is involuntary when the dead are unaware of their state and need help to pass into the next realm. Also known as Channeling, Spirit Possession. See also: Exorcism, Obsession, Possession, Demon Possession and Spirit Exorcism.

MEGALITH (Greek, “great stone”): Large stone structures and groups of standing stones erected in various sites around the world and believed to have religious or sacred significance or to be associated with various pagan rites.

MELANOSIS: The first stage in alchemy that takes place during Calcination (oxidation). Also known as the Black Phase.

MENHIR: A standing stone probably lifted by early peoples for religious, spiritual or magickal reasons.

MENSTRUUM: The alchemical term for a solvent or alkahest that has the power to dissolve and coagulate at the same time. Also known as the Mercury of the Philosophers.

MERCURY OF THE PHILOSOPHERS, The: The alchemical term for a solvent or alkahest that has the power to dissolve and coagulate at the same time. Also known as Menstruum.

MERFOLK, MERMAID, MERMAN: Mythological creatures who have the head and torso of a human and the tail of a fish.

MERRY MEET: A common pagan greeting derived from the Wiccan phrase, "Merry we meet, and merry we part, until we merry meet again". Abbreviated as MM.

MERRY PART: A common pagan goodbye derived from the Wiccan phrase, "Merry we meet, and merry we part, until we merry meet again". Abbreviated as MP.

METAGNOMY: Divination by interpreting visions received in a trance state.

METAMORPHOSIS: Transforming oneself at will from human form to that of animal, birds and insects. Also known as Shapeshifting.

METAPHYSICS:

The branch of philosophy that deals with ontology (the nature of being or reality) and cosmology (the origin and structure of the world);
Speculative philosophy in general;
The fundamental theory and principles of any branch of learning;
Subtle, perplexing, or difficult reasoning;
Occult lore.
METEOROMANCY: Divination by interpreting falling stars (meteors). A form of aeromancy.

METOPOSCOPY: Divination and character analysis through interpreting facial lines and wrinkles, especially of the forehead.

MICROCOSM:

For some traditions, the world within a person;
Used by some traditions to denote the physical world.
MIDGARD, MIDGARTH, MIDGARTHR (Old Norse, mithr: "mid"; garthr: "yard, home, stronghold"): The Earth, separated from Asgard by the rivers Ifing (doubt) and Tund (time) and by a wall of purging fire. 

MIDSUMMER: The Lesser Sabbat celebrated on or about June 21st , marking the point of the year when the God is at the height of His power as evidenced by the Sun during the Longest Day of the Year. Also known as Alban Heruin, Litha, Meán Samhraidh, Summer Solstice.

MIDWINTER: The Lesser Sabbat celebrated on or about December 21st marking the rebirth of the Sun God from the Mother Goddess, it is a celebration of Renewal and Rebirth as the dark force gives way to the Sun. Also known as Alban Arthan, Alban Arthuan, Jul, Jol, Meán Geimhridh, Winter Solstice, Yule. 

MIGHTY ONES, The: Beings, deities or presences often invoked during Wiccan ceremony to witness or guard the rituals. The Mighty Ones are thought to be either spiritually evolved beings, once human, or spiritual entities created by or charged by the Goddess and the God to protect the Earth and to watch over the four directions. They are sometimes linked with the Elements. Also known as the Old Ones, the Witch Gods.

MIND-BENDING: A mental effort to control another animal or person's mind, usually by changing their perception. Generally it is simply altering the perception of the practitioners' physical appearance temporarily but it can also include changing emotional reactions. Mind-bending is temporary and must be actively supported by the practitioner throughout the time they are in place. Also known as Fascination, Glamour, Glamoury. 

MIND-TRAVEL: To be consciously aware of both the physical environment and the astral environment during astral projection. Also known as Bilocation, Over-Looking.

MIND'S EYE: The mental psychic receptor located in the center of the forehead about an inch above eye. Also called the Third Eye.

MINOR ARCANA :

The 56 suit cards in a Tarot deck that assist in fleshing out the situations indicated by the Trump Cards (Major Arcana), or indicate smaller occurrences in our lives. The Major Arcana consist of 22 Trump Cards depicting dominant occurrences. The Minor Arcana are also known as the Lesser Arcana. See also Tarot Cards. 
The primary chemicals of early alchemy. The Minor Arcana consist of the seven chemicals: Sulfuric Acid, Iron, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Nitrate, Liquor Hepatis, Red Pulvis Solaris, and Black Pulvis Solaris. The Major Arcana consists of the four compounds: Vitriol, Natron, Liquor Hepatis, and Pulvis Solaris.
MITHRAISM: The Persian religion centered on the reverence of Mithra, god of Light. It emphasized the conflict between good and evil and the reward of virtue or punishment of wickedness in the afterlife. It was the principal rival of Christianity in the first three centuries CE and is believed to be the foundation of the concept of hell and Satan in Christianity.

MOJO: Magick, consciously focusing will (thought), form (physical) and emotion(desire) to effect change. Technically speaking, any conscious act is a magickal act. Magick is neither good nor evil, positive nor negative. The practitioner, not the energy form, determines the path and outcome it will take.

MOJO BAG: A small bag of amulets, charms and talismans gathered by a practitioner to enhance and/or protect their abilities. The Mojo Bag is sacred and usually kept next to the practitioners skin. It's contents are not often displayed and the bag is not handled by others in most traditions. Also known as Medicine Bag.

MOHSIAN WICCA: An offshoot of Gardnerian Wicca, founded by Ed Fitch and several Southern Californian Gardnerians in the late 1970's. The tradition includes Gardnerian material and additional material supplied by the founders. Also known as American Wicca.

MOLEOSCOPY, MOLEOSOPHY: Divination and character assessment by interpreting moles on the body.

MOLYBDOMANCY: Divination by interpreting molten tin or lead.

MONOTHEISM: The doctrine or belief that there is only one conscious entity that is God, and that this entity is separate and apart from the World. See Also: Henotheism, Pantheism, and Polytheism.

MOON: The pagan symbol for the female aspects, and therefore symbolic of the Goddess. The moon represents both the powers of nurturing and the powers of darkness. It also represents moisture, intuition, emotion, tides, the psychic, moods and madness. It embodies time, for its phases provided mankind with the first calendar. See also: Drawing Down the Moon.

MORRIS DANCE: A lively reel or jig that is performed around the world at Beltane and Summer Solstice.

MULTIPLICATION: In Alchemy, the process of Distillation in which the power of transmutation is concentrated. Denoted by the sign for Aquarius.

MUSLIM: A person who practices the religion of Islam.

MUTABLE SIGNS: The zodiac signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces which are believed to be always searching and often changing.

MYOMANCY: Divination by interpreting the appearance and behavior of mice. A form of Augury.

MYRMOMANCY: Divination by interpreting the appearance and behavior of ants. A form of Augury.

MYSTÈRES: The Vodoun pantheon of Gods, also known as Loas. 


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