Agisegwa: Native American term representing the spirit of the Earth, similar to the concept Gaia. If you believe the Earth is a living spirit, then you will naturally behave in a more caring manner, thus leading to the Native American saying of "Walk in balance on Mother Earth."
Ally: A spirit in the form of an animal, plant or mineral that you can get to aid you.
Animism: The belief that natural phenomena have spirits within them. Using this hypothesis, then it becomes possible to pray to the natural spirits to get them to do what you want. It also helps to explain seemingly random and purposeless natural events such as those related to weather.
Astral Level: The idea that there is a plane of existence involving another "energy level" or "spiritual level". One hypothesis is that within the astral level all thoughts and deeds are recorded, and the records can be read by psychically sensitive people.
Aura: A form of energy that surrounds the bodies of all living things and even non-living things. This energy can be observed and can indicate developing physical problems in the body. Auras can even be observed on parts of bodies that are missing, such as in a leaf that has been cut in half.
Awaheli: The Spirit of the Eagle, located at the east point of the Medicine Wheel. The Eagle flies very high and thus, in Native American mythology, it is believed that the Eagle carries prayers up to the Great Spirit.
Beltane: Wiccan festival, celebrated on April 30th or May 1st, depending on which Wiccan tradition you follow. Represents the coming of summer and the great fertility of the plants.
Berdasche: Also referred to as Wintke, this is a Native American term for men that preferred to dress and live as women. They assumed the roles and duties of women but were not discriminated against as such people are in white society. Rather, berdasches were considered to be very holy, referred to as "two-spirited" people.
Chakra: This refers to a sort of energy vortex in the body. There are seven primary chakras. If a chakra becomes misaligned our out of tune it can cause certain physical problems to manifest in the body. Chakras, however, can be worked with and balanced.
Channeling: This is the practice of opening oneself up so that some form of spirit can speak through you. The spirit might be a discarnate human, a being that has never manifested on the physical plane, or even a space alien.
Clairaudience: The hearing of sounds, music, and/or voices that are not perceptible to normal human hearing.
Clairsentience: The psychic perception of sensations such as taste, smell and touch. Emotions can also be sensed, although this tends to fall more with the realm of Empathy.
Clairvoyance: The obtaining of information about objects and events without the use of the normal senses or without the use of telepathy. An example would be the use of psychics by police departments to try to get clues to what happened during a particular crime.
Color Healing: The concept that each color has a specific effect on the human body and that by working with colors we can clear up physical problems and blockages.
Cone of Power: A mass of energy raised by the actions of a coven (or another other group of people focusing and directing their energy.) This energy can then be sent out to wherever it is needed, usually for healing or protection.
Coven: A group of witches that work together, the number being variable. The principle of group work is that the efforts of the individuals become synergistic, the resultant power being raised being more than the power that could be raised by the individuals acting as individuals. The opposite term is "solitary practitioner", meaning that the person has nothing to do with any group of witches but works entirely on his or her own.
Cryptomnesia: The idea that virtually everything we hear or see is recorded somewhere in our memories and can be recalled under the right conditions. This is used as an argument against reincarnation, saying that past-live recalls are really recalls of such buried information.
Crystal Therapy: The idea that crystals can be used in healing. Particular crystals are noted for particular effects; the colors of the crystals can also become important in healing. For example, amethyst, which is often a pretty shade of blue, is good for relaxing.
Dowsing: The principle of using a wood or metal forked structure to detect something, often water, hidden in the ground.
Dryads: Spirits that inhabit trees.
Elemental: Another term for nature spirits.
Elves: Spirits of woods and seashores. In common usage means any small being with strange powers.
ESP: Stands for ExtraSensory Perception, the idea that people can pick up information, impressions, sounds, etc. without the use of the normal five senses.
Fairies: The "wee folk" of legend, fairies refer to diminutive beings with unusual powers. Legends exist of fairy hills and abduction by fairies of children or even full-grown adults. Such tales bear strong resemblance to the present-day UFO abduction phenomena. Fairies could be good, evil, or totally indifferent to humans.
Galunlati: Native American term for "Sky-Father".
Ghosts: Are either discarnate spirits that have not yet crossed over, or some form of etheric/astral recording. Ghosts are usually associated with scenes of violence and/or very strong emotional content.
Gnomes: Elemental spirits of Earth.
Hokschichankiya: Meaning "spiritual seed", it involves the passing of power from one person to another by the exchange of seeds or other physical items. This can also benefit Mother Earth as a person helps re-seed the land with new plants.
IDIC: The concept from the television Star Trek, standing for Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. This is interpreted as meaning that we should delight in the differences between people, for the actions of this diversity of people will be greater in total than the efforts of all the individuals put together (the synergistic effect). Believing this, there would be no room for racism, sexism, or any other discriminatory-ism.
Imbolc: Wiccan festival celebrated on February 2 welcoming the coming of Spring and the return of increasing daylight.
Kabbalah: Also spelled Cabala, Kabala and Qabalah referring to a mystical system revolving around the "Tree of Life", various pillars and foci and their associated meanings.
Kachina: Supernatural entities of the Hopi, responsible for bringing rain and performing a variety of other activities. These are represented in physical form by Kachina dolls and by various Native Americans masked and representing Kachinas in certain ceremonies.
Karma: Generally interpreted as referring to some kind of accounting system that keeps track of the bad and good things we do during our lives (reincarnation) and how this can affect what happens to us when we are reborn. The idea is we are supposed to do good deeds in this life to pay off negative karma from another life.
Kobolds: Household spirits.
Kundalini: An extremely powerful spiritual energy residing in the human body, coiled at the base of the spine. This energy can be channeled through the body if the chakras are all properly aligned.
Life-After-Death: This primarily refers to whether or not we have an existence after our physical body dies; sometimes the term is equated with Near-Death experiences.
Lucid Dreaming: The practice of learning to actually control your actions in a dream.
Lughnasadh: Wiccan festival on August 1st, celebrating the first harvest.
Magic: Stage magic, such as pulling a rabbit out of a hat or sawing someone in half and then putting them back together.
Magick: Refers to "real" magic, the kind involving rituals, ceremonies, and/or spells.
Malleus Malificarum: The Hammer of Witches, a book that was used in the persecution of witches.
Medicine Bag: A bag usually carried on the person which may hold examples of the various plant/animal/mineral kingdoms. Bags can be constructed for very specific purposes such as communicating with a particular animal spirit, or they can be more general in application.
Medicine Path: The practice of following, in general, Native American spiritual teachings involving the medicine wheel, "medicine" as a personal power, and an altered and much more positive relationship to the earth and all life and non-life on it.
Medicine Wheel: Native American construction usually using stones. The stones are placed at the cardinal and other specific points. The circle represents the "hoop" of life. Each stone represents a particular moons, spirits and qualities in Native American beliefs.
Meditation: The practice of taking some time to shut out the various distractions of what is going on around you physically and trying to relax and get in touch with your "higher self" or other spiritual entities. This can involved the cross-legged eyes-closed hands-folded-across-lap variety of meditation or just sitting quietly and clearing your mind, or even sitting quietly and listening to a tape recording of relaxing nature sounds.
Medium: A person who claims to be in contact with discarnate spirits. A lot of negativity has been heaped on this term due to hoaxes and quacks earlier in this century.
Metaphysics: Virtually any kind of study involving spiritual issues in the broadest sense of the word.
Naiad: Spirits inhabiting bodies of water.
Native American: Indigenous North American native. Native Americans are believed to originally have come from Siberia, crossed a land-bride and then dispersed through the western hemisphere, forming the Aztec, Mayan and Incan kingdoms and the numerous North American tribal units.
Near-Death Experiences: The idea that a person who "temporarily" dies experiences after-life scenes involving people and, usually, a white light, a re-playing of the events of your life, a being "of great love" and a very gentle analysis of what you did during your life.
Numerology: The belief that numbers and names expressed as numbers have particular meanings and significance for our lives.
Occult: Really just means "hidden knowledge". The word has been abused by Christian fundamentalists who assume anything occult has to do with devil-worship, whereas in reality occult can refer to a very wide variety of activities including witchcraft, various secret societies, the Kabalah, etc.
Out-of-Body Experiences: A practice in which your "astral duplicate" is sent out from your physical body to explore other places in this dimension, or to explore places in other dimensions and realities.
Oversoul: The idea that your soul is only part of a much larger soul; in other words, various people can share one common soul.
Oya: Goddess of the wind.
Pagan: A term originally referring to people following more rural spiritual practices. The term was defined by Christians as a heathen, carrying many negative connotations with it.
Paranormal: That which is beyond the "normal" activities of everyday life. This includes such phenomena as ESP, UFOs, near-death experiences, out-of-body experiences, ghosts, fairies, etc.
Patriarchal: Refers to a male-dominated and controlled society, dating from around 3500 BCE when nomadic groups overran the more peaceful matriarchal/goddess worshipping societies in the Near East.
Pendulum Work: The idea of using some form of pendulum (a paper clip on the end of a string even) to find out information, such as where you misplaced the book you were meaning to read today.
Petroglyph: Refers to drawings made on stones and rock walls in the American southwest. It has been found that Native American very likely took notice of the supernova of 1054 due to one of the drawings. Many of the drawings are now being lost due to pollution and vandalism.
Poltergeist: The actions of a poltergeist are agreed upon; throwing things all around the place without anyone actually physically touching the objects. The problem lies in determining whether or not the actions are caused by an actual spirit or, as appears to be more likely, uncontrolled energy sent out by just-turned-pubescent adolescents, particularly girls. The energy would be the result of some kind of pent-up emotions, perhaps not even recognized by the person but active nevertheless.
Pornography: A word that has basically as many definitions as there are people. The primary definitions fall into these categories: (1) material that is sexual in nature that is evil because it is sexual in nature; (2) material that is sexual in nature that is evil because it assumes the oppression of women; or (3) material that is sexual and/or erotic (another difficult definition) in nature that doesn't really harm anyone and could actually help some people. I prefer a definition (4) the fact that, in this supposedly civilized world, there is widespread poverty, hatred, starvation, discrimination, racism, sexism, other -isms, abuse of political power, low-quality educational systems and the like.
Potlatch: A huge feast thrown by a Native American family in which they give away nearly all of their possessions. The more things that are given away the higher the person's standing in the community. This also builds a strong sense of community and helps to insure that the very poor, the very weak, and the very old do not starve.
Precognition: Knowledge of the future obtained through extra-sensory means. Since the latest theory holds, however, that there are numerous "possible" futures all existing at one moment and that one particular future becomes predominant due to a certain set of actions, then precognition becomes somewhat less reliable as it picks up on a variety of possible futures.
Psychic Attack: When someone uses extra-sensory means and/or spells to mentally attack someone else. The implied meaning of the word is that this is an offensive action, not one taken in defense after someone has already attacked you. As such, it is an abuse of power and can easily backfire on the person directing the attack.
Psychic Surgery: This can range from certain individuals who claim to be able to remove sickness from a person by inserting their hand into the person's body without making any kind of incision first; on down to using power rods to mentally envision healing taking place within a person's body.
Psychokinesis: The ability to move objects without touching them. This is done with conscious effort unlike the poltergeist which is a random, uncontrolled movement of objects.
Psychometry: The ability to pick up an object and "read" that object, and then being able to describe the person the object belonged to or an event associated with the object.
Reincarnation: The belief that one is born over and over onto the physical plane in order to learn various lessons and improve oneself. Eventually there is no need to be reborn on the physical earth plane. What happens after that is a matter of speculation.
Remote Healing: The ability to send healing energy to another person who is not in the same room you are. It seems that distance makes little if no difference in the effectiveness of the healing.
Remote Viewing: The idea that a person located at position A can determine what is happening at position B by paranormal means.
Retrocognition: Being able to psychically "read" the events that occurred in a particular place in the past. This is particular useful in the analysis of a crime scene or in archeology.
Runes: Ancient Norse and Teutonic symbols representing various magickal properties.
Sabbat: One of the major "holy days" of Wiccans.
Sacred Pipe: The idea that the pipe is a holy object, the bowl representing the female and the stem the male. It is smoked with tobacco, which is also considered holy, and the smoke carries the prayers up to the Great Spirit.
Salamanders: Elemental spirits of Fire.
Samhain: The Wiccan festival of October 31st which was altered by Christianity into Halloween. This is a time when communication with departed spirits is easier to accomplish.
Shaman: A Native American "holy" man or woman. The particular types of activities they perform can vary from actual physical healings on people to determine where food is available. There is no such thing as an "instant shaman"; the process takes years of hard study. There is some controversy over whether or not it is possible for a non-Native American to become a shaman no matter the amount of work he or she does in preparation.
Slyph: Elemental spirits of the air.
Smudging: The process of burning sage or some other substance in order to purify an object or a person.
Sun Dance: A particularly rugged event that some Native Americans participated in involving the insertion of sharp objects under the skin, allowing thongs to be tied to those objects and connected to a pole. The participant then danced for hours, perhaps even days, and pulled on the thong until the object it was tied to under his skin is actually pulled out. Visions could occur during the dancing, bring some form of spiritual message to the dancer.
Sweat Lodge: A particular Native American ritual involving, usually, a round structure within which is a group of heated stones and a place for people to sit. Water and sacred plants are put onto the stones and the structure becomes, in effect, a sauna. Prayers are said during this ritual and it is considered to be one of the most holy of all Native American rituals.
Tarot: A deck of 78 cards divided into 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. The cards can be used to divine the future, but are more commonly used to obtain information about a particular situation you are in.
Telepathy: The ability to communicate mentally with someone else over a distance using extra-sensory means.
Tsistu: The Rabbit spirit of the South in Native American spirituality.
Turtle Island: The North American continent.
Undine: Elemental spirits of water.
Vision Quest: Another particularly trying Native American ritual in which an individual goes out into the wilderness alone with minimal or no supplies at all. The person goes to a particular spot and stays there, perhaps for days at a time. The idea is that during this time a vision will come to the individual helping him or her determine their future; an animal could also come to the person indicating that that particular animal is going to become the person's "power animal", at least for a while. Sometimes no vision at all is received and the person goes on another vision quest at a later time.
Wapani: The "give-away", where you give something of yours away to someone else in a spiritual manner without the thought of getting something back in return.
Wicca: A religious system generally centered around goddess worship, involving the use of spells and "cones of power". Both women and men are referred to as "witches" in this system. Some form of Wicca existed centuries ago, but modern-day Wicca generally is not considered to be a direct descendant of this earlier form. There is more emphasis on groups of people interacting together today, whereas in the past most work done was by individuals.
Wiccan Crede: "An ye harm none, do what ye will." The idea that, as long as you don't actually harm anyone, you can do anything you want and the government and religious fundamentalists have no business sticking their noses into what you are doing.
Wintke: (see Berdache)
Witchcraft: (see Wicca)
Xenoglossy: An ability, usually during hypnosis, to speak in a foreign language that the person has never studied. This supposedly relates to past lives; scientists explain it away by saying you somehow subconsciously picked up the language, maybe from television?
Yanu: The Bear spirit, known for healing abilities.
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