Photos by Magenta
Welcome to magick. Or witchcraft. Or sorcery. Damn, so many definitions and terms. How does anyone work any of it out? What do the definitions in magick mean? Sadly there’s no one playbook for witchiness (hmmmm…not yet. *Adds it to the To Do list*) but here are some definitions, terms, words or phrases used in magickal practice to give new-comers a place to start. We also have this New To Magick Starter Guide that can answer other questions.
Defining Different Types Of Magick
Yep. Who knew there’d be different types of magickal practice? Well, there are. And this short list is just the definitions of some types of magick we know enough to write about. There’s a ton more out there we don’t know enough about.
Ceremonial magick is magick that incorporates lots of documented rituals and ceremonies. Following a set as part of a process as well as going big with lots of symbolism, music, and accessories. Using voice and chanting is a huge part of the practice.
Folk magick incorporates the natural world and is more intuitive. It’s less reliant on documented rituals and processes, instead this magick is often used for healing or the creation of charms and divination. More on what these things mean later!
Astral magick is centred on astrology to work out the perfect time to cast spells or make talismans all in accordance with the planets and the phases of the moon.
Chaos magick is magick that rejects ‘objective’ or ‘absolute’ truth and works instead with belief in results.
Sympathetic magick incorporates correspondences and belief that one thing can influence something else based on the relationship or resemblance.
Black and White magick is something at Magenta we don’t want to perpetuate. However, these are terms you may come across on the Internet from time to time and these terms are trying to draw a distinction between magick for good and magick for ‘evil’. Personally, we think these two terms belong in the absolute bin.
It’s worth noting that we have another kind of magick to add to this. Humanistic magick. This is the ultimate goal of our magick, and is inspired by Humanistic psychology.
It’s also worth knowing that all the different definitions can work interchangeably. It’s also not the case that a practitioner will just stick to one type of magick and never blend with another.
Defining Different Types of Witch
Just as there are lots of practices out there, there are different types of practitioners and different definitions. Some you’ll notice align quite nicely with the definitions of magick above. Some less so. But it isn’t the case that someone has to choose one kind of witch to be, any more than someone has to choose one kind of magick to practise.
A green or blue witch connects deeply to the natural world. Green witches will have a deep affinity for working with herbs and plants. A blue witch will have a preference for the ocean, rivers and lakes.
A hedge witch is like a green witch in that their practice involves a deep study of plants and herbs.
A kitchen witch is a term for a witch who emphasises cooking, food preparation and meal times in magickal practice.
A ceremonial witch incorporates lots of ritual and ceremony into their practice.
A cosmic or star witch is a witch who prefers to time magick in accordance with the planets and the phases of the moon.
A chaos witch is a witch who uses psychology and belief in their practice.
An eclectic witch could be a mix of any of the above, or a mix from something else. Eclectic witches mix lots of practices together into a personal blend.
Defining Different Types Of Spells
You’ll come across definitions that go a bit deeper than just protection spells or love spells, so we’re not including that in this article of definitions. What we mean here are the definitions of some of different ways you can deliver some magick out into the world.
A potion is a spell in liquid form, it might be made up of herbs but it could have anything in there. It’s not always consumed as potions can be applied to other objects like a kind of ‘magick wash’.
Elixirs are healing spells in liquid form. These are always consumed to achieve the desired effects, usually made from herbs.
A tincture is a kind of healing spell in liquid form. Made from alcohol and herbs, these can be consumed or applied to the skin.
Incantations are the words used in a spell. This is arguably the most common type of spell. A practitioner may use incancations as part of making a potion for example.
Enchantment or being enchanted is an effect of a spell. So after drinking an elixir, a practitioner will be enchanted.
A charm could also be an effect of a spell, so something might become “charmed” after an incantation is said. A charm can also refer to an object that has been enchanted, such as a necklace or a ring.
Which brings us on to…. different magick tools.
Defining Tools for Magick
This list of definitions is not exhaustive! And as there are only three things on here, we are being pretty devil may care with the word ‘list’.
There are so many definitions for all the different tools we could list, but when we tried we started getting in our own way about tools used each time and then tools used in a ‘one and done’ way (which to be fair are more like ingredients for spells). Then we went down a rabbit hole of tools used in Wicca not being tools used for everyone else, and on we went. So this is why there’s only three things on here.
A practitioner is someone who practises magick, so you might come across words like witch as well. Having a person to work the magick is really the only tool needed. Everything else is just a bonus!
A grimoire is a book on how to create magickal objects like talismans and amulets (more on what these are later) and how to perform spells or summon entities such as angels, spirits, deities and demons.
An altar is the personal space where any items used in magick are placed. It can be anywhere the practitioner needs it to be, inside or outside. It can be permanent or ‘pop-up’ and impromptu.
Other Definitions Used In Magick
Here again, you may happen upon other definitions used in connection with magick.
A Book of Shadows comes from Wicca, rather than all magick and is a personal grimoire, one written by the magickal practitioner for the practitioner’s own use.
Divination is a practice focused on seeking knowledge. It could be about future events, but divination can also be about seeking the truth or personal growth.
Scrying is a type of divination that involves looking into a reflective surface.
Tarot or Lenormand reading is a type of divination involving Tarot or Lenormand cards.
A talisman is an enchanted or charmed object so that it can hold special properties, such as good luck or protection. It can be made from anything at all, including necklaces and rings.
Amulets are small pieces of jewellery that are charmed or enchanted for the wearer.
A broomstick is a tool for cleansing and protection. Usually made out of wood and, you guessed it, looks like a broom.
A wand is an object used to direct energy. It can be made from any material, including metal or crystal and is generally a one handed object.
A cauldron is any kind of pan made of metal and is a tool to safely hold anything that will be lit or warmed, for example a potion.
Angels, spirits, deities and demons are entities or beings called upon by the practitioner to assist in working magick. Assistance can be in the form of blessing the magick or to go out in the physical world and perform an act on behalf of the practitioner.
Intuition is not 100% magick, to be fair. It’s something we all have and means knowledge that someone knows from feeling rather than conscious reasoning and logic.
Meditation and visualisation are also not wholly reserved for magick. Meditation is a kind of quiet practice where a certain amount of time and effort is dedicated to paying special attention to a meditation object. Visualisation is another way of describing imagination. It is an activity done by the brain and the purpose of it is to try to recreate an image, or a scene, in the mind rather than using the other senses.
Charging means focusing your energy on an object and when it becomes charged its then enchanted or charmed for the purpose you want.
Energy is the concentration you need to give to magick. So you might read about “focus your energy” on a candle….you’re basically being asked to concentrate really hard.
Magick isn’t just Wicca, or Thelema, or The Golden Dawn
Just keep in the back of you mind that you may come across definitions of some types of magick that are only used in certain religious magickal practices.
Whilst it’s true that a lot of magickal practice today has fallen out of the resurgence in interest from way back at the turn of the 20th Century, it’s not the case that all magick is wicca or any other magick based religion. Magick can form part of a religious practice, but it doesn’t have to. Deities can be called upon and worshipped, or not. It’s up to you. What does your intuition tell you?
You don’t have to have been born magickal to be magick. You can learn! Learning anything new takes dedication. So yes, you’re gonna have to do a lot of reading m’fraid. Or sign up to a Magick School. Either way, finding information these days is super easy and now you have this handy definitions guide you can interpret what you’re reading as you go.
If you do have questions, just reach out and ask. We’re happy to assist!
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