Ba: One of the three parts of the soul according to ancient Egyptian belief. A person must have all three parts to live, and if one part died they all died. The Ba is the individuality or specific personality of a person; the soul. In Egyptian symbolism it was depicted as a bird with the head of a human.
Balefire: A fire lit for magical purposes, usually outdoors.
baneful: Baneful herbs are poisonous. Such herbs – including henbane, hemlock, hellebore, mandrake and datura – were popular in Renaissance magic for inducing visions, creating the illusion of psychic awareness, drawing love, tormenting the mind and even dulling the pain of those about to be executed for the crime of magic.
Banishing: To send away. In metaphysical terms, a banishing is a ritual or technique that has the effect of sending away unwanted energies, entities, etc. Although banishings are used in healing (sending away the ailment), they are most often used in conjunction with magickal rituals. They are used before such rituals to make the area blank, a tabula rasa, leaving it open for any magickal work. They are used after such rituals to disperse any energies or entities that may have been attracted to the energy raised during the ritual.
Banshee: 1. (paranormal) A Scottish or Irish spirit, its scream or wail indicates an impending death.
2. (myth) (from Celtic bean, woman, and sidhe, fairie) A fairy who is attached to certain old family lines, she wails before a death in the family. If seen, she may be clapping her hands. It is believed that the keening (caoine) performed by people at some Irish funerals may be an imitation of the wail of the banshee. Another traditional visual that would accompany the banshee is the coach-a-bower (coiste-bodhar). Drawn by headless horses, this is a large black coach with a coffin on it. If you open your door when it comes up, a basin of blood will be thrown in your face! This may be related to the times of the great plagues when carts would carry the dead away and it would make sense to keep your doors closed.
Also See: banshe
Bardos: plural bardoi (Gaulish, Brittonic, Goidelic) – The old Celtic term for a singer or minstrel who sang praises of great heroes and chieftains, or satires (curses and insults).
Basic Technique: A term used by paranormal investigators used to describe a simple and standard type of card guessing. A deck is shuffled and the subject is asked to name the top card. After the guess, the card is turned up to compare to the guess and placed to the side.
Basilides: Basilides was a scholar of the 2nd century C.E. who knew the Hebrew and Christian scriptures as well as being knowledgeable in Egyptian and Greek thought. But he also received what was to become a secret tradition named after him, based on knowledge passed to him from an early interpreter of the Apostle Peter. Basilides wrote psalms, odes, and commentaries on the Gospels. He also wrote a gospel for his own sect, but very little of his writings have been preserved. His system seems to include aspects of Neoplatonism, Pauline Christianity, and Gnosticism. His sect, the Basilidians, included concepts that would today be called reincarnation, karma, and asceticism.
Basilidians: Followers of the teachings of Basilides.
Beithe: The first letter of the Ogham tree alphabet, corresponding to the letter B and meaning “birch.”
The graceful, white-stemmed birch with its beautiful green leaves represents the Otherworld…. Beithe has always been regarded as an indicator of good fortune, luck, and change.
Also See: Beth
Beltane: May 1
Beltane is the holiday that draws all Witches outside to celebrate the returning power of the Sun and the fecundity of the land.
Also See: Roodmas
Beorc: The 18th rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter b.
This is a fertility rune–a rune of birth and of the family.
Also See: Berkana
Berkana: The 18h rune of the Elder Futhark, representing the letter b.
In most of the Germanic languages this rune has the meaning of “birch.”… The Berkana rune is very beneficial for women and especially for women’s problems.
Also See: Beorc, Bjarkan
Besom: A broom used by Witches and Wiccans. Just as a broom is used to sweep dirt away, a besom is used to cleanse an area as a type of banishing. Traditionally, a besom is made of a fairly straight stick, often an ash wood branch, with many twigs, frequently of willow, tied to the end. Unlike a modern broom where the brush tends to be narrow and wide, the brush of a besom tends to be circular. The besom is also used in some handfasting rituals with the couple jumping over the besom.
Beth: The second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, B or V. Represents the number 2. The first of the seven “double letters.” A Hebrew word meaning “house.” Corresponds to the planet Mercury, the 12th Path (between Kether and Binah), and Tarot trump I The Magician.
Also See: Bet
Bhakti Yoga: Achieving union with the Divine (yoga) through extreme devotion. In the West, perhaps the best-known method of Bhakti Yoga is the repetitive singing of brief songs dedicated to the Divine. Such repetition continues until self-awareness decreases and awareness of the Divine increases. However, there are traditionally eight other ways of practicing Bhakti Yoga, including listening to stories of the Divine, worship, and surrender of the self. Each has the goal of increasing awareness of the Divine until union is achieved. One of the four major yogic paths.
Bibliomancy: The act of divination through the use of written text. Originally associated with use of a Bible, the only literature available in many cases, may be applied to any form of text. Often, there is a strong numerology influence present in the divination procedure.
Bigfoot: A large, hairy bipedal creature said to exist in wilderness areas of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, but has supposedly been sighted in other areas of the U.S. including the Great Lakes region and southern states. Although hoaxes concerning the creature have occurred, its existence has been indicated through physical signs (footprints, handprints, fecal matter, hair, blood) and even one brief film. The films authenticity, however, has been questioned. The creature is described as being 79 feet tall, covered with hair, having a horrible smell, and having human-like feet that are 1518 inches in length. One researcher claimed footprints of about three feet in length, hence the name. Reports of the creature date back to the 1920s in Washington state, but it became more widely known after reports of the creature in Humboldt County, California, during the late 1950s.
Bija Mantras: Bija is Sanskrit for seed. Bija mantras are simple sounds that have no meaning. However, vibrations caused by their repetition can result in activation of psychophysiological realities. For example, the bija mantras associated with the seven major chakras are as follows:
Because this system is quite ancient, and because transliteration from one language to another is not always represented the same way, writings may show slight differences in the above spellings. For example, some authorities use Lum or Lung for Lam.
Billet Reading: A technique where questions are written on small pieces of paper, then folded up or sealed in an envelope and given to a psychic who attempts to answer the question with the help of paranormal powers of information from spirit guides. Unfortunately, since the paper is so small, it is easily manipulated by fake psychics. The small piece of paper s known as a billet.
Bilocation: The ability to be in two different places at the same time.
Also See: billocation
Binah: In Binah is a thick darkness which yet veileth the Divine Glory in which all colours are hidden, wherein is mystery and depth and silence, and yet, it is the habitation of the Supernal Light. There is the Supernal Triad completed. And the Sphere of its Operation is Shabbathai, or rest, and it giveth forms and similitudes unto chaotic matter and it ruleth the sphere of action of the planet Saturn. And Jehovah Elohim(/i> is the perfection of Creation and the Life of the World to Come. And its archangel is Tzaphqiel, the Prince of the Spiritual Strife against Evil, and the Name of the Order of Angels is Aralim, the Strong and Mighty Ones who are also called the Order of Thrones. The angel Jophiel if also referred unto Binah.
Binah: The third Sephirah of the cabalistic Tree of Life, the topmost Sephirah on the Pillar of Severity. The term is a Hebrew word meaning “Understanding.” It represents the archetype of the number 3, the feminine aspect of the Godhead. It corresponds to the divine name YHWH Elohim, the archangel Tzaphqiel, the angelic choir called Aralim (The Mighty Ones) and Shabbathai, or heavenly Sphere of Saturn.
Bind-runes: Made up of combinations of two or more rune-staves, bind-runes expand and further refine the power and aim of runic formulas.
Biquintile: (144 degrees)–Planets separate by two-fifths of the zodiac indicate the quality of inborn talents.
Birth Chart: Your birth chart, or horoscope, is drawn from calculations based upon the date, time, and place of your birth. Every element of the horoscope (which, if its like most Western horoscopes, will be drawn on a circular wheel) is expressed symbolically. Each symbol in the chart represents a celestial body, sign, house, or aspect.
Black Magic: Black Magick’s aim is to harm yourself or another either purposely or accidentally. Some magicians feel that it would not be working to hurt someone else, except that they, themselves will suffer as a consequence. “As you sow, so shall ye reap” is not merely a philosophical aphorism to a magician, it is an actual physical fact. Most magicians do not want to chance getting “zapped” by the law of Karma for a foolish act of Black Magick.
Also See: Black Magick
Blessed Be: An expression used by some Witches and Wiccans. In ritual, it is used to mean let this be blessed. Sometimes it is used with an officiating member stating it followed by the participants repeating it in a call-and-response fashion. Also used in farewell statements similar to the Hawaiian Aloha or Hebrew Shalom. Derived from part of the Gardnerian Witchcraft Initiation rituals Five-fold Kiss. Abbreviated BB.
Blind: 1. In paranormal experiments, something for which a test subject is not informed. In some cases, the experimenters will say they are testing for one thing (the blind) when in reality they are testing for something else.
2. A procedure where an independent judge determines if a drawings made by test subjects match target images.
Blood: Blood, the life-preserving fluid in our bodies, has always been associated with magick. It was initially seen as having the property of life, for if a person loses too much blood, he or she would die. This has led to some womens mysteries, as women can bleed through menstruation yet not die.
Blood has been used to empower rituals and as a stand-in for another person (a form of sympathetic magick) through the anointing of an object with that persons blood. Pacts with demons or the devil supposedly require a signature in blood. In the early days of modern Wicca, a drop of the new initiates blood was used on their cords of initiation. Many covens no longer follow this tradition.
Bloodstone: Bloodstone is a green, opaque stone with spotted red flecks. It is a member of the cryptocrystalline quartz group, and is composed of silica. Bloodstone belongs to the general group of chalcedony and is found in India, Australia, Brazil, China and the U.S.
Bloodstone contains deep earth-green and a deep, blood red. Together these create a powerful cleanser for the physical body. It is an important purifier for the kidneys, liver, spleen and blood. In times past, bloodstone was used to stop bleeding and hemorrhage by wounded soldiers and mothers-to-be. It will detoxify the body. Bloodstone helps transform the body to enable it to carry more light and energy.
Legend has it that when Christ was crucified, the blood from his wound dripped to the green jasper ground, spotting it red and thus forming this stone. This stone was also known as heliotrope, and it was believed that if one covered the stone with the herb heliotrope, the owner became invisible. This combination was used in many other magical rites also.
Blue Lace Agate: Blue lace agate is a beautiful, pale sky blue stone with concentric markings. It is a cryptocrystalline quartz stone. Agate is a banded chalcedony, the bands having been formed by rhythmic crystallization. Agates are found as nodules or geodes in siliceous volcanic rocks. This stone comes from southwest Africa.
Agate strengthens the power of the Sun in your astrological sign when you wear it. It helps you stay well-balanced. It sharpens the sight, illuminates the mind and helps you speak.
Blue lace agate helps you develop and realize your inner peace. These stones affect the physical body, first at the densest levels, and then at the levels of some of the higher bodies as well.
Bodhisatva: In Buddhism, the title of a person so spiritually evolved that he or she no longer needs to incarnate but who chooses to return to this world of suffering in order to teach others.
Boline: A white-handled knife used by some Witches and Wiccans for carving items, especially items used in ritual. For example, it would be used to carve a sigil on a candle used in a ritual. For some, it would also be used for many daily cutting purposes. To people who use the white knife in this way, the better-known black-hilted knife, the Athame, is not used to cut anything physical. Rather, it is used to direct energy.
Also See: Athame
Bon: The ancient shamanic tradition of Tibet. Eventually, Buddhism supplanted Bon, but some of the Bon concepts were incorporated into it, giving Tibetan Buddhism its own unique patterns, magick, and character.
Book of Shadows: In modern Wicca, the standard title for a book of Wiccan rituals and teachings. Traditionally each Witch was required to copy out his or her own Book of Shadows by hand from the copy owned by his or her initiator. This is still commonly done in the more traditional covens, although many modern Wiccans and other Pagans use published books for the bulk of their ritual and instructional work
The term Book of Shadows does not occur in Western occult lore or the literature of Witchcraft before Gardner introduced it sometime around 1950. The title may have been borrowed from a 1949 article in the Occult Observer, The Book of Shadows by Mir Bahir, about a supposed system of Hindu divination by the measurement of the querents shadow.
Book of the Law: The Book of the Law, also known as Liber AL vel Legis, was channeled by Aleister Crowley in Cairo in 1904 from a “praeternatural” entity calling himself Aiwass. It is divided into three sections, respectively attributed to the Egyptian deities Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Its chief tenets are “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” “Love is the law, love under will,” and “Every man and every woman is a star.”
Breaks: Interruptions in concentration. Aleister Crowley gave techniques to develop concentration and overcome these breaks.
Brehon: (from Irish breithamhain) – A medieval Irish judge or jurist; a specialist of the old Druidic class that survived Christianization.
Briah: The “World of Creation.” The second of four Qabalistic worlds, consisting of Chokmah and Binah. Briah is the realm of archangels. It is attributed to the element of water and the Hebrew letter Heh.
Broom: Originally a type of plant (broom corn, a variety of sorghum) used in making a tool for sweeping known as a besom, it eventually became used as the name of the tool itself. In Wicca and Witchcraft, a broom or besom is sometimes used for banishing or in handfasting rituals. The herb is poisonous and magically associated with the element of air.
Bruja: Pronounced broo-hah (with the r rolled), it is Spanish for Witch, it is often used in Mexico to describe woman who use folk magic. With the impact of Christianity, it has developed a negative connotation for many people.
Brujeria: Pagan magickal traditions primarily from Mexico and Central America combined with a Catholic veneer. Beliefs are similar to those held by Pagans all over the world. In the U.S., brujeria is popular in Latino areas commonly known as barrios, and specialized stores to serve the needs of practitioners (women are brujas; males are brujos) may be found there.
Brujo: Pronounced broo-hoe (with the r rolled), it is Spanish for wizard, it is often used in Mexico to describe people who use folk magic. With the impact of Christianity, it has developed a negative connotation for many people.
Buddhism: A spiritual tradition based on the teachings and beliefs attributed to Gautama Siddhartha, known as the Buddha, who is believed to have lived in the 6th century b.c.e. Although people not familiar with this philosophy believe Buddha is considered a god, this is not so. In fact, the term Buddha simply means enlightened one. Since Buddhism is not about a specific deity, it is debatable to claim that Buddhism is a religion unless it is considered a non-theistic religion. Buddhism was a response to the strict rules of Hinduism and has many beliefs in common with Hinduism. The goal of Buddhist practices is to avoid pain and suffering by not having attachments to things in this world. The result of this would be to eliminate the need to incarnate and no longer face suffering in the physical world. Some who achieve this level, however, choose to return and teach others. They are known as Bodhisatvas.