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by Ilil Arbel, Ph.D.

Alchemy: Medieval forerunner of chemistry, particularly interested in changing base metals into gold.

Amulet: An object worn as a charm against evil, or for good luck.

Astarte: A Near Eastern fertility goddess.

Astral body: A spiritual body believed to exist apart from the physical body, and to survive death.

Astrology: The study of the positions and aspect of the heavenly bodies, and how they influence human affairs.

Athena: The Greek goddess of wisdom, warfare and crafts.

Aura: Electromagnetic field believed to be generated by the human body.

Baba Yaga: A powerful Russian witch.

Coven: An assembly of at least thirteen witches.

Demiurge: A Gnostic deity or demon, who created the material world.

Encantados: Friendly Brazilian spirits. They own the natural world and like to possess consenting mediums for short periods of time.

Familiar: A spirit who takes an animal form and becomes the companion of a practicing witch.

Grimoire: A manual of magic spells.

Hallucination: Distorted perception of objects or events, caused by mental disorder or drug, and appearing extremely real.

Heresy: A religious doctrine that disagrees with the dogma of the Catholic Church.

Iemanja: A Brazilian Sea Goddess.

Incantation: Ritual recitation of spells.

Kabbalah: A body of Jewish mystical teachings.

Karma: The effect of a person's actions during a succession of many lives.

Matriarchal society: A society in which the mother is the head of the family and descent is traced though the mother's side.

Maypole: A pole decorated with streamers, held by the people dancing around it.

Mithras: The ancient Persian god of light, guardian against evil.

Necromancy: The magic art of communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future.

Occult: Relating or dealing with the supernatural.

Parapsychology: The study of telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, and related subjects.

Pentacle: A five pointed star, an important Wicca symbol.

Possession: The state of being dominated by a spirit.

Puritans: A group of English Protestants who in the 16th and 17th centuries believed in strict religious life.

Reincarnation: Rebirth of the soul in a new body.

Sabbat: A periodic gathering of witches.

Satanism: The worship of Satan, characterized by mocking of Christian rites.

Sea Witch: A witch who specializes in controlling the seas or oceans.

Shaman: A member of a tribal society who is a link between the spirit world and the visible world; also functions as a sorcerer.

Sophia: The Gnostic feminine side of God, and the goddess of light and wisdom.

Spectral Evidence: The activities of ghost or an apparition of the living, accepted at court as if performed by a real person.

Telepathy: Mind-to-mind communication of thoughts.

Tenet: Principle or body of principles accepted the core of a religion.

Thor: The Norse god of thunder.

Valhalla: The hall of the Norse gods.

Voodoo: A Caribbean religion, based on a mixture of Catholicism and African tribal religions.

Zeus: The principal god of the Greek pantheon.

Zohar: The principal book of the Jewish Kabbalah.

Zombie: A corpse animated by supernatural power.

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