Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Few Definitions

Here are a few brief definitions of terms that may pop up often in this blog. (For the very basics, give Paganism, Wicca, Witchcraft - What's What? a read.

Eclecticism: An eclectic follows a mix of different traditions. They do not look to any single source, but instead pull from many to create a unique path for themselves. For more information, have a look at this post.


Hedgecraft: A form of traditional witchcraft that places a heavy emphasis on spirit-work. The hedge refers to the boundary between the worlds (called the veil by some pagans), and trance work is used to cross that boundary to work with spirits and the ancestors. A hedgewitch generally has a focus on nature (especially the wild parts of it), works with spirits, has knowledge of herbs and plants, and often are solitary - although not always. Again, you will find a few variations on this practice.
(Please see the longer post "What is a Hedgewitch?" for more information.)

Hellenic Polytheism: Hellenic polytheism is a term for the traditional religion of ancient Greece. It is also a term used to describe Greek reconstructionists.

Kemet / Kemetic: Kemet is what the ancient Egyptians called their land. The word translates to 'black land' in reference to the black fertile soil along the Nile river. (As opposed to the deshret, the red land that was the desert.) Kemetic can be translated to "Egyptian."

Kitchen / Hearth / Cottage Witchcraft: A form of witchcraft that has a focus on the home and family. Rituals tend to be fairly informal, and whatever materials are at hand will be used. Herbs and cooking usually play a role in this practice. Sometimes minor differences are noted between the three paths, and other times you may see these terms being used interchangeably.

Proto-Indo-European: The Proto-Indo-Eurpoeans (PIE) were a group of loosely related peoples, who spoke Proto-Indo-European, and who likely lived around 4000 BC. Much of what we know about them comes from reconstruction through their descendant groups. For more information, Wiki has a fairly good article. Additionally, this site has a bit more on the subject of PIE paganism/reconstruction.

Reconstructionism: This is the practice of reconstructing one of the ancient pagan religions (such as that of Greece or Egypt) for practice in the modern world. Some prefer the term 'revival' to reconstruction.

Solitary: A solitary is a pagan who practices alone rather than with a group, either by their own choice, or by force (due to lack of other pagans in the area, for example).

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