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witch

5 definitions found

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Wicca \Wic"ca\ (w[i^]k"k[.a]), prop. n. [OE. wicche wizard, AS. wicce, fem., wicca, masc.; see also {witch} and {wicked}.]

1. A religion derived from pre-Christian times, also called {Witchcraft}[4], which practices a benevolent reverence for nature, and recognizes two deities, variously viewed as Mother & Father, Goddess & God, Female & Male, etc.; its practitioners are called Wiccans, Wiccas, or witches. Since there is no central authority to propagate dogma, the beliefs and practices of Wiccans vary significantly. [PJC]

Encouraged by court rulings recognizing witchcraft as a legal religion, an increasing number of books related to the subject, and the continuing cultural concern for the environment, Wicca -- as contemporary witchcraft is often called -- has been growing in the United States and abroad. It is a major element in the expanding "neo-pagan" movement whose members regard nature itself as charged with divinity. --Gustav Niebuhr (N. Y. Times, Oct. 31, 1999, p. 1) [PJC]

"I don't worship Satan, who I don't think exists, but I do pray to the Goddess of Creation." said Margot S. Adler, a New York correspondent for National Public Radio and a Wiccan practitioner. "Wicca is not anti-Christian or pro-Christian, it's pre-Christian." --Anthony Ramirez (N. Y. Times Aug. 22, 1999, p. wk 2) [PJC]

Note: Wicca is a ditheistic religion, also called Witchcraft, founded on the beliefs and doctrines of pre-Roman Celts, including the reverence for nature and the belief in a universal balance. Though frequently practiced in covens, solitary practitioners do exist. The modern form of the religion was popularized in 1954 by Gerald Gardener's Witchcraft Today. It is viewed as a form of neo-paganism. Wicca recognizes two deities, visualized as Mother & Father, Goddess & God, Female & Male, etc. These dieties are nameless, but many Wiccans adopt a name with which they refer to the two: Diana is a popular name for the Goddess to take, among others such as Artemis, Isis, Morrigan, etc. Some of her symbols are: the moon; the ocean; a cauldron; and the labrys (two-headed axe), among others. The God is of equal power to the Goddess, and takes on names such as Apollo, Odin, Lugh, etc. A small number of his symbols are: the sun; the sky; a horn (or two horns); and others. Witchcraft is not a Christian denomination; there is no devil in its mythos, thus the devil cannot be worshiped, and the medieval view of Witches as Satan-worshipers is erroneous. Satanists are not Witches and Witches are not Satanists. Both have a tendency to be offended when the two are confused. In the Wiccan religion male Witches are not "Warlocks". The term Warlock comes from Scottish, meaning 'oathbreaker', 'traitor', or 'devil'. Its application to male witches is of uncertain origin. The Wiccan Rede, "An it harm none, do what thou wilt" comes in many variations. All of them say the same thing, "Do as you wish, just don't do anything to harm anyone." It is implied that 'anyone' includes one's self. Witches practice in groups called Covens or as solitary practitioners, and some practice "magic", which is to say, they pray. Since the one rule that Witches have requires that they can not do harm, harmful magic does not exist in Wicca. In Wicca, "magic" is simply subtly altering small things, to gain a desired effect. Wicca, sometimes called Neo-Witchcraft, was revived in the 1950s, when the last laws against Witchcraft were repealed. Gerald Gardner founded Gardnerian Wicca sometime after his book, Witchcraft Today, was published in 1954. Raymond Buckland, in America, did much the same that Gardner did in Europe -- stood up to the misconceptions about Witchcraft. Two other books describing the modern practice of Wicca are: Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham, Llewellyn Publications, 1988. Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft, by Raymond Buckland, Llewellyn Publications, 1975. A Web site devoted to elucidation of modern witchcraft is: [a href="http:]/www.witchvox.com">Witchvox --Cody Scott [PJC]

2. A practitioner of Wicca, also commonly called a {Wiccan}, {Wicca}, or {witch} . [PJC]

For at least one person who has seen "The Blair Witch Project", the surprise hit movie of the summer did not so much terrify as infuriate. One long slur against witches, said Selena Fox, a witch, or Wicca, as male and female American witches prefer to call themselves. --Anthony Ramirez (N. Y. Times, Aug. 22, 1999, p. wk 2) [PJC]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Witch \Witch\, noun [Cf. {Wick} of a lamp.] A cone of paper which is placed in a vessel of lard or other fat, and used as a taper. [Prov. Eng.]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Witch \Witch\, noun [OE. wicche, AS. wicce, fem., wicca, masc.; perhaps the same word as AS. w[imac]tiga, w[imac]tga, a soothsayer (cf. {Wiseacre}); cf. Fries. wikke, a witch, LG. wikken to predict, Icel. vitki a wizard, vitka to bewitch.]

1. One who practices the black art, or magic; one regarded as possessing supernatural or magical power by compact with an evil spirit, esp. with the Devil; a sorcerer or sorceress; -- now applied chiefly or only to women, but formerly used of men as well.

There was a man in that city whose name was Simon, a witch. --Wyclif (Acts viii. 9).

He can not abide the old woman of Brentford; he swears she's a witch. --Shak.

2. An ugly old woman; a hag. --Shak.

3. One who exercises more than common power of attraction; a charming or bewitching person; also, one given to mischief; -- said especially of a woman or child. [Colloq.]

4. (Geom.) A certain curve of the third order, described by Maria Agnesi under the name {versiera}.

5. (Zool.) The stormy petrel.

6. A Wiccan; an adherent or practitioner of {Wicca}, a religion which in different forms may be paganistic and nature-oriented, or ditheistic. The term witch applies to both male and female adherents in this sense. [PJC]

{Witch balls}, a name applied to the interwoven rolling masses of the stems of herbs, which are driven by the winds over the steppes of Tartary. Cf. {Tumbleweed}. --Maunder (Treas. of Bot.)

{Witches' besoms} (Bot.), tufted and distorted branches of the silver fir, caused by the attack of some fungus. --Maunder (Treas. of Bot.)

{Witches' butter} (Bot.), a name of several gelatinous cryptogamous plants, as {Nostoc commune}, and {Exidia glandulosa}. See {Nostoc}.

{Witch grass} (Bot.), a kind of grass ({Panicum capillare}) with minute spikelets on long, slender pedicels forming a light, open panicle.

{Witch meal} (Bot.), vegetable sulphur. See under {Vegetable}.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

witch \witch\, verb (used with an object) [imp. & p. p. {witched}; p. pr. & vb. n. {witching}.] [AS. wiccian.] To bewitch; to fascinate; to enchant.

[I 'll] witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. --Shak.

Whether within us or without The spell of this illusion be That witches us to hear and see. --Lowell.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

witch

noun

1: a female sorcerer or magician [syn: {enchantress}, {witch}]

2: a being (usually female) imagined to have special powers derived from the devil

3: a believer in Wicca [syn: {Wiccan}, {witch}]

4: an ugly evil-looking old woman [syn: {hag}, {beldam}, {beldame}, {witch}, {crone}]

verb

1: cast a spell over someone or something; put a hex on someone or something [syn: {hex}, {bewitch}, {glamour}, {witch}, {enchant}, {jinx}]

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Definitions retrieved from the Open Source DICT Webster's English and WordNet 3.0 dictionaries. Click here for database copyright information.

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