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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology


In Neo-Pagan witchcraft this is a field of psychic energy or power (often seen or percieved as a spiral) produced in unison by a Coven or group of witches.   Sometimes the phenomenon is referred to as raising the power.   Other Neo-Pagans believe in the phenomenon too.

Witches usually join hands, frequently within the Magic Circle, while dancing around and Chanting to raise the power (see NAMES OF POWER).  

In a limited number of Covens (my old one included) the raising of the Cone of Power may be enhanced by the enactment of sexual intercourse, though it should be understood by all that this is the exception rather than the rule.

Once raised, the cone may be utilized in a general sense, or it may be directed towards a specific purpose or individual.

The process also employs Visualization.   The circle is the bottom of the cone and those within the circle produce the power which rises to the apex of the cone which extends into infinity.   When this psychic power peaks in intensity it is released through the apex to accomplish a goal such as to heal or cast a spell.

It is considered that the psychic energy produced within the Cone of Power is similar to the power of prayer raised within prayer meetings.   Witches who have greatly developed this ability claim to sometimes see the Cone of Power as a luminous, pulsating cloud flooded with changing colors, or as a silvery-blue light.

The Cone of Power has been associated with the circle, the symbol of the sun, unity, eternity, rebirth and the triangle.   The triangle has been associated with the elements and pyramids which represents the higher spiritual desires of all things.   Three is the number of the triangle, which also is an important number in witchcraft, representing the Triple Goddess, and in Christianity the Trinity.

Believed incidents of Cones of Power have been recorded in history.   In parts of ancient Syria, the cone was a symbol of Astrate.   The cone has been symbolized by the stereo-typical tall, conical hats worn by magicians and witches.

Witches have claimed victories against hostile forces with the use of cones of power.   It is claimed by some British witches that in 1588 they helped to defeat the Spanish Armada, and that in the 1700 they raised power against Napoleon.

In 1940 there was much fear the Hitler would invade England which resulted in producing "Operation Cone of Power" on Lammas Day, August 1.   Witches from Covens throughout southern England gathered Skyclad in New Forest to send Hitler and his generals telepathic thoughts to stay out of England.

The author, Francis King, makes the claim that the group engaged in human sacrifice.   In order to add potency to the rite a frail and elderly volunteer offered to leave off his protective 'Flying Ointment' and thus to expire from exposure.

It was, King claims, an extremely cold May night and in total three members of the coven - which practiced skyclad - died of pneumonia in direct consequence of the night's activities.

The German armies never invaded the country.

But, thirty-one years later in 1971, on Lammas Day, California witches gathered together to perform a similar ceremony to end the war in Vietnam.

Similar ceremonies have been held to end the war in Iraq.

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One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.

Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans.   Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.

Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church.   Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.

- Jean-Luc
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