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Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology


Eye of Horus           The highly stylised eye of the falcon-headed solar and sky god Horus (the Latin version of Hor) is associated with regeneration, health and prosperity.   It was very common as an Amulet in ancient Egypt.

Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, was called 'Horus who rules with two eyes'.   His right eye was white and represented the Sun; his left eye was black and represented the Moon.

According to myth, Horus lost his left eye to his evil brother, Seth, whom he fought to avenge Seth's murder of Osiris.   Seth tore out the eye but lost the fight.   The eye was reassembled by Magic by Thoth, the god of writing, the Moon and Magic.

Horus presented his eye to Osiris, who experienced rebirth in the Underworld.   As an amulet, the Eye of Horus has three versions: a left eye, a right eye and two eyes.

The eye is constructed in fractional parts, with 1/64th missing, a piece Thoth added by Magic.   The Egyptians used the eye as a funerary amulet for protection against evil and rebirth in the Underworld, and decorated mummies, coffins and tombs with it.

The Book of the Dead instructs that funerary eye amulets be made out of lapis lazuli or a stone called mak.   Some were gold-plated.   Worn as jewellery fashioned of gold, silver, lapis, wood, porcelain or carnelian, the eye is said to ensure safety, to preserve health and to give the wearer wisdom and prosperity.

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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 defintion 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 differring practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.

- Jean-Luc
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