exWitch Australia
Glossary of Wiccan, Neo-Pagan and Occult Terminology


The book by Robert Graves which describes itself as an historic grammar of poetic myth.   Graves admits in his postscript that the bulk of the writing, 70,000 words of unsolicited enlightenment on a subject which had meant little enough to him, was completed in three weeks, given the original title of The Roebuck in the Thicket and pointedly ignored by the scientific academic fraternity.   It was tater renamed after the White Goddess of Pelion, the moon deity identified with the mountain of that name at Magnesia in Greece, to whom the Sacred King annually fell victim.

The book has aroused substantial interest since its first publication in 1946 and has been sold widely.   It claims the existence of a paramount Goddess of the moon and of poetry, appearing in three aspects to equate with the waxing, full and waning moon, who was previously worshipped in the Mediterranean region and across Europe.   As a speculative thesis it must be regarded as a brilliant literary and poetic creation.   Its factual and historical content is, however, often unprovenanced, subjective and in many places wildly inaccurate.

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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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