Reference Shelf

You will notice words throughout Pagan Path are highlighted and linked to these definitions.  To see the full article for each brief entry, just click on the word.  You will find some great information while browsing around this area!

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Term Definition
Necronomicon

A fictional grimoire created by writer H. P. Lovecraft who first wrote about it in a short story, 'The Hound' in 1922.  Although many people believe this to be a true grimoire, it is and always has been fictional.  There are several books entitled 'The Necronomicon' that are dappled with legitimate sounding words and instructions . . .

Perigee

Closest to the Sun: Perihelion is the point in the orbit of a planet (usually Earth) or other celestial object such as an asteroid, comet or other planet, that is closest to the sun.  Most almanacs list the day of the year when the Earth is closest to the sun as Perihelion, and this day is considered to have more solar influence for magick and energy work.

Perihelion

Closest to the Sun: Perihelion is the point in the orbit of a planet (usually Earth) or other celestial object such as an asteroid, comet or other planet, that is closest to the sun.  Most almanacs list the day of the year when the Earth is closest to the sun as Perihelion, and this day is considered to have more solar influence for magick and energy work.

Philter

According to the etymology of the word, a philtre (or philter) is a love potion.  It is frequently used to describe any type of potion with magickal properties, however the origins of the word from French and Latin show that technically, a philtre specifically refers to potions used for the purposes of love.

Although their popularity in the 1800's onward has declined in favor of poppets, spells and charms, philtres are still in use today.  A traditional philtre was usually an infusion of herbs, often psychoactive, in wine or water.  Some of them require more obscure or even grotesque ingredients, taste bitter and have an offensive odor.  Obviously they can be difficult to administer discretely, hence their frequent replacement by the above measures.

Because of the nature of love spells, most (but not all) Wiccans, do not utilize philtres - feeling that love magick is manipulative or against the Rede.  This judgement is left entirely to the individual to decide.

Many of the ingredients of philtres may have physical effectiveness as well as magickal (isn't that usually the case?).  Philtres containing alcohol may relax inhibitions, and ingredients such as saw palmetto may improve prostate health.  The bark of the Yohimbe tree (Corynanthe yohimbe, of the ruiaceae family) has been used as an ingredient in philtres.  Some of the chemical constituents of this herb (such as yohimbine hydrochloride) seem to increase the flow of blood to the penis, countering the effects of certain hormone imbalances that cause blood vessels to constrict with age.

A study published in the Journal of Urology tested the effects of a yohimbe component.  After a month, 81% of the men who had experienced this sexual disfunction for under two years showed improvement. There is also some evidence that yohimbe increases adrenaline to nerve endings and increases the production of norepinephrine.  These stimulating effects can easily be associated with feelings of love in both men and women.

Some philtres are not used internally, but are used as fragrances.  You will find more information on the use of fragrance as an aphrodisiac in the PaganPath Library articles.  There are also philtres that require you to rub them on your hands and then touch the person you desire.

Recipes for philtres are numerous, from a simple combination of rose water and spices, to a drop of menstrual blood in a glass of wine.  Creating your own with knowledge of herbalism, aromatherapy, and magick will produce the best results.

Summon

To call, similar to conjure and invite . . . 

Syncretism

Reconciling and combining of different and sometimes seemingly contradictory beliefs, while melding practices of various schools of thought.  Articles on PaganPath.com are written with a well researched, deeply considered and syncretic flair.

Synergy

Synergy is the interaction of multiple elements so that the total effect is greater than the sum of the elements.  Expressed simplistically as 2+2=5.  Synergy may be beneficial or harmful depending on the effects.  A coven sending energy toward a specific goal might be more effective when working together than if they worked apart. A commonly known synergistic effect occurs when people combine opiates with alcohol.  Each can cause respiratory depression, but together they can cause respiratory failure.  For example, one dose of an opiate medication may cause some respiratory reaction, two doses may be indicated by your doctor to increase that reaction somewhat.  One shot of whiskey causes some respiratory reaction, two doses increase that reaction.  One dose of opiate medication and one shot of whiskey may cause such serious respiratory reaction that death occurs.  That is some intense synergy!

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