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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Asclepius and Asclepian Staff: Asclepius the Greek God is Aesculapius the Roman God of healing. Prior to the 1500s, a symbol of Asclepius with one snake was known as an Asclepian Staff and was a symbol of medicine and healing much like the modern use of the caduceus.


Athenian Tetradrachm showing owl and olive

Athenæum ( aTHəˈnēəm ) was originally an academy in Ancient Rome founded by Emperor Hadrian and named in honour of the goddess Athena* and is now used as the name for literary or scientific institutions and for clubs, particularly those with learned members. It is also used for libraries of collected works of study for art, science and literature.

* In Greek religion and mythology, Athena or Athene is a Goddess. In the Greek religion and mythology she is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, philosophy, law and justice, just warfare and strategy, mathematics, strength, the arts, crafts, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes.


Bane (noun) is that which is destructive, causes great distress, annoyance or disharmony or is perceived as being \negative\" overall. Bane may also refer to death, a poison, a cause of ruin or woe.  The origins of the word are closely linked with bone, wounds and death (especially by poison).  The herb henbane is a good example, as it will poison your chickens if they eat it.  Fleabane is another herbal example, a plant that was once used as a strewing herb (spread across the floor) to kill and prevent fleas.

Baneful (adjective) means something that is causing harm, ruin, woe, exasperation or death.

You will come across the terms bane and baneful a lot in Pagan and magical writing.  Because there is not necessarily a perception of a good/evil or black/white dichotomy in the Craft.  Magical practitioners use the terms to indicate anything that is negative or harmful and may be inclusive of several harmful factors including energy that is not conducive to the task at hand, even if it could be beneficial or neutral under other circumstances.

For example, an ice storm may seem baneful when it harms a tree, but may also be removing weak and diseased branches of that tree for overall survival of the species and the forest.  This is why the terms bad, evil or negative are not used as often as bane, because it is a more specific term referring to how something exists within a paradigm, rather than just stating a blanketing fact."

Black Pullet

The Black Pullet is grimoire, a type of magical instructional book.  Its primary focus is on the creation of talismans and jewelry - particularly rings - to gain knowledge, power, success and wealth.  Also known as 


A Botánica is a type of \Plant Store\" that can be found in areas with sizable Latino or Caribbean populations.  They specialize in candles, oils, incense, statuary, amulets, alternative folk medicine and magical supplies.  In the United States, you will find many of these stores, particularly in New Orleans, Florida and New York."


Associated with the Sun, this is a high energy metal with projective and protective qualities (a good contrast to silver). It is used for charms of protection, prosperity (like gold) and less often, healing.


A familiar caduceus.Caduceus (kedyoo' sees)The caduceus is a symbol of two snakes entwined in a double helix around a winged rod or staff.  The symbol appeared in early Babylonian art and is now associated with medicine.

The Caduceus has represented various sun Gods, especially the Greek messenger of the gods, Hermes. Hermes carries a gold caduceus, wears winged sandals, and a winged hat.  The caduceus came to be associated with Hermes from various legends.

One legend tells of Hermes encountering two fighting snakes. He threw his wand at them, and they became entwined around it, ending the fight. Another legend tells of Apollo giving Hermes the caduceus.

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