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Popular Pagan Pronunciations

Learn how to say Witchcraft, Pagan, Wiccan and other occult words.How to Say Those Witchy Words!

This is a pronunciation key with audible sound files. Common words used in magick, or in Pagan, Witchcraft and Wiccan circles can be heard here. This is especially helpful for solitary practitioners, or for those of us in remote areas.

Sound files have all been updated and converted to mp3 file format, and range from 2KB to 8KB*

  Pronunciations are listed from the most commonly used to the least commonly used. The .wav file linked to a 1 or 2 would be heard more frequently than a 3, 4 or higher number.

Pronunciations will vary due to geographic location, tradition and training, individual preferences and more. Generally, there is no Absolute and Correct way to pronounce a word. If you are new to the community (or just new to talking to others about it) you may wish to select the more common or popular pronunciations, those appearing first or second after a word.

No matter which pronunciation you select, you are bound to be corrected at some point by someone who thinks that his or her pronunciation is the correct one. We suggest that you listen to their reasoning, compare it to what you already know, and in the end choose what works for you.   If you have any additions or corrections to the PaganPath Pronunciation guide, please contact Friday here.  Happy wording!

Altar

No sound, just a reminder that alter (with the E) means to change and altar (with an A) is the table used in magic and rituals.

Arcana & Arcanum

Arcana means secrets or mysteries (plural) and arcanum means a secret or mystery (singular). The High Priestess is a Major arcanum, or a card found in the major arcana.
arcana
arcanum

Athame

The ritual knife used by Witches, Wiccans and many Pagans. Often black handled, the * below indicates the most popular current pronunciation.
ATHuhmay*
uhTHAMMY
uhTHAMay
ATHuhme
uhTHAYme
uhTHAWmay
AUTHuhmay

Besom

A broom, especially one made of twigs or other natural or traditional materials. , see also the article Besom Briefs here on PaganPath.

Boline

A knife used as a functional tool such as to carve sigils into candles or other items. Often white handled. Sometimes with a curved blade particularly if used to harvest herbs.

Brighid or Brigid

brighid
brigid2

Celtic

Coven

Sometimes capitalized, especially when referring to a specific coven rather than a specific coven. Sounds like or

Deasil & Deosil

Clockwise, also called "sunwise" or "to the right".  Deosil is the most common spelling, but deasil is probably more correct.  Also sometimes appears as deiseil, deocil or deiseal.

Esbat

The full moon celebration.  Some Pagans also celebrate esbats on the new moon.

Leanan sĂ­dhe

A beautiful female in Celtic folklore.

Sidhe

Known as the fairy folk of Irish folklore:

Tarot

A set of cards (usually 78) used for divination, fortune-telling and games.  The last T is silent:

Undine

A water spirit or nymph.

Unguent

A type of ointment or balm - see the online Herbalism Class (Ointments & Balms lesson) for more details, this recording went a bit wacky but includes both the U.S. and Brittish pronunciations.

Widdershins

Counterclockwise or anti-clockwise, also sometimes weddersinnes or widersinnes. widdershins.mp3&autostart=0&autoreplay=0&showtime=1" />

Sabbat

A religious festival.  The actual Sabbat dates, number of Sabbats in a year, and Sabbat activities all vary among traditions and individuals.  Most Wiccans and neo-Pagans follow the Sabbats outlined in the basic Wheel of the Year: An introduction to the basic Sabbats   The following are the most frequently referred to Sabbats here on PaganPath.com:

1. Beltane

A summertime "greater" Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year also known as Bealtaine, Bealltain and Walpurgisnacht. 

- Bealtaine & Bealltain

Beltane may also be spelled Bealtaine or Bealtain and has additional pronunciations. and and

- Walpurgisnacht

Another name for this summertime "greater" Sabbat

2. Eostre & Ostara

The spring or vernal equinox Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year

eostre
eostre2
ostara
ostara2

3. Imbolc, Imbolg & Oimelc

A springtime (or late winter) "greater" Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year or sometimes

4. Litha

Midsummer Solstice Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year

5. Lammas

A harvest Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year. It falls after the Summer Solstice (Midsummer) and before the Autumnal Equinox (Mabon) also known as First Harvest and:

- Lughnasadh

Another name for the first harvest Sabbat

- Lunasa

And yet another name for the first harvest Sabbat

6. Mabon

The fall, or Autumnal Equinox Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year

7. Samhain

A "greater" Sabbat and harvest festival falling between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice. or or or

8. Yule

The Winter Solstice Sabbat on the Wheel of the Year

References & Resources

Formerly a Premium Members Only selection of PaganPath, this pronunciation guide has been updated, expanded and made available to the public for our 17 year anniversary celebration. Previously all recordings were in .wav format and ranged from 15KB-34KB each.  The new mp3 format is more universal, higher in quality and smaller in size.  Updated regularly to include new definitions and mp3 audio tracks for new words.  Last updated: February 2015.

About the Author
Friday
Author: FridayWebsite: http://PaganPath.comEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Author & Academy Instructor
Friday is devoted to writing books and articles on a variety of Pagan subjects, and is the instructor of the online PaganPath Academy. She has studied and practiced the Craft since 1987, and worked as a professional tarot reader and vice president of a national psychic network for several decades. Currently, she is now a practicing herbalist and ordained minister. As a Master Gardener with a deep interest in permaculture, she is developing the PaganPath Sanctuary with her partner. This long term community project is an edible landscape demonstration, orchard and educational facility for future generations.

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