Morrigan Morrigan, the In Irish mythology, one of three war goddesses, the other two being Neman and Macha. She also was the Mighty Queen, viewed either as a Triple Goddess or the death aspect of the Goddess. Robert Graves gave three aspects of the Morrigan: Ana, Babd and Macha. In[…]


Merlin Archetypal wizard of Arthurian lore. Merlin is a Latinized version of the Welsh Myrddin. His exact origins are lost in myth; he may have been a god, perhaps a version of Mabon or Maponos, the British Apollo, the divine ruler or guardian of Britain. The name Merlin may have[…]


Megaliths Large stone structures and groups of standing stones erected in places around the world and believed to have religious or sacred significance or be associated with pagan rites. The term megaliths means “great stones” and is derived from the Greek megas (“great”) and lithos (“stone”). Megaliths include any structure[…]


Maleficia Malicious acts attributed to witches and sorcerers (see sorcery) in times past that caused harm or death to humans, animals or crops. Since antiquity, witches, sorcerers and magicians have been said to cast negative spells against others out of revenge, spite or malice. During the medieval witch-hunting craze, maleficia[…]


Lycanthropy The transformation of a human being into a wolf. There are two types of lycanthropy: a mania in which a person imagines himself to be a wolf and exhibits a craving for blood; and the magical-ecstatic transformation of a person into a werewolf (“man-wolf,” from the Old English werewolves[…]


In Irish legend, 12 horned women, all witches, who take over the household of a rich woman and bewitch her and her sleeping family. No reason for the bewitching is given in the story—perhaps, in times past, no reason was necessary, for witches were believed to bewitch simply because they[…]

Horned Women

Herne the Hunter A spectral huntsman of English lore, often the leader of the Wild Hunt or the nocturnal processions of the dead. As leader of the Wild Hunt, Herne has lunar associations. His name is associated with another leader of the dead, Herlechin, or Harlequin, also associated with the[…]

Herne the Hunter

Hermetica Forty-two sacred books of mystical wisdom attributed to the mythical Hermes Trismegistus, or “thrice great Hermes,” the combined Egyptian and Greek deities of Thoth and Hermes, respectively. The books, which date from somewhere between the third century b.c.e. and first century c.e., had an enormous impact on the development[…]


The severed hand of a hanged murderer, magically preserved, once was used as a charm in hand of glory black-magic spells and was believed to aid burglars in breaking into homes and buildings. The hand of glory was the right hand of a murderer, ideally severed while the corpse still[…]

Hand of Glory

Green Man A pagan deity of the woodlands, usually represented as a horned man peering out from a mask of foliage, usually the sacred oak. The Green Man, also called “Green Jack,” “Jack-in-the-Green” and “Green George,” represents the spirits of the trees, plants and foliage. He is attributed with the[…]

Green Man

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