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Author Topic: The 'lanuguage' of Wicca  (Read 1709 times)

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Síochána

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The 'lanuguage' of Wicca
« on: January 23, 2011, 10:09:20 AM »

In Irish Samhain means November and Bealtaine means May. Is this, perhaps, where the names of the Sabbats came from? Where did we get the names from?

What about the names of the Knives? Where did we get these names form?
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Snake-Man

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Re: The 'lanuguage' of Wicca
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 01:43:09 PM »

In Irish Samhain means November and Bealtaine means May. Is this, perhaps, where the names of the Sabbats came from? Where did we get the names from?

What about the names of the Knives? Where did we get these names form?

Athame--

The term athame derives, via a series of corruptions, from the late Latin artavus ("quill knife"), which is well attested in the oldest mansucripts of the Key of Solomon. It means "a small knife used for sharpening the pens of scribes" ("Cultellus acuendis calamis scriptorii"). Artavus is well-attested in medieval Latin, although it is not a common word. This explains why it was left untranslated in some French and Italian manuscripts, and ultimately became garbled[11] in various manuscripts as artavo, artavus, arthana, artanus, arthany or arthame.[12][13][14] Latham described the etymology of artavus as being dubious, but Johannes Balbus de Janua (Catholicon, 1497) derives it from arto, artas, etc. (to narrow).[15] An alternate etymology is given by John de Garlande, (ca 1225)[16]: "Artavus, called 'kenivet' in French, namely a small knife which stretches in length, is named after 'ars' (art or craft), because it is used by artisans." (as opposed to either a table knife cultellos ad mensam, mensaculos, or a weapon) (Artavus dicitur Gallice 'kenivet,' scilicet cultellus qui tendit in altum; vel dicitur ab arte, quia eo artifices utuntur.)

Idries Shah, who was personal secretary and close friend of Gerald Gardner, provides yet another etymology from an alleged Arabic al-dhamm? "blood-letter", which was supposed to be the ritual knife of a medieval magical cult of Morocco and Andalusia. This etymology is controversial, however. It appears in his book The Sufis as a quotation from A History of Secret Societies by Arkon Daraul (a probable pseudonym of Shah). Robert Graves (an acquaintance of Shah) suggests an Arabic derivation from al thame (or adh-dhame), which he translates as "the arrow".[citation needed]

A Latin manuscript version of the Key of Solomon has a drawing that looks like a sickle, labeled Artavo. Gerald Gardner's use of 'athame' probably came from modern French versions of the Key of Solomon, probably via Grillot de Givry's Witchcraft, Magic and Alchemy (1931), who misinterpreted the term as applying to the main ritual knife, as shown by his index entries "arthane" or "arthame".

Boline--

Many of the bolines advertised in on-line 'magick shops' have a characteristic crescent shape, and are described as being for harvesting herbs. This crescent shape is reminiscent of the sickle described in the Key of Solomon, a medieval grimoire which is one of the sources for modern Wicca[4].. Confusingly, an Italian version of the Key of Solomon has a hook-shaped knife called an artauo (a possible root for athame) and a straight, needle-shaped blade called a bolino. When the name 'boline' was first used to describe the crescent-shaped blade is not clear. In The Book of Ceremonial Magic published by Arthur Edward Waite in 1911, Waite references a number of early works on magic which mention the bolline or sickle, saying "Among the necessary properties mentioned by the Book of True Black Magic are the sword, the staff, the rod, the lancet, the arctrave or hook, the bolline or sickle, the needle, the ponaird, a white-handled knife and another knife, with a black handle, used to describe the circle. The most important to make is that called the bolline....".
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FireWillow

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Re: The 'lanuguage' of Wicca
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2011, 05:35:37 AM »

Samhain - 1888, from Ir. samhain (Gaelic Samhuinn), from O.Ir. samain, lit. "summer's end," from O.Ir. sam "summer" (see summer) + fuin "end." Nov. 1, the Celtic festival of the start of winter and of the new year.

Yule - O.E. geol, geola "Christmas Day, Christmastide," from O.N. jol (pl.), a heathen feast, later taken over by Christianity, of unknown origin. The O.E. (Anglian) cognate giuli was the Anglo-Saxons' name for a two-month midwinter season corresponding to Roman December and January, a time of important feasts but not itself a festival. After conversion to Christianity it narrowed to mean "the 12-day feast of the Nativity" (which began Dec. 25), but was replaced by Christmas by 11c., except in the northeast (areas of Danish settlement), where it remained the usual word. Revived 19c. by writers to mean "the Christmas of 'Merrie England.' " First direct reference to the Yule log is 17c. O.N. jol seems to have been borrowed in O.Fr. as jolif, hence Mod.Fr. joli "pretty, nice," originally "festive"

Imbolc (Candlemass) - O.E. candelm?sse (from candle + mass (2)), feast of the purification of the Virgin Mary (Feb. 2), celebrated with many candles, corresponding to Celtic pagan Imbolc.  The name Imbolc comes from the Old Irish i mbolg, 'in the belly', apparently in reference to either pregnant ewes or milking. The oldest etymology, that of the ninth century Cormac's Glossary, derives imbolc (also oimelc) from 'the time the sheep's milk comes'.

Ostara (Eostre) - O.E. Easterd?g, from Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from P.Gmc. *Austron, a goddess of fertility and spring, probably originally of sunrise whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from *austra-, from PIE *aus- "to shine" (especially of the dawn). Bede says Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted her name and many of the celebratory practices for their Mass of Christ's resurrection. Ultimately related to east. Almost all neighboring languages use a variant of Latin Pasche to name this holiday. Easter egg attested by 1825, earlier pace egg (1610s). Easter bunny attested by 1909.

Beltane - early 15c., from Lowland Scottish, from Gaelic bealltainn "May 1," important Celtic religious rite marking the start of summer, probably lit. "blazing fire," from PIE base *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach) + O.Ir. ten "fire," from PIE *tepnos, related to L. tepidus "warm." But this derivation of the second element is hotly disputed by some on philological grounds, and fires were equally important in the other Celtic holidays. Also known as "Old May Day," because after the 1752 calendar reform it continued to be reckoned according to Old Style; it was one of the quarter-days of ancient Scotland.

Litha (Midsummer) - O.E. midsumor, from mid "mid" + sumor "summer." Midsummer Day, as an English quarter-day, was June 24. Astronomically June 21, but traditionally reckoned in Europe on the night of June 23-24. (could not find an origin for the term Litha readily.  I'll have to do a bit more research on that one.)

Lammas - Aug. 1 harvest festival with consecration of loaves," O.E. hlafm?sse, lit. "loaf mass," from hlaf + m?sse.
Lughnassadh - From Old Irish Lugnasad (?Lugh's festival?).

Mabon - The name Mabon is derived from the Common Brythonic and Gaulish deity Maponos. Similarly, Modron is derived from Common Brythonic and Gaulish deity Matrona. The language changes creating the Middle Welsh form are:

    * dropping of masculine singular -os and feminine singular -a endings
    * p > b
    * a > o
    * t > d

These changes are discussed in Sims-Williams (2003).

The name Mabon has special connections to Hadrian's Wall where a cult of Apollo Maponos was practised by the Roman soldiers based there.


http://www.etymonline.com/index.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mabon_ap_Modron
Chadwick, Nora, The Celts, 1970:181.
Chormaic, Sanas, Cormac's Glossary, trans. John O'Donovan, 1868.
Hamp, E. P., 'imbolc, oimelc', Studia Celtica, 14/15 (1979/80) 106.
MacBain, Alexander, An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language, 1911.
O Cathain, Seamus, 'The Festival of Brigit the Holy Woman', Celtica, 23 (1999) 231-260.
Ruickbie, Leo, Open Source Wicca: The Gardnerian Tradition, 2007.
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C_A

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Re: The 'lanuguage' of Wicca
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2011, 09:32:58 AM »

Thank you, FW.  Nicely done.
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Mijska5

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Re: The 'lanuguage' of Wicca
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2011, 12:18:53 PM »

Irony: My father is a devout Lutheran Christian, but sponsors an Easter Bunny breakfast every year...IN THE CHURCH.  And a Santa Claus one.  I can't help but laugh at the irony of it all.
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C_A

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Re: The 'lanuguage' of Wicca
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 08:32:17 AM »

Irony: My father is a devout Lutheran Christian, but sponsors an Easter Bunny breakfast every year...IN THE CHURCH.  And a Santa Claus one.  I can't help but laugh at the irony of it all.

I have heard of this before....always, it seems, in the most devout churches.  High-Lutheran, High-Episcopal, and Roman Catholic.

It is truly one of the BEST examples of it's kind...all of the church-ladies running about with bunny-ears and elf hats or the men in their Santa hats...
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