The Magical Lexicon is a page compiling all knowledge I can find, on the Internet and Beyond, on words, terms, and nomenclature related to magic as it appears in fantasy literature, mythology, and folklore, the practice of magic, magic systems, and things which are inherrently magical.
The impetus behind this project comes from some cursory research I was doing to find inspiration for alternative names for the magic users of the world of my primary novel project, and terms to use for the magic system. I found that while the internet may have had a wealth of information, there was no one place where that information was gathered to provide a good starting point for more in-depth research. And so the idea of the Magical Lexicon was born.
The primary purpose of the project is to provide a list of terms related to magic, the practice of magic, and the effects of magic, as it appears in fantasy fiction, mythology, folklore, and popular culture with short definitions. The defintions are not meant to be encyclopaedic, but to be informative enough to offer the reader/user of the lexicon some insight into the term, and whether they want to learn more by turning to more definitive sources. I’m mostly interested in terms related to the practice of magic and the description of magical effects, but I’ll be including terms related to inherrently magical creatures as well.
Currently there are a few hundred terms listed in the lexicon, with definitions provided for only a fraction of them. Each week, I’ll be updated this page with a few more definitions, and any new terms I come across that warrant being added.
How You Can Help
As the lexicon gets fleshed out, I’ll be looking to add terms that are specific to the magic systems of various fictional worlds. However, my experience with those terms is limited by the time I’ve had to read the books involved. In other words, I realize I haven’t read every good fantasy book out there with a unique and interesting magic system. And of those I have, I may not remember the details correctly. You can help by either (a) suggesting terms from specific books/sources of fiction and (b) suggesting useful definitions for these terms, including sources of attribution (i.e. author names plus book or series names) or (c) suggesting corrections in cases where I may have misdefined a term used in a specific source.
Using the Lexicon
The Lexicon has five parts, arranged into columns. The first column lists the Terms in alphabetical order. The second is the Source. Where the word has gained a magical meaning by being passed down through normal linguistic usage, I note here the language our source of the word based on the etymology or first usage of the word. Where the word gained its magical meaning from its use in a fictional setting, the name of the setting, series, or book title is listed here. The third is the Part of Speech, as it is typically used in English. The parts so far represented are Verbs, Nouns, Adjective, Adverbs, Particples and Gerunds. The first four should be self-explanatory. Participles, for those who don’t recall, are verbs used in an adjective form. They are typically in the -ed or -ing form of the verb, in English. Gerunds are verbs used in a noun form, typically with the -ing ending. The fourth column is the Function. This is unique to the Magical Lexicon, and the Functions will be explained below. The final column is the actual definition, labeled Meaning & Etymology. In the definitions, I will put information derived from actual dictionary sources (with attributions, where I’ve done that), wikipedia, and my own attempts to synthesize multiple sources of data on a given term. Finally, within defintions, references to other magical terms will usually appear capitalized.
Each magical term can serve one of twelve functions. These are:
|Action/Effect||The effects or physical manifestations of magic, a magic spell, the actions or act of casting a spell|
|Artifact||An item or object of power, something that may aid a Practitioner or which may be the result of a Practitioner’s Craft|
|Classification||A type of magic or a school of effects|
|Creature||A creature or animal that is inherrently magical|
|Descriptive||Describes a magical effect or the practice of magic|
|Fictional System||A definitive name given to a specific fictional magic system used in fantasy literature|
|Location||A place that is inherrently magical|
|Magic Word||An incantation or potent word which produces a magical effect, or a language with similar effect|
|Magical Ritual||A ritualistic action or formula used to execute a magic spell, or some other action needed to make magic happen.|
|Power Source||Something that powers magic or from which the effects of magic are derived|
|Practitioner||Someone who practices a certain form of magic|
|Symbol||Symbols that represent magical concepts|
The Magical Lexicon
The lexicon is divided into sections, below.