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Magical Lexicon D – F

  Term Meaning & Etymology
Term Dark From Old English “deorc”, meaning “to darken, to hide”; The idea of darkness – the absence of light – has a lot of connotations that tie it to the concept of Black Magic, and times of darkness are frequently thought of as times of magic and the unexplained.
Source Old English
Part of Speech Adj.
Function Descriptive
Term Demon From Greek “Daimonion”, meaning a thing of divine nature and reinterpreted through the lens of Judaism and Christianity to give us the contemporary meaning of demon as an evil spirit, a primordial monster, or a devil.  The term is generally taken, today, to mean one of the servants of Satan, and a fallen angel.  It is contrasted with “devil” when that word is taken to be one of the titles of Satan, specifically, or a title for one of the more powerful demons, but otherwise is synonymous with devil.  In medieval times, it was thought that either making deals with demons and devils, summoning them and binding them to do your will, or serving them could each be a path to gaining toward gaining magical powers.  Most of these uses of demons would be considered Witchcraft or Black Magic.  However, in Apocryphal writings, Solomon was believed to have bound demons to his will by invoking the name of God, thus forcing an enemy of God to do the will of God.  It is said, for instance, that Solomon ordered the bound demon to help in the construction of the Temple.  Demons, insofar as they are understood to be non-corporeal, are also frequently ascribed the ability to take possession of human beings.  Magical effects will frequently accompany demonic possession. Because a Demon is both a magical being and a potential source of magical power, it could classified either under the “Creature” classification or the “Power Source” classification, so the word has been duplicated in the Lexicon under both classifications.
Source Greek
Part of Speech N.
Function Creature
Term Demon See the prior definition for “Demon”.
Source Greek
Part of Speech N.
Function Power Source
Term Demoniac A Demoniac is someone who has been possessed or influenced by a demon.  Considering the potential for capturing and binding demons or bargaining with demons to gain magical power, in a magic system a Demoniac could refer to a practitioner of magic who has gained magic power by one of these mechanisms.
Source Greek
Part of Speech N.
Function Practitioner
Term Devil From “Diabolos” meaning “Satan, a Slanderer, an Accuser”, generally the term “devil” is used as a title for Satan, and the two words are typically synonymous, thus “Devil” can refer to the supreme evil spirit, and specifically to the chief Angel who grew jealous and rebelled against God and was cast down either to Earth or to Hell.  As with “demons”, bargaining with the Devil can be a method of gaining magical powers in some stories.  Typically, this bargain is characterized as an exchange of one’s immortal soul for some Earthly power, influence, or knowledge.  For instance, the story of Dr. Faustus or Faust, is the classic tale of a man who made a “deal with the devil” in exchange for knowledge.  See also Demon.
Source Greek
Part of Speech N.
Function Creature
Term Devil See the prior definition for “Devil”.
Source Greek
Part of Speech N.
Function Power Source
Term Devilry The word means both extremely mischievous or malevolent behavior and witchcraft or evil magic.
Source Middle English
Part of Speech N.
Function Classification
Term Diabolic Something that has the qualities of or which pertains to the devil.  As a description of magic, pertains to magic powers that are related to or derived from demonic powers or sources.
Source Greek
Part of Speech Adj.
Function Descriptive
Term Diabolism Magic or powers worked by or caused by the devil; essentially, magic produced either by collusion with the devil (i.e. a “deal with the devil” or “faustian bargain”) or by some means of demonic possession or by binding demons.  Can be considered to be synonymous with Witchcraft, Black Magic, and Devilry.
Source Greek
Part of Speech N.
Function Classification
Term Diabolist Someone who practices Diabolism.
Source Greek
Part of Speech N.
Function Practitioner
Term Divination From Latin “Divinare” meaning “to Soothsay”; Divination is the practice of foretelling future events or discovering some hidden or Occult knowledge through supernatural or magical means.  There are various categories and examples of Divination throughout mythology and folklore.  Examining “Omens” or auspicious events that symbolically prefigure future events is one example.  Casting of Lots is another practice (called Sortilege).  Augury is the practice of studying the flights of birds to predict the future.  Other examples include Dowsing and Haruspices.  Oracles are typically ascribed the powers of divination, and members of various priestly castes have been ascribed the ability both to divine the will of their respective deities and, by extension to divine the future (especially in cases when those deities are believed to have knowledge of the future which can be imparted to the priests) or to divine the truth of a situation or discover the correct choice to make (in accordance with the deity’s will).
Source Latin
Part of Speech N.
Function Classification
Term Divine The act of Divination; to gain knowledge of the future or to gain knowledge of some previously hidden, unknown, or Occult truth.
Source Latin
Part of Speech V.
Function Action/Effect
Term Divine From Latin “Divinus” or “Divus”, a God; Something that is divine relates to or is from a god or a deity.  As such, magical powers that can be ascribed to a deity, or as coming from association with a deity can be described as “Divine” powers.  Thus, examples of miracles and wonders assigned to various prophets and priestly characters in history, mythology, and folklore can be characterized as examples of Divine magic.
Source Latin
Part of Speech Adj.
Function Descriptive
Term Divine Magic Divine Magic is magic that is performed by the power of a God or Deity.  It may typically be thought of as magical powers or magic-like powers that are granted to a particularly holy or faithful individual or servant of a given deity, and most especially to a member of a priestly caste in service of that deity.  Such powers may also be ascribed to hermits or ascetics who live especially chaste or moral lives.  Divine Magic is usually contrasted sharply with other types of magic because the source of Divine Magic is always ascribed to the deity and never to the wielder or user of the magic, the wielder being merely a conduit for the deity’s Divine will.
Source  
Part of Speech N.
Function Classification
Term Diviner From Latin “Divinator” meaning “Soothsayer”; A practitioner of Divination; a soothsayer, fortune-teller, or prophet, or a person skilled in using a Divining Rod.
Source Latin
Part of Speech N.
Function Practitioner
Term Divining Rod A rod used in “Divining”; typically a forked stick, Y-shaped or L-shaped, usually a hazel stick, used in a method called Dowsing to locate underground water, metal and ore deposits, or other subterranean objects.  Also called a Dowsing Rod.
Source  
Part of Speech N.
Function Artifact
Term Djinn Djinn is the plural of Djinni, from the Arabic word “Jannaa” meaning “Hidden, Covered or Concealed”; Djinn are a class of spirits, devils, or angelic beings capable of being either good or evil in Arabic mythology, and spoken of in the Qur’an/Koran, where they are said to be composed of “smokeless fire”.
Source Arabic
Part of Speech N.
Function Creature
Term Djinni Djinni, from the Arabic word “Jannaa” meaning “Hidden, Covered, or Concealed” is the singular form of Djinn.  The word can also be spelled Jinni or Jini, and is part of the etymological source for the English word Genie.  Djinni are of a class of spirits or beings in Islamic/Arabic mythology that are lower than Angels and possessed of magical powers.  A djinni is said by the Qur’an to be composed of “Smokeless Fire”, and is capable of transforming into various animals.  Like humans, a Djinni can be either good or evil.  In Islam, the devil is characterized as being a Djinni with the ability to tempt men to do evil.  Because of the way Djinn are characterized in “1001 Arabian Nights”, they are often portrayed as living in or being confined to a “Magic Lamp” until summoned (usually by rubbing the lamp) and, once summoned, will grant the summoner a wish (or 3 wishes) or will serve the summoner for a time.  In this way, Djinn are very often a source of magical power, insofar as someone who controls a Djinni can perform wondrous magical marvels by commanding the Djinni to use his magic powers to do the deed.
Source Arabic
Part of Speech N.
Function Creature
Term Doom From Old English “Dom” from Old Norse “Domr”, meaning “Judgment, Law”; Doom refers to a fate or destiny and in contemporary usage is especially an adverse fate or ill fortune and can also mean ruin or death.  Used as a verb, Doom means to pronounce an adverse or evil destiny upon someone, and in this way is similar to a Curse.  Thus, a Doom may be a magically-influenced Curse to bring about an ill end upon someone.
Source Old English
Part of Speech N.
Function Descriptive
Term Dowsing Of an unknown, probably Germanic origin; Dowsing is a Divination technique used to find underground water, metal and ore deposits, gemstones, oil, etc.  Dowsing typically makes use of a Dowsing Rod (also called a Divining Rod).  Dowsing seems to be a type of folk magic that originated in Renaissance Germany in the 15th or 16th Century, originally as a means of locating metals and ores.  Traditionally, dowsing today is used more in association with searching for underground water.
Source  
Part of Speech V.
Function Classification
Term Dowsing Rod A device used in Dowsing, also called a Divining Rod.  Traditionally a dowsing rod is a Y-shaped stick, of hazel in Europe or Witch-hazel in North America.  Dowsing Rods can also be L-shaped metal rods (in which two are used, one held in each hand).  Dowsing is done by holding the two branches of the rod with the stem point forward.  The rod will supposedly dip or vibrate when what the Diviner is searching for is found beneath him.  When using the two L-shaped metal rods, the short end of the rods are held pointing forward, and the long ends will cross when the Diviner has located what is being searched for.
Source  
Part of Speech N.
Function Artifact
Term Dream From Old English “Dream” meaning “Joy, Mirth, Gladness” from Old Norse “Draumr” from Old High German “Troum” meaning “Dream”; A Dream is sequence of thoughts, images, sounds, and emotions experienced by the mind during sleep (definition from Wikipedia).  Because the experience of a dream often feels real to the dreamer at the time, it comes as no surprise that Dreams can play a significant role both in mythology and in fantasy literature.  In many ancient cultures, Dreams were thought to symbolically prefigure future events (a belief still held by many today), so that the ability to interpret dreams is a powerful form of Divination, such as in the Biblical story of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors.  This type of Divination is called Oneiromancy.  As another example, Australian Aboriginal mythology a Dream occurs when a person’s spirit re-enters the Dreamtime, a separate but concurrent timeline in which spiritual beings and folk heroes are constantly engaged in the creative act that results in the creation of the physical reality of the non-Dream world.  In fantasy literature, Dreams often play an important role.  For example, the story of “Alice in Wonderland” occurs as the protagonist enters a bizarre dream world.  In Ursula LeGuin’s “The Lathe of Heaven” the protagonist has the ability to alter realty with his dreams.  In the “Wheel of Time” series by Robert Jordan, a physical Dream World exists that normally can only be reached while sleeping in the real world.  These are just a few examples of how Dreams are incorporated into Fantasy and Speculative literature for magical effect.
Source German
Part of Speech N.
Function Action/Effect
Term Dreamtime In the mythology of Australian Aboriginals, the Dreamtime is synonymous with the Creation.  It is a time when spiritual beings and folk heroes went about traveling the land, and the results of their actions explain the creation of the world and the establishing of sacred places.  Each place has its own Dreaming, or explanatory creation story, and all living things have a spiritual body in the Dreamtime and came from the Dreamtime to the real world to inhabit a physical body.  The paths traveled by spiritual heroes and creative spirits in the Dreamtime leave Songlines or tracks that explain a series of creative acts resulting in certain physical features in the real world, the stories of which are passed down in song.  The really interesting aspect of Aboriginal Dreamtime is that the Dreamtime is a separate but concurrent timeline to that of the physical world such that actions or events in the Dreamtime can continue to have a lasting physical effect on the real world.  Because the Dreamtime runs concurrent to regular time, the world of the Dreamtime can be said to be a sacred or magical place.
Source Australian Aboriginal
Part of Speech N.
Function Location
Term Dwarf From Old English “Dweorg” from Old High German “Twerg” from Old Norse “Dvergr”, meaning “Dwarf” in the mythical sense.  Dwarves are mythical creatures of Germanic and Nordic mythologies that were frequently possessed of magical talents, especially those involving metallurgy, stonecutting, and crafstmanship.  Dwarves were particularly known for their craft magical rings (as in the Ring of the Nibelung cycle), magical swords, and other enchanted talismans.  In some mythological traditions, it appears that Dwarves are intimately related to (or identical to) subterranean-dwelling Dark Elves called “Dokkalfar” of “Svartalfar”.  Typically Dwarves live in subterranean homes in caves or burrows.  In the tradition of Paracelsus’ Elemental classification, some systems claim the Dwarf to be the Elemental of Metal (as the Gnome is the Elemental of Earth).
Source Norse
Part of Speech N.
Function Creature
Term Dweomer Of uncertain origin; some sources seem to indicate it derives from Old Norse “Dvergmal” from “Dvergr” and “Mal” meanind “Dwarf Talk or Dwarf Speech”, suggesting that the speech of the Dwarves had a magical effect or referring to the secret magical knowledge of the Dwarves; these sources indicate Dweomer is an Old English word meaning Witchcraft.  Thus in Norse Mythology, the word Dweomer may refer to the magic of the Dwarves.  Other sources I found suggest the word derives from Old English “Gedwimor” meaning “Apparition, Phantasm”.  Which is right I do not know, but regardless most historical usages of the form “Dweomer” seem to come from Middle English as part of the compound word “Dweomercraeft” meaning “Magical practice or juggling”.  Most of the research seems to suggest that Gary Gygax, one of the designers of Dungeons & Dragons, reinvented the form “Dweomer” by decomposing it from the compound word “Dweomercraeft” and applied the meaning of “Magic” to Dweomer.  In D&D usage, a Dweomer is the residual aura of a magical effect or a spell, or the aura that persists on magical or enchanted object.  In D&D usage, the word is pronounced “Dweh-mer”.  Dweomer (now pronounced “dway-OH-mair”) can also refer to the magic system of Katherine Kerr’s Deverry novels.  Whether Dweomer is thought to refer to ghosts and phantasms, or to magical effects, the term earns its place in the Magical Lexicon.
Source  
Part of Speech N.
Function Action/Effect
Term Dweomercraeft Dweomercraeft comes from Middle English and means “witchcraft, magical art, or jugglery”.  The exacty etymology, beyond that, is somewhat contended (see Dweomer for more detail).  In terms of the Magical Lexicon, Dweomercraeft means the practice or art of magic.
Source Middle English
Part of Speech N.
Function Classification
Term Dweomercraft A slightly more modern form of the Middle English Dweomercraeft.
Source  
Part of Speech N.
Function Classification
Term Dwimmer Either a proposed modern-English derivation of unattested Middle English Dweomer, or a derivation of Old English “Gedwimor”.  Dwimmer either refers to a ghostly phantasm or apparation, to something Haunted, or to something Magical.  We see various uses of this or a related word in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”: referring to the haunted mountains as “Dwimorberg”, to the Witch-King of Angmar as “Dwimmerlaik”, or to Saruman as “Dwimmer-crafty”.  Given the contested nature of the etymology of Dweomer and Dwimmer, it is unclear whether there is an intended difference in meaning between the way these terms are used.
Source  
Part of Speech N.
Function Descriptive
Term Dwimmercraft A possible modern-English derivation of Dweomercraeft, referring to the art or practice of magic.
Source  
Part of Speech N.
Function Classification
Term Dwimmerlaik Possibly from Middle English Dweomerlayk or later Demerlayk, which also seems to mean “Magical Practice or Jugglery”, the form Dwimmerlaik was used by Tolkien to refer to the Lord of the Nazgul – whether in this case meant to be understood “Someone who practices Magic”, “An Undead or Spectral Thing”, “A Necromancer”,  “A Being that Results from Vile Magic”, or  some other definition is unclear precisely from the context.  The suffix “-laik” is variably believed to be cognate with “lych” and “lich” meaning a corpse or dead body, or with an older word “lac” meaning “Play, ritual”.
Source  
Part of Speech N.
Function Descriptive
Term Earth  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Eerie  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Element  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Elemental  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Elf  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Elixir  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Elixir of Life  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Elysium  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Enchanted  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Enchanter  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Enchanter  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Enchanting  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Enchantment  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Enchantress  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Enochian  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Enochian Script  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Ensorcelled  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Entranced  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Entrancing  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term ESP  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Ether  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Ethereal  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Evanescent  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Evil Eye  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Exalted  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Execration  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Exorcism  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Exorcist  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Extispicy  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Extrasensory  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Familiar  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Fate  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Fates  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Fatidic From Latin “Fatus” = “Fate” and “Dicere” = “To Say”; of or relating to Prophecy
Source Latin
Part of Speech Adj.
Function Descriptive
Term Faustian  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Fetich  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Fetish  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Fiendish  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Fire  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Fortuneteller  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
Term Fortune-telling  
Source  
Part of Speech  
Function  
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