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see honeysucklehoneysuckle,
common name for some members of the Caprifoliaceae, a family comprised mostly of vines and shrubs of the Northern Hemisphere, especially abundant in E Asia and E North America.
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(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

In Wicca traditions that utilize the degree system of advancement, an Elder is a Third Degree Witch who is consulted on matters of importance to the coven, such as policy and interpretation of Craft law. In other traditions, it is any Witch who has been in the coven for a number of years and is respected and looked to for such advice. There is often a number of elders in a coven that has been in existence for a number of years.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Sambucus), a genus of plants of the honeysuckle family. They are shrubs or small trees; more rarely, perennial grasses. There are about 40 species in the temperate and subtropical regions of both hemispheres.

There are 11 species in the USSR, three of which are widely distributed. The black elder (S. nigra) is a tall shrub or small tree with creamy white tiny flowers in flat umbelliferous panicles and violet black fruits (berry-like stones). They are found in the underbrush of the European part of the USSR (including the Crimea) and in the Caucasus. The flowers and fruits of the black elder are good for coloring wines and for giving them a muscat taste. They are raised as decorative plants.

Cystiform, red or common elder (S. racemosa) is a strongly branched shrub or small tree. Its whitish or greenish yellow flowers are arranged in flat oval or conic inflorescences. The fruit is bright red. Wild red elders are found in the underbrush of coniferous and mixed forests in the western Ukraine; red elder that has gone wild is found in the Baltic region and in certain oblasts of the central belt of the European part of the USSR, as well as in Ciscaucasia. These elder are raised as decorative plants. Grass elder (S. ebulus) is a perennial grassy plant, 0.5 to 1.5 cm tall, with an unpleasant smell. In the belt of broad-leaf forests, in the forest-steppe, and in the mountains, the grass is found to the central belt. It is also found everywhere in the Ukraine and in certain oblasts of the central belt of Russia, as well as in the Caucasus. In Central Asia it is found in the mountains of Kopetdag. Infusions of black elder and grass elder are used as sudorifics, diuretics, and astringents. They can also be used as a gargle and poultice.


Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. (in piquet and similar card games) denoting or relating to the nondealer (the elder hand), who has certain advantages in the play
2. Anthropol a senior member of a tribe who has influence or authority
3. (in certain Protestant Churches) a lay office having teaching, pastoral, or administrative functions
4. another word for presbyter


1. any of various caprifoliaceous shrubs or small trees of the genus Sambucus, having clusters of small white flowers and red, purple, or black berry-like fruits
2. any of various unrelated plants, such as box elder and marsh elder


Mark Philip. born 1947, British conductor; musical director of the English National Opera (1979--93) and of the Hall? Orchestra from 2000
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Paert argues that when state policies and trends among the cultural elite became more sympathetic toward religion in the first half of the 19th century, Russian Orthodox hierarchs seeking to promote a revival of monasticism adopted Velichkovskii's contemplative ideal as a model for reform and embraced noted "forest elders." Both forms of eldership thus became institutionalized within Russian Orthodox monasticism.
Historians have advanced a number of explanations, both for the Long Parliament's unwillingness to entrust elderships, presbyteries, and assemblies with an independent control over church discipline and for the lack of volunteers for ruling eldership.
De Witt has written, "the powers of congregational elderships, and also the Directory for Excommunication." On 4 February 1645, Cornelius Burges brought to both houses of Parliament proposals from the Assembly of Divines on the issue of excommunication.
As we saw, his aspiration to eldership rested on substantiating his entitlements as a man occupying a senior position in the Jakite patrilineage.
25, Calgary's newest Presbyterian congregation ordained six members to the office of the ruling eldership and admitted them to session.
169.--Maryland & Virginia Eldership of Churches of God v.
For Knauft, such institutions as gerontocracy, ritual eldership, priests, big men, etc., emerge only with increased complexity of hunter-gatherer societies (Knauft 1991: 395-396).
If one takes into account Panchenko's conception of "popular Orthodoxy," the Truly Orthodox Christians become more explicable, and fundamentally new horizons open up for the analysis of pilgrimages, holy fools (iurodivye), and "eldership" (starchestvo)--all of which Beglov ignores.
Examples include the emotional care giving provided by chaplains, confessional priests, or the Russian Orthodox eldership tradition.
Quoting his own concurrence in Maryland & Virginia Eldership of the Churches of God v.
He restored eldership and earned respect naturally, and the young men were, in part at least, healed.
He discusses the role that it played in the Waco disaster and the rise of Osama bin Laden; its history among Muslims, Christians, and Jews; its appearance in the New Testament; its motivation; and eldership. Much of his perspective is based on the work of Kenneth Burke.