Magickal Activity for January 16th, The Day of Concordia

gothic

Circle of Friendship Spell

Items needed: One pink candle for each person you wish to befriend; one gold candle to represent yourself; one sprig of rosemary; one sprig of lavender.

Begin by placing each pink candle, evenly spaced, in a circle. In the center of the circle lay the rosemary and lavender sprigs in a cross formation. Place the gold candle next to the center of the cross. Take a few moments to relax. Visualize yourself and your circle of friends having a wonderful time.

Light the gold candle first, and then in a clockwise direction light each of the pink candles. Chant the following once for each friendship candle:

“As the stars above in darkness shine,
With a light that fills the heavens divine.
So bright with radiance our friendships glow,
Outshining the sun and dimming all foes.”

Allow the candles to burn for one hour and then extinguish. Repeat the spell every evening until the candles have burned out. Save the rosemary and lavender. It can be used later for friendship amulets.

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Druidic Ritual Basics

Druidic Ritual Basics

Delineating sacred space

In the Druidic faith, all ground is sacred ground, so it is impossible to ‘create’ sacred space. Instead, we choose to delineate a portion of already-sacred space to ritual use either permanently, or for a certain period of time. Permanent sacred areas may be established on private land, and include such amenities as the planting of a grove of sacred trees, or the erection of a henge or similar structure. Temporary sacred space delineations are accomplished by means of focussed energy and various ritualized movements. One of the simplest forms of this type of ritualized movement consists of circumambulation of the given area while:

  • holding a lighted candle
  • wafting incense
  • sprinkling charged water

Further temporary demarcations may be visually set up with torches, ribbons, or other simple visual markers.

Once the ritual area is appropriately delineated, the ritual participants must be prepared for the upcoming activities. These preparations are completed via the pre-ritual briefings and meditation. The pre-ritual briefing is just that: a briefing to organize everyone’s thoughts to a specific purpose. Questions in regards to timing, organization, and general ritual purpose can be cleared up at this point. Following the briefing, participants use a grounding and centering meditation to bring themselves into a sacred mindset and into harmony with the other participants. This may be accomplished either as a group or separately, with separate meditations being the most commonly used. Often with the individual meditations, a specific focus of meditation may be assigned to the group as a part of the preritual briefing.

After a set period of time, the meditation period will be brought to a close and the participants will be summoned to the ritual area. This summons will take many different forms, the most common two are discussed here. The summons to the ritual area may be made by a musical que: drumming, horns, bells, or a particular piece of music. There is considerable historical precedent for this kind of summons. The other most common summons is a personal one: a designated individual, similar to the Gardnerian/Wiccan “man in black” or “summoner” would verbally announce that ritual was to commence and that persons should assemble.

Once participants have been summoned to the ritual area, they will enter through pre-determined ‘gateways’. In permanently erected ritual areas, these may be physical gateways, or breaks in the boundaries such as hedgerows or tree plantings. In less permanent settings, they may be delineated by some physical indicators, or may only be a position agreed upon by consensus. As the participants enter the gateway’s), they receive a preliminary blessings and/or anointing by either the senior druid or a designate.

Depending upon tradition and circumstances, various symbols may be used in the anointing of the individuals: the forehead may be anointed with the symbols of the three rays of Awen (inspiration), or perhaps the sword-and-chalice imagery of the Celtic Cross. Other sigils may be traced on hands, foreheads and the like. Participants may be sprinkled with sacred water or smudged with the smoke of sacred herbs.

Another special blessing that may be administered to entering participants is that of a blessing cup, or shared hospitality. Each participant sips from an offered common cup of blessing, and ceremonial words are exchanged. This blessing cup may be used with or without the other forms of blessing mentioned above. All methods described aid in establishing a common mindset and focus for the ritual work to come.

Once the participants have entered into the ritual area and settled into their places, the initial welcomes are pronounced. The first offering follows thereafter. This first offering is to the spirits of the place and of the Earth Mother, in acknowledgement of their blessings and in thanks for the use of the ritual area. These may be offering to a sacred fire, but would more commonly be one of cornmeal (or perhaps herbs or even birdseed) scattered to the periphery of the ritual area. An additional thought would be to also pour a libation from the blessing cup used in the entrance ritual.

An additional offering is also made to the “outsiders”, any potentially disruptive entities or energies not desired within the confines of the particular ritual. Many different items may be used for this offering, however the preference would be for sweets and/or alcoholic beverage, as these items appear to be particularly preferred by those types of energies. Out of habit, these offerings are placed in the south of the ritual area, simply because of it’s associations with such totem entities as Coyote and Loki (some of the most ‘chaotic’ and ‘trickster-ish’ entities).

Once these items are settled, the main elements of the ritual can commence. The first major elements of ritual comprise the acknowledgement of the three Celtic realms of existence. The first realm to be so acknowledged is the realm of the Land. In the Celtic cosmos, the Land is the realm of substance, where the clans exist in harmony with the natural world. The second realm, the Sea, is the gateway to the other worlds. Land is seen to float on the surface of a great, spiritual sea. The Sky is a realm of mystery as well as of many Gods – it flows above that of the Sea and the Land. As each realm is acknowledged, an offering is made to the realm, it’s gatekeepers, and its native spirits.

Once the realms have thus been acknowledged and offerings made, the gateways are summoned (or conjured) open, permitting the three worlds/realms to simultaneously exist within the ritual space. This bears resemblance to the Wiccan ritual effort of creating a time and place within the ritual circle that is completely removed from ‘ordinary’ time and space: “a time that is not a time, a place that is not a place”. However, in Druidic practice the opposite is the case. Druidic sacred space and opening of the realm gateways, is practiced to place the participants within all time and all places (the appropriate quotation for this then becomes “all time is now, and all space is here”). There is no true linear time in Druidic practice. Time is seen as circular, or even web-like: no beginning, no ending, and myriad different permutations. The methods of “anchoring” and traversing these three realms lies within the context of the Sacred Tree. This tree is an axis between the three realms, via which the trained practitioner may journey to experience other realities. Within and around the Sacred Tree (or Tree of Life, if you prefer), exists the essence of the Divine Spirit: the sacred Fire, the manifestation of the Sacred Dragon Energy.

At this point, any special magical workings would be inserted into the standard ritual format. The ritual processes should be inserted smoothly into the balance of the ritual format. The activities will segue without difficulty if written in a similar tone.

After these specific ritual elements are completed, the next appropriate step is that of the giving up of offerings to the Gods. These offerings may consist of many items such as herbs, foods, oils and other items. Generally these items will be offered to the ritual fire, previously established using the nine sacred woods. Omens may be taken from how these offerings burn; the movements of the flames themselves or of the smoke. Omen-takings are not limited to the sacred fire, but may be taken from any appropriate source available at that time. The final offering given up to the Gods is considered to be the ‘dire offering’, that of blood or flesh. In ancient times, this would have involved the sacrifice of a live animal, or in some cases a human being.

This type of sacrifice is not acceptable today because of the multitude of different offerings available to modern Druid practitioners. The blood sacrifice offered upon the modern Druid’s need-fire is a simple offering of meat. Anything from hotdogs to steaks/roasts is acceptable and appropriate. After all other sacrifices have been burned, the fire is “brought up” quickly – that is, caused to burn quite hot for a brief period of time in order to burn off all residue, then a grill or spit is place appropriately over the fire. The meat offering is then ritually placed on/over the fire. When the meat is cooked, or durring the cooking process, a portion of meat is dropped completely into the fire, to be consumed by the flames entirely. The balance of the meat is given to the celebrants as a portion of the feasting after ritual. This process has great precident in many cultures, including the Judaic faith (‘kosher’ foods are ritually processed, and actually offered in sacrifice to their God). This method of sacrifice to the fire (what really amounts to a sacrificial Barbeque) also helps to aleviate problems realted to the open fire. While many localities regulate the use of outdoor fires, or entirely prohibit outdoor burning, if the fire is for the purpose of cooking, many areas permit such fires without restriction.

Here, I insert a ‘nod’ not only to the ancient progenitors of our faith, but also to the more recent impetus for these ideas. DragonHart Coven, a British-traditional group with whom I practiced years ago, used an open fire pit in the back yard of their covenstead for rituals. In that locale, ‘open burning’ was prohibited. So at every ritual, cooking forks and marshmallows became a familiar – if never used – addition. If problems arose, those articles could have been produced as evidence that the fire in the fire pit was for cooking – a non-restricted fire use. In keeping with the Druidic Code of Ethics, when we incorporated this particular fire offering into the rituals, we would truly be using the fire for those reasons.

The closure of the ritual follows a similar, albeit reversed, path as that of the construction. The sacred tree is once again reverenced, the previously conjured gates are closed, and appropriate honours are paid to any personal or clan divinities previously called upon. A clear, concise closure of the ritual is made, and any surplus energies are grounded in an appropriate manner. The ritual participants are then dismissed to the feasting area (which of course is centre pieced/highlighted by the previous meat offering) for feasting and merriment.

The preparation of the ritual feast involves somewhat more than just the presentation of the fire offering as the main course. Ideally, most of the items for the ritual feast will be provided “pot-lick” by most or all of the participants. Foods may range from simple to more complex: there is very little that would be considered inappropriate for a ritual feast. Common items will always include fresh fruits and vegetables, and various baked goods – both sweet and savoury. With outdoor rituals, particularly in warm weather, it is probably best to avoid foods which must be kept at a certain – very cold- or -very hot- temperature to avoid spoilage. These would most particularly include such things as products containing mayonnaise, or cold cuts. By observing these few cautions, it is possible to have a grand feasting without food poisoning.

 

Source:

Empathy’s Mystical Occult Site

 

 

Let’s Talk Witch – Preparing Yourself for Ritual: Cleansing Yourself & Your Sacred Space

Cleansing Yourself and Your Sacred Space

 

 

Before any ritual, you need to make sure that the space set aside for it is clean. Try to keep the space uncluttered and get rid of any dirt. Cleanliness is a sign that you respect the sacredness of the space.

The next thing to do is to prepare the space for the cleansing of any negative energy. In witchcraft, drawing on the power of the elements is a good way to increase the potency of your spell. Having items that represent the various elements is how you will incorporate the power of these elements.

First divide the space into quarters that correspond with the four cardinal points.

Air can be represented by a feather and the color yellow – these are normally set up in the east quarter.

Water can be represented by a shell or sea glass and the color blue – these are normally set up in the west quarter.

Fire can be represented by a candle and the color red – these are normally set up in the south quarter.

Earth can be represented by a stone or piece of natural rock and the color green – these are normally set up in the north quarter.

Although not an element as such, spirit is also considered important and is represented by a figure of a person and the color purple – these are normally placed in the center of the room.

Now that you have all the items in place, you are able to start the cleansing ritual.

Burning sage – either the dried herb or incense – is a really good way to purify the space of negative energy. You can also use a solution of water and salt to cleanse the space.

The following spell employs a combination of the two:

Hold the water in one hand and the salt in the other and say – “In the name of the Lord and Lady, I cast out all impurities.”

Mix the salt with the water and put it down.

Light the sage and pass it over the water and repeat,

“In the name of the Lord and Lady, I cast out all impurities.”

Now that the water is cleansed, sprinkle it around the room and onto the people present. Be sure to also sprinkle the salt water in the doorways and on the windowsills.

Pick up the burning sage and cleanse the air with it – paying particular attention to the corners of the room.

The space is now ready to be used.

 

 

Witchcraft: The Ultimate Bible: The Definitive Guide on the Practice of Witchcraft, Spells, Rituals and Wicca

Justin Kase

 

Good, Good Friday Morning, My Dear Friends & Family! Can I Get A “TGIF” Up In Here, LOL!”

Celtic Comments & Graphics
God and Goddess
Bless our homes
That they may all be full of laughter
That they always invite friendship
Fill them with love and peace for
all those who reside and visit alike.
May our homes provide us with shelter
Protecting all that live within its walls
Bless our homes that they may be a refuge
for all those who need, a sacred space from
all the evil and negativity in this world.
May we be kept safe from the dangers of man
and nature.
May our homes be resistant to all forces that wish
to harm us from within and without.
Goddess bless our homes,
fill them with Your love and joy
From this day forth.

So mote it be.

Let’s Talk Witch – Using Stones in Magickal Work

Celtic & British Isles Graphics

USING STONES IN MAGICAL WORK

 

Crystals and stones are gifts from nature and can be used to enhance your rituals and magic. They can become sacred, magical tools in their own right. When consecrating a circle, creating your sacred space or making a shrine, you may like to search out stones which can represent the elements, so here are a few suggestions:

Air

When looking for stones to represent air, you need to think of crystal-clear stones or yellowish tinged ones. A quartz crystal point can often be picked up quite cheaply and, of course, it does not matter if it is flawed because, with a little imagination, these flaws can often look like clouds. Quartz pebbles are often found on the seashore weathered by the water.

Fire

Stones to represent fire should be red or orange or sometimes black. Any stone which has the feeling of passion or fiery emotion will do very well – carnelian or red jasper work particularly well. Volcanic rocks, or other very hard ones, often signify fire since they are the outcome of fire from the earth.

Water

Blue or blue-green stones are good if you wish to represent water and if you are near the sea you might find a piece of salt or sandblasted glass which is ideal. Although glass is man-made, nature has done its work. White or greyish pebble stones actually found in water are also very useful whilst a piece of stone with seaweed attached is also good. Some agates are very pretty and can echo some wave patterns.

Earth

The colours for earth are green and brown, and many of the stones associated with earth are green as well. All stones are the product of earth so almost any stone will do, particularly if you have got to know it as we suggested above. Use it wisely and it will always repay you. Remember that you do not need polished stones for this – the more natural they are the better.

Spirit

Most clear crystals can be used to represent the fifth element of Aether, or spirit, as can the purple hued ones. Amethyst is particularly good as it is both a transmitter and a receiver of psychic and spiritual energy. Mostly, those stones which are capable of representing spirit will ‘speak’ to you and if you choose more than one you will have to use your intuition so that you choose the right one for your purpose.

 

Source:

Natural Magic:  Spells, Enchantments & Self-Development Ball
Pamela Ball

Bless This Site & All Who Visit

Goddess Comments & Graphics

God and Goddess
Bless this site
That is may be full of laughter
That it might invite friendship
That is may support love
That it may shelter those who visit here
That it may protect all those who gather here
That it may be a refuge for those who need it
That it may be a sacred space for the Spirit
May all that reside here always be strong
May we be safe from the dangers of man and those
who do not understand us or our ways
May we be resistant to negativity from within and
without
May we always find this place full of love, joy, and comfort
From this day forth.
 
So Mote It Be

WOTC Extra – Key Features Needed To Make A Ritual Work

WOTC Extra  – Key Features Needed To Make A Ritual Work

Wiccan rituals fit together a variety of tried-and-true magickal methods to form a congruous whole, rather like a spiritual jigsaw puzzle. Dancing around a ritual fire, singing, chanting, meditating, communicating with deities, casting spells, crafting charms, making wishes, pouring libations, asperging the participants or the sacred space — every part of a ritual has purpose and meaning in relation to the whole.

In Wiccan rituals, great care is taken to make sure there are no meaningless words or actions. A ritual without meaning becomes a liturgy to which the participants have no connection, and therefore cannot effect magick.

Not every ritual you create or attend will contain all of the following elements. However, any of these features applied in meaningful combinations will help generate similarly meaningful results.

Location

Where a ritual transpires has a tremendous effect on the participants and the resulting magick. Many witches enjoy enacting rituals outdoors. This allows participants to connect with nature and to recognize their place in the universe. If you’re a solitary witch, you have more options than a group of thirty people might. If you live in a heavily populated city, you may not have as many sites to choose from as rural witches do.

Accept your limitations and plan with the goals of the ritual in mind. Make sure that your space, whether indoors or outside, can comfortably hold all the people participating in the ritual and allow for the process to take place. If you’re going to do a spiral dance, you need a lot of room. Sitting and meditating, by comparison, requires far less space.

Ambiance

The right environment for your ritual is essential. Ideally, the place where you perform ritual should be a sacred space dedicated to this purpose. You don’t want anything to distract, interrupt, or otherwise take you away from the ritual at an important juncture — it should go without saying that ritual space is a cell-phone-free zone. Set the right mood by using appropriate decorations, aromatics, altar configuration, and so on. All of these components should reflect the ritual’s purpose.

Seasonal rituals usually include decorative and symbolic touches that reflect the cycle being commemorated. Fresh blossoms might grace an Ostara ritual; evergreen boughs compliment a Yule celebration. Well-chosen music, incense, and thematic items can make a big difference in the ambiance of a ritual. These touches affect your senses, which in turn influence both the conscious and subconscious mind.

Personal Preparation

Everyone in attendance should be in the right frame of mind, for their combined thoughts and emotions generate the ritual’s energy. When you participate in a ritual, you set aside daily concerns and mundane thoughts to focus on the goal of the ritual.

Before beginning a ceremony, many witches take ritual baths to cleanse themselves in body and mind. Salt is usually added to the bathwater (symbolizing purification) and sometimes essential oils. Ideally, you should bathe in a stream, lake, or the ocean; however, most ritual baths take place in an ordinary indoor tub.

Witches gather in circles to demonstrate visually and spatially each participant’s equal responsibility and relevance in the ritual. Everyone who chooses to participate should feel wholly comfortable with the ritual and its components. They should understand the ritual’s significance, its goals, and the steps involved, and be ready to contribute mentally and physically to the ritual’s purpose.

For the good of all, anyone who cannot fulfill these conditions is better off not participating. One person’s lower energies or distractions become a weak link in the circle of the power of creation and the direction of magickal energy.

Tools and Components

Do you need a complete altar setup? Do you want to wear costumes? What about a special altar cloth? A ritual might require any of the following tools:

Asperger

Athame

Broom

Candles

Cauldron

Chalice

Circumference-marking material (such as chalk)

Crystals or stones

Drum or other musical instruments

Essential oils

Feather or fan

Foods or beverages

Incense

Incense burner

Masks (or other props)

Objects representing the four elements

Offerings

Pentagram

Plants or flowers

Salt

Smudge wand

Statuary

Sword

Wand

Everything that will be used in the ritual should be cleansed in advance. In addition, each ritual object should be charged for its task in the ritual. (Refer to the cleansing and charging methods described in Chapter 13.) Bring all the items you’ll need for the ritual into the area where you’ll be working before you cast a circle.

Progression

A ritual follows a logical progression, like a play. The ritual’s progression creates the pattern — the actions and words that become tradition.

Each ritual should have a defined beginning, such as creating sacred space. The beginning of a ritual sets the tone for everything to follow. In particular, it transports the participants to that place between the worlds and unifies their hearts and spirits, directing them toward the ritual’s goal. A typical beginning in a group setting might include breathing in unison, holding hands, and calling the Watchtowers. Practitioners of solitary rituals might take a moment for prayer or meditation, followed by invoking the circle.

After the ritual space reaches this juncture, what happens varies dramatically, depending on the ritual and its goals. As mentioned previously, this middle portion might involve weaving spells, dancing, singing, drumming, meditations, visualization, divination, enactments, and so on. Whatever takes place should be congruent with the beginning of the ritual.

As is the case with spellcraft, the more sensual aspects you include, the more energy a ritual is likely to raise. As participants work their way through the ritual, everything perceived through their senses helps them maintain focus and direct energy. When the members of the circle are raising energy, drumming might get faster or chanting might grow louder, for example. Each cue communicates the goals of the ritual to the individual’s awareness and to the Divine, and therefore nourishes the magick.

“I think the highest purpose of ritual or magickal work is to seek our gods, to commune with the cosmic ‘mirror’ and the spirits of nature in order to learn more of the divinity within ourselves and reach evermore toward personal growth in its highest expression.”

— Maria Kay Simms, A Time for Magick

Human beings like closure; solid endings also bring the participants’ attention back to mundane matters. A ritual without a defined ending is like omitting the last chapter in a book; it leaves both the participants and the energy hanging. It’s also important to thank and release the Watchtowers who have been present during the ritual. Furthermore, participants need this time to gear down a bit (or ground out, as witches say). End the ritual by deconstructing the circle, saying a closing prayer, or stating a parting wish. Some circles end with a chant:

The circle is open, but unbroken May the peace of the Goddess be forever in your heart. Merry meet and merry part And merry meet again.

Author:
Sky Alexander
netplaces>>>>>Wicca and Witchcraft
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Let’s Talk Witch – Sanctifying the Temple of the Body

hecate4

Let’s Talk Witch – Sanctifying the Temple of the Body

Of all the spaces that surround us, of all the blessings we send out into the world, of all the things we honor and consider sacred, it is often our own bodies that are most in need of honor and celebration. Considered by many to be the vehicle through which our soul experiences the physical world, our bodies are indeed worthy of recognition as the spiritual temples they are. Too frequently we focus on our perceived physical imperfections, forget the miracle of the body’s ability to heal itself when we are ailing, or take for grannted the fragile balance our bodies need to sustain us, instead choosing to abuse ourselves with excess, deprive ourselves of adequate sleep or nourishing food, and engage in other physically and psychologically damaging behaviors.

For women especially, how we carry ourselves and think about our body is incredibly emotionally charged. We are constantly being bombarded with messages telling us how we are suppose to look and what we are supposed to wear. Women’s bodies have been objectified by a culture that has also programmed us to believe they are objects of sin and shame. Reclaiming the sacred nature of our physical form is a service both to our selves and to our sisters—it is a rejection of the old paradigm and a reframing of how women think about themselves on their own terms.

There is a Hermetic Axiom that states: “As above, so below. As within, so without.” One treatment and reverence for our body both reflects upon, and is a reflection of, the spirit that dwells within. How can you bring a sense of the sacred to your physical self? Perhaps you can incorporate a daily routine of self-anointing with oils you have blessed for this purpose and chosen to consciously eat wholesome foods to power your body-temple. Indulge in sacred spa days and pamper yourself with a luxurious bath scented with herbs and flowers that stimulate the essence of the Divine within. Wear colors and styles that reflect your personality and make you feel beautiful, rather than feeling like a slave to the trends of fashion. Adorn yourself with stones and symbolic jewelry that serve as reminders of your holy nature. And, perhaps most importantly, support other women in cultivating a sense of the self as sacred: discourage self-deprecating remarks, do not engage in disempowering body behaviors, and praise your sisters and brothers as the beautiful and perfect being they are.

While it’s useful and beneficial to create a physical sacred space, such as a hearth or garden, creating sacred space within yourself may be the best thing you can do for your spirit.

Excerpt from:

Making Space Sacred
Author Jhenah Telyndru
Llewellyn’s 2012 Witches Companion

Witches Do It In A Magical Circle

Witches Do It In A Magical Circle

Author:   Rhys Chisnall   

Sacred space is a space that is ‘experienced or seen as’ sacred but remember, this need not mean it has any extra unseen property. In many religions, it is a permanent structure such as a church, a mosque, a druid’s grove or a temple. The place is seen as sacred, as numinous and special suitable and worthy of where the Divine can be experienced. These places are often made sacred through certain rites and ritual… a form of magic, which to my mind is the manipulation of meaning to transform phenomenal reality. The rites are the manipulation of meaning which leads to ‘experiencing as’ the church as sacred (even to those who never partook in the original rituals) and if that is not the transformation of phenomenal reality I don’t know what is.

Witchcraft differs from other religious and spiritual traditions in that it does not have any permanent sacred spaces. There are no permanent temples in the initiatory Craft perhaps because it is a spiritual tradition where the focus of the experience of the Divine is through life and death, where there is no dualism between the sacred and the profane, therefore there is no need for a permanent temple. In the Craft the sacred space is declared at every meeting, wherever and whenever the coven meets.

This sacred space is declared when the circle is cast by the High Priestess with her athame and is both psychological and mythological in character. It is psychological, firstly, as it is visualised by and ‘felt by’ the participants as the sphere is formed about them. It is ‘experienced as’ by the mind through an act of imagination. Secondly, the setting up of the sacred space in the Craft prepares the Witches for the rite in which they are to participate. For example a church is laid out to either assault the senses such as in the stain glass, incense, bells, candles, crucifixes and robes of the priest in Catholicism, or the in the stark whitewash and lack of symbolism of the Methodists. The symbolism, the bells and smells of the Catholic or the austerity stemming from the suspicion of idolatry of the Protestant both work to put the worshipper into a worshipful and receptive state of mind.

Likewise the words, gestures, incense, candle light and nudity involved in the casting of the circle puts the Witches into the state of mind where magic (the manipulation of meaning to transform phenomenal reality) can occur. If the same method of casting is used each time (as in Initiatory Craft) , then expectation and classical conditioning (like Pavlov’s dogs) combine to create the appropriate state of mind with little effort on the part of the Witch. Vivianne Crowley (1989) tells us of one priestess who says something like, “I only need to hear the swish of a broom and I am in an altered state of consciousness”. I can confirm from experience that that this is certainly the case. During the set up of our rituals and the casting of the circle, after twelve years of being with the same coven, I automatically slip into ritual consciousness.

The circle is also mythological and is full of symbolism. The circle can relate to four of the classical elements, air, fire, water and earth. It can relate, like the phases of the moon and the wheel of the year to the stages of life such as youth, maturity, old age and death. To my mind this means it can relate to stages in the hero’s journey, the mono-myth described by Professor Joseph Campbell in his book, The Hero with a Thousand faces. This is the journey of the mystic, who goes out into the metaphorical wilderness, fairy land, the world of adventure. It is here that the mystic has their adventure/experience, attaining gnosis (spiritual knowledge) , before returning to everyday life where they have to integrate what they have learnt. The failed hero or mystic is not able to do this and is stuck in the adventure world and so perishes. The circle can also be symbolic of the changing seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter, which of course, underpin the myths of the Craft.

The circle, mythologically speaking, is out of time. It is also all time, all the seasons, all the stages of life, all parts of the hero’s quest and so paradoxically, which can happen in myth, is all time and at the same time it is out of time. The circle is experienced as the mythological every-when, fairy land and eternity where the tick, tick, tick of time does not pass; there is no past, present or future. Mythologically speaking, this is the mystical state. It is in this space were we experience mythologically, rather than logically. We participate in mythology, finding meaning that allows us to engage with the mysteries.

It acts as a mythological circle that psychologically contains the emotion and meaning. It represents the keeping away of thoughts and feeling not required for the ritual. These are the daily round of duties and thoughts, which might be stresses about work, money, or whether we have left the cooker on. They are outside the psychological circle and we within the ritual are on the inside. It is a psychological and mythological barrier between the emotions, thoughts and meaning necessary for the job at hand, and those that would distract us from our purpose. So the circle acts as a boundary and protection of meaning containing the emotional power we raise.

To conclude it is both a mythological space where we engage with and act mythologically and a psychological boundary. However, while this requires imagination, visualisation and concentration; it is not the same thing as play-acting. Rather it is ‘seeing as’, making and experiencing as profound meaning rather than simply make believe. This meaning can be allegorical but it is also archetypal in that it related to our deep feelings that are invoked by what is fundamentally important in life.

_______________________________________

Footnotes:
Campbell, J, (1993) , The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Fortana Press
Crowley, V., (1989) , Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Age, Aquarian Press