The Circle is the symbol of the infinite and the cosmos. Yet it provides a limiting space. It is the astral sphere of the magical worker, for specific invocations and instruments that extend the inner mind into outer space at that time. The individual consciousness is expanded. Within the Circle, there is control for a specific purpose. Outside the usual lack of control in the universe exists.
A circle is a spatial device for spiritual work. Whilst it can give protection, this is not its purpose and may even distort outcomes through unwarranted fear.
The circle is a two dimensional infinite line (but can be in the mind) set up in a three dimensional temple. The temple is made up with all the artefacts for the spiritual process. These include for the ritual and following thansgiving or fellowship elements eucharists (etc.). Any room (and indeed the mind) can be a temple once transformed. In a specialist temple, a permanent circle may be ready painted or chalked on the floor but that still needs activating. The chalking precedes the consecration and tracing (casting) but before casting, the whole area is banished of unwanted spirits. Guardian and divine names can be chalked on the floor.
The consecration using salt and water must be carried out. This consists of touching the water with the Athame and saying:
I exorcise thee
O creature of water
That thou cast out from thee
All the Impurities and uncleanlinesses of the Spirits.
The salt is touched with the Athame:
Blessing be upon this creature of salt.
Let all malignancy and hindrances be cast forth hencefrom.
Let all good enter herein;
Wherefore I bless thee That thou may aid me.
The salt is poured into the water and mixed using the Athame.
So a circle is cast for successful ritual work. The tradition states the circle should be made clockwise. This is for invocation because anti-clockwise formation is for banishing. The circle should also be set up from the east. Note the connection with the British climate.
Four candles are set up around the Circle, coloured for the elements.
|North||Brown or Green|
The Circle is thus traced with the ceremonial sword about 9 feet in diameter. The salt water is sprinkled with the help of the sword around the Circle. The censer is carried around the Circle. Once more the sword traces the Circle:
I conjure thee, O Circle of power,
A boundary between the worlds of people and the realms of the mighty ones.
Deliver a guardian and a protector
To preserve and contain the power raised within;
Wherefore do I Bless thee and consecrate this circle.
The sword is raised and holding arm extended:
I summon, stir, and call thee up
Ye Mighty Ones of the east
To attend our rites and guard the circle.
An invoking pentagram is traced (this can be done for four elements and one more).
People gather within the circle. They meditate and contemplate for a moment. The censer is lit and carried around the circle for purification. The candles are lit. The presiding priestess invokes the God and Goddess (there may be a priest too).
At this point there can be a Qabala pre-ritual followed by the ritual itself with its clear purpose. It may be followed by a fellowship ritual meal and/ or thanksgiving. At the end the priestess uncasts the circle, removing the boundary between working spiritual space and the world.