Magic Circle

Rituals, spells, prayer, meditation and magical acts.
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Nefastos
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Magic Circle

Post by Nefastos »

Do you use a ceremonial magic circle in any of your working? If so, what kind? Do you construct it physically or mentally? It you build a physical circle, do you change it according to the ritual? What kind of tools do you use for the creation?

One of the few regrets I have for living in a small apartment is that I am unable to create a good sized magic circle inside; and one of the few regrets I have for living in rented space is that I cannot make a permanent circle here. (Although sister Astraya might remember the one I used to have in my apartment some twenty years ago regardless of those things. I still have fond memories of scraping the paint off the floor before giving the keys back to the landlord.)
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Polyhymnia
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Re: Magic Circle

Post by Polyhymnia »

I'm chuckling at the vision of you scraping paint off the floor!

I usually visualize a sphere of some sort around me during my daily prayers, but I will physically draw a circle around me for more intricate rituals. It's usually intuitively, but I do on almost every full moon, as well if there's a specific reason for the ritual. I draw mine with chalk because my altar is in a room laid with carpet, and we rent our home as well. Nothing too fancy, just a chalk circle. Sometimes I will sprinkle herbs within the circle, or on the chalk itself. Also intuitively.
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Astraya
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Re: Magic Circle

Post by Astraya »

Nefastos wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 9:22 pm Do you use a ceremonial magic circle in any of your working? If so, what kind? Do you construct it physically or mentally? It you build a physical circle, do you change it according to the ritual? What kind of tools do you use for the creation?

One of the few regrets I have for living in a small apartment is that I am unable to create a good sized magic circle inside; and one of the few regrets I have for living in rented space is that I cannot make a permanent circle here. (Although sister Astraya might remember the one I used to have in my apartment some twenty years ago regardless of those things. I still have fond memories of scraping the paint off the floor before giving the keys back to the landlord.)
I indeed remember those scraping-moments :)

I myself seldom use circles physically. I think because my ritual work is often prayers for others, it might feel suppressing.
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Nefastos
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Re: Magic Circle

Post by Nefastos »

It seems we already have a similar thread, which I had forgotten (and a quick use of search option was confused by the multitude of reading circles about magic): Magical Circles.

Considering how little this kind of discussions draw participants, it seems that our writers either are not much into ceremonial magic, or that they like their work very intimate.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Magic Circle

Post by Smaragd »

I rarely use magic circles in ceremonial magic, only on special occasions. All my plans for them seems to have been about the a physical circle. Limited space in a small apartment is indeed quite a problem. I have thought about getting a thick square rubber mat to which I would carve the circle and use chalk to add additional elements when ever needed. It could be moved from the way when needed.

Once I used nails and a rope to draw a magic circle on a secluded road in the night. Working outside it gives a nice focus to the work, while all the elements are alive around you. I have had a good experience not making the circle too early and letting the nature come to me before sort of taking my space there. It is a polite custom towards the local spirits to ask for permission to work there, before making protective/concentrating circles.
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Cerastes
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Re: Magic Circle

Post by Cerastes »

There is a mushroom, Clitocybe nebularis, which builds perfect natural circles in the forest. At autumn, I sometimes use them as ritual circles. They change places and size so it might be, that I have to search for a while but it feels like nature is telling me where to hold my ritual. I like spontane and intuitive components in rituals.
In addition, I have a little stone circle hidden behind an old tree that. I never do rituals that require a circle, like invocations, at home.
Smaragd wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 8:09 pm Working outside it gives a nice focus to the work, while all the elements are alive around you. I have had a good experience not making the circle too early and letting the nature come to me before sort of taking my space there.
I like to let nature spirits play their part in a ritual too. There is a new component in my stone circle almost every week. Sometimes there are fallen leaves, then there is a hole in the ground dug by a mouse, a young tree or a mushroom.
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Kenazis
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Re: Magic Circle

Post by Kenazis »

Cerastes wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 9:16 pm There is a mushroom, Clitocybe nebularis, which builds perfect natural circles in the forest. At autumn, I sometimes use them as ritual circles. They change places and size so it might be, that I have to search for a while but it feels like nature is telling me where to hold my ritual. I like spontane and intuitive components in rituals.
In addition, I have a little stone circle hidden behind an old tree that. I never do rituals that require a circle, like invocations, at home.
This is very nice idea. Communicating with magical Nature as its finest. I would love to perform rituals in nature, but there's no such place near, where I wouldn't constantly be "in fear" that somebody comes from some direction, or some similar human interruptions (living in a city has this downside).
"We live for the woods and the moon and the night"
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Nefastos
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Re: Magic Circle

Post by Nefastos »

Smaragd wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 8:09 pmIt is a polite custom towards the local spirits to ask for permission to work there, before making protective/concentrating circles.

&
Kenazis wrote: Tue May 26, 2020 11:14 pmbut there's no such place near, where I wouldn't constantly be "in fear" that somebody comes from some direction, or some similar human interruptions (living in a city has this downside).

When doing rituals in semipublic places (at night) I have woven these two together, in a way, and asked the spirits to help gently with the problem. That is, to keep away people. It thus becomes an extension of the circle, so to say, to balance the space it occupies. My inner spirits, including my intentions in the ritual, and the outer spirits of the place, should create a balanced whole.

Thus, in case outside intrusion happens, I believe that the reason is that my inner balance was lacking, and my own inner insecurities & less than perfect mindset made possible the blemish in the atmospheric circle.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: Magic Circle

Post by Kavi »

It's nice that this post exists.
I struggle with this theme although I am not really a ceremonial magician.
Should I just roll off my carpet and tape some kind of circle on floor with colorful tape or what?
Or is it possible to use carpet as geometrical shape of a square and make it become like "prayer mat" Muslims use and would it make me be protected in same way as circle does?

I am also too neurotic to try any ceremonial magic and see what are the conclusions and aftermath of it and maybe that's why I haven't given any try for this. Especially if it's goetic magic one ought to perform.
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Re: Magic Circle

Post by Smaragd »

Kavi wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 4:09 pm It's nice that this post exists.
I struggle with this theme although I am not really a ceremonial magician.
Should I just roll off my carpet and tape some kind of circle on floor with colorful tape or what?
Or is it possible to use carpet as geometrical shape of a square and make it become like "prayer mat" Muslims use and would it make me be protected in same way as circle does?

I am also too neurotic to try any ceremonial magic and see what are the conclusions and aftermath of it and maybe that's why I haven't given any try for this. Especially if it's goetic magic one ought to perform.
I’m not an expert on these symbols, but the round shape seems to symbolize the safety of a womb and of an egg. Without sharp angles the currents flow smoothly around it – the living water runs freely. I personally connect these motherly ideas to Divine Mercy. The square on the other hand I’ve understood from the Secret Doctrine to connect to the idea of the guardians, the four winds, that may be also seen as the dangerous Sphinx (an amalgamation of the four Zodiac signs in the cardinal directions of the annual cycle) challenging the aspirant with questions it is fatal to answer incorrectly. But in my own interpretation they are also the spirits of true idealism and may be protective in the same sense that devotion for Satan is protective for on occultist as the dangerous steps have been already taken an are taken again and again by continuing on the path. But with blackened eyes the understanding of the condition, in ones devotion to otherness, one can step over all the snares laid before him.

It is interesting how in in many buddhist mandalas the circle is inside a square. (We're touching these things currently on the Psychology and Alchemy reading group, but I'm running a bit behind because of hectic life so I still lack the Eastern view on the mandala). From the point of view of Western magical traditions the circle could be interpreted as motherly protection, perhaps touching the psychological condition where the mercy, the inner self has managed to give to the lower self, has prepared space for honest answer to the questions the four winds ask of us behind the faces of every single moment and step it takes to go through this world.
"Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets"
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