This one was from uncommon ground, Klaus Bosch. There are others but I thought a round one was a nice update to layers of sand, bubbles and water, in a picture frame.
Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, March, 1, 2004.
The magic circle, sounds so mystical… But it’s like many things in Witchcraft, it’s adaptable to your own style, your whims and personal needs of the moment.
Witch/ Wiccan rituals take place in a circle. Not always, it’s not written in stone with blood or anything really dramatic. But, it does make things tidy in it’s own way. You draw in power and you keep it to yourself, out of the way of others. Then, when you’re done you release it. It goes back to nature and the powerful parts of yourself.
We draw the circle and then we close it. Some people cast the circle and banish it at the end of the ritual. I tend to think of it as drawing and closing the circle. When you draw your circle take a moment to bless each of the elements at each of the 4 directions. Yes, you might need a map to know where north, south, west and east are in relation to your location. If you choose, bless the goddess and god too. Then bless the Earth and life, those are most important to me. When you close your circle just do the steps in reverse order. Gather your pebbles, erase your chalk, whatever you used as you go around in the 4 directions again. Sounds too simple? Why shouldn’t it be simple. You’re welcome to make a bigger production out of it. I like it simple.
You can use chalk, hemp rope, embroidery thread, pebbles, sand, dust bunnies, anything really. Consider a circle of jack o lanterns for Samhain, wouldn’t that be fun! It depends on how fancy you want to be or how close to natural elements. My personal choice are pebbles. I love them. I collected them from a beach here in Ontario. Took my time to find stones I especially liked for their shape, colour or some markings on them.
The circle represents wholeness, the cycles of life and the seasons, the wheel of life to make it simple. In theory it is without beginning or ending and perfect in it’s completeness.
To draw the circle is to make a place set apart and sacred. Where ever you are- living room, backyard, beach, clearing in the woods – the circle becomes a place where we focus on magick in ourselves and the Earth around us. The circle is a pure place where we can think, make notes in our Book of Shadows, create and practice rituals, anything. It doesn’t have to be dramatic and you don’t have to feel you must do something special. It’s your circle, your dime.
This summer when I have a road trip out to the beach I want to cast a circle on the beach. Using a piece of driftwood to draw my circle and some stones to point to the directions. I don’t even know what ritual I might do. I just want to sit in a circle of my own creation and enjoy the world, life and being alive.
“In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.” -Charles Lindbergh
I take thee, herb, to cure my ills
or perhaps while dancing pon the hill.
I’ll dip you in the cauldron fine
Then asperge a circle in the pines.
I’ll make you into teas and brews
when picked from ‘neath the morning dews,
or hide you in a pillow seam
to guard me close, come night and dreams.
– Marian Loresinger
Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, April, 2, 2004.
If you read my general blabberings around BackWash you will have heard of Eric, my boyfriend. He is still pretty new but we are getting along great.
Anyway, I haven’t really talked with him about Pagan ideas and what it means for me to be an Earth Witch. That is some sort of limbo in everything. I don’t mind leaving it there, for awhile. But, I have wondered what he really thinks.
We went for a walk on the frozen beach and while he was testing the thickness of the frozen lake (testing his luck I thought at the time) I was drawing a pentacle in the sand. I used a piece of driftwood and 6 smooth stones from along the beach. I placed the stones around my drawn pentacle. It was something special for the day, for my Grandmothers and for St. Patrick’s Day.
Eric noticed it when he came back, not drowned luckily. He said something about it, nothing much. I think just noting that I had drawn it or used stones, something easy going. But I wondered what he was thinking. Anyway, I left it at that. I didn’t push it or go into lengthy explanations. It was something personal to me and though I didn’t feel I needed to hide it I still wonder what he thinks about this element of me.
How do you begin to share this with someone you care about? Is it something you leave lying on a coffee table for him to find? Is it something you bring up right away and make into a big issue? Or do you let it simmer on a back jet, there and yet not getting in the way? I’m not exactly sure how I want to handle it. So, I will do what I usually do when I’m not sure, I will ask him. Not quite yet though. There is time and space, too much of both right now. We will see.
What is one item that is sacred to you? (Can be anything, tool, amulet, object, etc)
What holidays or time of year do you consider most sacred to you personally?
Describe your sacred space (can be anywhere, indoors, outdoors, etc):
One item which always feels spiritual and elemental to me are rocks, stones, pebbles and so on. I don’t know what it is. Maybe I like that they feel firm and hard in your hand, worn and created by the Earth and water. There is nothing quite like a rock warmed by the sun. Pavement and sand get too hot but a rock takes the heat and keeps enough or bounces it off enough that you can sit on it even when you run to get there across the burning sand or paved lot. There is just something special about rocks.
St. Patricks Day may be most sacred to me personally. Some of my Grandparents were from Ireland and I miss them. It may not be my favourite holiday on the Pagan or standard calendar but it does have a lot of personal meaning.
I think my sacred space is sitting right here in front of my computer monitor. Coffee mug (huge coffee mug) within easy reach when I stop typing. I have pretty much created an altar right here with something from all the elements. I’ve got a jasper rock on a chain. Wooden beads made into a hair band. Hand cream made from a shop called Fruits and Passion. Hand sanitizer, surely that counts as a water element if the coffee doesn’t do it for you. I’ve got Jann Arden, Bryan Adams, Loreena McKennitt, and Jazz Divas CDs beside my monitor, handy for sticking in the CD player. Couldn’t those count for the wind element as you need sound waves to hear them. Stretching a bit, maybe. Of course fire is covered by electricity powering the whole thing and the lights I’ve got on so I can see what I’m doing down here in the basement apartment. Not a bad altar eh?
Zack is back. Yesterday Zack hurt his back and head while playing at the park. He jumped off the swing while it was at a high point. He landed badly, luckily it was on sand. This morning he was sore and stiff and needed help getting out of bed. I helped him. Then I called his Mother and then the school. I spent my day taking him down to Newmarket to get his health card and then take him to the doctor for a check over. He was fine, just sore. I knew that by then. But it’s good to have a professional opinion about some of these things.
While we were in Newmarket I bought more coffee. I like Zavida for the Cinnamon Cream and Caramel Royale. Not everyone likes the flavoured coffee. My Mom says its sickening and I have begun trying to make coffee when she isn’t around. Just so I don’t have to listen to her.
It’s my brother’s birthday today, he’s 40. At least I’m not the only one to hit that mark now. I took him some plants: white scabiosa and prickly pear cactus. Also, a jar of spicy hot salsa. Things he likes. He came over to InPlay (Sarah’s entertainment complex) and had free pinball with Sarah and Zack and Sarah made a spicy pizza for all of us for lunch.
Now we are back here. Zack has just left with Grandma for a swim in the salt water pool near the house. I can make my new coffee.
All love that has not friendship for its base, is like a mansion built upon the sand. – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
To laugh often and love much… to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to give one’s self… this is to have succeeded. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them. – Agatha Christie
Love talked about can be easily turned aside, but love demonstrated is irresistible. – W Stanley Mooneyham
Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. – Ursula K Le Guin
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. – Mignon McLaughlin
One advantage of marriage, it seems to me, is that when you fall out of love with him, or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you maybe fall in again. – Judith Viorst