Many ancient cultures recognize the synergy of the circle and its inherent power. Learn how you can use it as a focal point for your own rites and rituals.
The Sacred Magical Space
The circle is a simple but eloquent geometric shape. It is shaped around a central axis from which the distance to the center is equal. The curve of the line around this axis maintains the same arc. It is a shape difficult to draw freehand. If this arc is off one 1% most people can see this flaw.
Nature uses circles or spheres. It’s also a common event. Drop something in the water and concentric rings are the result. Imperfect circles are also a preferred type of construction for everything from the cells in our bodies to trees. This spherical shape is stable and sturdy. We observe the world through a round iris.
The Synergy of the Circle
Many cultures use this symbol. For instance, the Greeks saw it as a symbol of divine symmetry and balance in nature. However, the Greeks refer to the Egyptians as the inventors of geometry. The author of the Egyptian Rhind papyrus, Ahmes, shows us the rule for determining the area of a circle. The wheel is a practical application of this shape.
They say hermetics is the birthplace of true alchemy and magic. This is an esoteric tradition based upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus (“Thrice Great”). It talks about spheres as the planets and how each one has its own special characteristics. The Kybalion: a later work of Hermetic Philosophy, originally published in 1908 under a pseudonym. This expounds the idea that motion is manifest in everything in the Universe, that nothing rests, and everything moves, in circles.
One thing that all cultures have in common is their affinity for the use of this shape. It holds inherent power because of its uniform shape. It is a powerful symbol and typology today. As a sphere or round object, they often represent harmony and unity. It is a versatile shape. Each culture adopts and adapts this shape for its own needs.
The synergy of the circle is the secret to the operation of magic. Creating a magical circle is a basic practice. You can do this by marking the ground. Attach a string to a stick in the ground at the center and walk around marking the circle circumference. The inner circle is then the sacred magical space.
There are cultures that use the circle as an important part of healing rituals. Shamanic practices still use fire as a central point, with circles surrounding it to denote where certain people should sit, stand, or dance.
Witchcraft and Wicca use the circle. Its value as a focal point and mechanism to generate power are fundamental to these arts. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round. You can draw a circle in the air with your hand. This shape, along with its cousin the spiral, are common elements of Eastern healing and martial arts. In this way, you can create a sacred magical space anywhere.
Creating Rites and Rituals with Circles
Personal rituals have power. The symbols we use in them help to generate and focus our intent and willpower. Reiki is a good example of how symbols enable us to focus our energy. Reiki is a relatively new alternative healing art created by Mikao Usui from Japan in the 1920s. It uses hand gestures to focus intent. Many of these contain circular motions.
You don’t have to create a whole new healing arts system. You can, however, develop your own symbols to create meaningful rites or rituals. These rituals are a way of commemorating, honoring, or celebrating a milestone. In fact, many masters and teachers tell us that creating your own symbols is much more powerful than copying someone else’s ritual or pattern. This is where the synergy of the circle can become a powerful tool in your own practice. You can use it to create your own sacred magical space.
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Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia
Mikao Usui and Reiki, Wikipedia
Esoteric Traditions, Wikipedia
Hermes Trismegistus, Wikipedia
Western Esotericism, Wikipedia
hermetic knowledge, hermetics.org
List of World’s Religions by Population, Wikipedia