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 rites and rituals.
Nature uses circles or spheres to build and organize. It’s also a standard behavior of energy. If you drop an object into water, the power projects outward in equal concentric rings. Circular structures are 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 eyes with a circular iris.
The Sacred Magical Space
The circle is a simple but eloquent symmetric geometric shape with 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 challenging to draw freehand. If this arc is off one 1%, most people can see this flaw.
A magical space is a vortex of energy traveling outward. When we contain this energy within any given enclosure, it reverberates. Over time, it will dissipate unless the source of energy continues to create more. People are both the generators and containers of this force. Gathering together in a circular pattern is a way to generate and direct the vibration.
The fire and drum circle are ancient community-building tools. When people gather united around a positive central purpose, you can feel the energy.
Many places incorporate the symmetry of a circle into their design. The arch is a symbolic doorway that links to a sacred magical space or portal. Many structures like temples and churches have arched ceilings. Arches are self-supporting forms. Many churches decorate these vaulted spaces to draw our attention.
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 real alchemy and magic. It’s an esoteric tradition based upon writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus (“Thrice Great”). It talks about spheres as planets and how they have their unique characteristics.
The Kybalion is a classic work of Hermetic Philosophy, originally published in 1908 under a pseudonym. It expounds on the idea that motion is manifest in everything in the Universe, that nothing rests, and everything moves in a circular or spiral fashion.
One thing that all cultures have in common is their affinity for using 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 this kind of magical space is fundamental to the practice of harnessing energy. You can do this by marking the ground. Attach a string to a stick in the center and walk around, tracing the circumference. The area within becomes your sacred magical space for everything from healing to spells of protection. You can also create circles within circles for more advanced processes.
Many cultures use the circle as a vital 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. Reiki uses them in many of their hand-motions and sigils. Circular motion is a classic method in Tai Chi and Tai Ka to collect and direct energy.
Witchcraft and Wicca use various types of circles. The classic form is gathering around a fire. Its value as a focal point and mechanism to generate power is 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 and its cousin, the spiral, are common elements of Eastern healing and martial arts. You can create sacred magical space anywhere.
Creating Rites and Rituals with Circles
Personal rituals have power. The symbols we use help generate and focus our intent and willpower. Reiki is an excellent 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, which uses hand gestures to focus their intent. Many of these contain circular motions.
You don’t have to create a whole new healing arts system. However, you can develop your symbols to create meaningful rites or rituals. These rituals are a way of commemorating, honoring, or celebrating a milestone. Many masters and teachers tell us that creating symbols is more effective than copying someone else’s ritual or pattern. It’s easy to develop ceremonies incorporating the synergy of the circle. It will become a powerful tool in your practice. You can use it to create your own sacred magical space.
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Esoteric Traditions, Wikipedia
Hermes Trismegistus, Wikipedia
Western Esotericism, Wikipedia
hermetic knowledge at hermetics.org
Mikao Usui and Reiki, Wikipedia
List of World’s Religions by Population, Wikipedia
Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia