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Author Topic: Shape of a cast circle  (Read 8739 times)
Satirna
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« Reply #15: January 29, 2009, 08:18:07 am »



The only time I would use a circle would be to store energy for release.

Other than that, don't use them that often.
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« Reply #16: February 03, 2009, 03:05:11 pm »

Thanks, eating afterwards certainly helps me.

But so it's normal to feel a bit stoned while you're in circle?

Just to anchor this comparison I think the feeling of floating through space would be a good description of how being in a well cast circle feels.  This same feeling applies to the point in meditation where you can no longer feel your body and you loose touch with what is up and what is down.  Being stoned just makes that easier if you know how to control the situation right.
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« Reply #17: February 03, 2009, 09:42:33 pm »

But so it's normal to feel a bit stoned while you're in circle?

In my experience, no.  Being in a properly cast and contained circle, bathing in that power, is more like being EXTRA alert and aware, not less so.  The whole point of casting circles and power raising is to make yourselves more aware of this plane so one can transition to other planes, where one walks with spirits and deities.

At least, in my experience.  YMMV.

 

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« Reply #18: February 03, 2009, 10:19:23 pm »

But so it's normal to feel a bit stoned while you're in circle?

Not in my experience.
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« Reply #19: February 04, 2009, 02:23:53 am »

I've never been stoned, so maybe I'm just describing the experience wrong.  Huh

How can you tell a circle is cast properly? What kinds of mistakes can you make as newbie? Is there anything I should watch out for?
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« Reply #20: February 04, 2009, 01:50:00 pm »

How can you tell a circle is cast properly?

The only "proper" way is the way that feels proper to you.
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« Reply #21: February 04, 2009, 03:08:17 pm »

How can you tell a circle is cast properly? What kinds of mistakes can you make as newbie? Is there anything I should watch out for?

As far as proper, I think it's a bit like recipes. There are a number of different ways to make a loaf of bread, or a pizza, or a chocolate cake, or whatever - but there are also a bunch of ways to *fail* at making those foods. And there's a bunch of things that are like those foods, but different - so that people might like some warning. (Chocolate-orange cookies are good things, but it's unkind to hand them to  someone who is expecting chocolate-mint cookies without a comment.)

Given this mindset, 'proper' encompasses a number of things.

- Does it do the stuff this method of circle casting is designed to do? i.e. if you want a container for energy, does it contain? If you want protection, does it protect? Etc.

- Does it create the kind of ritual feel and space that you want for that ritual? If you want a quiet reflective ritual, the circle casting equivalent of banging cymbals and trumpet fanfares may not be a good fit.

- When relevant, does it meet the requirements for the ritual of a particular tradition. (Not relevant if you're not working in one - but most rituals in my coven, for example, need to meet some shared standards, and I can't just randomly change those without consulting with other people in the larger trad.)

- Does it actually *work* when you do the work? in other words, can you maintain it appropriately, does it help support what you're doing in that ritual, is it more use than not having one would be? If not, it's worth reconsidering if something might need to be changed.

(Sometimes, this is the ritual design. Sometimes it's that the person doing that piece of ritual set-up needs more experience, or more practice, or better skills in a particular area to make a noticeable improvement in the circle. For example, if you're in group ritual, and someone speaks very very softly, you may have problems - but they can be (relatively) easily fixed by teaching that person how to project their voice and speak clearly enough to be heard. (Or, if that is truly uncomfortable/impossible for them, finding them ritual tasks where being heard across the circle is not critical.)  It also applies to a number of energy moving/focusing tasks in circle, though those are often more nebulous to explain/define.)
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« Reply #22: February 04, 2009, 04:52:13 pm »

The only "proper" way is the way that feels proper to you.

That may be fine for solitary work, but if (say) you and I are doing some ceremonial magic work, the circle is going to be cast correctly for CM work or you and I are not working together.
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« Reply #23: February 04, 2009, 07:39:33 pm »

That may be fine for solitary work, but if (say) you and I are doing some ceremonial magic work, the circle is going to be cast correctly for CM work or you and I are not working together.
deal! Cheesy
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« Reply #24: February 04, 2009, 09:24:00 pm »

How can you tell a circle is cast properly? What kinds of mistakes can you make as newbie? Is there anything I should watch out for?

If you're a beginner, don't invent your own.  If you have an experienced teacher, ask to be taught.  If not, go to the books written by experienced people, like the Farrars, Buckland, Valiente, and do the circle casting ritual as exactly as described in the book as you can, with as few substitutions as one can.  Practice makes perfect.  You won't get it right at once.  It takes experience, and practice, until you keep your script handy but you don't really need it.

You'll recognize when you got it right:  you'll feel the *snap* when you complete it.  You'll feel the intensification of the energy within, and things that are outside the circle become difficult to see unless you try.  The change is subtle; be careful.

It's not entirely a function of getting the ritual right, but getting the ritual right is necessary.  It helps your mind learn the necessary *shift* to open your awareness of the other planes. 

I hope that helps a little...

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« Reply #25: February 04, 2009, 09:32:00 pm »

If you're a beginner, don't invent your own.  If you have an experienced teacher, ask to be taught.  If not, go to the books written by experienced people, like the Farrars, Buckland, Valiente, and do the circle casting ritual as exactly as described in the book as you can, with as few substitutions as one can.  Practice makes perfect.  You won't get it right at once.  It takes experience, and practice, until you keep your script handy but you don't really need it.

Adding to what Sine said, most of the better books on Wicca don't just give a ritual for a circle, they explain why things are done the way they are. If you are trying to cast a Wiccan magic circle (or any other type of magic circle for that matter), understanding what you are doing and why can make it much easier to do successfully.
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« Reply #26: February 05, 2009, 11:44:51 am »

If you're a beginner, don't invent your own.  If you have an experienced teacher, ask to be taught.
I haven't found an experienced teacher yet fitting to me. I've tried to learn something from an eclectic/neo-wiccan group, but they didn't explain much, although I'm glad they did show me how they do it. They just wanted me to do it in 'my own way' and leave them alone with questions. Since as a newbie I don't have an 'own way' I'm just confused and trying out different versions I happen to come across.

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If not, go to the books written by experienced people, like the Farrars, Buckland, Valiente, and do the circle casting ritual as exactly as described in the book as you can, with as few substitutions as one can.
I haven't yet tried one exactly by book, but maybe I just should. I've always thought it's better to get it showed, but I don't get along very well with the people who showed me their version.

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Practice makes perfect.  You won't get it right at once.  It takes experience, and practice, until you keep your script handy but you don't really need it.
What I find really hard is casting it around more than just the room I'm in.

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You'll recognize when you got it right:  you'll feel the *snap* when you complete it.  You'll feel the intensification of the energy within, and things that are outside the circle become difficult to see unless you try.  The change is subtle; be careful.
There's already some small difference, but when I'm the one casting I need to relax a few seconds after casting before I feel the difference.

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I hope that helps a little...
Thanks, helps a lot. I've had so many frustrating real life conversations about circle casting just going 'what you can't cast a circle around the complete flat? But it's so easy!' Made me feel like an idiot.
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« Reply #27: February 05, 2009, 11:51:55 am »

Thanks. So do you think there should be a difference between a circle cast for magical work and one just cast for a sabbat without magical work?

I feel that higher types of magic are still a bit over my head. So I'm a bit unsure about how to make a circle for a sabbat. If you contain energy, does it need to be directed at a (magical) purpose? Or can you just cast a complete circle so you get more concentration on the sabbat/deity/feel yourself 'bathing in sacred energy' etc.?
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« Reply #28: February 05, 2009, 02:32:34 pm »

I haven't yet tried one exactly by book, but maybe I just should. I've always thought it's better to get it showed, but I don't get along very well with the people who showed me their version.

And, to be fair, not everyone is very good at explaining it - or can do it off the top of their head. (Explaining how my trad's circle works is.. well, several months worth of training for our Dedicants. I *can* do a condensed version for people with general background, and showing it definitely helps there - but there will be all sorts of bits and pieces that aren't obvious just from what we say - they have to do with the visualisations, energy flow, etc. that won't just be picked up from a single experience of the circle.

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What I find really hard is casting it around more than just the room I'm in.

This is something, in my experience, that comes with time - it's like developing muscles for sports, or your breathing for singing, or anything like that. You need to build up your strength first - and your stamina to be able to maintain a larger space for the length of a ritual.

One option that sometimes makes the space issue easier is to cast the circle small (like edges of one room), and then to slowly expand it (like blowing up a soap bubble, or a balloon), recentering the middle if you need to around the space you're working in.

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There's already some small difference, but when I'm the one casting I need to relax a few seconds after casting before I feel the difference.

Again, this is totally normal. In my trad training, it takes people at least a year to get comfortable with all parts of circle casting - and that's *with* being in a circle cast the same way at least twice a month (moon ritual, ritual during one class, plus Sabbats). Most people will have some parts - just like learning most things - that come faster, and some that come slower.

(In my case, I had huge visualisation issues, because I'm not a visual processor, so I had to constantly translate from what I was hearing from my teachers into how I perceive energy, do it, and then translate my explanation of what I got into language that made sense to them. I tend to 'hear' energy, and that really wasn't helpful to them.)
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« Reply #29: February 05, 2009, 02:56:33 pm »

Thanks. So do you think there should be a difference between a circle cast for magical work and one just cast for a sabbat without magical work?

Yes and no.

What we do is that we use the same basic circle casting process at almost all rituals. (We occasionally do something different as a training exercise, or for a very specific task, but 95% of the time, it's the group standard.)

What's different between different kinds of rituals is the focus of the visualisations and the flavor, for lack of a better term, of the energy. For an initiation, the energy is very tightly focused and directed. Ditto for a ritual in which we're going to be doing aspecting. For a Sabbat ritual that's mostly or wholly celebratory, it'll be a lot lighter and more fluid. Sort of the difference between a heavy wool cloak and a light gauze veil.

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If you contain energy, does it need to be directed at a (magical) purpose?

Well, what's the point if we don't (I mean, why have the energy if you're not going to use it somehow?)

That purpose is not always a spell, though - it can be sent out to help turn the wheel (encourage the change of seasons and their effect in the world on physical and symbolic levels), or fed back into parts of the tradition's workings that feed our specific community. In my personal work, anything I'm not using for a spell often gets fed into my house wards.

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Or can you just cast a complete circle so you get more concentration on the sabbat/deity/feel yourself 'bathing in sacred energy' etc.?

Casting a circle contains energy - but it's not the only thing ours do. (Your circle may vary!) We also cast circle to help make sure everyone's on the same page for ritual, and has time to prepare for the core of the ritual. We do it to create a safe space, a sacred space, and to be hospitable to the entities we're inviting (deities but not just deities.) And we do it, in part, because it's good practice for the times that we do want to do more involved energy work, where the specific qualities of the structure can be very helpful.

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