To Open The Circle, Or Not To?

One of the biggest issues facing the modern Craft movement is discerning the impact of other traditions with which it has come into contact with. Since most Craft practices seem to be syncretic by nature in that most of the practitioners develop along the lines of what they come into contact with. Even within the scope of a structured system such as Alexandrian, Gardnerian or even Seax-Wica through the natural flow of social intercourse most practitioners will invariably come into contact with other systems leaving a mark or impact into the understanding of their own tradition.
The circle has fast become a stead point of many magical traditions as a symbol it remains very strong. Representing continuity and the cycles within pagan-lore. It represents the creation of sacred space within the world but apart from it at the same time, it also represents protection. Many books on Wicca contain suggestions for visualising the ritual circle in beauty colours and different hues as well as different sizes and shapes. Some counsel on visualising an ‘egg’ shape, reminiscent of the egg of creation (thats if one is lucky enough to pick up a book that goes into that much detail). My own experience of group ritual has been that once everyone is of like mind in the function of the circle then the colour and subsequent vibrations will usually take on personal reflections as it should be. It doesn’t mean that when instructed to visualise a purple colour for its vibrational relevance that one should should simply ignore it but taking note of the personal vibration and accepting it may make it easier to gauge the one’s emotional status as the journey towards visualising the desired colour. Even if it doesn’t happen ‘on command’ it may yet prove a worthy exercise in mental discipline.
As well as the issue surrounding the rights and wrongs of how to make a ritual circle there is also the issue of what to do when faced with establishing a presence on the astral. There’s also the tendency to presume that a place needs to be cleansed of impurity which has been propagated by many Wicca 101 books and has also featured in many Coven groups as well. It’s difficult to say whether this is a case of the chicken or the egg in terms of originality. The advocation of the Golden Dawn’s Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) amongst Wiccan and witches has caused some confusion. Within the GD system the Banishing form of the LRP was originally a mere footnote in the systems MSS. So where did this idea that space needed to be pre-cleansed come from? The establishment of the ritual Circle itself is cleansing through the use of incenses and blessed water to purify.
In neopaganism the belief that there is an innate flaw in the physical world is not something that is atypical of the movement’s paradigms. Most pagans and witches seek to work with the natural elements of the physical world around us. So it stands to reason that banishing upon entry into a sacred space would only seek to remove that which is of aid to the working. Even if an elemental was not inclined to aid your working what is the point in banishing it from it’s place of residence and pissing it off? Makes no sense really. Some friends who established their own Circle here in Ireland, have even commented on the same issue. Having placed so much work, both physically and energetically into creating the Circle it comes as something of a shock to the combined efforts when guests begin their standard workings and start by banishing the open energies of the place.
Sacred space isn’t intended to be void of personality, white is the colour most often associated with being sacred or spiritual but white is not void of personality it combines all the different ranges in the light spectrum into use within that sacred space. If one is working in another space than one’s usual ritual space there are certain practices (best devised by oneself) for “astrally transporting” the essentials. Truth be told the ritual space on the astral always moves with the practitioner anyway. One could use a simple ceremony to invoke the highest powers one usually works with to act as overseers to the working and invite the native elementals to participate in the advancement of the working. There should in my humble opinion be no reason to close the circle either. A simple Licence to Depart could work well as gives the spirits in attendance to complete their aid and return to their natural state of being at leisure.

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