The use of the magick circle predates the grimoires by many centuries, and we need to explore the earlier use of magick circles further to understand their passage through time into the Wiccan tradition. Examples of the use of the magick circle can be found going back at least five thousand years, sometimes with remarkable resemblance to the way in which it is used and created in the Wiccan tradition. For example, sprinkling with water, censing, and even sweeping with a broom were all components of preparing the space which were used in Ancient Egypt, as described by Pinch in her work Magic in Ancient Egypt:
“The area where a rite was to take place was also purified. The floor was sprinkled with water and swept with a special broom. A layer of clean sand might be spread and the area fumigated with incense smoke.”
Idries Shah, who wrote on grimoires and oriental magic in the late 1950s, gave an interesting example from Assyria of the magick circle in his book Oriental Magic. Giving a translation of a Surpu tablet dating to around 1600 BCE the book records a magick circle charm used to describe a holy defence which the gods were believed to provide to the faithful against the powers of darkness, as an impenetrable barrier. The long piece starts:
“Ban! Ban! Barrier that none can pass,
Barrier of the gods, that none may break,
Barrier of heaven and earth that none can change,
Which no god may annul”
Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @ https://amzn.to/3Ay4HJr. Shared here with the intention to inspire and inform the now and future generations interested in Wicca and other Pagan traditions inspired by it.