Idries Shah’s connection to Gerald Gardner has long been understated. In addition to being the ghost writer of Gerald Gardner: Witch, the biography attributed to Jack Bracelin and published by Shah’s own publishing house Octagon Press; he also acted as Gardner’s secretary for a period of time in his latter years. Although Shah would later become famous as the most influential Sufi writer of modern times, we can only speculate what influence he may have contributed to the evolution of the Wiccan tradition through his extensive knowledge of grimoires and obscure oriental magick.
In the ancient Babylonian myths we find a reference to a magick circle created by the magick god, Ea (also known as Enki). Ea created this magick circle in order to thwart the murderous designs of his father, the god Apsu who planned on killing all of his children due to their boisterous behaviour! It is believed, based on both the style of the writing and other cultural evidence that this story may in fact date up to a thousand years earlier than the recorded date of 1000 BCE, dating it to at least 2000 BCE.
“The one of supreme understanding, the skilful (and) wise,
Ea, who understands everything, saw through their plan.
He made and established against it a magickal circle for all.”
Elsewhere, in Jewish mythology, we find the story of Honi, the circle drawer from around the first century BCE. The story, recorded in M. Taanit 3:1, tells of Honi who was approached by his community to pray for rain. Honi prayed, but the rain did not fall, and he decided to take more drastic action. He drew a circle and standing inside it addressed God asking for rain on behalf of the people. Rain started falling in small drops. Honi once again addressed God and asked that the rain should fall sufficiently so that it would fill the pits, ditches and caves. Now the rain fell in ‘anger’ (i.e. heavily) and again Honi addressed God saying he did not ask for such heavy rain, but for rains of benevolence, blessing and generosity. Upon this the rain started falling as required.
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.