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Ch.8 The Magick Circle (WMB 8.p)

Extract from: Wicca: Magical Beginnings written by d’Este & Rankine, 2008 (Avalonia.) PB / Kindle @ https://amzn.to/3Ay4HJr.

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Through this we find a further precedent for Wiccan ceremony in the Key of Solomon – that of the actual practice of sprinkling the magick circle in order to cleanse and purify the space for use during ceremonies.


It can be demonstrated that the material found in the Key of Solomon existed as part of an even older tradition of magical texts. For example, the Heptameron which was first published in 1496, attributed to the Italian physician Peter de Abano (1250-1317), contains material which clearly influenced the Key of Solomon. Thus in the Heptameron we see for example the use of water for the purification of the magick circle:


“When the Circle is rightly perfected, sprinkle the same with holy or purging water, and say, Thou shalt purge me with hyssop (O Lord) and I shall be clean: Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than Snow.”


The Heptameron was also included as part of The Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy which was allegedly written by Cornelius Agrippa and was first published in English in 1565. In it we find instruction on how the magick circle should be consecrated, which includes:


“you must bless the place with the sprinkling of Holy-water…”


These consecrations may have their roots in medieval Christianity, where we discover a Benediction of the Water in a text entitled ‘Of the Ordeal of Boiling Water’ which dates to the twelfth or thirteenth century:

“I bless thee, O creature of water, boiling above the fire, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, from whom all things proceed; I adjure thee by Him who ordered thee to water the whole earth from the four rivers, and who summoned thee forth from the rock, and who changed thee into wine, that no wiles of the devil or magic of men be able to separate thee from thy virtues as a medium of judgment…”[1]


The magick circle can be seen to touch on a whole range of different traditions from the ancient world through to the grimoires. The range of different components from different sources is quite extensive when considering the apparent simplicity of the creation of the magick circle, showing that divergent strands can be successfully synthesised into a simple and effective process when understanding and experience are present. The Wiccan magick circle is a good example of this, blending functionality and effectiveness from a variety of sources, and continuing a tradition which extends back many thousands of years. Although the first obvious source may be the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, it is clear that all of the components of Wiccan circle casting may be found in the grimoires, and their synthesis to create the Wiccan formula of the magick circle is the most likely origin of the practice.


[1] The Breviary of Eberhard of Bamberg ed. Zeumer in MG.LL. Sec V, Formulae, 1898




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.

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My name is Sorita d'Este

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Many years ago I dedicated myself to the pursuit of both esoteric knowledge, and an understanding of polytheism, the Gods and Nature.  I have been a full-time writer, author and publisher, specialising subjects linked to the occult, witchcraft, Paganism, mythology, ancient religions and magic - and all kinds of things in between since 2003. 

 

I live on a hill in Glastonbury, overlooking the marshes of Somerset,  a place of myth and legend, and a crossroad for many different religions. Here I am frequently found digging and growing, serving my fluffy rescue cat and navigating the unknown with my teenage son.  

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