Laying a Compass, Circle and Labyrinths

Discussion of ritual tools and other items used in the Craft.
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Laying a Compass, Circle and Labyrinths

Post by Holdasown »

So I have been staring to use a compass and the book I am reading talks about using labyrinths to achieve energy. Each one is a bit different so I wanted to put my opinion on the them here since circles come up quite a bit.

Circle: Is often used when talking about Wicca but anyone can do one. It's the calling of the four quarters (elements) in a circle pattern an area for energy to raise up and be used. Cone of Power is often used in conjunction with this technique. This can be done for every spell or ritual and is not permanent. A boundary can be established with chalk, items or just visually.

Laying a Compass: A compass is based off the directions North, South, East, West without necessarily being elemental and can even be used like a wheel of the year. It's usually done with a stang or broom in the middle and using a foot, rock, or stick making a mark on the ground. Stones could also be used to set up a boundary. A compass usually is set up to mark a space as outside the regular plane. It represents the upper, middle and lower realms. "Treading the Mill" and "walking the hedge" are often terms used It can be temporary but most are set up outside permanently.

Labyrinths: Done in a pattern on the ground the labyrinth is used to both raise energy and to engage with deity. As you move to the center you move toward the god or goddess you are honoring. Some labyrinths are intricate and hold several members and some are simple spirals for an individual. While usually permanent they could be set up for a special purpose especially by an individual.

This is the option I have formed on each one of these. I used my cauldron filled with water ( a representation of a well) for the center of my compass and it was a temporary setup. Any of these can be done with individual touches the witch feels drawn to do.

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Re: Laying a Compass, Circle and Labyrinths

Post by SpiritTalker »

Holdasown, this is a well done brief. I know this is an old thread but I would like to see some discussion of folks experiences with the different processes.

For myself, my first experience with an impromptu circle was before I had looked into Wicca. I was at a new age shop & someone invited anyone who wanted to join a drumming circle. I didn't have a clue what it was, but went along to the back room where about 10 people were milling around. Someone handed out some drums off the shelves and we all sat down on the floor; no introductions, very informal. The "leader" who had invited us began a chant "aheya, ho" and stuff like that. The drummers beat softly. The chant and drums picked up speed.

In a matter of a few minutes I began to sweat. The heat built and I felt like I had to leave or be sick. I put a hand back to help myself get up, but instead I felt like I put my hand up to my elbow into ice water, and the temperature of the room drained off. The leader opened one eye and gave me a baleful stare. I realized I had committed some kind of error, and since I wasn't going to be sick anymore, I just sat where I was. The chant-drum never stopped, the speed continued and heat resumed and all at once, all together in one stoke, the leader yelled "ho," and the drums stopped. The temperature of the room gradually cooled. Folks smiled and began talking and leaving. I went back to the main room and finished my browsing, probably bought a book. I checked it off as an interesting experience and forgot about it until my path led me into Wicca.

I have found the fully prepared Wiccan circle to be insulating and conducive to safe encounters with other realms, sometimes through meditation, other times opening communication for later. Also, in spell work, the circle holds the power that is raised until it is instructed and released. I guess I use the circle as a tool in that sense.

I have laid the compass and used a staff during Solstice rituals. I found this particularly helpful with out of body experiences, or travel between worlds. One of my most instructional experiences regarding the "witches pyramid, the four powers" was obtained through this method. It is also been helpful for working with the Moon, only I used the "mini staff" wand as a link between the full Moon and my heart as a solitary version of Calling Down the Moon...who is She going to talk to if you are solitary and channel Her? A solitaire commune is more useful.

My only labyrinth experience was a spiral outlined with my garden hose. The rite was widdershins & pulled me to my knees with a thud. it took me a couple tries to get up again, and then my feet felt weighted like in cement shoes. After that I have only used a finger or tabletop labyrinth to trace the path. It is useful for grounding in my case, not so much for raising energy.

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Re: Laying a Compass, Circle and Labyrinths

Post by firebirdflys »

I have on many occasions made spirals and labyrinths with the raked up leaves in the fall time. Or use the leaves as a perimeter to the circles boundaries. We have a couple ash trees that make copious leaves for that, although they had a big hair cut this year so I suspect there will be less to deal with.
When we go to spring camp, a labyrinth or spiral is set up using twigs that get dispersed when we leave. Sending the energy and prayers that were acumulated during the campout into the ether.
Setting the compass or defining the quarters is done with candles when in someones backyard, but since we were frequently in the "field" we took to using battery operated candles because of fire danger. Stones were rarely set out but used sometime to define a portal or entry point.
Bb, FF
“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors.”
― Jim Morrison
“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”
― RWEmerson

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Re: Laying a Compass, Circle and Labyrinths

Post by NeverMoonAWerewolf »

Oh yeah circle crafting with what's around.

Am I the only one making circles and sigils with the mower when mowing larger lawns? Used to confuse the people I mowed for.

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