A very happy Black Friday to everyone! It is good to be writing my blog again. Thank you for taking the time to read my innermost thoughts.
There was a question on our Dark Arts forum recently which I thought would be a good topic to expand upon. The question was concerning the importance of “casting the circle” during a Satanic (or any other) ritual. This is a concept that divides many practitioners and baffles many acolytes so I thought I would provide some thoughts along those lines. For those who deny the existence of Satan and demons, you can return to whatever you normally do when bored.
In the realm of magical operations and processes, many practitioners call upon celestial beings to assist with a positive outcome of the working. At a very elementary level, this is akin to asking an old friend for help with a task which you are unable to complete on your own. You can simply use your telephone (symbolic to a process) and call the one with strength, expertise, knowledge, etc. to lend a hand. But what happens when you mis-dial and end up connected to the wrong contact? Herein lies the problem and the solution is the circle.
I am sure no-one reading this post remembers the old telephone “party line” (no, not $0.99 per minute) which was a communal phone line people shared with one another. Before making a call, you had to pickup the handset and listen to know if some else was using the line. If you heard a conversation, you simply hung up and made your call later. If this were used today, we would have a multitude of people going “bat shit” waiting to make their call.
Now, imagine you are making a call (magically) to a familiar demon / spirit but while calling, another demon / spirit listens in on the call and responds instead. Since you can’t just magically hang up, there must be a ‘protection mechanism’ used or you will end up releasing an entity which you are unable to “put back into the bottle”, metaphorically speaking. There is nothing like an obnoxious, belligerent, uninvited visitor to put a big wrinkle in the fabric of your ritual. The same fun can be had while someone hits you in the head with a mace, but that is a topic for another blog post.
The Circle is that protection mechanism. It helps to contain the entity as it first appears and you can symbolically “pull the plug” before full manifestation. Be aware, once an entity has fully manifested in our physical dimension, you may not be strong enough (spiritually, magically, or cognitively) to control the uninvited guest. Symbolically, one foot here and one there places the entity at a serious disadvantage however, once firmly here in our reality, it may be beyond your capability to control.
Another piece to this magical puzzle is an assumption made by many: Manifestation = physical, flesh, bone, goo, etc. Let’s look closer at this and sort it into categories. The fist category is Dimensional – this is limited to the 3 dimensions that we, as humans, are capable of perceiving through one or more of our senses. Dimensional manifestation is one which we perceive through an experience in a physical manner. This may be a temperature, image, sound, feeling, etc.
The second category is Metaphysical – this is neither limited by dimensions nor by perceptions. Metaphysical manifestation of a demon / spirit is “of the mind”. This often occurs on the astral plane during a ritual or during meditation. Just to really confuse the novice, there is also Dimensional / Metaphysical manifestations also, such as possession of the host’s body and mind concurrently. This is also a subject for another blog post.
While we are on this subject, let me explain Astral Presence. This is probably the most common form of quasi-manifestation for beginners in the dark arts. Astral Presence is the close proximity of an entity to the human yet the entity remains firmly on the other side of the veil. This is similar to feeling someone watching you when no-one is there; you feel like someone is in the room with you, or some experience someone (or something) “walking across their grave“; not a touch per se but a shiver up the spine. In my experience, these are brief and wonderful interludes which are calming and warming – but that’s just me.
My advice: Always cast a circle. You will be glad you did.
For more information on demons that I frequently call upon, take a look at my book Sanctum of Shadows Volume II.
Until next time,