• The Festival Celebrant

Sacred Space 101, Episode 2

Updated: Mar 4

So you've cast a circle (maybe!).

I hope I managed to convey something of the symbolic significance of the circle and some of the countless ways you can use one in your ceremony.

But what if you want to take things a bit further?

I invite you to consider some other 'universal' elements. The Classical Elements to be precise.

Earth, Air, Fire and Water. For millennia these were believed to be the four essential constituents of all matter. And it's easy to see why. Never mind the Periodic Table. Everything on it is essentially a solid (Earth) a gas (Air) or a fluid (Water) and each is more or less energetic or volatile (Fire). We can evoke these qualities to create a special kind of energy in our ceremony space. And we can ally them to that circle we cast (or didn't).

Think about the qualities of each of those elements. The solidity of Earth. The changeability of Water. The heat of Fire. The expansiveness of Air. You could outline your circle four times, once for each element. Another method of bringing the elements into your circle is to assign each one to a compass point. Once the circle is cast each element is invited in turn. In many traditions (though certainly not all) you start by calling Air to the East compass point. Then turn to the South and invite Fire. Continue to the West and call in Water and finally turn North and invite Earth. You can have huge creative fun with the wording of these invitations, especially if you have a flair for poetry. Each one infuses the circle, and everything that takes place within, with its qualities.

Maybe you can work the elemental qualities (and there's a thousand subtle ways of characterising and describing them) into you vows? There's a world of things you can do with the symbolism of the elements. I might return to them in a future blog but in the meantime do some research and have fun.

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