There are many reasons that a clear space–drawn with a real or imaginary circle, is part and parcel of all types of magick. People will tell you it’s for your own protection. Sure, that’s true enough, but there is much more than that–even when working with energies that are completely harmless, you still want to create a safe space you feel comfortable to do magick in–more often than not a circle. In Wicca, you “cast circles”, and in high magick you perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Both these methods are just ritualized forms of saying: “Hey, this space in the circle over here is sacred and special.”
The real reason I wrote this blog today is that I was actually reading a book on songwriting by Jimmy Webb (called Tunesmith) and he has a nice story about him and David Geffen. David Geffen had set him up with a room to compose in, and said to Jimmy: “In this room, you can never make a mistake.”
Jimmy Webb then goes on to explain how he interpreted that statement: “Creativity is a blameless process.” He felt that David Geffen was essentially saying to him, “I will not blame you for failure or keep a scorecard of your efforts as long as they are earnest, as long as you are sincerely dedicated to the things we will try to create here.”
Yes, exactly! He is talking about a place to write music, but it applies perfectly to magick as well. We need a safe space where we can make no mistakes. That doesn’t mean we will never flub up a line or spill a wine glass; it simply means that within our circle, any “mistakes” are not mistakes at all but stepping stones, part of the serendipity of the creative process–which applies equally as well to magick as it does to music.
Jimmy Webb then goes on to say, “That is why it is so important to draw an imaginary protective circle around ourselves and step inside.” What? Is he talking about music or magick?? “The place where we write is important whether it is a physical room or a spacious loft in the heart and mind.” He nails it. What more can I add to that?
We all need a sacred space to create, whether it be a song, a painting, or a magick ritual.