Maybe it’s all the loopy solar solstice energy, but I’ve been thinking about magic circles a lot recently.

    There are circular traditions in magical lore all over the world: stone circles, fairy circles, round tables, medicine wheels, mandalas, cauldrons – not to mention circular groups, billions of circles in nature or circular dancing.

    One of my favorite definitions, though, comes from play theory. Think about this: what’s the difference between play and ritual? In either case we’re creating a space where the “rules” are different than those we normally live by. For example, inside the magic circle a toy sword might means that you’re a king, or a burning candle might mean that your wishes are about to come true. Some witches call this space between the worlds, because it certainly isn’t quite like living in this one.

    Of course, you can just go ahead and change the rules everywhere, but that’s kind of advanced. Small spaces are good practice. Sometimes they’re just enough, too, and strange and wonderful effects ripple outwards

    This is a new magic circle you can try if you want. If you agree with these rules, print it out and put something inside it: words, pictures, objects – you can even just leave it on the internet and put some thoughts in there if you prefer. Which would be curious. Is that just one circle? Can all of our thoughts fit inside it? Personally, though, I find that the more I engage with the play, the more the new rules count.

    Anyway, whatever you put in there, the new rule is that the old rules don’t apply anymore. Use judiciously, use regularly, use excessively. Let us know if anything interesting happens.


    • is a co-editor of BAD WITCHES. She also offers witch medicine for what ails you (along with more art and other stuff) at Dream Horse. She lives in the wilds of Pittsburgh with her partner and two children who are mainly being raised by wolves.

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