Magical Protection - Ceremonialists consider this one of the two primary functions. A circle protects the practitioner from outside energy or the influence of the waking world.
Containment - The circle serves as a sort of energy cauldron, holding magical power until it is ready to be sent toward its goal.
Sanctity - from a spiritual standpoint, the circle is a "portable church," where we can set aside mundane concerns and focus on the sacred. It is where we hold celebrations, rites of passage, and communion with Deity. Being able to "hold church" anywhere through casting circle helps us remember that the temple is the world, as well as inside us; we discover the sacredness of all space.
Safety - inside the circle is a haven where "perfect love and perfect trust" are the watchwords, and where we can feel safe alone or with others. In ritual we make ourselves spiritually and emotionally vulnerable, and the circle is a place where we can do so without fear.
Symbolism - the circle is a microcosm, reflecting the cyclical nature of life and the universe, and its spherical shape reminds us that the sacred has many dimensions. As with ritual tools, the circle itself helps us achieve an altered state of consciousness whereby Younger Self can find expression.
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