Closing Sacred Space

Taking down or dismantling sacred space involves the same procedure as creating it—only everything is done in reverse. The Guardians of the four quadrants are dismissed, and then the circle is withdrawn. The practitioner will begin the dismissal in the north, pointing the athame at the northern quadrant while visualizing the Guardian returning to where it came from, and saying:

Hear me O mighty one, Ruler of Forest arid Field, Guardian of the Northern Portal, I thank thee for thy blessings and protection, at this gateway between the worlds, and bid thee-hail and farewell.

The practitioner continues dismissing the Guardians by moving widdershins (counterclockwise) around the circle, reciting, in the appropriate quadrant:

Hear me O Mighty One, Ruler of the Mysterious Depths, Guardian of the Western Portal, I thank thee for thy blessings and protection, at this gateway between the worlds, and bid thee-hail and farewell.

Hear me O Mighty One, Ruler of the Solar, Guardian of the Southern Portal,

I thank thee for thy blessings and protection, at this gateway between the worlds, and bid thee-hail and farewell.

Hear me O Mighty One, Ruler of the Whirlwinds, guardian of the Eastern Portal, I thank thee for thy blessings and protection, at this gateway between the worlds, and bid thee —hail and farewell.

Once the Guardians have been dismissed, the participant will "take up the circle," beginning in the north. He or she will point the athame at the circle boundary line and withdraw the psychic energy which was early placed there. As this is done, the participant says:

O Circle of power that has been a boundary between the world of men, and the realm of the Mighty Ones, that has served to preserve and contained all energy raised within, I now recall and withdraw your force of power. So Mote It Be.

The ritual has now come to an end. If the area in which the ritual took place is not a separate space, and is used for other activities, then the circle must be physically erased. The altar, tools, and all items used during the ritual should be put away. Only when an area has been set aside exclusively for ritual use are the altar and tools left in place.

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