Example of a Magical Circle
 magical circle

Elaboration on the Magical Circle

written by David Bersson

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law

I want to elaborate somewhat on this magical circle which I thank Frater Nshyh for doing the graphics with. It should be noted as an example only. I disagree with where the Names are placed on this example. Well, where are you supposed to point your altar in this particular example? Where Nuit is placed should be where Boleskine is situated is where you have your altar for our Path is Unto Nuit. It is otherwise unclear why you have Babalon without the balance of the Beast using Therion. Instead you have Perdurabo, one of the magical mottos of Aleister Crowley situated in the north. So, Babalon is in the West and you have Perdurabo in the north. How does this symbolism work? In addition, you have the Name Laylah which as everyone notes was Leila Ida Nerissa Bathurst Waddell, a concubine or scarlet woman of the Beast. Say, was this a speculative graphic image of Layah's old circle or Perdurabo's? Perhaps this is the circle which you speculate might of existed if they have lived together sharing a Temple. Well, never you mind all that! When the aspirant sees the circle as an example they will surely will have the sense to put it together where the balances are adjusted.

Well, one or the other is perfectly acceptable where you place your altar, in the East, or facing Boleskine, or in front of the Name of Nuit painted on the outer rim. The altar has to be moved with specialized magical gestures, in some cases, where I might set my entire altar on the Netzach square to Invoke Ahathoor. All this depends on how large the Tau squares are and if the size of the altar does not set evenly on the square of the altar it has to sit on another square, at least partially. In my case, my circle, the altar and the size of the squares make this method too awkward so I stand on the square with the altar in the white area facing whatever direction my magical operation is. Everyone does not have a large room for their private Temple so the circle, altar, and squares will vary in size from aspirant to aspirant.

Another area that must be considered is the Name Ra-Hoor-Khuit should be in the East. In this example it is in the south I take it to correspond with fire. I would go for the Name Ra-Hoor-khuit in the East rather than the south. It is clearly an image and this is in compliance with those words in the Book of the Law. Shin Teth (ShT) could be in the West or Babalon could be in the West. Hadit could be south and Nuit could be north. I state only possibilities that would be more of a correspondence of symbolism. We all set up the Names in accordance with what makes sense to us for balance and idiosyncrasies that would involve our lens.

If it all balances out, fine. Yet, where the Names are nested on the outer rim in this graphical image would not make sense for me. This does not diminish its value as a real guide for those who are painting their circle for the first time. The Cross of the Zodiac which hangs from Malkuth on my private circle has an Ouroboros snake. This was done this way years ago not having the artistic talent to do it the way it is done here. The snake is supposed to go through all the squares of the Zodiac as was clearly the intention of creating the snake the way it is done. My version using the Ouroboros snake does not do this and my very school of thought over decades has been influenced by this difference. The curious part of it was it took on a startling line of symbolism where doing it this way assisted my school of thought.

It is unfortunate that the circle is not in color in those official publications of the past. We have descriptions only - and unless you have a Superior of Lineage you are clearly not going to do it the way it was done. I am comfortable that I have had a teacher who already went through this issue and was able to answer my question about the pending zodiac cross from Malkuth. The symbol for the front of the Zelator's robe in Equinox Volume One, Number One is not only not in color it does not describe the colors it is supposed to have or the golden Tau in the Middle. In fact, I was passed on a series of Robes of the Grades directly from my Superior, Marcelo Motta which I in turn pass on today. It is all somewhere in the writings of Aleister Crowley, true, but I do consider it necessary to assist the novice by this official graphic image of the magical circle.

In addition, the graphic image spells Nuit incorrectly as NVIT. Not only are the Names changing the style of a letter by being in violation of Liber AL, Chapter II, verse 54 by being in upper case you do not spell Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit correctly either!! I had one clever Neophyte send me a photo of his Temple circle where he painted these names identical to the original manuscript. Again, these objections of mine do not diminish the value of the graphic image as an example. My only real objection are the Names where the ingenuity of the aspirant will come into play when studying the above graphic image will put it all together where the symbolism is satisfactory for them.

It is a horrid state of affairs, don't you know? Where Frater Nshyh might see these words and give me changes in the graphic image above guru bullying me into rewriting this entire essay!! Well, miracles have been known to occur in the Hierarchy. If they occur, kindly record them in accordance with Liber E, Section I for my inspection.

My point being your circle is your circle and how you set up the names should, if nothing else, make sense to you in the manner of balance of symbolism. Be that as it may, this is clearly the best example of the magical circle presently done in our Hierarchy. Some work might be done on the Tiphareth Star and the Names arranged might be a good idea. Such examples clarify the magician's plans when they begin to paint the circle.

My method is to take a tiny tack or nail and tap it into the center of the circle. I then tie string to the central nail or tack and tie a pencil on the other end of the string. I then bring the pencil out until I reach my first line. I carefully trace the outer line of my circle with the attached pencil & string to tack or nail and go around the circle. Then I wrap string around the nail and make my next line where the outer two lines are ready for paint and names. The tiny hole from the tack or nail is the the center of the Tiphareth square where I build my Tau from Tiphareth up to Kether and then build down carefully measuring my squares until I have a complete penciled Tau ready to be painted.

Some paint the white of the circle first and then the Tau. Which ever is the preference.

Love is the law, love under will