The other day we were doing a Social that Reno Magick is part of and I decided to mess with normals with some chalk and sidewalk. I drew a circle and inside of it I drew a triangle. In each of the spaces I drew a rune. I used Ansuz for Air, Laguz for Water, Fehu for Fire (which doesn't really fit, I should have used Kennaz or Dagaz). Outside the Circle I drew Uruz, Othalla and Jera for Earth. Then in the center of the triangle I drew an Elhaz for Spirit.
The purpose was supposed to create a separate space of air, fire and water surrounded by earth with intent to focus spirit. After a couple minutes I decided to add some safety and added Wunjo at the top and Gebo at the bottom to declare that the core purpose was joy and success built on a foundation of Gift/Exchange. This was to support that only friendly spirits should be able to come through.
Finally I charged the circle and each rune, and with will, projected my intent for what the circle should accomplish. I had someone else come over and ensure they could feel the edge after opening their hand chakra to verify my efforts. When they confirmed they could feel the edge I took heart that my efforts had succeeded (which ironically helps them be successful)
I then wrote instructions:
Stand in the Center and think of loved ones who passed... Listen Closely...
The persons who tried it reported different forms of success. One had a good conversation with her dead Grandfather. Another one, a strong skeptic stepped into the middle and as he thought about someone it was like the energy of the circle rolled up and connected him down strongly. I asked him what he experienced and he said that while he didn't hear anything, all of a sudden he strongly smelled Salmon Eggs while he was in there. He then explained that Salmon Eggs were the Bait he and his grandfather would use when they went fishing together. He took it as a definite sign that SOMETHING had happened in the circle.
I'm tempted to make a few more of these around town over the next few months. Not just ancestor talking circles, but wish circles, healing circles, Diety Circles and so on. It's fun and interesting for me, a way for people to experience magick personally and... a good advertising effort for the Magick Store we're thinking of opening. ;-)
As to the symbolism? I've mentioned that I believe in Conceptual Momentum. This is the idea that concepts and techniques can become more and more effective the more that they are used especially if they are aligned with momentums of the natural universe. Out of curiosity I looked up the triangle/circle symbol that I've used as my summoning circle for a long time and found that it rarely had that intent. It is commonly ascribed to be a balance of mind, body and heart inside of a circle of spirit or some variation of that. To me it seems like a declaration of focus and strength inside of a structure that keeps it free from being affected by the outside world. It is also a focus.
Could I do more effective high magick by utilizing symbolism that has been exactly used for this specific purpose many times before? Most likely. However I have the fundamentals in place. My symbolism worked for me and for my purpose. In the end it doesn't matter if you did it “the right way” it matters if it works.
This is why I Teach PBW the way I do. I know very effective high mages who do powerful work out of a book, but when it comes time to design a ritual they don't have a book for they are stumped. PBW is designed to help you learn the fundamentals in order to build the magick you need for your daily life. You can learn High Magick skills to do the good works available there, but by adding PBW you will be able to look at the Rituals in the books and tweak them to fit your needs by understanding the whys involved at each step and how you can adjust them.