In the first Circle Cutting Article I mentioned some Rituals one can use to cut a circle while at the same time going over the fundamental understandings of circle cutting. The other day I was using some of those understandings to rather impressive effect. They are natural evolutions of the idea, but apparently not obvious... thus: a new article. :-)
Reno magic was asked to open space and lead ritual for blessings and protection of a public event. As one of the leaders of Reno magic, it was my job to cast the circle. I did a rather standard “Walk the Circle” Casting. I took a rattle and walked the circle counter-clockwise to banish unfriendlies and unfriendly energies while basically warning that this wasn't going to be a nice place to stay soon if you were of that ilk. After a full circle, I then reversed my path and walked it clockwise, planting my Staff every few steps in order to Anchor the Circle to those points like putting in posts for a giant fence.
After I had enclosed the complete Circumference (An Entire Park about 1/2 a city block) I then started making declarations of the space I had just defined. These declarations were commonly concepts that I framed clearly and projected into the Circle, but I will try to express in words even those things that fit into a nice clean concept, but sound hideously complex or ugly in words.
First Rule: The Circle Exists in this form (visualization of the Park and the Circle's Boundries as well as the circles Entry points and the “Posts” that I placed as I walked it).
I commonly see my circles as translucent Red Energy. It is as if my brain has done some awesome CGI special effects work and I can see the structure in place. I do notice that in the process of re-visualizing the structure you commonly get reminders of details you may have missed, weakpoints or needful things in your works. It is a good idea to take a moment and open your third eye to review your works. It is incredibly common to recognize a place that you screwed up, but if you fix it immediately, no harm no foul.
Second Rule: Only with my permission may changes be made to it.
It's incredible how often people will not declare permissions. I have walked into circles and actually stripped control over a circle from someone... in their own circle. If you don't declare permissions, permissions are open for anyone to declare. In this case I didn't say that others can't make changes. I declared that only changes I agree to can happen.
Third Rule: The Circle will absorb any unwanted magics or attempts to Destroy the Circle...
My standard concept of unwanted magics include disruption without purpose, attacking others, summoning unfriendlies, binding others against their will and illusions to perpetuate GROSS misrepresentations of self. I welcome minor glamours to enhance natural traits, but a spell to trick someone into believing you are a healthy young man while in truth you are a physically sick sociopath... not so much. I don't actually define a line as much as use a gradient of lie. The bigger the lie, the bigger my magic will tend to point it out... or in this case... absorb it.
Fouth Rule: ...and Spindle those Energies in “this fashion”
There is a concept I came across in Fantasy novels of an energy Spindle. The idea is that if you try to control a large amount of energy by just holding on, it is hard to keep control of, like trying to hold smoke in your hands. However, if you take those same energies and declare a path of travel for them, they will tend to follow that path without you having to do a ton of work to keep them following it. For personal works I commonly use the image of a spinning wheel that becomes a ball as more energy is added to it. The spindle is powered by (aka keeps spinning due to) the energies I put onto it. An odd trait to this, is that the spindle doesn't tend to grow the more energy I put into it, but rather spin faster. Only after it is spinning so fast that it seems as if I can see it with my physical eyes will it start to grow, but even then very slowly. I've dumped a small leyline into a small spindle and only had it softball size afterwards.
In the Case of this specific circle, I told the energies to spin clockwise across the inner surface of the circle until they are used.
Fifth Rule: Use these energies first in order to maintain your existence and repair yourself.
Most people cast magic like pouring water in pretty designs onto a flat surface. The water (energy) in those forms has certain effects. Thus most people try to attack a spell by splashing water (energy) around. With most spells that is enough as this disrupts the careful form the water has.
However, a well crafted spell is like a stream bed defining how and where energy will flow. Telling your spell to repair itself is a lot like giving this energy the task of reconstructing the streambed from a “blueprint” if something happens.
Just as I am all my cells and all my cells are me, a Spell is all its energies and all energies flowing through a spell are the spell. Thus if any small piece of the original spell energy exists, the entire spell will reform itself... as long as I define that expectation.
In truth, this concept is merely an extension of the permissions concept in the Second Rule. It is a declaration to the Spell and its energies that they will keep this structure, return to it if disrupted, and decline any attempts to change their purposes. Like water, energy will tend to take the form of the vessel holding it. magic allows us to get energy to maintain its structure despite being shifted out of its vessel... and even try to fix the vessel holding it. Weird Circular logic that actually works.
Sixth Rule: Use extra energies to Modify “Luck” toward safety and joy for people within.
Subtle magics can be incredibly effective. If there is a chance that a person will turn their ankle on a stone and hurt themselves, the tiniest push to shift their foot 1cm to the left may be the difference between a week on crutches or just keeping walking. At this event we had over 1000 people attend.
We had ZERO accidents that even resulted in minor injury. We had a couple dozen kids playing in the nearby river and climbing over rocks. ZERO kids had scraped knees or bonked heads. These numbers are... unusual. While we can't prove a thing (thus: subtle magics), lets just say that my magical family is used to being in the extremes of the bellcurve.
Seventh Rule: Absorb the energies of Weather Workers in the Space and use them to keep the wind down to a Gentle Breeze.
A few years ago at Pagan Pride Day someone was claiming that weather magic was bullshit. Being an arrogant jerk, I called them on it. On a calm sunny day with nary a cloud in the sky, I started singing my rain song. 5 minutes into my rain song the wind kicked up. 15 minutes in the wind was gusting strongly and clouds were forming on the horizon. 30 minutes into the rain song, the clouds were above us and gave us a nice 20 minute downpour. 30 minutes after the downpour the wind was calm, the clouds were gone and the sun was gaily shining.
Unfortunately everyone had packed up and gone home. PPD ended 3 hours early with most people cursing the storm and a few cursing the one who called it. I may be an arrogant prick, but I am learning enough humility to recognize that I am not the only mage in the world. Other people have magic and can effect things. About 4 hours into Pagan pride day the wind started kicking up. I asked for it to calm down... a few minutes later it kicked up again. At that point I recognized that I am not the only force in the area. I reached to the circle and gave it the rule above. I didn't expect the circle to do more than make minor adjustments, but again... subtle magic. If I could prevent someone from “raining on our parade” and slightly adjust the natural weather patterns toward less wind then AWESOME.
The day proceeded. The wind kicked up some more (naturally) and I asked local Devas to help keep the wind down in trade for later payment. A few more times it kicked up a bit, gusting to 10-15 miles an hour once or twice an hour, but otherwise it was calm or a 2-4mph breeze.
That evening the wind was kicking along about 20 miles an hour with gusts upwards of 30mph. I was holding a cookie from my dessert. A weird gust of wind kicked up and yanked the cookie out of my hand. As it landed on the ground a couple feet away I clearly heard “We'll take that”. Forgetful, but not stupid, I recognized the situation and picked up the cookie, crushed it into crumbs in my hands and then throwing the crumbs straight up into the air I thanked the Devas for the reminder and their services... Most of the cookie did NOT fall down as the wind took it away.
Eighth Rule: The circle is gone
That afternoon most everyone had gone home. The Vendors were doing cleanup and most attendees had left. I was preparing to leave myself when the lead of the event walked up to me and asked if Reno magic could perform the Closing Ritual. Apparently what was supposed to be the most impressive ritual of the day had the team that was going to perform it just decide not to. I looked around and saw that nobody was interested in more ritual. So I went over to the center of the space where all of the rituals had been done, thanked the Gods and Spirits who attended and helped out, and taking my staff, “uncut it” counter-clockwise.
To no Avail. After un-cutting the circle it was still up. For a few moments I was a little confused... and then I remembered my own rules. Repair yourself.
At that point I reconnected with the circle I had cast and made one final rule. The Circle is Gone....
...and it was.