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Thread: Help with Advanced Quarter Theory Analysis

  1. #1
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    Help with Advanced Quarter Theory Analysis

    The following may or may not belong in this particular forum, but as I am rather new to the community here goes.

    During the course of my pagan academic studies I found myself conducting an in-depth analysis on one particular aspect of what for some is a well known ritual, casting the Circle (or Erecting the Temple). Ritual practices have been held within a Circle since the dawn of mankind. Circles were utilized as a sacred space well before there was written language. There are numerous traditions that have specific ritual outlines that govern the procedures necessary to formulate a sacred space in the form of a circle. During my research into Witchcraft I have found that many of these traditions at a certain part of that ritual call "Being or Power" into the circle to perform a specific function and in a specific direction. This is known to some as "Calling the Quarters". The question I initially asked myself was "is calling the quarters necessary" which lead to a rather long research project. Now, to be clear, depending on the tradition being practiced, Watchtowers, Guardians, and even Elements may be used. Regardless of what is being called upon, the function and the necessity for that function is what concerned me.

    First I had to resolve what the necessity was with regards to the operation in question. The necessities that I have found were as follows: protection of space, create a nature balance within the space, and to empower the sacred space.

    << What I would kindly ask of the community is the following, are my below conclusions based on the above findings accurate? >>

    Let us assume that practitioners performing the above ritual hold the belief of the divine in the form of Deity, and that they will be invoking the Deity/'s. It should be noted that this is not a requirement for the above portion of the ritual, but is quite common. This conclusion is not for those that do not hold the belief in Deity.

    If the purpose of "calling the quarters" is of a protective role, the practitioner could instead rely on the Deity/'s to fulfill this function. I see no reason why the practitioner could not place this certain level of trust in his/her invoked Deity/'s.

    If the purpose is to create a balance, certainly then the Deity/'s could perform this function as well. Especially if the Deity/'s correspond to the Moon/Sun or Earth/Sky, since these dualities fulfill the balance desired balance role.

    If the purpose is to empower the sacred space then the Deity/'s could most definitely fulfill this role.

    Why not rely on a Goddess and God to perform these functions instead of calling additional forces into the sacred space? Therefore, "calling the quarters" is a step that does not necessarily need to be taken.


    Again, your input would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    I can't speak for anyone else, but when I call upon my patron, I do so to invite her to watch and influence me. When I call the quarters, it is because on my path, we are to do for the gods in our service to them. The quarters are there to protect and help me, while my deity is basically just there to watch and give her opinion. For me, it is a sign of respect to call upon the other resources available to me, instead of relying just on my deity.
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  3. #3
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    For me, there are two major purposes to quartering the Circle in Wiccan-style rites.
    I think the most important is the creation of the mandala of the cosmos. By establishing the quarters one makes the crossroads, and the quartered circle is one of the most powerful symbols of mental integration and wholeness. This meaning requires no occultism, no summoning of other beings. It can be done in any number of fully symbolic ways. By establishing the crossroad we come to the place of Between, where magic happens.
    Second there is the question of calling together the innumerable living beings of the spiritual world. There is no Pagan model in which the spiritual world can be reduced to one or two persons. We deal not only with the gods but with the not-gods (as the ancient Irish said). The crowds of spirits in the four directions, the Dead and the Elementals, the Archangels, we call them all to the edge of the circle to join us in the worship of the Lady and Lord.

  4. #4
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    The Deities could certainly protect and balance the area, but that's not why the Circle was formed. It's more like the spiritual equivalent of cleaning house before a respected guest arrives. A Christian church does this once, when the church is consecrated, but remember that the typical pagan coven doesn't have a permanent dedicated building for its rituals. The Temple has to be consecrated and purified each time, and then returned to mundane use after the ritual is over. This is what the quarter calling accomplishes. The Watchtowers don't protect the gods, or the coven from the gods, they clear the area so the gods can manifest.

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for the reply's. I definitely gained a new perspective.

    After reading all these posts, I started to incorporate "The Royal Stars" or better known as "The Watchers" into my ritual format. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Thank you for asking this.

    It was a very good question, because it made me examine something that really I had just taken for granted.

    Upon examination and a LOT of thought, the concludion was this:
    I see myself as a servant of my deities, not as their equal.
    When I perform a ritual I am doing so in service to my deities, so to ask them to expend their energies for the purpose of preparing, purifying, and protecting the sacred space, when there are magickal allies that I can call upon to do so willingly, would be disrespectful. When I call upon the god and goddess to aid me in the rite, it is to aid me in the working they have called upon me to do, and direct the energy I have raised. Note that it is my job to raise the energy, not theirs.

    I hope that helps.



  7. #7
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    I see it as more of a psychological thing - calling the elements is including all aspects of our selves in the ritual. I don't necessarily call the watchtowers or spirits (ie. gnomes, sylphs, salamanders, undines) but I do see them as representative of energies rather than literal corporeal beings.

  8. #8
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    I'd like to think deity knows better than to do the work for another, and what would be the point? When you cast that circle that's taking authority and responsibility. Communion isn't a one way communication and it is still going to work through you.

    You are the defining point and center of your circle. You won't get out of doing the work and as power disseminates through your hierarchy it is going to come to you, charged as maintainer of that space.

    You do have help though when you call entities to the directions but you, along with your fetch and fire are that center gaurdian. Between you and the four are guardians such as Papa Lega.

    You are a necessary mediator of that circuit that is the circle, which is also the field of your perceptuon. How you cast the circle is a statement, affirmation and ordaining of where you are. It isn't enough for someone to just go through ritual gestures for you, they should correspond to an inner process you are going through as you establish your sacred space. You aren't seperate there from, the point inside the circle maintains the circle in any direction. When you are casting you are building from the central point which defines for you all other directions. So for the circle to be in order you must be in order and casting the circle helps you do just that.

    As for the watchtowers, they watch, witness and are of all of creation ordaining that it is so, that they have seen it, just as you have... and these watchers stay with you, no matter where you are and to meet them is a first initiation in many traditions, by whatever name, that everything is initiation and thus an awareness of the path emerges.

    -And casting a circle to work on an inner plane then, has a lot to do with bringing where you are, out into the circle.
    Last edited by Humming Bird; December 21st, 2016 at 04:25 PM.
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