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Wicca 101 - Questions from a beginner

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Question  Wicca 101 - Questions from a beginner
Greetings All,

Well last week, I cast my first circle. It went well I guess. I did it outdoors - the weather was good, and it seemed the best place for my first basic ritual.

Now I want to start working on a basic altar. I also want to create my circles using this altar. I suspect I will usually want to perform ritual indoors. Here in the southern United States, Georgia, the bugs will eat you alive.

My question is, what about furniture in your working area? I'd like to cast a decent size circle, but our bed is in the way. Does that matter? Can the corner of the bed be in the circle?
2014.06.09, 19.11
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Posts: 105
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RE: Wicca 101 - Questions from a beginner
Congratulations on your first circle WiccaTodd!

You've brought up a very good question. What do you do, when you have to work around furniture, furnishings, or other unavoidable obstacles?

While it would be great if we could all have a private outdoor location, or a room of our homes we could furnish and decorate exclusively for our circle, it's just not always going to be practical.

This might sound a bit glib, but the best answer I can give you is, go with what feels best to you.

I've done 'circles' in a small bedroom. To be honest, it felt wierd 'bisecting' the furniture with the circle, so I ended up with a square circle, just by following the walls and including the whole room in it. The room ( and house and street ) was not square with the compass so my altar ended up on an angle in a corner, and I had to get creative with setting up the watchtowers, but in the end, it worked. And for me, at the time, it felt pretty good too.

On the other hand, when I lived in a basement flat, I had a lot of open empty space and I could set up my circle without anything in the way. But it didn't feel as good. The place had been used as an office at one time and still had a very 'office vibe' to it. And the northern spot where the alter went, had formerly been the location of a desk or something, so right there by my altar were outlets and phone jacks, and that just killed it for me.

At one point I did have the luxury of converting an entire room of my house into a 'permanent' home for the craft - with the circle, the walls decorated with inspirational artwork, the altar and watchtowers set up, et cetera. As it turned out, permanent turned out to only last about 6 months. The wierd thing was, I never did feel entirely comfortable doing circles in that room. (Honestly I've never felt entirely comfortable in that room, period. Which is why it was empty and available to be used for circles in the first place.)

I could go on but I've probably already babbled on quite enough. My point is, my feeling is, your circle has to feel right to you. My believe is, you will accomplish a lot more in a makeshift circle that's more of an irregular polygon than you will in a perfect unobstructed 18' diameter circle(*), if the former makes you feel comfortable and positive while the latter makes you awkward for whatever reason.

(* I can no longer remember the why behind this, but the 'proper' circle was made with a 9 foot radius. The Cord was 9 feet long and one coven member was to stand in the middle holding one end while another coven member held the other end and marked out the circle in the ground. 9' radius, 18' diameter. I also have it in my head that for solo practitioners or couples, this was halved, 4.5' radius or 9' diameter, which is much more workable indoors.)

[Image: altar_misha.jpg]
This was my altar at the basement flat. The carpet, walls, and outlets just killed it for me. It worked but it wasn't great. The black cat is not obligatory, but they help! Wink

PS. You mentioned you were working on your altar. My suggestion there is make it portable! Or you can use like an altar cloth, essentially it is 'the altar' and whatever beneath it is just there to hold it up.

My very first 'altar' was actually a cross-stiching cloth about 18" by 12" that I stitched a bunch of nice witchy designs in. Unfortunately it eventually got into a mishap with an altar candle and couldn't be salvaged. (Second suggestion - make sure your altar is not prone to suddenly catching fire, and is also easy to clean -- think wax, ash, saltwater stains, etc....)
2014.06.10, 19.44
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