A Simple Circle Casting for Polytheistic Theurgic Workings — Tested and Revised.

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Many of the theurgic techniques I have been developing include, or are to be used in conjunction with, A Simple Circle Casting For Polytheistic Theurgic Workings. A few of the techniques I have posted for meditating with deities or the mythic persona are in some way based on it.

By itself, the technique is useful in setting space for trance work, assuring that one has the right deity for contracts, and meditations on one and only one deity.

This past Sunday, I got together with friends from Pandemos, because I want to start using this boundary-setting technique as preparation for trance work, among other things.

As we were working with the technique, a friend (who will be named later) observed that expanding the walls to the top and bottom, except for the small inlet at the top, left an undesirable weak spot at the bottom for the sphere defining the space.

Heathen Chinese, who was also there at the time, had a great idea to seal it. The idea was to salute the Land Spirits, knock once, and then, with the intention to fortify the bottom, knock three times.

This worked wonderfully well. I therefore present to you a revision of this technique.

The Revised Boundary Casting


Purify your space according to your usual custom. I like to sprinkle it with khernips.

Addressing Other Entities

Take a moment to honor the various deities, spirits and ancestors in your life, and let them know that you will be temporarily unable to hear them. Explain your purpose as needed.

Preliminary Invocation

The boundary is drawn with the aid of the deity for whom the space is being created. This prevents the boundary from draining one or more participants, and also invests the boundary with the authority of the deity.

The suggested preliminary invocation is mythologically specific, and all to do with relationships. Parents are mentioned first, perhaps other deities, then lastly, mortals, in order of their generation, if there be any.

Here is an example for Apollon:

To Apollon I call
Famed son of Zeus and Leto
Far-shooting brother of Artemis
Physician, Father of Asklepios
Musician, Father of Orpheus
Lover of Hyacinthos,
God of Socrates
Come to me. Let the boundaries I draw be for you and me alone,
A place where none other can transgress

Here is one for Hermes:

Hermes, son of Zeus and Maia
Savior of Odysseus,
God of Aesop
Assist me with the drawing of this boundary,
which shall make this space yours and yours alone.

Creating the Boundary

Trace a line around the perimeter of the space, imagining that line in black flame. Do this three times, saying something to the effect of:

I cast this boundary round about

_____________, in

All others, out.

Imagine the line expanding and becoming thicker, extending under your feet, and arching overhead, leaving only one small circle of white. On that circle of white, trace the name of the deity in golden light.

Kneel down in the center of the space saying:

“Hail to the spirits of the land. We promise to tread lightly.”

Knock once.

Then, imagine where the blackness is gathered at the bottom growing very thick. Knock three times, imagining that you are pounding the interior surface smooth.


  1. “Trace a line of black flame around the space three times”

    I assume you mean draw a line while visualizing it as black flame? Otherwise I’m not sure how to implement that instruction…


      1. So my next question is more theoretical: Why a black flame, specifically? I’m not familiar with whichever tradition is behind that one. (I’ve heard blue flame as well, but don’t recall the reason for that either.)


      2. The reason was explored in the first article: Cover your eyes so that no light gets in. What color is that? We’re disallowing energies (often visualized as light or color in the CM trads I’ve trained in) from entering, other than through the consecrated spot at the top.

      3. Blue flame is a Golden Dawn thing. Blue, in their system, represents mercy, and they include pentagrams, which have five points. Since the number 5 is severe, the blue is to balance it. That’s Cabalistic, and has nothing to do with Polytheism.

      4. I’m not sure the black flame reasoning does either, but it doesn’t actively work against it or anything. Like I said, I don’t mind spackle as long as we’re honest about it. 🙂

        Personally, I tend to visualize my circles as a sort of transparent rippling force-field, like on sci-fi shows.

        None of this, however, is intended as a critique of your using the black flame here, it’s just not something I’m familiar with.


      5. I should have said, or it would have been more honest to say, “I’m uncomfortable using a monotheistic mystical system in this context.”

      6. It’s then Polytheism, in some senses, that is the spackle.

        A good way of understanding my practice, generally, is a hitlist of the best magical techniques I ever learned from the various systems I’ve practices with their theological and symbolic guts ripped out, so that I could use Hellenic symbolism and theology in place of whatever other mythic symbolism might have originally been there. There is no place on my blog where I claim that anything I do is even remotely recon.

      7. *Nod* Most folks I know – including myself – practice more or less that way, as it’s practical to use what WORKS.

        That’s one of several reasons why we see the same handful of spackle sources over and over. For most people it only stands out if it’s not the same spackle they’d have used, or if they have a problem with that particular source.

        In this case, as I’ve said, I have no *objections*, I just don’t share this particular bit of background with you, and thus needed it explained. 🙂


      8. Blue fire is also a Feri trad thing. It’s considered to be qualitatively different from other energies as it is the unfiltered divine fire of the gods and deeply dangerous. By some lines, anyway. As with all things concerning my beloved tradition- for almost every snippet of lore we have, someone disagrees or interprets it differently or has an understanding that is entirely at odds with that of others.

  2. An issue that might arise with respect to the invocations is that one may be placing certain restrictions upon the operation of the deity to the degree that one explicitly posits Them in “upstream” relations (i.e., with parents) as opposed to, or in addition to, “parallel” (siblings) or “downstream” relations (with divine children or other ontologically “younger” classes of beings).

    1. That’s a good point. The important thing, really, is the “mythologically specific.” — There’s more than one deity of communication, even more than one Hermes, but only one being who had relationships with all of the stated beings.

      1. I agree, and I generally try to make my invocations mythologically specific as well, out of concern that a God’s name alone might not be a sufficiently “rigid designator”, to use Kripke’s term, given the vicissitudes of language, and the variety of aspects a God displays. In the process, I have had a (very subtle) sense of constraint coming from the use of “upstream” relations. Of course, in another sense relations are relations, and henadically speaking they are all so many powers of the God in question, and hence on the same level.

      1. My sense, or my suspicion, is that the “upstream” relations involve the God being invoked “donating” a quantum of Their agency to the deity posited as parent, insofar as this relation implies that the activities of the “younger” God take the activities of the “elder” as their presupposition. It’s merely an hypothesis, based on some vague experiences interpreted in light of a theoretical structure already in place.

      2. Huh…! I had never considered that. I need to give that some thought.

        My thoughts, previously, were along the lines of parentage *explaining* an aspect of their nature. For example, how certain figures have Hermes or Ares as a mythological parent, as a way of explaining how awesome they are at endeavors related to the deity’s domain. I had considered that the child of a deity, whether mortal or divine, gets a bit if their power and character from the parent.

        The point is sound, though, that the Greek pantheon is a collection of deities from Thrace, Minoa, Egypt, Persia and elsewhere, and the familial relationships, in some ways, are meant to communicate things about rank and file, not *just* about their qualitative nature.

  3. I would agree that parentage is an explanation or explication of a God’s nature, but even this implies a certain disposition of agency, insofar as we might offer a number of different explanations for some aspect of that nature. Hence we might explain some aspect of Hermes’ nature with reference to His parentage on one occasion, and with a certain effect, while on another we might explain that same aspect with reference to a mythic incident involving Him more actively, perhaps to different effect. I wouldn’t necessarily say that this has anything to do with the syncretic nature of a given pantheon; for what it’s worth, this notion arises as much out of experience in Kemetic theology, in which deities are routinely affirmed to be, in effect, their *own* parents, as it does from things Proclus says.

    1. I bring up the syncretic nature of the pantheon mainly to show that the familial relationships don’t have much to do with where the power of the deity *actually* came from.

      The idea of deities being self-generated is interesting, but not one that is finding a comfortable spot to sit in my brain, right now. I think it begs a number of metaphysical questions about the nature of soul that might take me quite some time to articulate.

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