We Witches like circles: the magick circle, with no beginning, no ending. In the circle, we are all equal, all facing the center, all one. We incorporate the circle into our rituals and we see our journey through the year as circling around the great Wheel. In this time of new beginnings, however, as the days slowly grow longer (even if the temperatures don’t seem to grow any warmer) one striking aspect of the circle is its endlessness. When your journey is a circle, where do you begin?
In the Temple Mystery School, Witchcraft I is associated with the element of fire, since we strongly believe in the notion that education is not filling a vessel, but kindling a flame. However, it is also about learning to bank that fire, to carefully feed and grow it, but also to control it and learn patience. We teach foundational skills to start—meditation, introspection, grounding—before jumping into the “fun stuff” of spellcraft, journeywork, and the many other ritual skills of Witchcraft. Still, the trick is to bank that fire, like a forge or a cooking hearth, without putting it out.
We have a tendency as a culture to defer our goals: I’ll do this later, when I’m smarter, or thinner, or richer, or freer, or better somehow, when I’m less busy, less stressed, less distracted…we look at the path ahead of us, of the circle winding ever onward, and we ignore one of the great magicks of its nature. Since a circle is endless, the point where we begin is entirely up to us and “now” is wherever we happen to be along the journey.
By all means, plan and prepare for your dreams. Make maps of the road ahead and figure out how you’re going to get there, and gather everything you’re going to need along the way, but remember the power of now and the ability to decide that you are going to start, right now, this very moment, along that journey, and that each step along the way, each moment, is and can be a new beginning, because the circle is endless, and we decide the points along it that are endings and beginnings for us. There is no going back, only forward, but the path itself revisits familiar territory, allowing us new opportunities to start again, to initiate (which, after all, simply means “to begin”) ourselves and our plans.
We have kept the flame throughout the dark of the year and witnessed the rebirth of the light. This Imbolc, we call to the Earth to awaken and call back Springtime. We turn the Wheel of the Year and, in turn, wheel around it in our own journeys. The time is now.
Let us begin.