The Circle Within: Creating a Wiccan Spiritual Tradition

The Circle Within: Creating a Wiccan Spiritual Tradition by Dianne Sylvan

The Circle Within is your guide to creating a personal spiritual practice for daily life. The first section is a thoughtful examination of Wiccan ethics and philosophy that explores how to truly live Wicca. The second section includes devotional prayers and rituals that provide inspiration for group or solitary practice.

Topics in this Wicca book include: cultivating an ongoing personal relationship with deity, ethics and standards of behavior, concepts of sacred space, elements of a daily practice, tuning into the Wheel of the Year and the elements, and creating meaningful personal Pagan rituals.

Move beyond the basics of Wicca and enter the sacred space of the circle within. (Amazon)

This book has been on my list of books to read for a while and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it. I was struggling to find spirituality in the mundane, and felt like something was missing from my religion, especially after moving away from my coven. After reading a few other ‘everyday witchcraft’ books (e.g., Deborah Blake) and felt inspired.

The book is divided into two parts. The first discusses the concepts and practices that go into building a spiritual practice. The second, the Book of Moonlight, contains prayers and rituals that can help get your started or guide you in developing your own unique style (like a Book of Shadows).

Chapters include:

  1. Stepping Into the Circle
    • An introduction to developing your own personal spiritual practice
  2. In Search of a Mystery
    • Out relationship with Deity and how we can cultivate a relationship with the Goddess and God
  3. Living the Path
    • Ethics and standards of behaviour including the circles of responsibility, love, compassion, and forgiveness
  4. The Temple Hearth
    • Concepts of sacred space, the home, and magical tools
  5. Building a Practice
    • Elements of a daily practice such as morning/evening devotions, eating/cooking, cleansing, meditation, and even while at work
  6. The Turning Wheel
    • The Wheel of the Year and the elements
  7. The Dance of Life
    • Creating personal rituals and rites of passage, and essential elements in creating ritual

Our modern lives are so disconnected from the natural world of our ancestors, and its sometimes hard to find the divinity in our everyday lives. The author urges us to reconnect by developing a daily personal practice – in whatever capacity we can. You don’t need to plan a long ritual with fancy tools and long texts to memorize if you won’t have the time to perform it. The author stresses that “every act can be a ritual”, from lighting a candle, to saying a chant while cooking. Start simply and gradually.

This book is a must read for anyone who wants to incorporate Wicca into their daily lives. In fact, I suspect a lot of what Deborah Blake and other authors have written about comes from this book (or was inspired by it).

One of my favourite quotes from the book is “Wicca is not something you do, its something you are”. We are told time and time again that Wicca is experiential, however this book taught me that all acts of reverence can be sacred, no matter how small.

© West Coast Pagan


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