This article is the second in a four part series. The other three articles in this series are The Elements, The Cross and the Centre. In these four articles the groundwork is layed for a great deal of other material in this section of the site.
From ancient times the circle has been the symbol of wholeness, of unity. There's the circle of the seasons, the magical circle that practitioners of magic use to define their working space, the circle of death and rebirth...
In all these examples the circle symbolises an effort to discern the order behind seeming chaos, to place seemingly unrelated elements in a context.
In the previous article we've looked at the elements. Again, the elements can be looked at as givens, as the raw matter that forms the basis of our lives and our selves.
In a world where the elements co-exist without order there is chaos. Likewise, in our own lives we need to create order by balancing the elements as we find them in our personalities and in our lives. This order can only be created by our own efforts.
There's a strong similarity between the ordering and balancing process, as described in this article, and what magic practitioners do when they draw their magic circle. In both cases it's a way of saying:
Here I stand, this is who I am, this is how I relate to the world around me.
You will notice that two pairs of elements are not connected by the circle: earth and fire, and water and air. For the connections between those elements see the next article, The Cross.
Take some time to explore each section of the circle:
Earth and air
Air and fire
Fire and water
Water and earth
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