Number 4 in my Folk Witchery series
Three times is the charm is a very old saying and relates directly to the magical process.
In my last Blog article 'Now Cast Your Circle' you will see that in effect the circle boundary was cast three times. The first time with blue Witchfire, the second with consecrated water and the third time with incense.
Three is a very powerful number both in the physical and magical worlds.
In the physical world three is the number of sides of a triangle, the strongest and most stable shape in nature. A box can collapse if it hasn't been given triangular supports across its corners. A three legged table or stool is stable on even the most uneven surface.
In the magical world it is traditional for a spell or invocation to be repeated thrice (three times) and Witches speak of the Triple Goddess - Maiden, Mother and Crone.
The reason why we repeat the spell three times is also because we need to get through to the magical universe to activate the energy we need. I was once told that the first repetition is for the conscious mind, the second repetition is for the subconscious or unconscious mind, and the third repetition goes beyond these to our magical mind. So it is the third repetition that actually gets the magic moving.
It is also traditional to cast the circle three times, or with a triple boundary, for a similar reason. However I also incorporated a bit more into the ritual I gave you.
The first casting was done with Witchfire. Witchfire is the personal power of the Witch and (if you manage it properly) an energy which rather than just being drawn from within yourself, is channelled directly from a Universal energy source. Witchfire is effectively the power of life, the energy which turns a lump of dead flesh into a living entity. So by using Witchfire to cast your circle boundary, the boundary, the circle and the magical area all comes alive. And so does the magic within you.
Now we needed to awaken your inner magic so that you could do the next process, the consecration of salt and water, and once that was done, the consecrated water was used for the second boundary.
With the third boundary we raised the magical power levels again, using incense to 'call the quarters'. The quarters or compass points of the circle, East, South, West and North correspond to the magical elements Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These four magical Elements are the building blocks of the magical Universe, the alternative dimension which is the source of the physical world, and by using the consecrated water and incense, we were incorporating those Elements into the very boundary of our magic circle.
Consecrated Water being composed of salt and water is actually a blend of Elemental Earth and Elemental Water. The incense is both Elemental Fire and Elemental Air. So we have the four magical Elements plus the fifth element, Witchfire which enlivens them all.
These five elements together are symbolised by the five point star, the pentacle, which many Witches and Pagans wear.
So the little, simple circle casting I gave you was actually a 'swan' form of magic - floating serenely along on the surface and paddling like fury underneath.
You will find that many traditional spells and Folk Witchery are of a similar ilk, so don't dismiss or disparage traditional spells as being simplistic. There is more going on within than is apparent on the surface.