The circle is usually nine feet in diameter," though any comfortable size is fine. The cardinal points are often marked with lit candles, or the ritual tools assigned to each point. The pentacle, a bowl of salt, or earth may be placed to the north. This is the realm of earth, the stabilizing,fertile, and nourishing element that is the foundation of the other three. The censer with smoldering incense is assigned to the east, the home of the intellectual element, air. Fresh flowers or stick incense can also be used. Air is the element of the mind, of communication, movement, divination, and ascetic spirituality. To the south, a candle often represents fire, the element of transformation, of passion and change, success, health, and strength. An oil lamp or piece of lava rock may be used as well. A cup or bowl of water can be placed in the west of the circle to represent water, the last of the four elements. water is the realm of the emotions, of the psychic mind, love, healing, beauty, and emotional spirituality. Then again, these four objects may be placed on the altar, their positions corresponding to the directions and their elemental attributes. Once the circle has been formed around the working space, rituals begin. During magical workings the air within the circle can grow uncomfortably hot and close-it will truly feel different from the outside world, charged with energy and alive with power. The circle is a product of energy, a palpable construction that can be sensed and felt with experience. It isn't just a ring of flowers or a cord but a solid, viable barrier. In Wiccan thought the circle represents the Goddess, the spiritual aspects of nature, fertility, infinity, and eternity. It also symbolizes the earth itself. The altar, bearing the tools, stands in the center of the circle. It can be made of any substance, though wood is preferred. Oak is especially
Nine is a number of the Goddess.
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