In some ways this month seems to have rushed by. I feel the rushing part when I try to make sense of the very little I learned about transmutation circles. In other ways, October felt like an incredibly long month. I felt this every time I got behind on blog posts. That's why I'm doing a little less recipes in November. I think I'll do one per week. Despite my family's assurances that they all prefer a 'simple' Thanksgiving, we currently have a guest list of 9 people and a menu with 22 dishes. Nothing is ever simple.
I started looking for information on transmutation circles. I found almost nothing. I mostly found pictures. There was nothing about how to use them, how to activate one, or a list of what the symbols mean. Remember, some sources say transmutation circles are a made up thing not a legitimate magickal tradition. I don't believe that. I think it is an under-utilized source of magick. It is not a simple practice; those circles require a good bit of patience and effort to draw.
I think transmutation circles do have power. Circles are always magickal things anyway. Our world is a sphere. Our a universe is a wheel. Cells are rounded. Atoms have particles spinning in round orbits. Power will draw to the basic shape of life itself.
Because there is very little practical information on transmutation circles, I believe it is acceptable to adapt them to personal use. This is how magick evolves anyway. Our ancestors probably worked spells for a bountiful harvest. We work money spells so we can pay our bills and buy food. The need is the same. Only the process is different. Even though some of the spell components have changed, we probably still work the spell keeping in mind the best time such as a waxing moon or early in the day when the sun's light grows. Magick evolves when a spell calls for something we haven't got and we have to make a choice to either leave it out or use something else. Magick is a very personal thing. We use what speaks to us. My magick will not be your magick.
In trial and error, I learned it is best to use one transmutation circle per spell. I believe this is because it takes so much effort to make a transmutation circle. The intent gets locked in from the beginning and it can't be changed. I think of it like an electrical wiring diagram. The power is there but everything in the house cannot be on at the same time. Things have to be plugged into the proper outlet. Three prongs will not fit into two. Overload the circuits, blow a fuse, and no matter how nice your appliance is you have nothing working.
I think transmutation circles hold magick until it is released. I believe if one is drawn on paper it should be burned. I think if one is drawn on the ground the magick will work when the rain washes away the chalk or the wind scatters the herbs or dirt.
Which leads me to my mirrors. I drew a 16 point start and painted it with nail polish. How is that activated? It isn't, not until I draw in other symbols. When I wash them away, then my spell is released. So why did I paint the star on the mirror? To define magickal/sacred space. Because I am using a mirror, I think this puts the spell firmly between the worlds. I can do many things to the mirror. But I can not enter the mirror itself. I feel that the mirror is a portal to other planes and what I do to the mirror is reflected on this plane.
I was searching for a resource on transmutation circles and their uses. I don't think there is any such thing. I do believe people practice transmutation circle magick, I just don't think they broadcast what they are doing. Of all the magick I have tried over the years, this one requires the most effort. Voodoo dolls and poppits are easier to create. A Voodoo doll can have one leg shorter than the other. The pin doesn't have to go in an exact place. A good circle on the other hand must be perfectly round. Math is a necessity. Even if you are just drawing a simple circle with very few symbols, placement has to be taken into consideration. Things cannot be so bunched together that they are unreadable. In our society of quick and easy everything, I don't think anything that requires this much work will ever be widely popular.
Because of their complexity, transmutation circles are likely to remain in secrecy. Even if someone finds your circle, it is unlikely they will know what it is for. Transmutation circles are not obvious in meaning. There are layers of sigils and signs. It is not likely anyone can figure out all symbols present. And if someone found your circle and decided to destroy it, in all likelihood they would just be releasing the magick for you. Which could have interesting results if you chalked out a curse on your enemy's doorstep.
I intend to keep studying/using transmutation circles. I may create a new page on this blog showing circles I've had success with. I still think magick should be used and shared.