Crossing The Boundary of Belief

Between light and dark, interior and exterior, the known and the unknown, there is the circle. In Wicca this simple symbol is used to represent and define a threshold that is both physical and spiritual. the circle is the symbol that represents all and nothing, and may well be thought of as the infamous mathematical cipher known as zero. This symbol holds the potential promise that is fraught with the wonder and peril of the mysterious worlds hinted at by poets and dreamers, shamans and those who know secrets, but who have become solemn and wise in their silence.
The symbol of the circle, when realized in three dimensions, becomes a sphere. In Wicca it is this idea that is the start of a special question. What is it that lies beyond the here and now? And there are many more such questions to tantalize the psyche once the notion of the unknown being investigated through the utilization of this symbol as a beginning is broached. Each seeker may, in time, receive an answer to that question if diligent and daring enough. The daring of the threshold is, on it's own, a simple thing since at first glance, appears to be a relatively routine thought exercise .

The deeper, and more serious contemplation of this threshold could be realized as a rite of passage for Wiccans because, it marks a point of reality that is on the brink of a vast new way of perceiving the universe. Mere words can not well convey the promise of what may be learned. To a Wiccan, the rites in which they engage normally take place inside a sacred space that is often in the form of a circle or sphere. It is thought to be a place that is not a place, and a time that is not a time. It is an intersection of worlds. At this intersection the focus of many polarities, and powers come together to ignite a fire within the mind of any who understand the circle as more than a symbol.

A focal point of power is believed to exist at the center of the circle. Sometimes this idea is taught by the use of a text known as a book of shadows, and a mentor, or teacher rich with the fortune of this esoteric knowledge. Developing a rich comprehension for the mysteries contained about such an ephemeral, and fleeting thing as the threshold of the circle, as Wiccans do, costs little more than an act of faith. Often this cost is quite high for many however. It is the rare person who peers beyond the veil of this dimension to witness, the world of truth. This is so because, faith comes at the cost of logic, and upsets the balance of the mind when faith wins out, and the price is paid. A true genius, or adept in these matters has little to say to others who may have yet to the experience crossing this boundary; this threshold of belief, except in the conceptual way that the mind normally operates to grasp such fantastic thoughts. Art and poetry are the closest cousins that may, together as agents, assist the human mind to digest the grandeur and beauty of the eternal.

Crossing the threshold causes a radical change in perception, and enhances all previous understanding of all things spiritual. Hopefully the person taking the journey from outside to inside the circle was well prepared in advance, as it can be a jarring experience for some. Many Wiccans are prepared for this transition in advance by another person who, challenges them at the threshold. This challenge is a true warning to know, that nothing will ever be the same afterward, and acknowledge that a new way of perceiving the world will begin after the journey across the boundary of the circle. A sacred trust, infused with love marks the participant as forever challenged, and changed. The light of the mind's eye is set ablaze, and can never grow dim or be extinguished, until perhaps death. This potent new awareness that often accompanies the transformation, can sometimes be quite unsettling.

A realm beyond the normal physical senses often seems to come into being, but is was always there, just little noticed until this moment. This new realm, or hyper awareness, tends to manifest differently for each individual and may, in some cases, only slowly reveal itself. Each person is different but, younger persons usually have a less difficult time adjusting to it than older persons. This is not always true but, it seems that older persons, have more roots in conceptual reality. This vestment is like the collapse of a wall, or the fog rolling away from the land when it happens.

Sometimes there can even be very long transition periods that span years but, this is rare. And in extreme situations, the person undergoing this revelatory experience may wish it to stop or be reversed. This is most unfortunate because little can be done to shutter the psyche, or to shield the awareness of such a person again, after the veil that once clouded the mind has parted. It is thought by Wiccans, to be irreversible, and this new awareness can be burdensome and even detrimental to some who change their mind after the fact.

While a sense of heightened awareness tends to be one of the first and more profound indicators that things have changed, it is still only a small step into, and between the worlds. A grand sense of wonder and excitement, or marked increase in anxiety may suddenly spark in the breast of even the most calm and placid person. The feeling is one of awe or paranoia at the realizations that fuel the psyche as the falsehoods that formerly posed themselves as solid, real, and meaningful all begin to burn away. The universe is revealed and it's eyes are focused upon this frail being that has dared peer beyond the known,safety of the outer edge of the circle.

The daylight, clock-work world is laid bare, as illusion, and reflection of the mirror-world begins to animate. But, this previously unseen realm, while often intuitively navigable, is also juxtaposed, and out of synch with the harsh reality that was formerly relied upon as correct. Conceptual reality then crumples when found to be false, and lies in the depth of shade until such time as this mortal coil crosses over to shadow. After this point, another change takes place. A natural, and cyclic renewal takes place. This change forges the energy into yet another form and sets right the world, before it allowed to cross back again, rekindled, clothed in logic,and veiled in sanity anew. This last change is ever occurring, and without notice, until the circle is crossed the first time.

Wiccans almost always find ways to adjust to the transition between mortal, mundane, gray reality, and the other more colorful realm. Because of this, Wiccans enjoy a powerful aspect of faith when honoring the sometimes duplicitous, yet eternal might of the natural world. This is hinted at and much nuanced, as referenced in innumerable myths, and through the lore, passed down by generations
through the oral traditions, the world over. And though no single literary, or oral tradition will ever fully contain the entire understanding of the mysteries of the circle's threshold, nature itself grants simple lessons daily to those who choose to pay attention and learn.