4. Discuss why ADF rituals need not have a defined outer boundary, or “circle” and the sacralization of space in ritual. (minimum 100 words)
By creating a sacred center, we eliminate the need to create an outer boundary. In fact, much like you can represent the three dimensions on a graph that extends to infinity, with one point in the center, the sacred center aligns the worlds and extends to cover them all. Instead of creating a boundary layer and separating the ritual from the world, which is, in a way, a rejection of the world as an appropriate place for magical workings, we work in the center that envelops the world and all the other worlds as well. Any place where the worlds meet – as they do at the sacred center – is already a sacred place, which we affirm as part of our rituals.
Also, ADF ritual is typically theurgist (per Issac Bonewits’ definition that theurgy is magic done for religious and/or psychotherapeutic purposes (Bonewits Neopagan 7)) and does not typically require raising energy that needs to be contained and then released in one great burst (which necessitates a containment device like a circle). This choice of a loose boundary (as opposed to a tight one, like a circle) is usually used since the energy raised in an ADF ritual doesn’t need to be contained to build up in one place before release (Bonewits Neopagan 26), and in fact would travel through the sacred center in waves with each sacrifice. This also eliminates the problem of energy dissipating before it arrives at its target in thaumaturgical (mundane) ADF rituals, since the energy travels directly through the sacred center in the ritual space to the sacred center at the target (Bonewits Neopagan 149). While this requires some coordination among the ritual participants, to ensure that the single burst of energy is raised and released at the same time, it avoids the problems often found with raising a “cone of power” within a circle.
As well, this openness to sacred space means that people can come and go easily from our rites, which is an important consideration with groups larger than 5-10, groups where families and children are present, or groups with people of differing bladder sizes (Bonewits “Step”).