Back to Home Page or Contents Page or Rituals and Texts or Index

Circumambulation


Circumambulation is the movement around a holy object, or of a holy object. The completion of a circle of protection, or of community, creates an integrity that is otherwise difficult to obtain in this world. The application of this in religions is diverse: examples include the Hajj (the Muslim circumambulation of the Ka'ba); the Prayer Wheel in Tibet; the stupa and Bo tree in Buddhism; the respect shown to the Adi Granth on entering a gurdwara; Lavan; the Hindu "following the sun" around the sacred fire and, in the temple (and, in pradaksina, to go around any sacred object, person, or place, including the whole of India; the seven circuits (hakkafot) around a cemetery before a burial by Sephardi and Hasidic Jews. In Witchcraft the magic circle would be a circumambulation. A.G.H.



Source:

Bowker, John, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, New York, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 224

Home    Alchemy    Ancient Beliefs    Buddhism    Christianity    Demonology    Divination    Goddess and witchcraft    Great Mysteries    Hinduism    Islam     Judaism    Magic    Neo-paganism    Other    Paranormal    Past and present Beliefs    People    Places    Religions and sects    Rituals and texts    Shamanism    Stones    Theosophy African Mythology    Asian Mythology    Buddha Mythology    Egyptian Mythology    Greco-Roman Mythology    Greek Mythology    Hindu Mythology    Native American    Persian Mythology    Roman Mythology    South American Mythology