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** ''Literature/SkinGame'' shows that it doesn't even need to be a ''flat'' circle, as one character makes use of one that's marked out partly on a floor and partly on the adjacent wall.


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* The shapeshifting whatever-it-is that Jack and Snuff keep imprisoned in the basement, in ''Literature/ANightInTheLonesomeOctober'', is barred from escaping via this trope. Indeed, it's even ''called'' "The Thing In The Circle".


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* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' uses circles a lot, occasionally with other figures (like the Seal of Solomon, a pentagram, or a triangle) in them. A circle creates a barrier nearly impervious to anything magical, useful as a shield against such things as demons, zombies, and spells. Magic within the circle is calmed and concentrated, making spells easier to perform. Materials used to construct circles range from simple chalk to inlaid precious metals. Humans, however, aren't the only ones who can use this. In [[LandOfFaerie their own realm]], TheFairFolk can use them as well, usually constructed from the famous "fairy ring" of mushrooms. The key difference is a magic circle, ''any'' magic circle, crafted in the human realm and containing a native born human within, can summon something into the circle.
** The protagonist prefers five-pointed stars, but states that he's used to amateurs using triangles because they're easier to draw.
** Interestingly enough, Harry himself points out that ''technically'', you don't need to actually make the closed geometric shape to work your magic, since it's all based on intent and willpower. If a person believes starting the pentagram from the top point gives it more power or more suited to attack magic, the end result will reflect this as well. Most everyone uses circles, triangles, etc anyway, because while you technically don't need them, they make it a hell of a lot easier to use the spell in question, and there's no reason not to when you're not using off-the-cuff evocations and the like.
** And in ''Literature/SmallFavor'', Harry shows what happens when you use a deliberately imbalanced geometric model (e.g., a pentagram with one point longer than the others) for an invocation--a lot of energy let loose in an uncontrolled fashion. However, since the casters in question were effectively using it for a {{hellfire}} explosion...
** Circles also have another advantage: they're ''quick''. Magical fog swooping down on you? Take two [[SaltSolution salt shakers]], spin, add a bit of willpower, and ''bam'', you're safe. They're so quick and easy to use that any human who is given a bit of instruction can pull it off, regardless of ability with magic (although it costs a small blood sacrifice--a few drops is generally plenty--if they don't have some decent magical training).
** In ''Literature/ColdDays'', it turns out that the original Merlin was the grandmaster of this trope. Through application of this on an epic [[spoiler: transtemporal and transdimensional]] scale, outright defying the laws of physics, he designs [[spoiler: a prison in which EldritchAbomination is minimum security]].
* ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' is the epitome of this trope. In this series of books, almost all magic is the result of summoning and confining spirits inside pentacles, which are described as being composed mainly of words. This is a necessary step because the aforementioned spirits are usually quite vengeful for their long imprisonments in the physical realm and most of them have developed a taste for human flesh.
* In ''Literature/ShamanOfTheUndead'', a circle is sometimes used by the shaman to talk with the ghost, although it's not necessary. On the other hand, necromancers and demon-binders need circles to do their jobs.

to:

* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' uses circles a lot, occasionally with other figures (like the Seal of Solomon, a pentagram, or a triangle) in them. A circle creates a barrier nearly impervious to anything magical, useful as a shield against such things as demons, zombies, and spells. Magic within the circle is calmed and concentrated, making spells easier to perform. Materials used to construct circles range from simple chalk to inlaid precious metals. Humans, however, aren't the only ones who can use this. In [[LandOfFaerie their own realm]], TheFairFolk can use them as well, usually constructed from the famous "fairy ring" of mushrooms. The key difference is a magic circle, ''any'' magic circle, crafted in the human realm and containing a native born human within, can summon something into the circle.
** The protagonist prefers five-pointed stars, but states that he's used to amateurs using triangles because they're easier to draw.
** Interestingly enough, Harry himself points out that ''technically'', you don't need to actually make the closed geometric shape to work your magic, since it's all based on intent and willpower. If a person believes starting the pentagram from the top point gives it more power or more suited to attack magic, the end result will reflect this as well. Most everyone uses circles, triangles, etc anyway, because while you technically don't need them, they make it a hell of a lot easier to use the spell in question, and there's no reason not to when you're not using off-the-cuff evocations and the like.
** And in ''Literature/SmallFavor'', Harry shows what happens when you use a deliberately imbalanced geometric model (e.g., a pentagram with one point longer than the others) for an invocation--a lot of energy let loose in an uncontrolled fashion. However, since the casters in question were effectively using it for a {{hellfire}} explosion...
** Circles also have another advantage: they're ''quick''. Magical fog swooping down on you? Take two [[SaltSolution salt shakers]], spin, add a bit of willpower, and ''bam'', you're safe. They're so quick and easy to use that any human who is given a bit of instruction can pull it off, regardless of ability with magic (although it costs a small blood sacrifice--a few drops is generally plenty--if they don't have some decent magical training).
** In ''Literature/ColdDays'', it turns out that the original Merlin was the grandmaster of this trope. Through application of this on an epic [[spoiler: transtemporal and transdimensional]] scale, outright defying the laws of physics, he designs [[spoiler: a prison in which EldritchAbomination is minimum security]].
* ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' is the epitome of this trope. In this series of books, almost all magic is the result of summoning and confining spirits inside pentacles, which are described as being composed mainly of words. This is a necessary step because the aforementioned spirits are usually quite vengeful for their long imprisonments in the physical realm and most of them have developed a taste for human flesh.
* In ''Literature/ShamanOfTheUndead'', a circle is sometimes used by the shaman to talk with the ghost, although it's not necessary. On the other hand, necromancers and demon-binders need circles to do their jobs.
!!!'''By Author:'''



* In ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' by Creator/CharlesStross, magic is an application of higher mathematics onto reality via dimension-bending "Dho-Na Curves". It's all very complicated, but suffice it to say that most magical rituals require a sort of "summoning grid", a geometric structure paired with some form of computation. Technically, an advanced mathematician can simply perform the necessary calculations in their head--but since this tends to summon hungry microscopic demons into one's brain, summoning grids are a lot safer. The grids can be drawn, like how it's done traditionally, or you can go more advanced and use electric circuit or laser-based system.
* In ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'', this is the primary form of magic employed by the Shadowhunters, who use Angelic Runes to perform a variety of functions, including giving themselves superhuman physical abilities. Clary's special aptitude with Runes is essential to the plot.
* Described vaguely in Creator/GarthNix's ''Literature/OldKingdom'' trilogy, 'Charter Magic' is more or less defined by the use of names and runic symbols ("Charter Marks"), each of which has a unique power. Charter Mages are 'baptized' with a Mark on their forehead soon after birth (usually).
* The One Power in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' is heavily geometric, involving "weaving threads" of the five elements into intricate patterns. Disturbing the pattern by trying to pick apart the weave (extremely difficult) and losing control (extremely easy) collapses the weave with unpredictable (but probably dangerous) results.
* ''Literature/TheSwordOfTruth'' books contain several examples. The most powerful spells in the book require special signs drawn in powdered herbs, bone, blood, and, for the most powerful spells, sorcerer's sand (crystallized wizard bones from 3000 years ago). It is stated that in the last case, even the smallest mistake cannot be corrected and means death. At least one wizard family lived in an entire palace built as a magical sign. There is also a form of magic where an artist uses various shapes, formulas, and such in conjunction with a painting of a person in order to place curses on them.
* Various spells and rituals in Literature/{{Discworld}} require octograms to be drawn on the floor. An example is the Rite of Ashk-Ente, which supposedly binds Death to the inside of the octogram... but he just stays in to be polite. Also, it is explained that most of the magical paraphernalia are used only for the look of the thing and are not really necessary, so it could be considered a subversion.
** When Susan is standing in for Death, the Rite of Ashk-Ente works as expected on her. She's trapped in the circle until the summoner lets her out.
** Apparently magic circles are actually of use, but don't require elaborate ritual: to prevent fallout from a magical duel Nanny Ogg uses the side of her foot to draw a big rough circle around them, confusing the apprentice witches who thought elaborate diagrams would be needed. Possibly subverted, in that the circle itself was meant to prevent the spectators from crossing into a zone boiling with magic [[spoiler:which later Nanny Ogg's grandchild Pewsey does, causing the child to fall down hurt and crying.]]
* Circles are popular in the ''Literature/EvieScelan'' novels, including [[spoiler:I-95 surrounding all of Boston for one spell]]
* Most wizard spells in the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' universe use this, excepting some magic that can be done solely with spoken Speech (the Masons Word, for example). Spell diagrams are likened to mathematical equations that must be balanced, simple ones can be 'drawn' in the caster's head, more complex ones are drawn out, pre-compiled in the wizard's manual or fashioned into illusion forms the wizard can place or carry inconspicuously, like Nita's charm bracelet, Kit's dimension-hopping leash for Ponch, etc.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'' the demon Crowley spends many years and much effort causing a highway to be built in the shape of an evil sigil, thus causing a malaise of bad vibes and mild evil to be produced by all the cars driving over the shape.
** The motorway in question is the M25, which encircles UsefulNotes/{{London}} - anyone who has to make frequent use of it suspects this also to be the case in real life.

to:

* In ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' by Creator/CharlesStross, magic is an application of higher mathematics onto reality via dimension-bending "Dho-Na Curves". It's all very complicated, but suffice it to say that most magical rituals require a sort of "summoning grid", a geometric structure paired with some form of computation. Technically, an advanced mathematician can simply perform the necessary calculations in their head--but since this tends to summon hungry microscopic demons into one's brain, summoning grids are a lot safer. The grids can be drawn, like how it's done traditionally, or you can go more advanced and use electric circuit or laser-based system.
* In ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'', this is the primary form of magic employed by the Shadowhunters, who use Angelic Runes to perform a variety of functions, including giving themselves superhuman physical abilities. Clary's special aptitude with Runes is essential to the plot.
* Described vaguely in Creator/GarthNix's ''Literature/OldKingdom'' trilogy, 'Charter Magic' is more or less defined by the use of names and runic symbols ("Charter Marks"), each of which has a unique power. Charter Mages are 'baptized' with a Mark on their forehead soon after birth (usually).
* The One Power in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' is heavily geometric, involving "weaving threads" of the five elements into intricate patterns. Disturbing the pattern by trying to pick apart the weave (extremely difficult) and losing control (extremely easy) collapses the weave with unpredictable (but probably dangerous) results.
* ''Literature/TheSwordOfTruth'' books contain several examples. The most powerful spells in the book require special signs drawn in powdered herbs, bone, blood, and, for the most powerful spells, sorcerer's sand (crystallized wizard bones from 3000 years ago). It is stated that in the last case, even the smallest mistake cannot be corrected and means death. At least one wizard family lived in an entire palace built as a magical sign. There is also a form of magic where an artist uses various shapes, formulas, and such in conjunction with a painting of a person in order to place curses on them.
* Various spells and rituals in Literature/{{Discworld}} require octograms to be drawn on the floor. An example is the Rite of Ashk-Ente, which supposedly binds Death to the inside of the octogram... but he just stays in to be polite. Also, it is explained that most of the magical paraphernalia are used only for the look of the thing and are not really necessary, so it could be considered a subversion.
** When Susan is standing in for Death, the Rite of Ashk-Ente works as expected on her. She's trapped in the circle until the summoner lets her out.
** Apparently magic circles are actually of use, but don't require elaborate ritual: to prevent fallout from a magical duel Nanny Ogg uses the side of her foot to draw a big rough circle around them, confusing the apprentice witches who thought elaborate diagrams would be needed. Possibly subverted, in that the circle itself was meant to prevent the spectators from crossing into a zone boiling with magic [[spoiler:which later Nanny Ogg's grandchild Pewsey does, causing the child to fall down hurt and crying.]]
* Circles are popular in the ''Literature/EvieScelan'' novels, including [[spoiler:I-95 surrounding all of Boston for one spell]]
* Most wizard spells in the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' universe use this, excepting some magic that can be done solely with spoken Speech (the Masons Word, for example). Spell diagrams are likened to mathematical equations that must be balanced, simple ones can be 'drawn' in the caster's head, more complex ones are drawn out, pre-compiled in the wizard's manual or fashioned into illusion forms the wizard can place or carry inconspicuously, like Nita's charm bracelet, Kit's dimension-hopping leash for Ponch, etc.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'' the demon Crowley spends many years and much effort causing a highway to be built in the shape of an evil sigil, thus causing a malaise of bad vibes and mild evil to be produced by all the cars driving over the shape.
** The motorway in question is the M25, which encircles UsefulNotes/{{London}} - anyone who has to make frequent use of it suspects this also to be the case in real life.
!!!'''By Work:'''



* In Creator/MarthaWells' trilogy ''The Fall of Ile-Rien'' the wizards are busy reverse-engineering a kind of "travelling circle"-spell, where altering the symbols lets you go to different places and worlds.

to:

* ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' is the epitome of this trope. In this series of books, almost all magic is the result of summoning and confining spirits inside pentacles, which are described as being composed mainly of words. This is a necessary step because the aforementioned spirits are usually quite vengeful for their long imprisonments in the physical realm and most of them have developed a taste for human flesh.
* In Creator/MarthaWells' trilogy ''The Fall of Ile-Rien'' ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' demon summoning includes the wizards are busy reverse-engineering a kind drawing of "travelling circle"-spell, where altering a protective circle which the symbols lets you go summoner stands within. This is to different places stop the demon eating the summoner should the binding break, allowing him opportunity to banish it.
* ''Literature/CarnackiTheGhostFinder'' makes extensive use of protective circles, measuring them out in precise detail
and worlds.constructing multiple layers of defense with crushed garlic, sacred water, candles, and his signature [[PostModernMagik Electric Pentacle]].



* Dodecahedrons are important in Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip's ''Literature/TheRiddleMasterTrilogy''
* The [=AonDor=] magic system in ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'' requires drawing [[InstantRunes symbols in the air]] with a ''lot'' of attention to detail and proportion. [[spoiler: The geometry of the symbols is in turn based on the geography of the region; when a chasm was opened up by an earthquake, all the magic instantly stopped working until the symbols were updated to match. Notably, the titular city itself is such a diagram, empowering the magic of its inhabitants. Then the geography changed, the empowerment changed to a zombie-like curse.]]
** All Magic systems on the world of Sel (one of many planets in Literature/TheCosmere, where Elantris and Literature/TheEmperorsSoul take place) work under similar rules to AonDor where specific symbols hold specific meanings. Dakhor monks inscribe mystic runes onto their bones with the help of blood sacrifices to gain various powers, including Super Strength and Anti-Magic. Forgers can carve magic stamps capable of rewriting the history of objects which they are placed upon, doing things like changing an old worn table to have been well cared for instead, or changing a painting into a perfect replica of an existing masterpiece.
* Charles Stross's ''Literature/TheMerchantPrincesSeries'' concerns a family with hereditary ability to jump between parallel worlds, triggered by looking at a Celtic Knot-style figure. (The protagonist learns about this the hard way when she examines a locket that belonged to her mother: she traces the twists and ''poof''. As the figure becomes more familiar, it triggers her more quickly.) One member of the family made a flawed version of the figure from memory, and jumped into a different parallel world. Later books in the series have the younger and more progressive Clan elements using the computer program Mathematica to determine what the two figures have in common, and what others can be drawn with the same properties.
* The kanji in ''Literature/TheGrimnoirChronicles'' books are revealed to be 2D sympathetic representations of [[spoiler: the various aspects that make up the CosmicEntity from whom superpowers/magic spring]].
* ''Literature/TheWitchWatch'' has sorcery that depends entirely on circles of writing. They can be written in various materials: chalk, grease pencil, blood, [[spoiler: electrical wiring]].
* ''Literature/{{Ra}}'' goes in for REALLY BIG circles. Adjusting for the curvature of the earth big.
* Spell-diars in ''Literature/ToughMagic'' are used to power and control spells. Although they're not absolutely neccessary, spellcasting being possible even without them, they still provide a significant boost in efficiency.



* In ''Literature/RuneBreaker'' almost everyone is taught to access magic by drawing simple patterns. These patterns can be used multiple times if drawn permanently, or one use if drawn in the caster's mind. Skilled magicians can draw the patterns virtually. Patterns can be extremely simple, e.g. a circle with four lines, or extremely complex.

to:

* Various spells and rituals in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' require octograms to be drawn on the floor. An example is the Rite of Ashk-Ente, which supposedly binds Death to the inside of the octogram... but he just stays in to be polite. Also, it is explained that most of the magical paraphernalia are used only for the look of the thing and are not really necessary, so it could be considered a subversion.
** When Susan is standing in for Death, the Rite of Ashk-Ente works as expected on her. She's trapped in the circle until the summoner lets her out.
** Apparently magic circles are actually of use, but don't require elaborate ritual: to prevent fallout from a magical duel Nanny Ogg uses the side of her foot to draw a big rough circle around them, confusing the apprentice witches who thought elaborate diagrams would be needed. Possibly subverted, in that the circle itself was meant to prevent the spectators from crossing into a zone boiling with magic [[spoiler:which later Nanny Ogg's grandchild Pewsey does, causing the child to fall down hurt and crying.]]
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' uses circles a lot, occasionally with other figures (like the Seal of Solomon, a pentagram, or a triangle) in them. A circle creates a barrier nearly impervious to anything magical, useful as a shield against such things as demons, zombies, and spells. Magic within the circle is calmed and concentrated, making spells easier to perform. Materials used to construct circles range from simple chalk to inlaid precious metals. Humans, however, aren't the only ones who can use this.
In ''Literature/RuneBreaker'' almost [[LandOfFaerie their own realm]], TheFairFolk can use them as well, usually constructed from the famous "fairy ring" of mushrooms. The key difference is a magic circle, ''any'' magic circle, crafted in the human realm and containing a native born human within, can summon something into the circle.
** The protagonist prefers five-pointed stars, but states that he's used to amateurs using triangles because they're easier to draw.
** Interestingly enough, Harry himself points out that ''technically'', you don't need to actually make the closed geometric shape to work your magic, since it's all based on intent and willpower. If a person believes starting the pentagram from the top point gives it more power or more suited to attack magic, the end result will reflect this as well. Most
everyone is taught uses circles, triangles, etc anyway, because while you technically don't need them, they make it a hell of a lot easier to access magic by drawing simple patterns. These patterns can be used multiple times if drawn permanently, or one use if drawn in the caster's mind. Skilled magicians can draw spell in question, and there's no reason not to when you're not using off-the-cuff evocations and the patterns virtually. Patterns can be extremely simple, e.like.
** And in ''Literature/SmallFavor'', Harry shows what happens when you use a deliberately imbalanced geometric model (e.
g. , a circle pentagram with four lines, one point longer than the others) for an invocation a lot of energy let loose in an uncontrolled fashion. However, since the casters in question were effectively using it for a {{hellfire}} explosion...
** Circles also have another advantage: they're ''quick''. Magical fog swooping down on you? Take two [[SaltSolution salt shakers]], spin, add a bit of willpower, and ''bam'', you're safe. They're so quick and easy to use that any human who is given a bit of instruction can pull it off, regardless of ability with magic (although it costs a small blood sacrifice a few drops is generally plenty if they don't have some decent magical training).
** In ''Literature/ColdDays'', it turns out that the original Merlin was the grandmaster of this trope. Through application of this on an epic [[spoiler:transtemporal and transdimensional]] scale, outright defying the laws of physics, he designs [[spoiler:a prison in which EldritchAbomination is minimum security]].
* The [=AonDor=] magic system in ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'' requires drawing [[InstantRunes symbols in the air]] with a ''lot'' of attention to detail and proportion. [[spoiler:The geometry of the symbols is in turn based on the geography of the region; when a chasm was opened up by an earthquake, all the magic instantly stopped working until the symbols were updated to match. Notably, the titular city itself is such a diagram, empowering the magic of its inhabitants. When the geography changed, the empowerment changed to a zombie-like curse.]]
** All magic systems on the world of Sel (one of many planets in ''Literature/TheCosmere'', where ''Elantris'' and ''Literature/TheEmperorsSoul'' take place) work under similar rules to [=AonDor=] where specific symbols hold specific meanings. Dakhor monks inscribe mystic runes onto their bones with the help of blood sacrifices to gain various powers, including SuperStrength and AntiMagic. Forgers can carve magic stamps capable of rewriting the history of objects which they are placed upon, doing things like changing an old worn table to have been well cared for instead,
or extremely complex.changing a painting into a perfect replica of an existing masterpiece.



* In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' demon summoning includes the drawing of a protective circle which the summoner stands within. This is to stop the demon eating the summoner should the binding break, allowing him opportunity to banish it.
* In ''Literature/ShamanBlues'', beginner shamans have to rely on circles and pentagrams for ghost banishment. Similarily, magic circles are used in another novel set in this universe, ''Literature/TheGirlFromTheMiraclesDistrict'', to provide protection and weaken supernatural forces or outright keep them out.
* ''Literature/CarnackiTheGhostFinder'' makes extensive use of protective circles, measuring them out in precise detail and constructing multiple layers of defense with crushed garlic, sacred water, candles, and his signature [[PostModernMagik Electric Pentacle]].

to:

* Circles are popular in the ''Literature/EvieScelan'' novels, including [[spoiler:I-95 surrounding all of Boston for one spell]].
* In ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' Creator/MarthaWells' trilogy ''The Fall of Ile-Rien'' the wizards are busy reverse-engineering a kind of "travelling circle"-spell, where altering the symbols lets you go to different places and worlds.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'' the
demon Crowley spends many years and much effort causing a highway to be built in the shape of an evil sigil, thus causing a malaise of bad vibes and mild evil to be produced by all the cars driving over the shape.
** The motorway in question is the M25, which encircles UsefulNotes/{{London}} - anyone who has to make frequent use of it suspects this also to be the case in real life.
* The kanji in ''Literature/TheGrimnoirChronicles'' books are revealed to be 2D sympathetic representations of [[spoiler: the various aspects that make up the CosmicEntity from whom superpowers/magic spring]].
* In ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' by Creator/CharlesStross, magic is an application of higher mathematics onto reality via dimension-bending "Dho-Na Curves". It's all very complicated, but suffice it to say that most magical rituals require a sort of "summoning grid", a geometric structure paired with some form of computation. Technically, an advanced mathematician can simply perform the necessary calculations in their head--but since this tends to summon hungry microscopic demons into one's brain,
summoning includes the drawing of grids are a protective circle which the summoner stands within. This is to stop the demon eating the summoner should the binding break, allowing him opportunity to banish it.
* In ''Literature/ShamanBlues'', beginner shamans have to rely on circles
lot safer. The grids can be drawn, like how it's done traditionally, or you can go more advanced and pentagrams for ghost banishment. Similarily, magic circles are used in another novel set in this universe, ''Literature/TheGirlFromTheMiraclesDistrict'', to provide protection and weaken supernatural forces or outright keep them out.
* ''Literature/CarnackiTheGhostFinder'' makes extensive
use of protective circles, measuring them out in precise detail and constructing multiple layers of defense with crushed garlic, sacred water, candles, and his signature [[PostModernMagik Electric Pentacle]].electric circuit or laser-based system.



* Charles Stross's ''Literature/TheMerchantPrincesSeries'' concerns a family with hereditary ability to jump between parallel worlds, triggered by looking at a Celtic Knot-style figure. (The protagonist learns about this the hard way when she examines a locket that belonged to her mother: she traces the twists and ''poof''. As the figure becomes more familiar, it triggers her more quickly.) One member of the family made a flawed version of the figure from memory, and jumped into a different parallel world. Later books in the series have the younger and more progressive Clan elements using the computer program Mathematica to determine what the two figures have in common, and what others can be drawn with the same properties.
* In ''Literature/TheMortalInstruments'', this is the primary form of magic employed by the Shadowhunters, who use Angelic Runes to perform a variety of functions, including giving themselves superhuman physical abilities. Clary's special aptitude with Runes is essential to the plot.
* Described vaguely in Creator/GarthNix's ''Literature/OldKingdom'' series, "Charter Magic" is more or less defined by the use of names and runic symbols ("Charter Marks"), each of which has a unique power. Charter Mages are "baptized" with a Mark on their forehead soon after birth (usually).
* ''Literature/{{Ra}}'' goes in for REALLY BIG circles. Adjusting for the curvature of the Earth big.
* Dodecahedrons are important in Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip's ''Literature/TheRiddleMasterTrilogy''.
* In ''Literature/RuneBreaker'' almost everyone is taught to access magic by drawing simple patterns. These patterns can be used multiple times if drawn permanently, or one use if drawn in the caster's mind. Skilled magicians can draw the patterns virtually. Patterns can be extremely simple, e.g. a circle with four lines, or extremely complex.
* In ''Literature/ShamanBlues'', beginner shamans have to rely on circles and pentagrams for ghost banishment. Similarily, magic circles are used in another novel set in this universe, ''Literature/TheGirlFromTheMiraclesDistrict'', to provide protection and weaken supernatural forces or outright keep them out.
* In ''Literature/ShamanOfTheUndead'', a circle is sometimes used by the shaman to talk with the ghost, although it's not necessary. On the other hand, necromancers and demon-binders need circles to do their jobs.
* ''Literature/TheSwordOfTruth'' books contain several examples. The most powerful spells in the book require special signs drawn in powdered herbs, bone, blood, and, for the most powerful spells, sorcerer's sand (crystallized wizard bones from 3000 years ago). It is stated that in the last case, even the smallest mistake cannot be corrected and means death. At least one wizard family lived in an entire palace built as a magical sign. There is also a form of magic where an artist uses various shapes, formulas, and such in conjunction with a painting of a person in order to place curses on them.
* Spell-diars in ''Literature/ToughMagic'' are used to power and control spells. Although they're not absolutely neccessary, spellcasting being possible even without them, they still provide a significant boost in efficiency.
* The One Power in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' is heavily geometric, involving "weaving threads" of the five elements into intricate patterns. Disturbing the pattern by trying to pick apart the weave (extremely difficult) and losing control (extremely easy) collapses the weave with unpredictable (but probably dangerous) results.
* ''Literature/TheWitchWatch'' has sorcery that depends entirely on circles of writing. They can be written in various materials: chalk, grease pencil, blood, [[spoiler: electrical wiring]].
* Most wizard spells in the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' universe use this, excepting some magic that can be done solely with spoken Speech (the Masons Word, for example). Spell diagrams are likened to mathematical equations that must be balanced, simple ones can be 'drawn' in the caster's head, more complex ones are drawn out, pre-compiled in the wizard's manual or fashioned into illusion forms the wizard can place or carry inconspicuously, like Nita's charm bracelet, Kit's dimension-hopping leash for Ponch, etc.



[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* Used quite a bit on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. A wide variety of symbols and runes are used for protection against or to entrap different supernatural beings such as demons or angels. This is one of the few types of magic that [[HunterOfMonsters Hunters]] regularly rely on.

to:

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* Used quite a bit on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. A wide variety of symbols and runes are used for protection against or to entrap different supernatural beings such as demons or angels. This is one of the few types of magic that [[HunterOfMonsters Hunters]] regularly rely on.
[[folder:Live-Action TV]]



* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E2TheShakespeareCode "The Shakespeare Code"]], the Globe Theatre's design amplifies the Carrionites' abilities so as to allow them access into our world.
* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'': Kieran, an ancient Seeker who's possessing Richard, draws a Grace spell which will bring his lost lover's spirit back and possess Kahlan, so they can live together again.



* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In "The Shakespeare Code," the Globe Theatre's design amplifies the Carrionites' abilities so as to allow them access into our world.



* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'': Kieran, an ancient Seeker who's possessing Richard, draws a Grace spell which will bring his lost lover's spirit back and possess Kahlan, so they can live together again.

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* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'': Kieran, an ancient Seeker who's possessing Richard, draws Used quite a Grace spell which will bring his lost lover's spirit back bit on ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. A wide variety of symbols and possess Kahlan, so they can live together again.runes are used for protection against or to entrap different supernatural beings such as demons or angels. This is one of the few types of magic that [[HunterOfMonsters Hunters]] regularly rely on.


* In ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' by Creator/CharlesStross, magic is an application of higher mathematics onto reality via dimension-bending "Dho-Na Curves". It's all very complicated, but suffice it to say that most magical rituals require a sort of "summoning grid", a geometric structure paired with some form of computation. Technically, an advanced mathematician can simply perform the necessary calculations in their head--but since this tends to summon hungry microscopic demons into one's brain, summoning grids are a lot safer.

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* In ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' by Creator/CharlesStross, magic is an application of higher mathematics onto reality via dimension-bending "Dho-Na Curves". It's all very complicated, but suffice it to say that most magical rituals require a sort of "summoning grid", a geometric structure paired with some form of computation. Technically, an advanced mathematician can simply perform the necessary calculations in their head--but since this tends to summon hungry microscopic demons into one's brain, summoning grids are a lot safer. The grids can be drawn, like how it's done traditionally, or you can go more advanced and use electric circuit or laser-based system.


* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'': There is a class called the [[https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/85437_2689.jpg Geometer]] that specifically uses Geometric Magic. This kind of magic is much more efficient for storing spells, among other abilities of the class.

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* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'': There is a class 2nd edition wizard kit (subclass) called the [[https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/85437_2689.jpg Geometer]] that specifically uses Geometric Magic. This kind of magic is much more efficient for storing spells, among other abilities of the class.


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** The Runecaster kit also makes use of geometric magic, as it needs to physically carve or draw runes to be able to invoke the attendant magic.
** The Binder class from 3rd edition uses a weird mixture of this and PowersViaPossession; to be able to wield magic, a binder first draws elaborate arcane sigils to make contact with the Vestiges they wish to invoke, and then allows them to co-habit the binder's body in order to gain access to their magic.


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* In ''TabletopGame/CastleFalkenstein'', most forms of sorcery require creating a specific seal or diagram first in order to channel the magic.

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* ''Fanfic/ADiplomaticVisit'': Swift-Pad is a Rune Caster, able to channel his inner magic through the proper runes (which have to be carefully carved and the magic infused into them while doing so), and it's a relatively common skill in the Packlands. He begins teaching Twilight the ability later on.


* Frequently used on AmericaUnearthed, most notably and specifically in the episode ''Secret Blueprint of America'' but used frequently throughout the series.

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* Frequently used on AmericaUnearthed, ''Series/AmericaUnearthed'', most notably and specifically in the episode ''Secret Blueprint of America'' but used frequently throughout the series.


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* ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'': Kieran, an ancient Seeker who's possessing Richard, draws a Grace spell which will bring his lost lover's spirit back and possess Kahlan, so they can live together again.


* ''Literature/TheSwordOfTruth'', contains several examples. The most powerful spells in the book require special signs drawn in powdered herbs, bone, blood, and, for the most powerful spells, sorcerer's sand (crystallized wizard bones from 3000 years ago). It is stated that in the last case, even the smallest mistake cannot be corrected and means death. At least one wizard family lived in an entire palace built as a magical sign. There is also a form of magic where an artist uses various shapes, formulas, and such in conjunction with a painting of a person in order to place curses on them.

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* ''Literature/TheSwordOfTruth'', contains ''Literature/TheSwordOfTruth'' books contain several examples. The most powerful spells in the book require special signs drawn in powdered herbs, bone, blood, and, for the most powerful spells, sorcerer's sand (crystallized wizard bones from 3000 years ago). It is stated that in the last case, even the smallest mistake cannot be corrected and means death. At least one wizard family lived in an entire palace built as a magical sign. There is also a form of magic where an artist uses various shapes, formulas, and such in conjunction with a painting of a person in order to place curses on them.

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* WebVideo/TribeTwelve: The Severing Sign, which resembles two eye symbols overlapping each other in a cross formation, is used to take the ownership of something from someone. This can mean anything from [[TheCracker stealing computer accounts]] to [[spoiler: [[BodySnatcher other people's bodies.]]]]


* The [=AonDor=] magic system in ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'' requires drawing [[InstantRunes symbols in the air]] with a ''lot'' of attention to detail and proportion. [[spoiler: The geometry of the symbols is in turn based on the geography of the region; when a chasm was opened up by an earthquake, all the magic instantly stopped working until the symbols were updated to match.]]

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* The [=AonDor=] magic system in ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'' requires drawing [[InstantRunes symbols in the air]] with a ''lot'' of attention to detail and proportion. [[spoiler: The geometry of the symbols is in turn based on the geography of the region; when a chasm was opened up by an earthquake, all the magic instantly stopped working until the symbols were updated to match. Notably, the titular city itself is such a diagram, empowering the magic of its inhabitants. Then the geography changed, the empowerment changed to a zombie-like curse.]]


** Apparently magic circles are actually of use, but don't require elaborate ritual: to prevent fallout from a magical duel Nanny Ogg uses the side of her foot to draw a big rough circle around them, confusing the apprentice witches who thought elaborate diagrams would be needed. Possibly subverted, in that the circle itself was meant to prevent the spectators from crossing into a zone boiling with magic [[Spoiler:which later Nanny Ogg's grandchild Pewsey does, causing the child to fall down hurt and crying.]]

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** Apparently magic circles are actually of use, but don't require elaborate ritual: to prevent fallout from a magical duel Nanny Ogg uses the side of her foot to draw a big rough circle around them, confusing the apprentice witches who thought elaborate diagrams would be needed. Possibly subverted, in that the circle itself was meant to prevent the spectators from crossing into a zone boiling with magic [[Spoiler:which [[spoiler:which later Nanny Ogg's grandchild Pewsey does, causing the child to fall down hurt and crying.]]


** Apparently magic circles are actually of use, but don't require elaborate ritual: to prevent fallout from a magical duel Nanny Ogg uses the side of her foot to draw a big rough circle around them, confusing the apprentice witches who thought elaborate diagrams would be needed.

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** Apparently magic circles are actually of use, but don't require elaborate ritual: to prevent fallout from a magical duel Nanny Ogg uses the side of her foot to draw a big rough circle around them, confusing the apprentice witches who thought elaborate diagrams would be needed. Possibly subverted, in that the circle itself was meant to prevent the spectators from crossing into a zone boiling with magic [[Spoiler:which later Nanny Ogg's grandchild Pewsey does, causing the child to fall down hurt and crying.]]


* The [=AonDor=] magic system in ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'', which requires drawing [[InstantRunes symbols in the air]] with a ''lot'' of attention to detail and proportion. [[spoiler: The geometry of the symbols is in turn based on the geography of the region; when a chasm was opened up by an earthquake, all the magic instantly stopped working until the symbols were updated to match.]]
** Shows up again in another Sanderson story, Literature/TheEmperorsSoul, where skilled forgers can carve magic stamps capable of changing anything they're used on. WordOfGod says it's set on the same world as Elantris, in TheVerse known as Literature/TheCosmere.
** A third example in the same world are the Dakhor monks, who inscribe mystic runes onto their ''bones'' to gain various powers, ranging from SuperStrength to AntiMagic.

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* The [=AonDor=] magic system system in ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'', which ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'' requires drawing [[InstantRunes symbols in the air]] with a ''lot'' of attention to detail and proportion. [[spoiler: The geometry of the symbols is in turn based on the geography of the region; when a chasm was opened up by an earthquake, all the magic instantly stopped working until the symbols were updated to match.]]
** Shows up again ** All Magic systems on the world of Sel (one of many planets in another Sanderson story, Literature/TheEmperorsSoul, Literature/TheCosmere, where skilled forgers Elantris and Literature/TheEmperorsSoul take place) work under similar rules to AonDor where specific symbols hold specific meanings. Dakhor monks inscribe mystic runes onto their bones with the help of blood sacrifices to gain various powers, including Super Strength and Anti-Magic. Forgers can carve magic stamps capable of rewriting the history of objects which they are placed upon, doing things like changing anything they're used on. WordOfGod says it's set on the same world as Elantris, in TheVerse known as Literature/TheCosmere.
** A third example in the same world are the Dakhor monks, who inscribe mystic runes onto their ''bones''
an old worn table to gain various powers, ranging from SuperStrength to AntiMagic.have been well cared for instead, or changing a painting into a perfect replica of an existing masterpiece.


* ''Film/DoctorStrange2016'' seems to work like this, and the mages have ways of quickly drawing circles in the air. In this case though, the shapes themselves aren't of as rudimentary value, as it is moving the hands through the air in the right way to control the energy that they will emanate.

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* ''Film/DoctorStrange2016'' ''Film/{{Doctor Strange|2016}}'' seems to work like this, and the mages have ways of quickly drawing circles in the air. In this case though, the shapes themselves aren't of as rudimentary value, as it is moving the hands through the air in the right way to control the energy that they will emanate.

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[[folder:Podcasts]]
* In the ''Podcast/CoolKidsTable'' game ''Creepy Town'', Olivia paints an occult symbol in the "Space Hell" room of the teens' haunted house to spruce up the place. It ends up summoning the game's monster.
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