Casting a circle is usually the first step to any ritual. If you’ve seen The Craft (great movie, above) or any movie about witches you’re probably familiar with the basic concept. Casting a circle is a way to call upon elemental forces or different deities to aid in your magickal purpose. It’s a way to protect your ritual and yourself from attracting negative energies.
There are SO many different ways to cast a circle. Some witches prefer to literally draw a circle, either on the floor or a sheet of some kind that can be stored, others choose to visualize a circle and some even actually create a circle out of rock/candles/twigs or what have you. Right now, for lack of space, I cast my circle more mentally than a true physical circle. This is not necessarily what I think is “best” but it’s what works for me now and I definitely will be trying different methods when I can.
Now as far as the actual magickal ritual of casting a circle, there are even MORE ways to do this. Most involve some form of raising energies, calling upon the elements of the four corners (north, south, east, west), and requesting of some greater power protection from negativity. Although, I have read some as simple as “the circle is now cast.” I have tried several different ways to cast a circle and the one I’ve landed on for now is the most effective and concise as a single practitioner. I don’t really want to spend a long time reciting monologues to the four corners by myself and feel that if you practice with a group that might be doable for you.
Circle casting doesn’t necessarily require too many tools unless you actually want to physically create the circle. Often times, you will see a casting require as wand. I, personally, am not a huge fan of wands in Wicca (a little too Harry Potter for my taste) so usually opt to use my athame as a conductor for energy. [See my “What’s on My Altar” post for more info on athames].
How to Cast a Circle:
- First, ground and center your energy. I like to do this by reaching all the way up on an inhale-arms wide, exhaling down to touch the ground (slowly) and repeating a few times to up my energy if I’m feeling low before hand. If I’m feeling to anxious I meditate, so do what feels best.
- If you have a besom (broom), now is the time to sweep your altar deosil [clockwise] and imagine brushing away the negative energy and say
“As I sweep, may the besom chase away negativity from within this circle, that it may be cleansed and prepared for my work”
- Light the incense and candles that you’re working with today (unless any candle need to be saved for a particular spell)
- Ring bell or clap three times to signify the beginning of your practice.
“The circle is about to be cast. I freely stand in perfect love and perfect trust to greet the universal energies, that they may guide by their light and aid in my work”
- Take your main altar candle deosil to the quarters. (I start east because my altar faces east, you can start with whatever make sense for your space)
“I call upon the guardian of Light and Air at the East, that they may illuminate and enliven the circle”
“I call upon the guardian of Light and Fire at the South that they may illuminate and warm the circle”
“I call upon the guardian of Light and Water at the West that they may illuminate and cleanse the circle”
“I call upon the guardian of Light and Earth at the North that they may illuminate and strengthen the circle.”
- Set doown candle. Raise athame/wand/hands above your head. Imagine energy being lended from these forces and channeled into the athame as you say:
“I draw this circle in the presence of the powers of Air, Fire, Water and Earth, I ask that they aid me in my work.”
- Take the athame, point it outwards and slowly turn deosil. Imagine that same energy that was channeled into the athame shooting out from the athame to create the boundary of your circle in white light. As you turn say:
“This is the boundary of the circle; around me, above me, below as a sphere is the circle cast and consecrated to the powers of nature. The circle is charge that only love and light shall enter and leave”
Your circle is cast!