Casting a Circle, The Wiccan Way

What is a magick circle?

Casting a circle is a common practice among Wiccans before performing different types of spell work. A magick circle creates a boundary between your sacred space and the mundane world surrounding it. There are either physical or energetic circles, but both end up gathering some form of energies to protect your ritual.

Some witches vow by its practice and use it before doing any rituals and some don’t feel like it’s necessary. In the end, it always comes down to your own personal preferences, there’s is no right or wrong answer whether you should cast it or not, nor is there any perfect method either. Feel free to alter any indications below to your own style.

What is the purpose of a magick circle?

Circle casting benefits come down to a few key points; protection, focus, and grounding. The main goal of a circle is to provide protection while doing any form of spell work and preventing spirits or entities to interfere with your magick. If you try to communicate with someone, you don’t want anyone else to mislead you, and if you do divination, you don’t want your clairvoyance to be obscured.

Simple Altar Divination

A circle is not just a flat surface, it’s actually more shaped like a rounded pyramid, protecting every angle surrounding your space. Some Coven will use a technique called a cone of power, where they can sometimes hold hands, chant, play drums, dance, or use any other gestures to raise energy towards a focal point above the circle, capturing all the energy inside, then direct it towards the intentions of a spell.

Lastly, the area used for a circle should always be cleansed prior to a ritual, therefore acting as a natural space to ground yourself, be clear-minded and be able to set your intentions properly for the magick you are about to perform.

Physical vs Energetic

Energy Circle

A physical circle is cast using materials, often representing the elements. You can use salt, chalk, stones, candles, or herbs, and traditionally, the first circles were cast by the Sumerians using flour. You can also use colored candles to represent each element;

An energetic circle can look simpler from the outside but goes deeper whitin. You must first close your eyes, relax, breathe and slowly get yourself in a calm meditative state. Visualize the circle, the area, the energies and feel the vibrations, then proceed to gather them around your surroundings and shape them into a barrier. Infuse it with your own vibration and energy, and be clear with the circle’s purpose, to protect your sacred space.

Preparation before action

A circle barrier is fragile, you should not cross it unless you have the proper tools to do so and there should not be any accidental stepping outside of the energetic boundary either, therefore you should always be prepared before casting your circle. Make sure that you have plenty of space to work with and that all the tools you will need are inside already. If you have an altar, it should be at the center. Leaving a circle and keeping it intact require an athame, a sword, or a staff. Make a cut on the east to leave, then close the line again to reconnect the circle, it’s also preferable to use the same tool you used to cast the circle in the first place.

A circle will always be more powerful if cast outside and in nature. If you are inside, add flowers to the room to connect a bit more with nature. A general rule to remember before casting is that clockwise help for attracting or protecting and counterclockwise help for cleansing or banishing.

How to cast a circle

The first step is to find a good place to cast the circle, as mentioned above, it will be stronger in nature. Try to not place it beside a wall, you don’t want to be restrained by your surroundings.

You should now cleanse the area before casting your circle. You can burn white sage and walk around in a counterclockwise direction unless you are about to do spell work with spirits. White sage expels spirits and you do not want to send mixed signals. An alternative would be to spread black pepper on the ground or use any type of incense you find appropriate for cleansing.

Witch Burning incense

A common practice is to walk around the area clockwise three-times and blesses the space with a short incantation before casting the circle. An example would be “From East to West, this place be blessed”.

If you cast an energetic circle, you can place yourself in the center, in front of your altar, sitting or standing, as you prefer, and proceed with the steps mentioned in the physical vs energetic section to create the barrier. Feel free to use any other method of your choice if this one doesn’t suit you.

For a physical circle, place the objects starting from North in a clockwise direction. For each object, you can ask the element or any divinity of your liking for protection. An example would be “I call upon the guardians and the watchtowers of the *North*, element of *Earth*. I, *Name*, summon you forth to witness this rite and protect this sacred space”.

Once you are done with the pillars of your circle, you may invite a spirit, entity, or divinity to enter the circle with whom you wish to work with.

When ready, it is time to finish casting the circle by expressing your intentions out loud one last time; “I, *Name*, call upon *Divinity of your choosing or the elements* to witness my magick and protect this sacred space. May your wisdom guide my actions and your light keep me safe. This space is now protected and may only spirit(s) of light pass through, As above, so below, this circle is now cast so mote it be”.

As above so below is important because this means you are protected from all angles since the circle is not only shaped like a flat surface.

You may now perform any spells or rituals of your choice.

Closing a circle

The energy is trapped inside the circle, closing it means the energy will spread and manifest to the universe all at once. If forgotten, it will sit and fester, and can also attract some bad energy which might accumulate.

To close, dismiss each element in reverse order, starting with West and finishing with North. Take the time to thank each element and entities who protected you during the ritual and say farewell.

Also, take the time to dismiss summoned spirits for spell work; “My magick is cast and my ritual is done. I now depart from all entities within my circle. As above, so below. My circle is now closed so mote it be.”

You can dispose of the material you used for the circle by giving it back to nature, or you can keep it for later use, however, remember to cleanse it before you use it again.

Dominik Giroux

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