XXII - Casting a Circle

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This is probably what you've been looking forward to for a long time. The real magic. The real witchery. Casting a Circle.

The Magic Circle is a ball or a dome of energy (magic) that you build around yourself during your magical workings.

The purpose of a Magic Circle is to protect you from negative energies, evil forces, and spirits while you do magical work or perform a ritual. The Circle puts you in the right state of mind for magic. It also increases the power and effects of your magic. Many people cast a Circle every time they cast a spell or perform a ritual. Some cast a Circle when they do divination, meditation, or craft magical objects as well.

⚠️There are MANY different ways to cast a Circle, and every solitary witch has their own method. I'll present you with one, but you can explore with different possibilities and adapt it as much as you want.⚠️

Casting a Magic Circle (step by step)

1: Finding the right place
Find a place for casting the Circle. It can be anywhere; indoors in your room, outside in the forest, etc. You should have room to walk around a little bit – usually the diameter of the Circle is 5-6 feet (150-180 cm). Don't pick a very busy and public place because you don't want to be disturbed (disturbances can be frustrating and sometimes dangerous). The most important thing is that you feel safe and comfortable in the place.

2: Purification of Space
First, clean the place physically. Indoors, move all the items on the floor to the side so they're not on your way when you walk. Outside, remove the biggest branches, leaves, and rocks.  Especially if you're indoors, the space needs to be purified spiritually from negative energies (and possible spirits hanging around!). Outside areas don't usually have to be spiritually purified, but if you have a feeling that you should, do it. Your intuition might be telling you that there's something in the place that might interfere with your magic.

There are many ways to spiritually purify a place.
- Light an incense or smudge stick and walk around the room with it, waving it in the air and imagining all the negativity disappearing with the smoke. Go near the walls and the corners too. Common smudges are sage and sweetgrass.
- Take your broomstick and sweep the floor with it (it doesn't have to touch the floor). Imagine the broom sweeping the negative energies away. If you want, you can chant at the same time.
- Sprinkle consecrated water around the room (see chapter XXI for how to make some). This is called asperging. You can also sprinkle milk or wine if you prefer. Put the liquid in a bowl, dip your fingers in it, and sprinkle it around while you walk around the space.
- Sprinkle consecrated salt around the room. To consecrate your salt, hold your hands above it and say some words related to consecration, for example:
"I cleanse and consecrate this salt,
may it enhance and purify all that it touches.
So mote it be."
Sprinkle the salt around and imagine it absorbing all the negative energies.
- Light a candle and walk around the room, holding it in your hands. Imagine the fire destroying all the negativity in the place.

3: Mark the perimeter of the Circle (optional)
If you want, you can use something to mark the boundaries of the Circle on the floor, so it's easier for your to see and you don't accidentally step outside of it. Place the items of your choice in a circle on the floor to mark the Magic Circle. You can use candles, rocks, crystals, cord, salt (pour on the floor), chalk (draw a circle), sticks, or anything you feel is magical. If you're indoors make sure you clean it up afterwards. You can also place special items in the "four corners": North, East, South, and West. Use candles, crystals, or any materials that stand out a little from the rest, such as symbols of the cardinal directions. If you don't know which direction they are, use a real compass or the Compass app on your phone to find out.

4: Gathering your tools
Take all the materials you'll need in your magical work. Place an altar inside the Circle towards the North side or in the center, and put all the items on it. You may want to include candles to represent deities, and symbols of each Element. Bring your Grimoire as well, and any other item you need for the magical work.

5: Calling the Quarters and casting the Circle
Take your athame or wand, or use your finger. Stand facing East, close your eyes, and relax to a calm state. Imagine roots going into the Earth from your feet, and feel the energy of the Earth. Imagine the energy coming from the Earth, through the roots, and into your body. Open your eyes and point your athame/wand/finger towards the East. Imagine light coming out of it and starting to form the Circle. Say:
"Element of Air,
I call upon you to guard this Circle and watch over me as I work."

Turn towards the South, pointing, and say:
"Element of Fire,
I call upon you to guard this Circle and watch over me as I work."

Turn to the West, pointing, and say:
"Element of Water,
I call upon you to guard this Circle and watch over me as I work."

Then turn to the North, pointing, and say:
"Element of Earth,
I call upon you to guard this Circle and watch over me as I work."

Now go to the center of the Circle and point your athame/wand/finger towards the sky. Say:
"Element of Spirit,
I call upon you."

Then bring your tool down to touch the ground while saying:
"As above, so below, the Circle is cast.
As I will it, so mote it be."

Your Circle is done and you can now perform any magical work you want: spells, rituals, divination, meditation, crafting new magical tools, etc.
NOTE: You can say anything you want to call the Elements. Make an invocation that suits your needs.

6: Invoking your deities (optional)
If you worship or work with deities, you may wish to invoke them before you start your magical work. Imagine reaching out to your deities and call for them. You can say:
"[Name], the god(dess) of [thing],
I call upon you to guard this Circle and watch over me as I work."

For the words in brackets, insert the right words. For example, "Aphrodite, the goddess of love".  You can use your own words too, whatever feels good and natural.

7: Leaving the Circle to get something you forgot
Did you forget to bring something inside the Circle before casting it? Don't walk through the boundary of the Circle – it will break and then you have to cast it again. Take your athame, wand, or finger, and imagine cutting a door into the Circle with it. Walk through the doorway, find what you need, and come back. Remember to use your tool to draw the door backwards so it closes when you're inside the Circle again.

8: Dismissing deities and Quarters, closing the Circle
When you've finished your magical work, it's time to close the Circle. If you called your deities to the casting, dismiss them by saying:
"I thank [name] that helped me with my practice."

Stand in the center of the Circle, and touch your athame/wand/finger to the ground. As you stand up and point it to the sky, say:
"I thank you, Element of Spirit, now I close this Circle."

Stand facing North, pointing, and imagine the energy of the Circle going into your athame/wand/finger, running through your body, and back into the Earth. Say:
"I thank you, Element of Earth, now I close this Circle."

Turn to the West, pointing, and say:
"I thank you, Element of Water, now I close this Circle."

Turn to the South, pointing, and say:
"I thank you, Element of Fire, now I close this Circle."

Turn towards the East, pointing, and say:
"I thank you, Element of Air, now I close this Circle."

Imagine the energy going into the Earth through you. Finally say:
"The Circle is open, but never broken.
Merry meet and merry part, and merry meet again.
Blessed be."

If you're indoors make sure you clean up after yourself.

Sources:
"How to Cast a Circle", site: wikihow.com

"How to Cleanse or Purify a Sacred Space", author: Patti Wigington, site: thoughtco.com

"How to cast a circle || Enchanted Endeavours Ep. 12", channel: Harmony Nice, site: youtube.com

"HOW TO CAST A MAGICAL CIRCLE IN 6 SIMPLE STEPS", author: Tess Whitehurst, site: tesswhitehurst.com

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