Before you begin a spell, casting a circle is a helpful step, especially when you are just starting out. Not all witches do, but I consider it a mandatory part of a ritual. Why? We’ll get to that.
When I first started practicing the craft, I was a little confused by this step. Many spells simply mentioned it and then moved on. Below is the method I’ve developed over the years. Feel free to tweak it and make it your own.
So, what is a circle?
I envision it as a barrier of light surrounding me and anyone I’m doing a spell with. It’s a barrier between you and everyone else.
You might want to mark this with physical objects when you’re starting out, to give you a visual. You could use herbs, candles, or you can go the Supernatural route and use rock salt. Anything will do. Again, a physical representation is optional.
Why do you need to cast one?
To ward off unfriendlies.
A circle is for your protection. Consider it an insurance policy. Basically, it’s a way to guard against unfriendly beings and energies who might be attracted to your spell. And you!
Don’t freak. When I first heard of this phenomenon, I stopped cold. The point is, the circle is there to protect you. As long as you do one, you’re okay. Don’t worry about curious and possibly hostile entities.
It enhances power.
The circle will keep your chi, energy, life force, whatever you want to call it, inside the circle. This will make it easier to cast your spell, since your power won’t be spread over a large space. This is especially important for newer witches who are just getting used to harnessing their energy and focusing it.
Okay, ready? Let’s do this.
Get the Space Ready
I usually clean up a bit. For me, this also includes sweeping and dusting. You’d do the same for a guest coming to your place, right? I feel the same way about inviting the goddess over.
Then I smudge some herbs or I’ve even sprayed some essential oil infused water around the room. This is for purification and to get rid of any lingering negative energies in the vicinity.
Before you start the circle, gather up your spell ingredients. Once you cast the circle, you’ll stay inside it, until the ritual is finished. I’ve made the mistake of forgetting important elements outside of the circle. It’s not a problem if you forget, but it is a hassle. Just envision a doorway and step out. Make sure to close it after you hop back in.
Call the Corners
The four directions have guardians, who will watch out for you. These correspond with the elements. Invoking these beings is called “calling the corners.” Some people go all out and use a compass, and then face the directions while calling the corners. I don’t. If you’d like to, feel free!
I’d suggest doing some representational magic to envision these elements. For Earth, you could have some dirt, stones, flowers, anything that grows in the dirt. A candle or incense can represent fire. For air, a kite, wind chimes, a paper fan, a feather, or streamers. For water, a vessel of good old H20 would work.
You can decide how to actually call these beings. Do you want to say Spirits of the North, watch over me? Guardians of the East protect me? Do whatever feels natural to you.
Infuse the Circle with Light
I envision light shining in the circle. I visualize it coming out of my fingertips, the ends of my hair, surrounding me, flooding the area with positive energy.
It’s important to take time with this step. You are literally connecting with your own power, in preparation to begin a ritual. Some people sit in the circle, others stand. Once again, you should decide what feels natural and go with it.
The important part is concentration. If you are having trouble focusing, you might want to take up mindfulness or meditation. Once I started being mindful, I noticed I was able to harness more of my power for spells.
Invoke the God or Goddess
Artemis is my personal deity, so I call her for all of my spells. I usually do some variation of, “Goddess Artemis, I seek your help with…” When you feel he or she is with you, thank this being for his or her presence. Because Artemis is a moon goddess, I have something representing the moon in the circle, like a moonstone. I usually wear this most of the time, as a talisman.
If you are calling on a god or goddess you don’t normally work with, you should have something to represent him or her within the circle. This item will vary, depending on what deity you are trying to invoke.
Confused about which god or goddess you should worship? I wrote an article about finding your patron god or goddess.
Call on the Universe
If you are a secular witch, consider calling for the universe’s help and protection.
Complete your Spell
Since this is only a precursor to the ritual, you’ll need to have a spell in mind. This post on casting a spell might be helpful. You can use it to formulate one of your own.
Close the Circle
When you are finished, thank your god or goddess for assisting you. Also, thank the corners for watching over you. Extinguish the candles or incense. And visualize the barrier dropping. At this time, you can also remove the physical items you used to create one.
Have you ever called the corners before? Tell me how you go about casting a circle. If you haven’t tried it before, do you have any questions?