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Casting a Circle: The Basics

Author: Lady Asherah Ahmi
Posted: October 17th. 2010
Times Viewed: 3,499

It's one of those things, to someone new to The Craft of the Wise, casting a circle is clumsy, overwhelming and just plain tough and to an adept it's simply second nature. So where does one begin?

What is a 'Circle'?

A circle is more of a misnomer, as The Magickal Circle is actually a sphere. It extends around the practitioner forming a spherical oasis of energy. This sphere separates the witch from the mundane world and connects one with the otherworld. The sphere operates between worlds. Within the sphere there is no time, the past present and future exist as one. It is constructed of energy raised by the person casting it, although if one is in a group setting, energy from the other participants is also harnessed. It is sacred space that has been ritually cleansed and blessed prior to the casting so as to prevent negative influences in the ritual space. Circles range in size depending on necessity and application.

So… Can I see this “Circle”?

Ask 100 witches and you will get 100 different answers. Much akin to our concept of Deity, it is a very personal experience. Some people say they see a white light, others see a mist or a fog. Some even see a psychedelic rainbow of colors. To some people, they can’t see the circle at all, instead it is perceived as a humming sound. Still others cannot see or hear it, rather it is a feeling of electricity or a like a field of vibrational frequencies. “Seeing” things to witches can be both a literal term and a metaphoric term, meaning some of us “see” with different senses when in circle, rather we feel and to us this feeling is just as real as if we actually see something with our eyes.

But, I lack concentration!

Relax. Breathe. Feel. Manipulate. Focus and concentration is not something that can be built up in a day. It will not happen right away. Like anything the mantra of any adept is practice, practice, practice. Like athletes who train and condition their muscles for a sport, so too do the witches have to train their minds. Begin with something easy, a few minutes of quiet where one can just exist. When your thoughts wander bring them back to center by focusing on a white light. This light begins in you solar plexus and radiates outward. Once you can clearly “see” this light try to change it. Make it swirl around you, make it bounce high and low and then make it surround you. Once you can do this you are ready to cast a circle!

Here Goes Nothing…

Have confidence! You can’t do anything wrong! You aren’t going to open yourself up to malevolent energies if you enter a situation with confidence and perfect love and trust. You can do this! Take a deep breath and follow these simple steps.

Cleansing and Clearing the Space

Your first objective is to clear the area of chaotic, negative and stagnate energies. This can be done by ritually sweeping the area with a besom (broom used in magickal workings) , by clapping your hands or by ringing a bell. Not only does this clear the area for your work, it also triggers your subconscious mind into an altered state of readiness.

Ground and Center

Get used to it, you are going to hear this phrase a lot. Grounding and centering allows you to expel any unneeded energy from your being into the Great All. With you feet flat on the ground (or floor) bend down and places your palms on the ground as well, feeling the excess drain out of you, clearing your mind and body in preparation for your ritual.

Casting the Circle

Stand back up and face East (some traditions face North, but I prefer East) . This is the direction of the sunrise and new beginnings. Using an athame, wand, staff, stang or just your fingers point to the East. You can either remain silent or say something like,

“I call upon the Light and Air at the East to illuminate and enliven the Circle”.

See the energies of the Earth coming up to greet your outstretched arm. See the sky energies coming down to meet the energies below, meeting at your hand. These energies represent the Goddess and God respectively.

Move deosil (clockwise) to the South seeing the energies follow you to create a wall between the mundane world and the Otherworld. Again, either remain quiet and focused or say something simple.

“I call upon the Light and Fire at the South to illuminate and warm the circle”.

Turning toward the West still seeing the energies following you, either stay quiet or repeat,

“I call upon the Light and Water of the West to illuminate and cleanse the circle”.

The third turn is toward the North. Still focusing the energies now almost completely surrounding you, you may say,

“I call upon the Light and Earth at the North to illuminate and strengthen the circle”.

The final turn is back toward East, the point at which you began. Feel the circle close around you. Feel it secure itself beneath your feet and above your head. You may close the circle with a bow to the East or by saying,

“The circle is now closed and I declare this space sacred in the presence of the Lord and Lady.”

I Feel… Funny…

Some people have physical reactions to being within a Magickal Circle. You might feel your hair stand up, like being exposed to static electricity. You can feel dizzy or lightheaded, your palms may become clammy or you can become jittery. Circles sometimes get very warm too! If you feel completely uncomfortable, it is all right to ground and center yourself. Breathe for a bit and come back to a calm state.

So… What Do I Do in Here?

There is a whole myriad of things that can be done inside a circle, from an elaborate ritual to a simple meditation. Maybe you just needed a few minutes to operate outside of the “real world” and refocus and refresh yourself. This is a great way to feel more connected to the Cosmic Energies.

Whoo-Hoo! I’m Done!

When you are finished with your work inside the Circle, you can then open it. One thing to remember here is to always show gratitude to the energies that aided in your Circle Casting. If you have preformed a ritual, you want to excuse and thank each entity you invited to join you. Once that is finished, you want to begin again at East and with either a simple bow (I like to use prayer position and bow) . This is an honored way to show respect to the energies, but you may also want to say something.

“Depart in Peace, Elemental Air. With blessings given and blessings received, I bid ye thanks and farewell” and so on and so forth for the other three directions. As you do this, envision the energies dissipating into the beyond, being sent out to again be part of the Cosmic All.

When you reach East once again you may clap your hands, or ring a bell to signify the ending of the ritual. Take a few deep breaths and ground and center yourself. Stand back up, renewed in the Spirit and pat yourself on the back. You just Cast a Magickal Circle!

Bless'd are those that seek the Spiritual Path.

Lady Asherah

Copyright: Written by Rev. Lauryn Sabo aka Lady Asherah Ahmi for Blue Moon Ministries


Lady Asherah Ahmi

Location: Medina, Ohio


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