Samhain is just around the corner my witchy loves! Time for thanksgiving and a cleansing of the energies! This is my second intimate lesson on the craft. Today I will discuss what “circle casting” is, why we cast a circle and how to go about it. As Wiccans, we believe in multiple dimensions, many worlds and several planes of existence. Circle casting is a way for us to make and designate a magickal space, pull open the seam and step into a personal and sacred space where magick is best preformed and the most opportune place to communicate with your guides. It is said that the circle exists “on the boundaries of space and time”. Therefore it is profoundly important that we both open and close the circle with respect and intention. Other religions traditionally use churches and temples to pray and create a sacred space, as witches we are to be one with nature and should be able to set up a temple anywhere! Also keep in mind that not all practices and “sects” of paganism cast a circle, and it is entirely up to you.
Now, it is important to know that there are solitary witches like myself who practice alone and therefore do not have the opportunity to cast with other witches. This is something that is sometimes chosen but usually involuntary, as the craft calls to few but only those who are ready. I will be outlying how to cast the circle solo, with a few edits added to guide those who may be lucky enough to practice with others. If you have any questions, comments or corrections please send them my way!
Before you cast your circle, make sure your altar is set up as you like it and are ready for your rituals with all supplies and tools at hand. If you need help with this, our last lesson was on magickal altars. I also like to meditate and ground myself before casting a circle, and I highly recommend it to help you focus too.
You can cast your circle with something physical and tangible or simply imagine it in your mind’s eye. I recommend actually constructing a circle, at least for your first several times, but it’s up to you. You can do this by carving into the ground, or spreading wax, sand, crystals, wood and even salt on the floor.
Your circle should enclose the shape of a pentagram with the top point facing north, with markers, like candles or other tools like the chalice and athame, on each Cardinal point. At the north, you will place flowers, bark, stones, and/or a green candle to symbolize earth; in the east corner, a feather, incense or yellow candle to represent air; in the south corner- charcoal or an orange/red candle to symbolize fire; and finally in the west corner place your chalice full of water and/or a blue candle to represent water.
The high priestess or priest should lead the casting of the circle by marking it on the floor or ground, if you are a solitary practitioner you will do all the steps yourself, and if you are a part of a coven you will be led by the high priestess/priest. The high priestess should enter the circle from the east and say,
“Let it be known that the circle is about to be cast. All who enter the Circle may do so in perfect love and perfect trust.”
If part of a coven, other members may wait outside the circle until the casting is complete. Next, the high priestess (or yourself) should move clockwise around the circle, carrying a lit white candle, wand or athame. At each of the four cardinal points, she will call upon the Goddess, God or her guardians.
Starting at the east corner, the priestess will light the candle and acknowledge the energies of that element
“Guardians of the East, I call upon you to watch over my rites and rituals (or rites and rituals of [said] coven, Powers of knowledge and wisdom, guided by Air, we ask that you keep watch over us tonight within this circle. Let all who enter the circle under your guidance do so in perfect love and perfect trust.”
The high priestess will walk to the southern candle and light it while saying,
“Guardians of the South, I call upon you to watch over my rites and rituals (or rites and rituals of [said] coven, Powers of energy and will, guided by Fire, we ask that you keep watch over us tonight within this circle. Let all who enter the circle under your guidance do so in perfect love and perfect trust.”
Next, the priestess will move to the western candle and light it while saying,
“Guardians of the West, I call upon you to watch over my rites and rituals (or rites and rituals of [said] coven, Powers of passion and emotion, guided by Water, we ask that you keep watch over us tonight within this circle. Let all who enter the circle under your guidance do so in perfect love and perfect trust.”
Finally, the head priestess will move to the northern candy and light it while announcing,
“Guardians of the North, I call upon you to watch over my rites and rituals (or rites and rituals of [said] coven, Powers of endurance and strength, guided by Earth, we ask that you keep watch over us tonight within this circle. Let all who enter the circle under your guidance do so in perfect love and perfect trust.”
The priestess will then announce that the circle has been cast and other members (if there are any) will join the circle as well, while announcing themselves that they join “with only perfect love and perfect trust” and kiss the cheek of their neighbor to their right and then their left. This is done as a sign of sister/brotherhood and is optional as it is just tradition.
Now your circle is cast and you are ready to cast spells, contact those who have passed and attempt to communicate with your guardians. Good luck little witch! And while practicing magick, always keep the Wiccan Rede in mind- Do what you will but harm none! Everything will return to you seven fold so be prepared for the consequences. When you are done with your rituals and rites, you must close the sacred space that you’ve designated. You may do so by having the high priestess thank and dismiss the four Cardinal points in counterclockwise motion, or have everyone in the circle kiss and raise their wand or athame in gratitude and devotion to the elements and Goddess.
Congratulations, you just completed your first magickal rite, welcome to the world of Wicca 🙂
Tips for circle casting:
-Have all the tools you need for the ritual at hand
-Feel free to write these steps and words down in your Book of Shadows or magickal journal. It can be difficult to remember, especially for beginners.
-As with any other magick, it is most strong when it has been personalized and tailored, any changes, summaries or improvements can be made based on your personal preference and only make your intentions and results stronger. So feel free to edit, shorten or change what you will.
Have questions or comments? Message me or comment and I’d be happy to help ❤