Casting a circle with the elements is something every beginner witch must learn and every high priestess will still perform frequently. Every single time you perform a ritual it’s important to properly cast a circle. While different covens and solitary witches find their own methods and techniques to do this, there are some important rules to keep in mind. So what is the circle for and how do you cast one?
A magick circle both protects you from negative energy or spirits and focuses your energies during a ritual. It may be as simple as simply drawing your finger in a circle around you or a complex ritual.
What Is a Magickal Circle?
In the world of magick, a circle refers to a sacred space that is created to do spells, rituals, or divination work. Although called a circle, it is more of a sphere or a bubble of energy that you create so that you can work inside of it without being bothered by unwanted energies or spirits that may be lurking around.
What Does a Circle Do?
A circle thus creates a shield of energy that serves a two-fold purpose:
1. Contains your energies inside of it, and
2. Prevents unwanted energies or spirits from interfering with your work.
When to Cast a Circle
Note: Before you begin, make sure you take our magick ability test and we’ll help you find your innate strengths to adapt any type of ritual (including casting a circle with the elements).
The decision about how frequently and for what purposes to cast a circle rests entirely upon you. You may choose to cast a circle for every trivial spell, or you may cast it only when dealing with stronger energies or doing intense magic work. Generally, most witches cast their circles for:
· Spirit work
· Experimentation with energies
· Magical practices
Note: Not all witches prefer casting a circle, but most do. Even among those who have made circle casting an integral part of their magic work, their experiences often vary to the extremes. On one end of the spectrum are some Wicca practitioners who aren’t sure if casting a magical circle offers notable benefits. On the other end, some experienced witches will swear that once they have cast their circle, the concepts of time and space seem to work at a different dimension from the outside world. So, circle casting might or might not be the thing for you, but it is definitely worth a try.
Things You Need to Cast a Circle
Actually, nothing but your intentions will suffice. But you might want to do it in a more proper way, especially if you are just starting out. You can use a wand or athame or sword to cast the circle, or you could do it just with your fingers. Other things you might need would be a bowl of water, an incense stick and a lighter or matchstick.
You can choose to go a step further and use candles, herbs, stones or crystals to cast your circle. Again, the decision to use any or all of these items in your circle casting practice should be completely personal.
Cleansing the Sacred Space
Before you cast a circle, it is important to cleanse the space, literally. Use a broom (if you have one) or a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt. Or you can just use your intentions to cleanse the energy of the sacred space. It is to show respect to the energies, elements, goddess and spirits that you are about to invoke for your practice.
Cleansing the Space With Elements
You can cleanse the space with the elements by using salt (representing element earth), water (for element water), and incense (for elements fire and air)
Process: Mix salt in the bowl of water and stand in the middle of the space where you want to cast your circle. Face east and begin to sprinkle saltwater on the floor. Turn clockwise and keep cleansing the space with saltwater until you are facing east again. Now light the incense stick and stand in the middle, facing east. Hold the burning incense in one hand, and with the other hand, direct the smoke in all the directions while you turn clockwise. Stop when you are facing east again. The sacred space is now cleansed, and you are all set to cast the circle.
Additional tip: Saltwater is a great cleanser. Taking a bath with saltwater each day will keep your aura clean, help you get rid of any sort of negativity, and protect you from the evil eye. In the eastern world, the ritual of lighting incense precedes any auspicious or spiritual activity. Making it a part of your daily routine will keep you surrounded by positivity.
You can also add additional symbols to keep spirits away around your circle if you think the situation calls for it.
How to Cast a Circle
Casting a circle is a very personal thing, and every Wicca practitioner should develop their own method of doing so. Here we are explaining how to cast a circle with elements.
Here’s an outline:
Stand in the middle of your sacred space. Facing east, invoke the element of the east, that is, air. Turn clockwise towards the south direction. Invoke the element of south, that is fire. Again turning clockwise, you will now be facing west. Invoke water, the element of the west. Turn again and now facing north invoke earth, the element of that direction. Lastly, facing east again, look up and invoke the fifth element – ether. You may even summon your Gods, Goddesses, Deities, or your Spirit Guides while you cast the circle.
Note: Many practitioners invoke only four elements with the exception of ether, which literally means the element that fills the empty space.
Note: You may begin casting your circle by facing north instead of east.
Casting a Circle With Five Elements
Standing in the middle of the sacred space facing east, point your wand/athame/sword/fingers towards the east and say, “I call upon the element of air to come and protect the circle. Come and bless me with creativity, inspiration, thoughts, ideas, and everything that’s in the air. I request you to come and balance my air element with my other elements. Thank you!
Note: You can choose to say your own invocations. What we have demonstrated here are the more elaborate ones. You can keep it as simple as “I call upon the element of air/fire/water/earth/ether” as per the direction you are facing.” Now turn clockwise and pointing towards south say, “I call upon the element of fire to come and protect the circle. Come and bless me with passion and drive and with purity and intensity. Please come and be balanced with my other elements. Thank you!”
Turn towards the west and say, “I call upon the element of water to come and protect the circle. Water that sustains life, that nourishes, hydrates, and maintains balance in the world, come and bless me. I request you to be balanced with my other elements. Thank you!”
Turn towards the north and say, “I call upon the element of earth to come and protect the circle. Come and bless me with a sense purpose and direction, and guide me in my journey through life. Please balance all the elements now to earth. Thank you!”
Again facing east and looking up raise your tool or point your fingers towards the sky and say, “I call upon the element of ether to come and protect the circle. The life force within us that flows freely and keeps us alive, come and shower your blessings. Please hold all the elements in place. Thank you!”
Note: You can also use physical objects to demarcate your circle. You can do so with salt, candles, stones or crystals. For example, black tourmaline is a stone that blocks negativity. Keeping pieces of black tourmaline on the perimeter of your circle can keep unwanted energies from the outside away.
What to Do If You Forget Something Outside of the Circle?
In case you forget an item for the ritual outside of the circle, you need not repeat the circle casting process all over again. Since you created the circle or bubble of energy with your intentions, you can manipulate it at your own will.
Using your wand or fingers, cut a door-shape in the sphere of energy that is adequate for you to get through. Exit the circle, closing the door behind you by doing the cut in reverse. Grab the missing item, come back to the circle, cut the door again, walk into your sacred space and reseal the door from inside.
By creating a doorway in the circle, you can move in and out of it without losing any energies.
Closing the Circle
Once you are done with your magic work, it is time to close the circle. It is done to release the energies and thank the deities, gods, goddesses, and spirit guides that you summoned for your spell. To close the circle, you must move in an anticlockwise direction. Start with the last element that you invoked – ether. Facing east, with fingers or wand pointing towards the sky, say, “I thank the element of ether. Now I close the circle.”
Note: If you didn’t invoke ether, you can skip this step and start directly by thanking the element of air if you started facing east. If you started by facing north, thank the element of earth and turn anticlockwise.
Now point towards the east, say, “I thank the element of air. Now I close the circle.”
Then turning anticlockwise, point towards south and say “I thank the element of fire. Now I close the circle.”
Turn again and face west. “I thank the element of water. Now I close the circle.”
Face north and thank earth. “I thank the element of earth. Now I close the circle.”
Finally thank all the deities, goddesses and spirits that helped you in your practice. The circle is now closed.
Note: What we have described as closing the circle may also be called opening the circle. You may, in that case, thank the element and say “Now I open the circle.”
Wisdom From the East
Since it is always advisable to experiment with your practices, you might want to incorporate some traditional concepts from the Eastern world into your workings. For example, Vastu Shastra, the ancient Indian science of architecture relates the five elements to the five human senses. It associates earth with the sense of smell, water with taste, fire with sight, air with touch, and ether with hearing. Engaging your senses while casting the circle can make the process more evocative and effective.
For example, while summoning the element of earth, you can think about the smell of soil after rain. While invoking water, you can think about its thirst-quenching taste. Invoking fire, you can feel the warmth of the Sun in your eyes. Invoking air, you can feel a cool breeze caressing your skin. And while invoking ether, you can try to listen to the melody of silence.
Find Your Own Unique Way
Casting a circle is a very personal and intimate affair that deserves customization at almost every point. Do not hesitate to experiment and handcraft your own way. The process of creating your magic should be nothing short of magical itself.