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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Witchy Wednesday! Circle Casting

Welcome to 

Witchy Wednesdays


'Bella's Book of Shadows'

For a quick recap on last weeks post: Sacred Spaces 

Click the link below


This week is all about Circle Casting, so here we go...

Circle Casting

This is one of those most common denominators among all who practice Wicca or Witchcraft, is the casting of a Circle for rituals and rites.  There are some outside the craft who are confused by this exercise, and have a hard time understanding the practice of such a thing.  

When doing Magickal Rites and/or Rituals, a meditative state is entered and that is achieved by casting a Circle, which is in itself the cause of the focus leading to the concentration and transformed state of mind into a space that resides between worlds.   The Circle acts as an invisible barrier between the inside and outside preventing any negative or hostile energies/entities that might want to jump on board and hitch a lift into the physical realm with you.  Plus working in a Circle lets you solely put your emphasis on your intentions and influence of what you do want to allow into your Magickal workings, without having to worry about unwanted guests crashing your soiree. 

There are many different ways to cast a Circle, all of which will be quite similar so don’t be worried that you are going to have to memorize lots of different ways.  At the end of the day you need to choose a formula that works for you and how you toil, it’s as simple as that.

Below is a simple guide for casting a Circle.  You can make it more elaborate:  add a few personal flourishes or you can do the no frills version and pare it down to suit your particular tastes, as not everyone wants the full on all wands blazing show.  The choice is yours.  That’s what Wicca is about, taking your power and making it your own.  There is no herd instinct if you are a solitary witch, however things may be a lot different if you are part of a coven, whereby the hierarchy will dictate how their particular Magickal machine works.

There are also those who don’t cast Circles, but that choice is up to you, from my research the general consensus is that any Magickal undertaking has more potency within the Circle, and you as an individual are protected within its confines provided that you cast it properly.

Casting a Circle - Your Step by Step Guide

1.       The size of your Circle.  
If it’s just you alone, then you can easily work within a 3 – 5 ft. Circle.  If you are part of a coven the size will go up depending on how many people need to be inside.  But for this guide, we’ll work as a solitary witch.

2.        Decide where you are going to cast your Circle.

In some traditions the Circle is physically marked on the ground.  In others,  it is just visualised by each member of the coven.  For the solitary witch who is working either indoors or even outdoors, it is easy to mark your Circle on the floor. Chalk is good - Cleanse & Bless it first though.

3.       Drawing or not drawing your Circle.

Your Circle should be drawn with the four cardinal points in mind.  Placing a candle or marker on each of the points:- North, South, East & West.  (Remember the colours from two weeks ago?  The Elements)   Put your altar in the centre with all the tools you will need for your ritual.  Please cleanse yourself before entering the Circle.  Sage smudge sticks are great for this.

4.       What next?  

     Enter the Circle from the east and announce: “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.” Move clockwise around the inside of the Circle.  Carry a lit candle – white (You can use a lighter instead, if this is more convenient – be careful not to burn your fingers if using a lighter, sometimes they get quite hot after a while).  At each one of the four cardinal directions, call upon the Deities of your choosing. (These can be known as Guardians or Watchtowers or Watchers).
5.    As you  light your yellow candle in the East, say something along the following lines:
Watchers of the East, I call upon you 
to oversee the rites I perform
Powers of wisdom and knowledge, channelled by Air 
I ask that you keep guard over me
tonight enclosed by this Circle
6.    Move to the Southern point, and light the red or orange candle, saying:

Watchers of the South, I call upon you 
to oversee the rites I perform 
Powers of passion and energy, channelled by Fire
I ask that you keep guard over me
tonight enclosed by this Circle 
7.    Circle around to the West, and light the blue candle saying:

Watchers of the West, I call upon you 
to oversee the rites I perform 
Powers of will and emotion, channelled by Water
I ask that you keep guard over me 
tonight enclosed by this Circle 
8.    Move to the North and light the green candle, saying:
Watchers of the North, I call upon you 
to oversee the rites I perform
Powers of longevity and strength, channelled by Earth 
I ask that you keep guard over me
tonight enclosed by this Circle 

9.    Finally, go to the centre of the Circle and light a purple candle on your altar, saying: 
Watchers of the Light, I call upon you
to oversee the rites I perform
Powers of radiant luminescence and pure energy, channelled by Spirit
I ask that you keep guard over me
tonight enclosed by this Circle 

10.  Finish with this:

Let all who enter the Circle under your guidance
do so in perfect love and perfect trust
So Mote it Be

At this point the Circle is cast.  If you are alone then it is done.  (If you are working with others, this is time that they can enter the Circle.  They should be asked:  How do you enter the Circle? Their reply should be something like this: In perfect love and perfect trust or In the light and love of the Goddess). 
Once you are within the Circle, the Circle is closed.  During ritual/rite/ceremony should you wish to exit for any reason whatsoever, you will need to make a doorway.  Do this by holding your athame or wand in your hand and make a cutting gesture up and across the line of the Circle, essentially cutting an invisible doorway. You can step through this space, however when you return inside the Circle, re-enter in the exact place you exited, closing the invisible doorway by doing the reverse movement of when you opened it and resealing the line of the Circle with the athame or wand.

11.  After you've finished your work:
     When the ceremony or rite has ended, the Circle is typically cleared in the same way in which it was cast. Remember to pleasantly dismiss the deities or Guardians/Watchers and thank them for watching over you. Don’t forget to thank each element in turn and extinguish the candles, in reverse order starting at the centre point, Spirit, then to the North and ending in the East.
     As I said earlier, if this appears a little unexciting or dull to you, (no TV specials effects in your home) you can liven up the proceeding as much as you like.  What I've given you is a fundamental starting point for ritual work, and you can make yours as extravagant and ostentatious as you like or keep it super simple or the super no frills version. 
     The choice is yours, go with your instincts, sometimes you may feel that things need a little bit of spice and all things nice, and at other times, you may feel that it needs to be more somber.  Also the type of ritual you are performing can likewise have a strong bearing on how you cast your Circle.
     If you are feeling super creative or poetic, make up your own Rites for the calling and dismissing the Watchers and Elements. 

     Just don’t spend too long casting the Circle so that you aren’t left with any time for the rest of your ritual or ceremony.
Check List:
A. Make sure all your tools ready ahead of time – preparation is key, as I said last week.  This will save time during the ritual looking for things.
B. When first starting out, use small prompt cards for the Watchers and each of the Elements until you feel confident to work without them or should you forget what to say when casting the Circle improvise as speaking with your chosen deities/Watchers should come straight from the heart centre.
C.  If you think you've made a mistake, panic ye not!  Just pick up from the point you can remember and start again. Remember it’s not the end of the world, we all make mistakes, no-one’s perfect 100% of the time, just let it go and breathe.   
D. Practice makes for close perfection, the more you do the more confident you become.
Wand   )O(   Athame
)O(  1 x White )O(  1 x Blue )O( 1 x Red  )O( 1 x Green )O(
)O( 1 x Yellow )O( 1 x Purple )O(
Other tools for your ritual and or ceremony

So there you have it, how to cast a Circle and some of the tools you'll need.  If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll get back to you or if there is something specific you'd like me to feature, let me know! 



So until next week, be good and if you can't be good be careful! 

Blessed be


Bella x

   Copyright Bella Harte 2012 -  Bella’s Book of Shadows  

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