There are numerous resources both in books
the web, for learning how to cast Circle, and perform ritual. Most
state similar techniques, and this will probably be no different.
Circle casting is done a specific way because the act of casting begins
the process of attuning your subconscious to the awareness of forces
that are not normally recognized.
Most of what Witches do on a Spiritual level
done in an altered state of consciousness. When a Circle is properly
cast, and you are in the correct mindset to do ritual, everything
outside the Circle seems to fade and cease to exist. The Circle is a
place that is not a place, and a time that has no time. You become so
focused on where you are and what you are doing that nothing else
matters. There are times that you may come out of ritual to find
voicemail on your phone, but you never heard the ring.
At first it’s natural to question how you
get to this state of concentration, but as I said in What Is
Ritual, this altered state is the whole point of performing
the ritual. After you have become comfortable with casting Circle, and
it becomes second nature to do so, you will find that entering this
altered state is also second nature. It just takes practice.
Before casting, it is traditional to cleanse
area you intend to use. This is normally a metaphysical cleansing, not
a physical one, unless you need to clear the area of objects. Assuming
that you already have a clear area to work in, you can simply sweep the
Circle with a broom. Because this is not a physical cleaning, the
bristles of the broom are held above the floor. The broom and the
sweeping motion are symbolic, and the subconscious communicates in
Simply “sweep” the area where you intend to
the Circle, picturing in your mind (visualizing) that you are sweeping
out all negative energies, and anything else that is unwanted. Continue
sweeping as long as it takes to get the area free of these energies.
When the area is clean, you will know.
Typically as a Witch, you will start casting
Circle in the East. There are always exceptions to everything, but here
I will stick to the standard way of casting. Standing in the East, you
take your casting tool, be it a sword, staff, Athame, or your finger,
and clear your mind. It is important that you forget all the problems
of your day. No matter what happened to you during the day, it has no
place in ritual. Forget it, clear your mind.
Concentrate on what you are about to do. The
ritual takes over your mind, leaving no room for anything else. Feel
the space around you. Understand that this space, no matter where it
happens to be, is Sacred. Feel the Divinity of the space. It does not
matter if you are standing knee deep in the sewer. Everything comes
from the Goddess, and is therefore Divine and Sacred.
In order to create Sacred Space, you must be
to recognize the Sacred, no matter where you may see it. This is one of
the things that separate Witchcraft from organized religions of the
West. We do not separate the Spiritual from the physical. Divinity does
not exist on a separate plane from us. It is all around and part of us.
When you can feel the Sacred all around you, it is time to begin
casting the Circle.
Tap into the Sacred all around you, and pull
energy into your body. Focus this energy within you. Pointing your
casting tool at the ground before you, feel the energy run through your
body, and down your arm. Push the energy out from your hand, through
the tool and onto the ground where it points. You are not creating this
energy, you are simply focusing and directing the energy around you,
and putting it to your will. Most people will see this focused energy
as being a blue-white in color.
With your casting tool, begin to draw the
There is no rush, take your time, always focusing on the energy you are
drawing into you, and shooting out of the tool. Visualization is the
key. You can create anything you can visualize. See the energy and the
Circle you are drawing with your mind’s eye. Superimpose this image
over the reality of your location and see both the energy and the
physical location at the same time.
Most people can close their eyes and see
their mind. The trained Witch can do this with their eyes open, and
with little thought to maintaining the mental image. This is
visualization. You must be able to see not only the mental image of
your choice, but how it interacts with the world around you. Everyone
has the ability to overlay a mental image they see in their mind, with
the physical image they see with their eyes. Some come by the skill
easier than others, but it is a skill and can be learned by anyone
willing to work hard enough.
Walk the space as you draw the Circle on the
ground. Calmly create your Sacred space as you go. Slowly walk the area
you intend to use, drawing the Circle. See the blue-white light of the
energy come out of your casting tool, and hit the ground. Everyone sees
this differently, I see it almost like a laser hitting the ground and
causing the ground to glow wherever it hits. The glow remains as I walk
the boundary of the Circle.
Your aim doesn’t need to be perfect. The
thing about casting a Circle for ritual is that no matter how wobbly or
amoeba-like you draw them, they always end up perfectly round. Walk the
boundary of your Circle, casting the blue-white light out onto the
floor the entire time. When you come back to where you began, make the
part you are drawing, cross the point where the Circle started, and
they will connect. As the two ends come into contact with each other,
the Circle will become whole, and perfect.
This is all there is to casting the Circle.
can chant words as you cast or not, it’s really up to you, and what
feels right. This is your circle, how you cast it is entirely up to
you. Remember as you cast, that you are creating Sacred Space. This is
an area of calm and tranquility no matter what else may be happening in
the general vicinity. Once the Circle is complete, you will notice a
difference, even if you can’t quite figure out what that difference is.
It’s this difference in the feel of a Circle
we label as a place that is not a place, a time that is not a time.
Within the Circle, time seems to move differently. There will be times
when your internal clock says you’ve been inside for hours, and when
the Circle is cut, the clock tells you that only a few minutes have
passed. The opposite is also true, you think you’ve only been in Circle
a few minutes, and come out to find an hour or more has passed.
Other outside distractions are muted also.
outside in the middle of a busy park, you will find that you stop
noticing people as they pass by. I have gone into Circle outside in
full daylight, and come out at the end of ritual to realize that dusk
has already passed. When you are in the ritual mindset, your mind
focuses only on the task within the Circle, and ignores everything
else. This may not happen when you first start casting circles, but
with practice, it will happen.
The purpose of the Circle is two-fold. The
creates a barrier that holds energy. Most rituals involve raising
energy that is directed to a purpose, a.k.a. Magick. The Circle allows
you to focus on drawing in the energy and manipulating it, without
worrying about containing it. The Circle contains the energy until it
is directed to its purpose.
The other purpose of the Circle is as a
barrier. It is this protective aspect that causes the outside
distractions to be muted. While the Circle itself is not physical in
nature, it does have a physical quality to it. As you become attuned to
the energy of the Circle, you will be able to feel it. Most Witches who
have been practicing for a while, feel this energy strong enough that
they can back to the edge of the Circle without ever crossing the
boundary. You can feel the wall of energy on your back as you near it.
Some Witches see the cast Circle as a cone
energy, others see it as a dome, or hemisphere. How you see the Circle
doesn’t matter, but you should be able to see it, if only as the line
drawn on the ground, for as long as the circle is cast. This comes back
to visualization. By visualizing the Circle, you make it real. The
stronger your will, the more real the Circle is. This is why a Circle
for a group ritual tends to be stronger than one for a single person.
The more people who see the Circle, the more will is involved, and
therefore a stronger Circle is cast.
You don’t need to worry about how strong you
your Circle. As long as you can see the Circle when you look at it,
it’s strong enough to do what you need. As long as you are confident in
your ability, your Circle will be as strong as it needs to be. This is
why casting Circle is one of the first things a Witch learns. Circle
casting is an exercise to build confidence. A Witch must be confident
in what they do, or they won’t be able to do anything.
The phrase, ‘By my will, so mote it
is not simply a way to note the end of ritual. Everything that a Witch
does, is by his or her will alone. If your will is strong enough, you
can do anything you set your mind to. Strong will, placed behind solid
visualization can move mountains. Will cannot be learned, it can only
be exercised. As with your muscles, the more you exercise it, the
stronger it becomes. Just as with visualization, it takes practice.
You can exercise will by breaking bad
you smoke, stop. Any smoker will tell you that quitting takes a force
of will like no other. You can also exercise your will by taking
control of, and responsibility for, your life. Recognize when you have
done something wrong, and correct it, or better yet, stop yourself from
doing something you know is wrong. Doing the right thing, and taking
responsibility for your actions is never the easy way, which is why it
takes will. The stronger your will, the more effective your Magick.
This is also why casting a spell for another
less effective than casting one for yourself. If you are going to go to
all the work of creating a spell then casting it, you must really want
a specific outcome. Casting a spell for someone else can be effective,
but because your will is the determining factor in the success of the
spell, it’s usually easier to exercise your will for something you
The more times you cast a Circle, the more
exercise both your will and visualizations skills, the easier it
becomes. The first few times you cast Circle may be difficult. You must
be confident in your ability to cast the Circle. Each time you cast a
Circle, your confidence will grow, especially if you are casting for a
group. Even if you are casting Circle only for yourself, as you get
used to it, you will become more confident in your ability.
You will begin to notice the difference
when you are in Circle, and when you are not. As you work within the
Circle, you will feel it holding the energy you raise. These are things
that you may not be able to measure scientifically, but you will feel
them. As you notice these changes, you will gain confidence, and that
will cause your casting to be stronger. No one is asking you to take
anything on faith. You will see the reality of what you are doing. The
more you see, the better you will become.