One of the most often performed rites in the magical arts is the casting of a magickal circle. The act of constructing a circle for spellwork or ritual is known as “circle casting.” It’s an essential skill that most master early on in their path.
In this post, we’ll go over the fundamentals of circle casting, including the dimensions and shape of the circle, when and why we use them, and how to make them step-by-step.
Setting up a temporary place for magick or ritual is referred to as “circle-casting.” It’s circular by definition. Circle-casting is a concept that is most usually associated with Wiccan practices, however, other magick practitioners can also cast circles.
The purpose of a magick circle is to create a sacred space, a location separate from the everyday world where magical events may occur more readily. It protects your workspace by preventing unwanted energy from entering.
Distractions from the mundane world, the opposite wills of others, and chaotic creatures that feed off the witch’s efforts, to mention a few, can all interfere with ritual magick. Casting a circle is one way to keep yourself from being distracted and keep your mind on the task at hand.
As a result, as we enter the circle, we are bringing ourselves closer to the realms of magick, spirits, and gods. We may also more easily detach ourselves from the worldly. To put it another way, we’re moving closer to a magical state of awareness.
A psychic border is represented by a circle. It’s not visible. You probably can’t feel it, but there is a noticeable boost in energy within it. In reality, circles aren’t actually circles at all; they’re spheres. Imagine a giant bubble around you, permeating the floor and occasionally even the walls, depending on the available space. The magick circle is claimed to stretch through the worlds—not just the physical plane, but also the astral planes.
The objective of the ritual is to temporarily focus part of that energy for a specific purpose. A circle helps you to gather more energy and keep it for a longer period of time. If you’re working with spirits or deities, a well-constructed circle gives them a comfortable spot to rest for the length of the ritual.
Is it required To cast a circle before doing magick?
No, absolutely not. Not every tradition employs the magick circle. Many individuals who practice shamanism, folk magick, Norse magick, and Kemetic magick do just fine without one.
So, while the circle has various advantages for your spellwork, it is not required for magick. The Witch’s magick circle is a heritage of Western ceremonial magick, often known as Solomonic magick.
Its original intention was to shield the conjuror from demons and fallen angels, as well as to proclaim God’s rule over such rebellious spirits. Many magicians no longer see their relationship with the spiritual world in the same way as they did in the past.
Circle casting is incredibly useful during ritual or spellwork for most beginners and even expert witches. On the other hand, other practitioners may discover that they only require it when performing complicated tasks.
What size should the circle be? What form?
The Wiccan circle is typically nine feet in diameter. The number nine, or three times three, is significant in Wicca. The traditional nine-foot ceremonial cord is folded in half and secured in the middle before being walked around to outline the circle’s boundary.
The final circle will be a little larger than 27 feet in diameter. The nine-foot circle is only a recommendation, not a mandate. Feel free to customize your circle to your own demands and available space.
What size is too small? The circle should be large enough to enclose the magician and his or her ritual components entirely. You don’t want to accidentally pierce the circle’s edges while gesticulating or reaching during the ritual.
The nine-foot circle may not be practicable if you’re working in a bedroom or other compact place. Make a circle the size of the space. A small, round circle is better than a big one with edges that go across walls, furniture, and other things.
The circle should ideally comprise the altar (if one exists), ritual equipment, and nothing else—nothing that may provide a hazard or distraction during the ceremony. There is no theoretical limit to the size of a magick circle. Smaller, tighter circles, on the other hand, are just easier to see and maintain.
Now that we’ve covered circle size, let’s talk about form. Many people imagine the cast circle as a ring of energy on the ground. Some people imagine it as a standing vertical tube (or stack of circles). Some people imagine it as a sphere that extends into the earth and up into the sky. Some people like a cone with a circle at its base.
That’s all right. It’s entirely up to you and how many visualization dimensions you’re comfortable with. Circles are comprised of energy, and each of these forms serves a slightly different energetic purpose. As you get more skilled with circle magick, you may discover that different forms are more suited to particular jobs than others.
Related reading: Common Mistakes People Make When Learning Magick – Opens in new tab
How does it feel to be in a circle?
It’s difficult to put into words how I felt, and it’s likely different for everyone, but there’s something unique about doing this basic process.
People get a variety of experiences when standing within a ceremonial circle. Energy surges and a confused sense of time are frequent symptoms. Within the circle, words, pictures, and objects may take on unique value.
When you approach the circle’s limits, you may experience heat, resistance, or a tingling sensation. It is also usual for things outside the circle’s boundaries to seem blurry or out-of-focus.
How to Cast a Basic Magickal Circle
Casting a circle may be as simple as pointing a finger to the ground and spinning 360 degrees deosil (clockwise). You may say something like, “I cast this circle to protect myself.” Keep negativity out and let only love in.”
At the completion of the ritual, the witch turns widdershins (anti-clockwise) and says simply, “The circle now fades away.”
That is the fundamental magical circle ritual. It’s useful for fast spells as well as protection while out and about. Consider it to be a protecting glass sphere that is always with you. You don’t need anything else unless you want to have a deep and complicated ceremony.
Circles are cast in several ways by witches and other magical practitioners. You may begin with the simplest circle. Once you know how the practice works and how it makes you feel, you can add your own flourishes or techniques and make it your own.
Step-by-step instructions for casting a Magick circle
Rituals must be performed in a psychologically secure environment; if the caster does not feel comfortable, the magick will not work.
More expert practitioners can cast in more exposed locations, but for a novice, it is essential to find somewhere undisturbed. Inside your house might be ideal, or you may want to be outside.
Simply choose an area that is free of distractions and where you will not be anxious.
Locate a flat, relatively open location – indoors or outdoors – where you will not be bothered. Purify and cleanse the place (you can use a ritual broom).
Begin with physical cleansing, or tidying up. If it is in your house, clean and organize the room. Place books on shelves, eliminate clutter and dispose of waste. If you’re doing it outside, clear a space free of leaves, pebbles, and twigs.
After the area has been cleaned physically, you should also clean it spiritually. This is a meditation procedure that involves envisioning spiritual impurities and driving them away in most traditions.
Skilled practitioners can often get by without physical markers, but beginners usually find it helpful to have something they can see and touch to focus on.
So, if you don’t already know them, use a compass to locate the four cardinal directions (your smartphone most likely has one).
At each corresponding position on an imagined circle, place a simple representation of each of the four elements:
Here are some examples of things that you may use to symbolize the elements in your magical circle:
- Air: a feather, incense, and a sage bundle
- Fire: candles, tea lights
- Water: seashell, a chalice filled with water
- Earth: a gemstone, a rock, a plant in a pot
Alternatively, four candles might be used to mark the cardinal points:
- Yellow represents the east.
- Red represents the south.
- Blue represents the west.
- Green represents the north.
Remember that the physical element is there to aid the caster’s concentration; no magick is passed via the marks, so they may be whatever you like.
When your candles or objects are ready, it’s time to cast the circle.
- Take a position in the center of the circle, facing east. Breathe deeply and relax until you feel peaceful, focused, and present. Imagine the wind whipping around you and get completely in tune with the element of air. Simply say, “Spirits of Air, I call you to attend this circle.”
- Face south. Consider the crackling flames and the midday sun. Get in touch with fire and say, “Spirits of Fire, I call you to attend this circle.”
- Face west. Imagine waves, waterfalls, and streams of water swirling around your body. When you feel connected to water, say, “Spirits of Water, I call you to attend this circle.”
- Face north. Bring to mind the smell of the ground after it has rained. Consider the solitude and darkness of a cave, as well as the rooted sensation of walking barefoot on the dirt. When you’re ready, say, “Spirits of Earth, I call you to attend this circle.”
Continue walking around the circle three times (clockwise) while reciting the circle’s purpose. Because you’re attempting to cast a protective circle, you’ll say “protect this space” or whatever comes naturally to you as you move.
The circle of protection will be completed after the third round. Once your circle is set up, you can enjoy your safe space or use it for your rituals.
Now is the moment to sit or stand in the middle of your magic circle and meditate or perform the ceremony you have been preparing for.
Closing Your Magic Circle
When you’re done, you should thank each element. This is part of the process of closing your magical circle and releasing the energy it holds.
- Turn to the west. Simply acknowledge Water’s presence by saying, “Water, I thank you for being here.”
- Turn to the south. Bring Fire into your mind and say, “Fire, I thank you for being here.”
- Turn to the east. Bring Air into your mind and say, ” Air, I thank you for being here. “
- Turn to the north. Bring Earth into your consciousness and say, “Earth, I thank you for being here.”
Walk counterclockwise around the circle three times, feeling, sensing, and imagining the energy you created within your magic circle being released and whirling gracefully into the ether. Trust in your magic to accomplish its work, and know in your heart that it is finished.
When you have completed your ceremony, it is necessary to close the circle with gratitude and thanks. While imagining a white light enveloping your sacred area, simply recite, “Thank you and blessed be.”
More ideas for magical circles
- Because magical trance is a psychically vulnerable condition, many witches cast the circle with psychic protection in mind.
- If you want to use candles, you will walk around in a circle and light each one as you go.
- You can leave a salt trail around the circle’s perimeter.
- For group rituals, make sure everyone has enough space to keep a safe distance from each other.
- If you’re doing black magic, you should move counterclockwise (widdershins).
- If your practice requires a catalyst, like a wand, staff, charm, or broom, employ it to your advantage.
- To help in the cleansing process, some ritual practitioners utilize purifying ingredients like witch hazel oil or burning sage.
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Featured Image: “The Magic Circle” John William Waterhouse – 1886 (Public domain)