A Beginners Guide to: Magic Circles



What is a Magic Circle?

A circle is a transient space for practicing magic or performing rituals. The circle defines the ritual area, holds in personal power, shuts out distracting forces, and establishes the correct atmosphere for the rites The term "circle" is misleading because it depicts a "sphere" of energy. The circle denotes the ring where the sphere hits the ground (or earth). Some witches regard a circle as a hallowed inner temple where they can cast spells. A circle can really be cast anywhere - inside your home, outside in the woods, on the beach, in your bathroom, you get the idea. With the capacity to cast a circle, you can establish sacred space in any place. And the circle can be as large or as tiny as you require for your own magical needs.

A circle of energy, like a circle of salt, chalk, or stones, can operate as a protective border that you establish using your psychic talents. While it only exists in the physical domain, it also exists in the spiritual and astral realms. This circle is invisible and untouchable. It's an invisible protective barrier that can't be detected by any of the senses.

When should you cast a circle?

Magic practitioners will typically cast a circle at the start of a ritual. It may be done by the High Priestess or Priest, or by a coven member, depending on how you practice. You would be the one to cast the circle if you were a single practitioner.

Is it absolutely essential to cast a circle for every spell?

You don't have to draw a circle around yourself every time you cast a spell. The circle will provide you with confidence and a distraction-free environment to practice, but it is not always essential. Consider it your "safe space," your training wheels. Eventually, you won't need it, and it's also beneficial to try without it.

If you believe the work you're going to conduct will generate a lot of energy, form a circle. The circle serves to keep the energy in check so that it doesn't disperse in all directions. Also, to feel safe and protected, envision a sphere into which nothing can enter. You don't need any protection if all you're doing is praying to your deities.


The magic circle is formed to enclose everything involved in the ritual or working, as well as you and the altar. Some practitioners use it to rid the region of wandering energies, hence the name "circle of protection," although it is usually used to raise energy and then release it for a magical purpose.

Different witches/warlocks/Spiritual beings will take different techniques to casting circles. In general, a circle is a sacred place that, metaphysically speaking, exists between realms. It can be a sphere or a bubble that surrounds the ritual space from above and below, rather than merely around the perimeter.

The circle can be physically delineated, but it is mostly an energy sphere. Gardner's circles were generally 9 feet in diameter, but they can be larger or smaller depending on whether you work alone or with others.


The How To:

There are no hard and fast rules for drawing a circle. Some people have simple methods for casting a circle in which they simply picture it, whilst others undertake a full-fledged ceremony with a salt circle and all of their ritual instruments.

  1. Concentrate on imagining a circle around yourself.

  2. Use your dominant hand to hold the tool. Cast a circle without tools try using an athame or your finger.

  3. Slowly spin sunwise (clockwise) and make a circle in the air.

  4. Invite your guardians, chant a spell to increase your energy, or remain silent.

Remember that the circle serves as a working space, and the altar serves as a workbench. The altar might be positioned in the center of the circle or to one side (for example facing North).

Cyclic Chanting

I am protected by a sacred circle, in perfect love and perfect trust.”

“Here is my consecrated circle, Nothing but love shall enter in, Nothing but love shall emerge from within. Charge this by your powers, Old Ones!” – By Scott Cunningham

Chants for casting a circle range from the simple...

The circle is cast, so mote it be”

“I ask the Goddess and God to bless this circle so that I may be protected during my magickal working in this space, so mote it be”

…to the more elaborate. "From east to south and north to west I call you Hecate to attend and brew my spells and honor you well with hands steadfast my Circle is Cast"

To safeguard the magical zone, elaborate incantations can include paying reverence to each cardinal direction or reciting a list of deities or angels.

Chanting to Diana or reading Doreen Valiente's poem The Charge of the Goddess are two ways to invite the Goddess into your circle.

Alternatively, you can develop your own manner of contacting Her, such as a prayer, a symbol, or a sound. She is paying attention!

To cast or not to cast

Every tradition does not form a circle. In truth, they are not used by Norse, Egyptian, or many folk magic practitioners. There is no pagan rule that requires you to cast a circle in order to cast a spell.

If you are an eclectic practitioner who believes in the effectiveness of magic circles for concentrating your energy, casting a circle is still an acceptable technique. Finally, whether or not to cast a circle is entirely up to you.


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My First: Protection Circle for Beginners

Not all Witches cast the circle in the same way, so it’s best to experiment a bit and find what works well for you. These are the basic steps:


1. Decide the amount of space you will need for your ritual. If you only need space for yourself, a good rule of thumb is to make a circle as large as your extended arms. If you are going to stand or move, or if the ritual includes more people, you will need more space.


2. Make sure you have everything you need for the ritual before you cast the circle. There is nothing more annoying than realizing that you have left something outside and having to go find it. If you need to interrupt the ritual for some reason, it is useful to visualize a small door in the circle, which you will use to get out and close it again until you return. In this way, the circle does not break.


3. Clean your ritual area. First, physically clean, tidy up and sweep (with a regular broom, not a ritual one) if necessary. Then clean and purify the field of negative energies. Spiritual cleansing techniques include lightly brushing the ground with a ritual broom, lighting some incense, spreading salt or salt water, and playing music or a musical instrument. The most important thing, no matter what method you use, is to visualize the dispersion and total elimination of all negative energy. If you do not focus and visualize this, the physical actions of your ritual will have little effect.


4. Draw your circle. There are many ways to do this too, but in general, you will be tracing a circle using a Magic wand, an athame (ritual dagger), or you could even use your finger. Keep in mind that the tool you use does not have to touch the ground. Visualize the protective energy that comes from within you and direct it using your dominant hand and arm. Focus on your tool and visualize a beam of light that expands and surrounds you. Some like to draw a circle several times (for example, once for protection, once for concentration, and once for energy), but this is not necessary. Some Witches like to invoke the four directions here (East, South, West, North), especially if their ritual involves invocations or the presence of the Divine. Sometimes the circle is drawn with candles, stones, ropes, or some other marker. Usually, the circle is visualized as a sphere or dome of energy. Keep in mind that the stronger your visualizations are, the more powerful the circle will be. Take your time and focus.


5. Continue with your spell, but always be aware of the presence of the circle. It will accompany and protect you until you finish your ritual.


 

Circle Casting FAQ


Can I leave the circle?

This depends solely on the practitioner or coven. Some feel At no time during the working of magic should the Circle be broken. At other times it is possible to leave the Circle and return, though this should always be done with care and no more than absolutely necessary.”

How to “cut a door” in the circle

With athame in hand, standing in the east, make a motion as though cutting across the Circle line; first on your right and then on your left. You may then walk out of the Circle, between the lines. imagine that you have cut a gateway or doorway, in the east, through which you pass.“

I'm all done, what about the circle?

The circle should be brought down at the end of a ritual. The precise phrase varies between "opening" and "closing" a circle, but the circle should be rejected in some fashion. It is critical to formally discharge the energy that has been raised within the circle.

  1. Say: “The circle is open, but never broken”.

  2. Visualize the dissolution of the psychic walls.

  3. Use your tool or finger as you rotate widdershins (anti-clockwise). Do it in reverse from how you first cast the circle.

Optionally, ring a bell, extinguish the candles if you have used any, recoil the cord, or pick up the stones, salt, etc.

What happens if you forget to take a circle down?

It's not the end of the world if you forget to draw a circle. However, if you took the time to establish a formal energy barrier to protect yourself, it's polite to release it and not forget about it. The circle will dissolve on its own over time.

How do Circles help?

To begin, there are distractions from the commonplace world, such as your pet or the phone ringing. Casting a circle delineates a space that is no longer grounded in reality. It separates itself from time and space by erecting a sacred enclosure to keep out any disruptive forces and to protect you if you are psychically vulnerable during a spell or ritual.

However, the circle isn't just for practitioners. It is also for the deities who are summoned to the circle. Consider how much energy is bouncing around in the universe. All of this energy is always going in one direction or the other.

The circle absorbs the energy and allows it to whirl in one place for an extended length of time. Encasing this energy permits a deity to enter the circle easily and stay there without being blown away. Furthermore, it offers you, the practitioner, additional capacity to concentrate the energy into a single focus, allowing you to use the deity's power and energy to the best of your ability.


In Summary

Many Witches do not cast circles, so don't feel obligated to do so every time. Others, for example, only do it when working in a group.

Some ardent practitioners may argue that you must always cast a circle. If you're a beginner, go with your gut instinct. Remember, if you're going to cast a circle, stay in the moment and fully visualize its power and properties.

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