The Purposes of a Circle
A sacred circle has several purposes, the most significant of which is to define an area where formal ritual work can be performed. A circle is a place in which the rules and conditions are different to that of the everyday world. A circle is not a barrier, but a doorway to another world. To contain any magickal energy raised and to prevent its dissipation until it has been used up is another purpose of the circle. The sacred circle does not need to be physically represented (drawn or marked on the ground), it just needs to be visualised. The circle is a spiritual entity.
How to Cast a CircleA circle can be cast for all magickal acts. The size of a circle varies vastly – it should be able to comfortably fit those using it. Certain actions must be performed and certain words said in a loud, clear voice. An altar should be placed in the circle – in a north, centre or east position.
1. Cleanse yourself and you chosen area. You should have a bath and clear the area completely. Set up an altar with the following items: a flat pentagram symbol, two black candles, an athame or sword, a small bell, a bowl of salt, a bowl of water, a chalice and a saucer.
2. Light your altar candles. Holding blade, walk around your circle, and say: “With this sacred blade I cast the circle of my craft. May it be a doorway to a sacred circle beyond time and space. Let it be a meeting place for all good, and may it deter all wickedness.”
3. Stand in front of your altar, pick up your bell, and say: “In the names of the Goddess and the Horned God, I cast this my working circle.” Afterwards, ring your bell.
4. Return to the North and raise your blade high before you. Call out: “Bear witness, Spirits of the North, guardians of Wicca.” Go to the East, South and West and repeat at each.
5. At the altar, put your bowl of salt on the pentagram and lower your blade into the bowl of salt, saying: “I exorcise thee, so that it may be purified and may aid me well.”
6. Put your bowl of water on the pentagram and take a pinch of salt and sprinkle it into the water. Lower the blade of your athame into the water, saying: “I cleanse and consecrate thee, Water of Life, and ask you to bless this circle. In the names of the Goddess and the Horned God, so mote it be!”
7. Pick up and hold the consecrated water and walk slowly around the circle again (still clockwise), and sprinkle a few drops along the line of the Circle, saying: “I consecrate this sacred circle by the powers of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. May the Goddess bestow her love herein, and the Horned God his honour.” Pick up your chalice, pour a small amount in the saucer for the Goddess and the Horned God, then take a sip yourself. After, place the chalice back on your pentagram.
This completes the casting of your circle. Specific activity can now be performed here, such as a Sabbat ritual, making a charm, or healing. It is absolutely crucial you do not leave the circle until your activity is complete, and without properly closing it. When your chosen focus is complete, move on to closing the circle.
How to Close a CircleGo to the North, hold up your blade, and say, “Guardians and spirits of the North wind, my ritual is now complete. I bid you hail and farewell. Hail and farewell.” Repeat counterclockwise from North to West, to South, to East, and back to the North again.
Extinguish your altar candles and bow your head at the altar, saying, “I declare this scared circle closed. So mote it be.” Ring a bell to complete the closing and step out.