When a witch ‘casts a circle’, it means that she is setting boundaries and creating sacred space. She is cleansing and consecrating an area to be used for rituals, spell casting, or any other magical endeavor in which she desires protection, the assistance of Divinity in a very personal way, support from the Elementals and the four elements they represent, as well as the opportunity to access other planes of existence.
A magic circle holds the energy a witch raises until she is ready to release it. It keeps her safe from malevolent entities, which is particularly important for the gray witch when she is working with darker energies. Remember, only those entities that you invite may enter your circle. The Watchtowers at the four corners contribute their muscle keeping your space free of unwanted presences and adding their energy to your spell crafting and rituals.
Within a magic circle you are ‘outside of time’. When you stand in the midst of well-cast sacred space, you are literally standing ‘between the worlds’, between the etheric plane and the mundane world. Here you will be able to access the past, to move through worlds of various realities, to safely invoke gods and goddesses, as well as spirits. In the heart of the magic circle, the witch will come face to face with herself and the inherent power she possesses.
With that said…let’s cast our circle:
- 1. Broom
- 2. Small bowl of water
- 3. Salt
- 4. Sprig of rosemary or sage
- 5. Athame or magic wand
1. Whether your circle is being cast in the middle of your living room, in a corner of your bedroom, or the laundry room downstairs; make sure that this space has been mundanely cleaned and tidied up, perhaps decorated for the occasion with appropriate flowers, herbs, magical décor, and of course, your working ritual tools.
If you are going to create your sacred space in the middle of a wild grove, an outdoor recreational area, or even your own backyard; you will want to make sure that you have enough privacy so as not to be disturbed.
2. Sweep the area with your besom (broom), whether this broom is a special ritual broom used only for this purpose, or-- in hoodoo tradition-- the mundane broom that you use everyday. We’re talking about energy here, sweeping away not the dirt on the ground or floor, but the negative energy laying about this space. I don’t even touch the floor with my ritual broom, having done the mundane sweeping before I start. With my ritual broom, I sweep in long whooshing draughts from east to west, chanting while I sweep, moving negative energy out, out, out…pushing it from this space. Order it out, claim this space, shove it, push it, bully it out. As I do this, I usually get a tingling rush from the soles of my feet up the calves of my legs. It amazes me every time.
3. Take a small bowl of water, add a pinch of salt to it, stirring it deosil (clockwise) with your finger. Now you’re going to ‘asperge’ this area, that is you’re going to sprinkle this water about this space to cleanse and consecrate it. You can either use your fingers, or you can use a sprig of rosemary or sage for this purpose.
4. Take your athame or magic wand and go to the elemental gateway of Earth. Stand in the center of this freshly cleansed area. Point your athame/wand to the north quarter, at the boundary of your circle, and begin. Slowly, moving deosil, make three passes around this area, following the boundary of your circle while chanting:
- First pass:
“Earth, Air, Fire, Water circle round,
This blessed consecrated ground.”
- Second pass:
“East, south, west, north;
Seal this space, bring power forth.”
- Third pass:
“By the power of the witches’ blade,
This ground is sealed, the circle made.”
Once your magic has been worked, your ritual complete, you must take the time to dismantle the sacred space that you’ve created. The energies here must be dispersed, sent back from whence they came, to be called forth at another time, another place.
Take your athame/wand in your power hand (your dominant hand). Stand in the center of the magic circle. Raising your arms aloft, point the blade at the north quarter, and with one sweeping gesture, following the boundary of your space, cut the energy of this circle widdershins (counter-clockwise) while saying:
“Disperse all energies
To their rightful place;
Love, and grace.
Open now this sacred space."
The source for these rituals, my book: