In Wicca and Witchcraft, there is a practice referred to as “circle casting” that is largely unheard of outside of The Craft. It is one of the very first things taught to those who are new to Witchcraft, and is a practice that is often ingrained in the minds of those who have practiced for a long while. So, what is circle casting? This article will address this question, as well as the reasons witches do it and some of the different practices used.
Walking the Circle
Whether it is referred to as “walking the circle,” “casting the circle” or “preparing the ritual space,” it is all basically the same. The use of a ritual circle is twofold: It sanctifies the space that you are about to use for religious and magickal purposes, and it also offers you a barrier of protection from any distracting or harmful influences from outside of the circle. For a witch, the circle represents a place that is “between the worlds.” It helps the witch enter into a state of mind that enables them to interact with Deity, and to direct psychic, or magickal, energy.
Casting a magickal circle for a modern witch is not an overly involved process. To do it, the witch holds their athame or wand in their dominant hand, and while pointing this tool at the ground, they walk the perimeter of the area they intend to utilize for ritual purpose. While doing so, they will visualize energy of some type coming from their tool or dominant hand and creating a barrier around the perimeter of the ritual area. A common visualization of this energy is that of blue flame. Once they have completed a circuit around their space, the witch will often recite a phrase such as:
“I consecrate this circle in the names of the Goddess and the God. The circle is conjured, and we stand between the worlds. The circle is sealed. So mote it be!”
There are many variables that can come into play during this process, yet they are all basically a means of creating a space that is intended for ritual.
Triple Circle Casting
While the above method of casting a circle will suffice for any witches who choose to use it, there is one means of casting circle that is much older. Triple circle casting is a means of purifying and designating a ritual space that is a little more elaborate, and is good for those who prefer more ritualistic actions in their ceremony.
When using this method, the witch will navigate around the ritual space three times. Each time, they will recite a different incantation, and may carry a purifying substance such as incense or holy water with them.
With the first pass, they may recite;
“In this place, this circle round
I consecrate the sacred ground
With golden light this place surround
All power here contained and bound”
On the second pass;
“From Earth, the things that manifest
From Air, the things of minds
From Fire, the things that motivate
From Water, the souls refined”
On the third and final pass;
“And yet no place or time there be
Between the worlds, my word and me
Welcome, Ancient Ones, and see
This place is sealed, So Mote It Be!!”
To compare the two methods, neither one is necessarily better than the other. They both create a protected and effective ritual environment. However, it is the belief and strength of visualization of the individual witch that determines how well the circle works. As with things, the strength of the circle will improve with practice and repetition.
Scientific minds out there always want proof of the effectiveness of such things. It has been found through dowsing that these types of ritual preparations actually have an effect on the surround environment. With the use of dowsing rods or pendulums, it is possible to actually determine where the actual barrier of the circle lies.