Casting a Circle

In witchcraft, some of us use circles when preparing for ritual or spell work. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Every witch will cast a circle differently. Find what works best for you. The important ingredient in all of them is you must have absolute belief that your circle has been correctly cast. Decide on space within which you will have your ritual, the ideal circle is nine foot in diameter but use whatever is available. Remember you don't have to keep the circle up at all times, warding helps with  that which I will go into on another article. 

Work out where north is, if you need to, use a compass. 

Firstly clean the area to be used either with a broom, brush or vacuum cleaner. Cleanse the area with salt or incense.  You may mark out the area of your circle physically or just keep in mind where it will be. Some like to mark out the entire Circle with chalk or just mark the four "corners" of the Circle.  Stand in the centre of your Circle area. Invite anyone you wish to have in the Circle with you. Raise your casting tool (wand ,athame or finger) and declare your intention to cast a Circle, Now you face the cardinal directions starting with north and call in the quarters. Many traditions assign each element to a corresponding direction, each of these directions is a quarter.

Earth - North  Air - East  Fire - South  Water - West

Begin with north and  allow the energy to flow from your Centre out through your casting tool to "draw" a Circle on the ground, turning your whole body clockwise as you do so. (Alternatively, you can close your eyes and visualize the Circle forming around you, or a bubble if you prefer, while not moving at all, but make sure you feel the energy coming out from the Centre of you as you do so.) Your centre is your heart chakra. You will feel a pull of energy as you do this. In many traditions, a candle is lit as the Quarter is Called. The behaviour of the candle may be observed to determine the success of the calling. Upon releasing the quarters, the candle would be snuffed. 

If you feel the need, some traditions call each quarter to the circle. Start at north and  vocally  ask the guardians of the north (earth) to join the circle. Turn a quarter circle clockwise Then the guardians of the east (air) Quarter circle turn, then south (fire) quarter circle turn,  and finally west (water)

Now your circle is cast and you can start your spell or ritual. Remember if you forget something in your circle to cut a door way to leave and re-enter. Also This circle need not be reserved for "special occasions". If you feel threatened at any time, including on the astral plane, you may cast this Circle to surround yourself with protection. If you see someone saying online to stay in the circle, be cautious...  magic doesn't work that way and you are not in a circle over the internet. If you have, or are a part of an online coven there are ways around this (and will be discussed in advanced witchcraft) but to do a mass circle is wrong and bares no purpose.

For some, Calling the Quarters refers to the summoning or evoking conscious spirit entities who rule over the elemental energies. You should approach the rite in a meditative manner and use whatever means to stimulate these parts of oneself to invoke the quarters.

You can choose what wording suits you to cast a circle unless you belong to a tradition that has a set way. You can keep it basic or descriptive. Its your call. 

Walk around the circle three times to keep the evil spirits out, 3x3 thrice about.

Now, state the purpose of the circle. This is the time to invoke the deities you wish to ask help from and begin your spell casting or ritual.

Once you’re done with your spell or ritual, you may close the circle. This is done by first giving thanks to the deities, the Divine, and also all the Elements and then drawing the circle in reverse by walking counter clockwise in the circle and visualizing your wand absorbing the borders of the circle.