To Cast a Circle
The magick ritual
There are several steps to a successful spell:
1. Decide what kind of spell you want to work and figure out exactly what you need. Make a list and gather up your
supplies. Chart the energies and write a spell that will be complimented by the energy available in the universe that day.
There are suitable hours, days, and phases of the moon, herbs and oils, candles and colors to consider when writing your
spell. Indeed there are many influences to  consider for the success of any spell. These are called
 correspondences.

Keep track of your magickal work. Buy a special book and create a journal entry listing as many details as you are able
every time you work a spell. Take into account any and all variables and astrological energies that may be at play. The
more these variables correspond, the more predictable the outcome. For example a spell for prosperity would be most
effective if it were cast on a Thursday during a waxing Taurus moon as the waxing moon will draw things to you,
Thursdays are for manifesting abundance, and Taurus is the zodiac sign of money, material goods, and physical resources.
Write out your intent as succinctly as possible. List all of the items you are using and their corresponding energies. Start
with the day of the week (Each day is imbued with its own energy
click here for a list) and the hour you will be working in
(Also available at the link above) and don't forget the Moon's phase and aspect. (You can find this on our
moon v/c page)
Be sure to list every herb, candle, oil, and incense you use for all of these factors have the power to boost or stall your
working.
Note: Be sure you revisit your journal and track the outcome. Your journal is like a recipe book for magick. The more you
observe and record, the more you will be able to discern what achieves the best results for you and how you might
update the spell for next use.

2. Clean and prepare the area where you will be working. You can wipe it down, sweep it, and even smudge it. The point
here is to rid the area of any negative energies, and anything else unwanted that might be present.

3. Prepare yourself. Take a ritual bath reflecting the kind of work you are about to do. Check out this page for a list of
magickal bathsalts.

4. Carry everything you need to your space and again take stock. No reason to ruin a ritual because you forgot a candle
or the matches...Then ground and come to center. Check our
Ground and Center page if you aren't sure how to do this.

5. Now it's time to
Cast your circle. We cast a circle not only to contain the energy raised in spellwork but also to
manifest a sacred space between the worlds and to provide protection from any curious attention we might draw as only
the energy invited may enter. Many people do this many different ways. You can draw a circle with chalk or lay a cord to
create a physical boundary before you trace the energetic circle. You can use shells or rocks. You can get creative. The
point is a physical circle makes it easier to visualize and allows you to hold a stronger visualization of the circle when
you go to trace it. Now take your athame, or wand, or whatever magickal tool you are going to use. Starhawk writes in
Earth Path that she often uses her garden shears, so take your tool and point it downward. You can even use your finger
if you are so inclined. Face the direction where you are going to begin. Point your tool to the ground and walk clockwise
round as you visualize the energy all around you and pull it into your body. Funnel the energy into your hand and focus it
into your casting tool so that it pours through it into the ground as you walk the circle clockwise. An image of a laser is
helpful as you see the energy, push it from your hand, through the tool, and onto the ground where it points. Remember,
you are not creating this energy, but visualizing, gathering, focusing, and directing it. Do what feels right to you. You
might see it as blue, or white, or gold. It doesn't matter. The important thing is creating the visualization and holding it
firmly in your mind as you cast your circle.

Casting a circle can be very simple or it can be as elaborate and wordy as you want to make it. It's up to you. You are
creating this sacred space, a place between the worlds where you are going to commune with Deity. Your circle keeps
unwanted energy from intruding while holding the energy you raise until you are ready to direct and release it. Walk a
complete circle. If you started in the east, you will end in the east. If you started in the north you will end in the north.
Some go round once, while others walk the circle three times. If you are fighting something or laying protection work,
'setting a circle in salt round 3 times' can be a powerful aid.
"I set a circle in salt, lest nothing harmful enter."
Note: While salt works well for any indoor setting, as it is easy to clean up, if you are working outdoors, salt is not a
good choice, use Cascarilla powder for any outdoor working. Salt has a damaging environmental effects on water, plants,
and animals. Pouring out a circle of salt in your garden will not only damage the soil structure, it will block your plants
ability to absorb water causing them to exhibit signs of drought even when the soil is wet or waterlogged. Too much salt
in the soil will cause plants to wilt, the leaves to yellow, and it is very hard to remedy the problem. That's where
Cascarilla powder comes in. Not only does it work well for protective barriers, it is made from grinding egg shells, which
in themselves carry the energy for strength and protection, and it will give any natural setting a beneficial calcium
boost.  
Click here to find out how to make your own batch of Cascarilla powder.

Employ the power of words as you walk the circle. If using an athame you may chant: "Three times round I trace my
blade, that this circle now be made. Sacred space now within, between the worlds yet safe here in. Through this sphere
negativity cannot enter. Only those invited may come hither."

When the circle is cast, we are ready to invite the elemental energies in.

6.
Invoke the elements

7. Invoke any Deities you are going to work with

8.
Perform the spell

9. Thank the deities

10. Dismiss the elements
When you have finished your circle work you must release all the energy including the energies you invoked. As with all
things in magick there are different ways to do this. Some dismiss the elements in the opposite order in which they were
called, or North, West, South, East, and lastly center. Others have a strong aversion to walking the circle backward and
dismiss the energies in the order in which they were called. Again, you will find a way that works best for you. The key to
this part is that we thank each element for lending its strength to our working and direct it to return from whence it
came. You can do this with a 'hail and farewell' directed at each compass point or you may address each one.
''Guardians
of the Earth, Powers of the North, Thank you for lending your energy to my working, hail and farewell"
. Or even add
'
Return from whence you came, Hail and farewell." As you bid them farewell, put out the candle that represented the
element and move on to the next.

11. Open the circle, you may do this with a motion of your arm, or your athame as you say,
"The Circle is open but
Unbroken. Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again.
"

Here is an example taken from
The Spiral Dance by Starhawk
Face the East as say, "Hail, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East, Powers of Air! We invoke you and call you, Golden
Eagle of the Dawn, Star-seeker, Whirlwind, Rising Sun, Come! By the air that is Her breath. Send forth your light, Be here
now!"

To the South "Hail, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South, Powers of Fire!,We invoke you and call you, Red Lion of
the noon heat, Flaming One! Summer's warmth, Spark of life, Come!
By the fire that is Her spirit, Send forth your flame, Be here now!

To the West "Hail, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West, Powers of Water! We invoke you and call you, Serpent of
the watery abyss, Rainmaker, Gray-robed Twilight, Evening Star! Come!
By the waters of Her living womb, Send forth your flow, Be here now!

To the North "Hail, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North, Powers of Earth, Cornerstone of all Power. We invoke you
and call you, Lady of the Outer Darkness, Black Bull of Midnight, North Star,
Center of the whirling sky. Stone, Mountain, Fertile Field, Come!
By the earth that is her body, Send forth your strength, Be here now!"
Psychic self defense
How to ground and center
Casting the circle is a fundamental part of working magick. The spellcaster casts a circle for protection or to contain the
energy raised in ritual. When we employ a magick circle we are entering an altered state of consciousness, transporting
the mind from the mundane. The circle becomes a sacred place to communicate with the divine but employing a circle
has the power to help us in many more aspects of our lives. Set a circle to benefit meditation. It will aid in accessing
information from the higherself. You can use a circle when you need to make a decision or you just want to create a
protected place away from the chaos of the world.  
Have you been Hexed?
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