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The purpose of casting a circle is to create a sacred place in which to perform spells and rituals.There are a variety of different ways to cast a circle. Different Wiccans/Pagans use many tools while others use very few, or none at at. In traditional Wicca, one calls upon the watchtowers while others call to angels, dragons etc. Though there are some standard traditional rules, whom you call upon, and how many tools you wish to use in your magickal workings should be done according to what feels comfortable to YOU. Some prefer to perform rituals skyclad (nude), some wear robes, and others just wear regular, clean comfortable clothing. Below is a point form guide line of the structure used by many Witches to cast a circle and perform a ritual.


Clean the area you will be working in
Some form of personal cleansing prior to ritual such as bathing. However a shower or even washing your hands & face will do in a pinch.
Gathering and arranging items needed for your ritual
Meditation
Calling the 4 elements or quarters : East, South, West & North
Invoking the diety/deities of your choice
State purpose of ritual
Building personal energy and visualizing the intent of the spell or ritual. This can be done in many ways:

When energy has come to a peak it is released, sending its power to the ethers
Offering and ingesting a small portion of wine, juice etc., and cake, cookie or other baked good.
Thanking the diety/deities for their presence and releasing them.
Thanking the Spirits of the elements for their presence and releasing them : North, West, South & East
Grounding the energy
Opening the circle
Burying left over items (incense ash, charcoal block, water, wine, salt etc. in the earth. (If you can not go out side for any reason, have a pot of earth at hand that is used for this purpose and return it to the earth when possible).


The corresponding candle colours for the elements are :

East - yellow
South - red
West - blue
North - green


Casting a Circle
Taken from Scott Cunningham's Wicca

Things you'll need are:
4 stones (or candles) - brown - N, blue - E, red - S, green - W
and whatever altar/craft tools you use.

Set up alter facing east. Set down stones starting with North and moving deosil.
Light the candles. Set incense to smoking.
Touch athamé to water. Visualize the banishment of negativity and say:
I consecrate and cleanse this water
That it may be purified and fit to
Dwell within this sacred circle of stones
In the name of the mother goddess and father god
I consecrate this water.

Touch athamé to salt and say:
I consecrate and cleanse this salt
That it may be purified and fit to
Dwell within this sacred circle of stones
In the name of the mother goddess and father god
I consecrate this salt

Face north. Hold athamé out at waist level. Walk deosil around the circle perimiter charging it with your energy and words:
Here is the boundry of the circle of stones
Naught but love shall enter in and
Naught but love shall emerge from within
Charge this by your powers, old ones.

As you walk, stretch the energy into a sphere around area above and below ground.

When you are once again north, place athamé on alter and take up salt and sprinkle it around circle. Next censer, the southern red candle, and finally water. The circle is now sealed.

Call and visualize the brown North, blue East, crimson South, and green West.
O, Spirit of the [direction] Stone,
Ancient one of the [element]
I call upon you to attend this circle
Charge this by your powers, old ones.
The circle is complete.

To release the quarters, walk widdershins around the circle, starting North
Farewell, Spirit of the [direction] Stone
I give thee my thanks for your attendance here
Go in power.

The Circle is open, but unbroken.


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