How to Cast a Circle by Arwen Nightstar- http://www.mindspring.com/~arwennightstar/ (visit her beautiful site!)

What is a Circle?

Circle is the magically prepared area where many Wiccans celebrate the turning of the Wheel. What I will discuss here is how I see Circle ... simply my viewpoint and in no way the final word. Remember that your own heart and spirit will guide you in things. If something sounds uncomfortable to you, then don't do it. Please! Don't let someone's supposed expertise/knowledge lead you into doing something that you are not sure about. No one can tell you how to worship or who to worship.

Ok...the Circle is the area where I hold my rituals, where I worship my Gods, where I cast my spells. The first thing I do before Circle is to prepare myself through a salt-bathing ritual. This involves cleaning myself with soap and water...leaving the daily worries behind with my clothing worn that day. Then I join salt and water to charge myself, to cleanse myself. When I am ready to begin my Circle, I either robe or not, that is a matter of personal choice to me. Then I move to where I am doing my Circle...assuming that I am not doing it in my bathroom.

[How to Cast]

I light the candles on my altar which I always place in the East. Put your altar wherever it feels the most right to you. These represent the Lady and her Lord. I set fire to my incense. I center and ground myself. If I am circling with another, we hold hands and do three Oms to bring our energies into balance. At this point I am going to walk you through casting a Circle. This is NOT the way I do a Circle. My way of doing it is oathbound and I may only reveal that to those who are properly prepared and known to me.

First, call the Lady and the Lord to join you in your circle. Do this with reverence and respect. They are your Deities and should be invited never commanded! A simple Invocation to each follows:

Lady of the Night, Mistress of the Day Please hear the call of your daughter/son (or simply your magical name) Silvery Moon Woman watch as I lay This Circle of Power . Great Hunter, Father, Son and Lover Hear my call if you will Laughing Man, Eternal Man watch over This Circle of Power.

So, you have invited your Deities in. Take a moment to feel Their presence. Smile at the Lady's warmth...the Lord's being. These are your Deities and are indeed there for you. Once you know that They are attending your rite, you begin to cast the Circle. You first will cast the Circle with fire and air, elements of East and South. Incense is fire and air. Present the burning incense at the altar and then walk your Circle deosil. Deosil is the direction of the sun as it travels the Earth. When you return to the altar, replace the incense. NOTE: Use a hotpad if you are in danger of burning yourself! I have a small ceramic cauldron made by a Pagan potter, but I also use a large shell on occasion. Once the air and fire have cast the Circle, then join salt and water together. Again, with reverence! This is a religious ceremony you are doing so try to be respectful. The Goddess says in Her charge "all things in reverence and mirth" so if you giggle so be it....but do try to start with respect. Take the earth and water (salt and water) and present it over the altar. Now, traveling deosil, asperge your Circle with water and earth. Asperge is to lightly flick water from the bowl with your fingers and cast to the edges of your Circle. Return to the altar and replace the water bowl.

Now, with your finger, your athame, your wand....cast your Circle with Spirit. That is you, your energy, your heart and spirit at work. You may say words as you go if you wish. A simple Circle invocation could go something like this:

Be thou cast, Circle. As I walk thy boundaries So do you hold my power. Set me apart from the world of man Make me apart form the realm of spirit. Hold me between the worlds as I work my magic.

You may see or feel energy coming from you as you walk the edge of your Circle. Or you may not! Don't worry about it. When you return to the altar, salute the East. Now, at this point you may call the Quarters if you wish. A simple Quarter call could be:

Spirit and guardian of the (direction) I do call you to my Circle. Do thou watch from the (direction) and keep me safe. Witness my workings and lend me thy aid Thou guardian of the (direction)

Do embellish on any of this as you see fit. This is just meant to help those of you who have never done a Circle and are unsure as to the actual mechanics of casting. Remember that you must follow your own path! Read! Ask questions! Learn and grow!

Now then, I have tried to show you throughout this writing what Circle is to me. Hopefully you will be able to cast a Circle for yourself. What you do within the boundaries of your Sacred Space is up to you. I would hope that you would be ever mindful of the Wiccan Rede and do things for good and not for harm.

All writing is the work of Arwen Nightstar and is free to be used by all. Please do not publish any of this anywhere without the express written permission of Arwen Nightstar. By my hand on June 5, 1997.

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