As you go forth on your magickal path, the subject of a magick circle is bound to come up. What is it? Do you need one? How do you cast a circle? We’ll go over all of these questions and more in this post. Let’s get started!
WHAT IS A MAGICK CIRCLE?
Simply put, a magick circle is cast to form a protective barrier between a practitioner and evil entities when performing rituals. It is a sacred space that acts as a gateway to the spirit realm and world of deities. Furthermore, it serves as a psychological tool to put witches and mystics in the right frame of mind for practicing magick.
WHY DO PRACTITIONERS CAST A CIRCLE?
When it comes to ritual magick, there are plenty of things that can interfere with its efficacy and success. This includes common distractions, opposing intentions of other people, and evil entities that feed on the caster’s energies. Magick circles provide a barrier of protection from these things, as well as increases the chance of success as the witch will be able to stay focused.
Another reason for casting circles is its ability to hold and concentrate energy. While they are important for keeping unwanted things out, they also permit the witch to collect and hold energy for longer than they’d be able to do without a circle. For example, if a practitioner evokes deities or spirits, a strong magick circle provides a comfortable space to hold them during their stay.
Suffice to say that a magick circle is cast to:
-keep the unwanted things, like chaotic entities and distractions, out
-hold and concentrate magickal energies
-provide a welcoming space for deities and spirits to hang out during rites
WHAT DOES A MAGICK CIRCLE LOOK LIKE?
Magick circles can be visualized or marked out physically. Chalk, flour, salt, salt water, rocks, candles, cords – these are all possible ways to draw/mark out your circle. If you are visualizing your circle, close your eyes and use your imagination to conjure what it looks like. You could envision things like colors or lights for your circle.
HOW BIG OR SMALL DOES A MAGICK CIRCLE NEED TO BE?
In some traditions – like Wicca – a nine foot diameter circle is customary. To configure this, the circle is measured using a nine foot ritual cord that’s folded in half and anchored in the center. From there, the priestess/priest walks cord around to outline the edge of the circle. This results in a magick circle slightly over a 27 foot circumference.
As the nine foot magick circle applies only to those who wish to execute it, every practitioner has the right to make their practice space theirs. The only real issue to concern yourself with is that your circle isn’t too small. Your magick circle needs to be big enough to fully hold you and your ritual items. This includes your ability to fully expand your arms so you don’t accidentally penetrate the circle’s edge, breaking your magickal container.
Some practitioners believe that smaller circles are preferred, claiming that the boundaries remain intact better and they are easier to maintain. Other groups believe the opposite, saying that by casting larger circles the chances of the edges being disrupted by people accidentally walking through them is minimized. At the end of the day, like most things in magick, it is up to you. Don’t be afraid to experiment and record your experience to keep track of what works best.
THE SHAPE OF A MAGICK CIRCLE
How do you picture a circle? Is it a simple ring that lies on the floor or a bunch of stacked circles, one on top of the other? Does your mental circle manifest as a ring at the base that extends upward into a cone shape? Is it a sphere that reaches into the ground and stretches above? Regardless of how you picture it, what matters is that it is clear in your mind’s eye.
IS CIRCLE CASTING A REQUIREMENT FOR MAGICK?
Not at all. Not every tradition utilizes circles and their magick is no less powerful than those that do. While it speaks to some, there is no rule stating that you MUST use one.
Magick circles come from Western ceremonial grimoires – sometimes referred to as Solomonic magick – whose initial intention was to protect practitioners from things like demons and other entities being conjured. This lens of work with the spiritual world is archaic for a lot of present-day practitioners.
Those who do participate in circle casting typically agree that not all magickal acts need a circle. For example, something like charming your washing machine to wash protection into your clothing isn’t as involved as a full-blown ritual. Again, the decision falls in your lap and with time you will be able to discern what needs a circle and what doesn’t.
HOW TO CAST A MAGICK CIRCLE
It is important to note that there is no technique that’s “better” than another. How well a magick circle functions is dependent on multiple factors, including on the will and intentions of those who cast it.
Having said that, the following method is not aligned with any tradition. It is simple in execution to encourage those who have never cast a magick circle to try their hand at it. It is also designed for a solitary practitioner.
- CHOOSE YOUR SPACE
The very first step is to make sure the space you’re planning on using is safe. When we feel safe, we perform better. If you are trying to do your working in a spot that makes you mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually uncomfortable, that will come through and most likely destroy your efforts. The main things your space should offer is comfort, privacy, and freedom to perform what you need to.
- CLEANSE, BABY, CLEANSE!
Just like everything else involved with your working, your space must be cleansed. After cleaning your chosen space of debris and clutter, cleanse using your chosen method. This could be smoke, sound, visualization, diffused essential oils – whatever you are called to do. Once this is done, remember that cleansing leaves behind an energetic vacuum that is vulnerable to wandering energies. You MUST fill the void with your intention – it is best to choose one aligned with your working.
- DEMARCATE YOUR CIRCLE
This step is to mark out the circle’s boundaries. You can do this by physically drawing it out on the ground, using rope, dispersing salt water in a circle, setting down rocks, etc. On the other hand, you could use your imagination to visualize your circle.
- GATHER YOUR GOODS
Now is the time to put your ritual’s items into the circle. This is imperative as once you begin you won’t want to leave the circle. Passing through a circle’s boundaries can weaken or even destroy the psychic bonds that holds it together. You might want to make a list of EVERYTHING you need so you can double-check you have all of your ducks in a row before your working. Will you be standing the entire time? Will you put your items on the floor or will you set them onto a surface? Think through the entire process to ensure the success of your ritual.
- CAST YOUR CIRCLE
Now is the time to raise your energy and cast your magick circle. You will be inside of the boundaries you set in Step 3. Take your time and feel the energy surrounding you and protecting you. The most important part of this step is that you BELIEVE the circle not only exists, but it is there to serve you to its greatest capacity.
- PERFORM YOUR RITUAL
This is where you do your working and perform your ritual. Again, take your time and relax into the process! If you MUST leave the circle during your casting, you can create a doorway. Cut an energetic door using visualization – start at the base of the circle, go up one side, imagine the top and then the other side connecting again to the circle’s base, creating a door. Once you return to the circle, close the doorway and finish your ritual. Again, this is only if you HAVE to leave.
- CLOSE THE MAGICK CIRCLE
It’s important to note that some practitioners call this ‘opening’ while others call this ‘closing’ I have always referred to it as closing. Neither is wrong.
Once you’re done with your ritual, the first thing you should do is thank whatever you invoke, conjured, or called on for your working. Next, the best way to describe what you want to do is to repeat the circle casting process in reverse. For example, if you used visualization to create your circle, use visualization to dismantle it.
WHAT IF YOU DON’T CLOSE YOUR MAGICK CIRCLE?
We close what we open in order to release the energies summoned and built back into the aether. A lingering circle left open can be thought of as a portal. It can invite nasty wandering energies to use it for travel. It also can impact your ritual working’s success. This is why it is best practice to put away what you brought out. Don’t be a messy witch.
Having said that, the magick circle will eventually disperse on its own accord. How long it takes to do so depends on things like the intensity and amount of energy raised, as well as items that have the capability of absorbing and holding onto energies. Remember that magickal residue allowed to linger can fester and cause eventual distress. Best to get into the habit of closing your magickal circles, don’t you think?
Hopefully you now have a better idea about magick circles, their use, how to cast one, and the importance of closing it. Remember, a circle that you cast best succeeds when your intention and belief in it is unwavering. Bright Blessings and Happy Crafting!