Lesson 9 – The Magick Circle

Lesson 9
Sacred Space – the Magickal Circle

When performing any magickal work, it is usual to create a sacred or temple space. In the Wiccan tradition, as in many Pagan and Magickal traditions this is normally done by casting a circle around you. The elements are called into the circle after the casting. Casting the circle can be done in a number of ways.

One of the simplest ways is to visualize a sphere of blue or gold light forming around yourself and expanding for several yards in each direction.

Other ways include walking round in a circle beating a drum, clapping or using bells, and visualizing the circle being created as you walk round.

Wiccans usually use the sword, athame or wand to draw the circle, walking deosil (clockwise) whilst visualising the circle forming and speaking the words of intent, such as:
“I cast this circle, my circle of power, to be a shield of protection and a boundary between the worlds of Men and the realms of the Mighty Ones. I bless thee and consecrate thee, in the names of the Lady and Lord. The Circle is Cast. So mote it be! ”

Representations of the elements may be carried around the circle, such as a censer or joss stick (air), candle (fire), water (water) and salt (earth) to consecrate and purify the space. Some people also sweep the circle with a besom (broom) prior to casting the circle. Do this by walking deosil (sunwise – which is clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere) sweeping the boundaries of the circle.

Circles are generally cast sunwise in the northern hemisphere, starting and finishing in the east, the place of the sunrise. At the end of a ritual, the circle is opened by reversing the casting, so if you visualized coloured light forming a sphere, you take the light back into yourself; if you walked around playing a musical instrument, you walk round anti-clockwise, playing the instrument again, etc. In the Southern Hemisphere, things are usually done in the reverse from how they are done in the Northern Hemisphere – which is due to the way in which the Sun appears to move anti-clockwise through the sky at day. [There are quite a few debates about whether or not this should be done clock or anti-clockwise, so it may be best to consult some books and websites written by people who live and work their magick in Australia or New Zealand for examples and arguments for and against.]

The circle should be opened at the end of your rite with words of intent, here is an example:
“By the Earth that is Her body, by the living waters of Her womb, by the fire of Her bright spirit and by the Air that is Her breath, the circle is open yet unbroken!” [This is sometimes followed by “May the Love of the Goddess and God go forever in your hearts, merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!” – although if you are working by yourself, that would make no sense whatsoever of course, but if you do decide to work with others then you may want to try using it at the end of the opening of the circle! In our covens we usually have a big “group hug” at the end too]

Exercise 9

a) Write down the words for casting the circle in your magickal diary.
b) Practice casting a circle, remember to purify the space first. Spend some time meditating on different aspects of the current season in your circle and then open the circle. Write down your experiences in your magickal diary / notebook.
(c) Avalonia 2000
Made available here for free distribution.
The Free Wicca Lessons
www.avalonia.co.uk (2000-2008)