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Alternatives to Casting a Circle

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Alternatives to Casting a Circle

Postby Witchy333 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:08 am

A month ago I left the Wiccan tradition as it is not for me. I finally realised after two years. (If you're wondering, my path right now would be described as: Buddhist Eclectic-Pagan Spiritualist), with the belief of Jesus and Mary). Although I am no longer Wiccan, I still remain a witch. So, my question is: what are the alternatives to casting a circle? The casting circle is a Wiccan rite and I honestly really hated casting a circle when I was a Wiccan.

Thanks.
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Re: Casting a circle alternatives

Postby Xiao Rong » Sun May 12, 2013 10:01 am

My understanding is that the purpose of casting a circle is to separate a space for you to do magical working. Whether this is a literally magic space that is "between the worlds" or just a means to get you into the proper mindset for ritual work is a matter of opinion. If you believe the latter, like I do, then there are a million possible alternatives. Maybe you could sweep the area you're working, or meditate for a few minutes, or light candles.
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RE: Casting a circle alternatives

Postby Helvetica » Mon May 13, 2013 11:17 am

For me (i'm a Pagan witch, no wiccan), meditation or prayers work, also taking a bath with certain sents, taking a long, quiet walk, chanting little phrases, even cooking helps to get in tune with the elements and gods ;)
I have never found a circle necessary, though if you do something large-scale I advise you to do something against negative energies/spirts in your working area as a precaution.
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Re: Casting a circle alternatives

Postby -Dark-Moon- » Mon May 13, 2013 5:28 pm

The more you practice the more it becomes second nature. It can be as simple as just acknowledging the elements. Calling the quarters is probably advised if you want to shift larger amounts of energy and a circle is good for this. Also it can be a method of protection as mentioned above. If your house has been nicely optimised magically you could view it as one giant circle anyway, and the cast circle becomes a focused circle within an already cleared/warded circle. This comes back to containment of positive energy and deflection of negative... However if your magical system doesn't involve too much dualism, principles of polarity become less relevant.

I don't cast circles for all situations. A problem can be that if you are new to magic you can actually manage to raise a fair bit of magical energy and then fail to direct it properly, generating a chaotic situation where the spell completely backfires. Just sayin. So if starting out its best to start small and build up gently, staying focused and directing the energy purposefully, not flinging it wildly into the cosmos. That's when the microwave blows up afterwards, ha.

I agree with Helvetica, part of using magic to influence your life is manifesting change through daily life - the simple things like walking and cooking are all potential opportunities to meditate on the changes you desire.
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Re: Casting a circle alternatives

Postby North Star » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:18 pm

I am so happy to find this thread. I thought I was alone on this...

I do not cast circles. This was one reason I think I started to move away from Wicca years ago, I was just tired of reading about circles lol. I never felt the need for them, tried once and I really did not care for it.

I do use alternatives, like others mentioned. I cleanse the house monthly and I practice in my home in my bedroom where I feel very protected and magickal in. I consider the 4 elements ( or 5, I light a white candle in the center) on my altar a 'protective means', so I may not work 'in' a circle, but I do use one in some way.

I always light incense first, maybe just habit... but it feels like it 'sets the tone' and cleanses the air... sometimes I smudge with sage or mugwort also.
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Re: Casting a circle alternatives

Postby DPhoenix » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:40 pm

There are 4 Archangels also called the Guardians of the Watchtower which correspond to the elements.

In the Guardians of the Watchtower spell I posted here you can see how they relate to the elements. Might be a reasonable substitute for you. :)
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Re: Casting a circle alternatives

Postby Lightbringer » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:37 pm

If you're just sending out your intention and not trying to invoke any spirits, you don't even need to cast a circle.
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Re: Alternatives to Casting a Circle

Postby MaeRose » Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:25 pm

Hi there,
I am a newbie here who has been practicing solitary for the 2 years. I too do not cast circles, though I call on the 4 guardian angels before anything magical.
I am happy to hear this is common among some others too. My question is if I do choose to invoke goddess energy is it commonly considered the same as spirit, and in this circumstance who a circle or other method be advisable? So far I have just requested the assistance of the divine source and mother nature for my spell work.

Thanks. So happy to be here :-)
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Re: Alternatives to Casting a Circle

Postby SpiritTalker » Thu May 05, 2016 10:26 am

Re: OP - We shouldn't have to beat ourselves up over the circle. We are an inventive species and can think for ourselves. If we educate ourselves and know why the various steps of a safe and well done Wiccan circle are performed, we can decide if and when we need it. We can then improvise with confidence. Many non-Wiccans use some kind of circle that are not intended to be Wiccan, just circles.

I break it down to cleansing, grounding/centering, quarters, circle shape, and invoking deity. Cleansing with sound like a Tibetan meditation bell or a sweep of the hand will make a clean slate to work from. Grounding connects us to a non-exhaustible energy source; centering will focus us and is always needed. In a Non-Wiccan circle, we may want only to form a barrier to prevent energy leaks and interference. We can walk it, trace or mark the diameter, or twirl a pendulum (my playful favorite). goodnevil We can project energy from a finger, or the solar plexus, and other chakras. Assuredly, when we desire assistance and grace, we can address the elemental quarters and our deity.

Re: is invoking Goddess the same as the element Spirit? Possibly, if you resonate to a liberal and non-specific definition of goddess as intelligent, creative energy. It needs another topic.
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Re: Alternatives to Casting a Circle

Postby Siona » Fri May 06, 2016 1:09 pm

Really, when I left Wicca I just stopped with a lot of the ceremonial stuff. If I want to cast a spell, I go to my work space, take a few deep breaths, and just get to work. Same thing if I want to pray, or meditate, make offerings, etc. For more formal events, like making offerings on sacred days, I will wash myself with blessed water first, perhaps do a procession to the ritual space if I can. Something small to get me in a good frame of mind for the event.

For more complex witchcraft related workings, I pull from traditional witchcraft and lay a compass round. There are tons of ways to do this, and I found one which made a lot more sense to me than casting a Wiccan circle ever did. It involves calling from north to south, east to west, to make a crossroads (or sometimes three directions of land, sea, and sky to make a triple crossroads for Hekate, but that's not really a compass anymore of course...), and establishing the stang (a sort of staff) as the world tree in the center, making the lower, middle, and upper worlds, to create the ritual space.
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Re: Alternatives to Casting a Circle

Postby SpiritTalker » Fri May 06, 2016 2:54 pm

Hmm,that does make sense. I've lain a compass for solstices, using a staff. I didn't follow up on it. Now I'm thinking maybe Robert Cochrain is worth reading more about. Aw shucks,back to Amazon. :mrgreen:
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Re: Alternatives to Casting a Circle

Postby shadoweave » Fri May 13, 2016 7:20 am

Calling north, south, east and west is part of calling a circle / erecting a temple. Fire, water, air and earth are associated to the compass directions. It's never been a challenge and it doesn't take much time.
The circle (or temple) is marked out by practitioners of many branches of which is generally believed that it will contain energy and form a sacred space.
A lot of places go as far as to suggest spells done without the circle are going to simply end up ineffective, Not getting results.
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Re: Alternatives to Casting a Circle

Postby firebirdflys » Fri May 13, 2016 10:34 am

SpiritTalker wrote:In a Non-Wiccan circle, we may want only to form a barrier to prevent energy leaks and interference. We can walk it, trace or mark the diameter, or twirl a pendulum (my playful favorite).
Excellent point. The circle is up to form a barrier in which to contain the energy built up, as well as keep undesirable energy out. The energy is released when circle comes down. In my opinion the circle is not exclusively Wiccan.
We make a creative sort of spiral of energy on occasion in forming our circle...it's more like a solar system. With hands in the center making the the flash point so-to-speak. Flexing the the spiral in and out untill we finally break from the center each person spiraling out to the perimeter creating our own little galaxy! We all continue to circumambulate around the circumference until we all have formed a circle. Its a little hard to explain but here are some images of the flash point. https://www.google.com/search?q=hands+i ... 24&bih=600
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Re: Alternatives to Casting a Circle

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat May 14, 2016 3:21 pm

...kind of like a coiled spring...BOIIING
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Re: Alternatives to Casting a Circle

Postby SpiritTalker » Sat May 14, 2016 3:39 pm

shadoweave wrote:A lot of places go as far as to suggest spells done without the circle are going to simply end up ineffective, Not getting results.


Nah-I can't agree with that completely. The circle has a "clean room" impact, as a safe and fairly reliable work area, like drawing on a clean slate, yes. I'm trying to remember if I have ever done a spell without a circle and what the results were...yes, I know an example: i wanted to replace my room mates' lost pendant, a pewter cross with the six rayed Jewish star in the middle. I did just a standard visualization, no circle at all and years before I learned about the Craft. 2 hours later I walked into the drugstore, and there, on display under the glass counter, was an exact copy of the pendant. I told the clerk that was exactly what I had been looking for, and she said she had just found it about two minutes before I walked in. It was the only one they had. smiley_dance
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