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Circle Casting Question

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Circle Casting Question

Postby TruthSeeker19 » Tue May 26, 2015 11:01 pm

Hello all,

I'm relatively new to Wicca and I have a question for those of you who are Solitary practitioners.

the question is, how elaborate is your ritual for casting the circle and all the preparations that go in to it?

I've read Raymond Buckland's "Complete Book of Witchcraft", and Scott Cunningham's "Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner"
and the last one I read was called "The Craft" from Dorothy Morrison.

Particularly with the book "The Craft" the author gives a very long, drawn out sequence of events that have to take place before one can get down to performing magick within their circle.

First you take a ritual bath (which I don't mind so much, sounds good and relaxing to me)

but then then you have to cast your circle....and it has to be done after anointing yourself with oils before you step into your circle "area", as you're doing this there is a certain rhyme to recite...
Then you "call the corners" (and for each direction there's an incantation to recite in which to call them)....then once that's done you call on the God and Goddess (and they both have separate special incantations that you're supposed to use to "call" them to the circle....
And when you're done, you're supposed to Bid Farewell and thank the God /Goddess....and release them from the circle -and there's a special incantation to do that.
etc..etc..
It just seems very overwhelming to be, and alot of rhyming incantations to memorize (either that or I'll be standing there with a "script" in my hands trying to read it while lighting candles, swinging incense....etc. :evilwitch:

I'm just wondering if everyone goes through such an elaborate ritual as this EVERYTIME you wish to cast a spell or just spend some time in your circle to meditate and give thanks.
Or do some of you not even bother with casting circles? Do you just have a special altar you go to and work "freestyle" (so to speak) without all the other protocols?
I like the idea of a sacred circle in which I can go to and perform magick, that makes sense to me.

I'm not looking for shortcuts, and maybe as I get further along the path It won't seem so overwhelming to me.

But I was interested how others who practice "solo" go about casting their circle and spending that special time
Any thoughts or suggestions would be most appreciated!
Also still looking for more books to read on the subject, so if anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate it greatly.

Thank you,
Blessed be !
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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby Xiao Rong » Wed May 27, 2015 6:31 am

I think there are a lot of ways to cast a circle. Like you said, the idea of the circle is simply to carve out a sacred space which feels separate from your every day life, so that you can get into the right mood and mindset for ritual work. The traditional sequence (cleansing yourself, calling the corners, calling the God and Goddess, etc.) is a little lengthy, and if taking so long to cast a circle for something very simple would just take you more out of your ritual headspace, then don't bother with it. Some people simply envision a bubble of white light around them. You can also do something like sweep the floor with a broom in a circle around you (very witchy!) or sprinkle some salt. Personally, I have taken to singing a quarter call (this song is the one my fellow circle-mates love to use) -- it takes a very short amount of time, but the process of singing makes the space feel holy and special.
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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby corvidus » Wed May 27, 2015 7:06 am

Hey there :)

'Casting' a circle is all about establishing Union with your chosen God/Goddess-form, so that you can act in the material world on their behalf.

One reason incantations are recommended is because they help open up a connection with Divinity. This is one esoteric meaning interpretation of: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God."

So first, I establish this unity by drawing out the symbol of the circle, and then I manifest this Union through the appropriate invocation/prayer/chant.

Pretty simple two step process, but the more you practice, the more you'll allow yourself to open up to the Divine within. And the more you manifest Presence, the more interesting things get :D
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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby SirisDerp » Wed May 27, 2015 9:33 am

Hello!

Casting a circle comes down to how elaborate you want to make things. It's personal preference and what you feel is best for your purpose.

I know a lot of books from Wicca overwhelm you with highly elaborate rituals and tools that you 'need' to have to do this or that. You really don't. If it would make you feel secure having all those things, then go ahead. Like I said, it's up to you and what suits you best for your needs.

Some view the more elaborate casting of a circle as being more formal while the less elaborate as less formal. So long as respect is given and you're doing what resonates with you and your purpose, it doesn't matter.

If you're looking more into Wicca then Scott Cunningham, Dorien Valiente, Janet Farrar, and Stewart Farrar' books are the best ones to look at. There's also Drawing Down The Moon by Margot Adler and A Witch's Bible by Janet and Stewart Farrar are a good introduction since you've already read A Solitary Practitioner.
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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby TruthSeeker19 » Thu May 28, 2015 9:27 pm

Thank you all for your thoughts, I appreciate it.

I agree that going with what I feel is right and respectful should be enough without having to get to crazy elaborate with it
I would think it's most important to maintain my intentions as clearly and purely as possible and that should be what counts most
Thank you SirisDerp for all the info on books to read, I will definitely look for them on Amazon :)
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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby SirisDerp » Sun May 31, 2015 5:43 pm

TruthSeeker19 wrote:Thank you SirisDerp for all the info on books to read, I will definitely look for them on Amazon :)


The Witch's Bible is for free if that makes any difference. The latest editions are where you begin to pay money but they all contain the same information. =3
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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby SpiritTalker » Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:22 pm

I am a firm practicer of keeping it simple. As long as I see the circle in my mind, and know it's there, I don't jump all the hoops. I cleanse with see-hear-speak no evil hand gestures, ground by running my hand from crown to naval, take four breaths as one for each quarter and center by drawing an equal armed cross on my solar plexus. That's the physical part, but in my head I'm seeing each step, saying it and making it connect. I try not to take it so seriously and hope you laugh at this, but sometimes I just want to have fun and cast the circle by whirling a faceted sun catcher on a string around my head like a lasso, and let the light fall where it may. The faceted crystal sun catcher breaks up energy.

I know it works because one time, when I was casting outdoors by lasso-method, an inquisitive bat came to investigate. I really, really don't care for bats. I put some real oomph into that, pushing from the belly. then I stood still. The bat flew slowly around the exact perimeter of the circle as I envisioned it, about 4.5 feet out from center. then flew away. I nearly fell down with relief.

I go through the whole song and dance however, if I want to be fully in tune with deity. she's worth it.
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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby Etbonusmalum » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:14 am

I never follow any of those procedures. Like SpiritTalker said, I'm firm in keeping it simple when it comes to stuff like that. I haven't done much magically, but my circles consist of me lighting 5 candles in a circle around me. I follow in a cirlce until I get to the last one. When I am done, I blow then out going the opposite way.
Please note: if you try this method, make sure you are safe. Don't make your circle so tiny that you catch fire. It should be done in a open area with no low hanging items. Hope that helps.

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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby ThetaChoir » Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:42 am

I'm really glad that this topic was brought up. I haven't yet cast a circle, but I have the same reaction as TruthSeeker19 when I read about long, elaborate circle-casting rituals. I can't explain why, but it seems that the more elaborate the ritual is, the less spiritual it feels to me. It starts to feel more like a "To-Do" list, f you see what I mean.

When my instructions for casting a circle begin to rival in complexity the instructions for assembling a Build-it-Yourself desk, I will quickly run away.

I'm not certain yet if circle casting will be a formal part of my path yet, but if it does become so, I am certain it will be a much more simplified version. (Like what was just posted by Etbonusmalum. I like that!)
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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby moonlitwish » Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:59 pm

I cut down on the ritual a long time ago. I just draw down some white energy until I feel "full" and then let it expand from me to where I want the circle to stand. IMHO the point of the ritual is to help you with the visualization of the energy you are manipulating. Very helpful for the beginner, but completely unnecessary once you learn to feel of a circle.


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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby Jenny Crow » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:48 pm

How you cast your circle all depends on "who" and "what" you wish to contact, invite into your circle and work with. If you do't understand that and why a circle is cast then that's probably why you believe "all that ritual is unnecessary".

There are times when, if you're doing a simple spell a circle is not even needed. Then there are times, if you're calling on certain entities and spirits and elementals that you will definitely need a strong circle.

Lighting a few candles around oneself is not casting a circle - at least not a magical circle. And seeing a circle in your mind is great but is it there spiritually?
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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby Etbonusmalum » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:05 am

@Jenny Crow... To each his own. I do my circle the way I wish. All of my work (what little I've done) is done spiritually! I put energy into workings. So, sense you seem to know it all, enlighten the OP on how it's done... I didn't ask your opinion!



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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby Jenny Crow » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:49 pm

Obviously I hit a nerve. No-one asked for anyone's opinion, lol.

I was just trying to explain that certain spirits, elements and elementals are usually called upon or invited into the practitioner's circle to protect, help, witness the rites and lend their power to any working. Understanding those things is paramount to casting a strong circle when required :)
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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby Etbonusmalum » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:05 pm

Jenny Crow wrote:Obviously I hit a nerve. No-one asked for anyone's opinion, lol.

I was just trying to explain that certain spirits, elements and elementals are usually called upon or invited into the practitioner's circle to protect, help, witness the rites and lend their power to any working. Understanding those things is paramount to casting a strong circle when required :)

You didn't hit a nerve... Trust me. It's the "lighting a couple candles around yourself isn't casting a circle" part I didn't like. That's your opinion and I practice the way I want.

It's comments like that that keep people from actually sharing their experiences.

Have a nice day...

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Re: Circle Casting Question

Postby Jenny Crow » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:03 pm

Etbonusmalum wrote:You didn't hit a nerve... Trust me. It's the "lighting a couple candles around yourself isn't casting a circle" part I didn't like. That's your opinion and I practice the way I want.

It's comments like that that keep people from actually sharing their experiences.
Have a nice day...
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I'm sure it's very nice to light some candles around yourself and aesthetically very pleasing but again, in my opinion it's not actually casting a circle; but if you're only meditating or doing a simple type of spell then that's great. You, yourself, said you haven't done much work magically, but when or if you do I would advise using a more advanced type of circle, especially if you're going to do a serious working, calling on entities and spirits, and especially execration magic.

Perhaps your path isn't witchcraft, perhaps it's simply neo-wicca or a simple paganism, you didn't say, but when a person asks about casting a circle and someone posts something that could potentially lead someone into running into trouble (which is quite possible if they want to do some serious rites/workings/rituals etc.) someone like myself who has been practicing for thirty five years and more, and also teaches witchcraft, just wants to help the person asking the original question to not get into any difficulties.

When you post in forums and groups, by the way, you should always be prepared for people not agreeing with you. I was not trying to be rude and I was not "putting you down" - just stating some truths.

Have a good day,

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