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How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

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How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

Postby Floyd Pinkerton » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:58 pm

What exactly does it mean to cast a circle and how do you do it? I apologize, I'm new to this. :oops:
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Re: How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

Postby Heartsong » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:10 am

Hi Floyd,

I moved your question and made it a separate thread so it could get the attention it deserves, because it really is a good one. :)

That being said, the how to varies from person to person. Personally, I like to focus and let out a long, slow breath, visualizing that breath as white mist that circles around me and the area I want it to form around. Then I see it harden into the equivalent of an ice wall, impenetrable. Others think of light surrounding them and the space they may be working in and still others visualize tree limbs weaving around their space tightly, enfolding them in the protective space of wood and earth. In a more formal, ritualistic setting, most call the Quarters, lighting candles in four corners that represent the four cardinal directions (and the four elements typically) and then visualizing the circle forming out of whatever force that means protection, positivity, or sacred space.

I would suggest that you read through these threads for more information on that:

how-you-cast-circle-t27364.html
circle-casting-t23652.html
first-experiences-with-circle-casting-t25207.html
casting-circle-alternatives-t24134.html

As for what it means to cast a circle, I think that answer also varies depending on who you ask. For me, casting a circle is creating a sacred space in which to work a spell, to invite your gods to share said space, and functions as a means of protection. For many witches, casting a circle is the first and last line of defense against negative forces or influences. It's our first reaction when coming up against something that might affect us in a negative way, whether that be an altercation or someone taking out their bad day on us verbally.

I'm sure others will weigh in with their own thoughts, but that's mine.
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Re: How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

Postby LiebeUndLicht » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:26 am

Heya! Don't worry, everyone has to start somewhere!
Everyone casts their circles differently, so you can find the way that best works for you, but this is basically how I do it:
Decide how much space I need, because you don't want to feel restricted and not have enough room to do what you need to do... Some people light candles for each quarter but I don't tend to do that. If you do want to do that then you could just use white candles for each corner, or if you want to use coloured candles, green to the north to represent earth, yellow to the east to represent air, red or orange to the south to represent fire, and blue in the west to represent water.
Basically what you need to do is call upon the elements. For example, I point my wand to the north and say "I call upon the elements of the north," then continue doing south, east and west. Although you can say more complex and elaborate things but this works for me.
When you finish, you usually start with the last element you called upon, so you would say something like "Thankyou elements of the west for attending this rite," or something like that, and continue until you finish with the north.
The purpose of a circle is so you can have a sacred space. Much like a church is used for religious worship and praying, a wiccan or pagan or witch can cast a circle to do magickal workings and the like. But before anyone leaves the circle it is important to open it again.
I hope this helped you, good luck on your path! If you would like some more information on casting circles, this is a good link http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccana ... Circle.htm blessed be :)
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Re: How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

Postby Lillady » Tue Aug 26, 2014 10:45 am

I think the above two answers are correct. I also encourage you to read the threads that Heartsong posted.

For me personally, casting a circle is when I have to deeply meditate, I do this accordingly, not on any set schedule. I pray and meditate daily, but when things are really awry in my life and I need to cleanse, release and accept healing, I will cast a circle by putting a tigers eye and a white lit candle for each of the four corners. I ask for protection from evil while in my circle. I listen to water music as I meditate, pray and cast (if I am casting a spell). I listen to water music because water is my element, it helps to calm myself from my life's worries and be able to focus on my intents at hand. I hope all of these answers help you. Blessed Be.
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Re: How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

Postby creatrix » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:06 pm

I cast a circle with my athame (a dagger) and go around clockwise 3 times, starting in the East. It is cast for protection and to connect between worlds.
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Re: How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

Postby Floyd Pinkerton » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:47 pm

Thank you for your responses, everyone! I was reading about casting circles for sabbat rituals and every page said "cast a circle if your tradition has you do so" so I was wondering what it meant.
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Re: How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

Postby SpiritTalker » Mon May 13, 2019 10:35 pm

>What exactly does it mean to cast a circle and how do you do it?

A circle can symbolize the Cosmos & the Earth in miniature. Circle casting can have multiple meanings - it puts us in contact with the Earth to create protected space set apart from mundane concerns; to unite the 3-realms of cosmic-above, mundane-here & unseen-below; to ritually capture, stage & act-out fulfillment of needs.

Likewise there are multiple ways to do this. The basic idea is load, aim & shoot energy to form a circular foundation & build a symbolic temple upon it. Within the Temple we are in touch with invisiable forces. Ritual acts-out or mimes temple construction from the elements of Nature. We use ritual to ground ourselves into the power source of earth energy. We raise that energy through our body & shape it with our thoughts. All of it sets a stage to enact a story or imprints the program that the universal "computer" carries out, metaphorically saying.

The 4 elements are called in sequence by density - moving from least to most dense: Air, Fire, Water, Earth to move the temple from the thought-plane & to take form in the physical realm. Rituals just keep repeating the same formula with our altar arrangements, circles & spell casting. The same Creation theme is enacted in the same sequence over & over.

Each step of circle casting flows in a logical sequence of building a temple structure:
.Clear an area by sprinkling combined salt & water (introduces Earth & Water); bless with smoldering incense (Fire & Air).
.lay the foundation by raising energy & directing it into a natural circular shape.
>Having done this much has cast a circle but hasn't built the temple yet. Add more layers:
.Define the temple's corners by calling the powers of east-Air, south-Fire, west-Water & north-Earth. This holds the structure in place.
.Infill the temple with sacred presence by inviting the goddess & god of nature.
.As needed, work in partnership with these or other spirits to celebrate or to spell craft.
.Honor nature by observing the full moons & seasonal holidays & with thanks-offerings.
.Farewell the deities & release the 4 powers in reverse order to close doors & disconnect the link.
.Ground residual energy
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Re: How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

Postby Corbin » Wed May 15, 2019 3:46 pm

(Personal Opinion)

A circle is a boundery (or sacred partition) which separates what is in the circle from what is outside the circle.

Bringing in the elements you utilise - air, fire, water, earth, aether; Goddess and god and you in the center as the 'prime mover' (for example) - you introduce the components of the universe into the circle and build a simplified working model of a functional universe in the microcosm. Here you can take centerstage and work with only the energies you bring into the circle (why you should try to develop harmony).

Here the channel filters downward and upward (to and from you) and you can choose to connect directly, like a conduit to things like energetic beings such as deities.

Should you use a circle in spell work you can symbolically enact change, raise energy and 'cast' it out of the circle into the universe (the macrocosm), like dropping a stone in the water and waiting for the ripple; the microcosm to effect the macrocosm. As above; so below.

The method I mostly use for creating a circle is gestures, trancework, creative imagination and energy work, having internalised the components and coorespondences required over time (I can go into greater detail if you wish). Truth is, you live in the circle, it is your auric shell which directly connects to everything else - realising this intuitively is a big step toward relinquishing the necessity of tools and props and recognising why so many different models and systems 'work'. You can take the circle with you.

As a fledgling witch, my first attempts were lacklustre and unsatisfactory affairs until in an unprompted trance it was enacted; the earlier circle casting on the 'astral'. The physical mechanics given spirit... Immediacy. Everything changed after that.
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Re: How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

Postby firebirdflys » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:04 am

Floyd Pinkerton wrote:cast a circle if your tradition has you do so" so I was wondering what it meant.

Some traditions do not cast a circle, so maybe that's what that meant. Very few that I know of do not, but the one that comes to mind is the reform Druids group ADF. At least the local one I visit occasionally does not. As far as I understand, that is because they feel no need to "cut" out a portion on the land to make "sacred" space. Siting that All land, plants, water etc... is already sacred.
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Re: How do you cast a circle? What does it mean?

Postby Lady_Lilith » Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:29 pm

Circle casting has various meanings. The original meaning was to keep evil away, and spirits etc. This comes from the Sumerian. In more modern terms, it can be used for this as well as encasing energy to be released after the ritual. It is a barrier between the mundane world and supernatural. It can also act as a doorway to the otherworldly. (I don't mean to sound ominous, it's not meant negatively. )
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