How to Cast a Circle

Two Parts:CastingUsing

Some wiccans and other neo-pagans who practice Ritual Magick cast sacred circles inside which rituals are performed. The circle acts as a portal to the realm of the deities, as a protection from evil forces, and more simply as a psychological tool to put you in the right state of mind. To learn more about casting a circle, read on.

Part 1

  1. Image titled Cast a Circle Step 1
    Find a safe place to cast your circle. It can be indoors or outdoors, at midnight or early in the morning. There's no perfect place to cast, so don't feel any pressure to hike out to the middle of nowhere if that will make you psychologically uncomfortable. The best place is somewhere you'll feel comforted and at ease, able to commune in the way you wish, and in the appropriate way for whatever ritual or ceremony you hope to perform. If that's your bedroom, basement, or garage, so be it.
    • Make sure that the place is private and free for as long as you'll need the ceremony. Being interrupted in the middle of a ritual is a frustrating and even dangerous experience.
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    Purify the place where you will cast your circle. First, purify your location physically by tidying up the spot and making things orderly. If you're outdoors, clear the area of branches, leaves and rocks. Next, cleanse the area spiritually. Meditating, use your hands (or a wand or broom if your practice involves these items) and push negative energy from the spot.
    • You could also try using a cleansing agent like witch hazel to cleanse the area - a couple of drops in each corner of the room and round the perimeter of the circle should be sufficient.
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    Physically determine the bounds of your circle, if you want. Do this by drawing a circle on the floor, sprinkling salt water in a circle, or by laying a cord in a circle (make sure you tie it). Anyhow, the circle is usually as wide as you are tall.
    • Alternatively, if you're in the outdoors, consider using the elements of nature to create your circle. Create a circle of rocks or other natural elements if it seems appropriate to your ritual or practice.
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    Place all the objects you will be using in your ritual inside the circle. Once you start practicing, you're going to want to stay in the circle and not break the connection until your ritual is completed. If you start and you've forgotten a particular candle or totem that's important to you, getting up and hitting "pause" isn't an option. Gather everything you'll need to begin your ritual and start preparing for your ritual.
    • If you're going to offer something to a spirit, remember to include that and everything you'll need to prepare it.
    • Other popular items to include in rituals include totems, black candles, crystals, knives, bells, bowls of salt and bowls of water. Organize them, whatever they are, to form an altar. Bring a surface to set them on, like a box or crate with a small black tablecloth. The altar should face north, as should you when you're in the circle completing your ritual.
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    Complete the circle. Place candles or other items at each cardinal direction. Do not light them yet. Some wiccans will choose something that represents Earth in the north, Air in the east, Fire in the south, and Water in the west. Follow whatever procedures are appropriate for the rituals you desire.
    • Salt, a stone, or a green candle could represent Earth. Incense, broken glass, or a yellow candle could stand in for Air. Water in any receptacle is a fine representation of water, or a blue candle for Water. A red candle or cigarette does nicely for Fire. If you have one, you could also use the Aces in your Tarot deck.

Part 2

  1. Image titled Cast a Circle Step 6
    Bless the circle. How you choose to use your circle once its cast is largely up to you, your practice, and your goals. In general, though, you'll want to start by blessing the space and clearing it of negative energy, beginning the invocation of spirits. Some covens are very formal and ritualized in their practice, while some less so. Do what feels natural.
    • Walk around the circle, lighting the candles, leaving a trail of salt around the boundary. In each cardinal direction, recite an invocation like: "Blessing upon the creatures and spirits of the North."[1]
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    State the purpose of the circle. Walk around the circle three times, saying: "Cast the circle thrice about, to keep the evil spirits out."
    • "I conjure thee, O Circle of Power, that thou best a meeting place of love and joy and truth; a shield against all wickedness and evil; a boundary between men and the realms of the Mighty Ones; a rampart and protection that shall preserve and contain the power that we shall raise within thee."[2]
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    Invoke the elements and spirits and deities you wish to work with. Call them to the objects that represent them. Take each of the objects that represent the elements around your circle, filling it with the power of each of them.
    • Meditate for a while now. Meditation or astral projection might be the main act, or it serves just to shift your consciousness.
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    Complete your ritual. Remember: "And it harm none, do what ye will." If you must leave the circle before you are done, cut a doorway. Envision a doorway being cut from the edge of the circle, up, to the side, then down again. Reclose the circle once you're back in.
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    Close the circle when you're done: pay respect to whatever deities you invited, thank the elements before you remove their representative objects, and finally undo the casting by casting in reverse.


  • Experiment with different ways of casting. It should be comfortable for you: change whatever you want.
  • Freshly picked flowers could also represent earth, a match that was set on fire and blown out (smoke) could represent air, a bowl of tap or rainwater could represent water, and a candle or match could represent fire.


  • Make sure you will not be disturbed: aside from being uncomfortable, it can be dangerous to your psychic health.
  • Be sure of what you will do: if you work magick make sure that it is really your last resort.

Things You'll Need

  • hands
  • Wand
  • Athame
  • Broom (besom)
  • Cord/Rope
  • Water, Salt, Candles (Red, Blue, Yellow and Green)
  • Book of Shadows

Article Info

Categories: Nature & Pagan Beliefs