The Circle

The Magick Circle or the Ritual circle is the first energy work that any witch will master. To say that it is just an area marked out for ritual is incomplete, though not an inaccurate explanation. The circle is really a sphere, that we illustrate on the two-dimensional plane. We use poetic descriptions “set in a Time that is not a Time and a Place that is not a place” to emphasize that you are using energy to step into a place that is truly at the axis-mundi, between the worlds.

In creating a Magick Circle you are creating a void where you can draw in the power of a specific nature in order to create change. It is also a sphere constructed of personal power in which rituals are usually performed. Within it, the witch is protected from outside forces. The sphere extends both above and below the surface of the ground. It offers a boundary for a reservoir of concentrated power and acts as a doorway to the world of the gods…

There are many reasons for casting a circle, depending on who you talk to. Casting a circle is creating sacred space wherever you are, making that space separate from the mundane. Some cast a circle to contain energy, some to keep unwanted energy out. Some cast circles as a way to get into a certain frame of mind for what they plan on doing. A circle can be cast in many ways as well. Some do it with great pomp and circumstance, really hauling out the ceremonial magic, others simply acknowledge the elements and directions, and some simply just create a line within their mind. For the Silver Moon Crow Coven, we’re greedy, we like to keep our energy in until we are ready to release our intentions.

To cast the Circle
Taking your elemental weapon of choice, athame, wand, sword, or staff, or using your power finger, move clockwise from the east drawing a boundary. The visualization can be as unique as the caster, usually a blue flame. Circles are usually cast in a clockwise direction, also known as deosil, are used most often because it is a direction of increase. Counterclockwise, or widdershins, is a direction of decrease. The Silver Moon Crow Coven begins in the East.

If you like a visual circle, you’ll need to collect a few things, 4 -5 candles in holders (votives in glass are fine) you can use all one color, or you can have an object that represents the element at each corner as well. If the surface provides, you can physically draw a circle out with a wand or athame. Set up the candles in each appropriate corner, and if you’re going to have an altar, or some place of focus, place a fifth candle here. Now, you are going to evoke the direction and element…you can do this vocally or mentally. Some people like to also invoke a deity that is associated with that direction or element as well, so how you go about it depends on what feels right to you. Here are a few examples for each direction: While you are drawing the circle, say:

“I consecrate this circle of power to the Ancient Gods
Here may they manifest and bless their child.”
Move back to the altar, facing east. Raise your wand or dagger in greeting, say:

“This is a time that is not a time,
in a place that is not a place,
on a day that is not a day.
I stand at the threshold between the worlds,
before the Veil of the Mysteries.
May the Ancient Ones help
And protect me on my magical journey.”

Asperging and Smudging
Asperging means sprinkling with liquid in order to effect spiritual and magical cleansing. This is an ancient rite, just like burning loose incense. Asperging rituals direct the elemental power of Water – the number one Energy that can be used for cleansing and purification. (One can also scatter water as a drawing agent for positive energy – just work in the opposite direction). With smudging, you can use sage, sweetgrass, or other herbs. You can also use incense if you like. The purpose of smudging is to use smoke to carry negative energy out of the area. When you light sage or sweetgrass, allow it to flame for a moment and then blow out the flame. This will leave you with a burning herb bundle, which will create smoke. In the Process of neutralizing the energy in the Circle, preparing it for your venture, prior to the circle the negativity and physical clutter were swept away, this is for the spiritual.

After casting the Circle return to the Priests place before the altar, and set the water chalice/shell/dish on the pentacle disk. Visualize a glowing silvery light reflecting off the water, hold your athame over it and say:

“Great Mother, bless this creature of Water to your service.
May I always remember the cauldron waters of rebirth.”
Move the water off the pentacle and replace it with the dish of salt, visualizing a lush silvery light sparkling against the salt, hold the athame over the salt and say:

“Great Mother, bless this creature of Earth to your service.
May I always remember the Earth, in its many forms and beings.”
Sprinkle a little salt in the water, then hold the chalice up high, and say:

“Great Mother, I give you honor!”
Beginning in the east and moving clockwise, sprinkle the water-salt mixture lightly around the edges of the circle. Replace the chalice on the altar. Now hold your athame over the lighted incense burner, visualize a golden light radiating onto the coal saying:

“Great Father, bless this creature of Fire to your service. May I always remember
the sacred Fire that dances within the form of every creation.”
Add resin incense to the coal and holding the athame over the incense, visualize a golden light penetrating the smoke and say:

“Great Father, bless this creature of Air to your service.
May I always listen to the spirit winds that carry my words to the Ancient Ones.”
Touch the incense burner briefly to the pentacle disk, then raise the incense burner high, saying:

“Great Father, I give you honor.”

The Circle Cast the Priest can continue on with the ritual and summon the Watchtowers (Quarters).