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Casting A Ritual Circle

Circle Casting is one of the distinguishing features of Neopagan Witchcraft. All religions have procedures for establishing Sacred Space, casting a Circle is the Wiccan practice that fulfills that function. The Circle establishes the outer rim of the sacred space.

The Circle sets the ritual space apart from the normal everyday space; it delineates the boundaries between our mundane practices and the realm of magical interaction. It is a declaration of parameters. It also helps to contain and focus the energies raised, it acts as a containment field for the energies that are summoned later. The casting of the circle is a magical act and should be sealed with a statement of success or some signal of completion.

Cross section of a cast Circle When the Circle is being cast the participants should be visualizing a sphere of energy forming around them, the details of this visualization vary. Once it is cast, no one should leave without making some concession to the barrier such as "cutting a door".

This is a "Three worlds" Circle casting that I prefer because it speaks to the purpose of the Circle casting.

"Now we make our sacred space
By building a sphere of energy around us
We cast this circle of light by calling upon
the three worlds we move between

We cast this circle thrice about:
Once for the world of daylight,
For the world of intellect and clarity.

We cast this circle thrice about:
Once for the world of moonlight,
for the world of intuition and secrets.

We cast this circle thrice and last:
Once for the world out of time,
Between all places,
Where we meet to do our Work.

The Circle is cast
We stand between the worlds
Let all who enter, enter in love
Let all who leave, leave in peace."

This is the circle casting I learned from my teacher Jill Price. This is sort of an accordion piece, each verse can be stretched or condensed to last all the way around the Circle. The descriptive section, after the colon and before the final line of each section, can be improvised upon for as long as necessary.

"We cast this circle thrice about,
once for the maiden,
Innocent and free.
We are the maiden when we:
begin a new thing
know the beauty of the ordinary
marvel in the everyday
are joyful in life
we are the maiden and the maiden is us.

We cast this circle thrice about,
Once for the Mother,
Nurturing and strong.
We are the mother when we:
are Generous and loving
when we have the courage to lead
stand up for what we believe in
think of others first
we are the mother and the mother is us.

We cast this circle thrice about,
Once for the Crone,
Old and in wisdom strong.
We are the crone when we:
teach others
seek inner truth
comfort the weak
we are the crone and is us.

The Circle is cast.
We stand between the worlds,
Between all places,
Where we meet to do our Work.
Let all who enter, enter in love,
Let all who leave, leave in peace."

This is a Triple Goddess casting by my coven mate Michael wrote

I cast this circle thrice about, once for the maiden.
Carefree and innocent, she who knows the beauty of the ordinary.
She who marvels in the everyday, and is joyful in life.

I cast this circle thrice about, twice for the mother.
Nurturing and strong, she who knows the pains that make life worth
living. She who teaches us how to live, and takes away our hurt.

I cast this circle thrice about, thrice for the crone.
Aged and experienced, she who knows life's hard lessons.
She who aids us with the hard won knowledge of the ages.

The Circle is rarely perfectly round and in practice it's boundaries are somewhat flexible. You are within the Circle when you are in sensory contact with the group. As long as you are included in the interaction of the group you are within the Circle.

Cutting a door is a symbolic opening of the inclusive sphere to allow an individual to come or go. A door can be cut with an athame or parted like a veil. I like to unzip a door like a tent flap. Always close the door behind you when you leave.

1999 Sheherazahde, Braided Wheel Tradition
For more information contact: sheherazahde@yahoo.com

How to cite this page:
MLA style:
Snyder, Eva M. "Casting A Ritual Circle." February 27,1999. Online. Internet. [Put here the date you read or printed this page]. Available WWW: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/7746/BraidedWheel/Circle.html

APA style:
Snyder, Eva M. (1999). Casting A Ritual Circle. [Online]. Available WWW: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/7746/BraidedWheel/Circle.html

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