Below is a simple technique for casting a Circle. It only requires you, your altar and tools. There are a few things needed, however:
- Salt, in a small dish
- Incense stick, with censer of some sort
- Red candle in holder/dish
- Water, in a small dish
- Goddess candle
- God candle
- Chalice or glass with juice/wine
- Plate with food - eg, bread (preferably home-made)
- Libations dish
- Candle snuffer - for closing the Circle
Obviously, you will have whatever tools you have on your altar. You can edit this version to suit you - this is merely a sample of what you can do for casting a Circle.
Opening the Circle
- Clear a space, your altar can be anywhere - most people have it in the centre (for spirit), the north or the east. Mine is in the east, simply because that's the only place it can be!
- Make sure you won't be disturbed! It's ridiculously annoying when people butt in on your worship, so make sure you tell them or that they find out before they come in.
- Cleanse yourself (optional). This can be done simply by using rainwater collected on a Thursday which has been charged with the Full Moon's powers (by leaving it out in the Full Moon's view), putting some onto a flannel and wiping your whole body with it.
- Dress yourself - or undress, if you prefer to go skyclad (naked). Try not to wear jewelery unless it is related to the Craft or it is needed for the ritual.
- Take a few deep breaths with your eyes closed. Relax yourself, and when you feel you are ready, open your eyes and continue.
- Say, "I invite you, Powers of Earth, to witness this rite and to guard this Circle." Sprinkle some salt on the floor, then bow to the North.
- Say, "I invite you, Powers of Air, to witness this rite and to guard this Circle." Light the incense, then bow to the East.
- Say, "I invite you, Powers of Fire, to witness this rite and to guard this Circle." Light the red candle, then bow to the South.
- Say, "I invite you, Powers of Water, to witness this rite and to guard this Circle." Sprinkle some water on the floor, then bow to the West.
- Say, "The Circle is bound, with Power all around. Between the Worlds I stand, with Protection at hand." Take a few moments to visualise a dome above and around you. It can be white, purple, blue... any colour you want. When you feel secure, continue.
- Say, "I invite you, Mother of Mine, to witness this rite and to guard this Circle." Light the Goddess candle.
- Say, "I invite you, Father of Mine, to witness this rite and to guard this Circle." Light the God candle.
Now, this is the bit where you state what you want to do, and then you go ahead and do it. This could include spellwork, Esbat celebrations or Sabbat rituals. It all depends on the occasion you are in.
Closing a Circle. (For when you have finished your ritual)
- Take your chalice/glass with the juice, and hold it up. Say, "Mother of Mine, I ask you to bless this juice so that I may drink of your love." Drink from the chalice, then pour some into the libations dish.
- Take your plate of food and hold it up - alternatively you could hold your hands over it, either way works. Say, "Father of Mine, I ask you to bless this food so that I may eat of your love." Eat most of the flood, then put the rest into the libations dish with your juice.
- Now it's time to dismiss everyone. While snuffing out the God candle, say, "Depart in peace, Father of Mine, my thanks and blessings."
- Snuff out Goddess candle while saying, "Depart in peace, Mother of Mine, my thanks and blessings."
- Finish any left over juice, then tap the water in the dish gently. "Depart in peace, Powers of Water, my thanks and blessings."
- Snuff out the red candle. "Depart in peace, Powers of Fire, my thanks and blessings."
- Tap any ash off the incense stick, then lick your fingers and pinch the end to stop the incense. (It doesn't hurt, I promise!) "Depart in peace, Powers of Air, my thanks and blessings."
- Tap the salt gently. "Depart in peace, Powers of Earth, my thanks and blessings."
- "The Circle is broken, Reality is rewoken." This is the end of the closing.
I should also tell you about exiting the Circle if there is an emergency - please do not use this technique if you just need the toilet!
- Face the visualised dome.
- Hold out your hand (or tool), and visualise it cutting through the dome.
- Cut a horizontal line above your head, right to left, wide enough for you to pass.
- Cut vertically to the floor.
- Cut once more, left to right, the same length as step three.
- Gently push on this makeshift door, and step through. Close the door behind you (keep from negativity entering the Circle).
- To re-enter, remind yourself where the door is. Push gently against it to open, then stop through. Close again.
- Smooth your hand over the egdes of the door to reseal it to the dome.
- Continue with your ritual. (I also recommend apologising to the Powers, just to be polite.)