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Patti Wigington

Reader FAQ: Do I Have to Cast a Circle?

By February 24, 2014

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This is an older post, but the question comes up regularly, so let's revisit it. A reader writes in with a good question. He asks, "Can you tell me if it is necessary to draw a circle everytime one uses a wand to cast a spell? I'm a little confused."

Much like many other questions in modern Paganism, this is one where the answer really depends on who you ask. For me personally, I always cast a circle prior to formal rituals, but often do spellwork on the fly without the use of a circle -- and this is partly because I keep my entire home designated as sacred space, so I don't feel the need to cast a brand new circle each time I do a spell. Obviously, your mileage may vary on this. Certainly, in some traditions, the circle is required each and every time. Others don't bother with it at all.

It's important to remember that traditionally, the use of a circle is to delineate sacred space. If that's not something you require before spellwork, then it's not necessary to cast a circle. If, on the other hand, you think you might need to keep some icky stuff away from you during your working, then a circle is definitely a good idea. If you're not sure how to cast a circle, here's one method: Casting a Circle. Although this ritual is written for a group, it can easily be adapted for solitaries.

Readers, I'm curious -- does everyone cast a circle every time? Do you ever do magical workings where a circle isn't required at all?
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Comments
November 9, 2009 at 1:07 pm
(1) Blinda says:

When I first started quite awhile ago I did cast a circle every time I did spellwork or rituals. But now I also have designated my home and especially the room where my altar is as sacred space. So now I only cast a cicle if I am outside and/or doing rituals with others.

November 9, 2009 at 1:58 pm
(2) FernWise says:

In ADF Druidry we don’t cast our sacred space – the format is more aligning with the creative center of the universe.

Frondly, Fern

November 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm
(3) Kayne says:

I only case a circle for rituals or complex spellwork. For simple everyday spells I do not bother casting a circle.

November 9, 2009 at 2:47 pm
(4) Anne says:

I would agree with you! Simple spells, kitchen witchery and garden spells don’t really need sacred space, but for more formal rituals I would raise a circle.

November 9, 2009 at 7:55 pm
(5) Labrys says:

I almost never cast a circle. If the goal is “sacred space” I consider it unnecessary—to me the entire world IS sacred space. I only cast a circle if it is my intent to hold something within or hold something out—specifically, this usually involves healing rites or specialized cleansing rites of some sort.

November 9, 2009 at 7:57 pm
(6) Labrys says:

I do not usually cast a circle. I consider the entire planet to be sacred space already. I have a permanent stone ring ’round my house and consider it potent enough to guard against negativity. I only cast when I need to enclose some energy for special purpose.

November 9, 2009 at 10:20 pm
(7) Sahtyinepu says:

I cast circles for things where I feel I need that “enhanced” atmosphere. Otherwise I figure that four walls and a roof, or a dagger to the soil are good indications of boundaries for wayward things that might otherwise cause problems.

November 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm
(8) Freeman in Alabama says:

Outside of Wicca and the Ceremonial Magic traditions from which Wicca derived circle-casting, it’s not widely practiced.

We do shielding and warding as needed, partly to keep out any travelling yuck, but also to allow our Temple to keep its “glow.” I love showing it to sensitive people for the first time; they always remark on how good it feels.

November 12, 2009 at 11:58 am
(9) Mia says:

I do not cast a circle when at the altars I have set up around my house and garden, as they are very well protected by other methods (incense, crystals, herbal bunches).

When I am at other locations, I usually use candles and incense to delineate a space (not always a circle, I use shapes based on the area I am working in) and keep it protected from any negative or unwanted energy.

I don’t use a wand much, though, and the people I know who like wandwork generally like to cast a circle as well.

November 17, 2009 at 1:33 pm
(10) Rebecca Tompkins says:

For me it’s about expediency and practicality. I don’t cast formal circles often. What’s more important to me is that I at least visualize a protective shield around myself before spell work.

November 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm
(11) Ali says:

I don’t always cast circles either, only if i’m invoking someone or something or wish for extra protection if i’m doing something complicated. To ward of nagative energy, i’ll smudge the area and draw a pentagram in the air in each of the four corners and visualize a clean and pure area. This is just what i like to do personally. And sometimes i don’t even do that.

November 17, 2009 at 2:14 pm
(12) Rosi says:

Can someone please explain to me how to ‘keep your entire home designated as sacred space’? I’m new to all this and find this concept very intriguing.

Thanks

November 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm
(13) LadyEni _Anah says:

Rosi…. i do not think that you can have your whole house as a sacred space, since you will, as in my case have, people in and out such as visitors, repairmen, and such, you would have to cleanse them of all negativity before enter your house if it was designated a sacred place; people who are not of our paths would be bring in negative energies with them and depositing them all over your home; i would find a spot in your home no one else would go into and make that your designated sacred space just for you and your spellwork, rituals and altar worship

November 17, 2009 at 2:26 pm
(14) Julie says:

I always cast a circle for rituals and for serious spellwork. But I don’t for quick spells etc. I do a sheilding too and would smudge my area but I have a special room strictly for ritual and my witchy things so I am usually good to go!

November 17, 2009 at 2:29 pm
(15) Teckla says:

I cast a circle for esbats, sabbats, and complex spell work. But most of the time my spell work is done with out a circle.

November 17, 2009 at 2:47 pm
(16) Lillian says:

I cast a circle for extra protection for my grandchildren at night.

November 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm
(17) Mija says:

As many of the others that have answered, I don’t always create a circle while doing “normal” or “everyday” spellcasting. However I do always create a “white light ” area around me to prevent any negative energy from interfering with my work. I do understand what you all mean by designating the entire home as a sacred space.
Meaning, the home is sheielded from negative and/or harmful energy. And I do believe you can do that. I’ve seen it’s effect many times. A soon to be ex-friend of my sister’s came to my house along with my sister. He apparently wasn’t planning on being honest and trust worthy. As he was following me into the house, after I had already invited him in, I turned and saw that he was standing at the door and looked at me with a strange look on his face. At the time I wasn’t sure why that happened, so I invited him in again. He came in, but seemed to be very uncomfortable the entire time he was there. He only stayed for 10 min or so, before jumping up and saying he had to leave. He put his shoes back on and rushed out the door, never to be heard from again.
So now that I’ve rambled on, I really do believe that your home can be made into a sacred space, safe from incoming negative energy.

November 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm
(18) Kirsta says:

I cast a circle when I want to a) set a mood for a group and establish that we’re working now, b) when I want to keep something in and/or out of my working, c) when I feel my space needs cleansing, and d) when I want the extra drama, formality, and style that it can bring – kind of like underlining part of a text. It can add emphasis. I’ll also cast if I’m working with someone who wants the circle.

I also consider my entire home sacred space; however, it is not all ritual space. If I’m working in a different part of the house or yard then usual, I will cast a very simple in-my-mind circle to focus energy and attention.

November 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm
(19) Artemisia says:

I don’t cast a circle all the time, only during esbats or sabbats, or any other formal rite.

November 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm
(20) Wendell Gurblunjych says:

A good strong circle is good to keep out any harmful entities. Example A guardian might not always be your guardian. So,when you call in say…Undines for example and you give them a command to “Protect and do your bidding” they will protect you and keep out other Undines or other elementals that may work against you.
I do agree you do not need to cast circle to do Magick or celebretory ritual but there are cases.Kirsta said it best it does also create the “Atmosphere” to get you into the psychodrama of a good and effective Magickal working. Just be sure of the energys around you before you do anything without the protection of a circle.
I will give thanks to the “Gentle guardians” that saved me from being accidently shot in my woods a few years ago, They responded to my command to make the guy/girl stop shooting. So think about it. It may save your life, freedom, or from magickal harm.

November 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm
(21) Shelley E. says:

Hi Patti,

I cast a circle for my rituals like sabbats and esbats. But rarely for spell work. Only when dealing with Divination or when Meditating will I use a circle other wise. I don’t want any negitive energy to spoil anything durring those times.
Usaly most spellwork runs over a course of time
and leveing a circle open for days would draw too much energy or leave a door open for unwanteds to come in and could also spoil the outcome of your work.
I was told never leave your circle open. always close it at the end of your ritual. I have come to believe this to be wise and safe practice.
I made the mistake once and left one open and everthing backfired.
it was awful.
I won’t make that mistake again. LOL.
Blessings )0(

November 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm
(22) paganwiccan says:

Rosi(12) ~ when I say I keep my entire home designated as sacred space, I mean just that. There are protections in place around my property and house designed specifically to ward against negativity. If I start to feel that the energy of the house is shifting, I simply re-charge those protective shields.

Now, that having been said, the entire property isn’t designated as ritual space, but it’s considered a “safe zone” on a metaphysical level, if that makes sense?

patti

November 18, 2009 at 1:10 am
(23) Rahotep says:

The lights are on, but no-one’s home. That’s my reaction to this question.
No, you do not have to use a wand each and every time you cast a circle. Use a finger, your hand, your elbow, your mind. Whatever works at the time, dude.
As a sorcerer, I don’t use the F.B. (fluffbunny) crutches and paraphernalia that all witches and pagans seem and deem appropriate for a working.
All your power resides in you. You ARE divine. You call the shots when raising power for ….. whatever ….. it is you are doing.

And, “I keep my entire home designated as sacred space, so I don’t feel the need to cast a brand new circle each time I do a spell.” Actually, the entire world is your sacred space. You god is with you. All the time, every time.

Be blessed, dude.

November 18, 2009 at 7:33 am
(24) laevinia says:

to start off with – i am a solitary witch and i feel comforted by symbolism and rites.
i cast a circle for my weekly rituals and for the sabbats and esbats.
but i also have many other protections in place and regularly cleanse and rededicate my home and property. i have a specific spot in the garden where i also do spells and i also do spells for family and friends when i visit them, when at the office, etc.
when i feel i need protection while busy, i do a visualisation circle. not my idea – i read about it in a wicca book once. one concentrates and medidates until one can visualise a blue flame, then direct it to cast the circle. it forms a blue-red hedge around one. and i do not do the whole formal invitation of elementals, etc. ; i merely do a simple incantation, eg “all spirit beings welcome to my circle”, or something simple i feel led to say at the moment. i open the circle in the same way after – a matter of a few seconds, but worth the protection, companionship and assistance from the spiritual world. (besides i live in south africa, and we have quite a lot of harmful and evil stuff floating around – we need protection all the time.)
i will look the source of the visualisation circle up tonite and post it tomorrow for those interested…

November 18, 2009 at 9:46 am
(25) SteamounkRaven says:

Personally I don’t use circles, as I have a personal shield, and casting circles beaks that, leaving me open to psychic attack I was almost forcibly possessed the last time, until I had chance to let my personal shield do its work.

November 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm
(26) Black Kat says:

wow~ lots of comments on this one!

Different trads~ different ways.

In our Egyptian tradition, we open the Heavens & Earth with the God Geb & Goddess Nut.

November 18, 2009 at 5:08 pm
(27) THISTLE DOWNE says:

I only cast a circle for formal rituals involving the Sabbats/Esbats, and for spellwork where I feel a little extra added protection and/or energy is needed…the smaller stuff is done without one, although other proper preperations are made ahead of time.

November 19, 2009 at 3:37 am
(28) BAD Miss Kitty says:

I never feel the need to cast a protctive circle, since I have protected my home, with Selenite Crystals and dragon’s blood and white sage smudging in ritual. So far so good, Thank the Goddess.

November 19, 2009 at 4:42 pm
(29) Emairelhd says:

I think that it is pretty common for one to use a circle in a full ritual -that may include spellwork- but not use a circle if they are doing a spell sans ritual. But I think that everyone just kind of makes the choice at the time they need to do whatever they are doing. I personally do straight spellwork in my altar room, which is a permanent sacred space, so I won’t regularly cast a circle JUST for a spell – but if I am raising lots of energy or the spell is particularly important, I definitely will. Its all about preference and what the moment calls for! )O(

November 19, 2009 at 5:47 pm
(30) Darlene Carroll says:

Please always cast a circle for all magical workings. I didn’t and opened a door I couldn’t close. I ended up having every ghostly (negative and positive) stray you can think of coming to visit me and my family. After a few months of power surges, Electrical devices dieing, 5 different family friends telling me they saw transparent visitors in my basement and things moving around on their own, I realized what I did. My house was so processed by then. As a example, lights would blink on and off their own when people would pull into my driveway. My lights in my livingroom would turn off on their own when it was bed time. It was crazy!!! Then, I had a hard time closing the door and clearing the house. After that I never did anything again with out casting a protection circle first. All this trouble and I only did white magical healing spells. Nothing negative or dark.

November 20, 2009 at 11:22 pm
(31) Swedefae says:

I *used to* almost never cast a circle, only on a whim. Then a spirit told me through a medium that I should always cast a circle. I also used to draw energy from *myself* and didn’t involve other entities (i.e. from cosmic forces). I used to get so tired and drained, get headaches after energy workings. I also used to just ‘draw a circle’ around me, then I thought, wait a minute, is this like an energy ‘curtain’ coming up from the circle around me? What about above me and below me? So now I visualize an egg shape around me. Now, here is what I personally do in an ‘energy working. I first ground, which usually takes hardly any time at all unless I’m stressed. Then, I visualize an egg around myself. I’ve experimented with different shapes around myself, after hearing that Crowley preferred a cone shape (think cone shaped magical hats! Ever wonder why thy had that shape?). I decided on an egg shape since that’s one of the strongest shapes out there. Then, I open up the top of my egg and let the cosmic energy from the gods/goddesses/creator beings fill me with the kind of energy I need for my working, such as healing energy or simply magical energy. Then, I visualize the people who need the healing or other people’s needs. Kindof like a prayer. I fill myself with the cosmic energy, then send it out to the person(s), or simply send them loving energy. Then I spray up to the heavens (all visualizing here) something in return as thanks: sometimes it’s beer, sometimes candy, sometimes roses, whatever comes to me. Once recently it was bubble gum! Then I close up my egg, and unground (draw the roots up into myself; to ground I visualize myself as a tree- I could go into that later as well.) That’s my own version of an energy (magical) working.

November 24, 2009 at 12:07 pm
(32) Laila says:

I’ve been a practicing Solitary Hedge Witch for the past 3 yrs. It took me years of reading before I made the jump from a beleiver to actively having an altar and nitely prayers and such. I’m telling you this to help others to understand where I’m standing. My kitchen is attached to my family room. In the corner of my family room sits my altar. When I’m ready to say my prayers I will visualize what I call my “Lovelite” surrounding me, shielding me from “all who wish me harm”. My home is an extention of me and will not allow in any negativity. My hubby who is not spiritual when he comes home from work, will walk in the door and I can hear him take a deep breath saying ” I feels so good to be home”. I think that says it all.

November 27, 2009 at 10:54 am
(33) Shane says:

Sorry i very new to his may i know how to cast a circle? is there a need to closed it after that?

November 27, 2009 at 11:35 am
(34) paganwiccan says:

Shane, if you read the blog entry above there’s a link that will take you to http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/wiccanandpaganrituals/ht/Cast_Circle.htm, which explains one way of casting a circle.

patti

November 28, 2009 at 10:38 am
(35) Rich says:

When first starting off one should cast a circle every time just to ensure that No outside entities will draw your focus away from your work. Even on the fly. After you’ve been doin it awhile you’ll learn that you can cast a proverbial one just by imagining it in your mind. It’s faster and sometimes more efficient depending on the type of work you plan to muster. HOWEVER, when doing specific work that requires 100% attention to detail, I particularly choose to triple cast a circle. Once w my athame, 2nd with Holy water, and 3rd with Sea salt. Although, each Wicca(e) will come up with his or her method or way of casting their circles it is pertinent to visualize what you’re doing either way. Happy Holidays to all and Blessings Be!!! Light and Love. Rich

March 16, 2010 at 11:29 pm
(36) Lucy says:

Unfortunately, though I do not believe it is necessary to cast a circle every time you work magic (it doesn’t hurt, but I don’t feel that it’s absolutely essential), my OCD does not allow me to perform organized magic or rituals without casting a circle. (OCD doesn’t let you break the rules, and my first exposure to paganism was Wicca, which stressed the importance of circles, so now I consider it a ‘rule’; therefore, I cannot break it.)

August 23, 2010 at 2:02 am
(37) Zeren says:

I raise a barrier or a circle if i work with something that can attract negative vibes. But the amulet i wear all the time is more than enough to keep my energies aligned with the astral constant needed for casting. Besides its all in your positive attitude anyways, start with a smile on your face and your problems will be minimal. However something as simple as lighting a candle for a small spell does not require a massive undertaking such as a full circle invocation. Just as long as your space is sealed with your energies and a few good charms never hurt either.

September 26, 2010 at 9:52 pm
(38) Ace says:

Ive been a practicing Witch for 27 years now, I have to agree with an earlier comment that all space is already sacred and therefore creating sacred space just isnt that needed.

Ive never done so and Ive never had any problems containing magic or sending it out in the right directions, I think that the circle is something people believe has to be done or else and so it becomes their mindset that if they dont do it, thats why something bad happened, I see it as completely irrelevant to who I am as a Witch

:)

December 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm
(39) Greg says:

I keep my Witchcraft separate from my religion for the most part. If I am doing a ritual or magical working that is specifically religious in nature, then I ALWAYS cast a circle. But if it is non-religious magic I a working, then hardly ever. And if I do, the circle differs from the one I use ritually.

December 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm
(40) Faith says:

I’m a lot like you Patti. I do a lot of magic on the fly and never cast circle for it.
I would say the time to “have to” cast circle would be times when you would need protection from what might be outside that circle or to protect things outside the circle from the energies you plan to bring in.
There are times when there simply is not enough time to cast a circle before doing a spell. One time my daughter and I were in a wreck when we were rear-ended by a drunk driver. Both of us saw it coming and both of us instinctively “threw up a shield” of protection and asked for safety before the car managed to hit us. It became a 4 car accident on a major interstate highway but no one was seriously injured. A few bumps and bruises mainly. It baffled the officers on the scene why no one got hurt worse than they did. But then, that’s magic! In this case there was no time for a circle, you just react.
At the same time I also see a circle as a sign of respect, much the way an officer would put on a uniform before work, or someone in martial arts would wear a uniform, with respect for what it stands for. Circle done in formal settings such as with a large group are often cast (in my opinion) as respect for the god/desses that they are calling.
Again as Patti stated, it really is all about who you are with at the time.

December 5, 2010 at 2:29 pm
(41) Faith says:

@Rosi – I hang a broom over my doors going in and out of the house. Not a common household broom but a ritual broom or a besom. The brooms are to there to remove the negative from people as they come in to and leave the home.
I have many objects setting around in my home that are protective and “bad energy traps” as well.

December 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm
(42) emily says:

Just discovered a certain Goddess has called me & I’m somewhat terrified. I need to know this is real. The spells that you cast..do they actually come true & work.

December 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm
(43) Matthew says:

I always cast a circle prior to rituals or complex spellwork such as healing rites, but rarely for basic candle magic and herbal workings etc.

December 6, 2010 at 12:20 pm
(44) Elani Temperance says:

Great topic!

For me it depends on the amount of time, spellwork and devotion I’m about to pour into the ritual. As a guideline, I always cast a circle when I summon the Goddess (Dianic Wiccan here).

Mostly this is then during large rituals, like wheel of year rituals (including all kitchen wizardry associated with them), certain healing and protection rituals and, sometimes, in prayer.

If I’m using my own energy for something, like small healing rituals, potion making and herbalism rituals, I generally don’t draw a circle because I don’t invoke any deity.

I cast circles to focus my mind, solidify my devotion and offer a kind of home to the deity I’m imploring.

December 7, 2010 at 8:46 am
(45) Meg says:

When I do a formal circle with others, or when I am working with my children I cast a circle (exp with the kids because they are just learning) but for my own work I dont usually anymore….At the most I just visualise the big bubble of light and thats enough

December 7, 2010 at 9:18 am
(46) riordan says:

‘Cast the circle thrice about to keep all evil spirits out’

:D

Merry Meet! I am a solitary witch & I always cast a circle for any ritual work, simple or complex. I was taught the Craft at a very early age from my great-grandmother, my grandmother and my mother, so the ‘old ways’ of Witchcraft are firmly ingrained in me! :)
I was taught to always cast a circle before any type of work but I often only quickly surround myself with a protective light (my way of casting the circle when in a hurry!) before doing any type of spellwork. I was taught that it is imperative to always cast your circle! No matter what. But my family were sticklers for tradition! :)

My grandmother often stressed to me that practicing our Craft required great self discipline. And to never cut corners as this was disrespectful to our ways. She said to follow your instincts and simply do what your heart & inner voice tell you is right! :)
anyway..I feel that (‘to each, his/her own,’) pretty much applies to the question of ‘to cast each time or not to cast’… it depends a great deal on how you are taught.
Brighest Blessings to all!
Rio :)

December 7, 2010 at 10:13 am
(47) Moonberry says:

@ Emily (re the Goddess calling you). I am drawn to reply to you, so please use what you can and disregard the rest, and apologies if it is too long.

We are basically little energy particles floating around in a soup of energy. Humans cannot perceive this with their dull senses, but sensitive higher souls are aware of things. As for rituals – witches use their traditional methods, Reiki masters use THEIR traditional methods and since I am both and have both the Pagan and Eastern approaches mingling in me, I have found that I just think something long/hard enough and it happens. I used long-distance thoughts to remove a malignant tumor from my mother’s spinal cord. Therefore, in an emergency – you make do with what you can and take the consequences.

Beliefs in a system will lend strength to that system’s rituals, if you follow me. If two people in the entire world believe in a ritual, it doesn’t really cut it. But if 50 million believe the same thing, you’re better off following the others

Back to your Goddess question: it is real. You are terrified because the human body is an animal and only the soul elevates it to understand the energy-world around us. Terror is a purely biological reaction to a perceived threat or unknown situation. Learn to breathe calmly and visualise something that makes you feel safe and secure. And then sit back and communicate with Her.

Something not totally unrelated, but try to read Michael Newton’s The Destiny of Souls (and his other books as well) – from a non-believing medical practitioner this was very compelling reading – and somehow the Goddess managed to let me find both of his first books with his autograph in! Talk about proof without even asking.

May the Lord and Lady guide you with love.

December 7, 2010 at 10:54 am
(48) Cinaed says:

I wonder if that whole “do I have to?” comes from childhood and/or “church?” I’ve discovered that the things we do – for the most part – in paganism is done for a reason, and that reason is because it works for us. Ours is a path of experience, not blind faith.
Casting a circle is done for a reason(s), and like many others who have commented, I cast a circle if I feel it is needed, but it isn’t always needed.

December 7, 2010 at 11:41 am
(49) Westlin says:

I am eclectic, self-taught. I have always dabbled, been sensitive to things, so…I don’t cast a circle in the way that I have read many do. I create an “egg” shape a round myself, involving the elements. Also, when doing anything “special”, I will place an item invoking each element in the appropriate direction and walk the circle, envisioning a “wall” of protection. However, I also many times do things (simple or because of an immediate, urgent need) without circles or wands, etc. Visualize, concentrate, say the words that come from the heart/soul–works the best for me personally. Sometimes, of course, also including herbs/candles but often just the ones that seem best suited, not the ones that are listed in some certified book or list. Kind of along the lines of what some would call a “natural witch” although I have done a lot of study as well.

December 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm
(50) Cory says:

Like many others, I cast a circle for formal rites, and when I feel the need to raise and contain power prior to sending it out. I dispense with the circle for simple workings.

December 7, 2010 at 12:47 pm
(51) Lady Cypher says:

Greetings, All, In a pinch, in order to keep negative things outside, I form a Sphere which surrounds me with protection. It may be royal blue, or pink, or any of the many protective colors. This is used when I am outside, shopping, or walking, etc. Otherwise, my entire home is my circle. Namaste!

December 7, 2010 at 1:15 pm
(52) R. Audrey says:

As a Hedgewitch, I rarely cast a circle and when I do it is not to delineate sacred space. The God and the Goddess are immanent, and thus, all space is already sacred. When I do cast a circle it is because I am working a more complex or difficult spell. I use the circle as a cone of power to focus more energy into the spell than there would normally be.

December 7, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(53) Silver Thunderbird says:

I can count on one hand how many times in the past 6 years I’ve casted a formal circle. I feel the earth is entirely sacred space. However, I do agree that sometimes there’s a need to keep ‘stuff’ out. I’ve cast protective spells over my home and all that enter it. I also regularly cleanse my stones, space, and ritual items that I don’t work with on a constant basis… sort of to… recharge them. I feel that is enough. My power comes from inside, so I have no problem casting on the fly. I will, however, cast a personal circle… almost a bubble around just myself if I’m working with energies that I’m not entirely comfortable with, or if I’m working with other people, such as healing.

As for a wand… I’m still looking for the ‘right’ one. I rarely ever use one, if I do, it’s typically a branch from one of my trees (fallen, not removed)… that is, when I feel I need one. Usually, a finger or a mental directive works just fine for me. ;)

Blessed be, everyone!

December 7, 2010 at 3:27 pm
(54) Geneva says:

I am an eclectic solitary Witch. Due to the sheer power that creating a physical circle has for me I only do it when absolutely necessary. Three times in fifteen years.

When I go to bed every night I create a circle of light around my home to protect my family and continue to visualize and chant until I fall asleep.

A word of caution though as with (30) Darlene Carroll – watch you don’t invite EVERYTHING in! While welcoming Spring on a beautiful sunny day I proceeded to draw energy and accidentally let a screaming hag into my home. Gave me awful scares and nightmares for a few months. Lesson learned: Drawing energy requires a circle.

Blessed be y’all!

December 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm
(55) Amethyst says:

Truly, to cast a circle or not entirely depends on the individual and what feels right to them. There is no one right way to do anything. In Celtic traditions the entire earth is sacred space so there is no need to create it. Cleansing the area of negative energy before doing any major ritual or spellwork is always a good idea, however. Just do whatever feels right to you, because you are the one doing the magick and if it feels right to you, then that is what matters and will make it most effective. I have found that doing extra steps I thought I was “supposed” to do but didn’t feel right or necessary to me just hindered my focus from where it should really be, so I scrapped them. I find these days I do not have to use any tools or chants or cast any circles to manifest what I want, but it was something I had to build up to. :)

December 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm
(56) Jodi says:

When I first started on this path I cast a circle before I did anything, now that I am an old Crone, I don’t at all. I do my magick and I know it is as strong as it always has been!!

December 7, 2010 at 6:50 pm
(57) Ever says:

I cast a circle for most spells. The only time I don’t is when I’m casting a simple spell (ex. to turn invisible AKA be unnoticeable or to have success).
Personally, I walk in a circle three times while visualising light coming out of my hand to trace it on the ground. I believe that the top and bottom of the circle extend to the ends of the Universe.
I also have a personal shield and a shield around my house.
Blessed Be! Ever )O(

December 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm
(58) Stevi says:

It is all in setting your intention. If you feel that you wish
to make something ceremonial by all means cast a circle.
On the other hand if I feel that a spell is in order in the
middle of the day I set my intention and do my spellwork.

December 7, 2010 at 10:14 pm
(59) Michele says:

I never cast a circle. It isn’t part of my path. I will cleanse the space, if it’s feeling a little icky, but no circles. All the earth is sacred space.

December 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm
(60) Aradia LeCrone says:

I generally cast a circle in instances where I’m doing spellwork where I include another person in my working, sort of around the both/all of us. Since these days I usually do all my spellwork alone and I nearly ALWAYS do it in my altar area and it’s my sacred space and has been blessed, cleared and consecrated it feels like the safest I’ve ever been in. Of course, during formal rituals I cast the circle as a general practice.

By the way, Patti I LOVE your site thanks so much for all the effort you put into it.

December 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm
(61) pyrplewitch says:

We cast a circle for formal group workings. We find it helps to get everyone on the same page and sets the tone. For solitary work or a less formal ritual, we skip it.

December 8, 2010 at 5:34 pm
(62) Ever says:

Casting a circle brings you to a place in between the Earth plane and the Otherworld(s). So, if your intention is to bring something into your life then, yes, I think you should cast a circle so that the spirits hear you (also, if you’re being attacked by a malicious spirit you should definitely cast a circle). But if it’s just a quicky spell to make the flowers grow, then, no, it’s not necessary. Of course it’s your personal choice.
(Have I mentioned that I’m eclectic?)
With all the power of the Universe, I bless you all.
Ever )O(

February 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm
(63) Victoria says:

I cast a circle any time that I am calling in outside energy. When I am doing something that calls energy from within myself, I don’t think it’s necessary. I believe, though, that some spirits don’t have my well-being in mind. When I cast a circle, I call on the elements to protect the sanctity of it, and ANY force I summon, I command to obey me for the time of the rite. I also thank them with some kind of offering. Once I forgot to release them, and walked around all day feeling on top of the world. I could do no wrong…until that night when I realized my mistake. When I did release the forces, I was completely drained!!

April 5, 2011 at 12:38 pm
(64) joanne says:

i use more visualization and candle burning in spells more than anything.
i am sort of new in wicca so i am still learning.

July 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm
(65) Amaranth Moon says:

When I first began practicing, I cast circles for everything from simple prayer to complex spellwork, but after awhile, it started to feel tedious and unnecessary. I continued to learn more about the Celtic path, and found out the Celts believed all space was sacred. Having learned that, I made a witch bottle for my altar, and never cast a protective circle since.

I do cast a quick circle, however, for all spellwork. Not for protection, but to draw and seal in elemental energies during the time it takes to perform the spell. I welcome the God and Goddess and light their candles first. For each quarter, I don’t recite an entire monologue like a few books on Witchcraft tell you to do. I set them up with a representation and candle of each element to its quarter. I light each candle (clockwise) and simply say to each one “Powers of ____ , element of ______ .” When I get to the center of my circle, I seal it, and say “Welcome to my circle. Thank you for your presence and for your power.” Then I do what I do!

Just remember, if you do choose to cast a circle for anything, CLOSE IT. Haha!

December 31, 2012 at 7:22 pm
(66) crystalistener says:

Thank you to all who have responded! I have been struggling with this issue- as I am basically a crystal worker and work with Reiki and other energy healing modalities. However, I am drawn to work with herbs and oils in combination with my crystals and candles- so I guess you might call this candle magick?. I do not feel called to cast a formal circle and call quarters to mix my herbs, oils and crystals and to infuse them with intention, however, many feel wthat this type of magick requires a circle to be cast. Any thoughts on this would be very welcome. I have checked out many youtube videos and have read some basic books on Wicca- although I am not initiated into any particular tradition. Blessings to you all than thanks for sharing!

January 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm
(67) john says:

I want to thank Dr Samura the great spell caster once again what would i have done.
my life was almost coming to an end when my lover of 6 yrs left me for another woman.
I was so sad that it started affecting my work. was issued quarry twice just because i was missing work and not concentrating when i even manage to go to work. until this faithful day when i saw some posting by two ladies Felicia and Yvonne testifying about how Dr Samura brought back their lover in less than 24 hrs at first i laugh but something inside of me just said there is no harm in trial so decided to contact him.I told him the problems i was having and he said i should give him 48 hrs.Even after i spoke to him still had doubt until finally when i received a call from a man that i had not talked to for 5 months.I
decided to share this testimony because of other people that might need help like me you can contact him directly on Samuratellerspell100gmail.com or call him on his cell phone+2347030410643
NAME :BEATRICE
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December 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm
(68) Sukura says:

thought it may be unrelated i learned at a young age that casting an elemental circle was essential to protecting one’s self when traveling via astral projection. I always use a circle i can summon one easily enough on the fly. i suppose my methods are simple. But i rely on my own inner sanctuary to be my sacred place. since it is always with me and i can access it at will, it seems like a good place to keep it.

February 24, 2014 at 8:17 am
(69) Sarah says:

I don’t cast a circle. I’ve tried in the past, but it always felt odd/silly to me to do so. The space I practice in, though, has generally been blessed previously so there’s never a need to actually cast a circle.

March 1, 2014 at 10:37 am
(70) christine says:

My alter is against a wall.It is the only place that I can leave it up permanently. How do I go about casting a proper circle with it against a wall? Thanks in advance

Blessed Be,
Christine.

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