Casting a circle is a foundational, powerful practice when it comes to ritual. It creates an energetic and psychic container – a safe, protected space – for magic and healing to take place. When you cast a circle, you are said to be in a space between worlds – void space, magic space, spiral space beyond linear time.
Why would you want to cast a circle? Casting a circle has many purposes. Keep scrolling to read and watch more.
CREATE INTENTIONAL SPACE
Part of casting a circle is about mindset. It allows us to shift out of the mundane world and into the sacred. As you get used to casting a circle, it will start to signal to your body and brain that you’re entering into a ritual space, and your energy will likely begin to shift automatically.
Learn more in this video from Eryn J.
When you open yourself up to working with energy, it’s important to protect yourself from unwanted energies. Working with magick and ritual, especially trance, can leave us vulnerable to unwanted energies coming in. When you cast a circle, you’re weaving a spell of protection to keep unwanted energies out. We have a whole blog post about psychic protection here if you’d like to read more about other ways to protect yourself!
FOCUS THE ENERGY OF YOUR SPELL OR RITUAL
Casting a circle isn’t just about keeping unwanted energy out; it’s also about keeping the desired energy in. Our magick is more powerful when we can focus it in a specific direction, rather than let it scatter and diffuse. An energetic circle helps us gather and concentrate more energy to support the purpose of our magical workings!
You don’t need to cast a circle every time you meditate or do ritual. But when you feel like you need extra focus or protection, or intuitively feel like a circle would support your workings, it’s a great tool to use.
HOW TO CAST A CIRCLE
There are so many ways to cast a circle. It’s my belief that magical practice is always more powerful when it’s intuitive, so take what you’d like from what I share below and let your intuition guide you to the unique method that’s right for you.
However you choose to cast your circle, you’ll work with visualization and the four directions (which are associated with the four elements). Here is an example of how to cast a circle:
- Center yourself with a few deep, grounding breaths.
- Let your eyes close and start to call on the elements.
- Starting in the East, with the element of Air, speak aloud to invite the energy of Air, of breath, of voice, of mind, to hold the circle.
- Then turn your focus to the South, the element of Fire, and speak aloud to invite the energy of Fire, of transformation, of passion, of the sun, to hold the circle.
- Turn your focus again to the West, the element of Water, and speak aloud to invite the energy of Water, of feeling, of surrender, of the ocean, to hold the circle with you.
- Lastly, turn your focus to the North, to the element of Earth, and speak aloud to invite the energy of Earth, of holding, of soil, of forests, to hold the circle.
- Feel the shift in your body and your space as the circle forms. Visualize a golden circle of light around you, supported by the powerful energy of each of the elements, holding a sacred and safe container for you.
- When you feel ready, say out loud: “The circle is now cast.”
OTHER WAYS TO CAST A CIRCLE
You can make casting a circle as simple or as complex as you’d like! Here are some other ways to cast a circle, remembering that the most essential thing is visualizing and feeling the energy. You can substitute the suggestions below for the beginning of the example I gave, knowing that you’ll still want to take time to feel the shift in your body and visualize the circle around you:
- Place your Ritual Deck element or direction cards around you in each of the corresponding directions.
- Place physical items representing each of the elements around in you the corresponding directions. Learn more about how to represent each of the elements here.
- Place four crystals around you in each of the corresponding directions. Hematite or snowflake obsidian work well for Earth/North, amethyst or kyanite for Air/East, citrine or pyrite for Fire/South, and moonstone or carnelian for Water/West.
- Place four lighted candles around you in each of the corresponding directions. A black or brown candle for Earth/North, a yellow or purple candle for Air/East, a red or orange candle for Fire/South, and a blue silver candle for Water/East.
- Walk the circumference of the circle.
- Use a wand or athame (ritual knife) to draw the circle around you.
I hope this supports you in casting circles of your own. If you have questions about casting a circle, let us know over on Instagram!
About Eryn Johnson
Eryn Johnson is a breathwork facilitator, tarot reader, and Reiki Master based in Fishtown, Philadelphia. She is also the host of the Living Open podcast for mystics and seekers, a storytelling tool here to help facilitate soul evolution. The foundation of her work is energetic and based on the belief that there's nothing wrong with you- we are simply programmed from a young age to forget the truth of who we are. She uses energy work, storytelling, and breathwork to guide you back to you - your heart, your power, your magic. Find her work at www.living-open.com and @erynj_ on Instagram.