What is Casting a Circle and why do it?
Ritual and magickal workings take place within a constructed circle, magick circle or sphere of personal power. There are 2 main types of circles:
1) The circles used by ceremonial magicians of yesterday and today to protect the magician from the forces she or he raises.
2) In Wicca, the circle is used to create scared space in which humans meet with the Goddess and God.
The circle defines the ritual area, holds personal power, shuts out distracting energies, and basically creates the proper atmosphere for the rite. When the circle is cast correctly, the rites can begin. How do you know you did it right? Well, if you do the visualization right and did all the steps correctly you will be able to sense the boundry of the circle. I have actually seen the sphere before. The air in the circle will change. I have had many experiences with the air becoming really warm or hot. You will know when it has been properly cast.
How do I make a circle then?
Some kind of marking should be made on the floor to physically define the space. A cord, a circle of salt, tarot cards, or whatever feels right to you. It's your circle, do what you want with it!! This is to show where the sphere bisects into the Earth. The circle is usually 9 feet in diameter but it can be made bigger or smaller depending on what you are going to do.
The four directions are marked off with candles to be lit or an object that represents them. These objects can be:
1)North-pentacle, a bowl of salt, or an object from the Earth
2)East-burning incense, a feather, or an object that represents Air
3)South-A red candle, an oil lamp, a lava rock, or an objects that represents Fire.
4)West-a cup or bowl of water, a sea shell, or any object that represents Water
The altar should be as close to the center as possible. All the items you will need for the ritual should be on or around the altar. If you should forget something a doorway can be "cut" into the circle. (I will cover this later in the circle casting.)