Casting a Circle

A churchfront with rainbow steps.

The purpose of casting a circle is ultimately to create a safe ritual environment in which to focus on your casting, meditation, or whatever ritual you are working with. When you want protection from any entities that may interfere, as well as to focus your concentration just in that one area in which your spell is taking place, you cast a circle.

You will need:
-To find out which direction is which first. East is where the sun rises. West is where it sets.
-To know who or what you subscribe to. Gods, Goddesses, spirits, the elements. Are you calling any other entities into this circle to defend or witness? In this case, we will use the elements and directions in general for simplicity sake.
-Often, pagans may use a ritual knife (athame), a pentacle or coin, incense, a candle, and a chalice of water or wine. These are not required, though.

Pagan Quick Guide: Casting a Circle

You face the north. Call or meditate to the element of the earth, ask them to witness this working. Coins, a pentacle, shells, anything of earth tends to make a nice placeholder here.

As you walk clockwise to the east, visualize the border of the circle trailing, perhaps as a line of light. The athame would be used here to trace the line of the circle through the air as you go. At the eastern border, call to the element of air and ask them to bear witness. Some may pause here to light incense or some such thing.

You walk clockwise to the south, trailing your boundary, and repeat with the element of fire. Light your candle, if you need to.

You walk clockwise to the west, don’t leave that boundary behind, then repeat with the element of water. Here might be a use for the chalice.

Now you return to the north, visualizing the boundary of the circle closing back into it’s beginning. Voila, you have made your circle.

When finished, you do the same in reverse, thanking spirits you invited in and dismissing them from the circle.


A churchfront with rainbow steps.
A beautifully inclusive churchfront out and about in Charlottetown, PEI.
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The fine print

Some prefer to cast their circles with the help of spirits, gods, what have you as well. depending on your own inclinations, you may include whatever symbols or spirits you subscribe to. however, this is not necessary, as one is ultimately directing your own will. you are calling forth whatever energies you are laying down, even just to call a few deities down for a moment to bear witness.

Just maybe choose wisely and read up on who you are inviting into your circle, because some things are not about to entertain your quest for that coworker to shut the hell up. Others may just be far too up to that task.


Best practice is that if you have to enter or leave a currently active circle, you would gesture with your hand or your athame to make a doorway at the boundary, step through, and close it behind you.

This casting uses fire, which is known to be unpredictable. Keep all flames away from anything that can catch fire, yourself included.

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