The Sacred Circle described here is for those beginning on their Pagan or Witchcraft path. It is just one way of doing a circle. I make modifications to how I set my altar and do my circle at times to suit what I will be working on in the circle and for Sabbats or Esbats. Please consider reading different books and/or talking to other Witches for more information as to how the they do their circle. As with all workings of The Craft different people have different ideas and by reading and/or listening to others besides myself will help you to try new things to see what works best for you. There are very few hard set rules when it comes to this type of Spirituality as it is as diverse as we are as people.
In a coven the High Priestess or High Priest or Priestess or Priest might assign a task for member to do with setting up the altar, bring the food and/or drink for the celebration, call Watchtowers or even open/close the circle. Usually, the highest ranking person makes the actual sacred circle. I most of the time would rotate between coven members who did what including making the Sacred Circle, I figured how better to learn than by doing something. Yes I would check to make sure the circle was put together
right before we began whatever the circle had been made for.
This circle is what I use as a teaching tool for those who I can’t do a demonstration in person for. There is very little if any chance that you won’t do it right. When I start a circle I say I’m closing it and when I’m done that I’m opening it, I know this the opposite of what is usually taught but for me it makes more sense. Because when I start I’m closing myself off from the physical plain we live in, putting myself into a Spiritual Plain and then reopening myself to our physical when I’m done. Any questions please write
to me anytime. The traditional way is Opening a circle when it is made and Closing it when you are through with whatever you made the circle for.
I always start in the East, this is the way Native Americans and the Celtic do their Circles, other places around the world may start at a different compass point. So if starting at a different point feels more right for you then do it.
The reason for making a Circle is it helps hold the extra Energy raised as well as keeping whomever or whatever you call upon to help contained so they can not just do whatever they want, where ever they want or whenever they want to on this plain when called to you to help you with something specific. Remember the Wicce Rede “Do as ye will, less it harm none.” You can call in the different Elements-Air, Fire , Water and Earth to lend power to the spell or Ritual you are performing. You can also call upon
Goddesses and/or Gods or both that lend power to the specific thing you are doing. A few examples Kwan Yin or Sirona for any type of healing, or Hecate when blessing your home or The Green Man or Mother Earth to help with growing things, Epona to help with any domestic animal, etc.
Before you start your Circle bless a candle to represent you. To do this get a long taper-color of it is an individual choice write your name on it use whatever alphabet seems right for you for example English, Runes, Ogham, etc. Then bless it with sandalwood or whatever oil feels right for you. Put the oil on the candle by wetting the index finger of your power hand with the oil ( Your power hand is the hand you write with) and make a Pentagram three times while turning the candle so some of the oil gets on all the sides. This candle you will use to represent you when working any type of Magick until it burns all the way down. Then just make a new one. You will use this candle to light the
incense and candle at the Pentagram points and for most everything else that you may need or want to burn during Ritual and spell work.
Start by laying out your Altar:
Use whatever size table you have or the floor if you want to sit to do whatever you are making the circle for. If you have a pre-made Pentagram set it in the middle of the table with the top most point facing Northeast. If you don’t’ have one use your imagination to form a Pentagram with the representations for each Element when setting up your Altar. ( Right now my Altar has a bird’s nest with some tiny flowers, leaves and a bird in the Northeast for Mother Earth and a small metal Sun in the Northwest for Ra because these are the two deities I work with most often)
Next you set up the Elements by going clockwise around the points of the Pentagram starting with Spirit,which is represented with some type of little statue or whatever you may have the represents a Deity to you, in the Northeast or Northwest point. Next will be Air, which is represented by incense or a feather or a yellow candle set this in the Eastern point. Next is Fire, this is represented with usually a red or orange candle, placed in the Southern tip. Water in the West with a container of water (size doesn’t matter) or a blue candle and Earth in the North use a container with salt or dirt or some stone or sticks or a combo nation of any or all of these or a green candle. Place whatever you chose to use to represent each of the Elements inside the point or to the right of it or at the tip. When you look at them from above you should be able to roughly draw in your minds eye a Pentagram (star shape).
To the right of Spirit place an object representing the Goddess you will be working with, to the left place an object representing the God you will be working with or your Patron God and Goddess (if you do not all ready know who they are it will come to you as you work with Deities. You will usually find yourself drawn to one certain God and/or Goddess you like to work with the most. I have also used a chalice (wine glass) to represent a Goddess and pine cones or a small deer statue to represent a God) To the right of Spirit place an object representing the Goddess you will be working with, to the left place an object representing the God you will be working with or your Patron God and Goddess
To make the circle to contain the energy you will be raising and to hold the Goddess and God or Elements you many call upon to help you with whatever you are working on.
Call the Watchtowers first they protect the circle (If you scroll through older posts there is one just on Calling the Watchtowers). Kind of a first line of defense against anything or one you do not want close to you while working a spell or doing a ritual. Fill in the blank with who or whatever name you are calling to them to help with whatever you are doing in the Circle. For this your Arch Angels will be in East and West and Spirit Guides in the North and South or an Arch Angel to each position or each Element in their proper direction (working with the Elements themselves can be tricky at time and send then back from way they came is EXTERMELY important because they can cause all kinds of havoc when released from the Circle into your home) or use Arch Angels for all four directions. Using the Angels and/or your Spirit Guides is easiest and to safest thing to use when you are just starting out and/or unsure of what you are doing). I have at times when doing something I needed to draw more power for called Goddesses to the North and South and Gods to East and West. Calling on Goddesses and Gods to be in the Watchtowers is not a thing a novice should try until their mentor/teacher feel they are ready to work with that much power. The day will come when you will be able to do this safely. If calling the Archangels ( the safest thing to work with the first few times you do a Scared Circle) Auriel to the East, Gabriel to the South, Raphael to the West and Micheal to the North,
To the Watchtower of the East I call _______ to help protect this Circle and empower my work within this circle.
To the Watchtower of the South_________to help protect this Circle and empower my work within this circle.
To the Watchtower of the West__________to help protect this Circle and empower my work within this circle.
To the Watchtower of the North_________to help protect this Circle and empower my work within this circle.
After they have come you will then make the actual circle:. (While I use a different Magickal tool for the different circle levels you do not have to do this you can use your power hand/sword/staff/atheme/wand for all of them.) You might also have a glass or chalice with wine or juice or even water in it and a plate with something little to eat on it. This is for the celebration part of rituals after they are completed. You can choose to drink and eat before you open/close your circle or after you have opened/closed it.
Pick up whatever tool you are going to use or point your index finger to channel the energy through to do each layer of the circle. Most Witches I know only make their circle at ground or waist level. I do my in a series of layers on top of each other with all the Elements. Why? Because that is what feels right to me.
Starting in the East, walking clockwise or dorsal, with it in your power hand (hand that you write with), pointing towards the ground say, “I close or open, which ever sounds and feels right for you, this circle with Earth that no harm may come to anyone inside or outside of this circle.” You need to walk the 360 degree circle big enough to be able to move around in it if you have without crossing the magickal wards you are putting up.
Hold your tool or power hand and point upward towards the sky or ceiling. Again starting in the East walk 360 degrees while saying “I close this circle with Air that no harm may come to anyone inside or outside of this circle.”
Starting in the East, with your tool or your power hand at shoulder height draw a circle of flames (try to see the flames coming out of the end of your staff/finger connecting Air and Earth) while saying “I close this circle with the power of Fire that no harm may come those inside or outside this circle.”
We are mad of 70% water so for that reason I do not use the element of Water in making my circle. I have tried to do a layer of it between Fire and Air put the room got very humid from the Fire heating the Water and Air moving it around. When I tried it between Earth and Fire it felt like the ground below me was washing away so I felt unsteady on my fee. The humidity was indoors during the coldest part of the year and it felt like a hot humid summer day. The unsteadiness was outdoors in my backyard.
Welcome each Element individually into your circle Starting with Air going clockwise around the Pentagram .At this time you will light the incense if you are using them for Air and the candle you are using for Fire. I also touch the containers of Water and Earth and whatever I am using for Spirit.
Next you will call the Goddess and/or God who you want to ask for help from into the circle individually. Wait to do anything further until you can feel energy starting to rise in the circle when you feel it has hit its peak. This is the time you start your spellwork or ritual. You may feel their presence strongly or it may just be a little it depends on the person and/or how many times you have worked with whoever you invoked.
When you are through with your spell and/or ritual that you made this circle for; you will dismiss the God and/or Goddess individually by saying “________ return from where you came with my thanks and gratitude for power and energy that helped me with my work here today/tonight.” Next you dismiss the Watchtowers in the opposite order from which you called them in starting in the North and ending with the East by saying, “______ return from where you came with my thank you for your power and energy that helped me with my work here today/tonight.” Once they are all dismissed then you will open your circle staring from the top to the bottom walking counter-clockwise or withershins say, ______ return from where you came thank you for protecting me inside my circle from harm and let nothing done within this circle cause harm to anyone else inside of it or outside of it.
Once all the circles are opened or closed, again use which ever seems right to you, then ground the unused energy still lingering VERY IMPORTANT (excess Energy can build up over time and cause any number of problems in your home.) give it to Mother Earth and/or her water ways to help heal them. To ground the energy start with your arms raised above your head and slowly bring them down in front of you until your palms are facing the floor or ground and say “I freely give this energy to you Mother Earth to help heal you So mote it be.”
Another quirk of my when I have put everything back where it stays when not on my Altar is to say even when by myself, “Merry part until we Merry meet again,” because I’m talking to the Elements, Gods and/or Goddess. I always start in the East because of the pull I feel towards Celtic and Native American traditions, you may also start in the North or even the West. DO NOT start in the South as that is where all dark sides of The Old Ways start. Also feel free to embellish this however feels right to you. Just remember to make sure your circle is tightly closed so no extra energy or anything else can have free reign of your home and/or property outside.
Copyright 2011 Lady Beltane