The Circle is there to protect you, and is the MOST important thing you can learn before attempting any magick. The reason for doing this is simply one of precaution. Metaphysical energy attracts a certain amount of attention from beings of a spiritual nature. Just as you wouldn’t leave the front door of your house open to anyone who happened by, you likewise need to close supernatural doors. Casting a Circle and calling the Watchtowers do this.
White light is considered symbolic of pure protective energy. To begin, sit quietly with your eyes closed, imagining a white light surrounding first you, and then the area where you are working. It is easiest to envision this light as coming from above you as sunlight does. As you see it clearer in your mind, allow the light to grow brighter, you may begin to feel warmer and the room may see quieter or different than when you began. This indicates that you have done it correctly.
After you have protected your sacred area, you can then move on to actually casting the Circle.
The Four Quarters or Watchtowers each have guardians that are welcomed into your sacred space to protect, bless and witness your workings.
In Wicca North represents the element of Earth, midnight, winter and the sense of touch. The Elemental being associated with North is the Gnome. The Gnome appears as a small man in a pointed hat, who is sometimes misshapen or hunchbacked. He lives in natural wild places and cares for the animals. Gnomes are thought to be somewhat benevolent towards humans.
South represents the Element of Fire, noon, summer, energy and the sense of sight. The Elemental Being associated with South is the Salamander. The Salamander not only represent the element of Fire, it also lives within the element of fire. They are dainty and beautiful, but resent humans because we cannot enter into their fiery realms. Within the Element of fire are untold numbers of tiny kingdoms and the Salamanders live in these kingdoms the same as humans live in cities and towns.
East is the Element of Air, place of dawn, spring, any magic dealing with the mental or our sense of smell, something that is carried on the winds. The Elemental Being associated with East is the Sylph. A Sylph is a race of Faerie that specializes in the wind. They appear as beautiful, delicate humans and can be all size. Unlike most Faeries who have insect-like wings, Sylphs have iridescent feathered wings like a hummingbird.
West is the Element of Water, emotions, intuition, twilight, fall, the sense of taste. The Elemental being associated with the West is the Undine. Undines are always female and can appear in the guise of human, snake or fish. Every form of water has it's own tribe of Undines, they exist in oceans, lakes, ponds, rivers, puddles and even teardrops.
These four points are set up to represent the outer barrier of your magical space, to protect it and help establish a special energy area in which magick can be built. Each one of these elements is called and welcomed into the sacred space by the invocation, sometimes specifically by name, and other times by a general greeting.
Here are the basics of Circle Casting:
You will need:
2 altar candles one for the God one for the Goddess (God on right Goddess on left)
1 small container of salt
1 small container of water
1 chalice or cup (a wineglass will do)
Incense and lighter or matches
Athame, or Wand (not absolutely necessary)
1. Place a candle at East, South, West and North. You can use colored candles if you like, East is yellow, South is red, West is blue, North is green.
2. Sit or stand before your altar (if you have one) and invite the Goddess and God to be present and to help you.
3. Light the incense
4. Pick up the water pour it into the chalice, place the chalice on your altar Pentacle and say:
Mother Goddess Bless this Element of Water
5.Pick up the salt and say:
Mother Goddess, Bless this Element of Earth
6.Pour a little salt into the water, stir it 3 times clockwise (deosil) and say:
Earth Her Body, Water Her Blood
7.Hold Athame over the flame of the God Candle and say:
Father God, Bless this Element of Fire
8. Light the incense; hold Athame over incense and say:
Father God, Bless this element of Air
Air fans the Fires of transformation
9.Go to the Eastern quadrant of your Circle and with your Athame or wand or finger point and circle deosil (clockwise) three times while envisioning white light coming out of your athame/wand/ finger forming a protective barrier.
10. Go to the Eastern quadrant of your Circle and with the Salt and Water sprinkle it around the Circle deosil three times.
11. Go to the Eastern quadrant of your Circle and with the lighted incense waft it around the Circle deosil three times.
12. Light the Quarters candles:
Beginning in the East and continue with South, West and North candles.
To Open the Circle:
1. Thank the Goddess and God for their presence.
2 .Beginning in the East and moving Widdershins (counterclockwise) snuff out the candles. Remember to thank the Elements for their presence.
3. Go to the Eastern quadrant of your Circle and cut it open with a backwards slash of your athame/wand/finger OR beginning in the West with your Athame, wand or finger point and circle widdershins (counterclockwise) three times while visualizing the white light of the Circle breaking apart and dispersing.