Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Why Cast a Circle?

Blessings, Darlings!

So, after I explained lots of times I do NOT cast circles or otherwise create sacred space, what ARE they great for, and when DO I do it?

In olde-tyme magick, circles were used to keep the nasties out.  Many of the nasties in this case were what the magickian was invoking.  They were a safe space to work in while the mage called up something to bend to her/his will.  If them nasties ever got unionized, it would be REALLY ugly.

Most modern magick-users don't do that type of working today. 

Now circles and other forms of sacred space are primarily (but not exclusively) rather a portal to the Otherworlds.  In the case of a circle, you build your own universe with the Elements and often a God or Goddesses or both.  In the Muglit ritual (the one we used in Mugwort Grove of ADF), we created our own universe with a Triad (usually Earth/Sea/Sky or Nature Spirits/Ancestors/Gods, and added The Well, The Fire, and the World Tree) then opened a gate between the worlds. 

The sacred space might be called "between the worlds", it might be the creative center, whatever.  You leave the created and go where all things are possible, all things are mutable.  To the hidden reality behind our consentual reality.  One step .... not beyond, but one step closer to Truth.

A cast circle will 'mute' or at least turn down the distractions of the mundane, and thus help a person move energy, do magic, feel energy, hear the God/dess/es, more clearly.

But a fully cast circle is time intensive, and far more 'formal' than the workings I usually do.  Most magic is closer to Tweeting on Twitter than filling out a government RFP (request for proposal). 

There are places for both, no question about it.  But not everything requires doing a RFP, and not everything can be handed in 140 characters or less.

Frondly, Fern


  1. Hi Fern,

    I agree, most of the time I do magick by the seat of my pants :) I create sacred space by expanding my aura to a nice bubble around me to ground and centre in. That's all I need ~ a calm moment within the storm to connect with Original Substance and direct it.

    Bright Blessings*

  2. Hi Stella,

    Interestingly, your "seat of the pants" method is more or less identical to the Tibetan rite of "Casting the Magic Circle of Protection". It is the essence of what a magic circle is/should be.(W.Y. Evans-Wentz; Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines)

    I honestly feel it is inefficient to have a circle that takes more energy to cast than does the actual "work". In that sense I think many grimoires were meant to keep people from doing real magic by wasting their time, money and energy on impossible rituals and ingredients.

    Fern, I do think any time you work it is good to cast some sort of a cirle, even if it is simply to mentally set oneself apart in space and time from the gloom and ennui of the Muggle Realm.

    Also, whenever one feels any spiritual oppression or gloom around one's home or person. It is YOUR domain...intruders do not have the right to tresspass.


  3. Hey, Alfonso!

    "Any time you do work" is such an interesting phrase to me. Most of what I do is simple focusing of energy - not what I'd call 'a working'. How about for you?

    Frondly, Fern

  4. I always cast a circle when doing serious workings, for the same reason that most magicians do banishing rituals. It clears the space of unwanted energies and entities, and it prepares the mind and spirit of the magick worker for optimal results. Getting into the right headspace to do magick is very important for me.

  5. It makes sense that "getting into the right headspace" would be potentially different for everyone, and if you're not doing that, the rest doesn't matter.

    I am so used to having some level of shielding and centering going on almost constantly that I just have to amp up a little, that that part doesn't feel special.

    All my "big" stuff is done in a dedicated space; so I just freshen its wards occasionally and we're good.

  6. So true!!! I find circle casting tedious for "smaller" workings. As long as I can feel that the area is sacred and clean, I am good to go and ready to work.

  7. I have always felt that circle casting is better for group work so that multiple people can connect on a spiritual level and be on the same page.. whereas individual practice it just makes more sense to "fly by the seat of your pants".. because honestly who has time to cast a circle whenever they have woowoo whim?