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The Circle

What is the Circle?

The sacred circle is a barrier of energy (sometimes represented by a physical outline) used by practitioners of many branches of ritual magick, particularly in Wicca and other neo-pagan traditions.

Creating the circle is known as casting a circle. There are many different techniques for casting a circle, and covens as well as solitaries will often have thier own unique methods. The common feature of these practices is that a barrier of energy is traced in a circle around the working area. Some traditions say that one must go around the circle deosil or Sunwise, (East to West) three times. There may be various starting points based on cardinal directions.

A typical size for a coven circle is nine feet and an individual’s circle is five feet in diameter, though the size can vary depending on the purpose of the circle and the preference of the caster. According to the Rede it is said to: “Cast the circle thrice about To keep unwelcomed spirits out.”

Some practitioners choose to mark the physical boundary of their circle; either permanently at a time prior to uses or shortly before the casting. This can be done using a cord, a chalk line, a line drawn in the soil or by using small objects such as stones. This particular practitioners preference is to mark the four cardinal points with candles of the colours representative of the elements as follows:

  • North: green for the element of Earth
  • East: yellow for the element of Air
  • South: red for the element of Fire
  • West: blue for the element of Water

Though some practitioners, associate North with Air and East with Earth. Generally, as with most magical practices, an incantation is recited stating the purpose and nature of the circle.



For instructions about creating your circle, see the posts Opening the circle closing the circle. They will both be listed in this category but are listed as separate posts to allow comments on each specific ritual. As with all of my rituals, the ones I post are the ones that I use myself and have come from a variety of sources including books, websites, friends and my own writing. For those that I did get from books or on the web, I don’t have the credits that are due and for that I am sorry. I hope that you find the information here helpful in creating your own rituals.


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