1. Prior to casting your circle, take a salt and essential oil bath (e.g. Frankincense, Juniper Berry), to cleanse and purify the body, and to be ready for the change in psychic awareness.
2. Dress in clean, ritual clothes, usually purchased or made specifically for such occasions. You can, of course, work sky clad in your home, but I work in chilly Scotland, so have a loose white cotton robe. As you are working with nature and the elements, use no deodorant, no perfume or any chemically based products. Keep hair loose and natural. Watches and unconsecrated jewellery must remain outside the circle.
3. Put on your ritual piece of jewellery, again kept for these occasions. A circle of crystals represent the circle of life and rebirth (witches tend to use jet and amber for their magickal properties, but I have a special crystal sword that I wear for Sabbats). You can also make a necklace from acorns, star anise etc
4. A magickal circle should be 9ft in diameter, so clear a large space. This isn’t a problem if working outside but may have to be smaller if you are working indoors. Position your altar facing North on outer edge of circle (mine is a piece of root that I stumbled literally on). I use north as this is the direction of Earth energy. On the altar, place your magickal knife, incense, 2 x bowls – 1 with water and 1 with earth/salt and candles, both altar candles and your fire representative. In the centre of the circle ensure that it has everything you will need if you are carrying out spells. Once inside a circle, it is best not to have to come out again to get something you have forgotten. Do not start casting the actual circle until you are sure you have all your needs.
5. Now you are ready to cast your circle. Light the altar candles, plus your incense (air) and your candle (fire). Using your athame, walk round the designated circle area, pointing the knife point down, seeing the blue light coming from the sphere and making your circle. You are enclosing your circle with a blue sphere as your protective sacred space.
6. Walk round three times with the knife stating: ” I draw this circle in the name of the Triple Goddess of the circle of rebirth, and the Horned God, both as a container of sacred powers and as a protection”. Place the magickal knife back on the altar.
7. Take the incense round clockwise and raise it up at the East. Say “I call upon the Guardian Spirits of the East, blessed spirit of Air, to witness these rites and protect this circle”. Continue round the circle clockwise and return back to the east, placing the incense down on the ground. Continue round back to your altar.
8. Take the candle round clockwise and raise it up at the South. Say: “I call upon the Guardian Spirits of the South, Blessed spirit of Fire, to witness these rites and protect this circle.” Again, continue clockwise round the circle until you are back at South, and place the Candle on the ground. Return clockwise back to North.
9. Take the bowl of water round and raise it up at the West. Say: “I call upon the Guardian Spirits of the West, blessed spirit of Water, to witness these rites and protect this circle.” Continue round until you return to the West, and place the bowl of water on the ground. Return clockwise back to the North.
10. Raise the bowl of Earth or Salt and say: “I call upon the Guardian spirits of the North, blessed spirit of Earth, to witness these rites and protect this circle”. Walk clockwise the full circle and place the bowl on the ground. State: “The circle is cast”.
11. If you need to leave the circle during your time, take your knife and carve a door in the blue sphere, open it and step through. Trace with your knife back round the door to re-seal. When you need to return, just re-carve and re-seal again.
12. At the end of your magickal rites, you need to close down the circle. So, go to the East, pick up the incense, offer it up again and say: “Thank you blessed spirit of Air for your protection and blessing. Hale and farewell.” Walk clockwise back to the altar and place the incense down.
13. Walk round to the South, lift up the candle and say: “Thank you blessed spirit of Fire, for your protection and blessing. Hale and farewell.” Continue round and place the candle back at the altar.
14. Walk round to the West, lift the water up and say: “Thank you blessed spirit of Water, for your blessing and protection. Hale and Farewell.” Return the water to the altar.
15. Lift up the bowl of Earth/salt and say: “Thank you blessed spirit of Earth for your blessing and protection. Hale and Farewell.” Place on the altar.
16. To finish, leave the candle and incense to safely burn out and extinguish the altar candles. Return the Earth/salt and water back to the Earth. Your circle is now no longer.