One of the first things those new to Wiccan magick learn is casting a circle which is an ingrained practice in the rituals of witchcraft. This is similar to what other religions do when they build a place of worship. Wiccans can cast a circle any place they wish and this is specifically done for the purpose of sanctifying the area for magical purposes as well as to protect themselves from outside harmful influences. Just like a priest connecting with God when he enters the church, Wiccan practitioners are able to enter into a state of mind that helps them to get connected to their psychic energy.
Casting a circle is mostly carried out through visualization and the only tool used is a wand which is pointed at the ground while they walk the perimeter of the area they wish to consecrate for the ritual. While walking, the witch will be reciting a phrase or some magical words, visualizing energy flowing from his hand to the wand and to the perimeter of the area in which the ritual will be carried out, thus creating a barrier with the outside world. Although there are variations to this practice, it’s usual for the witch to visualize a blue flame of energy around the circle so created.
There are different methods to the casting of a circle based mostly on tradition. In most forms of Wicca, it’s the Gods and Goddess’ that are called upon to take part in the ritual. In some traditions, the High Priest and Priestess will stand at the northern point of the circle with lit candles in their hands and call upon all the deities in the other directions to join the ritual. The altar at the centre of the circle will have some magical tools placed on it for later use.
Once the participants in the ritual are inside the circle, there are some basic conventions that must be followed, irrespective of the participant being a member of the group of just an onlooker. The cardinal rule is to be personally responsible and to ensure that you will not do anything to endanger anyone present, including yourself. Be polite and considerate of others’ feelings; if you, however, don’t feel comfortable with someone touching you or holding your hand, you can make it clear by taking your hand away politely. The same can be applied to the kiss that follows the cup of wine. It is acceptable only if both parties are agreeable.
Breaking away from the circle does not require permission. It is however considered polite to let the facilitator know you’re leaving. You, however, should not disturb the others or the ritual. If you’re Breaking the Circle you have to visualize that there’s a veil surrounding the circle which you have to open and close gently once you get outside. Always be tolerant of the beliefs of others taking part in the ritual and this should be evident in the way you communicate. If there’s any criticism, let it be straightforward and not take the form of gossip because gossip is never tolerated inside the Circle.
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