Wicca: Book of Spells and Witchcraft for Beginners. The Guide of Shadows for Wiccans, Solitary Witches, and Other Practitioners of Magic Rituals - Arin Chamberlains 2018
The Sacred Circle
Rituals, a Blueprint
Circles have been used in several cultures and religions as a boundary marking of sacred space, or as a designation of space for rites; circles keep the undesired out and keep the desired in the Circle. In Witchcraft, the Circle is a sacred space within which the magickal power and energy are retained and concentrated.
There are instances in Witchcraft when a precise Circle is required, but that is only during Ceremonial Magick. Usually, precision is not required, but it is always good practice to exhibit care when drawing the Circle and to do our best to make it as exact as possible. The dimensions of the Circle being drawn depends on how many coven members will be within the Circle and also the purpose of the Circle. When magick is to be performed within the Circle, it is especially important for the sword to follow precisely on the marking of the Circle, and the reinforcing of the energy in the Circle may even be performed twice (but censing and sprinkling for the second reinforcement is not necessary).
The Circle Size
The Coven Circle is commonly nine feet across the diameter, while a solitary Witch’s Circe would typically be five feet in diameter. However, what is most important when considering the size of the Circle is whether the Circle comfortably fits the number of members that will be within it. A good guideline is for all members to stand, holding hands in a circle and facing inwards. Members should outstretch and move outwards until their arms are extended to the maximum, and this should be the ideal size of the Circle to be marked. This is so that there is enough space that there is no fear of breaking boundaries during movement like dance etc., and also that there is no unnecessary space.
Drawing the Circle
The drawing of the Circle must begin at the east each time, and of course, end in the east as well. The Circle is always drawn clockwise. Outdoors, the Circle may be marked with the point of a sword directly on the ground; indoors, first mark the Circle either with a cord, chalk or even have a permanent marked Circle on the ground if it is a permanent Temple. The marked circle on the ground is then charged with magickal power or energy by the Priest or Priestess walking around the marking, directing his or her energy into the circle, using the point of the sword.
On the Circle marking itself stand four candles, unlit. The candles are placed specifically in the north, east, south and west. For extra illumination or a preferred ambience, other candles may be lit and placed between these points, outside of the Circle.
Entry & Re-Entry of the Circle
During the working of Magick, it is crucial that the Circle is not broken. In other instances, it is not preferred that any member leaves the Circle, but if it must be done, it is possible. There is a specific manner by which the Circle is entered and exited.
Exiting the Circle
Stand in the East, with the athame in hand. Perform a motion with the athame as though you intend to cut across the lines of the Circle, beginning on your right and then going to your left. You now may leave the Circle between those lines. If preferred, you may imagine a gateway that you have created, in the east, through which you pass. While not necessary, an alternative can be to start at the ground on one side, come up to your full height and curve all the way down the other side to ’cut’ a doorway — but it is not necessary.
Re-entry of the Circle
Should you wish to return to the Circle, you enter through the same gateway or doorway you imagine that you have cut in the eastern side of the Circle. It is necessary to ’close’ the opening behind you — this is done by reconnecting the ’cut’ lines. When reconnecting the lines of the Circle it is important to take note that three lines were in fact cut — one made with the point of the sword, another with the salted water and another with the censing. Reconnect the lines by moving athame blade across the lines backwards and forwards.
Sealing the break with a Pentagram
To ’seal’ the break, raise your athame and draw a pentagram by drawing the point of your athame from the top to the bottom left, diagonally to the right, straight to the left, diagonally to the bottom right and then back to the point you started at. Kiss the tip of your athame and return to your position in the Circle.