Magic making is energy work. And anytime you’re working with energy, you want it to stay really focused, contained, and protected. It will make your magic more powerful and protect your intention from any outside energy.
And that's exactly what we mean when we say "casting a circle" - it's an energetic circle of power and protection. In most cases, it's not at all about drawing or creating a real circle out of anything. Yes, some people will make real circles surrounding their magical space, using flower petals, salt, or other natural matter.
What we're talking about here is an invisible circle, made of energy and cast with your mind.
Do you have to cast a circle?
Casting a circle is totally optional. Here’s why: magic is allllll about intention. And if you set your intention strongly, you don’t have to worry about all the bells and whistles.
I always cast a circle and call in the quarters when I do big magic, like making batches of anointing oil or a big candle magic spell. As always, do what feels right for you, but I encourage you to try this at least once, just to see how it feels.
Casting a circle vs. calling in the quarters
I’ve seen this done several different ways.
In general, casting a circle means "drawing" an energetic circle around you and your physical space to protect you and your magic and amplify your power.
Calling in the quarters (aka calling in the elements, angels, animal spirits, ancestors, spirits, or guardians of the watchtower) is all about asking for protection, guidance, and power for your spellwork.
The following is a combination of both. Take what you want, discard the rest.
A super simple way to cast your circle:
Here’s a simple (and a really effective) way to cast some protective energy for your magic:
- Sitting or standing in front of your altar, close your eyes and picture a circle of white light surrounding your space, including your altar and all of your magical tools.
- Call in the quarters using the script or the recording below.
- Ask for the highest good to guide your work.
Calling in the quarters:
Say the following out loud:
Guardians of the East, beings of air, breath of new beginnings - I welcome you! I ask that you guide me in this work, connect and protect me and carry the magic created here on every wind as it blows across the earth. So it is.
Guardians of the South, begins of fire, bright light of creation - I welcome you! I ask that you guide me in this work, connect and protect me and carry the magic created here to every star, the sun, and every beam of light that shines upon the earth. So it is.
Guardians of the West, beings of water, great waves of inspiration - I welcome you! I ask that you guide me in this work, connect and protect me and carry the magic created here to every ocean, every lake, river, spring, and dewdrop. So it is.
Guardians of the North, beings of earth, great mother - I welcome you! I ask that you guide me in this work, connect and protect me and carry the magic created here to every tree, animal, rock, and grain of sand. So it is.
Great Spirit, all-knowing Ancient One, the power and energy that makes up all things - I welcome you! I ask that you guide me in this work, connect and protect me and enhance all magic created here. May it be for the highest good of all. And so it is.
A super simple way to close your circle:
- Close your eyes and picture the circle of light surrounding you retracting until it disappears.
- Thank the guides, gods, and spirits for their protection and guidance with the script or recording below.
Closing your circle
Say the following out loud
Guardians and guides of the North, thank you for your presence and protection. I pray that you’ll keep me rooted in your rich soil so that I’m grounded in all the work that I do. I release you. So it is.
Guardians and guide of the West, thank you for your presence and protection. I pray that my soul will continue to flow like a mighty river toward the highest good. I release you. So it is.
Guardians and guides of the South, thank you for your presence and protection. I pray that the fire of truth will continue to burn in my chest and act as a guiding light in everything that I do. I release you. So it is.
Guardians and guides of the East, thank you for your presence and protection. I pray that your winds of hope and inspiration will rush over the earth, touching everyone in its path. I release you. So it is.
Great Spirit, all-knowing Ancient One, the power and energy that makes up all things - thank you for your constant presence and protection. I pray that I will always hear your voice and let it guide me in all that I do. And so it is.
Why close a circle?
When you create an energetic circle, the magic you make stays contained and protected inside. That’s why - if you really want to get your magic out into the world - it’s important to retract or close the circle. Otherwise, the magic stays inside!
Not closing the circle won’t hurt anyone, but could lead to some energetic funk and definitely could affect how your intention makes its way into the universe.
Leaving a circle before it’s closed
Some practices/philosophies recommend that you don’t leave a circle once it’s cast. Some recommend that you step “over” the imaginary circle if you absolutely have to leave to go to the bathroom or something.
In my experience in both group and individual circles, the magic is just as potent when you leave to grab some matches or whatever.
In general, however, I like to make sure I have all my tools in place and am ready to stay in my circle for a while before I cast it.
I really don’t want anything in magic to scare you. These are all guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Always do what feels in alignment with your body and heart.
There are SO many ways to cast circles and call in the quarters. This is just one. I hope it helps!