You might have heard someone refer to casting a circle and “calling the quarters” or you may simply have heard it referred to as “calling the elements.” Although I’m sure you’re already familiar with the elements (earth, fire, water, and air) I thought I would write a little bit about why the elements might be called in the first place, as well as the easiest way to go about doing so.
Once you have cast your circle, it’s important to create a sacred space in which to perform your ritual in. This is sometimes called the “spiritual plane.” When you cast a circle, you are able to contain energy that you raise so that you are able to use it and direct it. Your circle will also serve to protect you and others that are inside of it from negative influences.
Calling the Quarters to the circle can help you gain added protection. This is one of the main reasons why we call them to begin with. Of course, having all four elements on hand will also give you added energy.
If you have seen “The Craft” the characters in the movie make it appear as though you need four people, one for each element. This is not entirely true. You can call the elements on your own and still get all four of them. If you’re not used to doing it, however, you might want to work with one at a time until you get more adept at it.
Along with the four elements, you will also be working with directions. Most people begin with the East and first call Air, then call Fire to the South, Water for the West, and lastly Earth in the North. This is not a written rule, however. You can start with North if you wish.
Calling the elements into the circle can be overwhelming if you’re not used to it, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Let’s start with fire…(Which, by the way, doesn’t have to correspond with South. It might be your West.)
When calling on the Elemental Planes, you are invoking it into your Circle so it’s important not to abuse any power. Sometimes, people call Guardians of the Fire which are embodiments of the Elemental energy. Try envisioning things that are associated with fire and as you do, imagine a form that you can associate with a Guardian. Might it be a Phoenix, rising out of the ashes? Or is it a scorpion, known for its hot, stinging bite?
When you call Fire, think about your Guardian and try to visualize it within your circle. You want to be able to access the energy there and to feel it. Imagine heat, power, colors (if colors appeal to you when you think of Fire) and focus on the energy that these things bring. It’s not just enough to say the words, you must feel them as well.
Fire might just be one of the easier ones, but it doesn’t have to be. I always get a wave of energy when I think of air as well. I imagine myself going down the hill of a large rollercoaster, my hair whipping out behind me, the wind rushing against my face. Maybe your Guardian of Air is a bird or a mighty hawk. Who knows-it might even be a flying squirrel! There is no rule here.
Until you get familiar with each one, you might want to work with the elements on an individual level. This might help them seem less overwhelming.
Once you have invoked them, you will need to control them. Some people actually see shapes within their circle and are able to call them out and control them. Others don’t actually see anything physical, but feel them. Whichever one comes to you, it’s important to send that element to its place in the circle (one of the four corners) and to tell it to guard that particular direction.
After your Elementals are all in your Circle, it will be complete. You should feel a difference now, although what that feeling may be can vary. You might feel each of the elements in a different way and then feel a completely different way altogether once they are all in place.
When telling them to protect your Circle, you will probably want to use words. The words are not necessarily as important as the sentiment, but there is a fairly standard set that you can use if you wish. It goes like this:
All hail the Watchtower of the (East, South, West, North).
The Element of (Air, Fire, Water, Earth)
I do summon and call you forth
To guard and protect this Circle.
Once you have done this several times, it will come as second nature to you and feel much more natural.
For simple rituals, you might not need to call the elements. However, if you feel as though you need extra protection or for a ritual that calls for a lot of energy it’s really something that I wuld strongly urge you to consider.
Your Warm and Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”