Most instructions for spell work and ritual include a mention of creating sacred space or casting a circle. If you’ve felt confused about this process and why it is necessary, you will hopefully gain better understanding by the end of today’s message. Creating sacred space is one of those things that older Pagans assume is natural to those first coming to the craft. Its such a part of everyday life that it comes naturally to them, and they forget the days where they did not know why and how to cast a circle.
Creating sacred space or casting a circle means that you are affecting the energy that is present in a room. You are changing it to remove any unnecessary vibrations and make the energy neutral. Casting a circle contains and intensifies the energies that you will raise during your ritual. By clearing and sealing a space for your magickal workings, the energy can be contained and built up in the proper way.
The practice of creating sacred space can be a simple or as complex as you want it to be. There are a few basic components that are part of the process, but the rest is up to you or the tradition that you are following. You need to lay out the size of your space, mark the perimeters, cleanse the inside of the area and take down and release the energies at the end of the working.
Before beginning a ritual, you will need to decide whether your working will be external or internal. That is, is this a ritual that will focus on your subconscious energies or on affecting the world around you? Here are some examples: internal rituals include past life work and riding yourself from bad habits. External rituals would be prosperity spells, love spells and spells to find the perfect home.
For internal workings, you’ll want to direct the energies in a counter-clockwise motion (called widdershins), which will help draw the energies of magick inward. The external rituals require that you direct the energies clockwise (deosil) to spread them out into the world.
Before you begin, if you are working indoors, clear the room as best you can. Remove any furniture that will obstruct your movements as you create your circle. Also take out any visual distractions. This is a good reason to keep your ritual area uncluttered and free from the messes of your day-to-day life. If you are working outdoors, remove any rocks or sticks that will be in your path. Also, try to use an area that is relatively flat to make walking easy.
Make sure to have all of your ritual elements on your altar and ready to be used. Your tools should be consecrated and you should have all of the necessary items. To begin your ritual, light one large white candle in the center of your altar with the rest of the items balanced around it. In each of the four directions, place an unlit candle at the edge of what will become your circle to represent the four Quarters.
Begin by facing the northern candle and raise your ritual knife into the air. Begin filling it with energy from the God and Goddess above you, and then drop your arm to point the knife to the ground. Feel the energy flowing from your knife to the ground, and going along the perimeter of the circle as you walk from the Northern direction, to the West, then South, then East. If you choose not to use a ritual knife, you can substitute your own hand for this process.
Follow this by tracing the perimeter again, this time sprinkling each of the Quarters with saltwater. The salt and the water combined represent both the element of Earth and the element of Water. You’ll follow by tracing the perimeter with incense, a symbol for Fire and Air.
Feel the energy building around you as you create the sacred space with all four elements. Next you’ll formally invite them in by calling the Quarters. Approach each of the Quarters and invite the direction into your circle. You can verbally or mentally thank the powers of that element for being at your ritual, and then light the candle.
While this is a very formal way to create sacred space, you can certainly adapt it for your own needs. I hope it gives you some inspiration for your rituals and some new insight into this important aspect of the craft.
Love And Light,
Rose Ariadne, Your Warm And Caring “Resident Witch In Charge”