Casting a Circle: What Are We Really Doing?

I have read many of the newer materials for people that are first being introduced to ritual magick. It all starts with walking around a circle and creating sacred space between worlds. Then they talk about invoking beings to each of the corners. Though the “how” and the “why” is never stated.
So why is it called casting a circle? Because you are NOT casting a 2D flat circle. You are creating a globe. This globe acts as a barrier between you and the material plane. As the material plane has all kinds of latent energies flying around. Much worse nowadays with all the radios, cell phones and streaming media.
The Barrier or shield itself should be manifested from, in part, spirit to give the barrier form, and the element of earth to give that bit of manifest resistance. It’s what gives the shield a bit of adhesion. On the inside of the shield, you should use three prime sigils that you have learned for Power, Focus, and Protection.
Why are we using these three sigils? That is the point of the barrier. Now, you can add more for other more specific purposes, but not any less. For those that do gender-based elements, you want the shield to be made from positivity and the sigils to be made from negative for better energy flow.
The outside should have a bit of mirroring. Now, this is not the same as a reflective spell. You just want it to keep out anything that you don’t pull into the circle or latent energies. Nothing like trying to get your magick on and opening yourself to energies around you and get explicit content from the neighbor’s wifi.
The setup above is the most basic setup for creating a sacred space. Anything less and you are really just going through the motions. For many casting a circle is the only active shield they know. But let’s move on, I could spend quite some time discussing active and passive shielding.
Next up is clearing the space. Now, many like to do this with either a sword or besom. Though what exactly are they doing? Well, what they should be doing for this process is an energy sweep. Those of you familiar with reiki or similar healing practices will understand what I’m talking about. Those of you not familiar, you are getting a feel for the inside of the circle.
The sweeping or cutting motion is for cutting threads of energy that are in the circle by accident. Note: the shield would not have cut it because you casted it. These threads of energy are natural, and so the shield would allow them. The cutting is removing the source of these energies and letting the shield form to be a complete bubble around you.
Some do it three times, some seven, others may sweep the area twenty times until they feel the shield/barrier kind of click in their mind. For whatever is left inside that you don’t want, gather and ground into the earth with a blade or staff. A trick of the trade is to open a small pin sized hole in the bottom of your shield and push it all through that hole. Afterwards, close the hole in the shield.
There! You have cleared your Globe, it is now sacred space for you to begin the other working parts of your ritual. Please note that it usually takes three to five minutes of running the energy of your elements within the circle to get the area to entrain with you. At this time, it is good to do offerings to the ancestors or land spirits before you start calling towers or corners.
Side Note: Energetic entrainment is the process of making the sacred space have your intent.
– Sev