A Physical Circle
Your circle can be of various forms or sizes and can be created either before or as a part of the spell of ritual. A physically marked circle can be a good idea if you are a very visual person or are inviting people who maybe are unfamiliar with magic and need a tangible focus.
Some people create a permanent circle in their garden of stones and shells and then empower it at the beginning of each spell or ritual. This sort of circle retains positive energies and is regularly empowered by the weather, the moon, the sun and the seasons.
The materials you use to give an outline of your circle don’t have to join up and their size will depend on the size of the circle. Small shells, stones, glass nuggets or crystals can easily be set up round a traveling altar to create a circle just before a spell.
White stones are generally used for circles, but you can also make a large temporary physical circle with fallen branches, herbs or flowers set clockwise around your altar area. You can even weave branches together to make the circle.
Flower circles are lovely at personal, family or seasonal celebrations, and a young guest can help to form a flower circle either just before or as part of the ceremony if at a baby blessing or hand fasting.
It it is windy, use masses of herbs and petals in the formation so it doesn’t matter if some blow away. In fact, once you have empowered the circle, the flowers are no longer necessary and can carry energies as they fly.
You can also add a petal circle as the first or third of your triple circles.
For a large or small temporary circle, make a circle of tea lights and light them clockwise from inside the circle at the start of the ceremony.
You can alternatively put a larger green candle in the north for earth, a yellow one in the east for air, a red on in the south for fire and a blue one in the west for water and light these when you open the watchtowers or early in the spell to open the circle and create tangible markets. You would cast a spiritual or invisible circle first to enclose them.
If the setting allows, you can use a natural existing outdoor circle, such as a grove of trees or a ring of flowers or toadstools. Always ask permission of the natural essences of the place. You do not need to cast or uncast this kind of circle as the natural energies will hold the power and protection but always leave an offering.
Alternatively, you can draw a clockwise circle in earth, snow or sand with a stick, or your staff. Try to do it in a single sweep.
If you are organizing a group rite, you can make a circle of people united in good will. After the blessing you can lead your guests in joining hands, ideally left palm up, right palm down, though it doesn’t really matter if someone does it differently.
You then have the option of casting a spiritual physical or invisible circle behind the group.
It is best to ask the group how they prefer to cast the circle themselves, starting with the person in the north of the circle and moving clockwise from person to person. Ask each in turn to pass visualized light from hand to hand saying just their name slowly and deliberately, “Birgitta, Susan, Helen………..”
Alternatively you could pass an actual light in a secure holder from person to person (they would then not hold hands)
Either way, you will psychically see the light circle spreading and rising above and down to the ground.
Be part of the group for the casting (maybe start it yourself in the north). Afterwards you can all chant:
We are the circle, we are the circle,
With no beginning and with no ending.
You can drop hands at any time, but the circle remains.
Some practitioners light any candles/incense before the circle casting, but you may prefer to light them near the beginning of the ritual after this first circle is cast.