When it comes to practicing witchcraft, it’s important to know the basics of ritual. This can apply to both solo practitioners as well as covens. The basic building blocks of a ritual are cleansing the space, setting up your quarters and boundaries, casting a circle and then calling the quarters.
To cast a circle you can just point your finger, but using a wand is much more effective.
Finding the right wand for you is a personal thing and can take a bit of time, but it is worth having the right tool for the job which resonates with your energy. There are a few ways you can approach it; research different types of wood or crystals and then make a wand yourself or have it made out of raw material; or, set an intention to find the right tool for yourself and then keep a lookout for that special fit.
Once you have what you need, you can use it as part of your rituals.
To set out the boundaries of your working space start with putting elements into the corresponding directions at the outskirts.
North = Earth
South = Fire
East = Air
West = Water
When you have an element in each direction, you can cleanse the space with a bessom (ritual broom) either literally or metaphorically.
Now you can set up a working altar and/or fire in the centre of the ritual space. This will be the focal point of your work within the ritual so make sure you have everything you need before casting the circle.
Every ritual is different so that’s the part you’ll make up for yourself and change to suit the purpose.
I cast a circle
Within its field
I’m safe and sound
As you cast your circle you want to set the intention that your ritual space is sacred and secure. A chant will help with this.
To cast the circle, hold your wand in your right hand and cross your arm over your body to point the wand on the left. This should mean you walk in a clockwise direction (Deosil) and the metaphysical line is outside the boundaries of your quarters.
In Scottish Gaelic the term for clockwise is Deosil and the term for anti-clockwise is Widdershins.
Part of circle casting is visualising the line you’re drawing as a boundary but also imagining it as a sphere which surrounds above and below.
When the circle is cast, no one enters and no one leaves the ritual space until it is complete. At the end of the ritual you use the wand again to cut an imaginary slit and step through.