Ask the Witches: Do you always cast a circle when you are working magic?
I tend to cast a circle if I'm doing a ritual, but don't for things like candle magic, making poppets, medicine bags and bottle spells, meditation etc. I have lots of protection things around my home and garden anyway and I smudge or sprinkle water from the Chalice Well monthly too so I feel it is very well protected as it is.
This is a curious one for someone wandering a path that isn't rooted in Wicca.
A Hellenic Polytheist doesn't practice magic, it's seen as an impure act, something which creates Miasma, which the Hellenic tries to avoid. However, I'm not one of those, I'm a Hellenic Witch and a very proud one at that!
Now during ritual we ritually purify the altar, this is by scattering barley and sprinkling khernips (pure spring water, salt & dipped with burning herbs, usually Rosemary). I think to try to consolidate my thinking, having read countless books on Witchcraft and Wicca which talk about casting circles I see this purifying and cleansing act as casting the circle.
I believe I may have been away from the practice for so long I've forgotten which bit is which so bare with me. Is calling the quarters part of the casting? If so, nope do not do that either, we invoke deity though, just see no reason to put up an elemental protective circle thing.
As for spell work, I work from my gut, tend to be a little more wild & I'm certainly a modern day woman with a house, family, & job to contend with, so casting a circle is too much effort and time for me. I approach magic simply with as much intent and focus as I can muster.
I don't think any way is right or wrong, it's the act itself that's important. I spend a lot of my time ignoring the arguments that go on with regard to what's best practice on these paths and more time focusing on actually living it.
To circle or not to circle? I think it's all a matter of personal preference.
I don't generally tend to cast a circle when working at home because I regularly smudge my house and have various protection methods in place, then I don't feel the need.
However in the rare occassions that I need to work something big or out of the usual then I would as an added precaution.
I don't cast a circle. When I am working magic, which is rare, I ground, center and raise energy. I focus on my breath and hone my intent. The only time I work with a circle is in group ritual.
I cast a circle when there are more than a few people with me, and it also depends on the "work" that I am doing. If I am working to offset someone's intention upon me that there is any animosity with I cast for protection.
I always ground and center and strongly think of my intent and after my work is completed I always return energies back into the earth or air so I am not scattered afterwords.
I too, only usually cast a circle in ritual. My home is regularly smudged and has various crystals, bottles and herbs scattered around for extra protection.