Those who learn Ceremonial and Goetic magic are taught from the very beginning that our first line of defense is the magical circle. This is the circle of protection wherein the magician stands that is said to protect him or her from any threat. It’s considered essential for any magical working, the first tool in the tool box, the first weapon in a magician’s arsenal. I believe it is absolutely crucial, just not for the reasons generally given.
Choose a time. Decide the intent. Choose an aspect of the Divine, if you wish. Decide how to raise energy (ie: dance, chanting, drumming, etc.) Choose how to cast and close the circle.
Cleanse yourself and your magical space.
You can do this with a ritual bath/shower for yourself, or through meditation to still and focus your mind. You can cleanse your space with your magical broom or with incense or burning herbs.
Cast the Circle
Invocation of the Divine or The Elementals or The Watchtowers
Statement of purpose
This is simply to tell the Divine/Elementals/Watchtowers why you have called Him/Her/Them to the circle; what you are trying to accomplish.
Raise energy, through chanting or drumming or however you have chosen to do so. Direct or channel this energy by using candles, herbs, stones or whatever other correspondences you found to fit your specific need. Ground your energy when you have completed the working.
Thanking the Divine/Elementals/Watchtowers
Closing the Circle
Grounding and Centering
There are many different techniques and interpretations that come under the heading of Grounding and centering. Ground and Centre to link in with natural energy flows around us and to bring those flows to balance within ourselves.
When working magic, especially when raising energy, it is important that the witch know and understand how to Ground and Centre properly. This will aid the stability and focus of the energy that is raised as well as allowing the witch a method of dealing with excess energy both within the circle area and within themselves.
Raising energy refers to the practice of filling the sphere of the circle area with tangible power that is generated in one or more ways including; dancing, drumming and chanting. This generated power is then focused and channeled and released in a specific way and for a specific purpose and is the essence of magical practice.
To Ground is to literally establish a link to the Earth and the power flows within it. This is a two-way link. It allows the witch to draw energy into themselves and also to siphon energy back into the earth. It is very hard to perform either task without first establishing that connection.
As with all magical practice, intent is the key here. The aim is not to steal / pull / rip or drag the energy out of the earth but to establish a gentle merging and flow of energy that passes through the witch for a time. This energy can be then be manipulated for a time and then you will release the energy by letting it flow back through them into the Earth. They will then disengage their connection. Grounding can also be important within the circle itself, especially after magical workings. If a connection to the Earth has not been established before or during the circle.
Where grounding involves establishing a connection to the Earth, Centering involves using that connection to achieve a balance within oneself. Balance and harmony is established between you and the earth as well as an internal balance between physical, spiritual and mental aspects, male and female aspects and light and dark aspects.