Casting a Circle
Prior to being a conjurer, I spent much of my time studying and practicing as a witch. Moving through various forms of magick, starting with White Arts spells and moving darker and darker as I got older and let my curiosity guide me, there were some principles that held strong throughout multiple traditions.
Casting a circle and calling the quarters are something that, in one way or another, was present in many kinds of ritual magick I read about. First, I will cover casting a circle.
The basic idea behind casting a circle is that when you begin magickal workings, whether it is a spell, a consecration of your tools, or even simply a meditation in which you intend to try to really connect with your partners, you'll want a layer of protection to keep unwanted beings, presences, and energies out, while also helping to contain the energy that you raise to eventually direct towards your goal.
This is a simple version of shielding, at it's essence, a version which has a way to physically act out the creation of it, so for some people it tends to work better than pure visualization.
The most basic way to cast a circle is to prepare your altar or the place where you will be doing your spellwork, and then stand in the center of it. You may use your pointer finger, a crystal, or a wand, some people even like to use a flashlight or laser pointer to help them visualize energy being emitted from the tip of the object.
Hold your chosen object in your dominant hand and turn around clockwise, while pointing your wand (etc) at the ground around you. Your aim is to draw a circle on the ground around you with the energy emitted by yourself and your tool of choice, and while you do so you must really focus on the properties of this circle- only you and those you invite may come here. This is an uncrossable barrier, exerted by your pure force of will, and the more assured you are of your own abilities the stronger this barrier will become.
Some people find it advantageous to repeat the circle drawing 3 or 9 times, an influence from the Triple moon or triple goddess symbolism, or perhaps elsewhere like the concept of three in magick and mysticism overall.
You may also find some benefit in saying some simple words while casting your circle. Repeating mantras also helps to raise energy, as you become more and more intense with each recitation. Keep in mind, words that are chosen by you will have the most effect for you, but I will provide some examples below.
"Circle circle, thrice we cast,
Spiral 'round the center mast,
Let within the cherished ones,
Keep all else out, till we're done."
"Endless circle, ever strong,
Protect me whilst time grows long,
Inside this sacred circle space,
None shall intrude, nary a trace."
"Circle round and circle free,
With your endless love embrace me,
Our heartbeat shall be the only sound,
Inside the comforting circle surround."
These are just a few short examples, and as you can see you can tailor your circle chant towards the purpose of your meditation and spell. If you intend to romantically meditate with a companion, perhaps choose the last example or some derivation of it.
They do not need to rhyme, they can be as short or as long as you wish, it all depends on what you are setting out to do and how you feel.
When you are done doing whatever you wished to do inside of your circle, you should always make the motion of cutting the line you projected onto the ground around you, breaking it as you step out of it. This will dispel any lingering energy, and allow it to be released back into the Earth.
While most people may find casting a circle to be superfluous in the physical, knowing the motions to go through even in astral spellwork is usually advantageous since it gives you more perspective on how others have done things previously, and this may inspire you to try something new on your own. It is also a good idea for people who have trouble with shielding and attacks to practice circle casting when they meditate or partake in divination such as pendulum sessions or tarot and rune sessions. A cast circle will only allow in the beings you want to communicate with, so it will ensure that tricksters cannot interfere in your workings.
If you ever get the chance, I hope you give it a try. Circles have been a integral symbol in magick, the basis of untold numbers of sigils, as they represent perfection, an endless loop never broken until you make it so. Their popularity is not merely a fad, as energy directed through circles tends to 'multiply' the more times it goes around the loop, often making spellwork and similar experiences much easier to feel for novice practitioners or those with developing senses.