Have you ever read through a 101 book on Wicca and have it refer obtusely to the “Greater Mysteries” and how important they are but say absolutely nothing about what they are or how to discover them? Ah, well I’m here to help clear things up a little bit. As a Witchy Mama who has a crazy, busy schedule and life and not much time for study, probably, it can be disheartening to think you aren’t somehow getting this supposedly fundamental knowledge. Here’s the good news, though: if you are living your craft — you are discovering the Greater Mysteries every day! The Greater Mysteries is just a fancy, mystical phrase to refer to the occult knowledge that we can only acquire through devote, regular practice (in whatever form you do it)! And today I want to talk about the “Greater Mysteries” of Circle Casting.
Ok, if you’re still with me here, you’ve probably come across the aforementioned books and many of them will say things like, “You should always cast a circle… when you’re first starting out.” How long does “first starting out” last for? There’s no one policing your circle casting so in the absence of direct information that suggests otherwise you’re probably just casting a circle every single time just to air on the safe side. (And, obviously, if you’re ever uncertain that’s the way to go!)
But here’s the biggest determining factor for whether or not to be casting a circle on the regular: Have you cast protective wards and charms on your home or living space? Of course there are tons of way to do that (maybe I’ll talk more about home protection magick next week!) If you are regularly putting energy into protecting your home magickally, psychically, and energetically your living space is already protected and you don’t necessarily need to cast an additional protection circle.
When I am doing spells or rituals at home on my own I almost never cast a circle (unless they are public rituals/virtual rituals shared with other Witchy Mamas). I only bother when I do because I think it’s important for general audiences to see my doing it realizing that it’s usually an important part of any spell or ritual structure. But I do regularly invest energy in protecting my home, so it is already my safe space.
In fact, the practice of casting circles in the way that we do today is a relatively new concept that primarily came into common practice when Christianity began to spread. Typically the pagans (the “country dwellers”) were just common folk that were doing informal ceremonies in their homes with their families and then having a celebratory meal afterwards. Modern Wicca has had to take a different spin on things in order to help people feel safe in their practice given the overwhelming potential for unwanted eyes watching especially given how historically persecuted witches and pagans have been. They did things like hanging or planting certain herbs in their home or by their doors for protection and spent constant energy to make their homes a safe space. Casting a circle would have been redundant.
Do you cast circles when doing spells or rituals in your own home? Do you feel like you should always cast a circle every single time in spite of my blog? Let me know how you feel about circle casting in the comments below!