Casting the Circle
Calling the Quarters, Opening the Four Gates


Research by Michael P. Garofalo

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Magic Circle
, by John William Waterhouse (1886)





Casting the Circle, Calling the Quarters, Opening the Four Gates


There are many terms used to describe a popular opening and closing ceremony in Neopagan rites, Magickal workings, Wiccan rites, Taoist rites, etc.  It has been called "Casting the Circle, Calling the Quarters, Honoring the Elementals, Calling on the Four Guardians, Saluting the Watchtowers, Lesser Banishing Ritual, Opening the Four Gates, Opening the Four Gates, Divine Incantations to the Protective Gods of the Four Directions, etc."  




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Bibliography, Links, Resources
Casting the Circle, Calling the Quarters, Opening the Four Gates 


Aether - Classical Element - Wikipedia Article  

Air - Classical Element - Wikipedia Article

Alchemy Website  

Basic Circle Casting   

Casting a Circle   Magical Astrology Guide  

Calling the Quarters  

Calling the Quarters.   UTube Video, 8:27 minutes. 

Calling the Quarters   By Christopher Penczak  

Calling the Quarters    By Rain Stormsong 

Calling the Quarters - Wikipedia Search  

Cardinal Directions - Wikipedia Article 

Cardinal Symbolism   By Avia Venefica 

Casting the Circle    By Gerald Gardener, 1949. 

Casting the Circle   The Internet Book of Shadows, Sacred Texts Online  

Circles and Sheres: Sacred Space   Bibliography, Links, Quotations, Tables, Notes, Sacred Garden 

Circles, Groves and Sanctuaries: Sacred Spaces of Today's Pagans.  Compiled by Dan and Pauline Campanelli.  St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 1993.  Resources, 268 pages.  ISBN: 0875421083.  Ideas for creating indoor and outdoor altars and sanctuaries.  VSCL.    

Circle Size: Why Nine Feet?    By Ceisiwr Serith. 

Circle Symbolism: Western

Cloud Hands Blog by Mike Garofalo

Creating Circles and Ceremonies: Rituals for all Seasons and Reasons.  By Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart.  Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, New Page Books, 2006.  Appendices, glossary, index, 288 pages.  ISBN: 1564148645.  VSCL.  This is a valuable collection of information, poetry, rituals, songs, and craft activities for NeoPagans.    

Different Versions of the Classic Elements: Greek, Indian, and Chinese  

Divine Incantations to the Protective Gods of the Five Directions.  From the Taoist encyclopedia, Secret Essentials of the Most High, 574 CE.  Translated by Livia Kohn.  Casting the Circle - Taoist Style. 

Earth - Classical Element - Wikipedia Article

Elements of Circle and Circle Casting   Gnostic Thunderbolt Ritual

The Elements of Ritual: Air, Fire, Water and Earth in the Wiccan Circle.  By Deborah Lipp.  Llewellyn Pubs., 2003.  Illustrated edition.  288 pages.  ISBN: 073870301X. 

Fire - Classical Element - Wikipedia Article  

Fire Symbols and Meanings

Four Corners or Calling the Corners  

Four Elements    By Tracy Marks 

Four Elements - Wikipedia Search

Four Elements: Classical - Wikipedia Article  

Four Elements Tables  

The Four Quarters 

The Four Symbols, Five Primary Directions, and Four Legendary Beasts of Chinese Religion

Green Way Research

Guardians of the Watchtowers, Elementals, Calling the Quarters  By House Shadow Drake. 

How to Cast a Circle    UTube Video, 9:50 minutes. 

How to Cast a Circle   UTube Video, 7:11 minutes. 

Learning Ritual Magic: Fundamental Theory and Practice for the Solitary Apprentice.  By John Michael Greer, Earl King, Jr., and Clare Vaughn.   Boston, Massachusetts, Weiser Books, 2004.  Index, bibliography, 271 pages.  ISBN: 1578633184.  VSCL. 

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram 

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram   

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram - Google Search 

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram - Wikipedia Article

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram 

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram  By Asiya's Shadows 

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram - Google Search

Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram    From Llewellyn's Encyclopedia 

Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram - Wikipedia Article

Magic Circle - Wikipedia Article

Magic: The Eight of Wands 

The Magician's Companion.   A Practical and Encyclopedic Guide to Magical and Religious Symbolism.  By Bill Witcomb.  St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Pubs., 1993.   Appendices, resources, 577 pages.  ISBN:  0875428681.   VSCL. 

Magick Circle - Wikipedia

Magicka Animus: Casting a Circle.   UTube Video, 5:31 min. 

Modern Magick: Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts.  By Donald Michael Kraig.   Second Edition, 2010.  Woodbury, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 1988, 2010.  Appendices, annotated bibliography, index, 581 pages.  ISBN: 0875423248.  VSCL. 

Months of the Year:  Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Lore, Myths    Refer the the Table of Correspondences below for associations of the months with the Quarters. 

Neo-Pagan Bibliography and Links   

Octonary Models, Eightfold Models of the Cosmos 

One Old Druid's Final Journey: Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove 

On the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram   By Tim Maroney in the Internet Book of Shadows, Sacred Texts Online

Outdoor Sacred Circle in Red Bluff, California   Created by Karen and Michael Garofalo. 

Pathways in the Green Valley Blog

Reclaiming the Power: The How and Why of Practical Ritual Magic.  By Lady Sabrina.  St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn, Publications, 1992.  332 pages.  ISBN: 0875421660.  VSCL. 

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices  

Sacred Circle Garden, Red Bluff, California   Created by Michael and Karen Garofalo. 

Sacred Circles:  Bibliography, Quotations, Resources, Notes, Research 

Sacred Space Creation in ADF Druid Rituals 

Self-Initiation Into the Golden Dawn Tradition: A Complete Curriculum of Study for Both the Solitary Magician and the Working Magical Group.  By Chic Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero.   Woodbury, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 2002. 1st Edition.  792 pages.  ISBN: 1567181368.  VSCL. 

Setting up the Wiccan Circle    UTube Video, 5:52 minutes. 

Solitary Opening Ritual   UTube Video, 3:49 minutes. 

Spirit of Gardening    Over 3,500 quotations arranged by 135 topics. 

Table of Correspondences - Magical - Wikipedia Article 

The Tree of Life: An Illustrated Study of Magic.  By Israel Regardie.  Edited and annotated by Chick Cicero and Sandra Tabatha Cicero.  Originally published in 1932.  Woodbury, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 3rd Edition, 2000.  552 pages.  ISBN: 1567181325.  VSCL. 

Trigrams of the I Ching, Bagua, Eightfold Model of the Cosmos   Includes numerous Tables of Correspondences. 

Valley Spirit (Gushen) Grove, Red Bluff, California, Sacred Circle Outdoors     Gushen Grove = Valley Spirit Grove   Gushen 神  

Watchers: the Grigori  

Water - Classical Element - Wikipedia Article  

Water Deities  

Water - Holy Wells

Water Spirits

Watchtowers in Magic - Wikipedia Article

Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life.  By Pauline Campanelli.  Illustrated by Dan Campanelli.  St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Publications, 1989, 1993.  ISBN: 0875420915.  VSCL. 

Witches' Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram  By Paul Hume, Internet Book of Shadows, Library of Sacred Texts.




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"Above this image of the coiled serpent is the Triangle of the Art, an image inscribed in front of the Circle of the Art that calls upon the power of God through the will of the magician. The magician creates these symbols within the summoning area to evoke, or manifest a demon into the triangle. Within the triangle name of Michael, and at the sides are written the words, Tetragrammation meaning Yod, He Vau He, the Four Names of God, Anaphaxetongreat God of the heavenly hosts, and Primeumation translated as "Thou who art the First and the Last," translated as "This is the Form of the Magical Triangle, into the which Solomon did command the Evil Spirits. It is to be made at 2 feet distance from the Magical Circle and it is 3 feet across.." (S.L. MacGregor Mathers, Goetia)"  The circle is designed to protect the summoner and to raise power that is transferred through them by the power of their god.  This is called theurgy, the use of gods to produce results in magic. The triangle is the area of manifestation, and it is symbolic of the three planes or dimensions of existence.  Summoning the spirit into the triangle manifests this spirit into the physical plane, according to the directions of the Goetia."
-  Venus Satanas, Circle of Art



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Casting the Circle, Calling the Quarters, Opening the Four Gates  



"The casting of a Magical Circle has been used effectively in many Western Traditions. By creating sacred space and invoking the elements, we can raise power within the circle, and charge the energies with our magical intent. Working with the elemental spirits and the four directions, we can direct our inner work to manifest in our outer world: "as above, so below."  To Cast a Circle is a deeply symbolic act, and can add the following benefits:  Creates "Sacred Space" which enables you to focus on your work at hand, by adding the appropriate spiritual vibrations to your altar and ritual setting.  Enables you to create a protective shield to keep out unwanted influences, so you can feel safe enough to open yourself spiritually while remaining confident that only positive energies may enter therein.  The Circle works to contain the energies that are raised, making your spell more focused, and therefore more potent. When you visualize the circle, imagine it as an iridescent dome of positive, protective energy, that extends a few feet above your head, a clear bubble that holds in the energy of your spell. After you raise the energy of the spell, you can release it by sending it out to the Universe, asking that it may be accomplished in accordance with the highest karmic good for all concerned."
-   Casting a Circle  



"In Italian Witchcraft the beings known as the Grigori (Watchers) are an integral aspect of the belief system. Over the course of many centuries the initiates of Italian Witchcraft have developed various signs and gestures that are recognized by the Grigori and indicate the presence of a trained witch of the Old Religion. This intimate relationship between Grigori and initiate has been forged and nurtured by the Strega for countless generations. The ritual display of prescribed signs and gestures at the appropriate quarter grants passage by the Grigori and allows the initiate to gain access to the portals that lead directly into the Otherworld realms.  As guardians of the portals to such realms as the astral plane, the Grigori can negate magickal energy from manifesting there. This results in a failed magickal work or spell. The reasons why the guardians might intercede in such a manner are varied, but the Grigori bear the title "guardians" for good reason. Non-initiates of authentic forms of Italian Witchcraft, and those to whom these inner mysteries have yet to reveal themselves, often dispute the role of the Grigori (if not their existence itself).  Another erroneous claim made by non-initiates is that initiates of Italian Witchcraft believe their actions are "judged" by the Grigori, which is untrue and is based upon ignorance of authentic Italian witch beliefs and practices.   The appearance of the essential Grigori or Watcher concept, in the literature on Italic paganism, dates back to archaic Roman religion, which itself is derived from the Etruscans.  Ovid, in his work titled Fausti, calls the Lare the "night watchmen." In archaic Roman religion small towers were built at the crossroads and an altar was set before them upon which offerings were given to the Lare. The Lare were guardian spirits associated with these towers and with demarcation in general, as well as seasonal themes related to agriculture.  In the early Stellar Cults of Mesopotamia there were four "royal" stars called the Watchers. Each one of these stars "ruled" over one of the four cardinal points common to Astrology. This particular system would date from approximately 3000 BC. The Star Aldebaran, when it marked the Vernal Equinox, held the position of Watcher of the East. Regulus, marking the Summer Solstice, was Watcher of the South. Antares, marking the Autumn Equinox, was Watcher of the West.  Fomalhaut, marking the Winter Solstice, was Watcher of the North."
-   Raven Grimassi, History of Italian Witchcraft 



"Wiccan Cross: Face East. Touch forehead. Say Io Evoe Hertha ('Blessed be Hertha,' or other Name by which you worship the Goddess as Creatrix).  Touch your solar plexus or genitals. Say Io Evoe Cernunnos ('Blessed be Cernunnos,' or other name by which you worship the Horned God as the Earth).  Touch your right shoulder. Say Eko Eko Axarak ('Hail, hail force of fire').  Touch your left shoulder. Say Eko Eko Amelak ('Hail, hail to the glory').  Extend your arms in the form of a cross. Say Io Evoe ('Blessed be.').  Clasp hands upon your and say So mote it be.  Circle of Protection:  Trace the pentagram in the East. Say Herne.  Trace the circle of protection until facing South.  Trace the pentagram in South. Say Cernunnos. Trace the circle of protection until facing West. Trace the pentagram in West. Say Aradia. Trace the circle of protection until facing North. Trace the pentagram in North. Say Habondia. Finish tracing circle, closing it in the East.   Invocation of the Great Gods:  Return to center of circle and face East. Extend arms in form of a cross.  Chant: "Before me Herne, The Huntsman.  Behind me Aradia, The Maiden.  On my right hand Cernunnos, the Horned God.  On my left hand Habondia, the Great Mother.  About me flame the pentagrams.  And above me shines the light of the Goddess." 
-   Paul Hume, Witches' Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram



"The quarters reside in the cardinal points, East, South, West, and North. When you call the Quarters, you are doing more than simply circling the compass, however; you are inviting the symbolic energies for each of them to attend and guard over your working and to become part of your magick.   The act of calling the Quarters is an integral part of casting a circle. The circle being the sacred space in which ritual and magick are performed. It is a safe space in which to work and worship, a portable temple if you like. When calling a Quarter, whether verbally, or in the case of those limited to silent casting, through visualization, you will want to use as many senses as possible to describe, qualify and thus call the essence of the Quarter to your working.  To call the Quarter, first face in the direction of the Quarter, holding your athame as an extension of your arm. Visualize what the Quarter means and draw that image to you. Draw an invoking pentagram. Recite (either aloud or clearly in your mind) words that address and invite the Quarter. Breathe in and feel yourself infused with the essence of the Quarter. Let’s look at each part of the above paragraph in a little more detail. Facing the direction of the Quarter is easy, but what does the Quarter mean to you? For East, the domain of the element Air, this could be a fresh breeze upon your face, or it could be memory of a hurricane force wind. For Fire, a crackling fireplace, or a blazing forest wildfire? There are varying degrees of intensity, and none of them are more wrong or right to use than another. Use what stirs your visualization and fills you with the sense of the Quarter being called. I personally use a mix of gentle and forceful, but not destructive images as they strike a balance for me."
-   Calling the Quarters    



"The Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram is a magickal ritual that originated from the "Key of Solomon" and is used extensively by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn but which has come to be practiced by numerous other magickal schools. It is considered by many to be a basic preliminary to any other magickal work, so much so that it was the only ritual, beside initiation rituals, taught to members of the Golden Dawn before they advanced to the Inner Order.  The ritual is used either to invoke the four elements (the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram) or to banish them (the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram). The banishing form is used in many traditions at the beginning of most rituals, and has thus become the more commonly known form.  The first recorded instance of the ritual as a practice was noted in Eliphas Levi's works, and likely stems from a Hebrew prayer, "In the Name of God, the God of Yisrale: may Michael be at my right hand, Gabriel at my left, Uriel before me, Raphael behind me, and above my head, the presence of God."
-   Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram - Wikipedia Article



"Welcome Elementals of the North, of Earth.
I ask that you bring your gifts of patience, endurance, stability, and prosperity to this circle.
Welcome Elementals of the East, of Air.
I ask that you bring your gifts of wisdom, intellect, perception, and inspiration to this circle.
Welcome Elementals of the South, of Fire.
I ask that you bring your gifts of passion, strength, energy, and will power to this circle.
Welcome Elementals of the West, of Water.
I ask that you bring your gifts of emotion, pleasure, fertility, and receptivity to this circle.
Welcome Elementals of the Centre, of Spirit.
I ask that you bring guidance to this circle."
-   Calling the Quarters  



"If you work with all four of the elements in your magical operations, you generate six times more power than if you worked with none at all. The spirits of the elements are a vital key in occult development, not only because it is part and parcel of ritualistic procedure to invoke them, but because to conquer the human traits associated with each element is what initiation is all about."
-   Murry Hope. Practical Techniques of Psychic Self-Defense 



"During the Migration Period, the Germanic languages' names for the cardinal directions entered the Romance languages, where they replaced the Latin names borealis (or septentrionalis) with north, australis (or meridionalis) with south, occidentalis with west and orientalis with east. It is possible that some northern people used the Germanic names for the intermediate directions.  North (Proto-Germanic *norþ-) from a root *ner- "left, below", i.e. "to the left of the rising Sun".  East (*aus-to-) from the word for dawn, see Ēostre.  South (*sunþ-) is root-cognate to Sun itself, thus "the region of the Sun."  West (*wes-t-) from a word for "evening", root-cognate to Latin vesper."
Cardinal Directions



"In Wicca, guardians known as Watchtowers are called. These guardians are summoned in each of the four corners or directions of the circle: East, South, West, and North. They are set there to guard and protect the circle. The origin of the Watchtowers is in Cabbalistic magick. This calling of the Watchtowers usually takes place during what is known in Wicca as "Calling the Quarters."  Traditional Witchcraft does not utilize the calling of Watchtowers; it does however, call Guardians. These Guardians are often the spirits with whom a person feels comfortable with and has developed some form of a relationship with. Possible guardians might be one of the Ancestors, a "spirit guide," or other spirtual entity with which the person is familiar with.  Some traditions call Guardians, whereas others do not. Guardians are often called to protect the sacred area. As many traditions do not have specific boundaries for their sacred area, the guardians can roam the area freely and protect the area from unwanted influences. In general, they are not necessary, but still a good idea.  In some traditions they are known as the Old Ones. Those who were the fathers and the mothers of the Beginning, The Spirits who Were, before the first spirit. Some traditions say that the Watchers are an ancient race who have evolved beyond the need for physical form, or that they are our own ancient ancestors who have passed beyond the circle of rebirth. Other traditions hold that they are the Adjatti or "eyes" of the Lord and Lady of the realms of night.  Nowadays in Wicca the Watchers are simply thought to be the Elementals, creatures of pure elemental energy. Each element has its own: Sylphs for Air, Salamanders for Fire, Undines for Water, and Gnomes for Earth."
Guardians of the Watchtowers, Elementals, Calling the Quarters  By House Shadow Drake. 



"In archaic Roman religion, small towers were built at the crossroads, and an altar was set before them upon which offerings were given to nature spirits. Guardian spirits known as Lares were associated with these towers and with demarcation in general, as well as seasonal themes related to agriculture.  Here we may find a connection between the Lares and the Grigori of Italian Witchcraft."
-  Georges Dumezil, Archaic Roman Religion, Volume 1, p. 343.  



"If you remember we had called peace to the quarters [i.e., Peace in the East, Peace in the South, Peace in the West, Peace in the North] and recited the universal Druids prayer. Now comes something that is only found within Druid rituals [OBOD] and that is the chanting of the Awen. The Awen is the Druids equivalent of the Buddhists Om and in ritual is chanted three time or in multiples of three. Its pronunciation is "Ahh-ooo-when." Only then is the circle cast which is what I believe to be the biggest difference in ritual between witches and Druids. The circle is cast often with the use of a sword with the caster using some appropriate words. Once the circle is cast it is then consecrated with water and fire and the quarters called. Within OBOD the quarters are associated with particular animals which are used as the quarter calls East is the hawk of dawn, South is the stag at noon, West is the salmon of wisdom, and North is the great bear. So that is the opening concluded and we move on to the rite."
-   The Druid Ritual of May Day  



"North is the direction of the Element Earth and the Power of Body. Its Nature forms are rocks, clay, sand, and soil. In human life, this is the physical dimension and the sensing realm. In connecting with this direction, pay attention to your physiological processes, to the sensations in your body, to your biological needs, and to your physical health. Healing modalities include good nutrition, hygiene, body language awareness and change, relaxation, and rest.
East is the direction of the Element Air and the Power of Mind. Its Nature forms are the winds, the atmosphere, and the breath.  In human life, this is the mental dimension and the thinking realm. In connecting with this direction, pay attention to your thought processes, to your ability to reason, to your attitudes, and to your mental health. Healing modalities include self-talk analysis, affirmations, journal writing, cognitive restructuring, and education.  South is the direction of the Element Fire and the Power of Action. Its Nature forms are flames, lightning, and electricity. In human life, this is the behavioral dimension and the doing realm. In connecting with this direction, pay attention to your repertoire of activities, to the amount of time you allot to work and to play, to the quality of your alone time, to the nature of your interactions with others, and to your behavioral health. Healing modalities include play, exercise, time management, life restructuring, breaking destructive or outmoded habits, career development, positive behavioral change, and goal setting and achievement.
West is the direction of the Element Water and the Power of Emotions. Its Nature forms are oceans, lakes, streams, rivers, wells, springs, dew, precipitation, and fluids in the body. In human life, this is the emotional dimension and the feeling realm. In connecting with this direction, pay attention to your moods, to your feelings about yourself and about others, to the levels of intimacy and trust in your relationships, and to your emotional health. Healing modalities include guided imagery, active listening, expressing feelings, sharing feelings, giving comfort and being comforted, singing, dancing, drawing, and other forms of artistic expression."
-   Selena Fox, Sacred Circle, Sacred Sphere: Mapping Consciousness with Seven Directions. 



"A Watchtower is a spirit guardian of one of the four cardinal points in both ceremonial magic and the neopagan religion of Wicca. Alternately, the Watchtowers are the abodes of the guardians. Often believed to represent the four elements, the Watchtowers are invoked during ritual to cast the magic circle. They may be pictured in the imagination or represented with tablets or other physical symbols.  In many Wicca and Witchcraft systems the Watchtowers are evocational symbols of spiritual beings known as the Watchers. Each Watchtower is associated with one of the four quarters of north, east, south and west. In some traditions the Watchtowers are associated with the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. They are also each linked to a specific star. The north Watchtower is Fomalhaut, the east is Aldebaran, Regulus marks the south, and Antares is the west. Archangels are also used; the North / Earth Watchtower is Uriel, the East / Air Watchtower is Raphael, the South / Fire Watchtower is Michael, and the West / Water Watchtower is Gabriel.  In the Enochian system of magic, brought to public attention by Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly in the 16th century, we find the inclusion of Watchtowers as complex evocational designs. Some people believe that the Watchtowers have their origin in the Enochian magic system revealed to the Elizabethan magician John Dee and his scryer Edward Kelley, which was later developed into a working system of magic by S.L. MacGregor Mathers. According to Dee’s diaries, the two men summoned an angel, which Kelley saw in a magic stone; Dee recorded the revelations which Kelley narrated to him. Among the surviving records of the Angelic Operations is A Book of Supplications and Invocations which "deals with the Invocation of the Angels who preside over the Four Quarters of the Terrestrial sphere."At the core of the instructions was the Angelic Table: a grid of 25x27 squares, each square containing a letter. The Angelic Table is subdivided into four lesser grids for the four elements and the four directions, bound together by the cross-shaped Tablet of Union. They are used to call upon the aid of angels ruling over the four directions. The names of God and the angels to be used in the invocations are extracted from the tablets.The four tablets are often called the Enochian Tablets because the letters may be written in the Enochian alphabet also revealed to Dee and Kelley by the angel.  Dee’s work was revived and expounded upon by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, primarily through the work of S.L. MacGregror Mathers. In the Golden Dawn magical system, the four Angelic/Enochian Tablets became the four Watchtowers.  Each Watchtower was attributed to a direction and an element, by the Golden Dawn."
-   Watchtower Magic



"In modern Witchcraft (and Wicca) we often find the inclusion of what is commonly referred to as the "four tools of Western occultism."  These are the pentacle, wand, dagger, and chalice.  It is interesting to note that in the ancient cult of Mithras we find the use of ritual tools known as the wand of command, the libation cup, the crescent-shaped blade, and the platter.  In the book The Cults of the Roman Empire, by Robert Turcan, the author also notes the presence of a ritual sword and a scourge known as the sun's whip.  These Aegean/Mediterranean tools bear a striking resemblance to those that later appear in Gardnerian Wicca.   One possible explanation for this theme is that the Cult of Mithras was spread to the British Isles by the Roman legions, which occupied Britain for several centuries.  It is noteworthy to find the appearance of the blade, cup, pentacle, and wand displayed together in a magical/ritual context in the symbolism of the early Italian Renaissance period. This image of the traditional tools of Western Occultism is captured in the 15th century Visconti Cary-Yale tarot deck, the oldest known extant deck. The Visconti Magician card depicts a man standing before a table. In his left hand he holds a wand. On the table itself is set a large chalice, a sword, and a pentacle. Stuart Kaplan, an acknowledged expert on the Tarot, says that all Tarot symbolism as we know it today evolved from the Italian Tarot."
Italian Witchcraft



"Black spirits and white,
Red spirits and grey,
Harken to the rune I say.
Four points of the Circle, weave the spell,
East, South, West, North, your tale tell.
East is for break of day,
South is white for the noontide hour,
In the West is twilight grey,
And North is black, for the place of power.
Three times round the Circle's cast.
Great ones, spirits from the past,
Witness it and guard it fast."
Internet Book of Shadows   



"When Gerald Gardner was constructing Wicca, a major source for his rituals was The Key of Solomon, in the MacGregor Mathers translation. This is especially so for the casting of the circle. Aidan Kelly gives the ritual as it is found in the 1949 version of the Book of Shadows:  "Having found a place proper, take the sickle or scimitar of Art or a Witch’s Athame, if thou mayest obtain it, and stick it into the center [sic], then take a cord, and ‘twere well to use the Cable Tow for this, and loop it over the Instrument, four and one half feet, and so trace out the circumference of the circle, which must be traced either with the Sword, or the knife with the black hilt, or it be of little avail, but ever leave open a door towards the North."  This is a slightly edited version of a ritual in the Key: "Having chosen a place for preparing and constructing the Circle, and all things necessary being prepared for the perfection of the Operations, take thou the Sickle or Scimitar of Art and stick it in the centre of the place where the Circle is to be made; then take a cord of nine feet in length, fasten one end thereof unto the Sickle and with the other end trace out the circumference of the Circle, which may be marked either with the Sword or with the Knife with the Black hilt. ... leaving an open space therein towards the North."  The similarities are interesting, since they show clearly that the Gardnerian circle casting can not be traced back any further than 1888, the publication date of Mathers’ translation."
-  Ceisiwr Serith, Circle Size



"The Azure Dragon of the East (青龍): Wood, Spring.   The Vermilion Bird of the South (朱雀): Fire, Summer.   The White Tiger of the West (白虎): Metal, Autumn, Fall.  The Black Tortoise of the North (玄武): Water, Winter.  The Yellow Dragon of the Center, Huáng-lóng (黃龍): Center, Earth."
Four Symbols and Five Cardinal Directions in China



"In an insight spun off from his research into NeoPaganism's connections with Classical NeoPlatonism, Don Few argues the circle is in fact a circle, not a sphere.  The original imagery is better than the modern alternative.  The circle's walls go up and down a considerable way before closing, but no one ever thought of such walls as needing to go to the center of the universe or any such thing. Of course this is what we mostly do as a matter of course, but those of us who learned the "sphere" model as an ideal have a slight disconnect between practice and understanding that can interfere with the strength and quality of the circle  And any such disconnect weakens the working.  Our likely roots in Neoplatonic Magick and philosophy suggest why the circle was never intended to be a sphere.  In my view, bringing all aspects of understanding and practice into greater coherence strengthens our work, and so this perspective is helpful to all who work this way. The circle is as much "a bridge" as a barrier.  It is "between the worlds" connecting them.  The walls go up and down far enough to connect the worlds "above and below."  After talking with Don, I think of this image as a kind of multidimensional bridge between dimensions.  From this perspective the circle accesses dimensions and the accompanying ritual is a kind of "magnifying glass" concentrating and filtering the light of the One - what Gardnerians call the Dryghten   - as it manifests within and through all worlds. "
An Insight on Magick Circles 



"Darksome night and shining moon,
East, then South, then West, then North;
Hearken to the Witches' Rune-
Here we come to call ye forth!
Earth and water, air and fire,
Wand and pentacle and sword,
Work ye unto our desire,
Hearken ye unto our work!
Cords and censer, scourge and knife,
Powers of the Witch's blade-
Waken all ye into life,
Come ye as the charm is made!"
-   Doreen Valiente, Witches' Bible Compleat 



"Hail unto You, O Guardians of the Watchtower of the East, Powers of Air and Inspiration! We invoke You, and ask You to be with us this night, to share with us Your love, Your guidance, and Your inspiration. We pray that You will help us to open our minds and our eyes and strengthen our thoughts as we go forward this night. We bid You hail and welcome!  Hail unto You, O Guardians of the Watchtower of the South, Powers of Fire and Manifestation! We invoke You, and ask You to be with us this night, to share with us Your love, Your guidance, and Your inspiration. We pray that You will help us to open our courage and passion and strengthen our resolve as we go forward this night. We bid You hail and welcome!  Hail unto You, O Guardians of the Watchtower of the West, Powers of Water and Compassion!  We invoke You, and ask You to be with us this night, to share with us Your love, Your guidance, and Your inspiration. We pray that You will help us to open our hearts and our emotions and strengthen our sensitivity as we go forward this night. We bid You hail and welcome!  Hail unto You, O Guardians of the Watchtower of the North, Powers of Earth and Integration! We invoke You, and ask You to be with us this night, to share with us Your love, Your guidance, and Your inspiration. We pray that You will help us to open our souls and our Higher Selves and strengthen our understanding as we go forward this night. We bid You hail and welcome!"
Calling the Quarters   



"I will first make and offering and send a voice to the Spirit of the World, that it may help me to be true.  See, I fill this sacred pipe with the bark of the red willow; but before we smoke it, you must see how it is made and what it means.  These four ribbons hanging here on the stem are the four quarters of the universe.  The black one is for the west where the thunder beings live to send us rain; the white one for the north, whence comes the great white cleansing wind; the red one for the east, whence springs the light and where the morning star lives to give men wisdom; the yellow one for the south, whence come the summer and the power to grow.  But these four spirits are only one Spirit after all, and this eagle feather here is for that One, which is like a father, and also it is for the thoughts of men that should rise high as eagles do.  Is the the sky a father and the earth a mother, and are not all living things with feet or wings or roots their children?"
-   Black Elk Speaks, 1932, p. 2



"According to the Empedocles, a Greek philosopher, scientist and healer who lived in Sicily in the fifth century B.C., all matter is comprised of four "roots" or elements of earth, air, fire and water.   Fire and air are outwardly reaching elements, reaching up and out, whereas earth and water turn inward and downward.  In Empedocles' philosophy, the interaction of the four elements is influenced by the relationship between the two great life energies of Love and Strife.  In his Tetrasomia, or Doctrine of the Four Elements, Empedocles described these elements not only as physical manifestations or material substances, but also as spiritual essences.  He associated these elements with four gods and goddesses: air with Zeus, earth with Hera, fire with Hades, and water with Nestis (believed to be Persephone), "Now hear the fourfold roots of everything: Enlivening Hera, Hades, Shining Zeus, and Nestis (moistening mortal springs with tears)."  
-   Tracey Marks, Four Elements



"All magic should take place within a magic circle. This circle is a magical place outside of space and time that protects the magician from negative influences during his workings. The circle is a symbol of infinity and eternity in that it has no beginning and no end. The circle is created with a sword, dagger, staff, or wand. A properly created circle creates a boundary, or magical force field around the magician. This field stretches out across the dimensions, and can be visualized three dimensionally as a sphere. The circle serves as an amplifier for the energy the magician is building up inside it. It contains this power until you are ready to release it. All supplies and implements should be within the circle before you cast it. Crossing the boundary of the circle once it is cast is deemed unwise.  The Rite of Three Rays:  1. Raise the arms above the head, taking in a deep breath. As you lower your arms, intone the vowel "I".  Make sure that your breath ends just as your arms hit your side.  The "I" is the left ray. The left (silver) ray represents the feminine attributes of the Moon.  2.  Repeat this last step, except intone "A" as you lower your arms.  The "A" is the middle rayThe center ray (the crystal ray) represents both and neither, the ray of possibility.  3. Again, repeat raising and lowering the hands, but intone "O".  The "O" is the right ray. The right (gold) ray represents the masculine attributes of the Sun.  4. Finally, repeat the step, but intone all three sounds (I, A, O) together into one continuous sound and breath."
-   Elements of Circle and Circle Casting 



"Air and East: the Air image in Wicca seems to be masculine and relates to Herne, the Black Man, the messenger of the Gods, or the Sky Gods: Odin, or Lugh as the rising Sun God. The God can be imagined as riding through the night sky, at the head of the Wild Hunt, or rising above the branches of the world-ash. Instead of the Sword given to Raphael, the God might carry a staff, spear or wand, which is attributed to Air in most Wiccan traditions.  Fire and South: the Fire image is definitely masculine and relates to the Horned God: Cernunnos, Lucifer, call Him what you will. He stands in the hot light of the noonday sun, radiating fiery energy. He would bear an Athame or sword, which is the weapon of Fire in most Wiccan styles.  Water and West: the Water image is the Maiden, the mistress of the Moon and the Tides: Aradia, Artemis, Venus rising from the waves. Her image is lit by the silver light of the moon, upon a tranquil reach of water or the foaming sea. She might hold the chalice, symbol of water (alternatively, the cauldron might be envisioned).  Earth and North: the Goddess in Her aspect as Earth Mother is here: Hertha, Habondia, Demeter. She stands beneath the golden, life-giving sun surrounded by the fruits of the Earth. Before her, a platter flows with good things of the Earth, for the disk/shield/platter is the pentacle, magick instrument of Earth. These are only bare sketches of the magickal images that a witch might use to replace the Qabalistic images of the traditional pentagram ritual. I offer them for what they are worth."
-  Paul Hume, Witches' Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram



"The pipe is a kind of portable altar, and when it's lighted it's not being smoked for fun, typically, but as a sacred art.  When it is lighted the incense is, as it were, going to heaven.  The pipe stem is lifted so that the sun smokes first, then it's addressed to the four quarters so you know where you are: the central mountain is right here, which is everywhere.  And the celebrant smokes and then the pipe is passed around.  This orientation of the quarters, I quess you could say, is the basic high cultural myth form: the centre, the quarters.  An then wherever you go:
Find the center.  That establishes the sacred point, where the high point is, and they you have the four quarters."
-   Joseph Campbell, The Hero's Journey, p. 12 



"The Medicine Wheel is a symbol of all creation, of all races of human beings, birds, fish, animals, trees, and stones.  It's in the shape of a wheel.  The circle shape represents the earth, the sun, the moon, the cycles of life, the seasons, and day to night.  Movement around the outside of the Medicine Wheel is in a clockwise direction, the rotation path of mother earth.  At the center of the wheel (the hub) is the Creator, who sits in perfect balance.  Outside the center, there is an inner circle representing the Old Woman (the earth), Father Sun, Grandmother Moon, and the four elements.  Four distinct colors, set in the four directions, lay on the perimeter, separated by beads representing the moon's cycles. Leather, laid from the perimeter, in straight lines, to the center (the spokes of the wheel) represent spiritual paths leading us to the center, to perfect balance, to the Creator.  The meaning of the number four, as it is in Native American life, is evident in the Medicine Wheel. 4 = four directions + four seasons + four elements (earth, air, water and fire) + the four races of human being.  The wheel also teaches the four aspects of our nature…physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  The easterly direction on the Medicine Wheel represents the new light of day, the place of all beginnings.  South is the sun at the highest point, a place of youth and innocence.  West is from which darkness comes, the place of the unknown. North is the place of winter, the place of wisdom.  With the Medicine Wheel, we call upon the moons, animals, angels, finned ones, the elements, the Sun, Clan mothers, Spirit Keeper and the Star Nations, to help us manifest our needs, and to remember who we are, what is to come, and why we are here. The month, which you were born, determines your starting place on the medicine wheel and your beginning totems.  All people, travel the wheel at their own speed.  The important message of the medicine wheel is that you allow yourself to keep traveling, rather then tying yourself to one position and blocking your energies from growing and changing.  The Medicine Wheel is a powerful tool to get to know yourself and your guardians.  Each Native American Indian band have their own ceremony and meanings of the Medicine Wheel.  Come and join us around this wonderful place we call the great medicine wheel.
-   The Medicine Wheel, Gale Trinkwon from Nanaimo, British Columbia, of the Tia-o-qui-aht First Nation  



"We wandered through the mown fields atop a small hill. Simply sitting in a circle on the grass, with no altar or props, we took in the energy of the place, effortlessly rooting in the rich living soil, finding presence. Beautiful clouds drifted by stimulating our imaginations. It was like being a child again, seeing a whole other world and story in the endlessly morphing shapes flying through the sky. Finding myself surrounded by such beauty, sharing it with the people dear to me, the Awen flowed filling my soul with life enhancing inspiration.

The only word that really captures the moments we shared is “sanctity”. This simple sharing in Nature was totally sanctified. There was no need to call to the directions as all directions were present and speaking to us. There was no need to cast a circle as why would I want to delineate a boundary between myself and that which I was seeking, deep connection to Nature. This was a moment to simply be and open up, to let the edges dissipate and fall to nothing. There were no words to be spoken. It was a time to sit and listen and to allow the blessings of the moment to wash through us, opening to the beauty and abundance of summer allowing those gods to inspire, to make a shift from “doing” to “being”.

I walked away filled with gratitude and inspiration, feeling a soul deep connection to the land, my tribe and the gods. And isn’t that what this spiritual path is all about? I would that you all be blessed by such Grace."
-   Wordless Ritual, Snowhawke's Druidry Blog



"We call upon you Oh creatures of Earth,
To protect this Circle and Aid in Our Rites.  
Wherefore do We Bless and Consecrate Thee, 
So Mote It Be.
We call upon you Oh creature of Water,  
To protect this Circle and Aid in Our Rites. 
Wherefore do We Bless and Consecrate Thee,  
So Mote It Be.  
We call upon you Oh creatures of Water and Earth, 
 To protect this Circle and Aid in Our Rites.  
Wherefore do We Bless and Consecrate Thee, 
So Mote It Be.  
Oh Thou Circle, Be Thou a meeting place of Love and Joy, 
In Perfect Truth and Trust 
A Shield against all wickedness and evil intent, 
A Rampart of Protection for All who stand herein!  
Wherefore do we Bless and Consecrate Thee, 
By the Holy and Sacred names of Athena, Cerridwen, Rhiannon, 
Mercury and Pan ... 
This Circle is Cast, safe and secure,  
Sacred Space created for all that is Pure!  
So Mote It Be!"
-   Silver Wolfe, Casting the Sacred Circle  



In Hinduism, Vayu (Sanskrit वायु ), also known as Vāta वात, Pavana पवन (meaning the Purifier)[9] , or Prāna, is a primary deity, who is the father of Bhima and the spiritual father of Lord Hanuman. As the words for air (Vāyu) or wind (Pavana) it is one of the Panchamahābhuta the "five great elements" in Hinduism. The Sanskrit word 'Vāta' literally means "blown", 'Vāyu' "blower", and 'Prāna' "breathing" (viz. the breath of life, cf. the *an- in 'animate').  In Indian tradition the element Air is also linked to Shani or Saturn and the north-west direction.  Agni is a Hindu and Vedic deity. The word agni is Sanskrit for "fire" (noun), cognate with Latin ignis (the root of English ignite), Russian ogon (fire), pronounced agon. Agni has three forms: fire, lightning and the sun.  Agni is one of the most important of the Vedic gods. He is the god of fire and the acceptor of sacrifices. The sacrifices made to Agni go to the deities because Agni is a messenger from and to the other gods. He is ever-young, because the fire is re-lit every day, yet he is also immortal. In Indian tradition Fire is also linked to Surya or the Sun and Mangala or Mars, and with the south-east direction.  Ap (áp-) is the Vedic Sanskrit term for "water", in Classical Sanskrit occurring only in the pluralis not an element.v, āpas (sometimes re-analysed as a thematic singular, āpa-), whence Hindi āp. The term is from PIE hap "water".  In Hindu philosophy, the term refers to water as an element, one of the Panchamahabhuta, or "five great elements".  In Hinduism, it is also the name of the deva, a personification of water, (one of the Vasus in most later Puranic lists).  The element Water is also associated with Chandra or the Moon, and Shukra or Venus, who represent feelings, intuition and imagination.  Water is also linked to the north east direction.  Prithvi (Sanskrit: pṛthvī, also pṛthivī) is the Hindu earth and mother goddess. According to one such tradition, she is the personification of the Earth itself; according to another, its actual mother, being Prithvi Tattwa, the essence of the element earth.  As Prithvi Mata, or "Mother Earth," she contrasts with Dyaus Pita, "father sky." In the Rigveda, earth and sky are frequently addressed as a duality, often indicated by the idea of two complementary "half-shells."  In addition, the element Earth is associated with Budha or Mercury, who represents communication, business, mathematics and other practical matters.  Earth is also associated with the south-west direction."
-   Wikipedia - Classical Elements  



"Blessed be the Earth for giving birth to this food
Blessed be the Sun for nourishing it
Blessed be the Wind for carrying its seed
Blessed be the Rain for quenching its thirst.
Blessed be the hands that helped to grow this food>"
Lughnasadh Harvest



"We circle round creating sacred space,
invoking from the Heavens holy grace.
We call the Gods to guard our solemn rite,
and ward this hallowed ground with walls of light.
Let sky above and earth below unite,
a bond established by Olympic might.
Let fear and discord leave without a trace,
and peace prevail within this holy place.

Let word be deed by this decree.
As it is said, so must it be!
(Sit verbum factum hoc decreto.
Ut dictum est, sic statim fiat!)
Saturnalia: A Winter Solstice Ritual



"Hail guardians of the East,
protect our temple with your winds,
and add your knowledge to our rites.
Blessed Be.

Hail guardians of the South,
protect our temple with your flames,
and add your power to our rites.
Blessed Be.

Hail guardians of the West,
protect our temple with your waves,
and add your courage to our rites.
Blessed Be.

Hail guardians of the North,
protect our temple with your stones,
and add your silence to our rites.
Blessed Be."
-  Descent of Inanna     
"O Guardians of the Eastern Tower,
Airy ones of healing power
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!
Come to us and heed our call!
By the Powers that made us all;
By the Powers that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

Oh fiery Ones of Southern Power
Thus I invite you to this tower
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!
Come to us and heed our call!
By the Powers that made us all;
By the Powers that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

Western Ones of water's flow
Help to guard us here below
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!
Come to us and heed our call!
By the Powers that made us all;
By the Powers that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

Earthen Ones of Northern fame
Bless and guard our Power's fane
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!
Come to us and heed our call!
By the Powers that made us all;
By the Powers that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

So I cast and consecrate
This Circle of the small and great:
By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
By Rock and Earth, by Land and Sea,
By Fire and Water, Earth and Air,
By the Lord, and Lady Fair!
By Love and Joy and Work and Play,
All things harmful cast away!
By lightening's flash, and rain's soft fall,
By the Powers that made us all;
By the Powers that blesses Thee:
Cast this Circle and Blessed be!"
-   The Bardic Year Rituals

"I look into the midnight blue of the East
I call Aksobhya,
Unshakable one, Earth Touching Lord,
Bring us wisdom and strength through your gift of righteous wrath.
I call Locana,
Lady of the Eye.
Bring us awareness through your gift of clear vision.

I look into the translucent glow of the South,
I call Ratnasambhava
Jewel Born One, and Horse Lord.
Bring us speed and energy through your Prana gift of vital breath.
I call Mamaki
Lady of Joy
Bring us selfless unity with all creatures through you gift of enlightenment.

I look into the fierce red of the West
I call Amitabha,
Infinite Light, Lotus Lord.
Bring us immunity from defilement,
Bring us higher consciousness through your gift of meditation.
I call Pandaravasini,
Lady of the White Robe
Bring us purity through your gift of focus.

I look into the verdant green of the North
I call Amoghasiddhi
Infallible one, Sword Lord,
Bring us accomplishment and success through your gift of transformative action.
I call Tara,
Lady of the Sacred Lotus,
Bring us compassion through your gift of cleansing fire.

I look into the brilliant white which lies at the Centre
I call Vairocana,
Illuminator, Lion Sun Lord
Bring us truth and courage through your gift of teaching.
I call Akasadhatisvari,
Lady of infinite Space,
Bring us spiritual receptiveness through your gift of ultimate perfume."
-  Drea Bradley, Tara Puja


"Dhritarashtra, Guardian of the East Gate,
The Powerful Diamond King, Ch‘ï-kwo Tian, in tune with the Wise,
White as the Shining Sun,
Protector, Energizer, Honoring the Three Treasures,
Keeping Treasured kingdoms whole, Saver of the Earth, 
Helping unravel the illusions of self, and freeing the slaves of Mara,
Vowing to aid all who strive to achieve the Supreme Awakening.

Virudhaka, Guardian of the South Gate, 
The Boundless Diamond King, Tseng-chang Tian, with shimmering sword in hand,
Blue as the Great Sky,
Spurring growth, increasing grandeur,
Subduing demons, frightening evil ones, cutting through ignorance,
Vowing to help everyone master limitless approaches to Dharma.  

Virupaksha, Guardian of the West Gate,
The All Seeing Diamond King, Kwang-mu Tian, unblinking in the face of death,
Red Eyed and Ever Vigilant,
Visionary of the Diamond Kings, Seeing the Unseen,
Subduing serpents of vice, keeping enemies in the dark, holding the Sacred Vajra,
Vowing to help Enlighten Sentient Beings without number.  

Vaishravana, Guardian of the North Gate,
The All Hearing Diamond King, To-wen Tian, listening to the endless sorrows,
Yellow as the Mystic Rose,
Seated and Silent, Compassionate,
Silencing the falsehoods, Singing the Dharma, Preserving the Word,
Vowing the eradicate vexations without end.  

These Four Diamond Kings protect all Earthly and Sacred Worlds,
Faithfully Guard the Four Gates to Shambhala's Realm,
Active day and night on Mt. Sumeru and in the Ten Thousand Realms,
Rewarding the good and reforming the evil ones,
Overcoming all obstacles,
Fearless Defenders of the Middle Way,
Bodhisattvas ferrying followers to the Other Shore,
Grinding potions with mortar and pestle to Lessen the Pain, 
Sending Dragons into the deepest seas, riding Tigers to the Mountains,
Moving the Vast Clouds with Their Hands;
Yet, the Four Diamond Kings all bow in deep respect,
Honoring the Great Dharma Lord they forever serve."
-   Mike Garofalo, Above the Fog 






"The black thangka shown above depicts three Transcendental Cosmic Buddhas in a row, seated on exquisitely decorated thrones. Two Adepts are standing with folded hands, below their thrones. Below them are four Lokapalas who are the protectors of Buddhism for all four directions of the universe. These are: 1. Virupaksha, the king or guardian of West.  2. Vaishravana, the king or guardian of North.  3. Virudhaka, the king or guardian of South.  4. Dhritarashtra, the king or guardian of East.  These Lokapalas are also known as Chatur-Maharajika, 'the Four Great Kings'. They are mentioned in the earliest Buddhist works. It is said that the deities live on the shoulders of the axial mountain, Sumeru, and guard the entrances to Indra's heaven from the marauding titans or antigods. According to early Buddhist tradition Lokapalas appear before the Buddha and promise to uphold and protect his Dharma, or teachings, and its practitioners. They thus form an archetype for human kings and emperors in the history of Buddhism, who become moved by the Buddhas, or subsequent great masters, and at least partially renounce their worldly pride and vanity and become sincere supporters of the Buddhist community and Teaching. Thus the presence of Lokapalas before the Buddhas as shown in the present painting relates their assurance to the Buddhas for the protection of Dharma and its practitioners."
-   The Guardians of Directions (Lokapalas) Take Vows to Protect the Dharma 




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Instructions on My Method
Casting the Circle, Calling the Quarters, Opening the Four Gates  



1.  Altars, Physical Symbols, Ceremonial and Ritual Art, Fetishes, Sacred Spaces

The areas that I have designated at our home for spiritual ceremonies and rituals include, beforehand, various physical representations of the Quarters.  These objects help remind me of the essential ideas, symbols, myths, Elementals and Nature Spirits, Deities, and magickal concepts related to the Sacred Circle and the Quarters.  They are "temples" for the central ideas of spiritual presence within the Sphere of the World.  The themes are my eclectic drawing from the Deep Well of ancient Pagan and Neopagan lore.  I hope I can taste just three drops from the Well of Uror from which the Three Norns draw the healing Waters of Life each day to pour on the Roots of Yggdrasil, or just three drops of the Holy Brew from the Cauldron of Cerridwen

My indoor home altar includes objects which represent the Quarters.  A picture of a oak tree, a picture of Athena, colorful rocks, a bowl of earth, green candle, and salt for the North.  A feather, ritual knife, yellow crystal, and yellow candle for the East.  A magickal oak wand, a red candle, and an incense burner for the South.  A small iron cauldron, a small cup with water, and a blue candle for the West.  Various small flags and posters on the walls of the ritual room, appropriate to the Quarters, are also used. 

Our outdoor home altar, a Sacred Circle Garden, like the indoor altar, includes many objects with represent the Quarters, Cross Quarters, and Sacred Space.  Refer to the table and photographs below for more details. 










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Table of Correspondences
A Sacred Circle

From Sacred Circles by Michael P. Garofalo, Librarian of the Valley Spirit Grove



Sacred Circle at the Valley Spirit Grove
Chart of Associations, Attributions, Elementals, Spirits, and Symbolism
Research by the Librarian of Gushen Grove
Red Bluff, California





Daily Cycle
Human Age

Annual Cycle
Neo-Pagan and Secular Holidays
Liturgical Rites





Body, Flesh, Beings
Secrecy and Darkness
Earth, Soil, Stone
Birth and Death
New Moon
Pentacle, Coins
North Star, Big Dipper
Trees and Shrubs
Green Candle
Oak Trees


12 am - 3 am

Conception to Birth
to 10 Years Old:
and 90-100+ Years Old

Birth and Death

December 21st  -
March 19th
New Year
Ceres, Demeter
 Gaea, Rhea
Great Bear of Night
Watcher of the North

Earth Elemental
Uriel Archangel
Lime Green
Early Morning
3am - 6am

10 to 20 Years Old


February 2nd - March19th
Chinese New Year


Metal, Swords
Childhood and Youth
Crescent Moon
Knife, Athame
Incense, Bells
Yellow Candle
Olives, Aspens
6am - 9am

20 to 30 Years Old
Young Adults

March 20th - June 20th
Spring Equinox, Ostara, Eostre
Memorial Day

Hawk of Dawn
Watcher of the East

Air Elemental
Raphael Archangel



9am - 12pm

30 to 40 Years Old


May 1st - June 20th
Walpurgis Night
Beginning of Summer Season

Bay Laurel

Will, Spirit
Adult and Middle Age
Full Moon

Staff, Stave
Magic Wand
Red Candle


12 pm - 3pm

40 to 50 Years Old

June 21st - September 21st
Summer Solstice
Labor Day
Zeus, Jupiter
Horus Vulcan
Stag of Noon
Watcher of the South
Fire Elemental
Michael Archangel

3pm - 6 pm

50 to 60 Years Old


August 1st - September 21st
First Harvest Festival,
Mid-Summer Harvest Festival,
Lughnasadh, Lammas
Labor Day

Evergreen Shrubs

Water, Cups
Middle and Old Age
Emotions, Feelings
Intuition, Dreams

Waning Moon
Cauldron, Chalice
Blue Candle
Willows, Laurels
Divination, Prophesy
Spirit Journeys

Late Afternoon
6 pm - 9pm

60 to 70 Years Old
Wise Elders

September 22nd -
December 20th
Autumnal Equinox

Nestis, Persephone
Watcher of the West
Vanaheimr, Freyja
Salmon of Dusk
Undines, Ondine
Water Elemental
Gabriel Archangel


Liquid Ambers
9pm - 12 pm

70 to 80+ Years Old
Wise Elders


October 31st -
December 20th
Beginning of Winter Season


Center of Circle
Holy, Sacred
Individual Self
White Candle
White - All Colors

Annual Cycle
A Human Life
Now, Present, Eternal Now
Human Being
Human Consciousness
Sentient Being
Middle Earth
Ego, Self
Vertical Axis  



Nine Worlds
  World Tree




Valley Spirit Grove Sacred Circle                  Valley Spirit Grove Sacred Circle

Looking towards the Southeast, 2006                                                 Looking towards the Northwest, 2009
Sacred Circle Garden, Red Bluff, California                                            Sacred Circle Garden, Red Bluff, California













The home altar of a Neopagan - the Green Wizard.  


Yggdrasil (The Norse World Tree)   




Air, East      
Fire, South
Water, West        
Earth, North        






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Eight of Wands

Eight of Wands

By Michael P. Garofalo


Cloud Hands Blog

Eight of Wands Homepage

One Old Druid's Journey: The Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove


Eight Sacred Times of the Year

Bibliography and Links

Chaos Magic

The Green Man

Sacred Circles

The Spirit of Gardening




Pulling Onions

Above the Fog

The Ways of Walking

Eightfold Model


Email Mike




Eight of Wands









Subject Terms

Casting the Circle, Casting a Circle, Circle Casting
Evoking the Protective Sphere, Evoking the Circle of Protection
Invoking the Circle, Invoking the Circle of Protection (Power, Guardians)
Calling on the Four Elements, Elementals, Calling the Quarters, Invoking the Quarters
Circle of Power, Calling on the Four Guardians
Honoring the Elementals, Saluting the Watchtowers
The Watchtowers, The Guardians, Wicca Quarters, The Old Ones, Wiccan Quarters
Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram
Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram
Calling on the Four Powers, Four Guardians, Four Guardian Angels
Magical Circle, Magickal Circle, Magickal Sphere, Magic Sphere
Magical Cone, Magickal Cone, Magical Column, Magickal Column
Opening the Gates, Calling on the Gatekeeper, Evoking the Gatekeepers
Open the Four Gates, Calling on the Four Gatekeepers
Casting the Circle, Casting a Circle, Circle Casting

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This webpage was first published on the Internet on June 1, 2010.

This webpage was last updated on August 11, 2012.