Notes made while reading “Towards the Wiccan Circle” by Sorita d’Este.
Purification of the Ritual Space
This is usually done through the blessing of Salt & Water, with which the space which the ceremony will be performed is sprinkled. It may additionally include censing with incense.
Purification / Blessing of the Participants
This is usually done through anointing with oil or water (which has been consecrated) on the forehead. There are a number of other methods which may be used instead.
Casting the Circle
In a group (coven) this is usually done by the High Priestess, the High Priest or the coven Maiden. The appointed person speaks words of intent as they mark the circle with a sword, athame or wand. Solitary practitioners usually use their dominant hand for the purpose, whilst some use a wand or athame.
Invocation of the Guardians of the Four Cardinal Points
In a group this may be done by four appointed persons, one per direction/Element. Those working alone will do all four the elements themselves. Each Guardian is invoked at their appropriate place in the circle. It is also sometimes called the invocation of the Lords of the Watchtowers or the invocation of the Guardians of the Four Elements.
Invocation of the Deities (Goddess and God)
This is usually done by the High Priestess and High Priest in covens. Solitaries usually ask for the blessings of the Gods they are working with on their ritual. It is usual in some traditions to also invoke the Old Ones at this point in the ceremony, usually before the Gods are invoked.
After the Gods have been invoked, it is time to perform any celebrations, games, dances, spells and any other magickal workings. This can be described as the ’purpose’ of the ceremony.
Cakes & Wine
After all magickal work has been completed, it is time to honour the feminine and masculine divine through the symbolic union of opposites in the ceremony of cakes and wine. This is usually performed by the High Priestess and High Priest in coven ceremonies. Solitaries will usually ask for the blessings of their deities on the cakes and wine.
Rite of Departure for the God
This is done as a farewell and thanksgiving to the masculine divine at the end of the ceremony.
Rite of Departure for the Goddess
This is done as a farewell and thanksgiving to the feminine divine at the end of a ceremony.
Banishing the Guardians of the Four Cardinal Points
The guardians who were invoked at the start of the ceremony are thanked and asked to return to their own realms.
Opening the Circle
The circle is banished and the ritual space returned to its former situation. If outdoors, the tools are packed away and all evidence of a ceremony removed.
d’Este, Sorita. Towards the Wiccan Circle: A self-study beginners course in modern pagan witchcraft / Wicca (Kindle Locations 248-254). Avalonia. Kindle Edition.