Going round in circles

Hi there, I am currently doing the Wiccan self-initiation video course on this site. This is probably a daft question, but can someone tell me the difference between a sacred circle and a circle of protection - are they two methods for reaching the same end?

Thanks for any help



Sacred circle is one you put around you, usually using the athame, or sword or finger, etc. Salting the edges, and smudging with incense. It is the one you use in rituals either alone or in a group. It is physical.

The Circle of Protection is when you close your eyes and feel a bright white light encircling you to protect you during meditation, etc.

**Please correct me if I am wrong @Francisco


Good question! Yes, they are two different approaches to the same concept. The general concept being “Sacred circle”: :orange_circle:

The circle is a sacred space that is, metaphysically speaking, between realms. Technically it’s a sphere, a bubble, which encases the ritual area above and below, not just around the perimeter.

So it is cast to contain all that is part of the ritual or working, you and the altar. Some practitioners use it to feel protected, hence the name circle of protection but it’s typically used for raising energy and then releasing that energy for a magical purpose.

Sacred circle stones

The circle can be physically marked but it is mostly a sphere of energy. Gardner’s circles were traditionally 9 foot diameter but depending on whether you are working alone or with others, it can be bigger or smaller.

Remember that the circle is a working space and the Wiccan altar is a work bench. The altar can be placed in the center of the circle or to the side (for example facing North).


Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to reply. Can I ask, is it always necessary to cast a circle? Let’s say you were doing some small bit of spellwork, creating a charm or something, do you always need to be inside a circle…?


There is no hard-and-fast rule on when to cast a circle. Many Witches don’t cast circles at all so don’t feel like you must do it everytime. Others only do it when working in a group for example.

I cast a circle when I feel the work I’m about to do will raise a lot of energy. The circle helps to contain the energy so it doesn’t drift off in all directions. Another time is when I want to feel safe and protected, I simply visualize a sphere where nothing can come in.

For creating a charm you don’t really need a circle. But if it’s a protective charm, for example, you could follow along the circle of protection meditation and:

  1. Visualize protective energy around you.
  2. Charge your amulet with it.
  3. Whenever you need to, hold your amulet to invoke that feeling, that circle of protection instantly.

Thanks for that, Francisco :grinning:


It I am doing small work…like crafting amulets or talismans, etc. I just envision the circle of light


Francisco, don’t you think the circles keep out negativity?


Yes, unless it’s a vicious circle!


If that was meant to cheer me, you did. :smiley:


Hahah glad I did!! :grinning:

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