An External Sacred Space is any physical location (like your room, or out in the backyard, or almost anywhere) where you do you Magick and spell work.
Usually you will have an altar with some candles, an altar cloth, and any other Craft tools that you work with (i.e. incense, herbs, wands, athame's, your Book of Shadows, etc...but don't worry about all that stuff now)
You can have more than one External Sacred Space.
Now, let's get started setting it up... (we'll focus on creating your External Sacred Space inside of your home for now)
What you’ll need:
Objects that are sacred to you (pictures, trinkets, etc), as many as you'd like
2 candles representative of one male deity and one female deity (God and Goddess)
Athame – your finger will work too, if you don’t have any of these
STEP 1: Pick a room in your house that does not have a lot of foot traffic (use your own room if you can) - and it should be the room that you feel most comfortable in.
STEP 2: The first thing you need to do, once you pick a room, is to clean it! (I know, I know, this can be a pain, but it's worth it) First, organize all of the clutter (if you have any), and get everything off of the floor and put it in its proper place.
Doing Magick in a clean room really makes all the difference!
Now, if you can get a hold of some "sea salt", mix it with some water and scrub the walls with it to clean them. (the salt is actually a symbol of the "earth" and will have an effect of charging the surrounding area with some energy).
If you don't know where to get any sea salt, don't worry - just clean the walls with any normal cleaning stuff you have (or just use pure water).
STEP 3: Ok, now that your area is clean and organized - it's time to set up your altar.
Don't be concerned if you don't "have" an altar, anyone can make one quickly and easily using stuff you'll find around the house.
If you have an altar, set it out in the best spot in your room.
If you don't have one, find any stool, small table, or chair that you can set up in your room in the best spot.
STEP 4: Next, you need to find an "altar cloth" to lay over your altar.
If you don't have an altar cloth, search around the house for a piece of fabric or small blanket that you like.
Lay it gently over your table/stool/chair or altar.
STEP 5: Now, for one of the most important parts.
You need to look around your room and the rest of the house for things that are "sacred" to you.
Just like how you wrote down thoughts/emotions/things that are sacred to you when you set up your Internal Sacred Space (remember the list?) - you need to actually find items, trinkets, photos, or anything else that feels "sacred" to you.
Look for things that you have an emotional tie to. (but make sure it is only positive emotions that you feel)
The more positive emotion you feel for a photo, or other item, the better it will be on your altar - and the more energy your spells will have.
STEP 6: Gather all of your "sacred" items into the room near your alter - and find 2 candles that you can use as well (one represents your God, and the other your Goddess - and if you are not Wiccan, don't worry, you'll still have a Male deity and a Female deity associated with these candles).
STEP 7: Set the two candles (in candle holders) on your altar with the candle you choose to represent your God on the right, and the Goddess on the left.
Now arrange all of your items around the candles.
Try to set them up in an organized fashion...
STEP 8 : Next, it's time to "cast your Magick circle".
This is the process of putting up protective Magick energy all around your sacred space (around your altar).
This is very important to do any time you do any Magick work at all.
It protects everything you do from any negative energies drifting around - and having your Magick tainted by negative energies can cause your spells to fizzle (or even sometimes backfire).
Before you cast your circle, make sure that you have everything you need within the confines of where your circle will be, including you
Once cast, you should not step outside the circle until you are ready to disperse the energies and be done with your Magick.
If you do need to step outside the circle, for whatever reason, then use your hand, or athame (a Witches knife) to "cut" an entrance to leave. (this will make more sense in a second)
STEP 9: A circle is your protection for whatever you do on the witchcraft path.
It keeps negativity away and helps to contain the power of your works until you are ready to release it.
These are a few things to keep in mind for developing the way you cast your circle:
* Whatever you choose to say while casting the circle should be something that resonates with you.
For now, you can just use the basic circle casting chant that I show you below...
* You need to be able to visualize both the circle and the appropriate images to match your words.
* Each circle casting should include the purpose for what Magickal working will be done within, i.e. "I call this circle for healing", "I call this circle for my protection while I commune with the God and Goddess", "I call this circle for the purpose of love", etc.
Since we won't be doing a spell today you won't be calling the circle for any specific purpose...a "generic" Magick circle!
* You may involve the quarters, the elements, the Divine, or whatever power you wish to strengthen and complete your circle. (don't worry about this now, unless you are experienced...we'll get to all this later)
STEP 10: Starting in the East (it may take a moment to figure out which way "East" is, but you can ask someone or use a compass), walk to the South, West, North, and back to the East again.
Many Witches prefer to use three passes, while others use as many as nine.
I use three passes around the circle, following the inside edge of the entire circle with each pass.
The first time around, I do it for the honor of the Goddess and her cleansing power.
The second pass I walk to honor the God and for his blessings (consecration).
The third pass I use to empower the circle and call the Elemental guardians and watchers of the directions.
But for this lesson, just use the chants below...
STEP 11: Before you start walking the circle (while you are standing to the east of your altar), say:
"I call forth this circle to commune with the God and Goddess, bringing me ever closer to the Divine."
As you say this, raise your arms to call in the powers of the divine.
"Complete the circle, be my protection, and act as a boundary between me and that which I do not call within."
STEP 12: Next, point your finger (or use an athame or wand if you have one) and walk the complete circle, drawing it through the air pointing down to define the circle boundaries.
As you walk the first pass say:
"Create for me a place of peace and joy for my works, containing the power within until I choose to send it forth."
STEP 13: As you walk the second pass, say:
"I call to the powers of the elements, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, and the Guardians of the Gates, East, South, West, and North to empower this circle and make it strong."
This is calling in the Elements and Guardians and asking them to guard the circle, giving me the strength, energy, and protection that have to offer.
I usually give a moment's pause to honor each of the Gates at the directions as I pass, sometimes with a nod of my head in acknowledgement of their presence.
As you complete this second pass, say:
"Through the Power of the Divine, and with the blessings of the Lord and Lady, do I conjure this circle of communion."
STEP 14: On the third pass, I call upon the greatest powers I am connected to in order to strengthen my purpose and empower the circle. When I have finished the third pass, I stand at my altar, facing East.
"I declare this circle sealed to my will. So Mote It Be!"
At this point, I am closing the circle so that nothing enters that I do not allow. I usually do this with an invoking pentagram of Spirit in the air toward the East Gate.
Congratulations, you have just cast your first Magick Circle!
Normally, you would do your Magick work and spells in the confines of your circle, at your altar... and remember, if you ever must leave your circle for any reason, you must use your finger (or your wand or athame) to cut a doorway in your circle before you leave - and once you leave, seal up this doorway by "retracing" the doorway the opposite way.
And obviously, when you come back to your circle, cut the doorway again so you can enter, and seal it behind you to continue your work...
For the purposes of this lesson today, we won't be doing any spell work - but normally after you are done with your Magick, it is time to open the circle to release the guardians and the energies in the circle.
Simply walk the circle in reverse of where you started - again pointing your finger (or athame or want) at the ground.
When this is done, thank your God and Goddess and tell them to "go as you will, stay if you must...".
Good job! You can do it before every single spell if you like... but typically you only really have to do it once a month or so.
I will post a simple (not so elaborate) opening and closing your circle ritual next, that you can do each time you perform magick outside of doing this one once a month. It works great, as the simple technique holds as much power as this one so long as it is done with honor and positive intentions.
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