When you create a magic circle, you are constructing both a magical containment area and a Witches' temple or sacred space.
The first thing to say is that the space does not have to be circular (although it mainly is), it can be the shape of your room, or under certain circumstances it can be a specific shape such as square or triangular.
It is a good idea to delineate the border of your circle in some way. You could mark a chalk circle, or sprinkle a boundary of salt, or even position candles - beware of swishing a robe across a flame! The traditional method to mark a circle on a dirt floor was to stab an Athame into the floor at the centre of the area, tie a length of cord to the handle and use a second knife at the other end of the cord to score a line into the floor. You could use this method out of doors, but I've found the easiest way is to lay down a length of white cord to create the boundary. This shows up well in the dark and can be almost instantly removed leaving no trace of your activities.
Nine metres of cord will enclose a circle nine feet in diameter, the traditional size for a general circle, so six metres of cord will make a six foot diameter circle, ideal for personal use, and fifteen metres of cord makes a 15ft circle for an outdoor group working.
Of course the size of your circle will also be dependant on the size of space you have available.
Inside your circle you will need all the equipment for the spell or magical working you intend doing. For this particular working I would suggest you will need: a small table to serve as your altar, a couple of candles and holders if necessary (night lights are fine), some incense, a container of salt and a small bowl of water. If you have an Athame or wand put that on your altar too, and a stool or chair might also be a good idea.
First mark the boundary of your circle and position the table and chair in the middle of the area so you can walk around them, you should be facing towards the north when you sit at the altar table. If your area is small then put the altar against the northern wall, or the northern boundary of your circle.
Light the candles and incense and put out any electric lights in the room, and have your curtains closed if there is any chance of you being over-looked.
Now take your Athame or wand and go to the eastern point of your circle boundary, point at the boundary and imagine blue fire springing up where you point (if you don't have a wand or Athame, use the index finger of your strongest hand). Move towards the south of your circle, drawing the blue fire along the circle boundary, then to the west, to the north and back to the east to that you are surrounded by a circle of blue fire. Go and sit at your altar and close your eyes if you want to and imagine the circle for a little while.
Next we shall consecrate salt and water. Cup your hands together, palms downwards, over the salt and imagine the blue Witchfire flowing from your palms and into the salt making it glow. You can then say aloud:
I consecrate this Salt to the service of the Lord and LadyPut three good pinches of salt into the bowl of water. Cup your two hands together palm downwards over the water and again imagine blue Witchfire flowing from your palms into the salty water. You can then say aloud:
I consecrate this Water to the service of the Lord and LadyTake your time with all of these processes, there is no rush and especially the first few times you do them it is better to be thorough.
Then take up the bowl of water and go to the eastern point of the circle, dip your fingers in the water and sprinkle a few drops on the boundary, turn towards the south and sprinkle a few drops all the time you walk around the boundary of your circle until you get back to the east again. Then put the bowl back on your altar.
Now take up the incense and go to the east again and say: 'I ask the Powers of the East, of elemental Air, to empower my circle. Blessed Be!' Waft the incense three times outward as an offering and just wait a little while. Try to imagine what the spirits of elemental air might be like - imagine the feeling of a breeze blowing onto your face from this direction.
Go to the south and face outwards and say: 'I ask the Powers of the South, of elemental Fire, to empower my circle. Blessed Be!' Waft the incense three times and wait. Imagine what the powers of elemental fire might look and feel like - imagine a feeling of warmth against your face, as if you are facing a fire.
Continue to the west of your circle, face outwards and say: 'I ask the Powers of the West, of elemental Water, to empower my circle. Blessed Be!' Waft the incense three times, wait and then imagine what the powers of elemental water might look like - try and imagine the feel of mist or sea spray on your face.
At the north of your circle say: 'I ask the Powers of the North, of elemental Earth, to empower my circle. Blessed Be!' Waft the incense three times, wait and imagine what the powers of elemental earth might be like - try and imagine the smell of grass or of freshly turned earth, or even of ashes or decaying leaves.
To seal the circle, continue to the east once more, then replace the incense on your altar and say:
The circle is created, it is a place between the worlds, where magic happens!
So Mote it Be!
So Mote it Be!
You have created your first magic circle, and consecrated salt and water. That magical liquid can be used to bless yourself and other people within your circle, to bless your magical implements and to banish negative energies.
If you want to work a little spell you can do so now, or you can just sit for a while, meditate or enjoy the atmosphere.
And know that it is the act of performing this ritual which confirms you as an active Witch.