Casting The Circle
(From: The Spiral Dance by Starhawk)

Start with candles lit at the cardinal points and a cauldron in the center
of the Circle area..

This ritual is designed for a High Priestess and two others, one bearing
the chalice of salt water and one carrying the incense but can easily be adapted to a solitary ceremony in a small circle.

The High Priestess starts at the altar. With unsheathed Athame she salutes
the Sky and Earth. At the East corner
the Priestess raises her Athame and calls out:

Hail, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East,
Powers of Air!
We invoke you and call you,
Golden Eagle of the Dawn,
Star - seeker,
Rising Sun,
By the air that is Her breath,
Send forth your light,
Be here now!

As she speaks, she traces an invoking Pentagram in the air with her Athame.
She sees it, in glowing pale blue
flame, and through it she feels a great onrush of wind. She breathes
deeply, drawing in the power, then earths it
through her Athame, which she points at the ground.

The High Priestess traces the Circle as she continues around the edge. The
other quarters are similarly called in

Hail, Guardians of the Watchtower of the South,
Powers of Fire!
We invoke you and call you,
Red Lion of the noon heat,
Flaming One!
Summerís warmth,
Spark of life, Come!
By the fire that is Her spirit,
Send forth your flame,
Be here now!

~ ~

Hail, Guardians of the Watchtower of the West,
Powers of Water!
We invoke you and call you,
Serpent of the Watery abyss,
Gray-robed Twilight,
Evening Star! Come!
By the waters of Her living womb,
Send forth your flow,
Be here now!

~ ~

Hail, Guardians of the Watchtower of the North,
Powers of Earth,
Cornerstone of all Power
We invoke you and call you,
Lady of the Outer Darkness,
Black Bull of Midnight,
North Star,
Center of the Whirling sky Stone,
Fertile Field, Come!
By the earth that is her body,
Send forth your strength,
Be here now!

As the Priestess completes the Circle she again salutes the sky and earth,
turns and touches the tip of her Athame
to the central cauldron and says:

The Circle is cast.
We are between the worlds.
Beyond the bounds of time,
Where night and day
Birth and Death
Joy and sorrow,
Meet as one.