Casting the Circle
Why do we cast Moon-wise (counter-clockwise)?
A detailed explanation from Elizabeth J. Nahum.
Paganism, Neo-Paganism, Celtic Paganism, Wicca, Witchcraft, and The Path of the Triple Goddess all have several foundational beliefs in common. Yet they each hold to different expressions of their devotion and honoring of and to Nature, The Goddess, the Triple Goddess and the Divine, both Male and Female.
All of these Paths rest their roots deeply in the fertile soil of the Western Esoteric Tradition. This path, while being forced underground during the Spanish Inquisition, was never completely wiped out. Unfortunately, the Path of the Divine Feminine Tradition was lost.
The Western Esoteric Tradition is centered in the One God concept - neither Male nor Female, however, our English language is male gender based. Early writing in ancient grimoires refer to God as genderless. Later, as we move along the AD timeline, we see the translation through the Judeo-Christian lens to Yahawa a male Divine Being.
Before Christ (remember this is the Year of Our Lord, 2015), we have both Male and Female Divine Beings being honored across Europe and the Middle East. After Christianity, the lens becomes male-centric and the Goddess is all but wiped out. The word Elohim in Hebrew is the plural and/or feminine of God which is the meaning of the first line in Genesis, “In the beginning They created the heavens and the earth.” Early Semites had many Goddesses in their pantheon. Because of the BC/AD time distinctions - Luna calendar/Gregorian calendar - pre and post Christian historical timeline, we are left with a jumble of information and opinions which has created many paths and many ways to walk those paths. Remember - all the paths (the LIGHT ones at least) lead us to the Ultimate expression of the Divine - named/unnamed - female -male - genderless - formed or formless, the paradoxes and experiences humans have are limitless. All are sacred realities from the human experience and none are inherently correct or incorrect.
All this is to say, the tradition which was most available to us at the turn of the century (late 1800’s), was male based or Solar Logos based. That means that they were working largely with men who were aligned with the Male Divine principle. Sun, Solar Logos, Desoil and Male energy, spirals Clockwise or to the right. They were and often still are drawing the Divine down into a space - a circle or temple.
Moon, Luna, Widdershins and Female energy, spirals counterclockwise, moon wise or to the left.
When working with female or Luna energy, we cast our circles to the left, counter clockwise. In ancient times, women could and often did Merge with the Divine Feminine or Goddesses of their culture and bring that Divine Being into herself and then to the others in her community who did not have the ability to merge and become one with the Goddess. Whereas men, generally speaking, invoke external manifestation of their Gods.
These are fundamental differences in our energetic wiring and innate abilities.
As women in circles who perform High Magic, as taught and rooted in the Western Esoteric Tradition, we create magic circles or containers, which help to loosen the bond between our physical and spiritual bodies so we may rise upwards (energetically and frequency speaking) to merge with the Goddess we are working with. The High Priestess invokes the Goddess, merges with Her and uses her own body as the vehicle to bring Her to the others in the circle.
So there it is; the fundamental difference between casting circles in different directions.
*Please note, if you look at twenty different cultures you will see different colors, compass directions (Fire in the south or the north), and directions on when, how and if to cast a circle. Do you call in all the directions and their elemental beings or just the one you are working with like fire, or none?
This material has filled many books and there are many more as yet unwritten. Just know that energetically, womyn cycle energy in alignment with the planetary energies which are most in alignment with our female bodies.
In fact, there are many lesbian astrologers who feel that sun signs for womyn are far less influential then their Moon signs.