Now that we’ve cast the circle with the four physical elements, we bind them all together with the fifth: the divine energies of the Goddess and God. As Roderick notes, sealing this final circle layer is where we use the consecrated athame.
Here’s where things can get a little mindboggling in a “Chicken or Egg?” sort of way. In order to consecrate an athame, we need a constructed magical circle…but we can’t construct a magical circle without an athame? How does that happen? Well, as Roderick notes, people who work in groups often consecrate their tools in circles cast for them by another initiated Witch who uses his own tools to do the job. Alternately, Roderick mentions that you can use the “natural tools”, which is the human body (which is always consecrated, apparently). Athame-less witches often make use of the extended index and middle fingers of their dominant hand to serve as an athame, and your fingers will serve perfectly well for sealing the circle before you consecrate an athame.
To cast the third layer of the circle, prepare the altar as we did to cast the first layer, consecrate the elements and ourselves, then proceed with casting the first and second layers. Once those steps have been completed, we can continue:
Return to the east of your circle. Extend your right arm, pointing only your index and middle fingers. Plant your feet solidly beneath your body and feel your weight. Close your eyes. Take several deep breaths. Imagine that a magical root extends from the base of your spine into the ground. Allow the psychic taproot to continue to plunge deeper into the earth until it meets with the planet’s white-hot core. Once you envision it there, imagine that you draw up this core energy through the root. Draw up energy with each inhalation. As you draw it up, feel the energy fill your body. Once the energy reaches the top of your head, imagine that you send it through your arms and out through the tip of the extended two fingers.
Circumambulate the perimeter of the circle, moving deosil, casting out this energy and saying:
I summon the Circle, the Circle I summon.
Power, peace, and protection will come in
And bind to the womb of our spiritual birth,
Through Air, Fire, Water, and Earth!
If you finish the words before you have completed walking the perimeter of the circle, simply walk the remainder in silence. When you have finished, sit within the sacred space you have developed so far. How does it feel?
To close the three layers of the circle you have cast, stand again in the east and face the outer edge. Hold your hands outward toward the east. Silently circumambulate the space going widdershins. Continue to hold your hands out toward the edge of the circle as you walk. Imagine that the energies you’ve raised begin to subside and sink into the earth where they are reabsorbed and neutralized. This time as you walk, say:
Earth will crumble my circle,
Water will cause it to fall,
Fire will burn what’s left in the urn,
And the winds will scatter them all!
If you finish the words before you walk the entirety of the circle, continue walking in silence until you reach the east once more.
When you arrive in the east, face outward toward the eastern quarter, and say:
The circle is open, but unbroken!
Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!
Once you reach the eastern most point again, pause to sense the difference in energy now that you have banished the circle. Store your ritual items and flush the water, salt, and incense in running water.
It felt a little odd to me to essentially quickly ground and use that energy to cast this divine circle. This type of grounding is what I typically do when I want to tap into solid earth energy…not so much that of the divine essence. Eventually, though, I got into a mindset where I felt like I was tapping into a greater source, and I brought that energy through me and out into the space. I saw myself covering the twined cord of red, yellow, blue, and green energies in a blanket of violet plasma. By the time I’d finished, the space felt complete. It was as though I’d taken the fertilized impetus of the elemental energies and accelerated them into a mature being. Everything felt quieter, more insulated, more ready, and complete.
When I took the circle down, I almost grieved the loss. The safety and immediacy of the circle had seemed like an oasis of peace in a world where I’m constantly struggling against all the other things I have to do right now. I missed it.