# What does it mean? Will I have to draw the circle first and then cover its boundaries with rope or make the circle out of the rope

I am reading a wicca practice book but I can't understand one page because the language is not clear.

You will be casting a circle within which to work your magic. Begin by taking the long rope, which will form the boundary of your circle. Lay the rope down clockwise (deosil) in a circle around the area in which you will be practicing magic.

Does this mean I have to draw a circle first and then lay the rope on it or does it mean that I have to make a circle from the rope?

What confuses me is the last step that is closing the circle

You may now remove the candles and rope from the circle counter-clockwise (widdershins) and clean and tidy the space.

It says you may now remove the candles and rope from the circle.?

I would interpret it as I have to draw the circle first and then cover its boundaries with rope

• I suspect that laying the rope down defines the boundary of the circle to be cast, and the rope is removed after casting, when the circle has been effected. But I've pinged an ELU user who is familiar with Wicca to provide a answer which is not mere guesswork. Feb 20, 2018 at 23:43
• A powerful witch or warlock is able to envision the Circle.
– TimR
Feb 21, 2018 at 12:19

I would guess it means laying down the rope first as a physical mark of the circle.

I'm going partly on trying to interpret the quoted text, partly on the knowledge that it's common, but not universal, to mark the circle physically in some way.* Generally such physical markings are considered helping with the circle and what comes next being the real thing†. I would imagine that the passage goes on to describe the casting of the circle in which it is marked out with a sword, knife, wand or finger and visualised. Having the rope there would make that easier, but the circle marked in the air with a sword or other tool is the important bit.

Does this mean I have to draw a circle first and then lay the rope on it or does it mean that I have to make a circle from the rope?

I can't be entirely sure without the full passage, given how much variety there is in such things, but I'm guessing the second. Indeed one of the reasons for using rope this way at all is that drawing a circle on the ground isn't very easy if you are outside, or if you have a carpeted floor or a landlord who's going to complain about circles drawn in the floorboards. (To get away from grammar and give some advice about witchcraft, I recommend marking the circle out in some way physically if you can, but I also recommend practising without any visible boundary too). So really the rope is there to be what you draw the circle with. That said, if you can draw a physical circle with pencil or chalk it's a lot easier to get a regular circle that way (put something in the middle and use a radius-length cord to act as a compass). If you can't (carpet, outside, landlord, etc.) then just push it around until its as circular as you can get it.

You may now remove the candles and rope from the circle counter-clockwise (widdershins) and clean and tidy the space.

That seems to be referring simply to physically tidying up after you're done with the whole thing, after the closing of the circle that comes at the end of the rite.

*Witchcraft being a very varied thing, some people say you always should, some that you should not, and some that it's allowable but not compulsory. I'm with the last group; having a physical boundary is helpful, and one can make nice fabric rings or similar that do that while also being decorative, but you should ideally be able to work without them if you need to.

†Some ways of working put more emphasis into what is physically on the floor, though that's more common in other approaches to magic than in witchcraft.