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From the Forum

Curated by Cat Gina Cole

The Green Egg Forum is a lively hotbed of thoughtful discourse, moderated by Cat Gina Cole. In this column, Cat shares some of the most interesting and interactive posts and threads from the forum. Want to get in on the conversation? We would love to have you! Go to: to join.

This week in the forum we discussed what happens if you break a ritual circle and if there are any consequences to doing so. There was no shortage of great responses and it was very enlightening.

“Well, yeah, there’s a consequence. Everything has consequences. But it’s not like the Gods are going to turn you into a newt!

When you need to break a cast Circle, there are protocols to reduce the disruption and hold the energy in place while you fetch the wine or blow your nose or whatever. But it still creates a bit of a hiccup so it’s best to plan better in the future.

If you don’t observe the protocols, though, when you return to Circle, you’ll find that the energy has gone flat. Start over.”

“I agree. The energy will be less. This will be true even if you cut the circle. However, cutting the circle helps. Another thing that helps is pushing the circle out.”

“I think of a circle as a psychic connection between those participating in the rite. I don’t believe the circle exists on the physical plane, or that physically crossing the boundary disrupts it.

To me, breaking the circle is more about being distracted and losing focus on the task at hand — which could happen if a cat crossed into or out of the space.

Consequences? Not much gets done I’m afraid. People lose connection and may have to start over to direct their energies at peak levels.

Certainly, I don’t think there are … tragic cosmic consequences. No 7 years bad luck or any vengeful spirits allowed passage to our realm etc. Just an unproductive meeting.”

“I have to disagree about the cat. Over the years I’ve had cats wander through the Circle, many, many times and it never caused so much as a ripple in the energy. But I’ve also seen cats unable to enter when we were doing a working so serious it required someone to stand Black Watch. It just sort of bumped up against the shield wall and slid off.”

“Agreed, and same here. We have cast circles to include wandering kids and pets or elders that have remained seated and also had circles that cannot be breached.”

“Same here. We cast animal permeable circles, indoors or outdoors. I currently have two circle cats and two circle dogs. Most times they are able to wander in & out. When the circle is more “serious ” they don’t generally even come into the room. When doing outside circles, I have frequently had birds of several varieties, particularly humming birds, in late spring and summer, join us. Often at night, we have had crows/ravens sit either on the perimeter of the circle or within the circle.”

“There is a technique to cut the circle in case of emergency. You reverse that to repair it. Use that if you accidentally break circle. Control your magical working space at all times. Accidents happen. If you are in control you can fix it.”

“It let’s out all of the energy you were raising and containing which makes the ritual less effective. If you are Conjuring spirits some spirits may take an opportunity to mess with you as well. The circle is there to both provide protection and allow for the raising and containing of energy.”

“Aging and physical limitations have to realistically be taken into consideration.”

“We put chairs in our circle for those who are unable to stand and surround them. We have had good results with this.

One of the things I think about is making our space accessible.”

“For those here that may not know yet, would some of you like to describe the function and reason for the circle?”

“When we gather for majickal work, we do so according to the Hermetic Principles, which is sort of like our understanding of physics as it relates to those energies and forces that fall outside of our usual five senses.

I could do a deep dive on the principles, but perhaps I’ll leave a link here:

The circle serves several purposes related to focusing our intent, establishing a connection with the others gathered so our energies flow in unison, and each individual’s connection to both higher/upper worlds (Deity/Spirit) as well as inner/deeper worlds (psychological/emotional).

The very act of casting a circle ideally facilitates a shift in consciousness and puts us in energy-bending mode. This shift actually can begin even before the casting itself – as we cleanse our area and our bodies through smudging, incense, or other techniques. As we don our ceremonial garb (or go skyclad), as we commune with our coven through the use of our mystickal names and personas.

Drums, chants, and more can be used to further elevate our vibrations.

Circle casting, while usually something practitioners learn very early and which can be relatively simple, is a foundational and immensely powerful and effective way to begin any energy work. It serves many purposes and should be used whenever time allows, and treated with sincerity and earnestness.

Different traditions and paths may have slightly different techniques and etiquette such as does one cast the circle clockwise or counter-clockwise? Does one start in the North or the East? Does one use an Athame, Wand, or no tool at all? Are these answers stagnant, or do they change as seasons change? Are they the same during an Esbat as for a Sabbat?

There are reasons for each of these traditions and these things should be communicated before ritual begins so all gathered can be comfortable with the process. Ultimately, whatever speaks to us as witches will work.

So, when we discuss ‘breaking’ a circle, generally we mean to say ‘if we have raised this energy, if we have transformed our ritual space into sacred space, what happens if that space is invaded or the energies within disrupted?’

My answer is the space goes back to being normal space while the energies within disperse and return to their natural state. In essence, we lose focus and flow. It may be wise to begin the work again. If disruptions continue, it is perhaps a nudge from the powers that be to reexamine our intent and our timing.

At the end of the ritual, we generally ‘un-wind’ our circle in a banishment, thanking as we go the spirits that joined us, called by our casting.”

“Perfect question! In general, to break a circle is to break the energy held within or to leave the area the circle was cast to encompass. But as you can see from the conversation it is more about breaking the energy of the ritual by coming and going or causing some other distraction that breaks the energy or focus.”

“It’s kinda like when the phone rings during sex. The mood is broken and you have to try and pick up where you left off. Even if you cut the door and reseal it, it’s just not the same. Much better to plan everything ahead of time. Keep a ritual basket nearby or under the altar that has everything you might need – pens, paper, matches, etc. “

Let us know your thoughts on the subject by leaving a comment below.

Cat Gina Cole is a Hereditary Witch and author of Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft (Llewellyn, 2022). She is the founder of The Coven of the Rising Phoenix and Staff Coordinator for “Green Egg Magazine.” You can reach her at

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