Most – especially new – pagans/witches have certainly read about circle casting. And since most of the 101 books one comes about at first are somewhat wicca-ish in style, so is this version of circle casting.
Those circles are cast mainly for two reasons: to contain energy and to keep psychic nasties from getting their little tendrils on this energy and/or disturbing the magical work.
Now, there are whole traditions where circles are not used at all, or where something similar is used, but it ain’t a circle in the wicca-ish style.
This is a rather interesting topic. So let’s chat:
How do you use sacred space?
Circle or not?
Style/make up of the circle?
What is the purpose of this space?
To answer my own question:
I am not using a circle kind of space a lot. Most magic workings I prefer to do within the protection of my own auric field. (I think it makes much less noise than casting a full blown circle and less noise means less unwanted attention, too.)
But when I use a special sacred space in my practice of Primal Witchcraft, it is not a wicca-style circle. Tho’ I include elements, but the main purpose of the Compass is to place and root myself in the worlds and to open an entrance to the otherworld within this space. So the Compass is not a protective circle, but a door and a road sign.