One of the aspects of casting a circle includes invoking the ‘Quarters’, also referred to as the elements or Watchtowers. This includes North (Earth), East (Air), South (Fire) and West (Water). Traditionally starting to the East direction, some pagan practioners begin in another direction. This depends on what tradition you follow and what reason you choose that particular direction.
North is represented by Earth, such as soil, seeds, plants, rocks/crystals, or burrowing animals such as badgers, groundhogs, or chipmunks. This element represents fertility and growth and prosperity.
East is represented by Air, such as feathers, bubbles, or incense. Birds, butterflies, and other flying creatures are often symbolized by this element. The imagination and vision, such as dreams are symbollic of this element.
South is Fire, represented by candle flame, coals, dragons, or salamanders. Its an element of change and transformation.
Personally, I do not call ‘directions’. I invoke the elements and what they symbolize. I begin with North, the element of growth, while others might choose East, the direction of the rising sun. Once invoked, I light a candle in welcome.
When the circle is over, I bade a hearfelt farewell and blow the candle out, visualizing my breath with the gratitude I feel when I blow.