The practices in modern witchcraft include the study of casting circles and quarters and the yearly calendar of the sabbaths. Sabbaths represent the significance and power of their practice of witchcraft. These practices are brought up in many rituals. They help witches become more interested into the practice of their religion, and closer to their Goddesses and Gods.
Casting circles and quarters is a very important part in witchcraft or paganism. It is where witches can meet with their Goddesses and Gods. Casting circles literally means creating a sphere that encircles the altar and the witches participating in it. The circle has the power to shut out all distractions and negative feelings. Objects such as stones, flowers, candles, branches, or crystals are used to place boundaries around the ground. Many witches use a magic knife, athame, or their hands to direct a power that feels like it is streaming through one's body. Once the energy of the power is flowing through one's body, the person walks the around the circle clockwise three times. When the circle is done, the witch shuts off the energy by pulling it back into themselves, or shaking one's hands.
Once a circle is cast, a witch may wish to call quarters. There are many different things that can be called to witness a witch's ritual or protect the circle. Many things may be watch towers, fairies or angels. When a witch calls quarters, she or he envisions a door or opening. When a witch has completed their ritual or spell, he or she pulls the circle back with the witch's athame or whatever they used for casting circles.
Witches go by their calendar which is an agrarian calendar. The calendar includes eight holidays and sabbats. Witches also celebrate full moons and/or new moons, which are called esbats. Here are the following sabbats: Samhain (October 31st), Yule (near December 22nd), Imbolc (February 1st), Spring Equinox (near March 21st), Beltane (May 1st), Midsummer (Summer Solstice, around June 21st) Lughnasadh (August 1st), and Mabon (Autumn Equinox, near September 21st). Witches celebrate each sabbat with recipes, traditions, and rituals.