by Estelle Daniels
Sometimes you need a circle but don't have the time, energy or resources to put one up. With preparation beforehand you can make yourself an instant circle, ready for you at a moment's notice.
What is an instant circle? It is a permanent yet portable circle, ready for activation whenever you need it. It is easily carried and stored, yet already charged so all you have to do is set it up and put a minimal amount of energy into it to activate it.
These portable circles are great for traveling. You get to a motel room and want to keep out the noise and energies of other people so you can rest. Once you have locked yourself in for the night, activate your instant circle, and you are able to sleep in sacred space, with a good insulation between you and the rest of the world. Or if you are staying for some time, just leave your circle up, with the understanding people will be in and out, and reinforce it with a jolt of energy each night before you go to sleep.
If you are at a friend's home the portable circle works well, just put it up in your room or even around your bed. Camping it can be put up inside your tent or around your campsite, depending upon how weatherproof your materials are.
One place it is NOT recommended is in your car while driving. Even though you might feel more protected, you need to be aware of the other drivers and what is going on outside the car around you. A circle might cut you off from the rest of the traffic and that can be dangerous while driving. But if you stop to take a nap at a rest stop, then a portable circle, put up before your nap and taken down afterwards is helpful in getting good rest.
To make a portable circle, you start at home, in your own private circle or other sacred space. You select your materials beforehand and prepare them as you want. You can use rocks, or sticks, natural materials either as they are or painted with the appropriate symbols. You can use cords, woven especially to contain the energies of a circle. You can use purchased items which symbolize the energies you want. Postcard-sized pictures are usable, though you might want to encase them in plastic.
How you construct your circle will determine how many items you have. My circles are three dimensional, the four directions/ elements (east, south, west, north), above and below. Some people only use the four elements. Some use the four elements and center (or ether, the fifth element). You could have four elements, above, below and also center. It's up to you.
I would recommend using items which are fairly common and inexpensive in themselves, like rocks, or sticks or postcards. The more elaborate and expensive you get, the more distressed you will be if one item is misplaced or lost. This will be something you use while traveling, and sometimes things get lost or misplaced, so stay away from the expensive one-of-a-kind items. I do NOT recommend candles, incense or anything which burns. This for safety: many motels do not allow open flame in their rooms (outside of smoking). And an open flame in a tent or car is very dangerous. Items which are perfumed or fancy oils don't work well either. They may clash with the natural smells of the room you are in, and oils can spill and are really difficult to clean up. Keep it simple and something which reacts minimally with the environment.
Once you have your items chosen, clean and gather them at your personal altar. Have a bag or other carrier so they are easy to grab as you are packing. Put up your regular circle, and your working will be to charge each item with the energies you want in your portable circle. I recommend you have each item distinct enough to tell which is which. Don't have all of them alike, let each piece be distinct for the part in the circle it will have. If you want to paint/inscribe the items, now is the time to do it in your circle. You can do one item per circle and working time, or you can charge all at one time, it depends upon how strongly charged and how much time and energy you are willing to put into the project. If you are charging each item separately, you can time the working to a moon sign or aspect which resonates with the energies you will be putting into the item.
Once you have charged your item you will then put it into your holder, and let it stay there. Once all are done, you might want to try out your portable circle. Take each item, and place it in the appropriate quarter, recalling the energies you have placed in each item. Once all are placed, sit quietly and link them with energy, thereby activating the circle. You should have a good circle, not as strong or tangible as one you might do at home, but adequate for shielding and basic protection. It also has the advantage of being quick, quiet and easily portable. If you use common items, most people will not even be aware there is a circle in place. When you are ready to go, sit quietly again, take up the energy linking the items and gather them up and put them back into their carrier. The circle is down.
If you take time and energy to plan ahead, and do a good job of charging each item, you will have a portable circle which will work time and again for years to come. If you did it right the first time, each time you activate your instant circle you are recharging each item. Making your life easier with magick.
© 1997, 2003 Estelle Daniels, all rights reserved