Snap A Circle
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Before beginning - this should be performed on a long weekend, when you have someone to take care of you for a few days after, and you're feeling in top shape. Even if successful, this could drain your reserves and you MUST replenish this yourself; if unsuccessful (but attempted) you may be a bit shocky afterwards and again this could drain you. Either way, if allowed to attempt this, expect your immune system to be weakened by sheer exhaustion: you're taking into yourself here something many practitioners leave to the gods. This isn't a "don't try this at home, kids" scenario, but it's about as close as you can get. I don't think anyone ever claimed Visar work was easy.

I use the term "Station Guards" here since there's so many different means of casting a circle - from the full formal "Calling the guardians of the Watchtowers of the ," to simply summoning each element, to calling on the winds of each direction; even the number of guards differs per tradition or per person. I'll also be referring to what many call a "circle" as "sacred space," again for a more general term. Hence, I use a general term to be as universal as possible. Always consult with your spirits first, before undertaking a major process such as this. You're supposed to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, right? It's the same logic here.

Since the goal is to create an "instant sacred space" ability, sacred space must be called for this; any work of this order should be performed in sacred space anyway. So often sacred space is defined by a particular distinct practice - calling to the Guardians of the Watchtowers, or just the elements themselves, or some other manner; however your method is, do it.

Now, after a circle most folks "dismiss" the spirits and break the circle. Don't. You don't say "ok, party's over, go away now" to invited guests, while hurrying them out the door, when the main action is over. My own method when dropping a circle is to tell each essentially "well, we're done now, but if you want to stick around I'm sure not going to argue, you're welcome to stay anytime you want." Perhaps there's some risk involved there (which perhaps should be discussed, but not here) - we're not dealing with minor spirits here but powerful forces - but remember:

  1. You've got your personal shielding (If not, back up a bit; you must have good, instant, personal shields before this is possible, much less safe.
  2. These are supposedly your allies, so think in terms of having the company executives over when the office/branch party winds up at your place - i.e., tread carefully and be respectful.
  3. If you've never done this before (or even if you have), you may find that one or all of them want to talk to you about something. It's got to be done, so do it, and remember you're entertaining kings here.
    1. You may be out of balance in their element, if you work that way, and may want to discuss it with you.
    2. They may offer to send helpers. Accept for gods' sake! These are your allies offering, and if you've called them to protect your circle they're most likely among the most Powerful allies you've got, so anything they send will be useful!
    3. Remember, especially if you've not been respectful in the past, these spirits have been kind enough to cover your rear end while you've gone out, or done other stuff, so while they may not seem friendly (a person who's very fiery for example may find a Water spirit a bit abrasive, as an example), remember some friends can be quite the curmudgeon, and truck on.
    4. Never make promises. This goes for all spirits, but this particular gang can chew you up and spit you out if you violate a promise. If you get stuck making one, remember it's sacred (and possibly a sacrament when the thing is over!), and treat it as a geas.
    5. If you don't have personal relationships with these spirits, build them first.

When you've got everyone there (do this from in circle), let them know your intentions, namely that you wish to build the ability to create sacred space on a moment's notice in case something happens. Don't expect an answer immediately, they'll have to work out on their own if the hows of giving you this gift and honor (and don't ever forget that it IS one), and they may refuse you, or send you off on apparent wild-goose-chases to get stuff for them. Remember, these are very high order spirits, and to quote a Garth Brooks song: "Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers." If nothing else, remember, they can see farther than you do, and definitely know a LOT of somethings-you-don't-know. If this is the case, forget the layer for now and call a circle any time you do *anything.* They'll let you know when you're ready for the snappable layer.

Once you've gotten their consent, you need to find out how THEY want this done. My way was to reverse the path around the circle, letting each "station guard" step back and replace their own force with token, so the circle was maintained by the tokens rather than their owners (imagine Owners beaming energy into Tokens, which then formed the circle). Once you return to where you started and the entire circle is maintained by tokens, take each token into yourself and hold the post yourself as you do so. BECOME each of your station guards (In my case they stood behind me and laid hands on my shoulders until I was stabilized in that post and able to continue on, at which point they released me and stood back again, much as they fed the tokens until I got back to them). When you're ready, step forward again and maintain that station yourself. You should sense something like a beam going from the token within you to its station location. Do this for each station (remember how I said they may refuse? It could simply be because you're not ready to handle this!), until you've absorbed all tokens, hold the circle yourself, maintaining each token yourself. In my case this was 6 tokens (The four winds, the sun, and the earth - with me at center I had my 7 directions), each beaming from me to its "spot."

You will probably be tested at this point. Your allies aren't turning on you, they're making sure you can do this. To use a computer analogy, you're currently "parallel processing" at least 5 (four elements plus you) if not 7 (6 directions plus center, which is you) different tracks at once, and they may want to be sure you can manage it. I did mention this wasn't easy, didn't I? Know, and trust, that if you fail any one of them, they will step back in to hold it. There will be backlash however - so this is the final warning - this is not basic shielding by any means, this is an advanced topic, so you will want to be *absolutely sure* you can maintain this before attempting. Trust me, the backlash HURTS.

So now you're holding the circle yourself. Before moving onward, a few notes on maintenance:

  1. Be sure, before you end this, that you know how to recharge each "station guard's" token. If the station guard doesn't tell you himself, it's journey time.
  2. Be sure you've learned how the "station guards" wish the circle to be used and gotten direction from them (theirs always supercedes mine!), as well as how they want the insta-circle taken down.
  3. If you're straining to hold this, be sure you practice and learn to hold it for longer periods at a time. Think strength training for the mind.
  4. Find out how the "station guards" wish to be summoned to take their place in holding this so you can work, if you need to insta-circle and then worry about summoning. Depending on your guards, they may just show up when needed with no summoning required. As you get more advanced, expect more and more of this while quick-working: remember, spirits have lives too and don't much appreciate being called about will-they nil-they for 5 minute quickies when you're perfectly capable of doing the work yourself.

The last bit is bringing the circle into yourself. This sounds easy, but if you can "see" the energies it will be useful because you must smoothly pull them all in to your center, at the same pace and time. The point is that you're fitting the circle first around yourself (imagine walking inside a ball around you so each step makes the ball roll where you want it to go), then dropping it into place around your center, or where the tokens put it.

So now you're carrying this chunk of sacred space inside your center (appropriate metaphor, no?); it's time to banish it. If you haven't been given directions otherwise, follow your usual pattern but remember - it's now INSIDE you. Note that the Station Guards are still there, so you'll need to at least walk around to thank them for their help as you bring down the circle. Again, remember how I never "banish" them? This might be another opportunity to speak with them, and in fact they may insist - but forms must be maintained, so the circle must be taken down first.

Once all the formalities have been taken care of, go take care of yourself, whatever that means to you. You need it. Even if you're still riding the high of the circle, you're going to find your energy depleted, because you're now the battery for the whole thing, and for this particular phase, you can take no shortcuts to recharge. Don't draw energy from the earth, sun, or anything. That would be cheating (after all, those may be portions of your circle, and you do NOT want to recover only to discover that you've got a lumpy circle and now need to fix it!)

At this point you've hopefully got 3 out of 4 pieces accomplished.

  1. You've got the circle inside you
  2. You know how to recharge each piece, and the frequency
  3. You're personally recharged and ready to go, so...
  4. Now it's time to learn to snap the circle.

After all this, that's the easiest part. How do you call a circle? Do you start in the North and go clockwise? East? However you do it, just think or visualize it as fast as you can. Surprise surprise, eh? You've got a circle up. Bring it down. Now it's time to practice, practice, practice. Get to the point where "snapping the circle" is instinctive, the instant something goes wrong. Heck, at this point if I lose my car keys (and I don't mean darn, they're somewhere in my purse) my circle automatically goes up, it's that instinctive. Then again, in my house having car keys abducted by "aww, you have no sense of humor" spirits is as common as cat hair (speaking of whom, they may have stolen them as well). The point is, this needs to become instinct, as defense is to a warrior. So practice, practice, practice! Oh, and did I mention, practice! :)

Note your maintenance requirements for the circle and observe them religiously (and no, that's not quite a pun). Once you've got your "tokens" charged, and the circle absorbed into yourself, you can recharge yourself any way you wish, but remember you now have these tokens to keep up with too.

And essentially, that's it. This is an excellent tool for your toolbox, especially for those prone to instant "situations" (like visions etc) who need sacred space "on demand."

- Jaelle 3/30/2007

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