Circle is something that is very personal to each witch. Granted, there are generalities we all adhere to, but everyone brings their own personal stamp to their ritual. I tend to keep mine on the simpler side of things, preferring the plain over the extravagant. I mark the quarters with candles of the appropriate colors for their cardinal directions, though I do occasionally change them to a single color for various observances and sabbats. I use plain white candles to represent the Goddess and the God, and the elements represented on my north-facing altar (that direction speaks to me far more deeply than the east) are also very plain and simple. But recently I have been giving this a bit more thought.
While circle shouldn't become a busy little one-ring circus with so much going on that you lose the true meaning of its spirituality, it also needn't be static and dull. After all, changing things up a bit keeps things dynamic and can even alter your focus just enough to help you see things you might otherwise never have seen. Or felt. So it occurred to me, given that I've brought Native American ritual into my circle when honoring my ancestors, that I could also use Native American beliefs in the building of my sacred space.
In the past I've built small personal medicine wheels and earth wheels using the energies of the various stones to represent the directions and the winds of Mother Earth. So, for me, the next logical step would be to build a circle using the stones of an earth wheel in place of (or placed around) the candles for each quarter, and choosing stones to represent the Goddess and the God. By carefully choosing these stones for their properties and charged powers, the energy of my circle will be vastly different. And as the needs of myself or my circle change depending on the purpose for casting it, my choice of stones can change depending on that need. The combinations are virtually endless.
And with Imbolc just around the corner, the tiny seeds of this idea I've planted are growing stronger every day. What better time to bring something new and fresh to circle than on the sabbat that honors creativity, growth and the birth of new life and ideas?