I believe onion circuits uses the ControlPort to collect information on TOR circuits and streams.
Be sure that you have added (or uncommented) the ControlPort 9051 line within your torrc.
This should allow for onion circuits to collect the required data.
The workaround to this is to deploy and use a private Tor network. Anyone can run their own directory authorities that aren't part of the public network as their own independent Tor network. Therefore, the mere fact that a machine isn't part of the public Tor network doesn't mean it's not a Tor node, strictly speaking.
Tor publishes TorDNSEL as a ...
An onion circuit is a combination of:
(If going to Clearweb) Guard (entry node) -> Relays/Bridges -> Exit node -> Clearweb
(If remaining inside TOR network) Guard (entry node) -> Relays/Bridges -> Hidden Service
A 'circuit' is essentially the path you are taking (like a traceroute) put together by the onion router for you to use. There are ...