Not just a shape. The circle when practised with a group of people has so much power and love. The intention of a circle is to bring awareness back into the people who take part in the sacred or intentional practice.
If you have never been in a circle or aren’t sure what this involves, here is everything you need to know and how you can start getting involved in the power of this sacred practice.
What is a Circle?
It is a social structure and ritual that has helped people come together in collaborative dialogue and action since the beginning of time. It can be sacred or secular practices. As I’ve mentioned in this article we are social beings and rituals are part of our primal human needs.
Indeed, our ancestors came to the campfire to cook, to keep themselves warm and safe, to tell stories, to share sacred practices or to establish rules of behaviour and governance that supported community development.
After a certain disconnection with this ancient wisdom, we see a restoration of circle and sacred traditions today that reconnects us with the collective.
For instance, when we gather in a circle for sacred intent to celebrate the natural cycles, the seasons or our own life stages, we amplify our power to create.
We see more and more in corporate or business circles being facilitated to create safe methods of dialogue, to build community, and to collaborate more deeply.
Circle practice contains these common elements:
All voices are considered contributory
All agree to participate and respect one another (an example of the Mindful Leadership Circle agreement given below)
The conversation is viewed as a practice that goes deeper than a casual social interaction. It is also done from a deep level of listening (more detail about it below).
The process of a circle has a beginning/middle/end. It has a structure that holds it.
The archetype of the circle is conducted on the offline and online space, often through making a visible centre. It can be a candle or something in the middle.
My experience with circle
You’ve probably experienced the power of sitting in a circle at your youngest age without realising it: at a birthday party, a ceremony, a Christmas celebration, etc.
It really came to me for its sacred and powerful aspect when I lived in India 16 years ago.
Before that, I was invited to sit in a circle without realising the symbolism and power of it.
Since then, I’ve been loving attending and facilitating a healing circle, a drumming circle, a new moon women circle, a mindful leadership circle, a cacao ceremony, a retreat or a workshop. Holding space for others has been such a calling for me.
In all my corporate experience (+12 years as a leader), I realised that what I enjoyed the most was the workshop and seating in circle meetings, so I decided to structure most of my offering leveraging this unique gift that I have to create a safe space for creative, honest and deep conversations.
For instance in Telstra, I’ve been hosting mindful leadership circles for leaders and it’s been a wonderful experience to see how deep listening and sharing experiences has unlocked creativity and solution oriented results.
Here are the top 3 circles I have experienced (there has been a lot of great ones):
Kirtan (in India) was a powerful circle. My housemate at the time (who is a singer as well - see here) took me to this circle. It was all about singing mantras where the guru is calling out and we would respond to his chanting. At the Kirtan concert, we were all in a circle and all singing together. The sound filled me with energy. I realised the sacredness and the power of being in a circle at this moment
Cacao circle in Brazil again went with my housemate. There was a fire in the middle, we would pour the cacao in then start the drumming and the ceremony. It was a beautiful ceremony and now I host my own.
My Blessingway. This is the blessing of the mother and the child in the belly. Honouring woman and being surrounded by other women. I received my closest friends giving me beautiful thoughts and letters.
I love sitting in a circle for blessings and any ceremony. It allows everyone to be equal instead of this front row, back row seating arrangement.
You can see below the different offerings that I have which involve seating in a circle.
An example of the mindful leadership circle agreement
The mindful leadership circle I host has these elements to it:
Listen to the silence.
Be as present as possible.
Speak 'from the heart' when you are talking.
Listen 'from the heart' when another person is talking.
Ask questions without judgement, fear, cynicism, advice or correction
Speak spontaneously and share your truth in ways that respect other people’s truth.
Trust that gut feel & learn how to interpret that gut feel
Respect the confidentiality of each other's story.
Trust the process.
Come as you are.
In the Mindful Leadership Circle, all agree to follow these elements. When it comes to the mindful leadership circle, there is an importance of developing self-awareness, about how you listen and drop into a deep level of listening when attending any form of circle.
The success of a circle
For a circle to be successful one of the key rules is to listen deeply and as I like to frame it: “listen from the ears of the heart”. What does it mean? It means to drop into a level of empathetic listening or generative listening.
Let me explain that by going through Otto Scharmer and his team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 4 Levels of Listening model. It is a wonderful model for developing effective leadership skills, self-awareness, and driving change from the inside out. I’m a Theory U practitioner and I leverage the Theory in my work as a coach, mentor, facilitator and consultant.
If you are not familiar with Theory U and Otto Scharmer, you can go on and learn more about it here: https://www.presencing.org/. Otherwise, feel free to contact me and I’d be more than happy to facilitate a workshop about it for you or your team.
We know that many conflicts can be attributed to a lack of listening. The Theory U focussed on the quality and volume of awareness and attention that individuals give certain situations. It is helpful in leadership, systemic and organisational change but more importantly to uncover your blind spot which is the inner condition from which we operate when we act, speak, perceive, hear or think.
The 4 Levels of Listening Model was developed in the mid-2000s, and it is one of the key concepts structuring the Theory U.
The representation below from the Theory U will tell you more about this:
What is a new moon women's’ circle or red tent or moon lodge?
The Moon Lodge or Red Tent is a sacred space in which women gather in ‘circle’ once a month to connect with their authentic truth by acknowledging, expressing and sharing their deepest thoughts and feelings.
The Moon Lodge or menstrual hut, emerged in the Goddess worshipping matriarchal communities of Neolithic times when women were menstruated in unison due to their shared living quarters. The tradition was lost over time due to the rise of empires like Rome, which outlawed all nature-worshipping practices on the grounds they were blasphemous. But today more and more women are reclaiming the tradition of gathering and sharing in circle.
By the way, the word ‘Ritual’ comes from the Sanskrit word r’tu, meaning ‘menstrual magic’.
So be ready to transform pain into wisdom. Sharing our feelings with others can seem alien or scary if we aren’t comfortable with them. Understandably, many women shut down their feeling nature, divine feminine, in an effort to cope in a culture that devalues feelings and perceives them as a sign of weakness.
However, it’s through connection with our feelings that we develop self-awareness, heightened perceptions and greater connections with others. These are the qualities that help us connect with our deepest truth and innate wisdom: our greatest strengths.
Sharing circles enable women to respond to their life challenges with greater grace and dignity. They do this by providing sisterly support dedicated to helping women identify and master their personal lessons. This is one of the reasons Moon loge (or Red Tent) was pivotal in indigenous cultures and it is why it’s resurfacing today as a global phenomenon.
What different circles am I offering in my business?
I understood the power of Online or face to face circles and sacred ceremonies, having attended and facilitated so many. If you are keen to experience it and join one of my circles:
New moon Women’s Circle or Moon Lodge (now available only in my membership: Essential Alchemy) and detail above and more about what to expect below:
WHAT IS IT: The New Moon is a magical time for setting intentions and manifesting new beginnings. Those who know me, know how I love rituals and my New Moon and Full moon Rituals are non-negotiable. So I’d like to give you the opportunity to take the time to create Sacred time, practice, and space for yourself. It is so powerful for women to come together to support each other on their journey. As I love to say, the circle is the shaman, the healing takes place from being nurtured, feeling comforted, and understood by other women. Moreover, your intentions will be magnified by the power of the group and create support for you.
WHAT TO EXPECT: You’ll be guided through a visualisation, writing prompts to set intentions. I’ll hold safe space for Sisterhood Connection, joint experimentation as well as do a New Moon Manifestation Oracle Cards Spread. It is about bringing women together to support each other on their journey, in the hopes and dreams and creating a positive outlook for the new month coming.
Mindful Leadership Circle which gathers leaders together to:
foster a better culture in the leadership team.
slow down, be mindful and listen deeply.
access the wisdom and experience of peers.
create a sense of collective, a true connection and positive energy amongst leaders.
improve the overall team performance
offer new perspectives to look at an important leadership challenge or question.
develop new innovative ways for responding to the challenge or questions.
hear the reflections of others and gently share your own
MORE INFO here
Goddess Embodiment Sisterhood - goddess circle every month.
The sisterhood is a 7-month sisterhood for intentional leaders and soul-led business owners ready to finally connect with their divine feminine wisdom and welcome more alignment, ease, flow, grace and abundance into their life, business and career.
More information here
Ceremonies, workshop, online gatherings or retreat DM me if you are keen to organise one for yourself or a friend:
Retreat - I love hosting retreats
Blessingway - ceremony for pregnant women
Cacao Ceremony - inviting the elements and drumming to activate the power of cacao
Are you ready to join your own circle now? You have everything you need to know to get started with this sacred practice.
As you can see, any ceremony hosted in a circle has so much beautiful energy and power. It gives so much to the people in the circle and holds space for each member of the circle.
If you are looking to join any circle or want to know how you can deepen your connection and knowledge with any spiritual, sacred practice, please reach out to me!