Women’s circles are powerful, healing and nurturing. They are a celebration of all that is feminine, an invitation to release and replenish, an occasion to savour healing, and a moment to open to a fresh perspective. If you’re looking to host women’s circles, I hope this article inspires you to use this ancient ceremony to support yourself and the women in your community.
All women are a representation of the Goddess. Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, wives and friends. All are the Beloved embodied. All women deserve compassion and presence.
Holding space for women to be fully expressed and deeply honoured is a gift to the world. And for you to hold space, it’s important that you feel supported, prepared, and healed enough to be present without judgment.
If your heart is giving you consistent nudges to draw women into a circle, take notice of the yearning within.
Flow through these steps to create your own women’s circle.
- Set an intention for the circle or series of circles. What do you want to provide to the women who attend? How do you want them to feel? What drives you to create this space for others?
- Call in the Goddess and/or any Guides you wish to be with you through the circles and leading up to them. If you’re connecting with any flowers, call in their Spirit. If you’re working with cacao, call in Mama Cacao. Tune into any other being that wants to be present with you, perhaps a Spirit Animal or Ancestor, and create space before the ceremonies to sit with the Spirits that come.
- Decide on where you’re having the circle and the number of women you’d like to come. Small groups can be more potent and powerful, large groups can have more fun and play. Large groups lose their intimacy, making it hard for many women to share openly and deeply. I prefer groups of 6-12.
- Choose a price and decide if you’ll accept exchanges for others’ products or services. I recommend not to ever offer a discount. Trust deeper! If someone reaches out to you privately you can consider their request, but often people who come for free or at a reduced price don’t bring the same openness and abundance as the rest. Always create an exchange that feels abundant for all concerned.
- You’re welcome to share an open invite to the public or just invite the women you already know who you would like to start your journey with. I find personal invitations to be received better.
- Write a list of all you need for the day and a plan for the day’s preparation (see below for prep ideas).
- The day before, send a reminder to all the attendees. Ask them to arrive a few minutes early and come with water, a blanket, journal, pen, a sheepskin, cushion, the right amount for payment, and an offering for lunch (if applicable).
The preparation before the circle is as important as the circle. As the host, it’s your honour and responsibility to create a safe container for the women to enter when they arrive. While preparing and hosting a women’s circle, keep these ideas close to your heart:
- Circles feel safe when the energy has been cleared and blessed and noise and interference is minimal. That’s why I like to host them inside where women feel more held. If you’re outside, you need to interact with the weather, insects, and other unexpected surprises. This can mean some women feel untethered or distracted. Outside circles, however, are a beautiful way to connect directly with Mama Earth and the elements, so if it’s a part of your vision, then find a beautiful space outdoors. Whether inside or outside, use whatever cleansing herb you like to smudge the area, then fill the space with love, prayers, intentions, and song. Cleanse yourself, anoint yourself with a beautiful oil, and dress like you are the Goddess incarnate.
- Ask permission from the land and the Ancient Ones of the land to host your sacred circle. Introduce yourself (if you don’t live there or haven’t done so before) and explain your intention. Ask for the presence and blessings of Mama Earth and all the Spirits that you’ve been connecting with so far, as well as any that come into your field. Listen to what is being shared with you.
- Give yourself plenty of time to clean and set the circle with flowers (in vases or as a mandala in the centre), crystals, cards, feathers and anything else you feel drawn to place within or around the circle. Set up cushions, have water and snacks available, and ensure the temperature is comfortable.
- As women come into the space, welcome them with smudging if you’re comfortable with offering that, and/or offer them a few oils to dab on their skin. Welcome them, show them around, and help them find their place.
- When all the women are present, or you know it’s time to begin, ask everyone to take their place. It’s important now that you energetically announce to the group (without words) that you are in loving control so they feel safe from the beginning. Share with them your intention for calling in the circle, and share with them the outline and protocol (this is explained below) for the time together.
- Avoid asking the group too many questions, such as “do you know what I mean?” or “does anyone have any questions” or “is everyone ready to begin?” as it undermines your empowered presence as the host. Instead, say “come see me after if there’s something you need to talk through” or “let’s begin”.
A protocol or list of rules is important is because this helps the women to be present, responsible, accountable, and feel safe and held by your container. Here are some examples that you might like to choose from, depending on what’s appropriate for your circle.
- One woman shares at a time. This means no interruptions, no noises (not even “hmmm” or “yes”), and no hugs until after the circle is closed. It’s powerful space holding to allow each woman to process and express what they need without interruption. Pass them tissues, send them love, and only speak if you (the host, not others) feel it’s helpful. A talking stick or crystal can help with this. If you use one, infuse it with love, connection, safety and openness before the circle. Each woman passes the stick/crystal when they’re finished sharing to the next woman. A pause is recommended between shares.
- Sharing from the heart is how we heal. You might want to remind the women at some stage to take a deep breath before their share, tune into their heart, and share what comes through, rather than preparing what they want to say beforehand.
- You may set a time limit for each share. Just make sure you give notice when there’s one or two minutes remaining.
- If you’re journeying with plants like mugwort, cacao, or other, let the women know before it’s served what to do with the medicine when they receive it. For example with cacao I always ask the women to hold their cup without sipping until all have their cup and I guide them to take our first sip together. While they’re waiting they can close their eyes and open their hearts to the cacao in their mug.
- Consider the entire process of your circle and note down anything that you might want to add to your protocol, especially anything you feel might need anticipating.
The most important step is the first one, so begin now as your heart calls you into this beautiful work.
Sending you so much appreciation and gratitude for showing up on this New Earth as a space holder for Love.
“Summon a vision of yourself in community
Connected to the Land
Sharing your ample gifts
And being lifted higher from each meaningful experience.”
Thank you for being here. Take only what resonates from these ideas.