Womens Circle

A woman recently asked me, what do women do at a women's circle? Although to completely cover what it feels like to be surrounded by other women sharing their stories is impossible, I’ll do my best to convey.

Many of us feel we are alone on an island, managing our homes, our lives, family and acquaintances, we do not get a chance to relax and open up! I have been to many different women's circles. Here is how it usually goes: the woman who is the host greets women at the door and offers to smudge them. To be smudged, the woman doing the smudging brings fire to a bit of sage, in her other hand is a bundle or wing of feathers. She fans the smoke around the women who is being smudged, usually starts at the head, then down to the feet, then asks you to turn, lift your feet one by one to cleanse your root, your connection with the ground. Then she fans the smoke up your back to the crown of your head. Meanwhile, her soul-body is sending cleansing and clearing healing energy to allow you to enter the space with clarity, a sense of nourishment and trust before you enter the temple, or sacred space of the evening circle ceremony.

Now, I need to make a side-note. I’m using terms like, ceremony, temple, sacred space and want to give some background. I, and many of my close women friends, are embracing, have deep respect and reverence for the various belief systems of our fellow sisters. We may use different religious terminology. For others who join, we ask you to also have an open mind. Some of our members hold strong views of medical freedom, and due to the mandates imposed with c0v1d, we wish to remain natural and grounded in our beliefs, while lawfully retain our fundamental freedoms and rights. Due to the political nature of the lgbtq+ agenda, we strongly oppose any gender-fluid individuals to attend our sacred women events, this is why we ask if the women joining are naturally-born females. We are not doing this to offend anybody, only to ensure the sacred container is pure with only female energies.

Ok, back to the story. Once a woman is smudged, she will walk into the communal space. Although, not all the womens circles I have been to do smudging. There is a side-table with tea, juice, water and other beverages, and another table with snacks and little plates. The room is lit with candles and a dim side-light. There is an altar in the center of the room, and sitting pillows around the perimeter. Women have been invited to bring an item to the altar. I have brought a crystal, a grounding stone and my grandmother’s scarf, to bring in the energy of my ancestors.


I see some sisters I know and we give one another hugs, it feels so heartwarming to be loved and admired by other women. We chat a bit and I introduce myself to a new member of the group, she is a bit shy but has a big smile on her face. After a few minutes our host rings the bell and we all move to sit on the cushions. She gives an introduction to herself. I notice she is holding a large round stone, about 3 inches across, somewhat flat and oval shaped. I guess it’s smoothed agate. She talks for about 3 minutes. After introducing herself she explained that she will pass the stone to her left and give 2 minutes for each woman to introduce herself, say her name and share one thing she is working through this week. She shares that she has a timer and will ding a bell 10 seconds before your time is up. She explains that this is a sacred space and what is shared here does not leave the circle without consent by the other woman. She then explains about consent and how important it is, to check in with your head, your heart your gut and your sex to see if it’s a strong yes, a maybe or a no. If any of these centers is not a strong yes, then ask why. Is there something that I need to do to have this be a strong yes? Any modifications need to be made to provide a counter offer? She passes the stone and we all have a chance to share.

When she gets the stone back, she says we are going to sing a song. I notice some rattles, drums and other rhythm instruments around the altar. She starts a verse with the drum and we all repeat. Pretty soon we are all singing with some women finding harmonies to the main verses. We find a closing spot and she brings us back to the circle. She says, now let’s go a little deeper. There are some activities we can do today, are you interested? We say yes and look around at each other.

I’ve been to many different women’s circles, and have hosted many also. There is a lovely book called, Wild and Wise which goes through a healing process of what it means to be a woman. Each chapter is labeled by topic, starts with a description or story, then a guided meditation, then a series of questions. After journaling our experience with the guided meditation and reflections on the questions, we have another round of circle sharing what we experienced. This is when the conversation gets deeper.

In some women's circles, we have a clothing exchange. In others, bring a craft project to work on while we talk. I have seen knitting, crochet, a sewing project, drawing or painting while we talk. In some, we get into deep philosophical conversations. Sometimes we popcorn conversations around the room, and sometimes we stick to passing a talking stick (or stone) which is common in cultures all around the world, specifically the elders of the Native Americans.

I’ve been in womens circles where we offer one another healing one by one. For each woman, what they request may be different. This may mean many things from massage to affirmations to singing. Once our host led us through breast massage, womb massage, womb meditation, painting a wooden canvas of our yoni, yoni steam, and discussions on herbal remedies specific for women. Many times there is crying and emotional release while others hold space in support, many times we admit our vulnerabilities and share deeply from our heart. Often there is laughter.

The important thing to note about this sacred container of womens circles, is that often with women and in general in our culture, women will place themselves in a hierarchy. Without the men around to compete for attention (I’m joking here, I have no idea why we do this 🤷‍♀️) and in the space of women's circle, we have no need to compete with one another, no need for creating a pecking order. We create a space where we can be ourselves.

Some items to bring: something for the altar, a snack or drink to share, a journal, a song, a donation for the host, and a flashlight for walking back to your car.

Crafts that I have seen at women's circles and women’s workshops: wreath making, dream catchers, jewelry making, basket making, dying clothes and using natural dyes, painting, candle making, herbal preparation such as salves, teas, sewing and mending. Bringing in the ancestral arts and ways of the past. It’s nice to do things with our hands and tell stories and converse. Many of these crafts are for longer day circles or weekend workshops.

I hope to see you join us for women's circles, and if you are not near Duvall, Washington where I host circles, I encourage you to start one in your area. There are several books and resources I can share to help get you started and if you know of any books that should be on this list, please contact me and I will add them if they are approved.

Circle Council
The Art of Community
Art of Belonging
Wild and Wise
Womb Awakening: Initiatory Wisdom from the Creatrix of All Life


Written by Amber Wright in April of 2024

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