Wondering how to start a women's circle? These gatherings are safe and sacred spaces for women to be heard, seen, and come together as a community. A community of women that gather together to share wisdom and empower one another.
While it can seem a daunting task to start your own women's circle, it's incredibly rewarding and a much-needed resource. Plus, all you need to start a circle is an open mind, initiative, and creativity.
There are many ways to create a women’s circle and it's important to bring your own voice to your gathering, but if you're feeling a little overwhelmed, have no fear. We've put together a few simple steps to help you get started.
How to start a women's circle
The beauty about hosting your own women's circle is that you can take it in any direction that you like.
You can explore different themes, exercises and questions to keep the experience unique each time. Alternatively, there's a lot to be said in exploring a particular theme over the course of a few weeks or months, using related quotes and exercises to bring it to life.
The key is to have fun and be present with the women in the room to create a gorgeous, nourishing and supportive space.
Plan and set your intentions as a host
Research and set your intentions on the subject you would like to introduce to the circle. It might be helpful to have a partner or a close friend to bounce different ideas off.
Decide how long your circle will be. One and a half to two hours is a good length of time - just make sure you honour your start and finish times. Women will have other obligations, and no one should have to leave early or feel rushed if you're running late. Women can stay around afterwards to socialise if they wish, but close the circle at the time you’ve advertised.
Choose a theme
A popular theme for a women’s circle is built around the phases of the Moon. For example, you may meet on the Full Moon. This is a time for celebrating the achievements of the past month and letting go of what's no longer serving us.
Once you've decided on your theme, consider the exercises that you'll introduce to the group. One idea for a Full Moon circle is to have an exercise where women write on paper anything they want to let go of for the month. You can go around the circle and invite everyone to read theirs aloud (if they wish). Once the sharing is complete, everyone rips up the paper and throws it into a bin located in the altar.
Other themes or subjects you could consider
We all have dreams and aspirations, and a women's circle is a gorgeous way to help those around you bring theirs to life. After all, one of the first steps of moving towards a dream or a goal is to vocalise it.
Begin by giving women the opportunity to voice their dreams and goals then, over time, provide a space for women to identify the steps they can take to bring it to life. Journaling and meditations are useful exercises to include as part of your circle. Plus, it's great for exploring over a longer period of time.
Sadly, there is still much shame and stigma around women's bodies. A women's circle is a wonderful way to banish these beliefs and start the healing process.
An interesting theme to explore is identifying womanhood and how it's felt by each person in the room. Journalling prompts around how we define femininity can be an interesting starting point.
You can also discuss lessons you've learned through being a woman and the journey you've taken to reach this point. A women's circle based around these theme can feel really empowering for all involved.
This theme is a great opportunity to talk openly about menstruation. From the first experience of a period to feelings around menstruation, there are a number of discussion and journalling prompts that you can dive into.
Menstruation is a time of going inward and a women’s circle could allow you to go deeper with your thoughts and feel connected in a safe community.
Set the space
You want to have a large area where everyone can sit in a circle. This can be outdoors, if weather permits, or a big space in a local hall, yoga studio or even someone’s home. Do check in with regulations around Covid-19 when hiring your venue.
Create an inviting space for everyone. This might mean big cushions to sit on, with low lighting and calming music to create a lovely ambiance.
Think about the exercises and rituals you're offering the group and if you might need any equipment. For example, if journalling is one of your activities, supply paper and pens for the group.
Next, create an altar or centre piece in the middle of the circle. This can be made of flowers, petals and candles or you could invite women to bring something meaningful to them for the altar. Building an altar together creates community and is a great way to make everyone feel a part of the circle.
Structure the circle
As the group arrives, welcome them and ask them to choose a place to sit and get comfortable. A great ice-breaker can be to ask opening questions such as, “What called you to the circle?” or “Where are you from?”.
When everyone has arrived, introduce yourself as the host. Define what a women’s circle is and introduce your chosen theme. Explain a couple of ways that the theme can be approached and why you chose this particular theme for the circle. Then give 10-15 minutes for the group to journal about the subject. This will help everyone feel centred and give time for consideration of the subject.
You can open the circle by sharing your experience with the theme. When you are finished sharing, invite the woman next to you to share her experience. Work your way around the circle until everyone has had the opportunity to speak.
Once everyone has shared, you may offer another practice - such as a meditation, or more journalling.
When you're ready to close your circle, you might do so with a poem, mantra, or simply in silence. Thank the women for being a part of the circle and for sharing their energy.
A nice way to complete off your time together is to offer nourishing snacks - such as dark chocolate or fruit - and a selection of tea. Let everyone know they are welcome to leave any point now that the circle is closed.
About Erica Breen
Erica is a life-long mover and forever student. Trained in Pilates, Yoga and Ayurveda, Erica has a breadth of knowledge when it comes to the human body and its inner workings. Leading a nomadic lifestyle, you'll find Erica sharing her work online from all over the world! Find out more at ericabreenpilates.com.