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Circling-related questions

Circling FAQs

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It depends on the circle, although most follow a similar format.

We’ll meet around my fire pit or indoors around candles (or via Zoom for virtual circles). We’ll generally do brief introductions, do a brief centering meditation, invite sacred smoke into our space, and collectively read our circling agreements.

Then, I’ll probably share a reading and offer a reflection prompt. [At some paid circles, we may move into a guided meditation or journey, followed by journaling and reflection time.] Regardless, at this point our circle will officially open, and we’ll each have a turn to share. An important element to my circles that I haven’t seen practiced much elsewhere is that each sister will have equal time to share, be it in words or silence. And, we move clockwise or counterclockwise after the first share so as to make these circles equitable and inclusive. When a sister shares, we all hold space for her – we may show her our support by tapping our hearts, but we don’t otherwise respond to her share.

Once every sister has shared, we’ll officially close our circle and follow it with a simple intention-setting and/or burn-and-release ritual (dissolve-and-release if we’re meeting indoors). Virtual circles and some paid circles may offer a slightly different ritual.

After our circles close, we’ll have about 15 minutes of connection time for those who’d like to stick around.

Zoom circles may be modified slightly. And in the event that our circles are large, we may employ breakout rooms (Zoom) or split the circle into two for the sharing element (in-person).

This is a great question! Please review all of the FAQs to get a more holistic answer.

These circles are not overtly spiritual, though some of us experience them that way. But there are times when I’ll include Earth-centered spiritual elements.

For example, there have been occasions where I’ve brought sacred smoke into our space, along with a prayer and/or blessing. 

Sometimes the readings I share are sourced from Indigenous healers, witches, and other writers that weave their spiritual practices and beliefs into their writings. However, these readings are offered in the spirit of facilitating a deeper connection with out own souls; they are never offered under the premise that they reflect an absolute truth, nor are they intended to ‘indoctrinate’ anyone into a certain set of beliefs.

Many of us are spiritual. Some  of us identify as witches, others as Catholic, Mennonite, Jewish, and “spiritual-not-religious”. I do not know if we’ve had other religions represented, but all are welcome. And, I assume that there are agnostics and atheists amongst us.

Occasionally we’ll drop terms like “Goddess”, “Divine Feminine”, and the like, and sometimes the readings I’ll share use these terms as well. There is a wonderful saying: “Take what you like and leave the rest”, and I invite you to consider it if you hear something that doesn’t reconcile with your religious beliefs.

If you are willing and able to come with an open heart and interest in being around others who identify as women and who hold beliefs that differ from your own, you will be sincerely welcomed by your sisters in circle.

The important thing to emphasize here is that these circles are inclusive, but they are still women’s circles.

As such, we welcome non-cisgender humans, as long as they are women. 

Just a note that I recently read a blog written by Cassie Barradas, and they led me to realize that the language I used to use: “anyone who identifies as a woman…” wasn’t inclusive and trivialized gender. This wasn’t my intention. I learned from Cassie that the term “womxn” is problematic as well.

I share this because I do want to do better, I don’t want to trivialize gender, and I want our trans sisters to know that we welcome them with open arms. I hope that I’ve accomplished this much (despite the stock photos that lack representation). 

If you’re reading this and have any constructive feedback, please know that I’ll welcome it. Thanks!

For outdoor circles, please bring a lawn chair, if you have one. If you don’t, that’s fine – I have a few extras.

Otherwise, just bring yourself. You are also welcome to bring a journal to reflect on the reading, but it’s 100% optional.

If you’re planning to attend a virtual circle, please bring a candle and a “talking piece” – anything that you’ll hold while you’re sharing and/or “pass” to the next sharer. You are also invited to bring a journal.

All circles are scheduled on days where we’ll be able to gather indoors in the event of uncooperative weather.

In general, we’ll meet outside if it’s at least 45 degrees, not very windy, and dry.

The absolute best place to get updates is via The Sisterhood Project (Chicago) Facebook group. If you aren’t a member, consider joining it to stay in the loop.

In general, I no longer encourage DMs – these circles have grown to the point where I can’t keep up with them! If you have questions, please email me instead. Thank you!

If you’d like to attend a paid circle but do not have the resources to do so, please contact me (and without shame…I get it, I’ve been there).

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I generally send out a weekly email that includes our circling lineup, my musings on a topic, the latest blog post or podcast (maybe!), and a plug for something or other. I don’t do spam or share emails. Ever.