The Practice of Circling: Why, When and How
Image by @digital_errors
The art of circling has been around for centuries. Traditionally practiced amongst woman, circling is a prominent ritual within our everyday lives, infiltrating the celebrations and gatherings of people of all ages and genders. In fact, many of us circle regularly, whether we realize it or not. However, as more and more women are finding their ways back to their ancestral roots and exploring how we can connect deeper with each other, our bodies and the earth, moon and stars, the art of traditional circling is starting to make a comeback into our monthly practices and routines. It only takes a quick scan of your local Eventbrite listings to see that women are circling regularly in your community. Businesses like Soul Sisterhood and The Rock Store host regular full moon and new moon circle sessions, and there are hundreds of women in metropolis cities across the country who act as experienced and knowledgeable hosts and guides for these powerful events.
Image from Soul Sisterhood Full Moon in Taurus Eventbrite Listing.
We spoke with C.N.H.P Reiki, Women’s Creatix and Spiritual Director Natalie Kehren, founder of Holistic World Healing to learn more about the roots of this sacred practice.
How long have women been circling and where do the roots of this practice stem from?
The art of women circling is ancient, and in my opinion, triumphant. There is evidence dating as far back as 800 CE. You can see it’s roots across every culture, old and new. Gathering around fire pits on the May long weekend, to book circles or all the way back to women menstruating in Red Tents. It’s roots rest as long as women have been alive and menstruating. The art of menstruating itself is sacred and believed to be a time of deep, authentic spiritual truth, cleansing & birthing. It is the cleansing of the old to make room for the new. And as women, we are blessed to have the opportunity, supported by universal spiritual energy, to do this every 28 days. It allows us to grow faster, house more healing energy and bring it out into the world through our consistent dying and birthing process. The learning and unlearning. The sharing and the shedding. That itself is true empowerment… it is truth. And it connects us all, each and every woman existing. It amazes me every time I think about it.
Why do we circle on the New Moon and the Full Moon specifically?
Each moon brings something different as it is connected to the Universal sky and astrological components happening all at once. Yet, the underlying theme remains for each the New Moon and Full Moon— and often, each woman has one that is her favourite between the two.
The moon’s cycle is 28 days- and right now you connecting the dots in your mind that our menstrual cycle is 28 days as well. This is the connection and their is no coincidence about it.
The New Moon is all about cleansing, turning inward to see what needs to be released, transformed and brought to the surface. This is the very time your physical body tends to be menstruating, releasing, detoxifying & transforming- if aligned with the moon’s cycle. (Please do not worry if you do not bleed during the New Moon, your journey is blessed always). This is a strong time for releasing exercises, rituals and supporting the cleansing you and your fellow sisters are going through. It is a deeply intuitive time, therefore you may crave to be indoors and inclined to self-care-which is a great way to help you body, mind & soul through this time.
The Full Moon is all about an increase in energy and the time when your body is ovulating—you are most fertile at this point in your cycle and that is supported through the Moon’s energy. You feel sexually empowered and excited. It is a time for manifestation rituals, affirmations and using this increase in energy to magnetize what you’d like to see in your life, in yourself and in your world. It’s an affirming time. You may also be more social and crave to get out and be around people, or try new things.
Why is this practice particularly one that is female-focused?
It is female focused because of the 28 day cycle connection. We are so deeply effected by the moon’s cycle. This was recognized long ago, has been and is felt every day.
Do our wombs/cycles play a part in circling?
Yes, absolutely. As we are aware the physical role of the womb is to grow, nurture & birth new human life. This is true in symbolic & energetic methodologies as well. The womb is the centre of our creativity, our intuition, our truth. It is where we hold the historic roots of our past and the past of all women. It burns in pain each month to release trauma and toxic energy living there from this life time, and others. For our souls and the souls of our sisters.
It is the birthplace of new ideas, of creative ventures, of our soul’s truth. It is SO important our wombs are able to be free. That they are expressed, loved, noticed & taken care of. By connecting to our wombs, we can truly move mountains at an unstoppable rate. It’s empowerment backed by universal life force. It’s truly incredible.
We are a force, connecting everything and everyone around us through the connection of our wombs and the 28 day cycle. Supporting and reenforcing our transitions each moon is so very powerful. You may be sitting in a circle in Toronto, Canada yet imagine the other thousands of circles going on around the same time world wide, under one moon.
Do you see now the power of women?
What can someone expect from their first circle experience?
This is always my favourite. I remember my first circle-it was extremely uplifting, supportive and actually, felt like home. Someone can expect to experience a level of support felt from each women in attendance, as well as the moon itself. It sounds crazy, I know- yet it is an energy that is so familiar you will feel it’s embrace and welcome it with open arms.
A circle is typically 1-1.5 hours long and each is different depending on the woman hosting it— which is the beauty of it. You will sit in circle of course, some are more talkative and social, while others can be more intimate and a private space for deep reflection. It depends on the energy of the moon that month and the woman’s lineage/style behind it. Our souls hold the roots of different cultures, therefore, find a circle of women that speaks to you! Keep going until you find the perfect one. Just set that intention and watch it come to life.