The shape of the circle is an ancient symbol. It represents interconnectedness, continuity and equality. The circle has neither a beginning nor an end. The circle suggests that the people sitting around the circle are included without any hierarchy.
Talking circles symbolize equality and completeness. We believe that the views of all participants must be respected and listened to with an open mind and heart. This is our desire for all who join. The idea of being heard without judgment, and listened to with an ear of compassion, is the ultimate support we can receive, as well as to give to one another.
During circle time we use an object that connects us to the earth. We use a talking stick. In our circles only the person holding the “talking stick” has the right to speak. All others listen silently. As we pass the stick clockwise around the circle it gives everyone an opportunity to speak. Silence is also acceptable, meaning that when the stick comes to you passing it along is accepted with our respect. We will always ask at the end of this process if anyone has anything else to say.
We conduct a variety of different types of circles. A few examples would be, a women’s support and discussion group, a girls self esteem and personal empowerment circle, a beginners meditation group, a book study discussion circle, or a special topic group. An example of a special topic group would be a grief support group, a circle addressing the issues of co-dependency or addiction and the need for self care, or a support group for mothers of special needs children.
The circle is a shape without a beginning or an end. This is true of the varieties of circles we can offer to women and girls here at Lakota Moon.