Last Saturday, I offered an afternoon Introduction to Circle Process, an opportunity for people to learn some council circle basics and to experience first-hand how they fit together in a real circle-based conversation. The topics that were the heart of our council were:
- Tell us a story about a conversation you’ve had that carried heart and meaning for you.
- What conversation do you need to have, and what do you now know needs to be in place for that conversation to happen in a good way?
Confidentiality prevents me from writing the details here, but I can say how moved I was by people’s stories. I was in awe of the depth and bone-true honesty that emerged so quickly. The power of a simple structure into which much can flow is amazing!
When I asked people what they most wanted to remember and use from our time together, two themes were repeated:
- AGREEMENTS: a group’s guidelines for self-governance that allow people to be with one another in ways that contribute to the circle’s well-being.
- CENTRE: the visual and energetic hub of the circle that acts as neutral space, a symbolic representation of the group’s intent, and the Other that is more than the sum of who’s present.
After everyone left, I drew a tarot card to respond to the question, “What gifts did we receive in today’s Introduction to Circle Process?” It was the Emperor, reversed. This told me that the gifts we received were self-empowerment, a connection to power-within, a subtle yet powerful infrastructure, and a personal sense of what leadership can be. For these gifts and more, I’m grateful to the archetype of Circle.