Full Moon Women’s Circle: How to plan

Follow these 10-Steps to plan your Full Moon Women’s Circle.

It’s always a good time to gather women and sit in Circle together but it’s often helpful to have a theme.

Let’s Begin:

Whether you’re looking to hold a women’s circle in your home for your friends, out in your community or as part of your business, the Full Moon is a potent time to do so. When you gather for a Full Moon Circle you are tapping into the collective energy of thousands of women around the world doing the same thing.
If you track your menstrual cycle or follow the Moon and journal on your monthly journey, you’ll be aware of how you personally feel around each Full Moon but, even if you don’t (yet) you are probably aware that the energy builds from the New Moon to the Full Moon and then comes the release. This is a perfect time to deal with our “stuff”; to let go of bad habits, grudges, guilt, fear, irritation, disappointment, anger and ways of being that are no longer serving us and replenish the space created with gratitude.

The Full Moon is a powerful time of the month to gather in a women’s circle and share, release and recalibrate together.

Follow these are 10 simple steps to plan and hold your first Full Moon Women’s Circle:

1. Collaboration
Decide whether to collaborate or host the Women’s Circle on your own. Collaboration can be a supportive way to hold your first Circle; you have someone to share the experience with and to help you with the organisation and facilitation.
2. Create your Circle plan
Think about where you’ll hold the Circle, how many participants you would like to attend, how long the Circle will run for, whether you will provide food or ask everyone to bring a plate and how you will invite people to come.
3. Choose your theme
For a Circle on the Full Moon, usual themes include release and forgiveness, celebration and gratitude. But, I invite you to get creative. Allow yourself to feel into the energy, connect to your heart and draw on your cultural heritage. Your Circle is an expression of who you are. If you need some inner guidance, take a journey to meet the Soul of your Circle here.
4. Write your Women’s Circle Guidelines
These are an essential element of holding safer space so give yourself time to think about what you’d like to include and how you wish participants to feel when they are in the space you have created. It is also worthwhile thinking about any challenges or conflict that could arise around your chosen theme and how you will navigate that. Don’t be afraid of challenges; if you’ve given it some thought beforehand you will have the tools to navigate it and the trust to see how it is serving the Circle.
5. Create your ritual or ceremony to open and close your circle
This may be as simple as a meditation, poem, prayer or invocation (you can write your own or find one to share) or you may wish to create an altar together, draw oracle cards or share why you were called to come to Circle.
6. Decide on any practices or activities that you wish to share and gather any materials that you will need
For a Full Moon circle you may like to invite the women to write down everything that they wish to forgive or let go of and then burn them (safely) in a fire place or cauldron (or rip them up or bury them) and then fill the space that you’ve all created by sharing what you are truly grateful for or sharing a gratitude meditation.
7. Create a timeline or running order for your Circle
Review what you would like to include and approximately how long each component will take e.g. welcome and opening ritual, introductions and sharing, talking about the theme, facilitating the practices that you’ve chosen, reflection and sharing, and closing ritual or ceremony. If you are co-facilitating, agree which roles you will both be responsible for.
8. Before your Circle starts take time to create Sacred Space

You can set your intention for the Circle, energetically preparing the space and arrange the seats in a circle (remember that the centre of the Circle is an important aspect of the space as this where all the energies pass through). You may like to play music, burn incense or diffuse essential oils.

9. As participants arrive, welcome them and invite them to take a seat in the Circle
Take your place and welcome everyone. Share the Circle Guidelines and use your running order to guide you. Conduct your Opening Ritual or Ceremony and enjoy every moment of your Circle.
10. Conduct your Closing Ritual or Ceremony
Ensure that you give yourself enough time to close your Circle intentionally so that and break from the Circle to share nourishment  (tea and sweet food can be grounding).


If you’re holding an on-line Circle, think creatively about how you can adapt these steps to plan and hold a connected and powerful sacred experience. For example, asking participants to bring a candle and an item for your virtual altar can elevate your opening ritual in an on-line Circle.



When we come together in Women’s Circles we are honouring the generations of women who have sat in Circle before us and will do so after us. Taking time to plan and prepare for your Circle supports you to create a sacred event that will nourish and nurture the participants that you gather together.



If you’re looking for support and guidance on planning, creating, holding and filling your next Women’s Circle, I invite you to consider joining us in Circle Skills. Circle Skills is a guided 10-part journey to having the clarity and courage to hold unique, powerful and revolutionary Women’s Circles. Find more details here.

Holding Space in Women’s Circles

In one of the best descriptions of holding space, Parker Palmer said:

“The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed – to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is.”

The question is, how do we do that?

What is holding space?

I describe holding space as an art, a craft and a skill. This is my attempt to capture the unique artistry of an individual meeting themselves or another in those moments of sweetness and sourness, in grief and gratitude or in joy and despair. It is my attempt to articulate that companioning oneself or others flows from crafting connection and trust. It is also my attempt to acknowledge that with willingness, practice and reflection we can learn the skills of a space holder such as deep and present listening.

Holding space for myself is a daily devotional practice. I weave it into my morning ritual, whilst I’m journaling, listening to River tell me his stories, walking in the woods and paddling in the river. I take my time to become fully present with myself and my surroundings before I write, sit with a client, start an interview or hold a circle. It is not a one-off act, but an ongoing tuning in, noticing and reflecting.

Holding space can be a complex process. It evolves as we practice it, and although the path may be unique to each person and each situation, in my experience there are repeating patterns of behaviour that show up for us as Space Holders.

I have loved exploring “archetypes” and seeking to understand those that are active in my life and work. In doing so I draw on Carl Jung’s definition of archetypes as images and themes that derive from the collective unconscious, together with the writing of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Sharon Blackie, Danielle Dulsky and Toko-pa Turner.*

In Belonging, Toko-pa Turner says

“In the act of connecting to archetypes we feel the spark of vitality, a hint of life, a tiny becoming. We begin to remember who we were before we fell under the enchantment. We trace back to our root purpose, when we were engaged and alive, when we were our best selves.”

Through my own exploration with archetypes and recognising these repeating patterns for Space Holders, I created a framework to help us deepen into our understanding of who we are as a Space Holder and to meet “our best selves” in this role.

This framework consists of 7-Space Holder Archetypes based on my experience of holding circles, the behaviours that I’ve witnessed in Circle and what Circle Holders have shared with me. I share this with the invitation to use this framework to support yourself and your work. These aren’t written in stone; they are breathable and changeable. Please use your discernment to adapt them to suit your needs rather than as labels. They are a tool in cultivating self-awareness and recognising patterns of behaviour in others.

Holding Space Archetypes

I offer these 7-archetypes with a Guardian and Shadow form. When we are responding from the Guardian form we are acting from our root purpose, from our best selves. Whereas when we are reacting from the Shadow form, we are coming from a part of ourselves that has been wounded or rejected. If we are aware of our behaviours we can identify whether we are acting from the healed, whole part of us or from the shadow aspect. It is important to remind ourselves that this shadow aspect is not “bad”, it is a part of us that is calling for loving attention and care.

The 7-archetypes in both forms are:

  • Maiden / Indulger
  • Mother / Fixer
  • Wild Woman / Avoider
  • Medicine Woman / Wounded Healer
  • Muse / Validator
  • Wise Woman / Adviser
  • Priestess / Saviour

You may find these descriptors self-evident and I hope they are helpful. In PRESENCE, my holding space immersion we explore these in detail through a guided process to identify which are currently active within you.

As we deepen our understanding of the Guardian form we can embody those qualities which support us to hold safer, compassionate and courageous spaces.

Those qualities include:

  • Maiden – supports us to demonstrate vulnerability and not be afraid for ourselves or others
  • Mother – has the capacity to see people’s magnificence
  • Wild Woman – can hold the tension of paradox
  • Medicine Woman – sees people as whole and guides them within for answers
  • Muse – is compassionate without offering platitudes
  • Wise Woman – can share from her lived experience and inner wisdom
  • Priestess – facilitates a process where transformation can occur

As we recognise the Shadow form at play, we can meet it with tenderness and explore further.

These traits may show themselves as:

  • Indulger – takes pleasure in the other person’s struggle or pain
  • Fixer –  wants to fix “the problem”
  • Avoider – renders the other person’s experience void by dismissing, distracting or ignoring
  • Wounded Healer – sees the other person as broken or deficient in some way and that they can heal them
  • Validator – offer opinion or judgments in agreement
  • Adviser – gives unsolicited advice
  • Saviour – seeks to rescue

As I’ve shared, this is a framework. It is intended to be helpful. This isn’t about aspiring to be a perfect Space Holder.

In my experience, each of us will have a natural tendency towards one (or more) Shadow and Guardian aspect. I invite you to see it as a spectrum and where you are on that spectrum may change in different circumstances.

Having an awareness of these archetypes can helps us to understand where we can deepen our capacity to hold space for ourselves and others and also to recognise these in other people which can be useful when you’re collaborating with someone or facilitating groups!

When you do recognise a shadow aspect has played out, ask yourself:

  • Did I get a sense of value or worthiness from fixing / healing / saving?
  • Did I make assumptions based on relatively small amounts of information and felt that I had the right to share my opinion / advice?
  • Why did I think I knew best? (when holding space for someone else)
  • Was I attached to a certain outcome? What was that and why?

Often, the urge to fix, heal or save, is a reflection of our own fears, challenges, pain and unhealed trauma. It’s important to seek the appropriate professional support and guidance where we recognise this.

At the heart of my approach to holding space, is the belief that how we hold space for ourselves is reflected in how we hold space for others. If we can meet ourselves with presence, tenderness, compassion, courage, willingness, curiosity and love then we have a far deeper capacity to hold safer spaces for others.


People don’t need to be fixed or saved or rescued.
They need to know their sovereignty and how to access their own power.


PRESENCE is the immersion into deepening our capacity to hold space for ourselves so that we hold space for change. You can find all the details here. I would love to welcome you across the threshold.
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