How To Harness The Power Of Tonight's Sky With A New Moon Circle
“What’s a women’s new moon circle?"
I get this question a lot. Our culture isn’t exactly full of opportunities for womxn to gather and connect intimately, so when I tell people that I co-facilitate a monthly gathering for women to correspond with the start of a new moon, their responses are often puzzled.
Of course, we know about networking events, career-oriented meet-ups, and book clubs—but new moon circles are different. An opportunity for heartfelt expression, they touch on the core of who we are.
If you feel called to join or host a new moon circle, here's your introduction to the powerful practice.
The meaning of the new moon.
There are four distinct phases in every 28-day moon cycle: New Moon, waxing half moon, full moon, and waning half moon. Each offers us an opportunity to connect with ourselves and our purpose.
Of all the cycles, new moons represent beginnings. They are for planting seeds and setting intentions for our dreams, goals, and wishes. They're an opportunity to take ownership for what we want to manifest and to commit to the actions, thoughts and behaviors necessary to get us there. They're a time to give and receive—to form community—and that's where new moon circles come into play.
How do you host a new moon circle?
Paula Mallis and I have long been facilitating monthly new moon circles in Venice, California. In normal times, our circles gathered once a month, on the evening of the new moon, from 8-11pm in a private residence. The age range and life experience of those who attended ran the gamut, and there were 35-50 women in attendance on any given night.
Though the programming varied, our new moon circles usually included time for meditation, journaling, sharing, and setting intentions. The key is the space that’s created. It should be open, caring, non-judgmental, and loving.
As each woman shares, the circle quietly holds space for her, allowing her the fullness of her experience. This breeds intimacy and trust as walls are dropped. The more we hold space for one another, the more we realize that the possibilities are endless; that success begets success; that we’re in this together.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when starting a new moon circle group:
- Start small. Invite a few women over, or gather virtually. It’s not about quantity, but quality. Often the smaller the circles, the more profound the experience.
- Agree that what is shared in circle remains in circle. Trust is key here. It creates an atmosphere of acceptance.
- Do not offer advice to one another unless asked. Each of us is on our own journey. Part of the beauty of these circles is that they allow the participants to listen to their own inner voice and to deepen their self-trust. When we give unsolicited advice, we are essentially robbing others of their own self-discovery.
A sample schedule for your new moon circle.
- Choose someone to lead the group.
- Go around the circle and announce your name and one word to describe your current emotional state.
- Partake in a short 5-10 minute meditation to center and ground.
- Take some time to journal separately about what is present.
- Share in what was revealed in the writing process.
- Take another 10 minutes to write out your intentions, as if they’re already happening. For example: “I am finding myself feeling strong and flexible at my weekly yoga class.” or “I am feeling relaxed, fully myself and at ease on my date with X.”
- Share at least one of your intentions aloud.
- Close the circle with another short meditation.
Of all of the gifts I’ve gleaned in my life, nothing compares to the support of like-hearted women. After all, women have a magnificent ability to heal one another simply by paying witness; by listening to each other with an open, accepting heart. It’s nothing less than magic.
So much beauty is found within the circle itself, in the sense of community and unconditional support it provides.