Wisdom Bridge Teleseminar presents,
Ancient Sacred Formation
A Practical Guide for Leading a Circle
A 6-week program designed to teach you how to host your own circle gatherings with confidence
With Minister, Intuitive and Spirit Healer,
This program was created to help you step into this vision of yourself
Hello there! My name is Waymatea. Over the past 15 years, I have been privileged to be a member of the most beautiful container – the oldest gathering shape – a circle. After my profound healing experience within the circles I have belonged to, a few years ago I got up the courage to start my own circle in my small community. By doing so, I answered a deep heart’s longing for hosting and facilitating community in this way.
I have met many people who have also wanted to hold space like this in their own communities, who felt very intimidated by the prospect of leading a circle.
They have shared with me their fears, feeling unqualified by all of the things they believe need to be in place before they can lead a circle:
“I am not qualified to hold space in a sacred way. I have never studied with any Elders, or been initiated at all.”
“My life is still challenged by many things. Don’t you think I should have my act together before I hold space for healing?!”
“Who would come to my circle? There are many more qualified groups who have been around for much longer.”
“I am scared of looking like I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“I know that people can get hurt. I myself have been hurt in a container that felt safe at first, but soon wasn’t. How would I make sure that I didn’t do that to someone?”
What they fear is that they aren’t ready to hold space.
So many of us take courses, experience spiritual awakening, travel and learn – and then deeply desire to offer our gifts into our community. We envision ourselves bringing like-minded people together for sacred meditation and ceremony, because it feels like our life’s calling to do so. I can’t count how many times I have heard women express a deep craving to share what they have experienced in circles with other women in their own communities, and yet they feel stuck. So many times I’ve heard words like, “If only I could feel confident enough to step into such a role, I would SO love to offer a sacred circle,” and “My friends keep asking me to start my OWN circle!”
I have asked my clients, “If you could somehow get past this stuckness, what can you imagine offering in your area? What do your dreams look like?” Maybe you can relate to their answers…
“I would have a weekly gathering in my living room for my friends who are craving more spiritual practice and mindfulness in their lives.”
“I would have an empowerment group for divorced single dads.”
“I would host a Reiki share, with any monetary offering being donated to the women’s shelter.”
“I have a vision of having my land offered as a retreat centre. I envision a Red Tent ceremony, moon rituals, rites of passage for young men and women.”
It is anchored deeply in the idea that each of us can hold space – and that the world can be healed one circle at a time.
Leading a circle is like planting a seed in dark, rich, fertile soil.
It is my dream to see the world transformed, one circle at a time. I wish to see the seeds we are planting grow into many different trees, flowers, and healing herbs. I have a vision that as we take this ancient shape of community and apply it into our neighbourhoods, that we can find common ground and spread the medicine of love and compassion into the homes and hearts of people worldwide. In my little hometown, a relatively conservative western setting in Alberta, Canada, I never imagined how many women were craving a wisdom circle to feel sisterhood, community, and a place to collapse. I feel so inspired to share the tools to lead a circle with you, so that you too can share such a sacred container with your community.
You might be saying – “I already know quite a bit. I have taken lots of courses. I am aware that I could have a circle.” The thing is… if you don’t currently lead a circle but really want to, you may just have a few stuck pieces that are preventing you from fulfilling your soul’s desire to share this container with your community. Maybe you have not yet found the right soil to plant your seed. Perhaps you need to know exactly what seed you are planting. Or you just haven’t watered your seed enough for it to grow. Or maybe you fear you have bad seeds. This program will cover an exhaustive list of how to prepare for circle and how to have a sustainable practice – so that even if you are just missing a couple of pieces, you will gather them here and be off and running. Your unique seeds will flourish, bloom and grow in your community.
The other thing you may be saying is – THIS SEEMS REALLY OVERWHELMING. It’s true. Holding space for those in your community is a big deal, and learning how to do it with solid, unshakable integrity is a practice that requires a real commitment. And the good news is you are in the right place, because I will hold your hand through the whole process, answering all of your burning questions about leading a circle in your hometown. I will help you select your unique seeds, plant them carefully, water with care, and grow your sacred medicine.
This course will teach you how to:
- Step into your sacred power as a circle facilitator with compassion, humility and grace
- Get comfortable narrowing your niche
- Make the circle as safe and sacred as possible
- Establish and maintain protocols
- Navigate your fears of failure, and your possible fears of success
- Take measures to prevent circle conflict
- Facilitate your circle’s connection outside of circle using social media, online forums, gatherings and ceremony
- Become more visible in your community – how to manage the change in your visibility
Rev. Waymatea Ellis
A minister, intuitive and spirit healer, Way is a student for life. A former school-teacher, current Massage Therapist, Reiki Practitioner, and Shamanic Practitioner, she offers in-person and online healings, intuitive readings, and retreats. Way is the ‘mother’ of Souljah Fyah, a JUNO-nominated and multi-award winning Reggae band, a project for which she channels the message of love and healing for all beings.
Waymatea is currently taking registrations for The Brave and Beautiful Program, a 13-month intensive for women around the world to unpack their most painful baggage and find their Divine blessings inside.
At the heart of her work is her dedication and love for her two daughters, Nakai and Nya Star. For more information on Way and programs that may interest you, please visit www.waymatea.com
Ancient Sacred Formation: A Practical Guide for Leading a Circle
A 6-week program designed to teach you how to host your own circle gatherings with confidence
Got a question and need to get in touch with us? Please feel free to drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Week 1 : Who am I to hold a sacred circle?
Perhaps you haven’t studied with Elders, or been through the right type of initiation to hold space in this way?
Do you think, “Who am I to hold a circle?”
I would like to offer a provocative statement paraphrasing Marianne Williamson – who are you not to?
If you have a clear intention to bring healing, love and light into your community, and are willing to hold a container with integrity, humility and strength, then you are qualified to lead a circle.
In this first week, we will examine:
• the do’s and don’ts of creating and hosting a sustainable circle
• the ancient practice of circle, and why you are qualified to hold this container
• tools to help you to gain confidence in your worthiness of holding such a sacred container
• planting Divine seeds: how to step into your sacred power as a circle facilitator with compassion, humility and grace
• what your legal and ethical responsibilities are as a circle facilitator or leader
• why you are drawn to hosting your own circle, and what your vision is of your own circle
Week 2 : Getting clear on what you are offering. What are your special gift?
Do you feel like you could offer circle to just about everyone?
What if I were to tell you that it’s better to get super clear about who you are offering it to?
Maybe you would like to offer a circle to single mothers who work nights?
Or elderly folks with a terminal diagnosis?
It can be so powerful to get crystal clear about who you are offering circle to.
This is a fair question – and to answer it I will ask another:
What if I were to tell you that your biggest baggage is very likely your blessing and gift that you have to offer others? I lift up to you that your story, your wounds, your painful past is probably the ticket to your gift and blessing for others. In our metaphor of planting new seeds, your experiences give you such an intimate understanding of toxic soil types, stormy weather and how it affects the harvest, and how to deal with flash floods. Your history is your wisdom.
This is a critical piece that you don’t want to overlook – because from these soils may grow the most exotic and radiant blooms.
In week two, we will explore:
• why it’s important to have a clear vision about who you are offering your circle to
• tools for knowing who your ideal client is, and how to enroll your ideal client.
• how to get comfortable narrowing your niche
• hands on methods for developing your own unique offering
• how to awaken your inner wisdom when your encounter your own tangled story, instead of ignoring your knowledge and divine guidance
• navigating your past pain and experiences to find your gifts: turning your baggage into your blessings and offerings to others
• how your life can still be ‘imperfect’ while you offer a healing circle or sacred space for others
• getting used to your own facilitating style – and owning it!tt your own facilitating style – and owning it!
WEEK 3: Now that you’ve said yes to leading a circle – now what?
Oh boy – here we go. You are on your way – and now you are fired up because you are beginning to see how you – imperfectly perfect you – are going to deeply breathe yourself into a place of gently, humble leadership in a circle formation. At this point, you may ask… OK NOW WHAT? What will I do with people in my circle? How do I keep it safe? What do we talk about? How do I keep people interested? What are my rules or protocols?
In week 3 we will cover:
• Developing your own personal style of leading circle. Taking from teachings that are tried and true for your basic framework – and then allowing your own unique spirit to color in the spaces. This can be like visiting an impeccable garden and gaining inspiration for how you will plant and foster your own.
• Meditation choices – what if I don’t feel comfortable writing my own meditation for my group – is there a place where I can find some? How fast/slow do I read a mediation? What if I hurt someone with a meditation? What if someone in my group can’t or doesn’t know how to meditate?
• How do I make my circle as safe and sacred as possible? How do I establish and maintain protocols?
• I really don’t want this to feel like some kind of boot camp – How strict/free should I be with my protocols?
• How do I explain the use of a talking stick/feather/stone, and is it necessary to use these communication tools?
• Permission for selfishness – how to engage your circle members fully and completely so that they have a deep and profound experience with their own healing
• Importance for no side coaching – why this may very well be the glue that keeps your circle sacred.
• Should we say prayers, or sacred incantations?
• How do I handle sharing, and is it ok to regulate how much time each person takes when sharing?
• How do I encourage commitment without alienating members for whom regular attendance is a challenge?
WEEK 4: Marketing – Where Is Everyone?
What if I were to tell you that they type of advertising that folks used to spend $1000 – $1,000,000 on – simply casting seeds of advertising into the wind hoping one would land and grow roots somehow – you can have for next to nothing? Actually – it’s even sweeter than that. We no longer cast seeds on a wing and a prayer – we can now mindfully plant seeds in fertile earth, and watch our beautiful plant grow. Something that many people don’t know is… we can now reach specific warm leads (plant pre-soaked seeds) as opposed to cold leads who don’t really know about or care what you are offering. And believe it or not, we can do this very easily and with comfort and dignity.
In week 4, we will cover:
• Free and ‘close to free’ methods to get the word out about your circle
• How to reach 50,000+ warm leads with $100
• Best methods to fill your circle on the very first night
• How many folks miss opportunities for immediate and constructive feedback and repeat circle clients – and how you will not.
• What an ideal number for your circle may be. Also, determining how many is your minimum for running your circle?
• How much should I be charging for circle – and hang on – shouldn’t I be doing this for free?
• How do I get my hands on some of those awesome chairs that they use in circle?
• Renting or using a space for your circle – details to consider that may surprise you
• Navigating your fears of failure, and your possible fears of success
• Becoming more visible in your community – how to manage the change in your visibility
• Having an effective platform and sales letter
• How far ahead should you be advertising your circle before you begin.
• What to do if your circle isn’t filling up?
WEEK 5: Shaky Ground – what if there’s conflict or sabotage?
A shaky, tearful participant in your circle approaches you outside of your program. She confides that she has been feeling ostracized and alienated from the circle that you facilitate, due to a dynamic that is happening in your community. She’s like a seedling, who has been stepped on inadvertently, and it is hard to ascertain if she will survive the blow. It seems as though members of your circle have said some things that have caused hurt, and she is asking you where to go from here.
During week 5 we will cover:
• How to take measures to prevent circle conflict
• Noble Healing (Alison Armstrong)
• What to do if there is conflict between members in your circle.
• What to do if it feels like someone is sabotaging your circle – perhaps they have joined for the wrong reasons? (To exercise compassion, we won’t call them a weed – but oh how nicely it would suit our metaphor. Often weeds are misunderstood medicine 🙂
• Handling emotional releases, and other members’ reactions to emotional releases
• What if I’m in a small community – how do I create a container that won’t leak into the community?
• What if I make a mistake? (This is the #1 fear of new circle holders. I have a certain truth I can lift up right now – you will make a mistake. It’s just critical that we know that making mistakes is ok, and we will move forward with water, food, and shelter for our seeds and seedlings.)
WEEK 6: Ripple Effect – making your circle connected, sustainable, and a community movement.
So here you are – ready, set and going into your community and plant the seeds of your beautiful offering of circle. If you have taken your time to establish clarity, examined your unique offering, created a solid framework and meaningful container, found your tribe and have gathered them together, you will begin to notice the magical ripple effects into your extended community. The sacred seed of your circle will begin to grow and blossom into fruit that will very much reflect your vision, your offering into the community. And you may be surprised, but there will be some fruits and flowers that your seed bears that will not be what you predicted. This is the magic, the sacredness of the circle.
During this 6th and final week, we will cover:
• how to facilitate your circle’s connection outside of circle using social media, online forums, gatherings and ceremony
• how to help weave your greater community circle together
• how to grow and share your circle, so that it is sustainable and doesn’t grow stale or go to seed
• how not to feel threatened when your circle members want to start their own circles
• how to take care of yourself by belonging to a sacred circle that you don’t facilitate or lead
• how to envision the application of this Ancient Sacred Formation in other settings, such as office, school, with teens, children, in prison, churches, helping resolve conflict, boost morale, weave together community
The sisterhood and love I have experienced in Waymatea’s Wisdom Circle has been profound in helping me to create the foundation for which I move, create, and offer in the world. I was able to find my voice and embrace my light. All these things have helped me to be a light for others to discover their own light. For this, I am truly grateful. – Melsha Shea, 2015
At a time in my life when I longed to be part of a circle again but was very timid and a little scared of putting myself out there again; I reconnected with Waymatea. From the very beginning of our circle I felt completely accepted, valued and honoured for exactly how I showed up! Exactly as me!! Throughout my journey this never changed and has given me hope there is a place where one can be completely accepted; all the time!! Waymatea’s kind, generous, compassionate spirit is almost palpable when in her presence and I have always feel lighter after our time together.
Waymatea and her teachings have been a huge blessing in my life. With love, honour and a gentle push at times 🙂 I have been able to move through and process things I still carried with me that I no longer needed. Waymatea has always encouraged me to follow my heart no matter what!
From circles, to phone chats to one on one work, Waymatea has always been accommodating and flexible and this is important to me as I have a young family.
Through my time with Waymatea, she has taught me to love all parts of myself, even the parts you hate to acknowledge!
As a woman, a mom, a healer who needed support, guidance and that push to acknowledge I was ready to move on in my career, Waymatea has always shown humility and has often reiterated we are all alike, we are all equal and has continually made me feel comfortable in presence.
~ Holly Seamone, 2015
Well where do I begin…ok June of 2014 I was searching…searching for something…I had no idea what for or where to turn, a wonderful friend of mine saw that I was struggling within myself, there had been a lot of things in my life that had happened and a lot that I had lost and grieving for that had made me lost…very lost, and I didn’t know where to turn. My relationships were suffering, with my husband, children, and friends. My friend recommended that I come to a circle with her, I had no idea what she was talking about, however I had seen a beautiful change in her over months that had gone by so I went, I had no idea what a wonderful blessed event in my life this was going to be. Through Waymatea Wellness Center, I no longer feel lost! I feel empowered, enlightened, uplifted, strongly feminine, and found. Waymatea is a woman who has been put on this earth to help people heal, she is kind, beautiful, honest, REAL, understanding, non-judgemental, genuine, Loving, soft and fierce all at the same time, she lives as she teaches, just her smile as she greets me at the door makes everything seem lighter, I feel I now have a space that is mine where I am free to express myself, I have learned to accept myself (the good, bad and the ugly) I look more at the blessings in my life, and find that although things are not perfect I am who I am, and that is who I am supposed to be. I am aloud to Love myself no matter what has been or what is to come. Waymatea has given me back ME, and has taught me that I am worth it and I am enough, that is something that was a foreign concept to me before meeting her! I am a member of her healing circle that take place on Monday evenings, the women that I have met there are beyond anything I could have ever imagined, they make me feel valued and heard, I can’t wait till Monday evenings now. To go and see my beautiful, wonderful, amazing friends in my circle is a joy in my life. We along with Waymatea help each other navigate through our life journeys. Without them I would still be searching, and lost. I still have to navigate through life, however I feel it is easier now that I have Waymatea and her Health and Wellness Center on my side!! Much Love
~ Luanna Moore
I have a vision that we will heal the world through circles. This ancestral shape of gathering answers a call from the very deepest part of our human hearts – the part inside us that craves finally belonging, feeling witnessed, and collapsing into a soft, safe, compassionate place. Thank you for being a part of this vision.
~Rev. Waymatea Ellis, Ancient Sacred Formation-A Practical Guide for Leading a Circle