Magic Circle

Credits Indira Cornelio, Alma Uguarte Perez Last Updated 2017-06

This exercise provides a closing, for a training process or individual session, in which participants set an intention to continue sharing with others what they have learned.

This session was developed for, and should be attributed to, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting resource “Cyberwomen: Holistic Digital Security Training Curriculum for Women Human Rights Defenders” under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International CC BY-SA 4.0 License

Materials to Prepare:

  • Paper and pen

Running the Exercise:

Step 1 | New knowledge or experiences are made much richer shared and complemented with other people. Explain that the purpose of this exercise is for participants to set an intention to continue sharing with others what they have learned during the training process.

Step 2 | Invite the group to form a circle - they can be seated on the floor, in chairs, or standing, what is most comfortable for everyone.

Step 3 | As this exercise is called Magic Circle, begin the exercise by talking about some of the traditional symbolism and significance of the circle:

  • Rituals have been celebrated and observed using circular arrangements since prehistory - it was believed that through the energy emanating between people in a circular pattern, evil spirits were exorcised and good spirits remained;
  • In a circle, people are all visible to one another at equal distance – each person occupies the same level and plane as everybody else, and leadership is not disputed – it is trusted;
  • Circles place the flow of energy in balance, with everybody giving as much as they receive; nobody comes first and nobody comes last – all become one and equal.

Step 4 | Invite participants to each write on a piece of paper something they are willing to share with the person to their right – this can be anything: a thought, a song, a poem, or something they learned during the training that is important to them. Once everybody has written something, ask them to fold their papers in half.

Step 5 | Each participant should have in their right hand the folded paper they wrote. Explain that the right hand symbolizes an individual’s ability to help others, and the left hand symbolizes their need to exchange - everybody should now join hands in the circle, with each person’s right hand joined with the left hand of the person to their right.

Step 6 | Everybody should now give their written message to the person on their right, passing it from their right hand into the left hand of the recipient.

Step 7 | Everyone should now read the paper they’ve received – they can either do this out loud, or quietly to themselves.

Step 8 | As they read their messages, speak to the group about the idea of sisterhood - the love between women in which all are perceived as equals and as allies, building solidarity from violence, inequality and injustices faced and changing each other’s realities for the better. Explain that together, you are all supporting each other in sisterhood by sharing knowledge and insight with one another.