We gathered outside in a circle of about a dozen souls, surrounded by a beautiful garden brimming with crickets and frogs who gifted the perfect soundtrack for our time together. From my vantage point, the sky was clear and the stars were bright. It occurred to me later that I never actually saw the moon. What mattered most was the space we created together. Many of us had never met before, but we were willing to lean into this moment.
New moon circles are about holding space to connect in harmony with one another and nature. The circle I attended was guided by founder of Wild Roots Art Studio, Alie Rich, who began offering circles eight years ago in Fort Collins, Colorado as an opportunity for women to gather. After a few years, Rich began syncing the circles with the moon cycles.
“I found that by harmonizing into these natural cycles, we could feel more alive and in tune,” Rich explains. “Nature has a beautiful way of showing us how to live with grace. The cycles within nature guide us through the cycles of seed, emergence, growth, action, expansion, fulfillment, letting go and releasing. We can find more balance and joy in life when we consider that there are times for rest and times to bloom.”
Coming together with intention as a collective magnifies our ability to receive nature’s messages and to experience profound harmony. We gathered under the August new moon which fell under the fire sign of Leo, a zodiac sign associated with compassion, big-heartedness, consciousness and creativity. Rich engaged us in creating a motherwort herbal tincture and cyanotype solar prints as a nod to the sun elements of Leo.
Rich shares, “In each gathering, we explore a theme through discussion, guided meditation and creating ritual crafts or art projects. In crafting these projects, they become a personal ritual to create a safe resting space for deep healing, big emotions and dreams.”
In past circles, she has guided women to create nature mobiles, dream boxes and medicine bags. After completing our creative projects, Rich guided us into journaling by asking, “What dims your light? What expands your light?” These prompts helped prepare us to share our thoughts and feelings. As we each took a turn around the circle, others held the space with kindness and compassion. By the end of the gathering, I felt a surprisingly enhanced sense of harmony and interconnectedness.
The next time you look up into the sky, consider asking yourself how nature can assist you in finding harmony. Perhaps you will seek out an art ritual project and do some journaling as you dig deep into self-reflection. Or, maybe you will explore community in the context of a soulful new moon gathering as part of your healing path.
Originally published in the Winter + Spring 2021-22 issue.
Toni Viney grew up as a city girl in the Chicagoland area with close country life and farming ties. She spent her summers on a river in southern Wisconsin and learned to drive a boat well before learning to drive a car. As an adult, Toni made her way to the mountains to pursue a master’s degree at Colorado State University and discovered her love for yoga during graduate school. She became a yoga teacher in 2011 and has been teaching group classes, one-on-one private sessions, and workshops ever since. She founded Best Day Ever Yoga in 2021.