In ancient times, it was common for women to sit in circle in their communities. Wisdom and stories (through karanga, waiata and karakia) were passed down through the generations and rites of passage were an integral part of transitions through life. Sadly, the modern world has mostly forgotten or abandoned these practices.


As wāhine Māori living in the western world, we have shifted from our natural rhythms and cycles to the striving and hustling required in a patriarchal world – much to our detriment. But it’s not all bad news.


Recent times have seen many women cravings a circle, a sisterhood, a place to belong, to be seen, heard and held and it seems that women’s circles are now on the rise. The upsurge of women’s circle gatherings is no coincidence. More and more women are tuning into themselves, realizing that they want something ‘more’.


Connecting in circle is a powerful way for women to not only empower and heal themselves but also enables them to create genuine connections and friendships. No longer do women wish to be compartmentalized, categorized or continue to accept the status quo. The glass ceiling is breaking and women everywhere are awakening.


Modern technology and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and email lists have made it easier to create online circles or groups. When I started iWahine NZ I wanted to reach beyond physical and geographical boundaries. I wanted to reach out to wāhine who were physcially, emotionally or spiritually isolated and distanced. I wanted to reach out to women who wanted connection, support and inspiration.


iWahine NZ is my sacred circle.


Through iWahine NZ I have connected with women I would not have met otherwise. Women in other parts of Aotearoa and women in other countries. Some have been clients; some have become business partners and some good friends. I’ve seen women inspire and support each other, heal and transform their stories into something powerful for the advancement of other women and their tamariki. These acts have led women to step up as leaders, change career paths and live the life they desire as they grow more confident and resolute in their vision and life purpose.

The Dalai Lama said “The world will be saved by the Western Woman” and without a doubt, women around the globe are answering this call.

So, what is a sacred circle gathering?

Simply put, a sacred circle gathering is a gathering of women (and/or girls) where connection, engaging conversation, healing, rejuvenation and transformation happens.


What I love most about guiding women in sacred circle is the amazing transformation, revelations and healing that occurs. In my experience women who attend circle join because they wish to empower and take better care of themselves. They are seeking sisterhood outside their usual channels and they wish to learn more about how they can bring spiritual practice into their daily lives.


Typically their lives are so busy that the sacred pause that circle offers helps to nourish and reinvigorate them. In some cases, women might join a circle without fully knowing the reason why but end up being pleasantly surprised that their intuition guided them all along. What I love most about guiding women in sacred circle is the amazing transformation, revelations and healing that occurs.


While I’ve enjoyed working one-on-one with women in my coaching and consulting business, I also enjoy facilitating groups. Group work has freed up some of my time and enabled me to reach and support more people. Many of my clients are freelancers, coaches and consultants; tiny little business (TLB) owners. And what they tell me is that life can be very solitary. Many work from home or at a coworking space. There are times when they crave deeper connection away from their desk, screen and schedule.


Here’s are five reasons why a sacred circle gathering can benefit your mahi and how you can join my iWahine circle:

  1. Sisterhood. Beautiful things can happen in circle in a way that isn’t easily achieved in other social gatherings. Women from all walks of life connecting in circle is a beautiful thing to witness. It enables women to see their oneness and connection to each other and as a result, true sisterhood can be formed as we unite for a common purpose: to discover ourselves, nourish ourselves and to cultivate a sense of belonging.
  2. Reclaim the ancient ways. It is an opportunity to reconnect with ancient wisdom of our tūpuna and reclaim the old ways. In forming a women’s circle, we are reclaiming what is rightfully ours and in doing so we honour our tūpuna and ourselves. Through circle we can explore the ancient ways and bring this to our modern-day busy lives.
  3. Essential Self-Care. Every woman who commits to attend circle is practicing essential self-care and devotion to her needs as a woman. Circle provides us the opportunity to take time out from the hustle and bustle of business, life and motherhood and enables us to fill our cup physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
  4. Intentional Living and Mindfulness. When in circle, our focus is purely on the state of ‘being’. Being with our sisters, ourselves, our emotions, feelings and thoughts. Attending a circle is a practice in living in the present moment and this ‘being’ state heightens our intuition.
  5. A Safe and Sacred Space. A women’s circle is a place to be seen and heard, to receive wisdom and guidance (when requested) and to practice focused intention. Safety and security are important aspects for women and sometimes our daily lives prevent us from truly showing up and saying how we feel. In circle women can feel vulnerable, yet feel safe to open up and share what is going on in their lives in a judgement-free and confidential space.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and take the next step – set up your own sacred circle or better yet join mine by clicking on this link –


Awhimai Reynolds is a Business Adviser and Coach with the Trusted Adviser Network (TAN). She is passionate about women in business and leadership. Contact Awhimai at or on FB and LinkedIn