Heart circle


faerie nuclear* technology

* Nucleus in Latin means "core". Searching for roots of the concepts reflects the "radical" (radix - Latin for "root") in Radical Faeries. Bringing together the queer folks that indulge in inquiring deeper than the consuming mainstream lifestyles - beyond habitual, shallow, superficial - was one of the key intentions at the onset of this community.

Heart circle is a social event, a gathering of people who decide to share their feelings mutually. Those who participate and reveal their vulnerable selves - decide to trust each other. This initial trust, contradicting anything known from the regular world's interactions (competing, getting on top of the others, holding armor), preconditions the heart circle’s magic: the healing, personal transformation, acquiring insight, conflict resolving, group binding. It happens regularly or on random impulse – to achieve those goals intentionally, or in belief that holding the circle will serve the community in any situation and mood.

The facilitators (perhaps even the whole group) set the sacred space – with evocative props, items of comfort, offering intention or topic or just presenting the usual guidelines. Mediation, silence, shared breathing, a visualization, a song, The circle is open and whoever feels compelled speaks first.

The talisman then passes around the circle and only the person holding it shares. This way he can enjoy unique experience of speaking without interruption, time pressure stress, need to fight for word or attention, to entertain the audience, to compact his sharing. He may talk, sing, dance, unleash the pure emotion, stay silent, or pass the talisman on. He may take some time to find a correct mode of expression, the words, the subject that matters to the heart.

The circle happens in no haste, but with loving consideration to the time and energy and capacity of all those present. People may leave anytime they like, but preferably in between the sharings, so that they don’t disrupt a difficult personal effort. They may return to the circle as convenient but respectfully. The organized comfort breaks may help the whole group, but also to disrupt the flow.

There are no interruption even by affirmative statements (aha, yes). The natural body reactions (heavy breath, laughter, tears, movement) are possible.

The neighbors are discouraged to console, if that was not explicitly asked by the person holding the talisman. The performance of "care-taking faerie" may feel as stealing of the stage or audience, it may interrupt the sharing or distract from the emotional liberty. The person shering is trying to be authentic, to be present with their emotions - it is their moment.

There is no direct addressing of the other people, no conversation, no argumentative responses to what someone else shared. If a sharing evokes resonance, it may be stated, bound into, paralleled – but on an uncompromisingly personal level. There is no "good sharing" confirmation, no applause or boo.

Faeries resonating with particular passage of the sharing may softly hiss – thus offering sympathy. If hissing responds to the whole sharing, it is tactful to grant it equally to everyone as a habit.

To introduce a heart circle quality, the speakers are encouraged to focus on the feelings, not thoughts, visions, opinions, arguments or accusations. If these directly relate to the emotional state, the speaker may decide to share them anyways. Constructing the sentences with I instead of group-hijacking we, focusing on personal experience ("I felt") instead of guessing the others intentions ("you did"), presenting what "I feel" instead of what "I think" - is all encouraged. Looking deep (soul, heart, feelings) instead of high (spirit, mind, thoughts) may express in observable outward signals too. It may require a time to be able to open up the heart. Some sharings are quite frequent and iconic: "I am happy to be here." "I wanted to share the same thing." "I am arriving/leaving." It is a conscious decision to allow oneself the trust, to let go of one's armor, to introduce the quality.

Listening from the heart is as important as speaking from the heart. Being the audience, the attentive silence where his voice resonates. Serving as a witness to the person sharing. Giving him space, time, opportunity to express, to be heard and seen, to be accepted as he is. The heart-space is non-judgmental. This preconditions the trust as much as the heart-circle's magic. During the time of sharing, the others practice listening, rather than thinking of something else or preparing their own speech. The heart-circle does not work if people come to use the group – share and leave – without offering the same kind of service (to be heard, to be understood) to the others.

Everything that is said in the heart circle is confidential. It is not a gossip, not a newsreel, not a soap-opera. Sharings are not revisited by others, with or without the concerned person present. The speakers may find it preferable to touch certain wounds only in the circle. Those may be difficult matters to put in words, topics that we wish not to reopen multiple times, it may feel appropriate to say it just once - in the sacred space. The others may ask the faerie if we they to talk about the sharing again – and they may decline – and this rejection will be accepted with love.