Crawl Across the Sacred Circle and Take My Hand by Caryn MacGrandle

On Winter Solstice, I hosted a Return of the Sun event at the local healing arts center where I do my Circles. We had offerings and presentations all night long. It was the first time I have ever done anything that large or public, so it was a stretch for me.

At the end of the night, a friend said, ‘Oh my, I needed this. Let’s do it once a month.’

And I thought, ‘yea, right.’

And then I thought, ‘Yea. Right.’

I’ve already started thinking about ways we could do it better and things we could change.

I feel a bit like when I first started hosting Circles nine years ago. I’m tired and judging whether or not it was worth the stress and effort.

But this time around I know it’s worth the stress and effort.

I brought my daughters who peopled the snack table. The night culminated in a Circle. Lots of ‘make do’s’: people who were supposed to come but got sick or something popped up, families in the hospital, scheduled surgeries, personality conflicts.

Messy bits.

There are a lot of messy bits in life.

If it were easy to build a new world, we would have done it a long time ago.

Before we started the Circle, one women said she always cries during meditation. We said that’s fine. And sure enough she did. I had just sunk down into never never land of meditation, and I hear this wail erupting. Bubbling up.

The woman doing the meditation immediately came over and put her hand on her back. The woman across in the Circle crawled over and put her head in this woman’s lap and held her hand. I scooted over and held the other hand.

I shared a story at the end of meditation. Many years ago, when I went to ALisa’s Starkweather Daughters of the Earth event in the middle of nowhere in a Massachusetts woods, the first thing I experienced there was this drumming, guttural singing and wailing.

We’re not talking crying, mind you. We’re talking I’m in my tent at least a couple of football fields away, and there down the hill, I hear WAILING. Multiple voices. Multiple women. Continuously.


Get a tissue. See a counselor. You’re okay. Be quiet. Take a pill.

That is what our society has told us, right.

Only sometimes its not enough, and you need a good wail. And you need your friend to crawl over from the other side of the Circle and put her head in your lap and hold your hand.

And crying has nothing to do with strength.

I also heard a few times last night how very lonely and isolated life is nowadays.


Several moments during the event, when I was able to stop my monkey mind from logistics, I would have a ‘moment’.

My daughter asked after the event if that was crying that she heard during the Circle. She was so curious she peeked through the curtains to see.

I said, ‘Yes, it was. No big deal.’

My 13 year old daughter is in sensitive beginning highschool territory in a world full of cellphones, social media, masks and fear that I cannot even begin to fathom.

They are on fragile ground this next generation, and we must do our best to share the lessons we have learned. The objective is not all love and light and Starbucks cappuccinos and Lulu yoga pants. Sometimes, the objective is to crawl across the Circle to take your friend’s hand in your’s while she cries.

And then five minutes later, we were laughing. And then we were dancing. And sharing. And connecting.

If it were easy to build a new world, we would have done it a long time ago.

Invite a couple of friends. Start a Circle. Go to a Circle. Host an event. Find it or promote it on When you register (quick, easy and free), you will be emailed any events like this in your area.

*All personal stories are shared with the consent of those involved.

BIO: Caryn MacGrandle is the creator behind the Divine Feminine App which has been connecting and inspiring women [and other genders too] throughout the world since 2016 as a directory to find Sacred Circles, events and resources. Women find the app each and every day, and it currently has almost 8000 users from around the world. Caryn has also hosted Sacred Circles and events for the past nine years and is passionate about the power of a Circle to heal individuals and the world. She has participated in numerous online and location events such as the World Parliament of Religions in September of 2021 in which she presented a workshop on Embodying the Goddess: Creating Rituals with Mind, Body and Soul and just recently a webinar/panel with Dale Allen presenting Dale’s Indie film award winning “In Our Right Minds: Leading Women to Strength as Leaders and Men to Strength without Armor.” Each and every day, Caryn (aka Karen Moon) works tirelessly towards her belief that the most important area to first find equality and balance is the divinity found within yourself.

Categories: female friendship, Feminism, Feminism and Spirituality, Friendship, General, Herstory, meditations, Sacred Space, Women's Agency, Women's Voices

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6 replies

  1. “The objective is not all love and light and Starbucks cappuccinos and Lulu yoga pants. Sometimes, the objective is to crawl across the Circle to take your friend’s hand in your’s while she cries.” Fragile ground is so true. The young people I knew at my last job and those I’ve worked with in my community live in such a different world (imagine being paired with a student in Tunisia to do a class project) but also a flatter, more superficial world (social media proves that everyone looks like x or has y or goes to z so I need to as well). The human connection, the taking the time to simply wait with/be with another is the “realer” reality. I cried reading your essay.


  2. Thank you Contenta for the comment. Yes, the Good. The Bad. So much opportunity in today’s technological world for connection and information but it must be accompanied by ‘real’ face to face, in person experiences. May we do this good work in 2023.


  3. “There are a lot of messy bits in life. If it were easy to build a new world, we would have done it a long time ago.” What really important bits of wisdom for us to remember! It is so easy to think that if we just did everything RIGHT, life would be perfect. Expecting the messy bits and realizing that everything we do is a work on progress that will be carried on by the next generation makes life so much easier, or at least makes accepting that life will not always be as we wish so much easier. Your Winter Solstice circle sounds wonderful!


  4. Thank you so much for sharing Caryn what beautiful circle work you do …and sharing such real sacred moments all women need, understand and know ………..I am holding a retreat in 3 weeks on the dark moon new moon rising ………….cannot wait ………… and to your daughters …….. all teenagers’ moments are such important threshold of transition. let us make time and hold space and share circles with them in all its forms … around the dinner or coffee table ……. on the side of her bed,,,,,,, down the street, at the cafe or at the beach, lake or pool …………. all holding space for them… to share, self-learn and specially to cry, howl and or scream ………… sacred wailing yes please! So, mote this be for 2023


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