"Women's circles form one at a time," writes Jean Shinoda Bolen, Jungian analyst and author of seven books including Crossing to Avalon. "Each circle expands the experience of being in one to more women. Each woman in every circle who is changed by it takes this experience into her world of relationships. Until, on one fine day, a new circle will form, and it will be the millionth circle the one that tips the scales and brings us into the post-patriarchal human era."
Using experience gleaned from her participation in women's circles since 1985, Bolen argues that these support groups, learning societies, and agents of change can empower members. The author begins with casting a circle (who, what, when, and where) and then moves on to centering the group with a common intention, energy, compassion, and wisdom. Two criteria for keeping circles alive are to practice equality and to make sure that everyone feel safe. Bolen's ideas on restoring a circle in trouble to health are salutary. She concludes with an overview of the importance of rituals and celebrations in women's circles. Short and poetic, The Millionth Circle is a fine resource for building community.