What is a Red Thread Circle? Written by Shiloh Sophia
A Red Thread Circle is a gathering of people coming together to share the common threads of our stories. In this gathering, a red thread, literally a ball of red yarn or string, is passed around the circle to each person. When the red thread comes to you, you hold the thread in your hand and take a turn to speak and be heard. At the end of the circle, you take your piece of the Red Thread with you.
Most commonly participants tie it on their wrists but they can place it anywhere: on a button, a necklace, their purse. It is a reminder of the circle and what was shared there. Many will wear their red thread until it falls off – it can become a very significant reminder. By creating the circle with intention, we weave ourselves and our stories together. Inside of that space, insight, healing and transformation become possible, which wouldn’t be possible in isolation.
What is the significance of the Red Thread?
The Red Thread is a global gender-inclusive symbol with whatever meaning you choose to bring to it, based on your intention. However, the context that is often shared before the thread is passed is a reference to the history of red thread itself. There are many Red Threads in traditions and stories throughout the world. It most often represents connection, protection and blessing.
What materials do you need? (both for our event, and to call your own circles!)
Red Thread & Scissors. We most commonly use a ball of red yarn. You can also add paper and pens. A simple altar or candle in the middle. A place to sit. And tea is also lovely.
When is a circle called?
It is always a good time to call a circle. To connect. To heal. To share stories. To move through challenges. To provide a container for speaking into. To educate. To resolve differences and to find common ground. To grieve. To celebrate. To claim a “piece of the red thread” – we say it is the responsibility of each person to know what is “theirs” to hold. A circle can have any intention you choose, based on what is needed and wanted. A circle can happen with two to an infinite number of guests. It can happen in sacred space, and in the in-between spaces. You can hand it to someone you don’t know that you feel connected to and just tell them it is a sign of connection. Red Thread Circles are held at weddings as well as memorials. With children as well as elders. With those who suffer, and those who celebrate.
We have been gathering in circle since ancient times. The Red Thread Circle is one of many circles. You don’t have to be a leader or teacher to call a circle, it can be very simple – it isn’t a performance. You are just calling the people together, those whose time it is to meet and connect. Written by Shiloh Sophia McCloud Lewis