The Holy Wild

Posted on in Healthy Living by Danielle Dulsky

Priestess Circles for the Untamed Woman

Many women long to be part of a circle where they can speak and be heard, a circle that meets regularly enough so that it can be a dependable source of support, and a circle that affirms not only their right to be in it but also their right to be here on this blessed planet. What we are really saying when we wax poetic about our desire for community is that we desire a circle of people who, while they may not share our lived experiences, hold the same hopes for the children of the future that we do.

If you feel like a Priestess and are called to circle, having searched high and low for a small group of like-minded “wild ones” who will listen while you weep and work magick with you, for you and the wounded world, but have not found that sense of untamed belonging and fierce acceptance in any existing space, then it may be time to create your own. Ask yourself: What is the conversation you want to have with the global community through your circle? How is your circle an expression of the values you hold dear for all humanity? How will your circle embody and honor the holistic, integrated, and primal feminine?

Begin there. Begin with your core values and deepest truths. This is how the circle grows up round from the roots. Consider your circle’s mission as primary, so that every meeting and every member is threaded together by red-hot convictions that do not change. Each individual within the circle is a icrocosm of the circle itself, which is, in turn, a microcosm of an envisioned juster collective.

The circle is not an escape. The circle is not a wild retreat from the workaday lives of its members. The circle is a living expression of how you want the world to be. It is a real and tangible reflection of what you wake up hoping for and an in-your-face answer to the injustices that keep you awake at night.


The fire that boils beneath the circle’s surface is what keeps it alive and well amid the cyclical nature of its membership and the naturally wayward energetic investments of its participants. Resist the predictably skeptical voice inside your head that warns you to shrink back, that says you do not know enough or that no one will come. Resist the urge to dilute the circle’s message to gain attendance, resist the need to know exactly what your circle will be. Take stock of your deepest, most immutable values and begin there, with what you know for sure, and do not back down from these tightly held convictions.

Handwritten Verses: The Circle Is Always, the Circle Is Never

In digging out your circle’s mission statement from your vast storehouse of beliefs, complete these two sentences as many times as you can:

The circle is always…
The circle is never…

Circle all the sentences that meet the following condition: They affirm the values I want the global community to embody. From those sentences, create a mission statement or manifesto. Do not worry, not yet, about how often you will meet or precisely what you will do during your meetings. Fuse the bony foundations together now—the rest will come. Allow your inner Witch of Sacred Love to work with the Prophetess to form a vision for your sacred work, and know yourself as a wise Craftswoman who works in the art of circling as a potter works in clay. Permit circle-craft to empower rather than burden, to liberate rather than cage, and always grant your circle permission to swell and shrink as if it were a living, breathing entity.

The circle is versatile. For some it is only a space of open-hearted communication, their place to speak and be heard. For others, it is a candlelit container for communal magick, chanting, and spell craft, or a driven and purposed boundary for activism and community planning. Whatever the circle’s nature, whatever the intention that anchors it firmly to ground, it is an organic shape in which the most intense learning often occurs. The circle is a teacher-in-the-round, an entity in and of itself, and a mirror for the greater global collective as you would like it to be.

Too often, ours is a quiet and lonely practice. Dissatisfaction with our garden communities leaves us in a precarious position, at once longing for truly empowering spiritual community and resigning ourselves to a life of solitary Craft. Sometimes, in our more bitter moments, we attempt to become our own support system, struggling to embody an entire coven within our own skin, all the while wondering if we can, one day, muster the energy and know-how to start our own circles. But if we take our lessons from the wild, we know the merit of belonging and trust in the power of community. Know this, Priestess: If the wild women of this world could truly come together with their shared magick to support a common vision of a healing planet and could cease battling one another and using the stillsharp weapons of capitalism and colonization, then we would become precisely what was so feared during the burning times. We would become the wise change agents—the heathen collective come home.

Danielle Dulsky is an artist and yoga teacher who leads teacher trainings, women’s circles, witchcraft workshops, and energy healing trainings. She is the author of Woman Most Wild and The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman (New World Library) from which this essay is adapted.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Join our once-monthly newsletter to get all the latest news & resources

No spam. Unsubscribe any time.