weaving us together in community

Do you long to start or be part of a deeply meaningful, spiritual circle in your own community? Are you sensing it’s time to step out and share your gifts as a woman’s way leader?

Weaving the Hoop That Connects is a Red Lodge service project devoted to bringing inter-generational circles together to:
• Share who we are
• Explore woman’s way mentoring and leadership
• Sing and drum together
• Create personal healing ceremony
• Deeply tend our lives
• Grow new roots, to sustain us in community

Weaving the Hoop Handbook, by Mary G.L. Shackelford and Kristina Turner, a beautiful, step-by-step guide to creating a Red Lodge Hoop, is an E-book available for free to Red Lodge members. Along with the handbook, Red Lodge offers ongoing connection and support for new and ongoing hoop facilitators. To inquire about receiving the handbook and starting a hoop in your area, review our Hoop FAQ page here or contact weavinghoops@wwrl.org.

We currently have hoops that meet across the United States. New hoops form each year, and each is unique:

Pikes Peak Hoop

Colorado Springs, CO – Co-facilitated by Kathy Gallagher, Dawn Pastorius and Doris Reis

Root fire has been calling us and we are thrilled to be able to begin to weave Woman’s Way in a deep and meaningful way here in Colorado Springs, CO. Our group is co-facilitated by Kathy Gallagher, Dawn Pastorius and Doris Reis. Our intention is to “provide a safe and nurturing environment for individual and community growth, and, to create a place for Women’s empowerment”.
Our group story is to….
Build community, and……..
With friends to seek support, and……….
Self knowledge, and…………
To build empowerment, and………
For growth in authentic femininity, and……….
Collaboration, and…………
Healing, and…………….
Self acknowledgement, and………….
Pass and share wisdom and gifts, and…………
Openness and wisdom, and………..
Be open to the experience, and…………
Desire to be immersed in the sisterhood, and………
Feel support of the circle, and……….
Support self expression, and……….
Companionship, and………..
Composed by the group on 04-03-2013


Sacred Hoop of Pendleton 2015 – Current

Pendleton, OR – Facilitated by Erin McCusker: erinm@wwrl.org

The Sacred Hoop of Pendleton offers a place for women of all ages to co-create sacred space for sharing their hearts and exploring the Divine Feminine.  Women commit to journey together for nine months – meeting once a month.  Women experience sacred circle, the natural rhythms of the Earth, drumming, singing and sharing woman’s way traditions and are encouraged and supported to step into their power and share their feminine wisdom.

Social Justice Hoop 2017 – Current

Flagstaff, AZ – Faciliated by Madrone: flagstaffhoop@wwrl.org

Calling committed Flagstaff and Northern Arizona community members who want to join a circle that will meet once a month to: *Grow Connections  *Heal Wounds from Social Justice Activism/Exhaustion *Replenish Your Spirit *Build Fires *Tend Lives  *Focus Deep attention on Your Core *Drum and Sing *Honor the Earth

WWRL invites you to join in a 9-month journey with “Weaving the Hoop that Connects.” In today’s shifting paradigm we can begin to feel drained and exhausted in more significant ways than perhaps we did in other years because so much of our belief system is on the line.

We require sacred spaces to “fill up” and take care of ourselves so we can continue to do the important social justice work of “co-creating a new paradigm for positive change in our communities.” This is the purpose of WWRL.  The dream for this Hoop is to hold space for activists, generators, and change agents so they can more fully, and in a healthy space, recharge in order to continue this important paradigm shifting work.

Vashon Moonlodge Hoop 2007 – Current

Vashon, WA – Facilitated by Christine Wood

Here’s a brief herstory of how Red Lodge hoops began. When two young women asked us to create an inter-generational circle to share our elder women wisdom, Mary G.L. Shackelford and Kristina Turner facilitated the first Red Lodge hoop in 2007. We were astonished that 28 women responded to the flyers we posted in our small island community. 13 women from age 16 to 67 met for our first 9-month journey. Deep connections grew as we shared ceremony, guided meditations, song and drum on a spiritual journey that ended with a giveaway ceremony and a willingness to not know if we would continue. Weaving the Hoop Handbook is based on our adventures that first year. The next year, several hoop sisters came together to do community service projects. In year three, six of us co-facilitated hoop meetings and seven new women joined us to delve creatively into the theme of Grandmother, Mother, Sister, Daughter. Then, Kristina and Mary moved on to new projects and six hoop sisters moved right into the co-founding of Vashon Intuitive Arts Cooperative!

The Burton Hill Hoop has seven women continuing from last year and we are welcoming three to four new people. We now have and welcome gender queer individuals for our nine-month journey. We sit in council, sing, honor the seasons, do embodiment practices, and meditate.

The Wild Women of Three Rivers Hoop 2011 – Current

St. Johnsbury, VT – Facilitated by Kathy Rose Hayes: khayes2005@gmail.com

Three Rivers Hoop, St. Johnsbury VT, The Wild Women of 3 Rivers Hoop, past and present, gathered in March to drum, sing, chant, share ideas, review agreements, renew commitments, and step up to facilitate monthly circles. 3 Rivers meets once a month on Sundays, April through December, at Heartspace Yoga and Movement Center, and in various outdoor locations in northern Vermont. Sharma Gencarelle, founder of 3 Rivers Hoop, is stepping down from her role as Hoop facilitator after six years. Kathy Rose Hayes, Long Dancer and Hoop participant since the first gathering, will be facilitating, organizing, and helping women plan ceremony through the 2017 cycle. We have chosen to dive deep with returning members this year, and will not be accepting new women until the 2018 cycle. Our gatherings are inspired by connection, community, mystery, gratitude, sacred sisterhood, support, the divine within and without, and love.

Past Hoops

To inquire about past hoops or to get in touch with past hoop facilitators, email weavinghoops@wwrl.org.


Enumclaw/Buckley, WA 2008-2012

Co-facilitated by Willow McKean, Debbie Fank and Melanie Chinn

This hoop grew roots together at the foot of Mount Rainier, from 2008 to 2012. When Carrie found the flyer in Starbucks, she knew this was just what she’d been looking for. When Toni had the intuition to ask her new piano teacher if she knew of a women’s spiritual community in their little town, she was led right to Willow – and joined their hoop of 13 women the next year when it opened to new members. Joining the hoop led Toni on a journey that changed her life.

“My story is not special; your story is equally important and unique. The real story is about finding our way to the sacred spirit of connection that has the power to carry us deeper and deeper into mystery as we learn and grow together in our woman’s way. Perhaps Woman’s Way Red Lodge and the connections and opportunities it can open may help you too find your way home.”

Essential Hoop, Virtual 2014-2017

Facilitated by Serena Davidson, Shimmer Lee, and Erin McCusker

This hoop met online and on conference calls, bringing together members who lived across the country. We were a diverse group with representation across ages, genders, cultures of origin, ethnicity and orientations. We met in sacred ceremony by phone once a month for 9 months following Weaving the Hoop Handbook as we adapted it to our long distance needs. Each member who committed to this hoop was invited to make a personal commitment to spend time alone in nature each week and share their experiences with each other in the private Facebook page dedicated to our hoop. We offered this hoop as a way to remain connected with Red Lodge and Longdance communities.

Essential Hoop is on hiatus until further notice.

Flagstaff, AZ 2010-2016

Facilitated by Madrone (2010), Madrone and Erin (2011), Erin and Gina (2012), Kori and Grace (2013), Grace (2014), Jen and Kira (2015-2016)

The time has come to lay our Flagstaff Hoop to bed, under the blanket for a bit. The choice to close our Hoop was not decided by any one Hoop sister but rather became the natural outcome and response to a lack of a facilitator stepping forward to be the WWRL coordinator and liaison of this Hoop. All things ebb and flow and so it is with our Hoop.

As the founder of this Hoop in 2010 with VTara (rest in peace), it felt important to end in a ceremonial and honoring way. As a member of WWRL, I have learned to honor all aspects of the circle flow, so it was essential that we bring these six years to a close despite what manifestations new Hoops in our area might take in 2017 and beyond. Many womyn in our Hoop have spoken to feeling called to potentially create other types of Hoops with WWRL and even this form of our Hoop may rebirth at some point.

The Flagstaff Hoop was the first Hoop birthed outside of Washington State. We took the leap, the risk, and we were vulnerable to what might happen as so many of us have felt when we bear down to birth something new. We were “The Fool” tarot card leaping into the unknown. An important growth moment for WWRL as an organization, now there have been, and in many cases still are, Hoops in VT, CO, UT, OR, WA and even Jamaica. I would also be remiss to not mention the Flagstaff Men’s Hoop, which was created by the partners and friends of our Women’s Hoop.

The Hoop here in Flagstaff was a sort of “flagship” Hoop illustrating that this WWRL service project was indeed an important manifestation of walking the 15 principles of WWRL and teaching/living Woman’s Way in the world. We have been a big part of the story and the journey of WWRL now with many womyn from this Hoop serving in volunteer roles for the organization as Lodgekeepers and even as Chair and Treasurer. More than simply a vision that came to ground it has been an honor and a place where I have grown and been held through many transitions over the seasons of my life these past years.

Over the past six years, the following 34 womyn have walked with the Flagstaff Hoop for one or more cycles: VTara, Madrone, Grace, Erin, Christine, Michelle, Chaparral, Theresa, Cindy, Gina, Meghan, Shimmer Lee, Alexis, Kori, NiCara, Caitlyn B., Vicky, Cassie, Teresa, Erika, Jen, Tracy, Eva, Alexis, Kira, Terez, Carrie, Carly, Marley, Emily, Rachel, Caitlyn C., Brittney, and Jory. We were and are 34 beautiful beings walking in light together over the past six years and forever in our hearts for the years to come. courageous, unblinking and insightful. We ended our night holding hands in circle, looking quietly in each other’s eyes and listening to Libana singing Sisters Now Our Meeting is Over.

Sisters now our meeting is over, sisters we must part
And if I never see you any more I will love you in my heart.
Yes we’ll land on the shore, yes we’ll land on the shore,
yes we’ll land on the shore and be safe forever more.

Click here to hear the song.

The Hoop has completed my search for loved community and sisterhood in spiritual and sacred connection. Through Hoop I returned to my womanhood and connection to sisterhood and mother earth. I have come to recognize the profound importance of sitting with women and developing ongoing relationships with women of any age. I take ceremony and share it everywhere I go!

Written by Madrone. Read more in the December 2016 issue of the Hearth Letter here.

Northern Arizona Men’s Hoop 2016-2016

Facilitated by Angelo Bergs

We ended our nine-month cycle in October and what a blessing to have followed it through to completion! In journeying with the other men, three WWRL Principles stood out: Living From Your Core, Willingness To Play and Laugh at Ourselves, and Inclusiveness and Acceptance. In our entire cycle, other Principles stood out and helped different men at various times, but these three were constantly interwoven into each Hoop meeting.

From our first meeting, we found out we have an expansive collection of backgrounds and personal stories that draw us together. We set a group intention to always be honest when we speak and to make a conscious effort to hear and not judge when we are not speaking. Through our group intention to listen carefully (Inclusiveness and Acceptance) and speak honestly (Live From Your Core), we plunged into the depths of each other’s histories, thoughts and spirits in meaningful ways. Help was given when asked, and witnessing was provided always.

I cannot say I have seen anything more beautiful than the love and acceptance of oneself and others that grew in our Hoop. If you asked me at the start to rank the 15 Principles in order of personal priority, I would have placed Willingness to Play and Laugh at Ourselves as 15, but humor and light-heartedness was a constant thread in our meetings. It was a key Principle I was lacking as a leader in spiritual settings, and it was a way that made every man feel comfortable enough to talk. I got to learn from everyone that irreverence can be meaningful and life-changing, and sometimes a heavy topic or question can only be resolved with a joke and a smile.

Our numbers dwindled drastically in our cycle due to family commitments, moves and long distances, but the feeling of the men’s Hoop lives on. Those of us continuing for a second cycle will create our second cycle’s goals, and then we will open our hoop to new members. I know all of us are excited to see what another year can do to help each of us, which in turn helps weave the web of the world with the 15 Principles of WWRL. Many blessings!

Read more in the December 2016 issue of the Hearth Letter here.

Salt Lake City, UT 2011

Co-facilitated by Betty McNulty and Robin Amador

In 2011, Betty McNulty and Robin Amador were excited to start a hoop and bring a little bit of Long Dance to Utah. Fourteen women were grateful to meet in creative, renewing circle. Their hoop is taking a break but hopes to continue in the future with hoop members co-leading ceremonies.

Shelton, WA 

Facilitated by Tone Butler

The Shelton Hoop was dedicated to the Divine Feminine, embodied by our beloved Gaia. We came together with the intention of invoking Her both within ourselves and without. We celebrated and honored Her/Our seasons and cycles. We intended to create beautiful sacred space in which we learned and grew in Woman’s Way. We stood in our highest vibration of joy and union, to embody the 15 Woman’s Way Principles and carry them as joyful gifts to our friends, families and communities. We played, drummed, laughed and cried joyful tears. We walked the Path of Beauty.