Red Thread Circles

Sisters of the Thread by Ally Markotich ©2019

A few years ago, I found myself sitting in circle with a community of women who upheld different values than other groups I’d been part of. Surface level talk was replaced with deep soulful questions. Gossip was replaced with a movement toward creative vision. Competition was replaced with celebration. Each time I arrived to these circles, I learned a bit more about me. I didn’t have to “believe” a certain way to belong. In fact, I was reminded of my belonging no matter what spaces and places I stepped in and out of. I began to have greater confidence in claiming myself as artist. I gained the ability to hold space for grief without trying to “fix” grief. I began to speak my voice without apology. This was my induction into the Red Thread Circle, a teaching taught by artist, Shiloh Sophia, founder of Musea and the Intentional Creativity Foundation.

As I carried on learning the many stories, traditions and teachings of the Red Thread, I envisioned this as medicine for the whole world. I saw this as a healing tool for churches and schools, community centers and hospitals, broken families and loving families. I imagined spaces where people come together and listen to one another. Just listen. To hear different perspectives without having an answer. I envisioned circles where communities have honest conversation about what is and isn’t working without fallout for those who don’t agree with the masses. I saw children speaking their heart and elders sharing their wisdom, both learning from one another.

How can this happen? How do circles of healing take place? It begins with you and I. First, come to a circle and hear the stories. Then, envision what message is important in your own life. What is the topic that stirs your soul? Take a step into your bravery to lead a circle with others holding the red thread. Become a carrier of the story:

“Yes, you belong.
Yes, you are connected.
You are unique AND your voice matters.
You have a sacred responsibility to the whole.
But, dear one, you don’t need to take care of the whole community.
Nurture your piece.
And, as you learn more and more about your piece,
you will gain peace.
By knowing your piece, it leads to a celebration of all.”


As I sit in Red Thread circles, I’m more and more amazed by our human spirit. I’m in awe by how much we endure as creatures on this earth. The transitions that come our way, the pain we’ve moved through, the beauty that shines through regardless. Red Thread Circles give space to hear from the many voices and bring connection to community.

Simply stated, a Red Thread Circle gathers us together to explore our belonging, share our story, speak our voice, connect our common thread, claim our sacred responsibility and celebrate one another.

I’m passionate about the Red Thread Circle because it’s helped me to claim belonging in life. As an artist, seeing differently comes naturally and often, it’s easy to feel like an outsider. As an empathic soul, it’s also easy to put walls up to protect myself from being hurt. In life, I there are times when I’ve felt alone. But, by participating with the Red Thread Circle regularly, it has give me eyes to see that I belong and have a sacred responsibility to the whole. The part I play in life MATTERS; being an artist is a gift and a necessity to life. As we move around the circle, each person claims their piece, an invitation to lay down comparing and, instead, celebrate each person’s unique gift. In a Red Thread Circle, there is a guideline not to “fix” or give advice, but rather to witness and be present.

The summer of 2019, I was thrilled to be a support person for the Red Thread Guide program with the Intentional Creativity® Foundation to provide witness and encouragement for participants of the program. It gave me access to deeper training around this beautiful process that can be an easy breezy celebration or an all day deep soul-searching event.

Some of my favorite types of circles to call are:
Celebration circles to honor a person or couple
Transition circles to honor a change in life
Visioning circles to dream anew
Grief circles to honor heartache
Belonging circles to aid in claiming our gift/piece
Nurturing circles to claim renewal


If you’re interested in experiencing a Red Thread Circle, I’m currently available to host online through Zoom. Let’s connect and begin dreaming of a meaningful way to call a circle specific to your needs. Contact me at ally@soulkindling.com to connect!

My poem, Weaver of the Thread, based on the Red Thread Circle, can be found here