How Totem Works

App screenshot

How we start

Our Circles have 3-8 participants, with a Circle Keeper guiding the group and maintaining a safe space for sharing.

The keeper starts with an opening ceremony, like a song, poem, or guided meditation, to bring everyone's attention to the present moment.

How we share

The keeper, who is holding the totem or talking piece, then asks the first prompt. The keeper answers the prompt, based on their own experience, before passing the totem to the next person in the Circle's talking order.

When you have the talking piece, it's your turn to share. You can speak as much or as little as you'd like. And if you don't want to share, you can always pass the totem onto the next participant.

How we end

Every time the totem gets back to the Keeper, they will ask the Circle a new prompt and continue the sharing cycle until time is up.

The Keeper ends each Circle with a closing ceremony, like a quote, poem, or excerpt from a book, before releasing everybody back to their own lives.

"Our ancestors gathered around a fire in a Circle. Families gather around the kitchen table in a Circle. Now, we are learning to gather in a Circle as a community to solve problems, support one another, and connect to one another."