How Totem Works


Totem is a modern take on the tradition of Healing Circles. We aim to address our collective need for support and connection. Totem's circles provide a community-based approach to self-discovery and growth. Totem is social healing.

While participating in circle, you are welcome to share as many or as few details as you are comfortable with, we only ask that you share authentically.


Our Circles have 3-8 participants, with a Circle Keeper guiding the group and maintaining a safe environment. The Keeper starts with an opener, then shares the first prompt and their response, passing the talking piece (totem) to the next person. Participants can share or pass when it's their turn. Keepers may add more prompts as needed.

Circles can last up to 1.5 hours. Before ending, the totem is passed around for final thoughts. The Keeper then closes the circle, releasing everyone back to their daily 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.

Kay Pranis

Little Book of Circle Processes