Solis Men’s Circles

Sitting in circle has been used as a form of ceremony and deep communication in cultures across the planet since the dawn of human memory. Circles lend themselves to a sense of wholeness and balance. They make available and foster a common centre and a felt equality for all who sit within them.

We sit in circle becamens circle using transpersonal and counselling techniquesuse it supports who we truly are and wish to be. It is an environment which is different from our everyday lives, where we can spend time exploring and experiencing the deeper parts of ourselves. It is an opportunity to look into the blocks or aspects of our being which prevent us from embracing our full potential.


When we have a regular circle we make a conscious decision to create space in our life for our growth and development. We receive support for this growth from the other people in the circle. In turn, we support them in their own journey. The wisdom of the group is available to us, in the form of the resources and experiences of all those who sit with us. There also emerges a group intelligence which is more than the sum of its parts.

It is not only those within the circle who prosper from its work. Throughout the centuries circle work has been used as a tool to create and strengthen relationships and communities. As we move into the work we become more authentic, more aligned to our inner purpose and values. We are more able to give and receive support from others. Through the experience of supporting and being supported we gain a deeper respect for how community can play an integral role in all our lives.

Why sit in circle with other men?

We find ourselves in an era in which many men struggle to express their masculinity in a positive way.

In the western world many people tend to relate to masculinity as a negative force responsible for so much inequality, destruction and aggression. Our intent is to be part of a growing movement which creates spaces for men to explore their masculinity in a healthy fashion. Sitting in circle with other men is an ideal environment to explore and release longstanding issues of unhealthy masculine identity between men. More, it is an opportunity for us together to forge a vision and live a masculinity which is dignified, powerful and integrated with the feminine.

We believe that this positive masculinity is a force which has the potential to help heal the damage which has been done to our culture and our planet by an imbalance in masculine and feminine energies. It is not through suppressing the masculine that this healing will occur but by supporting the emergence of a balanced and integrated masculinity.

Equally, the circle is an environment which is designed to support men’s experience of the feminine in themselves. As both of these forces emerge we see that when they are allowed to be healthily expressed they complement each other and the result is a more balanced and open human being.

This Journey

We offer the opportunity for 8-12 men to embark on a journey where they are empowered to gather the resources and experiences necessary to create and participate in a meaningful and effective men’s circle. They will experience how such a circle fosters genuine and sustainable growth in their own lives and the lives of those around them.

It is also a way of deeply connecting men who wish to be part of this emerging work and providing an opportunity for them to build strong bonds and community around this purpose.

At the culmination of the journey, some or all of the participants may choose to deepen the work they have done together and continue as an ongoing circle. It may inspire and equip others to form new circles with friends, peers or social connections. The program also has value as an experience in itself – the learning, opening and growth gained will enhance the lives of all of the men who choose to do this work.

The format of the sessions is that of a fully functioning men’s circle – the learning occurs through the conscious exploration of and participation in this medium. This is further supported and guided by a structure which is the outcome of our experience of being in circle, and the essence of what we feel brings benefit, healing and growth to those involved.

Within the program the resources and wisdom of the men involved are recognised and welcomed in the circle. From the beginning we explore our individual reasons for coming and what we hope will happen as an outcome of it. A sense of ownership of the group is encouraged from the participants. We sit as equals. Whilst the facilitators provide a framework and a perspective on what circle is, ultimately it will be the group as a whole which creates its own vision and direction.

The journey consists of one 2 1/2 hour session per fortnight over 7 fortnights. The work deepens and unfolds session by session as we explore the core principles of the circle. Whilst we hold a strong confidence and faith in the structure described below, there is always openness to the needs and wisdom of the group in the moment. What unfolds may not be what was planned, but will be what is called for.

Themes which may be explored

Introductions and Intentions

We meet each other and share a little about ourselves. We focus on what feels important for us to share in this context, which may or may not be how we usually introduce ourselves. We begin to set up the structure of intention which holds and guides what we do in circle. This comes into being as an outcome of each man’s individual reasons for coming and what he hopes will occur as outcomes of the work.

The sacred circle

Here we look at how we create an environment which supports the work that we do in circle and the realisation of our intentions. “Sacred” is that which holds a deep sense of meaning for those involved. The circle is a place which is different from our everyday lives. We explore what this difference is and ways to sustain its depth and effectiveness.

Trust and vulnerability

We explore the value of increasing our awareness of what we think and feel, and the benefit of honestly and openly communicating this to each other. We look into the attitudes and actions which support this opening in each other, and what might make it difficult for us.

Deepening our stories

We explore tools, techniques and attitudes which support another man to enter his story more fully, to get beneath the surface and into the emotions, passions and hopes which give it life. We start to learn and use informal counselling principles and various ways that the circle can help a man travel into his inner story in a safe and supported way, and in a manner which promotes movement and growth.

Challenge & conflict

We look at the importance of conflict within the group and how to work with it. We explore the way a circle can hold conflict and tension and direct it to a healing outcome for all present. Here we learn to challenge each other from a position of support and care, and how to cultivate a sense of value and safety when honesty becomes challenging. We learn to be honest even when it is difficult and to trust the circle’s capacity to create positive outcomes from it.

Process work

The group is introduced to the use of tools which go beyond the verbal and cognitive parts of ourselves, where we learn to embody change and not only talk about it. This may include the use of ceremony and ritual, meditation, symbol and metaphor, sound, and movement. We also explore the importance of having the creation of the process emerge from within the group. This creates shared meaning and identity, deepening the bonds and possibilities that are growing within the circle.

Reflection and visioning

This is a time of reflecting on the group’s process and how it has impacted us. We begin to look at each man’s vision for his ongoing relationship with the work and ways in which we can support each other to ground this vision and continue it into the future….

Who we are

Craig Poulton

Craig is a Transpersonal Counsellor who is currently working in private practice. He is also co-founder of Hearth – a holistic healing centre and community hub in Warrandyte. Prior to self-employment, Craig worked in both the mental health and drug and alcohol sectors. He has experience in creating and facilitating rites of passage and ceremonies for people which are relevant to their own culture and values. This includes initiations into manhood for young boys and fatherhood initiation ceremonies for men as well as a personal journey of rites of passage for his own life. He is the father of two young boys and his partner is currently pregnant with their third child. He has been involved in ongoing Men’s Circles for four years and is passionate about bringing this work to other men so they too can experience its gifts and contribute to its evolution.

Pete Coles

Pete has had extensive experience in Community Development through creative and artistic events, being a founding member of Melbourne creative collective ‘Angel Circus’ and running various community events throughout Melbourne for the last ten years . He has a diploma in Alcohol and other Drugs and group work and is currently completing a diploma in Community Welfare and Development. He is passionate and motivated about Men’s Issues and how this relates to healthy communities, having started and helped facilitate a number of groups in various settings. He believes strongly in the power of working in circle.


For more information, or to book your place in a circle contact:

Craig: 0427 874 406

Pete: 0412 998 333