Kabuki Circling Game

Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of your very own set of Kabuki Circling Cards!


Included in this box you will find 2 identical decks of cards so that two circles can play this game simultaneously if desire.


The purpose of the game is to be a tool to help people create deeper, more powerful relationships. Also to help people feel seen, heard and understood. This game can be used as a party game, a way to celebrate someone on their birthday. It can be a way to help someone who is struggling with something or just a way to bring people together!


Circlee Card (tan):

  • This card designates the Circlee. The Circlee is the focal point of the Circle


Center Cards (blue):

  • The center cards are optional. If these cards are being used you can either place all in the center or select the cards you would like available and place just those in the center. 

  • The center cards can be used at any time

  • To use a center card anyone simply touches the card.


Role Cards (yellow):

  • These role-based cards designate specific skills that players will embody. Each card has a sentence stem on the back that can be used if helpful.

Game Setup

Begin by placing a set of Center Cards in the center of the circle. 


Next choose one person to be the Circlee and give them the Circlee Card. Then give 1 or 2 of the Role Cards to each Circlers. If many in your group are new to Circling, it is recommended that both the "Impact Sharer" and "Question Asker" cards are among the Role Cards distributed.

Game Play

  1. Have the group take a moment to sit, close their eyes, and connect to themselves before beginning

  2. Each person takes a moment to read their own card(s) to themselves and connect to the role(s) you're about to play

  3. Begin to Circle the Circlee - Anyone can share based on their role in any order; always keeping attention on the Circlee

  4. Every 10 minutes have Circlers pass their Role Cards (one person to the left) 

  5. Repeat steps 2-4


  • Training Kabuki

    • Circle for 20 minutes

    • Afterwards the facilitator chooses which roles(s) each circler will play based on what they think the circler needs to work on

    • Continue Circling with assigned roles

  • Circlee Led Kabuki 

    • Circlee chooses which roles everyone in the circle will play

  • Heads-up Kabuki Party 

    • Everyone gets a card stuck to their forehead people try to use the card as much as possible in interacting with them and they have to guess their card

  • Selective Kabuki

    • All the cards are placed in the center of the Circle and Circlers select the card that they want to use as they share

Card Descriptions

  • Center Cards

    • Pause and feel 

      • To be used if you feel like something is being skipped over, if it feels like things are moving too fast, or you simply feel like everyone needs a moment to digest what was just said.

      • Everyone should pause during the duration that the card is being held or touched.

    • Appreciation 

      • When you want to take a moment to enjoy the Circlee or the Circle as a whole you can tap that card and share your appreciation.

    • Impact Checker 

      • This card should be used to check in with the Circlee for impact

      • “How was that for you to receive that?”

      • “How was that to hear?” 

    • Dissonance

      • To be used when you are having a different experience than the rest of the group, tap the card and share the different thing you are experiencing

  • Role Cards

    • Question asker

      • As the Question Asker, your role in is to ask the Circlee open ended (non-binary) questions.

      • Avoid questions that you think you might already know the answer to or questions that require an explanation of why you're asking them.

      • “What’s it like…?”

      • “What’s happening now?”

      • “Is this connected to something else?” 

    • Impact Sharer

      • As the Impact Sharer, it is your job to notice how the Circlee is effecting you. It is appropriate to comment on how their person as a whole is effecting you or how their response in any moment has evoked something in you. 

      • “Hearing that, I feel…”

      • "Hearing that, I'm noticing in ____ in myself..."

    • Imaginer 

      • As the Imaginer, it is your job to imagine the world in which the Circlee lives. An imaginer should pay attention to the questions asked and the answers the Circlee gives. They should notice the Circlee’s body, their energy and their movement. 

      • After doing this it is time to start guessing at different aspects of their inner world and check with the Circlee to see if those things you see ring true. 

      • “I’m imagining that ________ has you feeling ______, is that true?"

      • “I’m imagining that ________ has you wanting to ______, is that true?"

    • Seemer

      • As the Seemer, it is your job to notice things about the Circlee’s being. Observe how they “seem” to you and ask if that feels right to them. The goal is not to be “correct” but simply to share what you notice. 

      • “You seem engaged, are you?"

      • "You seem distant, is that true for you?”

    • Connection Checker 

      • As the Connection Checker, your role is to ask questions about the connection between the Circlee and:

        • yourself

        • the person asking them questions

        • someone else in the circle

        • the Circle as a whole

    • Reflective listener 

      • As the Reflective Listener, your job is to reflect back things the Circlee has shared, in your own words.

      • “What I heard you say is______ , do I have that right?” 

    • Normalizer 

      • As the Normalizer, you have two roles

        • Validate what the Circlee is feeling/saying.

        • Normalize the Circlees experience. The goal is to make the Circlee feel like their experience is normal and yet unique

      • “I have a version of this, it's different than what you are experiencing.”

      • "It makes sense that you would feel____”

    • Noticer

      • As the Noticer, your job is to notice any interesting changes in the Circlee and comment on them.

      • "I noticed your brow is furrowed”

      • “I noticed that at the beginning of the Circle you had your arms crossed and now they aren’t."

    • Learner 

      • As the Learner, you want to ask yourself, “What am I learning about this persons world?”

      • “I’m realizing___”

      • “Something I’m getting about you is__”

    • Epicure 

      • As the Epicure, your role is to notice what brings you delight and share those things with the circle. You can notice things about the Circle that you are enjoying. The Circlee may say or do something that brings you delight. There might even be a moment of tension that makes you feel alive. Whatever it is that delights you or makes you feel joy are to be noticed and shared with the Circle. 

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