“You will be teachers for each other. You will come together in circles and speak your truth to each other. The time has come for women to accept their spiritual responsibility for the planet.” ~Sherry Ruth Anderson & Patricia Hopkins
Talking Circle by Leah Dorion
When women circle, something magical happens. Beyond the obvious social fulfillment is a space that touches the centre of our deepest vulnerability and our greatest power. When combined with structure, mutual respect, trust, and ritual, a women’s circle becomes a space where tentative voices are urged into authority, where dreams are articulated for the first time, where tears mark a rite of passage.
Through the generosity of a friend, we spent this month’s Full Moon Women’s Circle at a remote cottage two hours north of the city. The cottage was beautiful – rustic furnishings, several bedrooms, a fireplace, a huge art studio, and a deck to practice yoga by the river. It seemed like the perfect place to spend the “Supermoon”. Also the Wesak Moon, it was recognized as an auspicious day to celebrate the birth, enlightenment, and death of Buddha. These combined energies meant that it was a good time to “give birth to the powerful destiny seeded within each of us.”
To mark the occasion, we decided on a releasing ritual that took several hours, over the course of two days.
The beauty of ritual is that it is both simple and complex, spiritual and grounding. Predicated on intention and consciousness, it brings meaning and purpose to an otherwise meaningless activity.
We pray with the Air
At 8:00 pm we headed outside and found the highest, clearest hill in the area, surrounded by fields. We faced west, watching the sun descend into an explosion of beautiful reds and oranges across the skyline. A few minutes later, we turned to the east and caught our first glimpse of the wondrous Supermoon – huge, pink and mysterious – as it began to rise. Animals were drawn to the magnetic forces of the moon too, and the stillness flooded with activity: a coyote barking, a family of deer heading for a clearing to get their own unobstructed view, a rabbit running by.
We pray with Fire
Back at the cottage, we gathered in the central living space in front of the fireplace – the altar to our offerings.
One by one, we stood at the hearth and presented the pieces of our lives we wanted to let go of – past experiences, deaths (both real and metaphorical), the fallacies we told ourselves, the stories that no longer defined us. Scribbled down on small strips of paper, we spoke them out into the circle, and released them into the flames.
We pray with the Earth
Around midnight, we went outside and offered any remaining blocked energy back into the earth by meditating to the moon (moon bathing), making contact with the ground beneath us. We intended the energy to move through our bodies, down our root chakras, and released them into the earth.
Back inside, we offered gifts – “gently used”, handmade, or found objects. Each woman gave a small gift to the others to provide what might be needed on her path: a blindfold to represent descent, mala beads for connection to self and the divine, a poem to remember you are not alone, a collage to remind you of who you are, fresh picked flowers to symbolize an unchartered path…
We fell asleep that night, our bodies full with nourishing food and a deep sense of caring, of being known, and of gratitude for the things we cannot see, but share.
We pray with Water
Our circle ended the next day, over an outdoor brunch at the picnic table beside the river. Each woman gave a personal message to the others – written in beautiful cards to be taken home and cherished – as blessings for the journey ahead. We anointed these blessings and marked the conclusion of our circle in the waters of the river.
“What makes the circle special?” you ask…
Being known beyond the roles that define us; speaking our dreams into existence; mourning what’s been lost; a container for promises; recognition that we are valued; time for honoring our innate connection to the cycles of the earth; the moment of recognition when we hear our own truth spoken by another; a space to call our own.
Originally posted at the spirit that moves me