Women communing and sharing in circle is a pre-historic tradition, which was disrupted as society became more linear and developed over time. Women’s circles, as we have created today, are modern day gatherings of a similar kind. These started to become more popular after lockdowns and social distancing as we craved for more connection and community. It all comes down to feeling supported by other females in a fun and safe environment.
If you look into ancient African, Polynesian or Native American tribal practices, women have been coming together in ritual for centuries. This ancient practice has been portrayed in Anita Diamant’s Biblical period novel, The Red Tent, which is a reflection of not only the beauty of womanhood but the importance of rest and retreat during hormonal changes in our bodies. This book is a reminder of the cycles of nature, the moon, our bodies and circles help us honor those rhythms. If you’re a woman reading this post, I highly recommend reading this book.
As a teenager and a young woman in my 20s, I often felt judged and betrayed by other females around me. My experiences left me with scars that made me, naturally, feel that I couldn’t trust women. Thanks to my spiritual practices of healing and meditation over the last few years, I have been wanting to seek more feminine energy outside of my own. I am blessed to have a supportive sister, a loving sister in law, gorgeous cousins and amazing girlfriends who I have incredible bonds with but last month, I found it in a circle of women I never met before in my life. I had not held or attended a women’s circle before but that summer evening, I did both for the very first time. It was scary, fun, invigorating and most of all, it was deeply healing. A collective sisterhood, all of us completely vulnerable, in a safe space without any judgement. Wow.
What happens during a Women’s Circle can vary depending on the season, moon cycle and who organizes it. The idea is for women to be present and ‘be’ rather than ‘do’ which helps to honor rest as well as work. There can be activities like smudging which is a kind of a smoky energetic cleanse, breath work to help tap into our emotions, meditation to allow us to create intention for the moon cycle, maybe even some movement like dancing or craft, songs, food, tarot cards. If this sounds witchy to you, it can be, and doing it in collective womanly energy makes it quite enjoyable. One thing for sure is that there is sharing during every one of these gatherings.
So how does the sharing work? Well, it’s easy for there to be joy, chatter and scattered energy when lots of women are around because let’s face it, we have a lot to say! The Circle is a contained space where only one woman gets to speak at a time; that’s right, only one. Depending on the size of the group, the floor is open for sharing from anywhere between 3 to 7 minutes for each woman. What does one share during this time? Anything from my child is driving me mad these days to something more traumatic like going through a separation or the death of a loved one or maybe I am not sure why I am even here today. There is also an opportunity to reflect on what other women have shared. Whether it is grief, fear, laughter or joy; Circles are respectful and trusted spaces where nothing will ever be repeated outside.
From past feedback of these gatherings, women have felt a renewed sense of belonging as experiences are quite relatable. They found it to be a way to bond with women who they otherwise would have never met and through it, find a sense of community. There aren’t many places where it is easy to be vulnerable allowing for an expansion of the heart and cathartic opening. Whether you are spiritual or skeptical, you’ll most likely get something out of attending a women’s circle. Taking time for yourself can be healing and nurturing, truly an act of self-care. There is something powerful and magical about women gathering, sharing and honoring themselves and other women.
Why only women? Well, there are also men’s circles out there, but since I’m a woman, this is what I wanted to explore. If you are a man interested in creating or being a part of a Men’s Circle, get in touch and let’s talk about it.
For the rest of you women reading this, join me in the next Women’s Circle at Soul Shala on Wednesday, the 26th of October. I am aiming to hold these circles monthly to maintain a sense of collective sisterhood in the community.