Women throughout history have gathered in circles to empower each other and share stories, laughter, tears, wisdom and prayers. Although the physical form may vary, a women’s circle is essentially a sacred space where women come together, and safely use their voices and be seen and heard. Circles foster a sense of belonging and community whilst also celebrating individuality and encouraging members to be fully themselves.
Is it any wonder these types of gatherings are going through somewhat of a resurgence in the West. They are the perfect antidote to what is desperately missing in modern life.
Part of the beauty of circles is that they create space to embrace life in a very authentic way. They welcome and understand the value of all stages of life and encourage participation by women of all ages. When women of all ages gather you do not have to dig deeply to hear that someone within the circle’s network is most likely preparing to welcome a baby, or about to celebrate a marriage, while others maybe grieving and experiencing deep loss. Someone will be caring for an aging parent, and someone will be struggling with their own health challenges. Someone will be experiencing career or business success and someone will be ready to give up. Collectively, this wealth of life experience creates a unique experience of understanding, compassion and support.
Another refreshing aspect is that women’s circles foster inclusivity as they are not associated with any singular path or religion. Within the structure of the circle there is no hierarchy, each woman’s voice is equally important and each circle is a co-created by the energy of the group. Often there will be some sort of ritual or ceremony to open and close the circle, and there are always strong ties to the rhythms of nature, both within and around us.
Circles can also be brought together for significant rites of passage and also in response to world events, such as the recent tragic Christchurch mosque shootings.
It can be as simple as inviting someone over for a cup of tea, or like me, you might realise that you actually have space to create your own dedicated circle space (check out @the.sheshed on insta). Either way, creating circles and safe havens for sisterhood is a beautiful way to awaken our power and build resilient communities.