Global Sisterhood, March 17, 2021
The wise women of history gathered in circles.
They were healers, community leaders, mystics, priestesses, activators, catalyzers, and medicine women…
These same women were often labeled as “witches” and burned at the stake… but why?
Was it because together their power was too strong?
Was it because they had the ability to sync both their wombs and their intuitions in a way that could predict forthcoming danger and sustain a bloodline?
Maybe it’s because when women come together, they create movements that can dismantle patriarchal rule.
History as well as evidence from modern-day society shows us that women are a powerful force, and that their strength stems from their ability to gather.
Let’s take a dive into the history of women’s circles as well as their evolution and why it’s so important that we uphold the importance of gathering today.
Ancient women’s circles
What did the ancient circle look like?
While there aren’t many texts we can draw from, the evidence of woman gathering can be seen in many aspects of history.
Some Indigenous cultures are known for having Moon Lodges and gathering in honor of Grandmother Moon.
“When the moon is full a woman can do a ceremony to honor and seek guidance from Grandmother Moon. The ceremony can be simple. A woman can sit on the ground and ask Grandmother Moon to replenish her body with new energy. “ – Northern College, Indigenous Services & Initiatives
Even though women have lived under patriarchal rule in many countries for centuries, they still came together in community.
Women would raise children together, pass along wisdom of medicine, cooking, and intuitive remembrance, and share their experiences.
The book, The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant Was a historical depiction of how Jewish Women in biblical times would gather in their own menstruation hut.
In this space they would retreat from their daily tasks, share stories of womanhood, and celebrate rites of passage.
Women would midwife each other through birth. They would doula the passage of life as death midwives as well.
While circles may not have always looked as instagram worthy as the circles we see today, their potency was just as potent.
From a ceremonial gathering to sitting in circle and weaving or gathering and preparing food for the village, women have communed in circle since the dawn of time.
Women’s circles in 2021
The face of women’s circles has changed critically since the days of sitting around a fire beneath the darkness of the new moon, even though we still recommend that whenever possible.
You may be wondering, “How can I find a women’s circle near me?”
Whether you’re living under the restriction of government or under the guidelines of the current health crisis, there are still ways you can join in circle with women in or outside of your community.
Thanks to the evolution of technology we can almost always gather.
In fact, without the internet, Global Sisterhood wouldn’t exist and this potent platform of over 15,000 women circles wouldn’t continue to thrive.
You may not realize this, but the power of women’s circles is also thriving on a political level.
Women’s circles deeply influence the global role of women.
There are currently lands where women rule in the villages of China and Sambhuru were women gather in reclamation of their power and autonomy.
In other societies, women come together in the name of caring for the children and elderly of their communities.
Women create systems that help one another build financial security for themselves so that they can leave oppressive situations.
Women gathering has even laid the foundation for grass roots movements like Black Lives Matter here in the states and the Gulubi Gang, a group of women fighting against child marriage and the oppression of women’s rights in India.
That’s right sisters, together we are a force to be reckoned with and “circle” takes on many different forms.
Some basic women’s circle guidelines
While the women’s circle curriculum is one that can be re-written many times over, here are some basic guidelines one can follow when facilitating a women’s circle to ensure that they are holding a powerful container.
Choose a comfortable and accessible space where the circle will be held, whether online or in person.
Set a topic or theme for discussion or exploration.
Create an outline or structure to guide the flow of the group.
Choose an activity that allows women to go deep within to access their innate knowing, such as ritual or mediation.
Set a time frame for when circle will begin and end.
Promote space holding and deep listening over “fixing” and non-consensual advice.
Some other potent aspects of modern day women’s circles you should include would be to allow consent to be the basis of facilitation. Promote BIPOC leadership and create an inclusive atmosphere that embraces all forms of the feminine, from non-binary to trans.
We are all the leaders
The most powerful thing about a circle is that while there is a lead facilitator or space holder, we are ALL the leaders.
Currently when we talk about leadership, the idea is that there is one person who is in charge of a group of people. That person is the “head of command” and sends orders down the line to those who follow.
This linear system and way of thinking is not only outdated, it immobilizes our ability to create a new structures and ways of creating together.
In circle, we are able to join together on a level playing field. To embrace the views of one another and to support each other as we all work toward a common goal.
It is this idea of “power-with” vs. “power over” that will allow us to one again embrace the energy of the feminine and birth a new world.
Women’s circle rituals
Circle is not just a place to be witnessed and heard. It’s a space where we can come together to participate in powerful ritual.
While this may sound intimidating to some, a ritual can be as simple as lighting a candle or as intricate as giving moon blood to the earth.
The level of depth and intensity is up to you and the circle you are holding.
Here are some examples of ritual you might want to try:
Collective journal and share.
Lighting a Candle and passing on the flame.
Writing what you are ready to release from your life on paper, and burning it in a fire.
Writing and then speaking your intentions into the circle to be witnessed and held in collective power.
Global sisterhood’s Circle Collective extends monthly a new unique ritual, exercise, and discussion topic to lead a transformational circle that will leave women feeling deeply touched and empowered.
The beauty of a circle that shares vulnerability and power is that we combine creative energy to create a ritual that is most fitting for the occasion and the space.
Other women’s circle ideas
We invite you to share. What are some ways that you have envisioned holding circle in your own community of women?
Have you been feeling the call to step into leadership? If so, maybe it’s time.
Our Circle Initiation Course is opening up for registration, and we invite you to explore the possibility of carrying on the sacred tradition of women’s circle’s in a way that resonates for you.
Love, the Global Sisterhood Team