|photo by the amazing Silvana Rigobon|
“…everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the power of the world always works in circles…The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars.
The wind, in its greatest power, whirls.
Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.
Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power move.”
Black Elk, Oglala Sioux Holy Man
Over the past years, I have found women’s circles to have profound healing power. They are the perfect space for women to come together and share. A women’s circle can be run for all sorts of reasons, the choice of topics are endless. You can have reading circles, knitting circles, art circles, grandmother’s circles, full moon circles, online circles, red tent circles, dancing circles and so many other circles!
Being part of women’s circle has been a wonderful experience for me, first because it was inside a women’s circle I was able to recognize that regardless of where we come from our stories are far from different, and secondly because it was inside a circle that I started sharing who I truly am.
When I first started attending women’s circles, many years ago, I thought I wouldn’t fit in and that I wouldn’t be able to relate to anyone, that somehow I would be different. Soon I realized being from Mexico was no different than being from Italy, England, India, Spain, Croatia or Zambia. Being a woman in any part of the globe means we know what pain and suffering means and feels, either because of physical, spiritual or political repression that still exists in our countries and we are able to feel the collective pain or because we have actually suffered a painful situation ourselves, and I mean, who has not suffered in their life’s?
When I started attending women’s circles I always felt very emotional, I couldn't even pronounce my name without bursting into tears, the intensity of my unspoken emotions where too much for me to be able to share. You see, I was raised in a family where things where just not spoken, it was always better to pretend nothing was going on than to speak openly and truthfully, so sharing wasn’t part of me. But the beauty of a woman’s circle is that it has the capacity to hold you and support you in whatever situation you may be in. There is no pressure for you to share, the sharing happens willingly. You can just sit and listen to other women’s stories and identify yourself with them as ultimately we are all mirrors of each other.
Talking in a circle can be scary but it can also be very liberating, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes says that sharing our stories has the power to heal us and this is exactly what a circle of women does, it heals you.
Jean Shinoda Bolen in her book The Millionth Circle also talks about the basic principles of a circle and about how some circles may come to an end. I feel that a circle will sustain itself as long as it has been created with utmost love and respect for all things. However, I also believe we are all evolving all the time and so some circles may be transitory circles.
I must say I am now part of the most beautiful women’s circle and I feel truly blessed for having so many sisters around me who I have come to admire and love with all my heart. Each one of them has amazing talents and so much wisdom, the times we’ve been together had been like a huge bubbling cauldron of pure raw wisdom! They’re all my blood sisters, sharing a common blood, our moon blood.
All these beautiful, wise, talented and powerful women have all been part of my years’ apprenticeship program with Alexandra Pope. I must say that been part of this beautiful nourishing circle has helped me grow down deeper into myself, have a deeper connection with who I am and a clearer idea of my path and my calling. The beauty of this circle is that we’re all riding the magical wave together and going through the ups and downs of life, but as I said before, a circle has the capacity to hold you and nourish you until you feel safe enough to go out on your own and spread your wings. I feel our year’s apprenticeship program with Alexandra has done exactly that. It has given us the capacity to unroll our wings one step at a time and so we are now ready and free to fly!
Life is sometimes too hard to walk on your own and so you need a circle of women to carry you on…