Have you ever had a feeling so deep that you felt it right down in your bones? This is how I feel about holding ceremonial women’s circles to honour the seasons. The way I see it women have been sitting together in circles for longer than living memory, but our bones remember how affirming it is to sit with other women and look back on what has passed, then look forward at what is to come while remaining consciously present with what is in the moment both ugly & beautiful. By honouring the wheel of the year I find I appreciate the sacredness of the Earth as well as myself and my passage through life as a woman. We see how the outer and the inner worlds come together through reflections of macrocosm and microcosm. It is about becoming in-tune with the year’s cycle and the cycles within our bodies, minds and spirits. It is also about coming together, as women and creating a community where we celebrate these changes together and know that we are not alone.
Every six weeks I host a women’s circle. These wheel of the year circles follow the natural growing cycle through the seasons of the year and the themes of passage through life and death. They are open to all women over 16 years of age. This is the calling of my heart: to bring women together to share sacred safe space to celebrate the turning of the wheel of the year – the solstices, equinoxes and cross-quarters.
Maybe there is also a whisper in your own heart that calls to you of the riches that can come when women share together. Maybe this is a dream that we can manifest together.
Each year we meet every six weeks on the Solstices, Equinoxes and Cross-quarter festivals of which there are eight in a year.They have been called many things over the ages, from Sabbaths, ancient holy days, witches festivals, and … well ….nothing because they have been forgotten or other more modern festivals have been adopted in their place as Danu Forest writes about below. I think of them as markers through the year, bookmarks to stop and sit and be still. To open up a sacred space to celebrate and be thankful for everything I have. I don’t have a perfect name for them yet, I’m hoping one will show up someday, something beautiful and magical, mystical yet grounded.
Here are some words written by Danu Forest about these sacred ceremonies:
‘Our ancestors honoured these sacred times in a myriad of ways, some recorded in archaeology and history, much more recorded in our folk traditions and old tales, but each strand of our ancient lore can be woven together as a continuous whole, each giving clues to the themes and currents of the season. Some of these ancient celebrations have continued to this day, evolving in form over the centuries, such as our modern May Day celebrations, still known in some places as Beltane, or Samhain now known as All Hallows Eve or Halloween, which honours the spirit realm, but each of the seasons and sacred days that mark them are host to a great treasury of knowledge, customs, charms, spells and ceremonies each encouraging us to reflect on our own spiritual seasons and grow in wisdom as well as develop a closer bond with nature and the world around us.
By walking in harmony with nature, and seeing the very earth as sacred, we live a life of ever wilder, ever richer spiritual resource, and make our lives a pilgrimage towards ever closer reunion with the spirit of life itself. We learn to see the magic in the every day – in the voice of the wind, in the patter of rain on fresh green leaves and the sway of golden fields at harvest. We find rest and restoration in a winter woodland, and regeneration with the rising sun. We live the Magical Year, and are invited to return and deepen our ecstatic connection with every turn of natures sacred wheel.’
The ritualization of these circles, of which there are eight in the year, is to honour the continual movement and transformation in life and within ourselves. It is about becoming in-tune with the year’s cycle and the cycles within our bodies, minds and spirits. It is also about coming together as women and creating a community where we celebrate these changes together and know that we are not alone. Around the world there are many circles such as this to honour the cycles of change – join us, together we are stronger!
I would like to encourage you to commit to coming to each circle for whole of the coming year, although this is not compulsory it will create a strong container for deep inner work and commitment to yourself.
Circles are held at my house near Budlake, Exeter, EX5. Space is limited so please be sure to get in touch with me if you would like to join us. Doors open at 7pm and close at 7.30pm when our circle time begins. Please let me know on the evening if you are running late so we can wait for you, otherwise the doors will be closed to ensure the sacred space is held. For those of you who have not come to my house before please message me for driving directions, or to arrange car sharing. Get in touch to find out more or join our online community via the Facebook group ‘Women Honouring the Seasons’
Suggested donation £5 – £15.
I also host mother & daughter sacred circles. This is a ceremonial women’s circle, held gently to welcome girls into sacred space and invite connection to the magical world around us. Please share with any mamas you think would be interested.
The aim is to bring our daughters into the circle, to re-learn the amazing power of the sacred space and to come together as women; for growth, support and mother-daughter connection. Together we connect more strongly with the power of our Sacred Feminine core, inspiring our young girls to find their own strength and unique authentic voice.
Each Circle will be a dynamic blend of nature connection, guided meditation, song, art-making, and story sharing.
In these seasonal circles we will be exploring the changing of the seasons and what that means to us and our lives.
You are invited to bring these things with you:
-each circle will invite you to bring a certain thing specific to that circle, check out event descriptions for more information
-nature items you have collected to make our seasonal altar together
-a small snack to share afterwards
*Ages: This group is suitable for young girls aged 8+ and their elders (Mothers, aunts, Grandmothers, Sisters). If you have a younger girl and would like to come to another mother – daughter circle please get in touch.
*Cost: Sliding scale donation. £5 – £15
*This event is part of the private Facebook group “Women Honouring The Seasons”. To share outside of our private group you can use this link to the public event: https://www.facebook.com/AuthenticBirth/events/