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.
For the past year we have met every 6 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.
As the wheel continues to turn and I am excited to open the circle for another spiral around the wheel of the year inviting all local women to join me beginning with the Autumn Equinox ceremony on 22nd September 2016. 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. Payment is on a pay-what-you-can donation basis. Join us in celebrating the spiral of life. Here are the upcoming dates for 2016- 17. Get in touch to find out more.
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.’