A circle is a closed shape where all point are an equal distance from each other. When women come together and sit in circle, it can provide a closed container that offers an opportunity like no other.
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 in this way. If we can give ourselves time, the benefits become clearer.
In a circle there is no hierarchical power structure; everyone sits as equals. The elements of competition and jealousy that have divided women are left behind, and honesty, trust and compassion have space to emerge.
There is an art to holding space within a women’s circle, This is different from managing or directing. It is like being as a circle, holding a closed safe space. For me as a women’s circle facilitator, it is about being fully present to what is happening in the moment. This is where the practice of mindfulness comes in – being conscious and aware of the unfolding in the moment is very different to projecting into the future or holding onto the past. When this is brought into holding space for someone else it means that their experience in the here and now is different to yours and you respect that, this is their experience not yours. And mindfulness is another thing that gets stronger with practice.
The art of holding space is also linked to safety and power.
By holding space one creates an emotional container in which someone can feel safe. A closed circle.
In essence I feel that holding space is about offering gentle, non-judgemental support and guidance with an open heart. The heart bit is very important, it means that you are connected and compassionate about what is happening. And this is something I love to take to all aspects of my work: offering workshops, supporting birthing families & holding women’s circles. I see how it is all about the art of holding space.
Seasonal Sacred Women’s Circles
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.
Each year we meet every six weeks on the Solstices, Equinoxes and Cross-quarter festivals of which there are eight in a year. 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.
The ritualization of these circles 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!
Circles are held in the Full Circle Sacred yurt space near Budlake, Exeter, EX5 3JN. Space is limited and booking essential. Doors open at 7pm we finish about 9.30pm.
As space is very limited and circles fill up quickly it is now possible to book a block of 3 or 6 or all 8 circles in advance with a ‘Season Ticket’
Cost is sliding scale
Unwaged/low income £5 per circle
Waged £10 per circle
Bountiful £20 per circle (this helps fund the lower income sisters to come)
Book now & reserve your place with a ‘season ticket’ for 3 or 6 or all 8 circles HERE (please specify which circles you are booking for)
**Cancellation policy for seasonal circles. In the eventuality that I cancel you get fully refunded. If this is due to circumstances out of my control (weather or infrastructure) your credit will be rolled over to the next available circle, wherever possible. If you have to cancel, the refund depends if your place can be filled by someone else.
Way of the Witch year-long circle <CLOSED until March 2020>
This journey offers women a safe, sacred space to step through the doorway of the prosaic into a world rich with symbolism & meaning. The course is for women who already see themselves as witches, as well as those who don’t. It is open to all women and not any faith or religion specific, rather an eclectic collection of spiritual teachings and core beliefs to be shared, discussed and considered. It is called The Way of the Witch, this name is about reclaiming our wise woman heritage; the knowledge of herbs, healing & childbirth and the innate power in our blood & bones. It transcends persecution and slander, it is beyond name-calling and putting each other down in order to get ahead. It is cooperative. In tune with ourselves, each other & nature. It is a closed container for 12 months for women to share space and honour the sacredness in all life.
Topics covered revolve around the 4 seasons, incorporating the 4 directions, elements, states of being. We also honour the sacred days, or witches sabbaths – namely the solstices, equinoxes & cross-quarter festivals.
The aim is to enable women to step into their powerful wholeness, embracing the shadow as well as the light, the wounded as well as the healer. This could sound contradictory, but by being able to hold the all of who we are there is great power, and from here the manifestation of will, or magic is a step away.
Together we hold sacred space, conduct ritual & ceremony, weaving story alongside sharing about plants & animals, the tides of the moon and the subtle energies of creation. Deepening self-awareness and powers of perception we cultivate divination techniques and how these can be a tool for understanding the evolution of the soul. Together we journey through the cycles of womanhood, maiden, mother, matriarch and crone, and all the stages in between, embracing the cycles of life through rites of passage experiences.