Posts Tagged With: calling the circle


Gratitude for the way words twine around my tongue
April 2015 110 And through my fingers
Gratitude for sacred space
Sacred sisters
And sacred solitude.
Gratitude for warm spring evenings
Setting sun and moonrise
Gratitude for hope and inspiration
The opportunity to follow a calling
The beat of footsteps
On beautiful earth.
Gratitude for babies
Fuzzy heads and sweet breath
For dancing daughters
For smiling sons.
Gratitude for supportive partners
The opportunity to walk alongside another. April 2015 118
Gratitude for co-creation
For courage
For stepping into personal power.
Gratitude for tasting fear
For letting it roll around inside familiar grooves in the brain
And then doing it anyway.
Gratitude for the real
The holy
The potently ordinary
The powerfully mundane.
Gratitude for sacred space to which I may return
Again and again
As inexhaustible and powerful
As the sweep of wind through branches
The river’s song
And the silent watchfulness of stone.

Today while I was uploading some song recordings from last night’s new moon Red Tent Circle, I found a recording a did a couple of weeks ago and forgot about. One of the assignments for March for the Sacred Year class I am participating in was to write a gratitude poem. Even though I spoke-wrote this poem several weeks ago, it felt very true to read it again today. After last night’s Red Tent, I am feeling grateful to circle with other women in real life rather than only in virtual space. Recently, I’ve also been feeling grateful for the women who have been participating in my dissertation research group. I’m so glad I chose to do a dissertation research project with the input of others, rather than working alone. My exploration is already much deeper and more nuanced than it would have been without the women who have been willing to share their voices, wisdom, experience, and perspectives with me. Very grateful! I look forward to continuing to spiral together (my research is about contemporary priestessing and my research group is still open to additional participants). People have offered extremely thoughtful and well-considered responses to the questions I posed so far, as well as led me to explore new questions and lines of thought.

April 2015 103

At last night’s circle.

I’m grateful for spring flowers too and modified some prior posts into this one at SageWoman: Ode to Tiny Flowers.

I also decided to gift myself with 30 Days of Bringing in the May for my birthday this year. It is on my 100 Things list to do another month-long daily woodspriestess blog-experience and I thought my birth month would be a good opportunity to do so. Might as well layer it into this ecourse too! I enjoyed the Brigid course in February so much. I’ve been reflecting a lot recently about how one of the primary tasks of ritual and ceremony is in creating the container. This is what I do with women’s circles and retreats. The Sacred Year class and the 30 Days courses do the same for me—create the container and give “permission,” in their way, for an experience to unfold. It is incredible how easy it is to rush through the day without taking needed pauses, time outs, or stillpoints. I’m working on developing two courses myself, one about Red Tents (and women’s circle work in general) and one a Womanrunes immersion ecourse (to be followed by a divination intensive course late this year or early next). I also have several other courses in mind to be worked on (not to forget the dissertation! Oh my!), but I have to focus. Having another baby has really made me pare away a lot in my life, including very basic self-care things like regular showers! I’ve done it before, so I know it isn’t permanent, but it is still hard to feel like I’m trimming away so much that matters to me, while also having so much I want to offer, and constantly having to prioritize and choose. I’ve been looking at it as a sort of “sabbatical.” While I might not be able to do as much face to face projects as I envision and dream of, I can lay the groundwork, I can write, I can prepare and outline and imagine, while also sitting in my bed holding my sleeping baby. Maybe I won’t get to the woods every day and maybe I have to choose between the shower or yoga, since doing both in one day seems like too much to ask sometimes, but I can use this baby time to incubate new visions and grow while appearing stationary. The_Red_Tent_Resourc_Cover_for_KindleDuring the Inner Mentor visualization we did last night, we traveled in time to meet ourselves twenty years from now. The first thing she/I told me is that my baby is now twenty. It felt like a shock to consider that, since right now is so real. April 2015 001

Categories: family, friends, parenting, poems, priestess, self-care, women's circle | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Calling the Circle: The Wobble

This post is the third in a series, prompted by the book Calling the Circle by Christina Baldwin: 2013-06-24 20.47.27

There is a ‘wobble’ that always occurs in human relationships. With this wobble our sense of direction and our purpose are lose, the communion of coming together is broken, many we face the differences each of us has carried into the group. One real gift of circle is its tenacious ability to hold us in a container of combined social and spiritual contract while we work through the wobbles to genuine community…PeerSpirit circling can help us manage these wobbles differently. But in order to learn how to take our place at the rim of the circle, we need first to understand how to honor center…

I very, very much like this notion of a “wobble” in human relationships. We’ve all experienced it. I think that life would change a good deal if I remembered to recognize wobbly experiences for just what they are: oh yeah, this. A wobble. I recognize that. I know that this happens. Too often group endeavors fail because we mistake normal wobbles for permanent problems.

Later in the book, Baldwin returns to the notion of the wobble:

“The intention…is to serve as connective tissue…The purpose of the group is what remains, and yet, when wobbles occur, which they will, the members of the circle have agreements to call upon, and a container to hold them, so that they can come back to purpose and continue on.”

And, she quotes this awesome little reading from Starhawk that I then used during our spring women’s ritual:


Somewhere, there are people
To whom we can speak with passion
Without having the words catch in our throats.
Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us,
Eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us
Whenever we come into our own power.
Community means strength that joins our strength
To do what needs to be done.
Arms to hold us when we falter.
A circle of healing. A circle of friends.
Someplace where
We can be free.

–Starhawk, Dreaming the Dark quoted in Calling the Circle.

On a somewhat related topic, I also saved a quote to share about why a healthy and beneficial women’s spirituality circle is not the same as our other encounters with women, in which we may be used to primarily bond through chatting and sharing various woes:

To hold the group and space as sacred is one of the most important guidelines, and the guideline that may bring up the most questions or protests. It goes against our habits as women and against our identification with the small self; we are quite used to creating intimacy through sharing our wounds and problems. The Temple Group is not a place for processing wounds, analyzing ourselves, solving problems, complaining about our lovers, healing our addictions or sharing the stories of the personality. Many women’s circles (and support groups or sharing circles) are focused mostly on the personality. The Temple Group is, in a way, impersonal because it focuses on the larger vast nature of our true self. In the Temple Group we focus not so much on our identity as separate women, but on the whole group as one feminine divine body and expression. The impersonal guideline may sound uncaring at first, but as you explore new ways of being intimate and nourish each other as women, beyond the words, you discover that those are infinitely more fulfilling and caring than the personality talking and processing.

2013-06-25 11.41.49

Surprise forget-me-nots (?) that suddenly showed up outside our greenhouse this week! 🙂

–From Create Your Own Women’s Temple (p. 61) from Awakening Women

When we first began meeting regularly for women’s retreats and rituals, I noticed that we did fall into a pattern of being focused on the “personality,” often having moments during which women cried and shared various hurts and disappointments or “vented.” As our group has deepened and evolved, I feel as if we’ve moved beyond this type of “story-telling-as-sharing” and into a shared, community experience of the now and what is happening in the sacred space we’ve created together in that moment. We’re not perfect and we keep learning and growing, but the circle experience is pretty powerful.

Other posts in series:
Calling the Circle: Circles
Calling the Circle: Context

Categories: community, priestess, resources, ritual, spirituality, women, women's circle | Tags: | 2 Comments

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