The Ancient Tradition of Women's Circles
Women's circles have become increasingly popular in recent years, serving as a way for women to gather together, share, and connect. These circles are a magical experience, creating a safe space for women from all walks of life to embrace themselves and each other. While they have grown in popularity in the West in recent years, women's circles have been an ancient tradition all around the world.
The History of Women's Circles
Gathering in circles to share stories, enjoy a fire, and even sing and dance is a tradition as old as time. Cave art, paintings, and other ceremonial relics suggest that humans have gathered in circles for thousands of years. More specifically, circles exclusively made up of women are essential for many ancient cultures and traditions.
Women have gathered in ceremonious circles based on the cycles of the moon and their own menstruation throughout history. These circles were a ritual to connect with the natural world, each other, and celebrate the feminine. For example, some indigenous cultures and tribes would have moon lodges, a gathering of women to honor "Grandmother moon." These circles were considered incredibly potent and healing, and it was thought that when the women from the tribe gathered together and connected as one, they could connect to the divine and seek answers to any problem. A Medicine Woman would often facilitate the circle to keep the energy flowing, enthusiasm strong, and teach lessons on the stars and seasons.
As time went on, women began to be persecuted for participating in ceremonies like women's circles and connecting to the natural world. Many women were accused of practicing witchcraft and were executed. In addition, it was outlawed in many societies to practice sacred ceremonies as women. It wasn't until the mid to late 1900s that women's circles were practiced again, and not until the last decade that they became commonplace in the West.
Benefits of Women's Circles
Gathering in a circle of women can be a profoundly transformative yet vulnerable experience. Women circles can help us feel supported in navigating the ups and downs of life and help us feel less alone in what we are going through.
They create a container for vulnerability, assisting us in releasing stuck emotions and patterns while increasing our ability to connect with and hold space for others. Sharing openly in these settings allows us to feel held, seen, heard, and validated by our fellow sisters through sharing our experiences as women and supporting each other in the process. Knowing we have people that we can lean on and relate to can make us feel empowered and make the ins and outs of our daily lives feel easier and more manageable.
Creating your own Women's Circle
You can likely find a women's circle in your area as they have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, if you can't find one to attend or are just looking for an intimate gathering with those close to you, you can hold your own.
Creating the space and setting the tone is essential for a women's circle. Ensure that everyone will have a comfortable place to sit during the gathering while creating a calm and relaxing ambiance. Bennd's meditation pillows are the perfect props for optimal comfort and soothing effects in your circle. Each pillow is filled with organic buckwheat hulls for muscular support and organic lavender for calming benefits. Intentionally plant-dyed with Indigo or Sappan Wood creates beautiful pink and blue hues with additional Ayurvedic benefits.
Place your meditation cushions in a circle around a centerpiece. The centerpiece can be a fire, flowers, or an alter with different stones, crystals, or items to represent the energy you are inviting into the space. Take time to sip tea or cacao, and sync with breath and meditation. Next, transition into a brief yoga practice and open up the space for sharing and conversation.
Women's circles are a time of connection and celebration of what it means to be a woman. They have served as a way to show up for fellow sisters and honor life's natural cycles for thousands of years. Remember to share openly, listen intently, and be present with those around you.