When I was living in Ireland, I attended an event that changed my life. I was invited to attend a wise woman's gathering, it was open to both men and women but was being led by 4 women living in Ireland. They were women who we would identify as being wise in that they have lived full lives and had a desire to reach out to other people and share what they had learned. They all shared a common goal and that was in bringing people together.
They each spoke about their lives, one woman had a great knowledge of herbal medicine, another woman was a activist, another was very involved in celebrating the Seasons, the Celtic Celebrations, another Woman spoke about the changes she has seen happen in communities and families. There was a lot of time for questions to be asked and for discussions to take place. It was a very inspiring event and along with my friends we felt that is would be a great idea to set up a woman's circle where we lived.
Whilst we were having this conversation, I began to talk about a book I was reading called 'The Sacred Whore' about all the Shelia Na Gig's in Ireland and the strong female history that goes with them. I noticed a very elegant, older woman walk over towards us. She asked if we lived local, which we did and she asked if there were any woman’s circles happening in the area. We told her that we were just discussing how to start one. She then introduced herself. My name is Maureen Concannon and I have written a book called 'The Sacred Whore'.
There are times in your life when things happen which let you know that you are going in the right direction. This was definitely one of those moments. My friends and I all looked at one another and we just smiled. This was the beginning of the Wild Women Of Cork. Attending that gathering made us all realize how much knowledge we were missing out on, by not sharing space with women of different ages and from different walks of life.
The way we live today, we tend to move away from our families in order to make our own way in the world. A lot of the time, we become so busy with our day to day lives that we don't really connect with all of the people that are living around us. We certainly make friends with some, but I think it is quite rare now days to get to know the whole community around you. When we decided to start these circle, we wanted to make sure that it would reach out to the wider community and not just something our friends attended.
The goal was to be supportive and share our wisdom and skills. For women to see each other not as competition, not a body or a mind to compare ourselves with, but to see one another as sisters. We are meant to be lifting one another up, no matter where we come from or what we look like. We are meant to nurture ourselves and one another. We are meant to come together to acknowledge our differences and celebrate them.
We created a safe space where women, could openly talk about what was happening in their lives, allowing ourselves to open up, to become vulnerable. To talk about our fears and to let them go. We made it very clear that what we talked about in the circle stayed in the circle. That if someone got upset that we allow them to do so, allow all their tears to flow. We encouraged everyone to be as silent or as loud as they wanted to be. We would always have an activity to share, be it making mask's, painting, making chocolate and by doing this it allow us to bring down any barriers that may be present.
We talked, we laughed and we shared many tears. Every time it was different, every time it was unexpected in the way that it moved us all. And every time there would be different women attending,who heard about it from somebody else or were just curious to see what it was all about. Each one of those women brought their story, their wisdom and we were all the better for hearing and sharing it.
Sitting in a circle we are all seen as equal.
Coming together, sharing stories, songs and dance is nothing new to us.
Creating a safe space to be, to support, to allow our femininity and masculinity to come into balance
It is a way to empower ourselves, to heal ourselves.
It is a way to Celebrate being a Woman.
Image Source 1st Image:http://www.findawomenscircle.com/
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