Women’s Circles

Women’s Circles seem to be an up and coming thing, the newest form of self care for female identifying individuals. However, gatherings of women similar to the women circles we know today have been around a lot longer than you may think, as long ago as 800 CE, according to Ann Landaas Smith.

‘Female only’ circles were traditionally tied to mensuration and moon cycles. ‘These gatherings acted as a place for women to come together and affirm their sexuality and spirituality, and heal wounds from the patriarchy’. Early circles were also linked to religion practiced by Wiccans and Celtic Christians. Sadly a lot of these early circles were destroyed due to oppression and fear.

Fast Forward to the modern day, and Women’s Circles are once again on the rise! All it takes is a Google search to find many articles about modern circles, and helpfully, there are plenty of directives that will help you find circles near you!

So, what does a modern day women’s circle look like? Women’s circles are gatherings of women for all women. They are usually held during a new moon or full moon due to the moon being seen as having a lot of power for women due to the similarities in lunar and menstrual cycles. Circles create supportive environments in which the members can ‘be heard, held and seen without judgement’.

‘A circle is a space for self-reflection and rest.’ Circles are usually created by a single woman who encourages others to connect in a ‘sisterhood’ where they share wisdom and experiences. Within a circle, women will share food and non-alcoholic drinks whilst carrying out rituals such as burning cleansing herbs, meditation, intention-setting, and sitting with an altar of meaningful objects. Music and singing also are often features of circles, each circle is likely to differ. Participating in these circles encourages connecting with yourself and the women around you.

These spaces allow each woman to speak without ‘discussion or debate’, something women cannot always do freely in society. The gatherings are usually free and cover what the participants want to cover. They are a way for women to tap into their femininity.

Women’s circles are seen as an act of self love. It is a time to reconnect, be open and nourish yourself. Women involved in a circle can find the strength in sisterhoods and share their energies.

The gatherings allow the meeting of other women to share experiences and advice and rest during menstrual cycles rather than carry on as normal or ignore it. A big appeal of circles is the ability to relax and be understood for being ourselves.

Women’s circles are held across the country, and the world. Some are open to all women, some are set up by individuals for their close friends and family. Many open circles can be found online.

According to Sarah Waxman, founder of network ‘At The Well’, today’s circles have a different energy to them than say, a dinner party. This is because they are held in a setting where no-one is going to be competing with one another, creating a hormonal response that we’re safe. Women’s circles seem to be becoming very important in women’s lives today. They provide a safe space and allow women to come together. They are a radical form of self love, but I think it’s also a way for women to rise above societal pressures and expectations. Circles are free of judgment. They offer freedom.

I am currently looking for my nearest circle. An open, safe space with fellow women is something I definitely need in my life! Maybe you should look into your nearest circle too. x






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