August 24, 2017

How Women’s Circles Healed my Relationship & Awakened my Soul.

I’m sitting in a circle of women in a tent. I am new to town, know very few people, and am pregnant.

We are surrounded by cushions and rugs that each of us have brought or donated. There is a gas stove outside with a pot of chai brewing. There is a small, wooden table in the centre holding a burning candle and offerings of fresh flowers, leaves, and stones.

We go around the circle, each woman sharing a birthing story (their own, a birth they have attended, or the birth of their child). The level of intimacy created between us is something I have never experienced before.

It’s my turn to speak—I’m nervous, but speak from my heart.

I share my fear of losing another pregnancy and my fear of giving birth. I am not offered advice or platitudes; I am simply received and honoured as I am in that moment.

Inspired by Anita Diamant’s book, The Red Tent, there is a growing movement of women embracing the principles of sisterhood and creating spaces to retreat to and support each other.

In Diamant’s novel, the women take care of one-another in a hut, known as the “Red Tent,” while menstruating or giving birth. For this project, the women I sat with had spent months making and building their own red tent as a gift to the women in our town.

This is my first women’s circle.

In the following months, I became a mother and opened an organic cafe with my partner. We were navigating our way as business partners and parents—slowly starting to unravel from each other. The friendships that I had embraced whilst pregnant slipped away as my baby and business took priority.

I felt like I was failing at everything.

I felt stuck and alone—craving support and friendship. I remembered that first circle and the deep connection I was wrapped in.

From this, I found myself one Sunday afternoon sitting on the floor of our cafe with six slightly nervous women. I had moved the furniture and filled the space with rugs, throws, cushions, and candles to create a sacred den. I had hung curtains so passersby couldn’t see in, prepared food and gift bags, and invited a wise woman as a guest to share her wisdom—a written meditation and guided visualization.

That circle touched the hearts of every woman who came. Together, we awakened our feminine power of receiving, nurturing, and listening—we supported and celebrated each other.

Those first tentative steps led to me facilitating regular circles. The power of coming together in circle has taken me on a personal journey of self-discovery. I have witnessed the transformation that can take place for women in this sacred space; I have deepened my connection with myself, rediscovered my self-worth, and ignited my connection with spirit.

In circle, we share our true self—our dreams, our fears, longings, desires, frustrations, and our most personal stories. These are met with compassion, love, and acceptance. We feel seen, heard, and received—which sparks an internal evolution toward reclaiming our sense of worth.

In circle, we remember that much of our mistrust and alienation from our sisters stemmed from the witch hunts where it was safer for us to be separate and alone. We embrace our powers of perception and intuition—we awaken our Divine Feminine energy. We celebrate the Goddess in all her forms, and reclaim her presence in each of us.

When I answered the nudge to facilitate these circles, I recognized that I was responding to something ancient within me; I wanted to learn more. This brought me to Ricci-Jane Adams and her Institute for Intuitive Intelligence. I spent a year training as a priestess and intuitive guide, stepping fully into the role of “Sacred Circle Holder.”

As my soul’s path has been activated, my relationship with my partner has been rekindled. I have dear friends, I have started a new business, and I feel aligned with the deeper purpose of my life.

Women’s circles are taking place in every town and city; from living rooms to community halls, to consciously-built tents. A quick online search for “red tent,” “sacred circle,” or “women’s circle” will open up a whole world of ways to connect with women in your area coming together in circle. Maybe you are feeling the call to facilitate a circle for your friends or colleagues. Imagine a group of women sitting in circle in your living room, sharing their truths—being seen, heard, and accepted.

This is our time to link arms and rise together to co-create a movement of circles providing sacred space in which self-worth can flourish and we can relinquish the need for validation from others.

Author: Mitlé Southey

Image: Lauren Treece/Flickr
Editor: Danielle Beutell / Jen Schwartz
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Taia Butler

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Stephanie Brown Oct 23, 2017 11:42am

I'm a visual artist and the written word is not my thing, your words made sense to me, it is as it should be. I am living in a new town a new state and am searching for my physical tribe.

Tamala Ridge Sep 4, 2017 1:43pm

This article resonated so deeply with me as a woman. Our modern society's culture has managed to isolate us so much from our sistas! We parent alone, work alone in cubicles, bleed alone.... it never used to be this way. The rise of women's circles has given us opportunity & invitation to come together & share our experiences, emotions & wisdom & also to support each other. It is also beautiful to have all generations present to allow for the full plethora of connnection to occur - maiden, mother, crone. Thankyou so much Mitle for inspiring us all to reconnect with such a nurturing, supportive & sacred space. You are truly inspirational....xx

Mitle Southey Aug 28, 2017 4:38am

Thank you dear Bek. You write so beautifully and I look forward to seeing you lead more Circles. x

Bek Tomarchio Aug 27, 2017 12:57pm

Gorgeous article!!! The honesty and depth of reflection about the power of circles is well articulated, meaningful and powerful. I've been lucky enough to share a few circles with you now and each has been a magic experience. The more I attend circles the more I grow and co-facilitating my own was such a glorious growth edge!! I look forward to seeing more and more women experience the magic that happens when we come together for healing. Sisterhood truly is exquisite tonic for flourishing in this time we are in x

Mitle Southey Aug 27, 2017 10:53am

Thank you for reading it and sharing here dear Belinda. It is a journey that I am honoured to share with you xx

Belinda Chappell Aug 27, 2017 5:55am

Thank you Mitle. Definately a timely article as women are unravelling their mistrust of each other and finding amazing support and sustenance through sharing. Womens circles have opened me to a much wider community and sense of my own self worth.

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Mitlé Southey

Mitle Southey is a former lawyer turned Intuitive Guide who lives by the mantra: dare to flourish. She’s on a quest to prove that self-worth makes anything and everything possible by leaping for each soul-shaking adventure that comes her way. She describes herself as a work in progress, navigating her roles of circle holder, organic coffee bar owner, mother, podcast host and seeker with curiosity and divine inspiration. Connect with Mitle on Facebook.