So yesterday we had our first Sister circle of the year, since return from hiatus. It was wonderful. There were new faces, familiar faces and together we created beautiful sacred space and raised wonderful energy.
It started off to be a sunny day although we had already known the ‘storm’ was coming our way but being that the storms are rarely anything to write about lasting no more than five minutes if we are lucky, we decided to circle at the park like planned. However, instead of being in open field we used the shelter. That shelter has known sacredness of circle or at least ritual before as the Silver Falls Grove ADF used it many times when they were a proto grove. I am sure it held sacred energy that only added to our circle as well.
Most every one was there before me as I was waiting for some other friends to arrive at my house. It was a bit confusing as to whether or not we were going to meet at my house due to the storm or the park. I got there and set my stuff on one of the tables deciding taking out my supplies as the girls (two of my daughters) ran back to the van to bring the rest of the things.
I set up books on one table, just for women to look through in case they might be interested in getting some of their own. Then everyone arranged themselves comfortably on the center of the shelter in a circle. I asked who had been to a women’s circle before. Then I gave an explanation as to what Goddess was, to further assure the atheists there that it was not the flip side of patriarchy–which was a concern for one in particular. I explained that the so-called flip side or duality is the patriarchal devil. But Goddess…now that is a different story. She is in the simplest of terms, nature. Complete and whole unto herself and inescapable. Nothing we do doesn’t concern nature in one way or another; there is no beginning and there is no end, She simply just is.
I explained that we were gathered in sacred space to learn to remember our connection to Her and to one another as women. To celebrate that sacredness for simply just being. Then I went on to explain what the circle was for, why we cast it as well as provide an explanation as to why we gather together for ritual and the benefits of. After all that, I taught them some chants that we would be using in the circle. That was really fun! Then together we decided on a purpose for our rite; each woman spoke her own truth for what she intended for herself so the focus was over all, our lives paths. Then I asked them all to create the altar together and they did. Each woman made her own little space on the altar, which incidentally is a piece of tree that was cut for the purpose of fire wood but my friend Leezeette noticed that on one side there looked like a “Goddess figure” and on the other side a skull. So she gave to me as a gift for Samhain one year. I have used it as an altar ever since.
Then we smudged, cast circle and I called forth the elemental energies from within ourselves to the consciousness and from the physical places of the earth and universe, outside ourselves. Within and Without. I nearly trance out every time when I call that way. Simply good stuff.
Then the invocation of the Goddess–what a power. I always feel that awakening deep within me surface and I know other women felt it too. Collectively right there we were the essence of Goddess!
We started the humming to bring ourselves into awareness of our purpose. We each lit a candle for our purpose and spoke in turn. The altar was surrounded with pretty things that we each brought that had special meaning to us and lit up with candles. It was lovely. Then I passed to each one of them a piece of red yarn that I had cut. I asked each one to link to the woman to their left until we came full circle. I explained to them that this thread was symbolic of the blood that connects us to one another as women, the blood that flows or has flown through our wombs at one time or another. We all do it or have done it and this was that sacred line. We chanted :
“We are a circle, with no beginning and never-ending”
and began to sway back and forth to raise energy. I would have liked to walk/dance around that circle but I could sense that for a few, being new to all of this was uncomfortable and it was hard enough for them to keep up without unintentionally dragging the energy down so I thought it best to keep a sway going. Plus my friend Rowan had a newly broken toe and I didn’t figure she’d like having to walk/dance around the circle anymore than she had to. So we swayed and picked up a nice rhythm with it. Then when I felt that energy dwindle down I started with another chant and asking them to think on that thread that connected them to women before them and behind them in all ways literally, figuratively to whom we are linked by the blood flow. The chant we did next was “The River is flowing”
That turned out to be a favorite! It really got the energy going and the bodies swaying. And as much as I tried to avoid it, the chant “We all come from the Goddess” made its way in there anyway. Some things like that just can’t be avoided however, I was trying to be conscious of the young atheists there and wanted to present this as about “women” not some “other deity that we pledge allegiance to.” In any case, it worked out well.
Then when the time was right we released the energy.
Someone mentioned to me about the “self-blessing” thing I always talk about to them. I said “Funny you mention that, cause we are going to that very thing!!” Z.Budapest is known in women’s spirituality circles for the “Self-Blessing” in group ritual and at PantheaCon and Festivals, and although it is not somethings she herself made up or invented, she highly encourages all women to do the self-blessing regularly and preferably when they can see their own bodies nude. However, while we weren’t nude I still saw the value in each of us doing the self blessing right there in circle. After the Self-Blessings we gave thanks to the elements and Goddess Mama and opened circle. We gave hugs all over and enjoyed our feasting.
There was such magick in the air it couldn’t be missed. We sat together for the feasting and chatted up. I think we didn’t leave there for almost another two hours! It was indeed an incredible and needed evening of women and magick.
One of my sweet little blessings is that one of the women there who labeled herself ‘atheist’ on her Facebook and in her self description is now not an ‘atheist’ but something to the effect of “on a journey of self-discovery through women’s spirituality and nature”
This same woman shared with me shortly after circle that when I invoked the air, she felt a light breeze come through. When I invoked fire from the south, she opened her eyes and saw trees–trees burn in fire. When we turned west and I invoked water, all she could see was the rain pouring down from the sky. When we turned north and I invoked earth, all she could see was the spacious green field before us. She said she wondered to herself if anyone else noticed that too or was it just her. I assured her it was not a silly notion for sure, however, I was secretly a bit jealous over that newbie magical moment when the concept of Goddess first becomes real to you. What a rush!!
She changes You. As Starhawke says “She changes every thing She touches. Every things She touches changes”.
Until the next time!