Women have been joining in sacred circles for thousands of years. Gathering together for community, storytelling, and ritual has been an important source of connection for women from many cultures and traditions. The earliest circles were associated with nature in one form or another-the lunar cycle, changing seasons, and of course, nature’s greatest miracle, menstruation. Near the time of Reformation in the West, women were persecuted, exiled, even hung for participation in such activities. There is not a much-recorded history of women circles again until the late 1900s. I smile when I think about how threatening a gathering of women was (and is) to the patriarchy. I also find it empowering, albeit heartbreaking, that the establishment was so afraid of it that they orchestrated witch hunts rather than let us commune in harmony.
People need people. Women need women.
Sitting with others, also on this roller coaster of living, can provide support and create space for us to share vulnerability, cultivate connection, and perhaps most importantly, laugh and be joyful. It allows us the time and space to explore our limitless creativity and embolden-the divine feminine that lives in all of us.
The circle itself is rich in meaning. A universal symbol of profound spirituality-the circle, has drawn intrigue for millennia. Pythagoras stated they are the most creative form. He called them “monad”. Meaning a single unit because they lack a beginning and an end, nor do they have corners or sides (Rhys, 2021.) Very few things in this earthly plane are limitless, like the circle. The circle represents unity, wholeness, and infinity. Its perfect balance reflections divine symmetry. As seen in the Mandala, the Japanese Ensō, the Yin-Yang, the Celtic Cain, and countless other symbols throughout history. In this modern capitalist world dominated by linear progress and hierarchical thinking, the circle reminds us of our collective consciousness and connection.
If all the spirituality does not draw you in, just ask Jennifer Aniston! She has been participating in Goddess circles for 30 years. She participates in one before every life event, including her weddings! (Maybe not the best examples, we love you, Jen). Marriages aside, she attributes her success to these sacred circles, and if there is the slightest chance they have anything to do with skin, count me in! All jokes aside, science tells us that connection is critically important to our well-being. All the one-on-one psychotherapy in the world will not magically build relationships for us.
The trick for creating and maintaining a well-balanced life is having people to share it.
We are hardwired for connection and have a biological need for it. Loneliness can lead to depression, and anxiety can even reduce your immune functioning. In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and in these long days of winter, we all know the deliciousness of staying home, binging Netflix, and being in bed by 8 pm. This winter, the team at Torus invites you to step outside your comfort zone and join us for sacred communion. You might not leave with Jennifer Aniston’s skin (or net worth), but it will provide community and a sense of belonging. There is perhaps no better New Year’s resolution than that.
Written by: Leigh Heckman
Rhys, D. (2021, October 1). Circles – what do they really symbolize? Symbol Sage. Retrieved December 26, 2022, from https://symbolsage.com/circle-symbolism-meaning/