My circle experience: I came into the circle without any preconceived notion of what a circle is, or what it means. I remember marveling at the countless numbers of colorful cards surrounding an orchid in full bloom at the circle’s center; and placing the gigantic rice bowl of blue and white porcelain, containing a decade of Chinese fortunes that I have accumulated to share with the other women in attendance. This was the women’s retreat. I had come with the intention of sharing my good fortunes with others; not knowing that in so wishing, I had made an offering to the circle.
Circles are gatherings of spiritual tidings dating back to the Paleolithic times (Mijares, 2012). Although interrupted by periods of patriarchal dominance, the circles tradition has continued through tribal and modern societies to give space for feminine energy, egalitarian relating, evolving consciousness, and a mystical quality of life beyond religious beliefs and practices (p. 6). For me, the circle that I experienced was nurturing of womanhood. Our circle facilitated learning with one another in recognition of thoughts of self-harm, and enabled feeling anew the awareness of being aware as we let go of our hurts.
Circles complete the cycle of renewal (GTW global matrix). Circles give rise to a collective purpose, as birthing life forms that enact vitality, hope, and perseverance. Circles can call forth our sufferings and hold in sacred silence, the unexpressed pains and suppressed doubts that otherwise fill the voids of our hearts. Circles can cleanse our souls of dark shadows and replenish our bodies with kindness and self-worth. Circles can elicit shared moments of truth and reveal our vulnerable selves with compassion. Circles embrace us as we are—completely and unconditionally.
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