I have been known to occasionally get a little woo-woo. Depending on your own experience, I’m either a light weight or kinda crazy. I’m ok with that. Over the years, I’ve put a lot of attention to coming to peace with the more feminine aspects of life – emotions, sex, mothers, being a woman, being around women.
There are many things that have helped me along the way, including (but not limited to):
Succulent Wild Women by Sark (Thank you, SK)
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd
Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist
Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Women’s Temple (Thank you, Diane)
One of the most healing experiences on my journey has been the times when I have been in a circle of women intentionally gathered to acknowledge and celebrate being women.
Because this has meant so much to me, and because I have so many wonderful women friends, I like to host Goddess Gatherings. These have evolved over time from simple pot lucks to the “New Moon Circles.” In preparing for the last goddess gathering, I had a desire for a little more formality. I wanted to have a circle, with an opening, some substance and a close. In doing my research, I discovered new moon circles. They cross cultures and have many forms, from pagan to jewish. It seemed to me like a simple, yet meaningful structure to apply to the gathering.
So, the current model of gathering is a little woo-woo, a little jewish, a little red tent, a little burning man, and all about women celebrating women.
Here’s a little of the background on the circles I found while preparing for the last one. I’m very much looking forward to future circles, which I predict, over time, will grow in richness and meaning.
All Ancient Cultures Honored the Moon
In the twenty-eight day lunar cycle, the New Moon, sometimes called “the dark of the moon,” is recognized by indigenous people around the world as an especially important time – a time of energy and potential, a time to make and renew commitments, a time to plant seeds for the future.
Native American Women’s Circle
The women of the White Buffalo Society meet once a month during the time of the new moon, to come together in harmony and trust and healing.We hold Women’s Circle to nurture ourselves and each other, to heal the mistrust that stems from too much compromise in a world overcome with greed and violence and addictions. We gather in a circle, where none is more important than the other, and we drum and rattle and sing songs. We talk about what it means to be a woman in these times of uncertainty and very fast living, how hard it is to trust each other, and how vulnerable we feel about sharing our deepest concerns. Sometimes we cry together, and sometimes we laugh; we comb each other’s hair and massage each other’s feet. Through Women’s Circle, we learn to support each other and empower ourselves.
Rosh Chodesh, the celebration of the beginning of each month in the Jewish calendar, has blossomed into a celebration of women and femininity. While Rosh Chodesh exists as a women’s holiday in traditional Jewish sources, the connection has been made much stronger with the emergence of the women’s movement, and the establishment of women’s Rosh Chodesh groups. There is no one way to celebrate Rosh Chodesh and there are no rules for establishing a Rosh Chodesh group. At the core, it should be comprised of women who gather on a monthly basis to celebrate the new month and their lives as Jewish women.