GUEST POST by Zoe FitzGerald-Beckett
Throughout the years of my spiritual journey, in good times and bad, I have often needed solitude in order to be open to all that Spirit represents for me – love and hope, healing and joy, and the opportunity it provides to tap into a source of wisdom beyond my own conscious thinking.
At other times, I have felt the need to do the work of connecting with Spirit by connecting with others, usually with women. The day after the 2016 presidential election was one of those times.
My immediate reaction to the election results was similar to those of many people: a sense of shock and disbelief that our country had just taken a huge step away from the foundations of “liberty and justice for all.”
Most profoundly for me was a sense of grief and loss. As I grappled with my own emotions in the immediate post-election days, I was hearing many women voicing how drained of energy and how overwhelmed they felt by the new realities we are facing in this country: realities they knew would be demanding their participation on a greater scale in response.
Some were even saying they felt “sickened” by the results, with physical and mental reactions: headaches and stomachaches, sleeplessness and nightmares. What became clear to me was that women need to be strong and healthy in order for our country to emerge strong and healthy in the immediate and far future.
In meditation, I had a vision of a well, and women gathering at it – a place of rest and renewal. I took that as a sign it was the right time to put out a call to all the women I knew inviting them to gather at such a place on a regular basis. And so was born a Women’s Sacred Circle group that has been meeting in my home regularly since the election.
Women gathering with intention and purpose is an ancient tradition. It has not disappeared from some countries; and has re-surfaced and gone underground time and again in others. I have been involved in women’s circle-work as both a participant and a leader, and have found it always to be a rich source of new knowledge and remembered wisdom.
Women’s Sacred Circle work is not a form of therapy, though it can feel therapeutic. And while it uses words like spirit and sacred and soul, it is not religious. Nor is it a gathering for a gabfest or a place to dump one’s negative thoughts and energies; but it is a place to put down one’s burdens for a time and refresh one’s being through shared silence, story, and ritual. I think of my monthly meetings as time spent “at the well’s sweet waters”, and a real source of solace and strength.
Gathering in a Women’s Sacred Circle offers something different from the good that comes from gathering for political and social justice action. I have done and continue to do such work, but have found that too can tax my inner and outer resources – and where to turn for renewed energy and inspiration to continue?
Carl Jung once said, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
A monthly Women’s Sacred Circle can become a personal “power source” for finding ways to respond to, rather than react to, the darkness that is threatening our democracy and way of life right now.
It can inspire, energize, and strengthen one’s resolve to whatever good work one feels called to do in order to move from darkness to light. It is fueled by taking the time to tap into one’s own inner wisdom and the wisdom of others.
There is a dynamism to such gatherings of women, and in my experience there is often something mysterious and magical about what reveals itself within them – revelations that can offer surprising and creative solutions to challenges we face in both our everyday lives and in the larger world.
Zoe FitzGerald-Beckett, from Appleton, Maine, has trained as a holistic health coach, a massage therapist and a Soul Collage facilitator. Her writings have appeared in The Sun, Zest, Maine,The PenBay Pilot, and Sage Woman. Zoe can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World, Jean Shinoda Bolen