Over the years I have been drawn to anything circular in nature, and nature itself is indeed circular, and cyclical!
I very often teach about Chakras, which are the wheels of energy in our bodies. I have recently also embarked in a journey with the Celtic Wheel, with Mari Kennedy which is an exploration of our body, mind and soul through the seasons and festivals of Celtic traditions. Another passion of mine is Menstrual Cycle Awareness, which of course is all about cycles.
With all of these avenues of wellness & spirituality, I have been naturally drawn to the powerful influence of women circles. You can join the Bean Feasa New Moon Circle on January 15th Book Now.
A Brief Herstory of Women's Circles
People have forever met and gathered in circles. Often the fire would be the centre of the group, where people met to cook, eat, celebrate, tell stories, pass down traditions, worship Gods & Goddesses. Once apon a time women would gather in Red Tents or Moon Lodge's to celebrate the feminine cycles of Menstruation, the Moon, and the sacred stages in a women's life, from Menarche to Menopause. In later years these gatherings often had negative connotations, of women being cast away from society for bleeding.
Since the dominance of patriarchy in society, social & sacred gatherings have become more linear. Temples, Schools even Yoga classes often have lines of people looking at, often looking up to one "leader" This has an effect on us as "followers". We are more incline to give our power to that "leader" which in my opinion is what this set up is designed to do!
However in circles, there is no leader. There may be a facilitator, someone who sets up the space, someone who organises the itinerary, keeps time, holds space etc, but when in the circle, we are all equal. Our voices are all valuable, we don't look to one person for advice and inspiration rather to everyone as individuals and as a group.
You can read more on the history of circles on Dr. Sharon Mijares website
My first experience.
The very first woman's circle I went to, I will admit I was a little scared! I attended an all girls school growing up, and I didn't enjoy the thoughts of being vulnerable in big groups. Luckily this group was a smallish group, I think about 7 women in total, and once we got started I felt very welcome and at ease, we did a meditation and opening ceremony. Then the weekly topic for discussion arose, and this week it was breasts. The very first through I has was " there is no way I'm getting mine out!" and just as I had finished this thought the facilitator said as if she could see the worried look on my face. Don't worry we wont be taking them out! We were matched up with one other woman, and we had to discuss how we felt about our breasts, were they a gift or a burden? What are their purpose? Are they important to your identity as a woman? And the facilitator also gave us the option to hold our breasts as we spoke. At first my initial reaction was ok that's a little weird, but ill give it a go. We had a set time to speak uninterrupted to each other, and there was also time to journal afterwards.
I particularly enjoyed listening. A general guideline in many women's group is active listening. When the sharing circle is opened up, you the talker will have a set amount of time to say what is in your heart, without interruption. Often in day to day conversations we feel the need to fill silence with unnecessary words, for example if someone shares something vulnerable, we may feel the need to comfort them, by saying "oh how sad, I'm really sorry" In a women's circle there is no need to think of something to say in response, simply being there and actually listening is all that is needed and often much more healing.
Personally I also feel this time allowed for silence is very beneficial for the speaker.
It can take me time to get my point across in conversations, so often I need to pause to collect my thoughts, and if someone speaks over me often that thought can get lost. However when silence is allowed, there is time to gather those thoughts, and allow my opinion to be voiced, coherently.
Of course each women's group has different guidelines, practices, rituals, that is unique to them, so I would suggest if you didn't like the first one give another one a go. Find your tribe!!
Bean Feasa Circles - Starting January 15th
Pronounced Ban Fassa, the Irish for Wise Woman. This term is connected to the many Bean Feasa's around the country who were local, healers, herbalists or simply known as someone who had the cure. Check out Biddy Early one of Irelands most famous Bean Feasa's and one who's stories I personally feel very connected to.
These Circles were born from my connection to the sacred sites around Ireland. Before 2020's lock downs I guided many people from all over the world on Mindful Meditation Walks through Howth Castle and to Aideen's Grave, a sacred portal dolmen here in Dublin. This work led me to engage with people who not only want to connect to themselves as bleeders, divine feminine energy, descendants of wise woman, but also to other women and the natural cycles of the seasons, and the universe.
Bean Feasa Circles are currently online once a month, on the new moon, which gives us the great opportunity to connect to our sisters from all over the world. Each month we meet online and focus on a different theme. The theme for this first Bean Feasa Circle will be "Expectations"
This event is open to all who identify as a woman.
In menstrual cycle awareness the new moon represents the phase of the womb cycle that sheds blood, even if your menstrual cycle is not in sync with the moon, or you don't have a menstrual cycle, this is still a time and a space where you can let go, rest and connect to the deep, dark feminine.
Each time you attend you may feel very different, and all is welcome. There is no pressure to share, listening only is just as healing. There is no pressure to do anything you are uncomfortable with. Circles are all about empowerment, doing only what feels right for you.
Each month I will include different practices or activates, such as,
* Menstrual Cycles Awareness/Tracking
* Yin Yoga
* Community & Connection
Bean Feasa Membership
Our special Bean Feasa Membership will be a monthly gathering of, conscious wise women to learn, and rise together, this space will allow us to dive deeper into teachings on Menstrual Cycle Tracking, Energy Healing, as well as Yoga Classes & Guided Meditations, which will be available for download throughout the month, you will also receive discounts on other workshops, retreats and events More details on how to join this tribe coming soon!
Join This months Bean Feasa Circle on Friday the 15th of January at 7pm