I sat with some friends Sunday morning to welcome a new sacred space one of them had created in her side yard. Almost hidden beneath a huge and tangled Brazilian pepper tree, she’s created a magical faeryland with a tent as her writing and meditation room. I haven’t asked everyone permission, so I am not naming names, but it’s not the names that matter. What matters is that we’re a group that has come together in synchronistic fashion and as we all sat together, some of us for the first time in person, we all felt the bond of our sisterhood. Aged 28 to 58, we sat in a circle and honored the intention of the dedication of this sacred space.
My friend is a writer and author, and the space is her dedicated writing room for a new project in the works. I find having a particular room dedicated to a special project is very helpful in keeping me focused and singleminded, especially when working on deadlines. Many of my friends are like that, we all write from home and spend much time alone doing it. Since contract deadlines are involved, we don’t spend much time in person with each other, yet we recognize our bond just the same. We want our in-person time together to count, and to be the most it can be.
Many of us met through the years at various women’s gatherings and weekend sisterhood retreats. Some I’ve known 30 years. Some I’ve met recently on Facebook. We all have in common the fact that we spend much time doing what we love to do – writing, which is a solo practice. And for each of us, our writing work is also our mission and our spiritual expression. We accept that we may not see each other often in person, but that we are bonded together nonetheless.
We telephone and email about the matters that are important to us, we give each other suggestions for improvement, we call each other on our stuff when we see it. For many years, I belonged to several circles that met weekly and monthly. Some met simply to fellowship and discuss current events. Others met with a particular idea or goal in mind.
The ones that interest me have to do with spiritual development. How can I best discover what I am here for and what work might be mine to do? How do our lives – yours and mine – twine together, how do we fit into each other’s purpose and mission, if we do? I’ve discovered a lot of tips and tricks along the way, many gleaned from insights received during my own personal spiritual development retreats.
I even created a website at Sisters Of The Circle, a free online retreat site after one long email session with a favorite sister years ago. She didn’t have much time to get out and about, but wanted to do some serious soul searching and asked me for guidelines for doing it solo. I know that whatever I am going through, whatever my friends are going through, is also what a lot of other people are going through as well. That’s why I write about what helps me, and so it was just natural to create a website for it. And it’s free.
Some friends meet in person on a regular basis, they start their own sister circle and they do the exercises from the website together. Some meet and discuss the articles in Horizons each month, and how the information is relevant to their daily lives. But the point is they meet, they come together, whether in person or online, and while they may have to work alone, they know they are not alone. They have an entire sisterhood behind them, cheering them on, supporting what they do, even sight unseen.
It is because I was initially impacted by Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen‘s book, The Millionth Circle, that I refer to her material. It is a good book to read together at circle. Other sister circles include the more indigenous, using as structure The Thirteen Original Clan Mothers: Your Sacred Path to Discovering the Gifts, Talents, and Abilities of the Feminine by Jamie Sams.
“In this crucial time, it is essential that we women reclaim our ability to nurture, create, and renew life. It is our responsibility to heal ourselves, reclaim the healing power that is ours, and form a solid foundation for transformation on other levels of life. This book maps a healing journey for all to walk. The Thirteen Clan Mothers will bless your life.” Brooke Medicine Eagle , native EarthKeeper, teacher, and author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing.