The Goddess Circle

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A contemplation of the circle and its power to transform the way people think...

Submitted: June 25, 2018

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Submitted: June 25, 2018

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“The life of [wo]man is a self evolving circle, which, from a ring imperceptibly small, rushes on all sides outwards to new larger circles, and that without end.  The extent to which this generation of circles, wheel without wheel, will go, depends on the force of truth of the individual soul.”

-Raplh Waldo Emerson

 

 

Abstract

Almost all circles bring a small or large difference to the lives of people who find the integration as empowerment and healing.  Naturally facilitating connectedness and giving voice for issues of ecofeminism, that connects cultures, and gives perspective of much diversity.  As we consider the goddess healing circle as ecofeminists, other issues, visible and invisible, symbolic and proceeding, the move of ecofeminism stepping forward to a place of potential action, and in a world of possibilities, toward existential change, persists.  Circles permeate our conscious transformations as activists, and hold us for understanding issues.  That which helps personhood growth and the development of facility and capacity, to have a perception of how issues can be in betterment, often offer a solution.  Goddess healing circles restore human connection.  The healing circle in many cultures and traditions is a presence of unified expression by which humanity reclaims the righteous and intrinsic comprehension of interconnectedness. While holding compassion that makes healthier communities, religions and commonality in the global community, ecofeminism integration comes through sharing.  The ‘Circle’ is a symbolic connection that enriches the livlihoods of understanding, and gives people “oneness” in “a culture of fear” (Leah).  The significance of the circle brings us closer to understanding why we relate and learn best from experience.  The circle is an experience of guidance and source of knowledge where change occurs in the minds of persons. In essence, spirituality brings ecofeminists closer to the power of change.  The circle is a form of egalitarian communication where ethics and support are concerns.

 

The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life” -Micheal Jackson

“Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order.”  Virginia Woolf

 

On The Creation Of The Goddess Circle

 

  Observing a circle that is led by an eagle feather, a circle where sage is cleansed around before beginning, or a stone is passed hand to hand, comes from ancient traditions of Indigenous peoples who facilitated healing of community using the technique of the circle.  Giving back, it is that honoring the traditions is a form of growth.  Yet we must remember where we are coming from, and how sacred spiritual practice is, while respecting cultural values and requests.  As the circles of life go around, and perspective is gathered, sometimes internalized, goddess as we know, becomes interpreted widely as spiritual transformation in the world evolved. As Jung expressed, ‘Nothing to which the psyche belongs or which is part of the psyche is ever lost.  To live fully, we have to reach down and bring back to life the deepest levels of the psyche from which our present consciousness has evolved’(Baring&Cashford, p.45).  Every circle I have been included in has left definite imprints on my life.  As the circles went round, I felt wisdom and knowledge came from other’s experiences.  That esteem came in the things I pesonally expressed, and it helped me emancipate.Whether the circle was about a difficult issue, or a celebration of womanhood, the growth incured.  I felt in circles that not only was I connected to Gaia, but also an expanded consciousness that I felt whole in consciousness resonated. Some rituals brand great understanding, and not only helped me grow, but also gave me an avenue to inspire others through truth and practice of unerstanding I possess about healing and the worth of respecting all life.

  Circles have existed from the beginning of humanity. From rituals of early Pagans, goddess practicioners gain insight into the directions of the natural world, the energy that guides life, and spells that intrigue accumulation. Indiginous healing and drumming circles often draw on the spiritual world for guidance, the manidog guide, and the natural world around the tribe is transformed into many medicines which the Midewiwin practice.To prayer circles and rituals of many religions, people genuinely in prayer rehearse verses and focus on Jesus’ healing knowledge that He taught for transformation of illness and life circumstance.  Healing circles have always been a natural part of existence in most cultures.  Most involve the will for change. Where stories have lessons, what is learned relates to the way the world manifests without any dualistic determination.  Prayer and storytelling are universal, and often circles pray and focus on betterment throughtout the world.  Celebrations teach morality, service teaches commonality of what is acceptable and a stronger way of connecting in our circles, and connecting makes decisions for people united in nation discern with forethought. Where women heal and grow through the nurturance of ritual and working with ritual experts, there are life-long teachings ritual experts draw from, and they are often chosen for their gifts. The circles are conducted with ease and wisdom. From early times Shamans have used circles to perform medicine(which in Indigenous culture includes spiritual action).  Cultures have developed to worship meaning within the circle of life, and people have found great connection to Gaia in the many circles that bring together harmony and expression.  That has an effect on people, tribes, systems, and nations.  In scotttish culture the formation of the circle while piping shows skill, and these tunes do express stories.  For Irish practicioners, circles of many symbols have great meaning.  Even Stonehenge as situated in a circle has meaning, for those whco created the circle, there may have been many rituals conducted at that sacred place, encircling the power discovered.  In the Neolithic, life cycle symbolized fertility, and the circle of the body’s process was a sacred understanding.In the Bronze Age, the circle talked about how “it is not that the divine is everywhere: it is that the divine is everything.” And “…if there had not been some essential resonance in the hearts and minds of all the people...” , (Baring&Cashford, p.14),  what development of circles may have thought in ways undiscoveredas circles of thought became more intelligent and developed for understanding cycles in possible circles of leaders.  The cycles go around like in the myths of Inanna-Ishtar which taught people at the time about cycles and passages, and throughtout herstory, the circle was where connection must have made its greatest impact.How myths circle an aspect of humanity, even how calenders cycle in worship and religion in modern times, everything is the continuance of the circle, and that sacred preservation arranges how we observe circles as healing techniques.

  We know circles have always existed, because they are so natural to humanity’s relation.  What happened in many circles of wisdom and knowledge bring us to our evolution today.  Where we understand humanity has always used circles to communicate and heal, we must realized that humanity is socialized to the circle act.  Even through artifacts engraved with circles, art, records of circles that spoke, or the fact that stories in circles came from earlier circles and were passed down many generations shows humanity uses the circle to facilitate understanding, teaching, and resolution.  The healing circle began by recognizing the moon and sun, and through goddess retribution of worship to learn the ways of respect make a healthier society.  Healing circles began with the understanding of how the world and life work and proceeds from unity and gathering ideas and sharing dreams perhaps of transformation and plans for war in times when the fight brought warriors close to the fire.  Women in early times found empowerment in goddess, and the goddess in every woman, acknowledging all of our potential should not be underestimated.  In a Jung way, transformation of the way women today draw from goddess as a source of power and life healing, that perhaps this unique conscious ecofeminist and ecowomanist belief has carried on through our natural occuring evolution in time.  I do believe our foresisters have engraved what is in every woman by honoring Gaia and all goddess in women who saw themselves in the Earth.  The Greek goddess’ gave us much recognition of what woman’s potential can be, and in those days, woman related to the many goddess’ that modelled our intuitive ways which create solutions to the conflict women find in life, and Bolen discusses Archetypes and how they relate to women. Bolen expresses how archetypes emulate the potential for women to have certain attributes that are of Goddess powers.  Exploring goddess in early times has seemed to create the power women have today, looking at ourselves, how much do we realize what we have learned from ancient goddess woman. How the strength we conjure in realization is a consciousness that draws us into a way of the world is a natural force of development of feminine attribute.  Hence, in circles, sometimes women collide with viewpoints because of differences.  To focus on the ancient goddess, we find there is a quality of honor for our bodies, our cultures, and the world itself that taught us the empowerment of cycles to encircle what it means to embrace the goddess within.  That I think women naturally have always experienced the way circles develop through common struggles.“A claim to the sacred”(p.9, Baring&Cashford) has always been the realm of women in many tribes and rituals of women preserve that sacred attitude, as “an experience of a scared dimension is found in all cultures…simple or very complex” and that there is a history of consciousness but an element in the structure of consciousness, belonging to all people at all times”.  And the point being, the consciousness of women since the beginning of time engulfs a power of conscious knowledge for woman to have continuance, much like the Earth, Gaia, rejuvenates with continuance.  We may ask where it comes from, or rather accept our connection with Gaia, and understand her story is an energy of continuance, and that woman has a knowledge naturally, in the circle of life.  We develop circles sometimes based on our radical, natural, ecofeminist like-minded beliefs.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”  -Mahatma Gandhi

The Goddess Circle Of Essence And Change

The notion that woman herself is a creator, and that her birth and connectedness brings healing, occurs in most gatherings where women are present in a scared way to bring guidance and essence to the healing that comes from internalizing a spiritual lesson within.  Circles unite the concerns of women, and in many cultures, circles perform rites and passages.  That which supports the development of woman into woman, and draw upon wisdom to help one truly acquire the sense of holding scared journies and helping one develop their own personal strength through the natural role-modeling of women who are educated and aware of what it means in various stages of life occurs in circles.  To be acceptable of where a woman becoming woman has support and value of life, circles enforce an attitude of respect.  At the many life stages, women engage and integrate throughout all cultures to bring a groundedness to our lives.  To share ideas that shape our power and bring forth a ecofeminism of a woman-accepting and conscious collective of women who are concerned about wellness and life is common in many communities in the world.  I can attest that meeting women in circles does something to the heart.  The ‘earthearthearth’ continues through daughters knowing the values of the circle.  What is learned is love for the purposes and missions of women, as circles bring us worth as we decifer what social change needs to be done.  How social activism is at the core of our naturality, that the world and scoiety we live in needs intellectual basis and ecofeminist thought for how and why implementing transformation will continue with waves (as ecofeminism is something of the third wave’s work of concern).  When we speak of the world and Gaia in circles, we also, in many circles I have participated in, gain popular education and the facts.  We see what people have done to get us this far, and we planned many protests to bring awareness to issues which have worked to bring more awareness in our society today about important issues.  Success planned which I have seen begin in the gathering of people in circles, does happen at some levels, yet as ecofeminists building on other waves we understand where the work must find a place at all levels, grassroot until world policy.

In Circles ther is a deep level of innerchange which often amouts to outer change.  Bolen expresses that “ a sacred cirle can be-as an incubator womb space in which the courage to be authetentically ourselves leads to creative acts of expression.”  What is fascinating about circles, is that visualizations bring aspiration.  Expression brings forth commonality. That which brings faith heals.  In oneself and others, circles generate an active force to make a difference in how people think, about the world, Gaia, and society.  What is impressive about circles is that the diversity brings many ideas which may function together, and by nature, be effectual to help the spiritual sides of women. Where we realize our power together can concern how we live in the world and society,  people develop perspectives which can help us recover and reclaim a spiritual oneness inwardly with women.  The circle represents a space where women are safe, to embody virtue, to let go and express difficult feelings, and to bring forth growth, which all turn us to discover acceptance and compassion, which helps our humanity.  The focus of our relationships together with how these things are natural in the world unite the circle.  The empathy we share is essence brings change of how women relate, and how we define our feminism, ecofeminism, and spirituality, and goddess recognition of our own power.  That which facilitates growth in the bonds we have found in independence and collectivity is worth forming circles about.

 

 

 

“I feel there is something to be explored about women that only women can explore” –Georgia O’Keefe

Ecofeminist Relevance Of Developing Circles

The process in which ecofeminists choose which battles are relevant to encompass action about furthers from where a person is coming from, and what social justice issues that affect the environment in this world, functions when ecofeminists know where we are coming from.  Doing a part to make a  difference in a part of the struggle which directly is affectual to one’s spiritual beliefs and local situation in society is key.  Where Kaza discusses “Acting with Compassion”, there is a reflection from which she knows her own Buddhist culture and a spiritual growth in sequence of why her Buddhism connects with ecofeminism.  She says these “teachings and spiritual practices [are] relevant to their lives”(p.51), and I think although we support all ecofeminist issues, women must focus on what needs to be done relevantly in her relationship with what her consciousness knows are her own tuned in issues in life.  Kaza also says, “If one begins with the fundamental truth of one’s own experience, recognizing that perception and conception are intimately related, it becomes necessary to know how we feel in order to act morally”(p.59)  And that is important that we have passion for our actions, ecofeminists should continue to support all issues, but the real change comes in developing one’s own moral experience in choosing the battle and being authtentic for what the issues entails both spiritually and ecologically what oppresses our environment and woman.  “The vast knowledge of ecosystems held by women in developing countries is also largely ignored” (Rochette,1998)  That we listen to the voices of ecofeminists worldwide develops a worldview through which connectedness proceeds to make change and difference.That it sustains a rightness to fight for issues that one is affected by to respresent the diversity with truth and experience we can learn from.  Influence gathers complexities, yet we must interact with the world and society in a process that gives detail that our channeled creativity to focus on functionality through genuine understanding of what is under the issue, or stand, under-issue, understand.  To really get to the depth of the issue, how it is spiritual for us.

  The sense of ecofeminism is a topic of many circles, yet many feminists focus on other issues that directly affect women’s rights in society.  We have seen this change. Still with an awareness of Gaia, yet the consciousness emcompasses much change and provides informed responses that shape transformation of overcoming world oppression.  It is that we need to organize the ecofeminist circle to organize and take action.  That we help other women percieve connection with the environment, the Gaia spirtuality, and the support of educate communities that our connection with the environment is vital and diverse.  The arch of healing ecofeminism encompasses can bring an attunement of purpose in times when the environment needs focus because of how the environmental degradation is directly connected to the women’s struggle for equality and spiritual freedom.  While the circle educates, it also entices solutions and development for action and change.

 

 

“As women, however, we need to look very close at these philosophies…what does the spiritual system do for women?...the gurus, teachers, ascended masters will tell us that…continuing…it resists…”- Starhawk

 

Women’s Spirituality And Ecofeminist Birth

 

  The conception of a generation of ecofeminist spirituality comes forth with the support of those who have courage to expose and receive the responsibility of how and why we care for the Earth as ourselves.  It is spiritual to think Gaia is teaching women ways to understand our connection.  Moral that we find a responsibility and accountability for Gaia needs to be protected as women also need much potection in this society, as rape, murder, etc. are mitigated of a similar way the Earth’s destruction is (both women and Gaia have suffering, but we have been up against the exploitation too long).  Yet in spirituality, women transcend and find wholeness in acts of ritual or religion, and are resilient and have a sustainable spiritual embodiedness which is essential in our care to worship righteous differences in many acts. Find strength in one’s own religion that sustains and gives the dicretion and energy to grow and develop response through moral development.  Then share in a circle how any culture or traditon feels the same. As Orenstein relates, “We must begin to take seriously the reality of spirit-especially those of us who engage in spirituality rituals.  We shouls practice these rituals believing that the rituals we engage in are real  events that do communicate with the spirit world.”(p189)  And throughout our spiritual lives growth is apparent in how religions and beliefs, rituals and healing, becomes a rational action of our care, and while many religions are serious, I have seen that environmental ethics are being taught to religious students,i.e. to catholics it is a sin to abuse the environment, and charity and respect for all life should be the priority.That meditation on the environment makes a difference, how we relate to Gaia, and that spiritual rituals cleanse and brings us closer to health and harmony with people and the world.  “Those spiritual paths and religions with a strong environmental element share many central themes…common ground [in] traditions across the world…[with] evidence that spirituality was originally earth-based…our experiences of a oneness with nature.” (Greenfuse)  Found in many traditions is the definite honor of the earth and people in the world, for whom they meditate, pray, or perform ceremonie of empowerment and compassion.  Also, in many traditons, water, air, earth and fire are still present.

  With the bodies of women and capacity for birth, much care has been taken since ancient times to honor the process of bringing life into the world.  Circles of women prepare for births.  From early times when the lunar moon was counted with the cycles of birth, to the discovery of plants that help delivery, to modern views on a woman’s right to or not to be pregnant, birth is at the centre of the Earth’s circle.  “Moon, woman, earth – and the cycle of gestation in all three – can be seen to be governed by rhythm, order and an exact sequence of development”. (p49 B&C)  As development occurs in the lives of women from birth to death, spirituality may promote the quality of our lives and give the strength to give means to connect.  The circle takes the form of showing that we are not alone.

 

 

“I find it more useful to think of the whole range of human possibilities-agression, nurture, compassion, cruelty, creativity, passivity, etc.- as available to us all, not divided by gender, neither inner or outer” –Starhawk

Conclusion

  The goddess message is that we are all within her love and healing, and that we may draw upon Gaia as we find our struggles, and overcome oppression.  In circles, that we may have honor and listen to divine presence of spiritual transformation come through ourselves and others, that we may connect in spiritual purpose, and find activism in our way to alleviate human suffering in the world, and too, be part of the healing of Gaia.  Most circles are listening spaces and are confidential in nature.  The many things I have heard and experienced in circles stay in my spirit, the visions, the words, the tears, the need of support, and the guidance given.  Circles help people develop methods of developing different perspectives, and overall give a sense of health for people to receive attention to issues and engrave memories of our circle peers in our hearts.  When women talk, change occurs, and action has come out of many women talking in circles in this society.  I have seen the change the organization of circles has made, I have felt the oneness, I have waited my turn to speak, and just listened and understood, that most people are inclusive of making a difference, but that they need support to develop their project to fulfillment.  Circles give us a safe place to plan activism, and set goals of what issues we need to put forward, and help us gather unity and stability with our ideas.

  Worship circles, on the other hand, can be different from activist circles, and promote healing and belief, and teach people how to cultivate and express personal power, and as well bring transformation into their lives through divination.  Some covens practice rituals which concern the direction they want to direct their live in, to gather wealth, or bring a fruitation of strong understanding into their lives. (…In perfect love and perfect trust/live and let live/fairly take and fairly give/cast the circle thrice about/to keep all evil spirits out).  In most religions, women have prayer circles, and pray together for issues that affect their parishoners, to bring a spiritual power they believe in also for healing and transformation into the lives of those they pray for, to Saints, Angels, and the Creator(…Blessed art though amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb…or, As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be/world without end).  Even Islam has a significance for the circle where it is believed that “the centre of the smallest circle represents close proximity to God’s essence”(People) and the dance rotates into the centre to be surrounded by the circle.  Indigenous culture look at the circle of the medicine wheel, and also have practiced healing circles for centuries. As Jews too, dance in circles of power that bring connection that ‘enriches their lives and the world’.  There are circles of power, circles of worship, circles of play, circles of healing, circles of support, and circles where we celebrate through dance and song, that all enliven our spirituality.  It is important to have spirituality as much as it is to act.  That we continue the circle is important and meaningful.That we connect our ecofeminist concerns in circles may bring change to our communities, connect us with Gaia and bring our spiritual activism to fruitation and success.  Circles continue; they expand, entice, educate, enrich, develop truths, support, help us cherish, and truly unite our purpose in life.  I will leave you with something Pope Francis said: “This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle  of ideas.  The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good”.

  It is that the Goddess calls us to the circle, however her power may be seen by any culture, it is the same energy and power of creation, that brings so many to the circle.  It is important to proceed and have a continuance with ecofeminist circles, for growth and the development of Gaia’s power to teach us wisdom and give us knowledge to survive.  These circles are a blessing of empowerment, and the circle introduces people to opportunities of understanding and empowerment. 

“I will bring water to the circle.

Bring stone and words that are like stone.

We will not cast stones, but cleanse

With water, and talk of how those who

Cast stones, are not talking about the

Peace the world needs the most,

Instead give us your goddess word…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Adams, Carol J. ed.  Ecofeminism and the Sacred.Continuum, new York,1993.

Baring, Anne & Cashford, Jules.  The Myth Of The Goddess: Evolution Of An Image.  Arkana, Penguin Books, 1993.

Bolen, Shinada MD.  Creative Acts Of Expression- catalyzed in circles.  Skylight Paths Publishing, Woodstock, VT, 2011-2012.

<www.fireitupwithej.com/524-energizing-the women’s movement

Gandhi, Mahatma. www.brainyquotes.com/quotes/authors/mahatma_gandhi.html

Jackson, Michael.  www.brainyquotes.com/quotes/keywords/creation

Kaza, Stephanie. “Acting with Compassion:Buddhism, Feminism, and the Environmental Crisis.”  Ecofeminism and the Sacred, New York, 1993.

Leah, Ronnie Joy, Dr.  Dancing with the Goddess: Feminism, Activism and Spirituality.  Athabasca University, Sept. 2008.

Emerson, ralph waldo.  <http:www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/circles>

The goddess in Art TV series:Interview with Starhawk The Spiral Movement.

Orenstein, Gloria Feman.  “Toward an Ecofeminist Ethic of Shamanism and the Sacred”  Ecofeminisn and the Sacred, New York, 1993.

Pope Francis:  <http:www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/circles.html>

Woolfe, Virginia. www.emergingwomen.com/2013/09110

Mentions:  The Rede of the Wiccae, Hail Mary, Glory Be

<Secularjewishcircle.org>

<People.opposingviews.com/circle-islamic-culture-4284.html>

Aboriginal Perspectives  <http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/ang/aboriginal/strategies/01lancircle.pdf>

Final poem & Art by Amanda Eve Macleod, 2016

 

 

 


© Copyright 2019 Rasheda Galiana. All rights reserved.

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