Women’s Circle

Group Leader: Jocelyn Mercado

When:  Sundays, Monthly at the New Moon (DATES:  2/7, 3/6, 4/10, 5/1, 6/5, 7/10, 8/28, 9/25, 10/30, 11/27, 12/18, 1/29, 2/26)

Time:  4 – 5:30 PM

Cost:  $20 per person
(Young women under the age of 18 may attend free with their mothers’ paid entry)

Creating an environment in which we honor each other as sacred beings with a deep connection to the Earth and to each other through this mysterious & beautiful gift of womanhood – an empowering, uplifting experience for all involved, with an emphasis on the mystical aspects of our feminine nature. There will be a full schedule of inspiring activities for each gathering, to keep the momentum moving and to surprise & delight the participants with new & unique ways to dive into our hearts’ and souls’ depths and discover our truest & best selves. There will also be time for reflection and sharing with the group.

Red Tent Circles were held since ancient times:

  • To give women a chance to take pause from day-to-day responsibilities
  • To pass along the sacred rites of healing and mystical women’s arts such as the cultivation of intuition, dream analysis, and divination
  • Secrets were shared, wisdom passed down through the generations, recipes & parenting advice were shared, young girls learned about growing up and about sexuality from the older generations
  • Overall it provided an affirmation of the importance & sacredness of womanhood

Benefits of the Red Tent style women’s circle:

  • Affirm that being a woman is something to celebrate
  • Provide a safe, supportive environment for us to gather and speak our truth
  • Explore and learn more about the effect of the lunar & seasonal cycles on women’s emotions, energy levels, & physical well-being
  • Empower women to recognize these natural cycles in their lives and adjust their demands and schedules accordingly to give more space and quietude when it is needed; to set healthier personal boundaries
  • Gives us a chance away from daily routines, to be around others who understand and support us, as well as a time to honor our feminine essence. After circle, we can return to our normal lives full of self-love and nurturing. Taking this time away can reduce the need for resentment (toward partners and others), overeating, stress buildup, and allows us to have healthier emotions and treat ourselves better for the whole rest of the month.
  • Gives young women (maidens) a safe place in a circle of trusted “wiser” women to guide & protect them as they are going through many changes and individuating from their mother, and may be experiencing peer pressure. Provides them access to string role models and adult viewpoints; a safe space to learn about fertility and sexuality in a healthy way; encourages them to honor themselves, their values, feelings, and bodies
  • Gives mothers support, encouragement, and renewal at this busy and sometimes exhausting stage of life. Mothers are often expected to nurture others 24/7. Circle allows them to be nurtured by caring women and to honor their own emotions and needs, and strengthens their intuition and ability to care for themselves, to give them added strength while they support others for the rest of the month. It also gives them a space to focus on themselves for a little while, rather than on everyone else’s needs.
  • Provides wise women with an opportunity to share their wisdom, life experiences, stories, perceptions, and insights, which are deeply valued in circle. Acknowledges and honors their age and status as an elder, mentor, teacher, wisdom keeper. Gives them regular contact with women of all ages to keep them connected & involved in the community.

Why Do We Hold It At New Moon?

  • New moon is the time when the moon goes dark each month, and when we tend to feel the most tired and vulnerable
  • Our insecurities and old wounds surface, even the ones we’ve kept hidden from others for years
  • It is for this reason that women of all indigenous societies for thousands of years gathered together at this time to reflect, offer emotional support, and join together in healing one another
  • This time also provides rest, a break from the normal routine, and spiritual/emotional rejuvenation when we most need it each month
  • New Moon is a powerful time for setting intentions and opening to manifestation of our deepest desires, and so we will make this a regular practice at our circles, to set goals and intentions for the month ahead.
  • Many women all around the world are holding circles at the time of New Moon. When we send out our energy to wish for peace, an end to violence, a healthier Earth, protection of women and children in the world, and so on, then our intentions are joined with others and the entire human consciousness is raised by this beautiful global vibration that stretches all the way around the world. This is the power of women in action, healing and creating transformation in the world.

Sample Itinerary for First Circle Gathering:

  1. Welcome and Housekeeping Items
  2. Open Sacred Space with an inspiring poem or reading
  3. Meditation
  4. Dance / movement exercise to get energy flowing
  5. Art project: Painting the Tree of Life
  6. Oracle cards / go around the room for group sharing / introspection
  7. Write down intentions (2-3 per person) for the coming month
  8. Burning intentions to release them into the universe
  9. Chanting
  10. Closing reflection / Open to thoughts, comments, blessings from anyone who wants to speak

JocelynJocelyn Mercado:  I am a Financial Analyst and Project Manager by day, and an aspiring writer by night (and weekends, and early mornings; really any time I can find a spare moment to write). I have a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature, and I draw on my fascination with magical realism and the intricacies of the Spanish language to bring depth and mystery into my writing. I have a Master’s degree in Business Administration, and I enjoy exploring the dichotomy between the business / profit world and the real world of nature, dreams, and human experience.

I am a writer for the Pachamama Alliance, an environmental and social justice organization based in San Francisco. I write about indigenous wisdom, the politics and economics that affect the developing world, solutions to mitigate climate change, and global environmental and social justice issues. My most recent articles for the Pachamama Alliance can be viewed here: http://www.pachamama.org/author/jocelyn.

My website is www.WeAreSacredPlanet.com. This website, Sacred Planet, was created to form a global community of people who are concerned about the connection between our health as humans, and the health of our planet. I believe that if we heal one person, we help all people to heal, and in clear connection with that, we also heal the Earth. And so, in order to stop the destruction of the planet that gives us life, we must each start by going within and healing ourselves.

I live in Maryland with my husband and two young daughters, ages five and two. It is my sincerest hope to pass on to my daughters a healthy, sustainable, magic-and-mystery-infused way of living on the Earth.

I have a certificate in facilitating Red Tent women’s circles, and I am so excited to bring women’s circles to Easton, MD beginning in January 2016 at the lovely and inspiring Evergreen facility.