Last night, at the new moon in Virgo Women’s Circle, there were 19 women who RSVP’d. I had closed down the event a few days prior as the Moon Lodge where we hold our women’s circles will only hold maybe 7-9 comfortably.
I have been hosting a women’s circle on new moons and full moons for two years so I knew that RSVP’s and who actually attends are two different things. (New moons are open to new members, and full moons are for regular attendees only.) I was not worried about figuring out how 19 of us would fit in the moon lodge.
I am a stay at home mother of four from aged 3 to 15. The large majority of the women who attend our circle have found it through a local Mother’s Group and have small children: small, unpredictable, tiring children.
I know some Women’s Circles who are very strict about attendance and commitment. If that works for them, terrific! And I also believe that it has to do with the attendees, what stage of life they are in and how their life is organized. There is a part of me who wishes it were the same, I don’t know, maybe 3-5 other women who came every time.
But at least my experience has been, that has not been the case. Sure enough, on the day of the circle, women started dropping out: from the flare up of a chronic health issue, late husbands to one who last minute just could not get out the door.
It’s a difficult time of year, us mamas are getting our children back into busy schedules, and a nasty virus is making its rounds.
When the smoke cleared, it was me and One Other Mama who actually made it from the 19 who had RSVP’d.
Now, I’ve been hosting these for a couple of years, and I have figured out a few things.
First off, your mind goes on this roller coaster ride. You think to yourself,
‘It’s okay. Sorry to not see her, but fine, we can’t fit 19 anyhow, nor 16, nor 11 … okay now 8 are still in – perfect. Let’s go.’
‘She can’t come either? Nor her? Hmmm, and you start to worry a bit. What if no one shows up? Don’t they know that I spent time on this? Maybe it is me. Maybe I did something wrong. Maybe I should not be hosting these …’
… my mind goes off to the races, and I have to bring it back to center.
The Circle calls, and women respond.
Those who are meant to be there, when they are meant to be there … come.
Like small children, life is chaotic, messy and ever-changing. We have goals. We have our dreams. We try our best to make them come true and provide order, but the true beauty of life is when we learn to just let it flow and how to work with its eddies, currents, storms and sunny days.
The one girl who did show up had been a ‘face book’ friend for a long time. We agreed we would do a short version of our regular circle.
We ended up spending the full two hours.
She’s been to women’s circles before and is definitely interested, but again, she does not know how often she will be able to come. She lives 45 minutes away, is a single mom and has two small children. The ‘commitments’ in her life right now are first and foremost to her children and to her job.
We discussed the upcoming Divine Feminine App to help women find women’s circles and how many women out there really need a women’s circle: many of them who don’t even realize it, but are so desperate for this recharge, connection, support and means of growth.
She recalled how on a completely unrelated garage sale Facebook group, a woman had basically put out a ‘I need friends’ call and just how many women had responded.
“This woman, and so many others, are really looking for a women’s circle,’ she said. ‘They just don’t know it. How do you make them realize it?’
I remember one friend of mine who I could tell ‘desperately’ needed the support of a women’s circle. And I gently, but repeatedly invited her until she finally came.
I saw her. I saw how she lifted the lid just ever so slightly on Pandora’s box and peered in. In my mind, I said,
‘Go on: do it. You need It. It will be painful. It will be hard. But oh my, it will be worth it in the end! LOOK! Look inside, and see what you find!’
On a related, but completely separate note, I missed church yesterday. We have been going to one of those very large, rather progressive Christian churches. But we got there late, and my almost potty trained toddler had gone to the bathroom in her diaper, and I was without wipes, so I returned home with her.
My twelve year old son later told me that I had missed a ‘really good one’ where the minister spoke of men as leaders and how this can be traced back to Adam and Eve. Eve, who let herself be led astray by the devil in tasting the apple, but Adam who must take full responsibility for letting her lead him astray.
Oh my, I thought to myself, where do I go with this one? It was okay, my son knows me, and he was rather teasing me. He then said, ‘it was good, Mom, as I figured if you had gone, you would have stood up and protested.’
Oh, my son, I thought to myself, yes, I would have protested – for the tree is knowledge, and the apple should be tasted.
But this is such a complex lesson: one that I get he is not ready for.
Sometimes, we lead, and sometimes we follow; and in the end, neither job is really any more ‘important’ than the other.
My friend, who I finally got to the women’s circle, who I watched timidly open up Pandora’s box and take a brief look, well, she slammed it shut.
She wasn’t ready. And that is fine.
When she is, we’ll be here.
And so my answer to my title’s query is that you do not.
Life is like a river, and we women are the water. Sometimes, we are gentle and calm, in other places, raging and furious.
The true beauty is when we can sit on the banks quietly enjoying our apple.
Start a women’s circle. Attend a women’s circle. Step outside your normal comfort level and connect, heal and empower. Figure out what’s in your Box.
Born of Water.
Comment and my response from Facebook Group:
Tamara: True, true. I am flexible with my Circle, but for my own sanity, I do have these guidelines in place: I can take 25 max. RSVPs via email are required. If you say you’re coming and your plans change, let me know so that someone on the waiting list can come in your place. Six is the minimum number for Circle to happen. The thing I love about hosting an open Circle is that some women may come only once (I love your metaphor of peeking into Pandora’s box!), but at least they have experienced it — if only once. It may be enough to nick the shell over their hearts, and someday it may crack wide open.
Me: I admit I have rethought this post several times … 🙂 18 no shows is very unusual; it is nowhere normally that high. Usually it seems about half. Oh I wish I could hop on over to Kansas and attend one of your’s 🙂 . I do have to say though some of my favorite ones have just been three, but I also have to admit I am really an introvert at heart, and when I see 19 have RSVP’d, EVEN if I had the room, it would scare the shit out of me. lol. I think, and I am most definitely Not Sure I expressed it so well in this article, as I know many women’s circles out there who do have the commitment of the women who attend, esp. a lot of Wiccan and ritual ones, I think they are more committed perhaps. Think there are so many different flavors out there, and mine is more like me in my laidback, controlled chaos, sort of way. I do though also have this theory that some of the women who need it the Most are ones to whom would not be able to commit regularly (ones who have Small Children or some really intense challenges in life going on), and I agree wholeheartedly with your statement about at least having the opportunity to get there once. Also, I would like to state that I am having some severe Sinus stuff so I’m not going to claim thinking as my strong suit today – ha ha. <3