Excerpts from Sacred Circles: A Guide to Creating Your Own Women’s Spirituality Group by Robin Deen Carnes and Sally Craig

“Growing spiritually entails learning to be in loving relationship with one another — learning to walk that delicate balance beam of being truly ourselves and accepting others as who they are. It means being honest even when someone may be hurt. It means asking hard questions. It means finding out how we affect other people. It means questioning our assumptions about what is right and wrong, and who is right and wrong. This kind of growing requires committed relationships, because if you don’t have that, people will bolt when things get messy.”

Stages of Women’s Circles:

(Where is your’s?)

  1. Pseudo-community … aka the Honeymoon period where everything is lovely.
  2. Chaos … conflicts arise, how do you handle? By instituting all these ‘rules’ in an effort to keep ‘peace’? no … “True community is conflict-resolving. Chaos is to be waded through, not straitjacketed.”
  3. Emptiness … Emptying ourselves of the ideas, beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions that make us impervious to really hearing another person. What stands in my way of communicating with the people in this group? Can I let these things go?
  4. Community … the hard work pays off. “There is peace, a sense of contentment, a deep belonging.”

This is the ‘container of emergence’ that allows a person to feel so safe, knowing that her dark and light sides are seen and accepted, and she can being to truly blossom.

“I change myself, I change the world.’
– Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera

One last note, “t]here is no ‘there’ there. As in any relationship — for instance, marriage — you will enjoy periods of peace and joy and happiness, real reveling in yourself and your partner. And then you will experience the other times, of conflict, of struggle, and of emptying. Over time, if groups apply themselves to their focus of spiritual development, they will become better able to go through the hard times comfortably, learning from past experiences and decreasing the amount of denial of and resistance to the inevitable challenges of being together.”

The chapter then goes on to talk about need for three things in groups: 1) clearly defined focus 2) people not taking responsibility for getting their needs met and 3) power dynamics – shared hosting

“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.” Rita Mae Brown Bingo

“One of our favorites sources of inspiration, Hildegard of Bingen, defined sin as being ‘dried up.’ We’d rather have juicy lives, even if they get messy at times. Come on in. The water is … wet.”

“Nothing important was ever accomplished without courage and risk. … Will I be laughed at? Will I be misunderstood? Does it require that I trust my feelings? Does it require that I use faculties that have lain dormant for the most part in humans for millennia: spirit, intuition, imagination, independence of judgement … If so it is very promising… therefore powerful and I should seriously consider it.”  Sonia Johnson, Going Out of Our Minds

Seriously consider a Women’s Circle.  Already have one?  List it at  Would you like to have one?  or start one … list your desire to do so at … a new computer app to help connect us locally.  



*This post is taken just entirely from the Ninth Chapter of Sacred Circles:  Home Remedies to Keep Your Group Healthy.  I highly recommend this book!

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