Women's circles have gone mainstream, with women around the world reviving the ancient tradition of intentional gathering.
But what's behind this prehistoric practice? And why is it making a comeback now?
Read on to find out.
A Brief History of Women's Circles
Women have always been deeply connected to the Earth and cycles of nature. Although shamanism is often considered a traditionally male practice, experts believe the earliest shamans were actually prehistoric women in Europe and everywhere else. In the ancient world, the feminine was revered — along with the masculine — as a divine power source.
Gathering in circles to share rituals is a practice probably as ancient as humanity itself. Women in ancient times were aware of the healing power of ceremonial gathering, and it is a universal practice found across diverse religions and cultures. It seems that sharing, connecting, and healing through women's circles is encoded in our DNA.
However, in the 15th century, women's circles disappeared. In 1487, Heinrich Kramer published the first witch hunter's bible, "Hammer of the Witches," leading to the deaths of an estimated 60,000 innocent women throughout Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. Among those killed were spiritual leaders and healers who practiced herbal medicine. Vulnerable women were considered particularly dangerous, and many poverty-stricken and mentally ill women were put to death.
The brutal persecution and murder of women destroyed the support systems that they had relied on for millennia, leaving them disconnected and disempowered. Women's oppression became systemic and spread across the world through patriarchy, colonialism, and later, capitalism. The ancient healing practices that sustained our health, spirituality, and communities were suppressed and forgotten. Until now.
The Return of Women's Circles
Modern women are the granddaughters of those witches, and we carry their ancestral wounds in our DNA. Attending women's circles is one way we can start to heal those wounds, as well as reconnecting with our true nature through the ancient practices of our ancestors.
But why are women's circles becoming popular at this moment in history? Perhaps simply because the collective is ready for it. As the world lurches from crisis to crisis, a shift is taking place in the collective consciousness. Centuries of feminine suppression have created an overly masculine world that is crying out for the feminine to rise and restore balance. Women across the globe are answering that primeval call and returning to the safe embrace of sisterhood. We have a primordial urge to gather, share, and heal — both ourselves and the world.
What Happens at a Women's Circle?
Any woman who has attended a women's circle will tell you that something extraordinary happens when women gather together to support one another. The first thing you notice is the lack of competition. Society has taught us that our value depends on our attractiveness to men. This constant competition prevents us from connecting with and supporting each other. At a women's circle, you find an instant community.
What happens during the ceremony depends on the facilitator, but you can expect to share, listen, offer support, set intentions, and release old emotional baggage. Often, women's circles coincide with the cycles of nature and take place on new and full moons, solstices, and equinoxes. You will leave feeling lighter and more connected to yourself, your sisters, and the Earth.
Women's circles offer a safe space for women to be seen, heard, and understood — something that we have lacked for centuries. They may even be essential for the survival of humanity. Look for an event happening in your community and discover the magic for yourself!
Prescott Trichology Wellness Group has a Getemgurlz Forum and growing wellness community for men and women. It is a safe space, but Ebony Prescott, our founder --who also happens to be a woman--has particular perspectives in helping others.
Have you ever attended or hosted a women's circle? Tell me about your experience in the comments.