All Open Circle gatherings have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
About Open Circles
“Talking freely about aspects of women’s lives and naming them as resources for spiritual strength in community have not been part of patriarchal religion. Feminist communities ecourage truth-telling – naming of the experiences that are real in women’s lives. In these settings there are no correct doctrines into which women have to try to fit their experiences and so the truth telling goes on, new ways of describing women’s spirituality emerge and new sources for survival and strength are named and incorporated into women’s spirituality”
-Charlotte Caron, To Make and Make Again: Feminst Ritual Thealogy, 1993
When The Circle started in 1990, it was decided that the program might include one evening a month women could come together informally to read quietly, to talk with other women, to enjoy a cup of tea in the lounge space. The first small group of women who attended suggested that each evening have a theme. One woman might share an interest, a project, a book or video to twig the personal experience of those present and get them talking. The topics for Open Circle evenings have come from the brainstorming of the women who attend. After a few years, an Open Circle planning group formed and called themselves “Dynamikos” meaning “powerful.”
To use Charlotte Caron’s words, Open Circles have focused on “naming of the experiences that are real in women’s lives,” sources that have been traditionally considered improbable dimensions of spirituality. The evenings have included the truth-telling of many individuals sharing their personal stories, profound life-changing experiences, and creative processes. The diverse modes of spiritual expression have included storytelling, drawing, belly dancing, moulding with clay, journaling, meditation, drumming, etc. The hundreds and hundreds of women who have come to Open Circles over the years have taken home new ways of describing and experiencing women’s spirituality and new connections with other women.
There have been so many special moments. The joy of sharing rituals to celebrate seasonal and life passages stand out. In addition, these evenings have provided opportunities for women to network and form new circles of support and solidarity. Open Circles have inspired dream groups, menopause groups, book clubs, writing groups, drumming circles, ritual groups …and these open circle evenings continue to spiral.