Seeking Guidance through the Seasons
Embracing the season we're in, whilst we're in it!
Grab a cuppa, your pen and journal and cosy up with me for seasonal musings, reflective enquiries, the new chat feature, podcast update, Circle Skills and my excellent reading, listening and resource suggestions!
Hello Dear Circlers
There are many things we can do to live seasonally and hands in the dirt must be one of the best! I spent a stunning afternoon at the allotment that we are caretaking over the winter season. Although it doesn’t really feel like “winter” yet; it is un-seasonally warm for November.
It’s a gentle walk from our terraced cottage, down the main street of our little town, along a cobbled alleyway, across a humpback bridge over the River Mardle and then a meander through the slippery grass pathways to reach our hidden plot.
With kale and rainbow chard in hand, I was pondering climate change, a cost of living crisis and political chaos.
I sense that in order to sustain engaging with global justice movements, my activism must be grounded in the land that I reside on, just as my work is rooted in western wisdom traditions and British native mythology.
As always, I reflect on Circles.
Circles are an ancient tradition that feel so deeply relevant and helpful for these times (probably for all times!), and hence I believe that exploring my cultural traditions will continue to offer insights and guidance on how to navigate the challenges we face individually and collectively.
I advocate that both the architecture and process of Circles, offers us a potent portal to reimagining our world. When we gather with the intention to relate to one another we are navigating the questions posed by Marion Woodman in talking about what she describes as the feminine principle:
“The feminine principle attempts to relate. Instead of breaking things off into parts, it says, Where are we alike? How can we connect? Where is the love? Can you listen to me? Can you really hear what I am saying? Can you see me? Do you care whether you see me or not?”
For many of the women that I Circle with, these last few years have exposed the illusions and harmful cultural stories that we’ve been enduring. Many have experienced sharp disconnection as differing perspectives have become unacceptable.
Perhaps this offers us an invitation to start again in our interactions with one another; not to demand agreement or compliance but to start with “where are we alike”?
This doesn’t require consensus of opinion; it opens space for curiosity, for compassion, for love. From that place, maybe we can find a path that nourishes collective liberation through fracturing the systems that hold us hostage by the binds of disconnection and binary thinking, and in the shadow of fear.
I would love to know how you’re experience of attending or holding Circles is supporting you in these times?
Reflections for Samhain to Solstice
On November 1st I gathered in an on-line Circle (I am a huge advocate for on-line circles for reasons of accessibility). Our shared intentions were to explore the inner mysteries as we:
🍂connected with the archetypal energy of the Crone
🍂honoured our ancestors
🍂shared stories of hope & resilience
🍂journeyed with Yew tree, and
🍂sought a guiding myth for the season
I rarely share “feedback” from my Circles'; although I understand the power of social proof and the perceived value that testimonials provide for others considering joining me, it somehow feels like a betrayal of a shared sacred experience.
So, instead of sharing with you the words and reflections of those who came, I share my own.
This Circle was on the eve of my 48th birthday and it was the medicine that I knew I needed. The energy held by the group was raw and deep and open and mature. As a group we went all the way in, and although our individual experiences shared similarities, they were also vastly different.
As a Circle Holder, this Circle was a privilege to hold and as a participant in the Circle it was medicinal and magical.
One of our tasks was to seek a guiding myth for this season and our after-circle invitation was to seek out a story or myth that reflected the symbolic messages we received in Circle.
In my own searching I came across the young adult fiction novel, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness which seems to explore similar themes to our Circle including Yew Tree, cycle of life, the power of stories and initiations. This quote caught my imagination:
The yew tree is the most important of all the healing trees, it said. It lives for thousands of years. Its berries, its bark, its leaves, its sap, its pulp, its wood, they all thrum and burn and twist with life. It can cure almost any ailment man suffers from, mixed and treated by the right apothecary.
I’ve reserved the book from our local library. I’m curious to see how this coming of age story for a young boy might be my guiding myth for this season.
In addition, you might like to reflect on your Circle work during this season through these reflective enquiries:
If this is the void time, what needs tending now?
What Autumnal experiences can I draw on to resource myself through this season?
What myth or story can guide me (my work) through the darkness?
And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere moving from Beltane to the Summer Solstice, try these:
If this is the peak time, what needs nourishing?
What Spring experiences can I celebrate with gratitude?
What myth or story can support me (my work) through this time?
I wonder if these are helpful for you and would love to hear your reflections.
Join my new subscriber chat
Introducing our private space to converse and connect.
Have you seen the new addition to my Substack publication: the Circle School with Mitlé subscriber chat?
This is a conversation space in the Substack app that is set up exclusively for us — kind of like a group chat or live hangout. I’m experimenting with how we can use it most effectively and enjoyably. To start with, I’m approaching it as a space to collectively ponder reflective enquiries (like those above) and unanswerable questions.
The first enquiry I’ve shared is:
“Where do you feel the pull to rebel (with your Circles of anywhere else)?
To join in our chat, you’ll need to download the Substack app (messages are sent via the app, not email). Turn on push notifications so you don’t miss a chance to join conversation as it happens.
How to get started
Download the app by clicking this link or the button below. Chat is only on iOS for now, but chat is coming to the Android app soon.
Open the app and tap the Chat icon. It looks like two bubbles in the bottom bar, and you’ll see a row for my chat inside.
That’s it! Jump into my thread to say hi, and if you have any issues, check out Substack’s FAQ.
Please read on for podcast update, reading, listening and resource suggestions:
A huge thank you to everyone who responded to the poll in my last letter. There was a 100% YES to seeing The Circle School podcast return to the airwaves. So I am working some magic behind the scenes for a relaunch early next year. I’m playing around with the format at the moment so if you’d like to contribute your ideas as to what you’d like to hear from me, please do so.
If you’re contemplating holding your first Circle or you’ve had a little hiccup in your confidence, access my free 3-part training covering 1) who you are as a Circle Holder, 2) planning your Circles and 3) filling your Circles.
I love helping well-being practitioners, creatives and community organisers become skilled Circle Holders. I know how to help you create & hold Circles that support your clients / community and contribute meaningfully to your business / organisation.
If you are feeling the call to hold women’s circles as places of sanctuary and rebellion, are seeking a practical, wholehearted and radical women’s circle facilitation training, don't have the time, funds or desire to join a 4+ month live training, I invite you to join us in Circle Skills. This is a self-pace learning experience with monthly support calls. Our next mentoring session is on Tuesday 22nd November.
One of my faves! I worked with Danielle Dulsky through her Heathens in Business group last year and doing so helped me further embrace stories and rituals in my personal and circle practices.
Seasons of Moon and Flame by Danielle Dulsky is a powerful and poetic guide to living cyclically and offers stories, rituals and practices that can be adapted for your Circles.
Hosted by Marisa Goudy, the Knot Work Storytelling podcast offers mythology and story as medicine for the modern soul. This is a unique podcast format in which Marisa invites her guests to tell a story, and then together they explore the themes and time weave from the present to the past to the future. I’ve loved all the episodes but the recent Episode 14: Fierce Tenderness: Stories of the Calilleach told by Kate Chadbourne was a wonderfully seasonal exploration of the Calilleach and all that she represents.
If, like me, Circles are part of your business offerings, then in addition to our skills as Circle Holders, we need to develop our skills in marketing, copy writing, sales and money management! Leonie Dawson offers all that and she has just re-launched her Brilliant Biz & Life Academy which gives you access to all her courses (plus 2 new courses each year) for USD99 per year! Whether you want to improve your sales copy, write a book or stop marketing on social media, Leonie has you covered. I have done several of her course, I am joining the Academy and I am a proud affiliate. See you in there.
Thank you so much for joining me in my musings.
As always, I deeply appreciate hearing from you whether by email or in the comment section on Substack. I’d also love to continue this conversation over in our new Chat.
With you in this (r)evolutionary movement
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