Sitting In The Circle Of Wise Women
This past weekend I was on a workshop retreat in Arnprior at the Galilee Centre.
The theme of the weekend was working with Birth Trauma and rebirthing ourselves. It was offered by the Ottawa Pathwork.
The Pathwork is part of my healership lineage through the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. At school we learned many of the basic teachings of the Pathwork and read many of the lectures as part of our homework and formation.
Barbara, lived in the Pathwork spiritual community, called Phoenicia, in the Catskills of New York when the guide, Eva Pierrakos, was still alive and delivering the teachings in the ‘70’s. If you have read either of Barbara’s books Hands of Light or Light Emerging, many of her personal stories in the books come from her experiences within the Pathwork. The basic concepts of the Pathwork are in Part 1, Chapter 1of Light Emerging by Barbara Brennan for those of you who have a copy.
It was wonderful to reconnect with the Pathwork teachings and sit in a circle of women.
The first morning of our gathering when I sat to join the group I was struck by the the amazing palpable energy field of the group: I was sitting in a circle of Wise Women...most with grey hair, most in their crone years.
This archetypal scene downloaded in me at once and nearly brought me to tears. A deep ancestral remembrance of the teachings, experience, and wisdom we used to receive sitting with the grandmothers of our tribe arose in me. I felt a gut level recognition of the value and rightness of learning this way as a woman. (The same would have been true for men sitting with the tribal elders and grandfathers speaking of men’s wisdom). There was a hunger I hadn’t even known was there for it’s return in my life which was being offered here.
I could feel the deep beauty of the Wise Woman archetype embodied by these women, individually and collectively. It was such a relief from the unhealthy cultural norm that permeates our society emphasizing our physical beauty and the pressure to constantly live up to that. (And if you think you are not...ask yourself how you feel about your weight, or how you would feel if you suddenly gained 20 lbs, or how you feel about wrinkles…).
These women had a beauty that was beyond physical appearance. It was a richness, a treasure that arose in laughter, serious conversation, and the ability to really share from the heart, from a deep seeking place and a place that *knew*. This is the charism of the Wise Woman.
Our hearts are built to yearn for this kind of guidance.
It is not always the archetype of the Wise Woman that fills this yearning in our story. It can be the Guide, Teacher, Mentor, Magician, Sage, Hermit, Witch, Seer.
He shows up as your coach, your sen-sei, Yoda to Luke’s Jedi Knight, Merlin to Arthur’s King, your therapist, the boss at work who is further ahead in years and experience and inspires you.
She arrives as the witch in the woods, the teacher of Reiki, the psychic medium you trust, the grandmother you used to turn to for advice, the healer who knows how to read your energy field…
You are meant to have guidance in your life from wizened people. It’s part of the story. You aren’t meant to go it alone or figure it all out yourself.
We no longer live in tribal societies, where the council of elders is ever present for us to turn to. I feel that in many ways the modern phenomenon of Personal Coaches seeks to fill this gap for us. We are a society starved for true wisdom keepers. Yet the Wise Woman/Sage lives inside of us also. There is a voice within us that *knows*. Usually it is our spiritual mentor that helps us to find it and learn to hear its call. This is the gift of their transmission to us which we absorb.
And then we grow older...and we become the mentors...if we have done our own work.
• Do you have a spiritual group or guide that you turn to?
• Where do you connect with the nourishment of the Circle of Wise Women/Men?
• Did you realize it was something you were hungry for?
• What is it like to go it alone without guidance?
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