“Do I open my circle to men?”
This is a question that we have received often from our facilitators, and recently a wonderful facilitator Callie asked this question within our private Sister Circle Facilitator Facebook group. She received 30 or more passionate replies from other facilitators. Some women feel very strongly that men should not be allowed within a sister circle, that women need this sacred space that is separate from men. Others feel very strongly that the space should be open to people of all gender identities, and that the goal is inclusion and unity.
We invite you to read through the lens of curiosity and openness–to listen to and reflect upon opinions of others that may surprise or be in conflict with your own ideas and beliefs. We are all here to learn, grow and evolve.
I think it’s entirely up to your group…ask the entire group to reach consensus on it before deciding.
My personal vote would be no. My group is for women, and I think it is important for women to know that they have the right (despite changing gender ideologies and changing laws) to have women only groups. As long as I have that (which I need), I really would love to have some men (specifically men and women whom I like and feel good about) join me in groups and activities. But I reserve the right to have a place set aside for women only.
– Susan de Gaia
Each group member was given the opportunity to voice their comments and it was decided to include [men].
For approximately five years there has been the opportunity of having males in our circle. For several years prior to that we were strictly female and sometimes found…that because we were all of a strong intent in nature…the feminine energy aspect could be a bit overwhelming. We were approached and each group member was given the opportunity to voice their comments and it was decided to include them. As the facilitator I found the balance to be great as the masculine approach to feminine energy is something that has proved to be a positive point for us.
– Diana Brewer
Maybe it’s because I’ve been involved in domestic violence prevention awareness that I think it’s ok to have women-only circles.
I really love this – I agree that as the divine feminine we are collaborative and inclusive. If someone identifies as female, she would most certainly be welcome! It’s not to say other circles for both women and men can’t happen.
– Kathleen Ennis
In my experience men in a women’s circle change the dynamic in groups – women act differently.
We become caretakers, it appeals to our mating instincts. It’s simply nature! Already by considering his request seriously, [we are demonstrating a] beautiful caretaking quality of us women. And then to take a technical POV, it’s a ‘women’s circle’, not a ‘feminine circle’. Then the first thought that came to mind was to offer to mentor him to start his own circle with other men who also feel the Divine Feminine awakening in them. I imagine you’d both receive so much from embarking on a journey like that. This makes me I wonder how to handle for those who identify as gender neutral. Again I suppose it would be what they identified with. Great share as I think it highlights the usefulness of having clear purpose, intention and shared agreements as a circle too. Love the creative expression of the feminine!!
– Robyn Lee
I held open space for women and men over time [until] Spirit guided me to hold sacred space for women only…
…as The Goddess Energy is intended to heal and support the female Sages of these very turbulent and blessed times. Keep this sacred Divinity, to guide women around the world, to nurture, love, support and embrace all on this beautiful Planet.
– Jodie Maree Spiritual Healer
A women’s circle strengthens the way women deal with each other.
Just because women’s circles don’t invite men into their circle doesn’t mean they don’t include men in their hearts. It doesn’t mean that we as women are not in peace with men. It is more that many women feel hurt, are suspicious, are envious and jealous and feel a lot of resistance towards other women. In a women’s circle these wounds can heal because women learn to open themselves without being afraid for being criticized immediately. She can start to trust other women again, find out where her borders are, learns to say NO, stops being a pleaser without feeling guilty and learn that it is not only about being beautiful on the outside or about performance, but that it is about her with all that she is. She deeply experiences how nourishing women actually can be! See, these circles are to become whole again, to find love for other women again, to heal from their wounds as a mother’s daughter whose needs were not seen, heard, or fulfilled Pure sisterhood is a powerful tool to heal the world, to heal humanity, to heal the incessant power struggle between genders.
– Donna Clara
It is vital for women at this time to come together in safe and sacred spaces–with ONLY women.
While I was at the Gathering for Humanity in New Mexico, many people spoke to this very thing. One woman (Madi Sato, whom we had on our last HerRISING call) had the intuition to invite men into her circle, and what she found was so interesting. The circle, which had been going very strong before when it was all women, started dwindling in members. Then it almost completely fell apart. She took a pause from circling at all for a few months and reassessed what was happening. The guidance she received was that it is vital for women at this time to come together in safe and sacred spaces–with ONLY women. Her husband holds men’s circles, and twice a year the men and women come together. At this point in our history, the feminine force still needs a lot of safe-holding and space to heal. Women are the ones to do that together. I think it would be awesome for him to start a men’s circle–even based around the divine feminine principles–and then have your men and women’s circles meet up every so often.
– Kat Lindsay
In acknowledgement of the needs and wishes of all of us maybe the way forward is to have alternate circles where there are options for more inclusivity on those occasions.
We say as sisters that we want to make our world better, to be more inclusive of all living beings and to embrace the wonders of this world/universe yet we are hesitant when our make counterpart wants to join us. In our ever complex world we need to try to be more open and not exclude what might be a wonderful addition and source of inspiration from another human being. Would we or do we get caught up as much if our fellow woman is LBGT? I hope not. In acknowledgement of the needs and wishes of all of us maybe the way forward is to have alternate circles where there are options for more inclusivity on those occasions.
– Mirelle Martin
I have been approached with this as well and so we added “Family” circles…
…where all are welcome at the 4 solar gates for the year. It has worked out pretty well I think.
– Jessica Lipinski
We have a group of men who meet up on the new moon to honor the Goddess.
This work is being done it does not have to be done in the same physical space. I speak with these men regularly in hopes that our 2 groups will one day have coed meetings.
– Rebecca Buck
We do a Full Moon meditation where anyone is allowed to join in.
We go over the New Moon theme again and prepare for the next New Moon. I’m lucky in this particular question, my space is small so our New Moon meditations are very intimate and full. I would be happy to help others hold a Sisterhood New Moon Meditation elsewhere but, to my delight, the original group prefers my sweet small space. However the Full Moon Rising Meditation…held on the headland overlooking the ocean, is open to anyone and everyone.
– Maya Seale Michel
One of the most important qualities of Feminine is that of “being inclusive.” Women can have space dedicated to gather and also organize moments where men can come.
We can work (and we should…we must…) in women circles that can offer possibilities to sometimes host men that are looking for to learn about what the Feminine really is.My work for many years is about opening to guest “persons”–beyond gender separations. And this does not mean that we have to open to men every circle. What about if lesbians or transgender people would like to come? We’ll say no to anyone that is not born woman?
Feel deeper inside yourself about what you really would like to do… and just try to find a good way to continue to do women circles without building new barriers against anyone.
– Doju Dinajara Freire
The intention of this blog to open your mind to new possibilities and invite you to think about this topic in new, inspiring ways. Our hope is that whatever you decide about this for your circle, you first feel into your body and heart for the answer that feels right to you so that you can move forward with clarity and intention.
Sister, thank you for reading.
WE VALUE YOUR VOICE and we’d love to know: What is your opinion and experience with this topic? Do you allow men to attend your new moon circles? How do you engage with people who are gender neutral or transgender? What do you think and feel about opening your circles to men?
The Global Sisterhood team
Compiled and edited by Kat Lindsay, with contributions by the amazing sisters of the Global Sisterhood. Join the movement and become a Sister Circle Facilitator.
(Cover Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde)