Posted on January 30, 2019
2019 is all about rolling out a series of circles here at Om Laila Studio – which has thus far been primarily a bellydance school. The year has already begun with two Red Tent gatherings for women and there are more circles on the way, including Drum and Song Circles and a Circle for the Conscious and Ceremonial use of Cannabis – something very important both to me personally and crucial for the times. Human beings have been gathering in purposeful circles for a very long time, possibly as early as 300,000 years ago. Although little is known about the complexity of these gatherings, there is certainly evidence of ritual art, painting, and religious ceremony. This began to change some 5000 years ago with the onset of patriarchal ideology and its emphasis on cognitive development. Gathering in circle and its spirit of community, egalitarianism and authentic connection was replaced by linear and hierarchical structures where people became passive receivers of information from authoritative leaders. While many indigenous peoples continued to gather in circles, the last 40 years has seen an increasing movement to return to this practice in the modern world. All that said, I am not writing this article as a history lesson. I want to share a simple and personal experience about the power of gathering in a circle. I am no stranger to circles, ceremonies, and rituals having discovered Wicca in the mid-eighties and being initiated into a lineage of Goddess-based religion that can be traced back 2000 years. Despite the mind-blowing magic of those rites, I recently experienced the quiet power of the circle in a more humble and profound way than I ever have before. In September of 2018, my husband and I sold our family home and chose to separate for a trial period of 6 months. I had been receiving messages in my dreams and meditations about selling the house for some 2 years. These were followed by a series of synchronicities in the outer world that had the entire sale unfold with a kind of grace that filled me with gratitude and a real sense of the rightness of it all. Nonetheless, the day we signed on the dotted line, I began to feel like I was falling down a well. The feeling kept on going for the next 2 days and it was unrelenting. I’ve never experienced anything like it. None of my personal centering practices seemed to put me back on solid ground, but they did show me that I needed a circle of my women friends to help hold me through this transition. I put the call out in a group message. The instant I hit send, the ground came back under my feet and I stopped falling. It was SO palpable and so powerful a moment that my awe, respect and devotion to the circle has been solidified and magnified to a whole new level. I know in my bones that there are some truths, some important flowerings of consciousness that can only happen in circle. No matter the focus, intention of purpose of the gathering, when we meet in circle we grow the Filigree of Love that connects us to ourselves, to one another and to all of life. We are remembering an ancient way of connecting and bringing forth its nourishment and wisdom into our modern times. We are growing our capacity to birth a healthier world. Cheers to that hope!
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