Girls Circles

At Sladebank Woods, home of the Red Hearth House

“Creating a tribe of women for girls to support them as they blossom into womanhood”

Moon Daughters at Sladebank Woods

Moon Daughters at Sladebank Woods 

Moon Daughters

The Moon Daughters is an open circle for 8 girls that meet at Sladebank Woods monthly.

“Following in the footsteps of Kesty and Damaris, and inspired by Amrita Hobbs and Liz Terry, we are a group of mothers who have developed this vision for Moon Daughters.

Moon Daughters Vision

A circle for girls age 8 – 11, and a separate circle at the same time for their mothers

1 – a unique opportunity for girls to develop the skill of circling, and for their mothers to mirror this.

2 – a predictable but flexible structure for each session with mentors developing a relationship with the girls and offering continuity, a sense of safety.

3 – We acknowledge that while we may be on different paths, spiritual or otherwise, what we all consciously share at Moon Daughters is gratitude to the earth.

4 – we want our girls to grow up rooted, secure in who they are, heard, listened to, honoured for who they are. Age appropriate sharing of issues as they arise such as friendship, body changes, changing relationships, preparation for menarche.

5 – gentle fostering of connection to nature and understanding about the mystery and magic which runs through all life.

6 – Seasonal themes to the sessions, observing the wheel of the year, the position of the sun, the phase of the moon, and noticing how this affects us. Time in nature each session perhaps finding a favourite tree, quiet time alone outside and reflecting and sharing about this in circle.

7 – we welcome all the mothers to take turns to bring craft activities, stories, songs, rituals, dance, usually following the theme/time of year. This is not obligatory and it is a key element as it gives our daughters an opportunity to connect with the mothers – in this way helping us to create a community of aunties who our daughters may want to turn to instead of their mothers for certain things

8 – development of relationship with self, with each other, with mentors, with mothers, rooted, grounded and held in circle.

The girls sessions are mentored and run by Kate Dineen and Ruby DeBonnaire. For more info please contact Kate Dineen.”

Contact Kate Dineen for details 07866642549/ kate@katedineen.com

There are two closed girls Circles that also meet here at Sladebank Woods and have grown from Moon Daughters, the Wolf Sisters and Storm Sisters for girls from 11 years. th These groups are organised by the girls mothers.  For more information email or ring Kesty 01453 766519.

Background information

Moon Daughters

Moon Daughters at Sladebank Woods

Moon Daughters at Sladebank Woods

Over the last eight years, through Moon Daughters we have re- introduced an ancient way of growing, learning and being together as women. We have created a ‘a new norm’ – *Circles! We are modelling a feminine tribal approach to living and growing together whilst preparing girls for their approaching teenage years.

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Our Moon Daughter gatherings involve up to 15 girls each month. We meet on the land, in a yurt at Sladebank Woods. Through our meetings, we show the value of circles, demonstrating that everyone present has a voice even if a girl decides to remain silent. With practice the girls are encouraged to express themselves authentically. We stress the importance of confidentiality to create a safe container within which to share.

Weaving willow hearts

Weaving willow hearts

Between the ages of 8-11 years, the girls are most receptive to the experience of Circle and the discussions that are introduced. Beyond 11 years (each girl is unique of course!) the girls generally become naturally more independent and can be less open to exploring topics that parents and other adults wish for them.

Moon Daughters Circle

Moon Daughters Circle

In a typical session we will sing a song at the beginning which welcomes each girl into the circle. We use a talking stick (covered in ribbons, one for each girl taking part) and share our news, lighting a candle as we go round. We introduce a theme, for example, if the meeting falls on Valentines Day – it might be about Self Love. We will do some movement practice like yoga, connecting in with our hearts and bodies. There is often time to share in twos’ an exercise on the theme, then another circle to share all together. We will anchor this with craft such as making a heart. The girls also spend time in nature together or sometimes they are asked to go to a special spot and invited to be silent. Everything is an invitation. We round the session off with a song and some snacks to share.

Danni, one of the mentors

Danni, one of the mentors

The Moon Daughter Circle is now organised by a group of mothers with two or three mentor women who meet monthly to plan the sessions. In the past in summer there is a camp, we live as a tribe, preparing and cooking food together, deepening the friendships and trust of the circle.

Preparing chocolate orange cakes to bake in the fire

Preparing chocolate orange cakes to bake in the fire

Nature features strongly each month, we follow the seasons and cycles of the earth and the moon. The girls positively appreciate the opportunity to slow down and listen more quietly, and experience the wonder and peace of being in nature.

We cover a range of themes, such as: Appreciating myself self-image, body image positive affirmations, menstruation, honest connections with peers, jealousy, gossip, peer pressure. We have also explored the media’s influence on how girls view their bodies, and have discussed puberty body changes. We ask for a £10 donation each month, which is paid termly.

Wolf Sisters

Wolf Sisters

It is hoped that the girls (from eleven years) who have experienced this special circle, will form another circle and stay together through the teenage years.  The circle will provide support as the girls witness each other as they grow up. The vision is that the container of the circle will be in place for them to continue to share, and have different experiences as a circle, helping them to strengthen and deepen their trust and friendships with each other until they are adults.  There are two closed Circles that have grown from Moon Daughters, Wolf Sisters and Storm Sisters.

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To build relationships with the girls in ‘our village’ we invite women in from the community to offer their gifts, like womb massage and singing.

Mums have been encouraged to meet at the same time as the Moon Daughters and that has been worked well at times. The idea is for mums to feel supported by each other, and model this for their daughters. Going through the teenage years can be a very turbulent time for both mother and daughter. For mothers to meet in a confidential circle can be a huge resource and a help in riding the choppy and normal waves of adolescence. Sharing with others can help to strengthen our mothering role

 

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