by Shannon McArthur
Driving into a fiery sunset showcasing a big sky, underlined lightly by the rural Holland countryside; a friend’s intelligent, thoughtful, heartful conversation; a fire in the centre of a circle of amazing women… A story was brought; a question was asked.
We listened, and we shared our own stories. Personal stories told in circle are not shared outside the circle without permission; what others are moved to share, I look forward to reading. We talked about life today and men and society; we talked about curses and beheading and forgiving. I put into the circle, into the fire, the murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada; I talked about how lucky I am to know the gentle-men I do. We heard about the culture of Mongolia where houses are built with two central columns representing Mother and Father. Children are taught that neither is to be leaned on and that they support the house together. Another story was offered of women who lived long ago in a culture very different from any of ours, diverse as we were. The Amazons were a tribe of warrior women; women who kept men as servants or studs, and killed surplus boy babies. Some of them were so passionate about archery that they removed their right breast to allow better bow-handling. They lived in a place so powerful that, to this day, men cannot endure being there; a place where water flows through 9 round pools named for the 9 different kinds of love – love of mother, of child, of man, etc… It was appreciated that there were 9 of us.
We talked about synchronicity and magic, about power and guidance. We talked about the thousand fires that were lit on a plain in Mongolia in December 2012 that moved a comet from impact trajectory and saved the planet.
Beautiful drums were handed out, different from any I’ve ever seen. Mention was made of neighbours so we struck a soft beat – mouth harp, soulful singing and spirit orbs filled the circle of women’s faces lit by the soft light of the dancing fire… long, how long…? The call of an owl signaled our work was done! Laughter… I love laughter!
After such a full day, it was hard to turn away from the fire to face the drive home 2 hours across Holland, but needs must… good music (and trying to connect with the keeper of the keys to the door behind which my borrowed bed lay) kept me awake.
My deep thanks to Karin Lindeman of The Hague, of Four Worlds Europe and my friend, and the other women of the circle, all of whom I shared circle with at Castle Millemont just outside Paris after COP21 back in December, 2015. It was amazing then; and again last night… and will be again…