Foto: Nancy Nolin
© Katharina Sebert. The world needs people rising in their medicine and healing the destruction we have caused. We need the strength and wisdom of mothers and grandmothers to guard what never shall vanish from the Earth. It is July 2014 and finally the book has arrived for which I have been waiting for weeks: “Urgent Message from Mother – Gather the Women, Save the World” by Jean Shinoda Bolen. My heart beats excitedly as I read the first paragraph: ‘Gather the Women’ is a message to her daughters from Mother Earth, Mother Goddess, Mother archetype. The words evoke an intuitive recognition, a wisdom whose time has come. It is a call from the Sacred Feminine to bring the feminine principle into consciousness. It is time to ‘gather the women’ – for only when women are strong together can women be fiercely protective of what we love. Only then, will children be safe and peace a real possibility.
That’s what I’ve been looking for since I can think. To be strong with women together and healing us and the world with the focus on empowerment and encouragement. To rise together for the sacred and all that needs protection, is primordial, true and dignified. Each woman in her medicine. Sacred Activism. This is what I want. Hand in hand and heart to heart in a circle, at eye level and in true sisterhood.
I devour the book, hungrily absorb the stories of women who come together in circle and change something in themselves, their community and the world for the good. They are the answer to my question, how everyone in the circle can be powerful, responsible, creative, alive and empowering to contribute to a world that serves the welfare of all beings in present and future generations. With every line I read, my enthusiasm grows. How can we support, inspire and cheer each other in the development of our potential? What is real togetherness and how do we succeed?
On the Search
I research: Women behave completely differently when they are among themselves. As soon as a man is present, they turn towards him, compete with each other, look for his attention, start to make themselves small, flirt and hold back. If they are alone, they often blossom within a very short time.
But even among women the patriarchal behavior of devaluation, comparison, competition, focus on youth, beauty, appearance, as well as suppression of inner truth, true greatness, dignity and wisdom is the rule. Unfortunately, I also experience all this in the women’s circles to which my search leads me. How could it be any different? We are patriarchally shaped through and through and are not normally aware of this. I encounter hierarchy, manipulation, co-dependency and patterns of ‘I must deny my truth, keep still and function in order to have a place in the circle and be right’.
I realize HOW significant it is that we learn sisterhood and co-creative togetherness from the ground up. It is not something that is available to us simply because we call ourselves sisters. Much too familiar are the habitual and destructive patterns of devaluation instead of evaluation, disempowerment instead of empowerment, opposition instead of togetherness, hierarchy instead of eye level, and the omnipresent fear of not being right.
I don’t understand. How can that be? We do not come together in women’s circles to continue what has been hurting us, our ancestors and grandmother Earth for millennia. I feel anger and helplessness when unhealthy injuries take place under the message of ‘we are all sisters’. Such double messages have already led in our childhood to the fact that we have ceased to trust our feelings. And that is exactly what it is all about when we want to perceive the call of our hearts and follow it.
I continue my search. Where are the women who show themselves in their vulnerability AND their strength, who align themselves together to be in their power to change the world for the better? Something in my bones knows that there must be a women’s power in togetherness that focuses on inner alignment, remembrance of one’s own soul call, powerful, creative working together for a good world for all beings, where everyone thrives in their strength and contributes their medicine. Women’s circles that nourish and empower at all levels, and women who truly feel and behave as sisters.
Here I Become Who I Always Wanted to Be
Here comes the above book with its stories of mutual encouragement, sisterhood, powerful personal healing and social change through women and women’s circles into my life. Empowerment lies in everything I read and my longing flows into a haven that feels like home. Women who grow and expand together in a circle, who heal themselves and the world.
Jean Shinoda Bolen writes in her book: „When I first heard the phrase ‘gather the women,’ the words struck a deep emotional chord. I am one for whom the message was meant, as you may be also. It is an urgent message from Mother to Her daughters – that will not be heard by women who are allied with patriarchy, whose identities and value come through their relationships with men and male institutions. Women who respond have a sense of sisterhood with other women and react with maternal concern to pain and suffering, especially toward those who are vulnerable and powerless.“
I breathe every word. The author describes how women have empowered and healed themselves – and thereby their environment and the world – by coming together in circle. My vision! On the last page I find a link: www.gatherthewomen.org. I go to the website. I read ‘Join our circle’ and register. Each of my cells vibrates and pulsates. It doesn’t take an hour and I receive a warm welcome email: “Welcome Home! I think that maybe Gather the Women has been waiting for YOU!” What we are longing for also longs for us: We both heard the call and were thus led to each other.
A few weeks later I participate in my first international phone circle and am fascinated. I observe liveliness, strength, mutual encouragement. Women who make a difference, bring in their strength, greatness, joy, enthusiasm, commitment, helpfulness, truthfulness and wisdom to the circle. They empower, encourage, cheer each other and focus on what serves their potential and a good world for all beings. Grandmother power, clarity, determination and wisdom. I am shy in this first circle, my English bumpy, my hands sweaty, and: I feel completely at home.
In my diary I write: “I hear the call. I can’t help but follow it. Here, that’s how it feels, I become who I always wanted to be.” What I had been looking for has come to me. Grounded, down-to-earth, real and diverse women of all directions, cultures, traditions, countries, ages, skin colors, experiences and competences who come together in circle and stand hand in hand, heart to heart and shoulder to shoulder, affirm and encourage each other to show their full greatness, dignity, beauty, wisdom and strength, and together stand up and speak out for a peaceful, connected and life-supporting world.
I don’t have to think when Mary asks me after a few weeks if I want to be a Regional Coordinator for Gather the Wo-men. A year later I attend our international Annual Gathering for the first time and translate our flyer into German:
“Welcome home! We are a global sisterhood that connects women through circles. We create a safe place to share our true selves. Meeting in circle, we find our voices, claim our power, and celebrate our self-worth, leading to personal and planetary transformation. Gather the Women is a container of support and sustenance that enables and encourages us to be the activists, women of influence, or whatever we choose to do that aligns with our values of truth, peace, love, justice, understanding and acceptance. We believe that women are hungry for deeper, more meaningful conversations. When this need is met, our sense of self is strengthened and we are more confident in taking action in the world. We are proud of our sisters, and what each offers to the world. In Gather the Women, we choose to nurture ourselves and build relationships by sitting in circle to share our stories, to listen, to learn, to laugh, and to cry in an empathetic embrace.”
The women of Gather the Women have changed me and my life. Especially my sisters from the American continent. They teach me true sisterhood. Here in Europe we can learn a lot from them, I realize that. Almost all the good literature about women, (women’s) circles and sisterhood also comes from the English-speaking world. It fascinates me how I can learn from them and share with women what I had been looking here for years in vain.
I cannot imagine a life without my sisters and women’s circles. I love the connection and solidarity with women locally, in German-speaking countries and all over the world. From every circle that we share with each other, I emerge stronger and more deeply rooted in myself and in women’s power. I always know my sisters at my side. It is pure medicine for me to hear our stories and how we are all committed to a good world. As women, mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers, we are committed to a peaceful world. Gather the Women brings out the best in all of us, we are each other’s role models, inspiration and encouragement:
Suzan and Rowdy offer circles for women in prisons. Our Argentine sisters march in the streets for self-determination and women’s rights. Florencia brings us the green scarves that the women use in the rallies on the streets and we wear them in solidarity with them. Tu Bears sends out her powerfully inspiring notes every day, Laurie carries the Enough message around the world, Karie composes and sings songs for peace, Lorraine is committed to families with children and Mary to the rights of the LGBT community. Karen has developed The Divine Feminine App, an app that brings women’s groups together all around the world, and we all participate in the Women’s March together, whether in person or in our hearts. With our women’s circle & choir ‘Women Singing Peace’ we go out singing for peace and diversity in the streets of Munich, and our sisters give us such warm solidarity greetings that we make a little video greeting – ‘We are all Sisters Rising Together for the Sacred‘.
Over a period of two years we are co-creating in circle a joint book project with eight women on the subject of ‘Enough’, in which we compile over one hundred practices, exercises, meditations and texts that heal the patriarchal wound of the not-enough for circles and individual work (Enough! A Companion Guidebook). In Facebook we are connecting in local groups. I am founding one for the German-speaking area (Gather the Women Deutschland-Österreich-Schweiz) and we are also introducing phone and video circles here so that women can participate no matter where they live. In turn, we alternate in the preparation and facilitation of these circles, which lets each of us grow into leadership responsibility in the safe space and framework of the circle. Now we are in the process of preparing a three-part circle series on the theme of ‘Healing Sexuality’ together.
We have contributed to a welcome video for new women in the German speaking circle that Sabine creates for us. Christina sends a monthly newsletter, for which Cora collects the women’s circle dates of our sisters in the German speaking countries. Anna Theresia welcomes new sisters to our Facebook group and each one has local women with whom she meets in circle. We are all weaving together the large circle that unites us and work in our circle and leadership agreements. Our togetherness is characterized by appreciation, gratitude, openness and appreciation. Everyone brings to our worldwide circle what they want to see realized in the world. There is no membership fee, voluntary donations are used to enable women to participate in the international Annual Gathering.
I experience commitment and joy in this work, devotion and strength, dignity and empowerment. And appreciation, so much appreciation. In every circle shining faces and bright eyes and the knowledge that together we are bringing back the healing feminine into the world – despite and because of all the worrisome developments in the world. Everything that happens strengthens us on our way, in our commitment and with each other. It is more important than ever that we women rise and contribute in our own way, putting ourselves at service and dedicating our medicine and gifts to healing the great whole for a good world for all. I am blessed to witness the powerful development of many women who step into their true greatness and contribute theirs for a good present and future of the world.
We are a global circle of women, most of us are mothers and grandmothers. We come from all walks of life and professions and are committed to women’s circles, women’s empowerment, women’s and human rights, to Grandmother Earth and peace, to diversity and togetherness, tolerance and for those who have no voice. We share ceremonies and circle knowledge, our diversity and the rising of the Sacred Feminine.
‘A Leader in Every Chair’ is the motto at Gather the Women and enables, promotes, nourishes and creates co-creativity. Every woman participates in the whole, and in the way she can and wants to contribute. Gather the Women is a place for women who want to be active and weave at a good world for all beings, it unites women who want to make a difference. Inside, outside, in small or big engagement, in every movement that makes our world more connected, more peaceful and more life supporting.
My sisters of Gather the Women, I love you and all that you bring into my life and share with me, what you teach and remember me, where you inspire, encourage and cheer me, what you are and share so generously. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! ‘Rising Strong’ and ‘Celebrating Sisterhood’ is what I experience with you every day, and for what I am grateful every day. That was also the theme of this year’s international Annual Gathering in Arizona that all nine Conveners of Gather the Women organized together with two additional women (see the photo at the top). What I have heard so far it must have been terrific. Next year we’ll meet in Vermont and I’ll be there.
Empower yourself, sister, and heal the world. Gather the women. Perhaps you will perceive the same call in you as I do. Then do not hesitate and come together in this way. Come to us, take your place in our global circle. Coming together with women in a circle is empowering and healing. For everyone. Awakening, exploring and living Sisterhood truly is a revolutionary force. It is time for us daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers to rise. Each of us is more courageous and stronger with women at her side. #TogetherWise and #TogetherWeRiseStronger
Together we empower ourselves and heal the world.
Women’s circles are a revolution of love and healing for the good of all beings. – Do you join us?
About the author: Katharina Sebert is a naturopath, companion, teacher, author, healing and peace activist, life, love and happiness researcher and all-time learner at the Center for Deep Healing ‘In Good Hands’ (www.in-guten-Haenden.com). She offers circles, seminars, trainings, ceremonies, individual training by video, as well as Ancient Mother Camps for women, has developed the format of the WildgansFrauenFlugKreis, in which she also trains, and comes to you in your city and in your (women) circle, if the way to Munich is too far. She sends out a free monthly newsletter, which you can subscribe to on her website. There you can also draw the ‘Botschaftenkarten der Liebe’.
Katharina Sebert has developed the Urmutter-Methode®, a deep healing method for the redemption of unconscious life and belief patterns, and accompanies people by telephone, from distance and on site on their healing, memory, consciousness and medicine path: “Our work serves love and forgiveness, memory and healing, the community of all beings and world peace”.
Katharina is a Regional Coordinator of Gather the Women Global Matrix™, our worldwide sisterhood that unites women by bringing them together in circles. Women of all directions, cultures, traditions, countries, ages, skin colors, experiences and competencies, standing hand in hand, heart to heart and shoulder to shoulder, affirming and encouraging each other to show their full greatness, dignity, beauty, wisdom and strength, and standing together for a peaceful, connected and life-supporting world.
Write her an email to Katharina@in-guten-Haenden.com