Women’s Circle- Flores de Mariposa

Women’s Circle- Flores de Mariposa
Cagliari- Sardinia- Italy
Litha- 21st June 2020- local time: 5.30 a.m.

Choosing the date of the Summer Solstice to conclude, with a last meeting, the 2019-2020 Women's Circle activity, was for me to pursue a deep intuition. Everything was born from the awareness of the loss, fear, uncertainty that we all experienced during the lockdown due to COVID 19. In those long months it was like feeling the darkness enveloping Mother Earth and being unable to do anything except remain motionless, still, in silence. Just as animals teach us, with their survival instinct, when the danger is so great that it becomes useless to face it or even worse to run away, the only salvation is to pretend to be dead.

Now they are telling us to return to Life, to start meeting in presence again and no longer through a remote screen but always at a distance, with masks ... I felt that there was a great contradiction in this message, which sent a distorted command that was generating even more confusion.

The desire to hug each other again, to take each other's hand, to stay close once again denied by the fear that the Predator, invisible to the naked eye, could destroy us. How to get out of all this, I thought, if not turning to the force of nature that nourishes with its warmth, its light, its energy?

The sun, so precious and available at all latitudes, that every June 21st for millennia has brought a message of hope illuminating the Earth on the longest day of the year, has been an inspiration to mark the starting point. The male principle, in its positive sense, represented by the Sun, has come to help.
Defeating the darkness dictated by terror and a sense of inevitability, this inspired me to create the ritual that saw us sing, dance and raise our hands towards the rising sun.

We have created an altar where each has placed a red candle, hypericum and lavender flowers, ears of wheat to witness the abundant harvest we will receive after an extraordinary year of emotional work just concluded within Cagliari Women's Circle.

Everything took place in a beautiful garden, scented with Mediterranean bush, facing the sea: the dream come true of one of us who found a concrete evidence in a wonderfully welcoming home. The desire that Antonella has cultivated for many years until she reaches the point of being able to inaugurate it together with all of us.

We met in the dark, at 05.30 a.m. in silence, entering the garden almost on tiptoe, respecting the nature that was slowly awakening. The rhythmic sound of the drum, a propitiatory chant that lastly, at sunrise, was sung in unison, the colorful clothes, 24 women ... and a half (one of us is in her ninth month of a baby girl's pregnancy!). Our life plans written in the sheets we held in the right hand and finally a collective hug of a female humanity ready to smile at Life! A delicious breakfast, prepared with love, brought further happiness ... to celebrate the joy of being together!

This is the wish that we want to send to all the Women who with courage and determination are helping to form the Millionth Circle all over the world!

Maria Rosaria Loi Guttuso

The Women’s Circle “Flores de Mariposa” – Cagliari (Sardinia-Italy)

The Women’s Circle “Flores de Mariposa” – Cagliari (Sardinia-Italy)

In August 2014 my Spanish colleague and friend Carmen Hernandez Rosety talked to me for the first time about the book “The Millionth Circle” written by Jean Shinoda Bolen, and about “The International Council of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers”.
She suggested about opening one in my homeland, Sardinia, whicis full of history and traditions on the Mother Goddess. Loving this proposition, I organized an encounter on August 30th 2014 at 10:30 a.m. in which 15 women attended and gave life to the first Women’s Circle of Cagliari.

We named the circle like Cuba’s national flower “Flores de Mariposa”, in honor of the bravery and the hard work of the Cuban women that, during the independence wars, wore these kind of flowers on their hair to hide messages containing secret communications for the liberation army.

To this day, October 18th 2019, I am carrying on what I consider to be a life mission with the Circle, that counts, in Cagliari, the sacred circle of 60 women. Fully sharing Bolen’s proposition, meaning that the intention is not to replace patriarchy with matriarchy, since doing so would just propose the same hierarchy with the two extremities reversed, I proposed to the Circle an always growing inclusion of men.

Therefore, on March 23rd 2019, we invited them to the exhibit of the Mother Goddess in the Museum of Cagliari… not many men adhered, but it was a start! “Wholeness is possible when human qualities, now habitually defined as masculine or feminine, are seen as an integrated part of the totality of anyone.” This is what Bolen writes in the “Urgent Message from Mother”. Therefore, the desire to bring together the women of Sardinia was born in my soul, following the indications of “The Millionth Circle” and the profound wisdom of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, I wanted to create “a critical mass that provokes a change of values and method in the current society based on patriarchy, where strength, fear, attack are considered much more important than the values traditionally attributed to women: hospitality, tolerance, listening, pacific resolution of conflicts, care”.

My goal is to spread to Sardinian women the principles of “The Millionth Circle” and of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, to make it possible for everyone to contribute, starting in my motherland, to the changing of the world.

Written by Maria Rosaria

Alchemy of Women's Circles

The Charter For Compassion Women and Girls sector is proud to welcome you to a very special call featuring Jean Shinoda Bolen and Ann Smith in the V2020 webinar series called The Alchemy and Power of Women's Collective Power in Circle on Oct 10th at 8:00 AM PST, 11:00 AM EST. 

This will be a power-packed conversation and every bit about what we will be nurturing and manifesting together in Toronto.

All are welcome to register and soak up the wisdom of these two amazing experts in their fields. Both are providing leadership for our event as well!

Please pass this on to all the women and men in your life to join us on this call. Following their discussion, the lines will be opened up for more voices to be heard in the "After Party".  Please try to log on with your computer so we can see your face!

I hope to see you all on Oct 10th and look forward to greeting you in Toronto on Nov 1st with the rest of the Alchemy team.

Please follow the link to Register. It's free! https://charterforcompassion.org/v2020



Power of Circle

Here is an excellent article to give to people about the power of circle written by Kelly Jane Farrell, Managing Editor of e’Bella magazine.  Circles and Sisterhood: Meeting in Circles Provides an Alternative Power Structure.


There are many different kinds of circles.  Circle organizations are becoming the preferred organizational structure because everyone is fully engaged, respected and leadership and resources shared.

Circle Events at the Parliament of World Religions

Alchemy Women and Girl’s Collective Wisdom & Power
Thursday November 1, 2018
8.30 AM – 12.30 PM
Delta Hotel
75 Lower Simcoe Street

How to Start a Circle and Circle Organization
Friday November 2 2018
12:15 PM - 1:45 PM
Room 201AB Convention Center

Wa’akwa Kerlathenhs We Rise Together: Sacred Circles Healing and Empowerg Women and Girls
Saturday, November 3
12:15-1:45pm, Room 201F Convention Center

Women's Coalitions Addressing Global Problems
Sunday November 4 2018
12:15 PM - 1:45 PM, Room 709 Convention Center

Alchemy of Women's Wisdom and Power November 1st

Help make this the largest circle event worldwide.  Join us by hosting a circle on November 1st and sending this flyer to organizations, circles and friends.

Join us on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/groups/2160215494246503/

UN Circle Workshop

Lauren Oliver and Ann Smith, Millionth Circle Conveners, are featured in the latest issue of the prestigious women's magazine of Southwest Florida, e'Bella. Thanks to Lisette Morales, the fabulous photographer who accompanied Ann to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, we were given a four-page spread. The article highlighted the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, CIW) Fair Food Campaign rally in NYC and UN Commission on the Status of Women workshop, Circle Empowering Rural Women and Girls for a Sustainable Future. CIW has won many awards for stopping slavery in the fields, women's rights and protection against rape and harassment, and bringing fair wages and workers rights. CIW is based on Circle Principles of shared leadership, equality, listening, respect for all. The UN workshop continues to have a global influence, circle by circle.

Story of Circle Past and Present

Circles with a sacred center are ancient, the oldest form of social interaction. The fire was in the center as the people gathered around to cook and eat their food, hear stories, worship their gods and goddesses and to pass down their traditions and wisdom that kept them alive and healthy.

Menstrual hut and moon lodge traditions are all over the world that date back to 800 C.E. and are still practiced today. The red tent and moon lodges grow in popularity as a sacred space for women and girls to affirm their spirituality/sexuality and to heal from the wounds of patriarchy.

When ancient people gathered together in large numbers they built cities and temples for worship. The oldest temple is believed to be 11,000 year’s old in a place called Gobekli Tepe, in Turkey. This first human-built holy place has great stone rings, one of them 65 feet across, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The stone rings indicate they worshiped in circle.

The early Christian Church was more circular than hierarchical. In the 5th and 6th centuries (and even beyond!) the Celtic church was one of the most spiritually vibrant churches in the world. The Celtic and early Christian Celtic practices of religion were carried about by women and men as equals. Wicca one of the oldest Celtic religions is recognized by the Peligion. Wicca is practiced today and continues to grow meeting the needs of those who want an Earth-centered circle-based religion that honors women.

Candomble is another Earth-based non-hierarchical and women-led religion found primarily in Brazil that is strongly influenced by religions from Africa, which came to Brazil by means of the slave trade from the 16th to 19th century. There are about 2000 followers. Candomble is found in small numbers in Uruguay, Argentina, Venezuela, Columbia, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The worship of Candomblé has been called the religion of nature; its beliefs, rituals, and medicines depend on access to the natural world. Candomblé’s deities include: Yemanjá, Goddess of the Sea; Oxum, Goddess of fresh water; Yansã of wind and storms; Oxóssi of the forest; Ossain of sacred leaves; and peace-bringing Oxalá to name a few. Candomblé and nature are inseparable.

Indigenous people around the world have and continue to meet in circle where their traditions, culture, language, wisdom and ceremonies and rituals are handed down. Their land, traditions and right to practice their religions was taken away and many have been and continue to be killed. There is a resurgence and respect for their traditional Earth-centered way of life. Women’s circles use the Native American “talking stick” as a tool for deep listening. Who holds the “talking stick” speaks from the heart and others listened without judgment. Many rituals and ceremonies that honor women and the land are now being carried out by native and non-native women.

In a 1995 study of women in religion, it was found women and women’s leadership in the church were going outside the church and forming women’s spirituality circles. The book Defecting in Place: Women Taking Responsibility for Their Own Spiritual Lives by Miriam Therese Winter and Adele Loomis has stories and statistics. Women’s rituals and ceremonies are borrowed from religious, indigenous, and created by members to embrace the Divine Feminine within us and all around.

Why did circle seem to loose favor or another question would be why were circles forbidden.
Anything seen as pagan was deemed evil among the Christian, Judaism or Islamic religions. In 1484 Malleus Maleficarum the Hammer of Witches publication by two German Dominican monks began the systematic destruction of women’s spiritual practices and health care by torturing and murdering women healers and spiritual leaders. This oppression lasted 500 years and was carried with colonialism to every corner of the earth. The Divine Feminine was hidden and forbidden to be worshiped and still is in many areas. Women’s circles were feared by the men in power. Sewing and quilting circles were allowed as long as they were seen as handmaidens to the men in control.

Hierarchy for thousands of years was seen as the most effective means for controlling people. It was the model used for waging war and grew to become the only model seen as viable. Now people don’t want to be controlled but to become equal partners in carrying out the mission. And by doing so, ensure the success of the organization.

The human potential movement that began in the late sixties empowered laywomen within the church and in organizations to seek a better way. This is where I learned the value of circle as the setting where people can reach their potential, groups can be highly functional and organizations can achieve their mission and goals while caring for the people involved and the Earth.

Today women’s circles are encouraged even within some churches. Earth-centered and honoring of the Divine Feminine is welcomed in more inclusive religions. Women who have left organized religions are forming spirituality circles. They borrow rituals from others and make up their own.

There are many kinds of circles depending on the needs of the members. They can be support circles, healing and wellness circles, spirituality circles, action circles, meet regularly or just once. They can be in a small setting or for over a thousand. A 2002 UCLA study has shown that women’s circles provide a sacred and loving container where each one walks away feeling seen, heard and supported and realize they are not alone in their experiences.

Circles are replacing hierarchies. Re-Inventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness by Frederic Laloux has documented in his book that there is a sea change in leaving hierarchies and creating new organizations.

There is a proliferation of circles, circle leadership and circle organizations. Hierarchy is seen as no longer viable in bringing about a new paradigm of justice and peace for all creation. Because circles are shared leadership they are easy to start and with full participation invested and empowered to carry out the mission, they are highly successful.

When two or more are gathered together we can be a hierarchy or a circle. Choosing circle empowers us to be the change we want to see in the world.  Namaste!!!  Ann Smith

Attending UN CSW with my Granddaughter

We are filed with gratitude for the opportunity to attend the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women held at the United Nations in New York. The theme of the Conference, "Empowering Rural Women and Girls" was an opportunity to meet women from many countries and listen to discussions regarding the challenges and needs in their communities. My granddaughter attended the CSW for the first time. She was impressed by how many challenges exist in our world that need young women to hold positions of leadership in both public and private sectors. Women and girls must be assured of equal access to technology, land-ownership, finance, equal pay, and an opportunity for higher learning and education. Many women shared how problems were identified, and actions necessary to implement solutions in their specific cultures. Attending the CSW Conference was an opportunity to understand the global significance of issues that affect women in all cultures and to be exposed to women's organizations united for a common purpose. To help future generations succeed, we need women to be empowered with knowledge and understanding so they can step up and lead.

In addition to attending opening day ceremonies at the United Nation and diverse events related to discussions on creating gender equality, we attended Jean Shinoda Bolen's Panel, "We Rise, We Rise, We Rise Together! 5WCW India 2022".5WCW is needed for progress toward equality and diversity. You can see extensive details regarding what we can do to support this Conference at 5WCW.org.

The Workshop event by Ann Smith and Lauren Oliver, "Circles Empowering Rural Women and Girls for Sustainable Future" was another memorable highlight.After listening to powerful stories from panelists, we broke into smaller circles to share what we are doing as individuals in caring for creation and listening to others. Many women shared how problems were identified, and the actions necessary to implement solutions in their specific cultures. You can find more information on circles at millionthcircle.org
Attending the 2018 UNCSW Conference was an opportunity to understand the global significance of issues that affect women in all cultures, and experience exposureto women's organizations united for a common purpose. To help future generations succeed, we need women to be empowered with knowledge and understanding so they can step up and lead.
We are especially grateful to Donna Goodman, founder of Earth Child Institute, who provided the opportunity for three generations to attend the UNCSW as Delegates. 
Betty Karr


We Rise! We Rise! We Rise Together!"  UNCSW Panel

We rose together! This metaphor certainly is fitting,  stated Jean Shinoda Bolen. It was a really fine panel, as each of us spoke eloquently about what we have individually spent years doing that would be furthered by a UN 5th World Conference on Women, with the humming sound of the Tibetan bell connecting us with each other and the audience at the heart level, and Rosemary William's introduction of us as a panel of committed people echoing the tone set by the bell with words. Something magical happened such as when people improvise around a theme in music, each contributing a solo, and the result is a one-time performance, which is a privilege to have participated in or to have been there. Elly Pradervand sharing her time with her SEVA awardee, did not miss a beat, and fit into the whole composition.

It was unexpected to hear several of you speak of your appreciation to me for carrying the 5WCW banner all this time, and receiving from Ambassador Chowdhury a 1325 pin, after he had described getting the "women, peace, and security” resolution #1325 passed by the Security Council. It is in need of political will to carry out the principles that could be generated by 5WCW.

Ambassador Chowdhury answered the question that has stop efforts to have a 5WCW.  It was believed that a Fifth World Conference would change the Platform for Action document.  Fortunately his answer was videotaped and this misconception can be put to rest.  https://youtu.be/_4PBmJ82POs