Braided Women Gathering

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Our Story

Our Story 2018

Posted on 6 September, 2019 at 21:10 Comments comments (1)

Our Story 2018

In 2018 we enjoyed two wonderful Braided Women Gatherings.

The Creation Group decided to host a one day event to celebrate Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice Gather In - 23rd June 2018

This was held on the Saturday closest to the Winter Solstice. We choose the newly refurbished Allendale Community Hall which is situated in the picturesque Lyttleton Harbour. The hall was transformed with a wall of red fabric creating a beautiful circle space and separating the dining area. An abundance of seed lights and natural decorations helped make the space feel cozy, warm and inviting.

This event was about coming together, connecting and sharing. A time to reflect and move within, as well as to celebrate the turning of the seasons towards the light.

We started around 1.30 pm with a Welcome ritual, circle dances followed by a sharing circle. After a break for refreshments, Anne lead us in another circle dance to honour Demeter, then Nilguen invited the women to place their sacred objects on the altar, speaking about the object if they wished to. After this the women were invited to sit in silence and contemplate the following questions:

1) How do I hold my soul in the darkness?

2) What riches, learning’s or gains come from the darkness for me

3) What do I want to bring to light in my life

A nice dinner was prepared by the lovely Rushani from Governors Bay. After eating we moved into the evening with a ritual of transitioning from the dark to the light by walking through a “tunnel” formed by rows of women on each side. Every woman walked through the tunnel alone, optionally with eyes closed and gently guided by the women on her side.

During this ritual we sang: “You are a brave woman, you are such a brave bold woman, walking through the darkest night alone...”

The day closed around 9.30pm. The feedback from the women was that it was a wonderful, moving day and just what they needed in the middle of winter.

The Braided Women’s Gathering 16-18 of November 2018

After the success of the previous November Gathering we decided to head back to Staveley Camp set in the foothills of Mount Hutt. Once again we had a great turnout with 63 women in total attending the weekend. The venue is ideal for us as it offers space for women to camp, bring motor homes, caravans or stay in the bunks rooms. The outdoor space was utilised for a number of spontaneous activities during the weekend as well.

Once again the venue was transformed into a beautiful scared space. The main hall had the Goddess banners displayed around the room, a lovely centrepiece, candles and seed lights to create a warm inviting sacred space. The fire in the dining room was used to keep the chill off the evenings and was appreciated by all.

Friday afternoon, we welcomed the women with ceremony, song and dance, followed by an introductory Circle. After dinner we invited the women to place their sacred object on the centre piece which would become our altar for the weekend. Some lovely deep sharing about what the women had chosen to bring followed. This flowed onto some circle dances and chanting. The evening ended with women chatting around the fire or under the stars.

Saturday morning started with a morning dance for those awake early enough. Our guest speaker for Saturday was Shelia Sutherland who shared her life’s journey with the Goddess. This evolved into very deep sharing circles, both before and after lunch.

There was time in the afternoon for optional activities. The dining room was in good use by Rosie who took some of the women through the process of making their own soul cards. Other activities included massage, jewellery making and scar honouring with gold leaf.

Saturday evening we moved into our main ritual which had in its essence movement and chanting in accordance with our theme of “Claiming our Power for change”. It was a truly powerful experience, held with sacred intent, accompanied by great music to which we sang and danced through a passage created by women in the room. Indeed, by the end of the ritual our voices were rusty from chanting and we were “gloriously” exhausted!

A delicious supper was provided with a dance party afterwards for the energetic movers and shakers. It felt that this evening was very much enjoyed by all women who took part...

Sunday morning once again started with the morning dance for those who were awake. Our guest wise woman for the Sunday was Jacinda. She spoke of her work with young women and how this had evolved into working with their mothers as well. A true community minded woman with a great capacity to engage young and older equally. Once again her talk was followed by a deep and wonderful sharing circle. At the same time Anne held a small circle for the women who were interested in setting up their own circles which was well received by the women involved.

After lunch we had out last sharing circle, contemplating what we had gained from the Gathering and what we were taking home. This lead into our Closing Ceremony, followed by fond farewells to old and new friends. Towards the end of our closing ceremony circle a powerful storm blew through the camp, which led to a mad scramble of rushing to take down tents before they were blown away.

During the weekend delicious vegetarian and vegan food was prepared for us by Jenny Rahmen and her team: Kathy and Rosie (thanks for the desserts and supper) and Tracy and Lucy

Sunday evening the creation group stayed on to pack up and debrief. The storm that had earlier blown through still had a bite to it and we woke to snow on the hills just behind the camp.

A very full and eventful Gathering which we felt was worth all the hard work and preparation that had gone into creating it!

Our Wise Women Speakers 2018

Sheila Sutherland


I am thrilled and looking forward to being a part of the 2018 Braided Women's Gathering. I find being in the collective energy of women to be an inspiring and necessary part of life. For me, there is a tangible power when women gather together. Magic happens.

With this year's theme of Claiming our Power for Change, I will draw on my life's journey of overcoming adversity and reclaiming my sovereignty. I feel honoured to share my journey with the women attending. 



Sheila Sutherland is passionate about her heart based business Heart and Soul Healing. She offers a range of healing modalities to release sabotaging patterns and energy blockages. Her specialty is in emotional and trauma release work. 

She holds a loving and compassionate space for clients and supports them to find connection with their true essence and clarity.

She has had extensive training over the past three decades in a range of personal development courses and trainings which benefit her in daily life and in working with clients.

She has a wealth of experience in holding sacred space and working with the elements and directions.

She has been running groups for women and men since the early 80's and feels truly blessed to have found her hearts calling.

She had been in a women's Mystery School since 1999 with Shematrix. She is a fully licensed Guide in Shematrix and co-facilitates on women's 3 day weekends which are called The Gift and on men's weekends, which are called The Grail.

The work is based around a rite of initiation into the mysteries of the feminine and the weekends are held in sacred space.

She lives her life with honesty, integrity, authenticity and kindness.

To find out more you can visit

I'm Jacinda – consciousness shifter, disruptor, yoga practitioner & teacher, young women advocate and circle facilitator, big picture educator and mama of 2 young women.

I am passionate about the power of community and for the past four years I have been developing and holding a programme for young women, E Tu: Arise founded on this passion.

E Tu: Arise is a year-long immersion for girls on the cusp of adolescence and we now have a Year 3 group with 15/16 year olds.

E Tu: Arise provides a safe space where young women are nourished and empowered to honour the truth in their heart and learn to stand firm within themselves and with others. You could think of the group as an extended family of women, sharing wisdom and skills with girls in our communities and in doing so, supporting our families to raise girls who are radiant, resilient and real.

A guiding question for whanau at this time may be: How are we to hold our daughters effectively? How are we to provide containment in the years that she presses for “freedom” at the same time as allowing fluidity so as her developing self will emerge unscathed?

Under the umbrella of E Tu:Arise we also hold sensuality circles for young women.

This is what I offer to bring and share this year at the Braided Women’s Festival.


Posted on 27 May, 2017 at 22:25 Comments comments (0)

We would like to thank the following people and organizations for making this event in November 2016 possible. . .

OI the Organic Initiatives – Supplying us with organic feminine hygiene products.

Natures Fancy and Gina N for the hire of the beautiful bell tents.

Party Warehouse

Our wise women speakers Jane Catherine and Cameron Tukapua.

Glentui Meadows for the hire of their beautiful venue.

Sandra McAlpine for supplying first light flower essences of New Zealand.

Our wonderful chefs and caterers Tarn and Keryn and their helpers.

All of the women who offered their time to help us bring our wonderful gathering together

Our Inaugural Gathering - November 11-13 2016

Posted on 10 February, 2017 at 18:35 Comments comments (0)

In November 2016 nestled up in the hill of Mt Thomas with a spectacular view,  at Glentui Medows  the Braided Woman Gathering Creation Group, held space for a wonderful unfolding of our dream, which was to  gather women from all walks of life to be part of a heart felt divine femine women experience. Our   hope was to engergise and inspire  you to go back out into your commmunities and start up your own women's circles.

We  invited some wise women to share their journey, their knowledge and we invited you to do the same.  We came to gather in a safe space with other women.  Once again women gathering in circle was a powerful way to connect, share and grow together in community. We rediscovered that while sitting In circle the importance of honoring each woman’s voice is critical for healing & empowerment. (healing people, planet. world?)

The weekend was amazing, inspiring and uplifting.  It was an honour ot be part of it, not only as part of the creation team but also as a woman connecting with other women. - Dawn

Yes indeed it was truely an honour to be part of this weekend.  The  impact of our gathering I  still carry deeply,  o be able to feel so grounded and heart open in that devine woman energy helps me to feel stronger and empowered, and able to connect  to  my authentic loving self.  This has helped me feel whole and happier and has inspired me to carry on being  part of many more Divine Woman Gatherings in the future. - I really enjoyed holding the energy and meeting so many wonderful women.  There are days where I just need to remember and I go back to that beautiful feeling. It is so inspiring to see that other circles have been created  from our big weekend.   -  Sharon

The food was plentiful, nurishing and delicious, the kitchen crew of Tarn, Kerryn, Tanette, with help from Tane and Emi did an outstanding job.  The amazing support crew who kept the place clean, including the massive clean up at the end, keeping the fire stoked through out the weekend, and to the wonderful venue hosts Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, we were all truly blessed.

We all really enjoyed being creative and making art works that held the divine feminine energy  to help beautify your surroundings. We loved sharing  and recieving your appreciation of them.

A large part of the weekend was our Wise Women Speakers. We were truly blessed with the wisdom and inspiration from both Jane Catherine Severn and Cameron Tukapu. Included below is the information on their talks and links to their websites.

Jane Catherine Severn - Intro to my talk

Throughout the records of human history, be they geographical, biographical, literary, artistic or scholarly, lies a strange and telling silence. Absent from almost every chronical, even the intimate journals, memoirs and autobiographies of women, is any mention of that most essential feature of feminine life – our everyday experience of the universal/personal sequence of Menarche, Menstrual Cycles, Menopause and Mature Life. With occasional exceptions in Anthropology, the only acknowledgement generally made of the existence of these uniquely feminine phenomena are in Religion, Medicine and Psychology, where they are invariably presented as pathological and problematic – disruptive of “normal” life.

Indeed so invisible has our definitive feminine 4M sequence become that we do not even have a name to call it by. And so accustomed have we become to the silence-about-ourselves in which we live, that we do not notice it is there – because we have internalised it! How have we become so obedient to society’s demand – and sadly, even to Feminism’s demand – that we agree to live as if our 4 M’s were not occurring? That we measure our success and our right to claim equality with men by the extent to which we can deny that our hormonal changes have any effect on us, and prevent them from “getting in the way” of the busy lives we want to lead? That we do not count this denial as a cost to us, because we have long forgotten what it is we are excluding from our sense of ourselves?

If we are to bring back the authentic and authoritative presence of The Feminine to a world desperately in need of it, we must have words to speak into this silence, a name for what has too long been unnamed. We must now re-cognise the potent, purposeful, intricate and elegant design of our lifelong, hormonally-orchestrated energetic matrix, expressed in every woman through her 4M sequence. We must know what it is we are made of, and part of.

To find the redemptive Holy Grail of The Feminine once again we must search in the place we would least expect to find it. For it is there, hidden in plain sight in the very parts of ourselves we have been taught to disparage, distrust and disallow. There, in the ordinary, daily, bodily and personal reality of being woman, lies a shining treasure we have been taught to ignore. Now is the time, here is the place, we are the ones to wake ourselves up from the sleep that does not know it is asleep and remember what we have been taught not to know.


Jane Catherine Severn - Bio

Jane Catherine Severn is a practising Psychotherapist, Pascha Therapist and Menstruality Educator based in Christchurch, Aotearoa (New Zealand). Inspired by poetry, music and the wild outdoors, Jane Catherine is most at home in remote mountains. Her spirituality and philosophy are sourced in her love of and reverence for Nature.

As a young woman deeply unimpressed with her experience of menstruation, Jane Catherine found her life radically altered in her early 20s by the accidental discovery that menstrual cycles matched the phases of the moon. Awoken and energised by this one fragment, she embarked on what was to become her life’s mission: to find the rest of the knowledge she was convinced must exist about the true design of women. Realising that what she searched for could not be found in conventional sources of knowledge, she developed her own special approach to discerning the purpose of women’s lifelong sequence of hormonal changes, far beyond our accustomed medical/reproductive understanding. In 2003 she established Luna House as the vehicle through which she could teach the profound and comprehensive body of knowledge she has created. Her Conscious Menstruality® workshops, courses and seminars offer a new view of Menarche, Menstrual Cycles, Menopause and Mature Life to women, girls and the men who love them. Luna House is an educational and therapeutic service also offering individual consultations and support.

Jane Catherine is a writer preparing to publish the Conscious Menstruality® knowledge in book form. Her hope is to return this knowledge to its rightful owners, all women and girls across the world, in as many forms as she can.



Cameron Tukapua - The Power of Yin 

Yin and yang represent two faces of the energy of life. Yin is likened to the Moon and the Earth, its power is magnetic, grounding and often hidden. Yin is a state of being, compared to yang, which is more about doing. Relatively speaking Yin is a quieter energy, she responds to listening and connecting through feeling.

Yin in the body is related to the structure of life itself and manifests as the essence stored deep in the bones. This essence provides the foundation for bone and blood production and is used to create foetus and the baby. Throughout our whole lives Yin informs our development cycles from pregnancy and conception to puberty, maturation, menopause and death. Mobilizing our Yin power naturally supports us to bring out full potentials to life.

Yin energy is a hidden power. It doesn’t need to make itself visible, yet deep down it is always available. Tapping into this reservoir of power we discover our personal access to deep strength, wisdom and nourishment. Like the power of the ocean it has cycles of change. Yin rises in women every seven years, bringing with it the capacity to transform and grow beyond our conditioned self. At these cycles of change we can claim more of our true nature which can often be lying dormant in the depths of our blood.

Yin is feminine energy which is about cooperation, harmonizing, unifying, supporting, nourishing and care for the whole. It is Earth Mother energy. I believe our great mother is calling women everywhere to step up and help steer the transformations of the time.

Cameron Tukapua - Bio

Cameron has been practicing Chinese medicine and meditation for three decades. Part of her practice has been to use words as medicine, empowering people to understand themselves in context of their larger life possibilities. Cameron has a grounded approach to spirituality, and offers teaching through retreats, individual sessions and short courses in Australia, China and NZ. She is part of a global group called You being you, developing online courses and events which encourage healing conversation about how to be real. She is author of Opening Up – a conversation about how to be real. Historically, Cameron was owner – principle of the original Christchurch College of Holistic healing (NZQA registered). In her roles as professional development trainer, retreat leader, teacher and practitioner she has supported healing change in the lives of many.

To balance life she aims to have fun  swim in the ocean as much as possible have many delicious meals with loved ones, and tries not to take herself too seriously. and

We look forward to connecting with you all at the future gatherings

The Creation Group