Braided Women Gathering

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Posted on 15 June, 2018 at 18:50


This year, we enjoyed two wonderful Gatherings.  Now that the major tasks of setting up the Trust and bank accounts were at long last completed, the Creation Group were able to focus on the Gatherings themselves.

Winter Gather In 2nd - 5th June 2017

The first was a weekend 2nd-5th June, at the beautiful Glen Tui Meadows conference centre, in the Ashley Gorge,which lent itself to a Winter Gather-In very well, with it's gorgeous corner fire, and lovely views, able to be enjoyed even in the rain, from the covered walkways around the building.

One of the conference rooms was transformed into a lovely cosy space, for a variety of purposes: resting, massage, crafts, Tarot and watching a movie [the first of the Goddess Remembered trilogy of documentaries, beautifully made by the National film board of Canada, between 1989 and 1993. Can be found on line]


We didn't have guest speakers, as we had in our inaugural Gathering in November 2016, so there was plenty of time for women to connect, do crafts, go for walks and rest. Suitable for the more inward Winter season.

As part of the welcome ritual, on Friday, we chanted, and did some Circle Dancing, which worked it's magic, as always, bringing people together joyfully.

 Saturday morning Sharing Circle

 The afternoon was left free and open for a variety of activities, including a very unusual and beautiful healing process offered by Ally, whereby she applied gold to women's scars.

The Saturday evening was given over to a long and powerful ritual of walking the Labyrinth. We chanted the Hekate chant, in the dark, as one by one, women walked into the centre to light their candle, and brought the light back out to the world.

Then we offered special platters of refreshments, and some people started dancing to celebration music, and some of the young women jumped into the very cold swimming pool before warming up in communal hot showers!!

Sunday late morning, we had a final sharing Circle, where we proposed some questions to consider.

That moved into our closing ritual, and farewells.

The Creation Group made soups for the Friday evening, and everyone contributed for the rest of the time. It was a huge task for Sally with help from Vicky and others, to organise the food, which meant that they missed parts of the program. So we decided that from now on, we would have caterers prepare the meals for us.


Braided Women Gathering ...17-19 November 2017


We chose the Stavely Camp site in the foothills of Mount Hutt, for this gathering, as it allowed women to bring tents and camper vans. It gave us good outdoor space, which in the lovely sunny days, was well used for Yoga, Tai Chi, sun bathing, weaving and other activities, as well as walks through the bush to the river.

The main hall served us well, with it's deep blue carpet, and looked gorgeous once decorated with banners, and a lovely centrepiece, and the fire in the dining area was appreciated on the first chilly night.

Friday afternoon, we welcomed women with ceremony, song and dance, followed by an introductory Circle

After dinner we had Circle dances, chanting, followed by chats around the fire or under the stars

There was optional pre breakfast dance both Saturday and Sunday

Our Guest speaker for Saturday was Sue Beesley, who offered a stunning presentation on the Goddess through 'herstory', mentioning archaeological finds in sites all over the world, demonstrating that the many matriarchal societies were peaceful with no signs of war. She had some special silk banners of some of the most famous Goddess figures, and used stones stretching across the Hall to give a sense of the immense time periods she was referring to.

There were sharing circles before and after lunch with time for optional activities after that, including the showing of the film “In Her Name”, with dramatic performances by the Blood Mysteries Group.

Saturday evening we had a lively “Goddess Dress up” Dance party

Sunday Morning brought the very welcome return of Cameron Tukapua, who had been one of our speakers in our inaugural 2016 Gathering. She expanded on her theme of “the Power of Yin”, helping to prepare us to go back out into our modern world, and bring the power of Yin into our lives.

After lunch we had our last sharing Circle, contemplating what we had gained from the Gathering and what we were taking home. That led into our Closing Ceremony, and fond farewells to old and new friends.

Delicious vegetarian food was prepared for us by Lyn Powell

Wise Women Speakers


Sue Beesley's Introduction

The Goddess Through Time

Herstories and Mine

Images from ancient times, remnants from ancient peoples, have inspired me. My love of ancient images has fed my experience of mysticism, and taken me on pilgrimages to the Goddess in many forms and lands.

Can we know what the people believed? Who was the goddess? Is she only for women?

Share with me what I learnt from these images, and how they support me to know the Goddess. Find expression for your experience of Her today.

Who is Sue Beesley?

I believe our outpourings are sacred visions from the Mystery

Art, music, poetry, pattern, shape, form, all feed my spirit. I am inspired by beauty. We are the natural world – I am the natural world.

As I grew up men dominated – while women fascinated

I am inspired by women. Mother, grandmother, aunts, sisters, nuns. I later found men fascinating too.

This woman’s body is my holy ground.

When I discovered sex, and then dropped dogma and church , my longing for mysticism remained and grew.

I was inspired by aspects of my Catholic upbringing.

The ritual, prayer, robes, incense, candles, all led me into the Mystery.

My anchors and teachers in my life have been my relationships.

Daughter, sister, lover, mother, granddaughter, grandmother, friend.

I have worked as a teacher my whole life.

Informed by women’s reality I worked with pre-schoolers, students and adults, with and for women and their families. I understand that we teach best what we most need to learn.

For the last twenty-five years I have worked as a Gestalt psychotherapist.

I am required not to have answers, but to simply be with – and in so doing, experience the exquisite moments when we are overcome by the mystery. We know we are in it, we recognize the connection to self, to all that is. Connection is healing


Cameron Tukapua

Cameron was one of our wise women speakers at our inaugural gathering and we are delighted to have

her with us again.

The Power of Yin is an exploration of feminine power as it expresses through our inner life and energy. Like the subtle pull of the moon Yin energy is receptive, magnetic and potent by its quality of being. In contrast, Yang, like the sun is an active, doing, outgoing masculine energy.

Many of us do not have language for what we feel and sense inside, even though our instinctual wisdom is all the time attempting to guide us in our lives. In this session we introduce simple wisdom teachings with body centred guided meditation to explore what’s calling you forward right now.

Tapping into our embodied knowing supports us to take wise actions in the world, a natural outcome of balanced Yin and Yang. Filling our Yin reservoirs through nourishing our collective potency as women, can help us restore our energy and gather the power we need to flow with our larger life possibilities. When the volume of Yin is strong, like a river full of water, the propelling action of the current can naturally transform blocks on our path to nourish the unfolding of our destiny.

Revealing a life of purpose and meaning and showing up to what life is offering, is a day by day step by step journey - there is no magic door ! Opening to the receptive power of Yin prepares us to welcome the inspiration of the unseen and call it into being.

In this Power of Yin session we introduce seven steps to help us engage feminine power. We look at Life as a journey emerging from the Source essence, embodied in the deep Reservoirs, enlivened by the power of Flow, revealed through the strength of Presence, grounded through how we Mother ourselves, held sacred in our Homes and partnered by the Great Mystery.

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