Sacred Circle - Goddess Quan Yin
Event #2: Workshop + Sacred Circle
Goddess: Quan Yin
Date: January 5th
We set off on our next epic adventure on 5th Jan and did the 7+ hour drive in a day from Melbourne to Canberra, ready to arrive at tea time in Canberra for the next event, another sacred circle, starting at 7 ish. Now that was a drive and a half! Lunch pitstop was kinda cool though, albeit in the middle of nowhere.
Not entirely sure what to say about Canberra; it was a bit soul-less and I'd probably liken it Milton Keynes in the UK (sorry to all residents of both cities, I'm sure they're lovely if you get to know them properly). We checked in to the hotel at around 5pm (the less said about the hotel the better!) and I came very close to bailing on the circle that evening. Like a total British donut I had burnt my back to a crisp from the backs of my calves all the way up to the back of my neck, and was in rather a lot of pain. I was a pretty grumpy bitch that afternoon and just wanted to soak in a bath of cold aloe for a week and not have to speak to a soul, let alone bare mine in public.
I didn't want to miss an opportunity to learn more about sacred circles though and more importantly, about myself. The Quan Yin circle was all about self compassion and how we could cultivate more of that in our lives and I need a pile of that, so I gathered up my best "grin and bear it" and off we went.
The event was hosted in a small yoga studio on the first floor above some shops. We were greeted at the top of the stairs by one of the Goddesses, Jade and the mini goddess on the tour, Cerise, Jade's gorgeous five-year old daughter. Cerise had a deck of Sacred Self cards and invited us to pull one and also gave us a small length of silky blue fabric.
The evening was led by Sora, Jo and Sammie, with beautiful sounds provided by the gorgeous Tahlee of Sonesence and Julie on hand to provide logistics support (especially useful for me as she asked everyone not to hug me too hard!!). There were maybe 15 women present.
The circle was opened with the lighting of the Mother Candle which was to be lit at every event. We introduced ourselves and listened while Sora told us a little about Quan Yin and the intentions for the evening. We laid back to take part in a beautiful meditation while Tahlee provided simply sublime music, using just her voice. I could have laid there for hours!
We also undertook a beautiful ritual where you stand face to face, pretty close, with a beautiful sister. Each puts their right hand up in front of their face and then touch palm to palm with each other. Then left hands are placed over the right hands and foreheads brought down to rest on the joined palms. After a few seconds you look up and then lean in and give your partner a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. I was a bit weirded out at first but it was actually really quite lovely.
We then had some time for reflection and journalling on three questions around self care. These were:
- Where in my life am I lacking kindness and compassion towards myself?
- If I was my own best friend, what would I say to myself in those moments?
- If I chose kindness and compassion in all of those moments, what would you do?
Now then here's the thing: I've done a lot of self enquiry, healing and poking at this shit over the last few years, but every time an opportunity comes up to poke some more, seems there's always sooooo much more to work on. These 3 questions really opened my eyes to some things in my life where I'm definitely not being my own best friend. Hello Comparisonitis, Procrastiscrolling, Perfectionism and proving, proving, proving my worth all the goddamn time. Sneaky little fuckers these habits are, they wheedle their way back in and before you know it they're in charge again and running amok in your life.
Big ones for me were around comparing myself unfavourably to other women and saying "yes" to things that were definitely a big fat "NO" for me, but also so much worse than that, volunteering to take things on at work just to make my best impossible workload a shade more challenging. Lunacy right, especially when I'm moaning about workload already, what am I trying to prove and to who? Hmmm, more journalling needed I think.
The evening was wrapped up with a beautiful blessing and ritual involving the blue silky fabric mentioned earlier being used as a blindfold, being spritzed by Julie with gorgeous oils, Sora saying a blessing and then us trusting "blind faith" to walk inbetween two rows of women while they stroked you and whispered loving comments to you as you passed. After my Melbourne experience you'd think this would have been super weird right? Actually it was really lovely - surprised myself.
All In all it was a beautiful evening in spite of my sunburn which by this point was developing quite nicely thank you 😢.
Photos courtesy of the @thegoddessroadtrip instagram