Before I start, I’d like to say it takes courage to hold a women’s circle.
Any woman who is has heard her Spirit given call and is clear about her desire to be with women in circle and says “yes I am going to hold a women’s circle and learn and share and heal and grow” – is brave.
Any woman has been to the depth of her soul wounds and not only survived but has healed and created a wisdom path in the process and then says “This is me. This is what I know, come learn with me.“ Is not only brave, what she is offering is priceless.
The first reason why I charge and pay to go to sacred women’s circles is this, I believe
Women’s wisdom is priceless
No one can replicate another’s healing journey; we can only learn and grow from it. So the woman offering her Gnowing (that’s the Gnosis that she knows because She Knows It), is offering something no one else can. She is providing a one-off, unrepeatable learning situation and that is valuable.
Women’s circles cost something
Nothing exists in a vacuum.
Whether it be paying for a hall, buying a tent owning a lounge room, the time a woman invests in organising, advertising, promoting, speaking, or preparing for her women’s circle, costs something. Not just monetarily but energetically in the shape of time and creativity. And that is only the holding part of circle work.
If a women’s circle is being organised by a woman who is also sharing her wisdom, then there definitely needs to be a reciprocated exchange of value.
Women have, for generations given hospitality and wisdom for free. We give away our time, love, kindness and nurturing for nothing because of devotion, compassion or service. But eventually, there needs to be reciprocity.
I understand in shared circles where there is equal shared leadership, shared responsibility and shared hosting there is no need for charging. But when a circle is following one woman’s guidance and not giving her a mutual value exchange then eventually something will snap.
When one woman shoulders the full cost of any creative project without money coming back, they get exhausted. Then they get resentful.
Then they get burnt out.
I know I’ve been there.
These days, if I have a hall or an administration cost, or if I have invested in promotional material, I factor in the costs accordingly. Then I work out what my time and energy investment has been and place a price on what I believe is a reciprocating value. Then I divide that amount by the potential attendees. Then I hand it all over to Spirit and do my inner work, listen, feel into what feels joyful, and then I set my price.
How about you? How do you set your prices?
The third reason why I charge for circles is simply,
It is my profession. Is it also yours?
Holding circles is what I do.
Well, these days not only running women’s circles but teaching women how to run women’s circles as well. It is the income that supports my family, and this is my sacred work.
When I took my ordination vows to become an Interfaith Minister, I declared that my primary focus, and therefore, my income, would be in the service work that I do for my spiritual community.
Before you come at me with the ‘spirituality should be free’ argument let me say this. I agree entirely!
Nobody has a monopoly on real spiritual wisdom. Actually, we already have our greatest spiritual wisdom inside us.
Everyone, according to the Course of Miracles and many other spiritual texts has a unique spiritual pathway back to higher consciousness. It’s inside us already, and nobody can do the work for us. We have to do that job on our own. So yes, no need to charge for that spirituality, the most magnificent spirituality is already free.
Once upon a time in Western, Middle Eastern Indigenous and Tribal societies, those who were called to Spirit, the priests, shamans, or the priestesses were valued for their gifts, and for the work being in that position takes. Spiritual teachers up until recently, have been supported by their community and now when we need them the most, the conscious support of spirituality is disappearing.
The concept of tithing goes back to an ancient Jewish history when the Rabbis changed from being priests into teachers. The nine other sections of their community honoured the precious duty that teaching the Torah gave, and wanted the Rabbis to teach full time. But there was a problem. If the Rabbis spent all their time teaching then there would be no time for working, so then how could the Rabbis afford to survive? The nine other guilds then decided to divide their earnings so that a tithe, a tenth of their income, would go to valuing their spiritual teachers.
Tithing today is still a vital life-giving and spiritually affirming practice. Giving a tenth of your income to what has spiritually nourished you is a life-changing practice. But it’s not for everyone.
What I’d like to encourage you to do is to explore your own beliefs and values around what women’s circles are for you, and the sacred work that women’s circles facilitate.
I encourage you to ask yourself what spiritual nourishment you do pay for, and what is of value to you? And then ask yourself why women’s circles perhaps, are not of equal value?
If you are holding women’s circles and are sharing your soul gifts, with your community, I encourage you to look at whether the price you have set is reimbursing you for the energy, time, and the years of devotion that you’ve put into your work.
So to answer the question should you charge for your women’s circle?
Well, I can’t answer that, and I don’t believe there is any hard and fast answer.
What I do know is, if you are one of the incredible women who knows she has sacred women’s wisdom to teach and you have the courage, vulnerability and humility to bring that wisdom to the world, then you are not only priceless, you and your work are glorious!
Speaking of women’s circles, I have just launched my own for 2018, and I’ve called it Tide Change.
It’s a women’s circle specifically for women in their mid to late forties who are still menstruating, and yet also know that their time as a bleeding woman is coming to an end.
I was gifted the inspiration for this circle over the solstice. It’s a nine-month guided circle for women to explore their final years as a reproductive woman, come to peace with all that needs to be reconciled and to consciously prepare for the transition into what I call, not eldership, but our Empress or Power Years.
The golden summer years where gracefully and with choice, we move serenely and majestically into our wisdom years as an elder of our community.
You can find all the info here. I hope you join us.