with Lorraine Simone, Rev., M.S. Ed., C.Ht.
founder and director of Moonfire Meeting House
& The School of Women's Ways, Southampton
SINCE 1990 we've been reviving the ancient tradition of women gathering to celebrate our feminine nature and empower each other. "A Circle of Women" has provided a safe and sacred space for women to explore our authentic voice, live fully and confidently from our heart and acknowledge the uniqueness of the feminine spirit. Women's timeless mysteries have never been more relevant. This gathering offers the opportunity to experience the peaceful and nurturing qualities inherent in living from the heart and re-membering who we truly are. Circles are open to any woman seeking information, community, inspiration and support. Come join us!
"If you can imagine sitting around a kitchen table with a bunch of your friends, this is what the circle feels like. It's a place I didn't know I needed until I found it."
"I treasure the opportunity to be myself, connected to other women, sharing feminine wisdom, ceremony, singing, teachings and especially speaking from the heart as the talking stick is passed around the circle."
"The circles have meant the loving support of other women and a place of renewed energy for me. I'm learning to claim myself as my own authority and a powerful woman."
To complete the circle of energy exchange, pay for expenses, place value on your experience and honor the tradition of Women's Ways, a medicine gift of $20 for Moonfire's Scholarship Fund is an appropriate way to bring this circle work into your heart and into the world. Thanks to you, "A Circle of Women" has never turned away any women in financial hardship thanks to the generous donations of those at our circles throughout the county. This experience is for everyone . You are invited to join Lorraine Simone and circle sister/facilitators for monthly circles in these locations:
Denise Ellis-Dancing Flower, facilitator
L.I. Center for the Healing Arts, Islip Terrace, first Friday of the month.
Lorraine Simone- Deep Arrow Woman, facilitator
Moonfire Meeting House, Southampton.
Lorraine Simone- Deep Arrow Woman, facilitator
Robin Feldman, facilitator
West 88 St.
Pat Levin, facilitator
Toi Ferguson and Rebecca Randel, sister-facilitators
First Sunday of each month
Gail Ann Delaney and Wanda Sharpsteen, sister-facilitators
Star Visions, Chappaqua
Selena Gallen, facilitator
W.O.M.B. Center, Keene
Beth Conway, facilitator
Beach House Group - Teen Circle
"After 12 years of kaleidoscopic experiences in "A Circle of Women" with Deep Arrow, I now have the honor of facilitating circles on Long Island in Miller Place and at the Long Island Center for the Healing Arts in Islip Terrace. It is deeply satisfying to me to be available to other women in this way because of the joy, connection, insights, and deep sense of community I have found at these circles.
"Here, societal distinctions, economic differentiations, and all that
could possibly divide or separate one become insignificant in a safe and
sacred space. Here, speaking from the heart transcends the cultural
conditioning that keeps us small and limited beings and we awaken to our
grandeur and feminine power."
-- Denise Sharon Rose Ellis, Dancing Flower
In 2000 Dancing Flower took the training to facilitate women's circles in the tradition of Women's Ways. She then opened "A Circle of Women" in Islip Terrace that gathers on the first Friday of each month and more recently another circle in Miller Place on the last Friday of the month. These circles meet at 7:30 P.M. If you are interested in attending either of these circles please contact Moonfire at 631-287-9000.
"I became acquainted with women's circles, The School of Women's Ways and Moonfire Meeting House in the winter of 1999. Since attending "A Circle of Women", I have become empowered and strong. I now honor myself as a woman and for all the gifts and responsibilities that come with womanhood. I feel the power of our Mother Earth so strongly these days that I wonder how I ever did not feel it. I have given my life completely to the Goddess and the work that must be done on this earth. For me, this means rebuilding community wherever I am (currently Ohio), raising a family that stays in communion with the earth and Great Spirit, and in whatever way necessary helping to bring love joy back into the lives of the human children on this planet.
"When I went through the Arch at The School of Women's Ways Rites of
Passage ceremony in 2001, I did not know that this was my work. I was
still concerned with how my current beliefs did not match up with the
beliefs of my past. I was still immersed in fear. Thankfully, I am no
longer in that place. And there is much work to be done."
-- Nikki Ore-Kelly
Chris Two Feathers Puleo
Perry Finkelstein - aka Waska Waboose
"Moonfire Circle for Men with Chris 'Two Feathers' Puleo
and Perry 'Waska' Finkelstein"
with Lorraine Simone, aka Deep Arrow Woman
(The following is excerpted from an article in The Ways of the Talking Stick.)
We are happy to announce a Bonded Men’s Circle in Suffolk County with Deep Arrow. The Circle is open to men of all spiritual practices and levels of circle experience who are interested in rituals, teachings and ceremonies that activate the Sacred Feminine within men. If you would like more information about these teachings and are ready for this Men's Circle, please contact Chris at 631-698-0091, and reserve a place at the Circle. Check out Waska's web site at World Harmony Unlimited .com. Come join us at Institute 3E - 228 New York Avenue - Huntington, NY - telephone: 631.470.7818. Circle Gathers Last Friday of the month at 7:30 pm. Bring a rattle. $25 per person
Call 631-331-3308 for directions.
"Circle of Women"
- A Bonded Circle
These 2 1/2 -3 hour study group circles cover a variety of topics and trainings and are more or less sequential. The women in this circle commit to meet one evening a month from 7 or 7:30 - 10 P.M., October or November through June or July, depending on location of the Bonded Circle. The fee for this program, $270, includes materials. We have secured a beautiful space in Islip Terrace for Long Island women and an enchanted apartment in Manhattan on East 33 St. for women closer to the city. There is talk of an additional Circle forming in Nassau County this year. Space is limited. Please contact Moonfire immediately if you are interested.
These Bonded Circles are in addition to the Open Circles on Long Island, and in Manhattan.
UCLA STUDY ON
FRIENDSHIP AMONG WOMEN
By Gale Berkowitz
| A landmark UCLA study suggests friendships between women are special.
They shape who we are and who we are yet to be. They soothe our
tumultuous inner world, fill the emotional gaps in our marriage, and help
us remember who we really are. By the way, they may do even more.
Scientists now suspect that hanging out with our friends can actually
counteract the kind of stomach-quivering stress most of us experience on a
daily basis. A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress
with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain
friendships with other women. It's a stunning find that has turned five
decades of stress research--most of it on men-upside down.
Until this study was published, scientists generally believed that when
people experience stress, they trigger a hormonal cascade that revs the
body to either stand and fight or flee as fast as possible, explains Laura
Cousin Klein, Ph.D., now an Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health at
Penn State University and one of the study's authors. It's an ancient
survival mechanism left over from the time we were chased across the planet
by saber-toothed tigers.
Now the researchers suspect that women have a larger behavioral
repertoire than just fight or flight. In fact, says Dr. Klein, it seems
that when the hormone oxytocin is released as part of the stress responses
in a woman, it buffers the fight or flight response and encourages her to
tend children and gather with other women instead.
When she actually engages in this tending or befriending, studies
suggest that more oxytocin is released, which further counters stress and
produces a calming effect.
This calming response does not occur in men, says Dr. Klein, because
testosterone -- which men produce in high levels when they're under stress
-- seems to reduce the effects of oxytocin. Estrogen; she adds, seems to
enhance it. The discovery that women respond to stress differently than men
was made in a classic "aha" moment shared by two women scientists who were
talking one day in a lab at UCLA. There was this joke that when the women
who worked in the lab were stressed, they came in, cleaned the lab, had
coffee, and bonded, says Dr. Klein. When the men were stressed, they holed
up somewhere on their own. I commented one day to fellow researcher Shelley
Taylor that nearly 90% of the stress research is on males. I showed her the data from my lab, and the two of us knew instantly that we were onto something.
The women cleared their schedules and started meeting with one
scientist after another from various research specialties. Very quickly,
Drs. Klein and Taylor discovered that by not including women in stress
research, scientists had made a huge mistake: The fact that women respond
to stress differently than men has significant implications for our health.
It may take some time for new studies to reveal all the ways that
oxytocin encourages us to care for children and hang out with other women,
but the "tend and befriend" notion developed by Drs. Klein and Taylor may
explain why women consistently outlive men. Study after study has found
that social ties reduce our risk of disease by lowering blood pressure,
heart rate, and cholesterol. There's no doubt, says Dr. Klein, that friends
are helping us live longer.
In one study, for example, researchers found that people who had no
friends increased their risk of death over a 6-month period. In another
who had the most friends over a 9-year period cut their risk of death
by more than 60%. Friends are also helping us live better. The famed
Nurses' Health Study from Harvard Medical School found that the more
friends women had, the less likely they were to develop physical
impairments as they aged,
and the more likely they were to be leading a joyful life. In fact, the
results were so significant, the researchers concluded, that not having
close friends or confidants was as detrimental to your health as smoking or
carrying extra weight!
And that's not all! When the researchers looked at how well the women
functioned after the death of their spouse, they found that even in the
face of this biggest stress of all, those women who had a close friend and
confidante were more likely to survive the experience without any new
physical impairments or permanent loss of vitality. Those without friends
were not always so fortunate. Yet if friends counter the stress that seems
to swallow up so much of our life these days, if they keep us healthy and
even add years to our life, why is it so hard to find time to be with them?
That's a question that also troubles researcher Ruthellen Josselson,
Ph.D., co-author of Best Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls' and
Women's Friendships (Three Rivers Press, 1998). Every time we get overly
busy with work and family, the first thing we do is let go of friendships
with other women, explains Dr. Josselson. We push them right to the back
burner. That's really a mistake because women are such a source of strength
to each other. We nurture one another. And we need to have unpressured
space in which we can do the special kind of talk that women do when
they're with other women. It's a very healing experience.
Source: Taylor, S. E., Klein, L.C., Lewis, B. P., Gruenewald, T. L.,
Gurung, R. A. R., & Updegraff, J. A. (2000). Female Responses to
Stress: Tend and Befriend, Not Fight or Flight" Psychological Review,
Moonfire Meeting House
1691 County Rd. 39
Southampton, New York 11968
phone / fax 631-287-9000