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Jennifer Aniston just dropped a major “friends” bomb, and we don’t mean secrets from the show — we mean a behind the scenes look at what she does with her actual friends. Aniston revealed to The New York Times, that for the last three decades, she and her closest friends have participated in ritual Goddess Circles for every major life event, such as weddings, babies, and even pet deaths.
But what the heck is a Goddess Circle? Personal Space spoke to a self-proclaimed “soul-guide and modern priestess” Catie Fenn, who created an event series called The Goddess Circle, to learn about how it works.
Tapping Into Your Inner Goddess
Fenn designed The Goddess Circle as a way for women to “gather, connect, inspire, and uplift one another to rise into their fullest potential." The event is a two-hour ceremony that offers “a night of reflection, connection, self-love, and intention setting around the potent full moon.”
Fenn’s circles are comprised of five to 70 people, depending on the location, but she prefers a group of 20 or 30. The idea for these circles is to have a group of women come together and “tap into their goddess energy,” Fenn explains. It's dubbed “goddess” because so many of the qualities being tapping into include “feminine energy,” such as “creativity, collaboration, connection, intuition,” and what Fenn terms “non-doing” or “pausing and going inward.”
For Fenn, “ultimately the purpose of the circle is to create a safe space for women, to connect, empower, support, and uplift one another while simultaneously taking an evening to connect deeply with themselves, who they are, and what they want in their life.”
Set the Mood
Fenn explains that setting the mood for the location of the ceremony is important, but that each circle may look somewhat different, depending on the guide or facilitator of the ritual. Aniston’s Goddess Circle sat on “cushions, cross-legged on the living room floor,” and “passed around a beechwood talking stick decorated with feathers and charms.”
To set the mood in Fenn’s ceremony space, the lights are dimmed, candles are lit, and in the center of the room, there is a “mini alter” with a blanket and crystals. She offers women the opportunity to bring a “special object that is meaningful” that can be placed on the alter during the event to make it more personal.
Fenn shares that she is “super intentional with the music, curating the playlist specifically to create the right vibe.” She brings essential oils as well as palo santo and sage to "clear the energy” in the room before the women gather. Everyone sits on pillows or cushions, and Fenn begins the circle with a meditation session.
In Fenn’s circles, Goddess/ Oracle cards, which are like Tarot cards, are used. “Each woman will say their name, pull a card, and share how that card is meaningful to them based on where they are on their journey.”
Fenn says the circle is a “safe space” and that “nothing leaves it, so the women can share exactly what’s going on for them.” There is time to do self-reflection and write in journals. If it’s a larger group, Fenn will break them up into smaller circles, where they can "share their answers in a more intimate setting, before setting intentions [as in] what each person is committed to doing that month." A final meditation closes the night.
Setting the Right Intention
According to Fenn, when it comes to “a circle that isn't for a special occasion, each woman comes up with their own intention.” Fenn helps guide the focus of that intention based on “the season or the moon cycle.”
Each month brings a new moon and a full moon, and the different moons have separate astrological signs or influence. Fenn says that each full moon circle may have a different theme. For example, the recent Virgo new moon had organizational and goal-setting energy. Therefore, Fenn encourages a Virgo moon circle to “set an intention around organization, or cleaning up a messy aspect of their life” — which could be literal or metaphorical. In Aniston’s case, the Goddess Circle was for her 50th birthday, and the intention was “to celebrate how far they’ve come — and to toast Aniston’s next chapter.”
Forming Female Connections
Fenn explains that she began holding these events after she “got this vision” during a retreat. After research, she understood it was an ancient process that our ancestors would gather together at a new moon. She sought a way for women to connect like that in present day society.
Fenn considers the practice to be a form of “modern spirituality and women empowerment.” She recently noticed a spike of private bookings to run a Goddess Circle at birthday parties and even at bachelorette parties, which she tailors specifically for each occasion. Fenn explains that “one of the most beautiful things of the circle is that women truly make lasting friendships with deeper connections.”
Well, Aniston’s marriages may not have stood the test of time, but it looks like her friendships are thriving, so she may have something here.
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