Throughout time and across cultures, women have gathered in Circles – to connect, to share, to grow and to support each other. In modern society, women seemed to have lost touch with these circles and the importance of time spent on self development and learning, spirituality and ritual, and building deep relationships with other women. Even though we have social media, many women find that it cannot satisfactorily replace the social aspects of spending time in each other’s company and talking and sharing face to face.
Welcoming Women is about women coming together and allowing themselves to have this precious time and space. It provides learning and growth opportunities, and creates a support network for women seeking empowerment, nurturing, respect and joy.
When and Where are Welcoming Women Gatherings held?
Check out our Chapter page to learn more about where are sessions are currently being held.
What Happens at a Welcoming Women Gathering?
The women meet once a month at a gathering. As we come together, greetings are shared amongst the women and signing of attendance takes place. There is a Ceremonial Welcome to begin the gathering. The WW Caretaker reads the Opening Affirmation. The women in the group introduce themselves.
A Guided Visualisation or Meditation is used to find focus, forget for a time outside influences and issues, and to relax to be able to fully participate in the session.
The WW Caretaker then introduces the guest presenter. The guest presentation is about an hour long. The Guest Session could be quite varied, depending on the guest presenter’s knowledge to impart or skills to share. The guest presenter could guide an open dialogue on a particular theme; they might host a session on a wellness topic, or they could direct a craft or movement activity. The guest presenters for the day and evening sessions may be different.
Following the guest presentation, Tea and Talk is time given to have discussion amongst the women. The talk can be guided by the monthly theme, or it could be idle chat and catch up. This time is also open to deep and meaningful conversations and sharing about anything the women wish to talk about.
To close the gathering, WW Caretaker leads a Gratitude Prayer, and each woman in the group may choose to share something they are grateful for. WW Caretaker then reads the Parting Prayer. Following the prayer, she introduces the new monthly theme, a Parting Thought, before thanking the women for their participation.
The session is about two hours in total.
Who Can Join the Welcoming Women?
The group is open to all women, including those who identify as a woman. There is no discrimination on the basis of sexuality.
Women of all ages are invited to join. In fact, the group will be enriched if women across age groups attend. It is suggested that young women should be at least 14 years of age to attend, due to the nature of conversations and topics that could be at a mature level.
The meetings do have an element of spirituality, but they are not based on religion. The group is open to women of any religion or culture. Our practices of 'blessings' and 'prayers' are sent out into the universal energy. Should any woman wish to send these to their God, then they are free to do so.
Women who are attracted to Welcoming Women might have the following characteristics:
Those seeking connection with other women in meaningful, friendly, platonic relationships
May have been through difficult times but are ready for positivity and a happy outlook on life
Wanting to learn about health and wellness, and make improvements in their life
With this list – hopefully all women fit the bill!
What is the role of the WW Caretaker?
The WW Caretaker is the woman whom co-ordinates the gatherings, provides on-going contact with group members, organises the venue and guest presenters, refreshments, etc. The WW Caretaker is not a ‘leader’, ‘goddess’ or ‘high priestess’ – she belongs in the circle of the group. However, sessions go smoothly when someone plans and runs the event.
If you would like to enquire about becoming a WW Caretaker, click here.
Are There Regulations That Apply to Welcoming Women?
Welcoming Women has some Guiding Principles, Agreements and Respectful Rules which set the tone for the gatherings and protect the women within the group, so that all group members can feel at ease and included. For more information, click here.
How Does a Woman Join Welcoming Women and Are There Fees?
Participants pay fees to ensure Welcoming Women can continue as an organisation. Fees cover costs such as room hire, refreshments, consumables needed for activities, insurance and website maintenance.
Fees and Memberships are explained further here.
Who Can Guest Present at a Welcoming Women Gathering?
There are many women in the community with valuable skills and knowledge to share. These women are invited to apply to guest present at our gatherings.
Any woman can apply to be a guest presenter. We also invite Welcoming Women members to suggest women who might be interested in being guest presenters for the WW Caretaker to contact.
For more information or enquiries on Guest Presentation, click here.
Should a member’s personal details change, she is asked to please update them with the WW Caretaker by email or on a Change of Details form at a gathering.
If a participant knows that she will not be attending any gathering that they had booked in for, it would be appreciated if she would let the WW Caretaker know as soon as possible by SMS, phone call or email.
Photographs and videos may be taken at gatherings to record events. These may be shared on social media such as FaceBook, Instagram or in emails, or on promotional material. Should any participant wish to withdraw consent for photos or videos of her be used in this way, she should indicate discuss this with the WW Caretaker.
In the event that a gathering cannot go ahead as planned, all participants will be notified and the session will be rescheduled. The participants will be invited to attend the new gathering date at no extra charge or will be credited for a upcoming session.
No refunds will be given on membership or attendance fees unless under extraordinary circumstances and at the discretion of WW Administration. Please see our Refund Policy.
Who Can be a Caretaker?
Welcoming Women continues to seek like-minded and motivated women wanting to run their own women's groups in their own community. These women may already be wellness practitioners, or they may simply feel the passion to lead a women's social and wellbeing group. They are interested in business development and learning how to create an income stream that recompenses them for their efforts.
We have created a training program to support new Caretakers. With a combination of flexible online learning, real-time online workshops and one-on-one support, the trainees are guided in both how to run the sessions and to be successful in implementing Welcoming Women as their own small business. On-going support is provided through Caretaker Membership.
For more information or enquiries on becoming a Caretaker, click here.
STATEMENT REGARDING COVID-19
During the pandemic, for everyone's safety and to met government restrictions on gatherings, all of our planned gatherings will now be hosted via the application, Zoom Meeting. This is an interactive online meeting tool that will allow us to still chat and share. It is simple to use from a computer, tablet or mobile phone with internet access. Meeting online will ensure that all of our members in self isolation will be able to participate. All of the details, including how to participate, will be emailed to ticket holders and members in the lead up to our events.