Women Healing the World: 25 Years of Celebrating Women
As we Celebrate our 25th Anniversary, it seems fitting that we honor women and the many ways we heal the world. A woman's actions are like a stone tossed in the water, rippling out, reaching much farther than she will ever know.
2017 Photo Gallery
Thank you, Casey Krohn, for capturing these wonderful moments for us!
Dancing Our Circles
How do we stay connected to our path? How do we dance our own circles and support the circles of others?Being in a circle creates community, strength, and support. We Dance our Circles and connect our circles, reminding each other who we are as women, holding the seeds of life, creation, compassion, action and empowerment within us. As we connect in these circles the seeds stir and come to fruition, and slowly one by one, we help each other to step fully into our own lives and so ripple out into the world. Standing in a Circle in the Sisterhood where the empowerment of one woman strengthens the whole of humanity.
2016 Photo Gallery
Photo Credits: Casey Krohn
The Four Directions of Saturday Night's Ceremony
Created by Marcia Lauzon
East (the Air, the Mind) – Mrs. Wo Hop
I am Mrs. Wo Hop! Like so many women down through time, my own name is forgotten. I am here for myself and for all forgotten women.
As America bloomed with railroads and mines, male Chinese workers were welcomed. Then we were told, “you are too many,” and the lawstopped more from coming. America did not want Chinese women, because we would raise Chinese families. Our people were hated and despised. The few Chinese women who came were called prostitutes! I am no prostitute! I am a respectable woman and in 1890, I live in Butte, with my husband Wo Hop, a merchant. To prove my respectability - and ensure my safety - I must carry an identity paper, with my photograph, at all times, to keep from being thrown in jail as a useless, depraved person. I am not wanted here.
I stand in the East, the direction of morning, new beginnings, and the mind – the power of Air! I have been insulted and rejected as a useless immigrant, my name and true worth unknown. Yet I know my value and even with my name taken away, I used my mind, and I survived.
I am the Woman of the East, and I say to you: the mind is strong! I made my new beginning in this new place, and memory of me endures. You cannot dance your life without starting your own new beginning. Start with your mind! Use your mind to guide your steps, and you will find your way. Even when the world does not know your name, you have the Power of the Air. Seize your power!
South (the Fire / the Spirit) – Mary Fields
I am Mary Fields. “Black Mary,” and “Stagecoach Mary” I’ve been called. I was born a slave in Tennessee. After the Civil War, I worked at a convent in Toledo. When the Mother Superior came to Montana, I came, too. For ten years, I worked for St. Peter’s Mission, raising food for the children and the nuns, bringing supplies in by wagon.
I’m as tough as any man. I smoke, I drink, and if you cross me, I’ll cuss you! The Bishop made the nuns throw me out, but I have the Fire of life in me and I didn’t give up. I delivered the mail. I ran a laundry. I started a restaurant. I’m Fire, and I won’t be put out. Gary Cooper said I could “whip any two men in the territory,” and he was right! I’m a woman and a pioneer and I carry the Fire.
I stand in the South, the direction of noon, and of passion – life’s Fire! I’ve been looked down on for my sex and my race, and given the hardest work, and I did it because I have the Fire of life in me and no man can mold me or keep me down.
I am the Woman of the South, and I say to you: live by passion! Fill yourself with the Fire of life! Dance your life with the power of Fire, and you will find your passion. When the world tries to tell you who you are, remember you have the Power of the Fire, and you can dance your own way.
West (the Water / the Heart) – Jeanette Rankin
I am Jeannette Rankin. Born in Missoula in 1880, I graduated from the University of Montana, and studied social work in New York. I came home to Montana to organize women’s fight for the vote. We won! Montana women gained the vote in 1914,six years before the rest of the country. I was elected to Congress - while most women in the U.S. still could not vote!
Standing by your heart is more important than being popular. I’ve always been a pacifist, and when Congress voted on entering into World War I, I did a hard thing: I voted “no.” When World War II came, I voted my conscience again. I was the only one to vote against entry in both Wars. I said: “As a woman, I can’t go to war, so I refuse to send anyone else.” I was hated for it, yet I was true to my heart.
I stand in the West, the direction of evening, of the heart, the Direction of Water that flows through and within all. Water equalizes us,surrounds us,sustains us – water is life and living by your heart makes life true and whole.
I am the Woman of the West, and I say to you: Follow your heart. Look within. Be strong in your truth. Don’t give in to the pressure around you. They will try to change you, yet you have the Power of Water, and if you follow your heart, your dance will flow to your own right place.
North (the Earth / the Body) – Elouise Cobell
I am Elouise Cobell, Yellow Bird, of the Blackfeet Tribe. I come from the North, near the Backbone of the World, the Shining Mountains. I was born in 1945, the great granddaughter of the warrior Mountain Chief. I studied hard, and went to Montana State University. I worked on my family ranch. I founded the Blackfeet National Bank. The first bank ever to be owned by Native Amercians and the first bank to ever be opened on a reservation. Then I became Treasurer of the Blackfeet Nation. That’s when I found things were terribly wrong.
Much Indian land is leased to non-Indians, for grazing or oil, or timber. The government collects the lease money and is supposed to pay us, but records were badly kept or lost. No one cared we had been cheated for generations! I tried to get justice - and no one listened. Finally, I did what they all said could not be done: Issued the U.S. government. It took over 10 years, but we won! The government began to pay native people for the use of their land.
I stand in the North, the direction of midnight, the place of the body and the place of the Earth. We are all of Earth. Our bones are made from Her. All that we have is of Her. We come from Her and we go to Her, our Mother. While we walk on earth, we must care for Her. I helped my People to reclaim their rights, with the strength of the Earth.
I am the Woman of the North, and I say to you: Be strong! You are Earth’s daughters. Don’t listen when they say “you cannot do this.” You have the Power of the Earth. Speak for those who are voiceless. Dance the truth, gather the people, and bring justice. Aho!
We gather together, the circle of women
The song of the ancestors courses through our veins
We hold each other up in times of joy and sorrow
Dancing the Circle, we see each other whole.
Grandmother I see you sitting in the (east, south, west, north, earth, sky, earth, heart*)
You are sacred and you are looking at me.
I pray to you, pray to you.
You are sacred and you are looking at me.
(*on the last verse, "Grandmother I see you sitting in my heart, you are sacred and you are looking at me. I pray to you, pray to you, I am sacred and I am looking at you.")
Dances of Universal Peace
Led by Florence Guest
We plant a seed and we grow a tree,
how beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
And deserts dry will bloom again in greenery
How beautiful, how beautiful, how beautiful
Mitakuye Oyasin/ All my Relations
May the circle be open but unbroken
May the love of the Goddess be ever in your heart
Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again