“It all began with a phone call from my brother. “Northie, I found your teacher. And she is a woman.” I so believed him and trusted my intuition that I went to my very first council of women all by myself at the Cattaraugus Reservation – a 12 hour drive from my home in Maine. The only person I knew there was Grandmother Twylah Nitsch. I arrived to find myself so at home, so included, so surrounded by love, that I knew I had found my tribe. And my tribe is women. Those first hours at Grandmother Twylah’s really were all it took to change the course of my life.
In the years that followed, it was always my mission to recreate that same feeling of welcome and of total acceptance that I received at my first council of women. When it was time to “branch” out on my own, I found that the main tree trunk – Twylah – was always there to support and guide me. I realized there was never an “on my own” moment because everywhere I turned I had sisters who believed in the vision of council of women. I am forever grateful to all the women who came before and all the women I’ve yet to meet. When we gather in love and integrity, we are the living example of all for one and one for all. Home. A safe and loving home. Nyah weh, Grandmother.”
“In this circle I am known as Mountain Woman. I have been to every Maine Council of Women. Starting out in North Star’s backyard, and now at Trout pond. That’s over half my life, shared with the women of this circle.
We have shared laughter, tears, growth, kids, partners, exes, new lovers, grandkids, and plain o’life. Some I only get to see one weekend a year. When we meet up again our connection is strong. We take up where we left off 51 weeks ago.
These women have helped me grow from an insecure, fearful, unsure of myself 20-year-old into a confident, be proud of womanhood woman. With the love and support of all of those hundreds and hundreds of women and young maidens that have blessed our counsel with their presence. I’ve watched little babies grow into proud mothers, bringing the next generation into our circle.
Our journeys haven’t always been easy but the sisterhood has always been there. I am so grateful for all of the love and support that these beautiful women have shown.
The beating of the drums sounding out the heartbeat all weekend, reminding me of my connection to mother earth and all creation. Ceremonies honoring our elders, new mothers, and welcoming maidens into womanhood. Honoring not only the feminine, but all of our relations to these women in this council makes my heart full.
I am blessed and the universe loves me. Thank you my sisters for being you.