In the winter of 1989, high in the mountains north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, as I sat praying in the heat and darkness of my first Sweat Lodge experience, I had a vision. I saw women meeting together in Circles, around Sacred Fires, like little points of light that covered the entire planet. I felt comfortable and relaxed in their presence. There was no sense of competition among us, nor fear of rejection.
I felt free of the unrealistic images and unattainable standards imposed on me and my gender by the perceptions of western culture and urbane society that program us all with their self-limiting interpretation of what it means to be a woman. I no longer felt encumbered by the weight of the pain and confusion I had carried my entire life knowing the damage that misconception was causing the world. For the first time in my adult life I experienced myself being in the world, in my body, in a truly "feminine" way -- safe, empowered, autonomous, cooperative, sensual, nurturing and compassionate. I wanted every woman I knew to feel that way too. That night, under the starry winter sky in the safety and sacredness of the feminine, I remembered who I truly am as a woman and vowed to have only that truth define me. It was as if I had reclaimed my female birthright.
I knew there were countless women who, like me, felt restless within their souls and quietly yearned for that which they could not name and yet, could not fully live without. Inspired by my experience, I was determined to find a way to recreate the beauty of the feminine for other women. The following year my vision became reality when I began facilitating "A Circle of Women" at my home in Amagansett, Long Island. My sacred calling led me to develop Women's Ways, a system of personal development and self-empowerment, and in 1995 I founded The School of Women's Ways through Moonfire Meeting House. In the Fall of 2005, The School of Womens Ways changed its name to the The School of Women's Ways.
The School of Women's Ways, still affiliated with Moonfire Meeting House, teaches women to access the inner knowing of their biological imperatives while training them in the use of ritual, spiritual practice, circle process and initiation. Through following this ancient tradition of empowered learning, women re-member who they truly are, learn to celebrate the uniqueness of their feminine spirit and reclaim their birthright as healers, teachers and leaders in the world.
Women's Ways is based on a comprehensive body of study designed specifically for women and girls. This timeless education validates the legacy of women's unique powers and blends multi-cultural, non-sectarian, experiential knowledge with the realities of modern women's lives. Its purpose is to reawaken the wisdom and sacred nature of the feminine within and to inspire each woman's courageous journey of self-exploration and re-creation for the good of all.
Women's Ways is a truly feminine, deeply personal approach to Women's Spirituality and experiential learning. It utilizes the model of oral tradition and demands to be "lived" and acknowledged by the body, mind, soul and spirit, not studied simply as an intellectual exercise. Therefore, our circles, workshops, classes, retreats and other programs are deeply personal; especially The Bonded Study Group and e-Courses that prepare women for their "Rites of Passage." This is a ceremony based on the renowned Apache Puberty Ceremonies for Girls.
The School of Women's Ways provides a safe and sacred space for girls and women of all ages to explore their true nature -- mind, body, soul, and spirit -- and to examine their innate hunger for personal growth. The school offers participants the support and structure necessary to carry into the world, the incremental transformation that enhances their families and communities. Everyone knows that the world must change if Mother Earth and all her children are to survive. The School of Women's Ways is dedicated to providing the knowledge, skills, confidence and inspiration for women to not merely witness this unfolding of consciousness, but to use their influence and inherent wisdom to pave the way for a sustainable future for generations to come. Author, Thomas Berry, Ph.D., encapsulates this vision, "... it is the task to which we dedicate ourselves in these closing years of the 20th Century, with the hope that all of the children of the Earth in the 21st Century can walk serenely into the future as a single sacred community."
The School offers women and girls of all ages a powerful opportunity to educate and re-create themselves in the ways of all women. Our programs are designed to:
The School of Women's Ways offers workshops, circles, retreats, seasonal celebrations, and a Rites of Passage Ceremony. It provides instruction, experience, support and practice in all these ways and more:
The following is a brief outline of our courses. A detailed brochure is available upon request.
The Bonded Study Group Experiential
The Bonded Study Group is a weekend residential retreat program that meets once a month for nine months. Women cook and eat together, share their nightly dreams over Sunday brunch, laugh and cry, and learn to honor their moontime. These weekends replenish the body and soul. This precious time spent in safe community, where the solitary and the communal coexist in harmony, is a priceless experience. Although this work is therapeutic in nature, it is not a substitute for therapy.
Our weekends are held on Eastern Long Island, and our School consists of three sequential levels of study.
Level 1 - Introduction to Women's Ways is now also available as the new Rites of Passage e-Course.
Provides instruction and initiation into Moon Ceremony in the tradition of the Essenes, Sisters of the Violet Flame and other women's mysteries, as well as preparation for "Rites of Passage" Ceremony. It develops safety, authenticity, compassion and cooperation among women, introduces circle work protocol, enhances personal empowerment and activates earth-honoring wisdom. Level 1 is the heart of The School of Women's Ways, culminating with a "Rites of Passage" Ceremony.
Level 2 - Living the Mysteries of the Goddess Within
Provides the structure to experience the art of monitoring, and the practice to embody and express the sacred feminine. This experience encourages and supports conscious, spiritual leadership and takes women more deeply into the peace and healing mysteries of their "Rites of Passage." This program culminates with a Goddess Pageant. Level 2 is the soul of our School.
Level 3 - Sex, Power and Politics
Reserved for women who have completed Levels 1 and 2. These women create their
own focus of study from year to year. Level 3 is the spirit of Women's Ways.
Level 4 - The Sacred Marriage
The Sacred Marriage is first and foremost a Sacred Union of the Inner Self and Outer Self, the marriage of the Sacred Masculine to the Sacred Feminine -- in all aspects of our Being, in all time, space and dimensions. This includes coming into Sacred Union with ones own Divinity. It allows the experience of wholeness with Source and acknowledges the Oneness of All. By definition every woman is a Human, the individualized consciousness of All That Is in physical form, and a Being, the Divine Light. Human-Beings are the Sacred Union of Spirit and Earth. Women commemorate this wholeness by uniting their Divine Masculine and Feminine in a Bonding Ceremony.
Teacher -Training Certification Program.
Reserved for women who have completed several courses in Women's Ways and are ready to pursue service as a spiritual practice and assume the role of Wisdom Keeper.
Like most powerful things of a deep personal nature, I know that the focus and programs of The School of Women's Ways won't "sing" to everyone. If this work isn't what you're looking for, please keep looking until you find the community and support you naturally crave. Every woman needs a place to call home within herself. However, if Women's Ways "sings" to you, our School will make a profound difference in your life and in the lives of the people you touch. For me, it feels like coming home - at last! Welcome home.
Lorraine Simone, M.S. Ed., C.Ht., SVF
a.k.a. Deep Arrow Woman, Founder and Director
Moonfire Meeting House
1691 County Rd. 39
Southampton, New York 11968
phone / fax 631-287-9000