Every fourth Tuesday, in a modest suburban back garden in the present day metropolis of Melbourne, a community of men, fly in the face of the infamous Melbourne weather to sit around an open fire and be involved in the 'Mens Fire Circle'. Last week, the Mens Fire-Circle celebrated its 4th anniversary, and so in recognition of the occasion, I met the organizer and creator of the Mens Fire Circle, David Mollet, to learn a bit extra as to what exactly the community does as well as why it started in the first place.
Interviewer "So tell me David, what was it that led to you beginning the Men's Fire Circle?"
"It was just after turning 50. I felt it was a rather major milestone and in the days to follow I noticed myself reviewing life, and one of the matters I was considering was the way in which I was not satisfied with the spiritual leadership out there in our culture as it is today. It seems to me that our religious organizations have actually lost all their ethical authority, and then I noticed myself fantasising about just what my life might be like if I inhabited a tribal culture where individuals saw themselves as part of a tribe ... It was about then that I had this epiphany and I said to myself "You have now turned fifty Dave, that means you are now an elder, so just what are you going to do about it, whinge like a baby or step up, be a leader and find a solution for it yourself."
"That notion really made me sit up and take notice and so in the following few days I made a decision to begin a Mens group based on the old ancient tribal values of Men meeting around fire to discuss men's concerns, and the idea for the Mens Fire Circle took form."
Interviewer: "Why did you go for a Men's Circle, why not just a circle for anyone?"
"That's a good question. At the time I really felt a firm aspiration to look in the direction of tribal cultures for my inspiration. I really wanted to return to something closer to nature, and it appeared to me that in tribal cultures there was a definite emphasis placed on rites of passage ceremonies as well as an understanding of both the different needs, and also particular roles among each gender. I felt that if in their discernment, leaders of tribes had witnessed merit in males and females assembling by their specific gender to inquire into and hold the space for each other with the challenges common to their own gender, therefore I concluded, it would be a worthwhile practice for the gathering I set up to be guided by that also."
Reporter: "Exactly how have you noticed the gender specific model to function, is it of value or do you feel the loss of the balance of the female aspect?"
"Initially I was worried about this, but paradoxically, what I have actually ascertained is that it strikes me as being much easier for a lot of guys to get in contact with their feminine side in circle if females are absent. I am of the opinion there are 2 points at play here. One is that, quite often men will divulge troubles they're having in their personal romantic relationships, and doing so with their own gender seems to give them a bit of additional ease to share plainly as well as genuinely about how they really feel in relation to 'the female' in their lives. I think they appreciate that other guys can probably identify with their problems better. Maybe it's due to the fact that we've all been accorded with similar cultural conditioning, so we are conducting our lives from the exact same presuppositions.
The other point is, when the circle is all males, there's no vying for the interest of ladies, no undertaking to "make it" with the opposite sex. With any possible sexual interferences gotten rid of, this appears to empower every person to be far more no holds barred in their sharing."
The Men's Fire Circle comes together at 7.30 pm once a month, in Greensborough, an area of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, Australia. You can easily locate the groups website with all the details of upcoming events, and also the option of signing up for e-mail notices of the events, below: http://www.meetup.com/Mens-Fire-Circle-Greensborough-Victoria/
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