The Mystic Sisters are fully versed in the divine and powerful lessons taught by the universe. One they experienced recently was that even when the whole shebang hits the proverbial fan, things have a way of working out in the end.
That’s exactly what happened with a moon circle the group organized in January. The quartet had rented out a downtown loft in Edmonton for the occasion designed to bring in the New Year only to find out at the last minute that they were given a different space a few blocks away. Arriving late for setup at the venue, still with scaffolding on the premises and the smell of paint permeating the interior, three of the Sisters prepped the room while one was relegated to sending emails, social media messages and texts to the 25 patrons slated to take part.
“We ended up only starting five minutes late and everyone arrived safely,” says Clare Newman, one of the Sisters. “Then, halfway through the circle two fire trucks, sirens blazing and lights flashing, arrived outside just as we finished our meditation.”
Fortunately for the Mystic Sisters, moon circles—ancient women-only rituals designed to harness lunar energy for spiritual well-being—aren’t deemed as safety hazards in Edmonton, since it turned out the fire trucks were responding to an alarm from a nearby building. It’s also an incident that Newman and cohorts Susanne Venaas, Raeleigne Can Petten, and Tara Cawson can laugh about these days.
But the events they orchestrate, from private circles and retreats to training sessions and workshops, are taken very seriously by the Mystic Sisters and female clientele. All four are trained yoga teachers, as well as skilled in different aspects of alternative health and wellness such as reiki, reflexology, shamanic drumming, and energy healing. While some aspects of the Mystic Sisters’ practices might strike people as being New Age, Celtic, or Wiccan, none of them subscribes to any particular creed.
“We certainly celebrate the wheel of the year which consists of the solstices and equinoxes as well as their mid-points,” says Venaas. “Each of these festivities have roots in the Pagan, Celtic, and Wiccan traditions. They are celebrations of both Mother Nature and light and darkness. While all of these celebrations have roots in those areas, we wouldn’t say that any of us identify as Wiccan, nor do we identify as one faith or belief system. It’s interesting to follow the energy shifts of the earth in a year as well as the energy shifts of each lunar cycle.”
Regardless of their perspectives on the crafts they pursue, The Mystic Sisters draw women from almost all walks of life, although the bulk of their patrons range from 30 to 50 years old, who, as Venass says “are looking for ways in which to have a safe space to share similar struggles and triumphs that feel real, authentic, and connected.” The circles are private, usually in a home or rented space, and can include a guided meditation, fire release ceremony, intention setting, the use of oracle cards to receive guidance, cleansing (with sage or palo santo incense), and a safe space to share and connect with other women on a spiritual level to empower each other.
Even though women have been coming together in sacred spaces for centuries, the Mystic Sisters have found that there’s a great deal of demand for what they offer, especially in more secular, modern times. Many women looking for relief from stress and anxiety and are going through transitions or stages in their lives such as marriage, childbirth, or even exploring the essence of their femininity frequently attend their sessions.
“We help to create a space and gathering of women free of judgement, criticism, and shame,” says Newman. “We honour the spaces held deep within all our sisters who are looking for true friendship and the opportunity to bring themselves back to aspects of wholeness on an authentic level.”
And the Mystic Sisters couldn’t have had a more rock-solid endorsement for their group than what they found staring back at their window in the spring of 2018 at a condo they occupied in Canmore. Staring back at them was the mountainous contours of the Three Sisters, an image that stuck with them when they launched the Mystic Sisters that fall. “We started talking about how it would be wonderful to bring the sisterhood of authentic communication, support, and fun to a greater collective,” says Venaas.
There’s no argument that such a form of support transcends all distractions, from the rigours of daily life to a fleet of fire trucks at their sessions. t8n