Most people celebrate a significant birthday with a big party or an intimate dinner with friends and family, but Jennifer Aniston – who turned 50 this year – found a slightly more unusual way to mark the major milestone.
The Friends actress apparently rounded up her pals and flew them out to attend a ‘goddess circle’ in Mexico, as a way to bless the next new chapter of her life.
In an interview with the New York Times, Aniston revealed she and her friends have been honouring the tradition for the past three decades, as a way to celebrate each other’s major life events, including Aniston’s weddings to Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux.
"I’m entering into what I feel is one of the most creatively fulfilling periods of my life," she told the publication. "Seriously, I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I feel like it’s just about to really bloom."
What is a goddess circle?
Also known as ‘women’s circles’, a goddess circle is a sacred, safe space where women come together to reconnect with their feminine energy, reflect on life’s challenges and share their experiences without judgement.
According to thegoddesscircle.net, the goddess circle is "dedicated to reclaiming the powerful feminine energy found within and surrounding us all; to embodying and living your truth and your highest purpose."
Circles involve physically sitting in a ring with other women, and they generally take place around the full moon – as many goddess mystics believe the female menstrual cycle and its power is tethered to the moon’s movements.
The host of the circle will usually set the mood by lighting wax candles, diffusing essential oils and burning sage to rid the space of bad energy.
Whoever is leading the event will typically open the proceedings by introducing themselves and setting some intentions for the practice.
Attendees of the goddess circle will usually a bring a dish each and share food during the evening, which can involve a combination of listening, talking and even group singing.
Each circle is individual in its format, but it’s likely there will be releasing rituals to take part in, like writing down the things you’d like to let go of.
The group can take turns reading them out to each other, before burning them as a way to release negativity.
Circles can also involve guided meditation practices, exercises for setting intentions or oracle card readings.
What are the benefits?
Goddess circles are an opportunity for women to connect with others while sharing experiences and wisdom from all walks of life.
Hosts claim it’s also an opportunity for women to observe their natural menstrual cycle and reconnect with their inner feminine power.
The sessions are designed to be relaxing and empowering and are becoming increasingly popular as a way to connect with women in an IRL basis, rather than over social media.
If you’re interested in giving the trend a go goddessfoundation.org.uk is a good resource for finding local circles in the UK – or setting one up yourself.
If it’s good enough for uber-successful Aniston, it’s good enough for us.