On a monthly basis, in a quiet suburban yard in the modern metropolis of Melbourne, a collection of guys brave the notorious Melbourne weather conditions to assemble around an open fire and get in on in the 'Mens Fire Circle'. Last week, the Mens Fire-Circle commemorated its fourth birthday, and in acknowledgment of the landmark, I met with the facilitator and originator of the 'Mens Fire Circle', David Mollet, to learn a bit more regarding what the group does and why it began in the first place.
Reporter "So David, what led to you beginning the Men's Fire Circle?"
"It was just after I turned the big 'five-O'. I felt it was a fairly notable landmark and then in the days shortly thereafter I noticed myself reflecting on life, and in the middle of all that contemplation, one of the subjects I was turning over that really captured my attention was just how discontented I was with the spiritual leadership offered in this society. It appears to be that our religious establishments have divested the majority of their ethical authority, and then I found myself fantasising about exactly what my life might feel like if I inhabited a hunter-gatherer culture where individuals perceived themselves as an integral part of a tribal community ... It was about then that a different voice (in my mind) spoke with me stating "You have now turned fifty Dave, that means you're an elder, so what are you planning to do about it, whine and pretend you are a baby or man up, be a leader and then be part of the solution."
"That idea truly hit home and so I decided to initiate a Mens group based upon the time-honored tribal values of Men meeting around fire to talk about men's issues, and the idea for the Mens Fire Circle was created."
Reporter: "Why did you pick a Men's Circle, why not just a circle for every person?"
"That's an excellent query. At the time I really felt a clear aspiration to look in the direction of tribal societies for my vision. I wanted to return to something closer to nature, and it seemed to me that in tribal cultures there was a definite importance placed on initiation events and a recognition of both the different needs, and also the specific roles encompassed by each gender. Moreover I saw that if in their discernment, tribal leaders had witnessed merit in males and females getting together by their gender to examine as well as shed light for each other with the particular life experiences common to their own gender, accordingly I concluded, it would be an excellent approach for the fire-circle I create to respect their insight too."
Reporter: "How have you noticed the gender restricted parameters to operate, is it beneficial or do you miss the equilibrium of the female aspect?"
"At first I was worried about this, yet paradoxically, what I have indeed seen is that it seems to be easier for most guys to be in touch with the feminine aspect of themselves in circle if women are not there. I sense that there are two points contributing to this. One is that, more often than not guys will broach dilemmas they're dealing with in their personal relationships, and doing that solely with their own gender seems to supply them a little bit more ease to exchange freely and frankly about how they feel concerning 'the woman' in their lives. I think they sense that other guys will likely be able to comprehend their problems more effectively. Maybe it's due to the fact that we've all shared equivalent cultural conditioning, so we are running our lives from similar expectations.
The second thing is, when the fire-circle is all men, there aren't any sex-related diversions. There's no playing for the attention of females, no seeking to "make it" with the opposite sex. With any potential sex-related diversions set aside, this appears to empower everyone to be more no holds barred in their sharing."
The Men's Fire Circle convenes in the evening once a month, in Greensborough, a residential area of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia. To locate the internet site with all the details of upcoming get-togethers, and also the option of registering for e-mail alerts of the meetings, just click on the link above or copy and paste this URL: http://www.meetup.com/Mens-Fire-Circle-Greensborough-Victoria/