I have forgotten how important it is to have a safe circle, specifically, with other women. When you share your pain, your experiences and your paths. When you might have just met, but you feel solidarity simply by sharing a story. When you want to scream at the world because the more you talk, the more you realize that almost every woman you’ll meet will have a story like yours. A story of abuse, violence, loss, endurance, being reduced to nothingness. A story of hard work and battle scars. A story of longing that somewhere along this road you could share the weight with someone else. The hope to put your feet up and just exist. Do not mistake our longings for weaknesses. We might have burdens on our shoulders, but they make our legs and backs stronger. This is a global problem, yet we are shocked every time. We pretend it is not an issue, because women don’t talk about it. We do not talk, as you do not have ears to listen. You blame us for everything, yet you wonder why we wait months, years and decades to finally pour. This is why we need safe spaces, warm spaces, spaces where we can unload and just exist. No judgement. No questions. Just unity and understanding. Simply - BELIEF. We thrive in these spaces. We remind each other that we are incredible beings and the doings of others cannot stop us. We are resilient and undefeated. Tonight, I was once again reassured that there is an army behind me. ‘The granddaughters of the witches you could not burn’. Recently, I struggled with feeling small, on the edge of defeat and alone. This gathering of my fellow witches reminded me that this is just the beginning, not the finale. The beginning of our resurrection. The continuation of our journeys. We have oceans within us that are pouring out with every word. We fill this world with life and meaning. You cannot threaten that. You cannot threaten us. I am grateful for all the women who have my back without even knowing it. To women who inspire life into me after harsh winters have left frost bites on my body. To women I haven’t met yet. To women I know. To women I love. To women I will meet. Thank you.