On a monthly basis, in a simple suburban back garden in the modern metropolitan area of Melbourne, a gathering of guys defy the notorious Melbourne weather to assemble around an outdoor fire and be involved in the ‘Mens Fire Circle’. In the week just passed, the Mens Fire-Circle commemorated its fourth anniversary, so in recognition of the event, I met the organizer and originator of the ‘Mens Fire Circle’, David Mollet, to find out a little bit more on what the community does and why it got going.
Reporter “So David, what led to you initiating the Men’s Fire Circle?”
“It was just after my fiftieth birthday bash. It was a rather significant landmark and in the days following I noticed myself reviewing life, and one of the issues I was considering that really captured my attention was the way in which I was not satisfied with the quality of spiritual leadership available in my society. It appears that our religious establishments have shed all their moral authority, and then I found myself imagining what my life would possibly be like if I was in a hunter-gatherer culture where people related to themselves as part of a tribal community … It was about then that I had an ‘Ah-Ha’ moment “You’ve now reached 50 Dave, that means you’re an elder, so what are you intending to do about it, whine and pretend you are a baby or man up, be a leader and do something about it.”
“That idea truly made me sit up and take notice and so I chose to initiate a Mens group based on the old traditional tribal values of Men gathering around fire to talk over men’s concerns, and the idea for the Mens Fire Circle was born.”
Reporter: “Why did you go for a Men’s Circle, why not just a circle for everybody?”
“That’s an important inquiry. At that time I felt a clear drive to study tribal cultures for my vision. I desired to return to something closer to nature, and it seemed to me that in tribal societies there was a real attention placed on coming of age ceremonies and an acknowledgment of both the assorted needs, and also roles in association with each of the sexes. I saw that if in their discernment, tribal leaders had indeed seen merit in men and women congregating by their gender to examine as well as hold the space for each other through the shared experiences common to their own gender, consequently I concluded, it would be a worthwhile idea for the circle I set up to honour that path as well.”
Interviewer: “Specifically how have you discovered the gender restricted framework to go, is it helpful or do you feel the loss of the balance of the feminine?”
“At first I had qualms about this, but paradoxically, what I have realised is that it tends to be easier for a number of guys to get in touch with their feminine side in circle if females are not present. I suspect that there are two factors contributing to this. One is that, often guys really want to confide on concerns they’re facing in their intimate partnerships, and doing so with their own gender seems to offer them a bit more abandon to contribute freely as well as genuinely regarding the way they feel regarding ‘the female’ in their lives. I believe they sense that other men are often able to comprehend their dilemmas more effectively. Possibly it’s due to the fact that we’ve all shared the very same social conditioning, so we are steering our lives from corresponding presumptions.
The 2nd thing is that when the circle is all men, there’s more focus for what they’re there for when there are no sex-related diversions. There’s no bidding for the attention of females, no undertaking to “make it” with the opposite sex. With the majority of potential sex-related complications taken out, this appears to help everyone to be far more frank.”
The Men’s Fire Circle comes together at 7.30 pm on a monthly basis, in Greensborough, a residential area of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia. To locate the meetup site with all the information of get-togethers, and the option to register for email notifications of the gatherings, below: