Carolyn Hillyer & the Sisterhood of Weavers

Spread sisterhood with a tea towel!

Words from the Sister Blanket printed in black and dark red onto organic unbleached cotton. May be used as a tea towel, wall hanging, shrine cloth or head scarf!All profits go to women’s campaigns and projects.

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In the early spring of 2013, a gathering of 50 women from a number of different countries, sitting one night around our ethereal (online) roundhouse fire, created a charter of womankindness. It was designed as a statement of our intent, words with which to hold the energy of our circles, the integrity of our work and the nourishment of our sisterhood. These words were printed onto linen, sewn onto ancient woven cloth,  lined with felted Dartmoor wool… and this became our Sister Blanket. You can see photos of the original blanket on the women’s workshop information page. The blanket is kept on Dartmoor for workshops, gatherings and circles, where it is worn by sisters in prayer, wrapped around sisters in tears, celebrated by sisters in quiet ceremony. We have now made small versions of this cloth: mini sister blankets! These are beautiful unbleached organic tea towels printed with the original text. All profits from the sale of these go to support women’s projects and campaigns; we have raised several thousand pounds during the last five years.

So we invite you to spread sisterhood with a tea towel!

SISTER BLANKET a charter of womankindness, a reminder of intent, a comfort of words to wrap around our circle

1. KINDNESS sits at the heart of any meaningful gathering of sisters for our words and actions have the power to heal or harm
2. HONOUR offered to our sisters from a place of love, wisdom and peace; honour to our own lives, our inspiration and our edges
3. RESPECT for other women and ourselves; for the ways in which we are different and the same; for the courage it takes to travel our path
4. ACCEPTANCE without judgement or conditions, an immeasurable gift that we can offer to each other
5. COMPASSION we may not know what a sister carries, the ground she treads, the stories knotted in her heart; we sit with her and listen close
6. EMPATHY for a sister even when she expresses herself in ways we do not understand; reaching beyond her defences to the woman inside
7. TOLERANCE we cherish sisters even when behaviour irritates and words annoy; we appreciate the space given to our own peculiar ways
8. GRACE blesses all we do and think and say, how we sit in circles with our sisters, how we tend our sacred fires
9. HOLDING space when a sister seeks comfort or needs to be witnessed; keeping our gatherings strong and safe as guardians and protectors
10. HEARD may all our sister’s words be honoured, whether one word or a torrent; let us not miss a treasure
11. SUPPORT the touch of another woman’s hand when we are struggling to cope, words that make a world of difference
12. TRUST the loyalty of sisters; the faith we place in each other every time we share a story, a raw memory, a yearning vision, a revelation
13. EMBRACE taking into our hearts the struggles, strengths and insights that our sisters bring; giving a hug when it is needed
14. TENDERNESS towards our sisters, treading gently, behaving with care, being gentle with their vulnerabilities
15. SANCTUARY the nest that is formed by the strong and loving arms of all our sisters; we are cradled by the drumbeats of their hearts
16. NOURISHMENT of sister souls and bodies; songs that soothe, hands that heal, a warming brew, earthy food, good chocolate, fine cake
17. LOVE placing our hearts into the circle, meeting our shared times with warmth, showering love upon our sisters, caring for ourselves
18. WILLINGNESS remembering to have the word yes tucked into our belts, to go that one step further, to face the challenge
19. HOPE for here lies the source of our inner strength, our bravery and resilience, our ability to positively quest and seek change
20. COURAGE to be the women we know we truly are and will be, to stand firm, to let go and fly; to journey with sisters, to journey alone
21. HONESTY let us honour the truth and openness we bring to our circles; let us recognise when stark honesty requires a softening touch
22. GENEROSITY towards our sisters with time, care, support, space and any tangible thing we have to share
23. SERVICE to our sisters is an honour and a delight; extending ourselves selflessly is grounding and draws us closer as friends
24. AWARENESS of our sisters, being fully present in our gatherings and always mindful of how we respond
25. DEPTH we have the capacity to go way beyond the surface of things; let us reach far down to speak from that profound place
26. WISDOM we all carry the resources of wise knowing, ancient memory and intuitive understanding; may we grow into our wisdom
27. INTEGRITY remembering our own truth is not more true than that held by our sister; ensuring our eager feet do not trample on her
28. ANCESTORS through our ancestral mothers we are all woven deep, at the core of our sister circles we are linked by blood & bone
29. WILDNESS wild women need to let our wildness out! we shout in the wind and shake our hair and run like untamed mares!
30. SOAR we lift each other up; may we fly together and carry sisterhood on our broad wings to other women that we meet
31. FREEDOM to be ourselves (sometimes with humour), to stretch out and grow, to leap mountains and swim oceans
32. STILLNESS is the pause between the actions that weave our words together, a holy place where we reach into shared silence
33. CLARITY letting our eyes perceive on all levels, see through dark or mist, change our perspective, view visions, move with light
34. EQUALITY remembering that no one of us is greater or lesser; in a circle we all sit equal distance from the fire
35. SHARING joy, pain, laughter, tears, fears, fun, exciting anticipation, strange adventures, intimate spaces, sacred moments
36. BELONGING may we each enjoy the vibrant warmth of feeling connected, relish the loving care in which we are enfolded
37. MAGICAL within all our threads and weavings lies the mystery of the cloth we form together, the moons and magic of our lives
38. GRATITUDE for sisters met and the murmurings of those yet to be met; for the chance to gather, dream and drum together
39. SISTERHOOD is an experience, a way of being, an understanding, our undertaking, our remembering, our gift

woven by The Sisterhood of Weavers & Carolyn Hillyer 2013