Honouring the Sacred Feminine

Kendal, October 14-16, 2016

We believe that deep respect and harmony between the masculine and feminine principles of existence is necessary for the wellbeing of communities and society as a whole. The present imbalance is reflected in the increasing sexualisation of women and young people and in structures which continue to favour male biology and perspective. These are damaging not only to women but also to men. We trust that human beings should be free to discover and determine for themselves what it means to be male and female.

We begin by reconnecting to the Sacred Feminine.

We aim to create an inclusive and safe space which encourages authentic and open enquiry into these issues. Our speakers hail from different faith backgrounds with experience of working at various levels within, and for, communities. Participants will be invited to reflect on and share what the Feminine means to them, and consider how this understanding might be integrated into their own lives, work, and beyond.


Join us for a weekend honouring the Sacred Feminine through conversation, heart reflections, meditation, prayer, music and movement. We are blessed to offer this gathering in the beautiful setting of Kendal in the Lake District, with its rich spiritual heritage and long tradition of social activism.

Register Now!

Speakers & Performers

Elizabeth Anne Hin

Elizabeth Anne Hin, founding President of the White Rose Foundation, was conceived and born deeply awake, and experienced death in infancy from which she was brought back to life. Beth’s life has been aware of attention to the sacred in assistance to the spiritual, moral and humble development of all beings, including her own. Beth has studied the world's spiritual traditions for over four decades. She was deeply mentored by many beloved Elders.

Through The White Rose Foundation she has practiced her own contemplation and path, to date in fifty nations on all continents except Antarctica, offering lectures, classes, retreats, seminars, audio tapes and CD’s, scholarships for youth, honoraria for spiritual elders and spiritual leaders throughout the world, and service journeys of educational, medical and social support.

Beth invites you to join her in practicing as one world, one holy humble family.

Read more about the White Rose Foundation and listen to Beth's podcasts on the website and also Facebook and Twitter.

Fatimah Ashrif

Fatimah Ashrif is the founding member of Rumi’s Circle and the visionary force behind the Unveiling the Divine gathering. She will be speaking about her inspiration on starting this gathering and her hopes for the future.

She currently works as an advisor on philanthropic projects including a number of education related projects. She is also working for the University of Cambridge as Project Lead on Coexist House. She is a student of Shaikh Kabir Helminski and Shaikha Camille Helminski through the Threshold Society.

Follow Fatimah on Twitter @fatimahashrif and through Rumi's Circle website, Facebook and Twitter.

Jan Sandman

Originally coming from a background of Counseling Psychology with a focus on BodyBased Therapies, Jan Sandman has studied with many masters over the years, always following the threads of where her heart and intuition call her. Her work focus is on the wholeness of a person, in the Creative process and its ability to heal, expand and express the human spirit. Jan facilitates deep connection to the Sacred Feminine and essence through Authentic Movement.

Jan will be leading a workshop using the form of Authentic Movement to deepen our relationship with the Sacred Feminine.

Read more about Jan's work on her website.

Asma Bhol

Asma Bhol is responsible for event development, stakeholder recruitment and the young people's lead for Inclusive Mosque Initiative (IMI). Asma enjoys reading and writing poetry especially derived from Urdu, Arabic, Sufi and Persian history. She also takes joy in learning about different cultures but is mostly intrigued by the way the world has been created and all of its individual creations. This  extends into her love for Islam and therefore she actively participates in events and works of progressive Muslims that broaden her understanding and knowledge. This includes re-learning the Qur’an. Asma believes that spirituality is integral to one's well-being and development. Asma has participated in the Jewish Comedy Festival as part of the 'An Imaam, Vicar and Rabbi' show, featured on the BBC radio show, and recently been published in the Financial Times. She actively participates in movements that create inclusivity for marginalised groups including LGBTQI people, women, and children. Asma continues to enjoy working as a specialist children's occupational therapist.

Read more about IMI on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

Tania Henzell-Thomas

Tania declared her Islam about 19 years ago, when she entered the Sufi path by taking hand with Sheikh Safer Effendi in Istanbul. Before this she had spent many years seeking a meaningful spiritual path, and this included the study of dreams, which she still practises.

She seeks to express some of her insights and love of the Divine manifest in the natural world through story writing, and has recently completed her first novel.

Dr. Rabia Malik

Dr Rabia Malik is a Consultant Systemic Psychotherapist. She is interested in the interface of psychology, culture and spirituality and has been integrating these in her work with Muslim clients. She led a specialist therapeutic service for minority ethnic clients in the NHS for many years. Currently, she works in private clinical practice and offers training and consultation to a range of organisations.

Reverend Amanda Reynolds

Amanda's spiritual journey began aged 17 when she started attending services in the Church of England. Although wanting to conform she has always struggled with various aspects of doctrine and practice particularly male headship and patriarchy. Her training as an Interfaith Minister has enabled her to look at other faiths. Ultimately this journey led her to look within herself and to be comfortable living the questions rather than needing certainty. In a world where being masculine or feminine can polarise human beings she is, in her late 50's, exploring how being female influences her spiritual practice and what this brings to her ministry.

Amanda is part of the South Lakeland Interfaith Forum. Read more on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

Ruth Liddle

Ruth Liddle is a professional educator with more than 20 years’ experience teaching a variety of core subjects in schools and universities in the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea.  She has also been an active supporter of Living Values Education (LVE) since its formation in 1996 conducting LVE trainings and seminars to promote the development of values-based learning communities around the world. A Raja Yoga meditation student and teacher with the Brahma Kumaris for the last 20 years, Ruth is currently based at Inner Space Meditation & Personal Development Centre in Manchester, UK, where she has been a teacher and events coordinator since its opening in May 2011.

See more about the Inner Space Centre on their website and Facebook.

Sharon Marsden

Sharon Marsden is Creative Director of the arts company verd de gris.

In all of Sharon’s work, her approach is centred on her interest in the ways in which the creative arts can be employed to help people find their voice and express themselves - whether as individuals or as part of a wider ‘community’. verd de gris endeavours to create works in which the individual, shared or collective experience is placed at the centre of investigations and Sharon’s own artistic response is very often to ‘frame’ these thoughts, ideas and concerns in as imaginative a way as possible.

There are many layers of complexity at play in this creative methodology but the essence of it is simple - Sharon believes that each and every one of us needs and deserves to be seen and heard - and when we give people the chance, their voices will be heard loud and clear and pure.

Read more about verd de gris on their website and Facebook.

Isn’t that Something?

like when
the music happens like this:

Something in His eye grabs hold of a
tambourine in

then I turn and lift a violin in someone else,
and they turn, and this turning

it has
reached you now. Isn’t that


Daniel Thomas Dyer

Daniel Dyer is a writer, illustrator and co-founder of the children’s multi-faith publisher, Chickpea Press. He is a student of the Mevlevi path based on the teachings of Rumi, a member of Threshold Society, and a founding member of Rumi’s Circle.

Chickpea Press aims to publish engaging, contemporary and imaginative books and digital apps for younger readers, drawing inspiration from the great spiritual traditions of the world. Daniel has just completed writing and illustrating his first book, The 99 Names of God which will be published later this year. Daniel became a Muslim through the influence of a Jewish Buddhist – Leonard Cohen. In one of his albums, Cohen mentions being influenced by Rumi, and due to his love of Cohen’s music, Daniel had to quickly find out who this Rumi was. This began a love affair with Rumi’s poetry and one thing led to another…

Daniel will be speaking about his experience of writing The 99 Names of God, his dedicated research into finding as many female voices from the Islamic tradition as possible to enhance the book content, and the significance of the Divine Names of Beauty within the 99 Names.

You can follow Daniel and his work at Chickpea Press on Facebook, Twitter and through the website.

Zeliha Akdan

Zeliha Akdan is from the Netherlands born to Turkish parents. She has had a great passion for singing Turkish Songs since her childhood. This combined with her interest in Sufism, has resulted in exploring and singing the spiritual songs of the Sufis.

Zeliha will be joining voices with Latif Bolat in the Sacred Music concert on Saturday night at the Parish Church Hall.

Latif Bolat

Latif Bolat is a world-renowned Turkish musician, singer, composer and scholar of Turkish music and folklore.

Specializing in the ancient Turkish mystic-devotional music genre, Latif has been received with appreciation and enthusiasm throughout the world, as he provides a unique philosophy and approach to the performance of traditional music. By creating an intimate, almost "storytelling" atmosphere, he explains Turkish folk and mystic music and its sociopolitical and cultural elements. The performance both entertains and invites the audience to ponder questions such as how major sociopolitical factors influence culture and the art it produces.

Latif will be joining voices with Zeliha Akdan in the Sacred Music concert on Saturday night at the Parish Church Hall.

See Latif's website for more information about his music.


Honouring Shaikha Camille Hamilton Adams Helminski

camille_helminskiOur gathering honours the work of Shaikha Camille Hamilton Adams Helminski, a Sufi teacher in the Mevlevi tradition, founded by Rumi.

Camille is not expected to attend our gathering due to health reasons but this initiative would not be as it is without her continuous support and encouragement in exploring and connecting to the Divine Feminine. She has been working within the Mevlevi tradition of Sufism for over thirty years and through her work has helped to increase awareness of the integral contribution of women to the spiritual path of Islam .

Camille also has ancestral roots within the Quaker movement, something that we will share more about in the gathering.

Read more about her work.

We are so grateful for her continuing guidance and support.


  1. 19:30 PM - FRI 14 OCT: Registration
  2. 20:00 PM - FRI 14 OCT: Opening Address
  3. 08:30 AM - SAT 15 OCT: Morning Meditation
  4. 09:00 AM - SAT 15 OCT: Divine Woman

    Panel discussion with Fatimah Ashrif, Tania Henzell-Thomas, Asma Bhol & Rabia Malik on how the Sacred Feminine informs their life and practice

  5. 10:30 AM - SAT 15 OCT: Break
  6. 11:00 AM - SAT 15 OCT: Divine Family

    The Eternal Rose ~  In Honour of Shaikha Camille Helminski

    Elizabeth Anne Hin will speak about the holy women of the Abrahamic Faith traditions, their relationship with each other, their role in inspiring us to relationship with each other, and the Divine. Beth will share prayers, poems, and stories, ending with a guided mediation which will invite us to contemplate and connect to these beautiful holy women.

  7. 13:00 PM - SAT 15 OCT: Lunch
  8. 14:00 PM - SAT 15 OCT: Divine Movement PARALLEL SESSION

    Authentic Movement: Deepening the Connection to the Sacred Feminine

    with Jan Sandman

    In this two hour workshop, we will use the form of Authentic Movement to invite our relationship with the Sacred Feminine to deepen.

    Authentic Movement is a movement discipline that is practised with eyes closed, tuning deeply into the body for direction.  There is no music and no outer instruction, but rather a tuning in to the body’s impulse and urge moment by moment and allowing that unfolding. There is a very strong container provided by the Witness which allows the movers to descend into their inner worlds and move from that space.  The form calls forward deep trust of the body, the heart and the spirit.  We have all emerged from the body of the Feminine and in this form we return to the wisdom of the body to access and express what is in our hearts. 

    The timing of this workshop is occurring at a point of fullness in the conference.  We will all be ripe with what we have heard, experienced and contemplated from the morning and the evening before.  We will come to Authentic Movement with this energy activated and through movement, open to what the Great Mystery reveals through us.

    Wear clothing you are comfortable moving in, upright or on the floor.

  9. 14:00 PM - SAT 15 OCT: Divine Her'story PARALLEL SESSION
  10. 16:00 PM - SAT 15 OCT: Break
  11. 16:00 PM - SAT 15 OCT: Divine Work

    Panel discussion with Ruth Liddle, Amanda Reynolds, Sharon Marsden & Daniel Dyer on how the Sacred Feminine informs their work.

  12. 18:00 PM - SAT 15 OCT Dinner
  13. 19:30 PM - SAT 15 OCT: Divine Music

    Sacred music from Turkish musicians, Latif Bolat & Zeliha Akdan, joined by whirling dervishes from the Threshold Society Mevlevi Order.

    This concert will be held at the Parish Church Hall.

  14. 08:30 AM - SUN 16 OCT: Morning Meditation
  15. 09:00 AM - SUN 16 OCT: Divine Reflections
  16. 10:30 AM - SUN 16 OCT: Quaker Service
  17. 12:00 PM - SUN 16 OCT: Lunch (optional)
  18. 14:00 PM - SUN 16 OCT: Divine Nature Excursion (optional)

    Gentle walking meditation, route dependent upon weather.


This is a non-residential gathering. Kendal has a large youth hostel and many hotels and B&Bs if you wish to stay locally. There is also a comic arts festival on the same weekend so we advise booking early.

Our venue has limited capacity so make sure you register early to confirm your place!

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Artist & Writer-in-Residence Application

Irina Naji 8We welcome applications from artists and writers to attend the gathering and create a piece of work inspired by the weekend.

The criteria is simply to have an interest in spirituality and the Divine Feminine.

We would offer free weekend entry to the gathering.

To apply, please send a written submission, 750 words max evidencing the criteria and why you wish to be considered. Also submit one piece of completed work which demonstrates your interest in our criteria (PDF or JPEG).

Please email your submission to love@rumiscircle.com no later than September 26th to be considered. Selected candidates will be contacted by Oct 3rd.

We look forward to supporting and fostering work that highlights the Sacred Feminine!


Friends Meeting House




Parish Church Hall

Art by Irina Naji

The fabulous artwork on this page is by artist Irina Naji, who kindly granted us permission to use her images.