Tribal Wisdom Inspires The Vision Of A Melbourne Men’s Group

What was the inspiration for the creation of a mens group? We talk to David Mollet, Founder and facilitator of the ‘Mens Fire Circle’ to find out.

One evening a month, in an unassuming suburban back yard in the modern metropolitan area of Melbourne, an assortment of guys, fly in the face of the ill-famed Melbourne weather to sit around an outdoor fire and participate in the ‘Mens Fire Circle’.

Reporter “So tell me, what was it that led to you beginning the Men’s Fire Circle David?”

“It was just after turning 50. For me it was a very substantial milestone and then in the days following I found myself reflecting on life, and in the middle of all of that, one of the matters I was thinking about was how disappointed I was with the quality of spiritual leadership offered in my society as it is today. It seems like our spiritual institutions have dissipated all their moral authority, and I found myself fantasising about what my life would probably feel like if I lived in a tribe where individuals saw themselves as part of a tribe … It was about then that I had an ‘Ah-Ha’ moment and I said to myself “You’ve just turned 50 Dave, that makes you an elder, so just what are you planning to do about it, whinge and pretend you are a baby or man up, be a leader and be part of the solution.”

“That thought certainly hit home and in the following few days I made a decision to begin a Mens group based upon the old customary tribal values of Men getting together around fire to talk over men’s business, 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 every person?”

“That’s a great question. At that time I felt a firm need to look to tribal societies for my vision. I really wanted to get back to something closer to nature, and it seemed to me that in tribal cultures there was a strong weight placed on coming of age events as well as an acknowledgment of both the various needs, and also specific roles among each of the sexes. Additionally I really felt that if in their discernment, tribal leaders had witnessed something useful in men and women getting together by their specific gender to discuss and also guide each other with the specific trials and tribulations common to their own gender, then I concluded, it would definitely be a wise decision for the fire-circle I set up to respect their insight as well.”

Reporter: “To what degree have you noticed the gender exclusive parameters to work, have you found it to be of value or do you miss out on the balance of the feminine?”

“At first I was worried about this, but paradoxically, what I have ascertained is that it appears a lot easier for most men to be connected with their feminine side in circle if females are not present. I believe that there are two points at play with this. One is that, more often than not men desire to give voice to issues they’re having with their intimate relationships, and doing so with their own gender appears to yield them a bit of additional license to exchange openly and also genuinely concerning the way they really feel with respect to ‘the female’ in their lives. I think they acknowledge that other men will likely be able to identify with their issues more effectively. Maybe it’s due to the fact that we have actually all shared the very same cultural conditioning, so we are conducting our lives from the very same assumptions.

The other aspect is, when the fire-circle is all guys, any sex-related diversions are minimised. There’s no striving for the attention of the women, no trying to “make it” with the other sex. With any potential sex-related distractions out of the picture, suggesting this is useful in empowering every person to be far more authentic.”

The Men’s Fire Circle gets together at 7.30 pm on the fourth Tuesday each month, in Greensborough, a residential area of Melbourne, in Victoria, Australia. To locate the site which has all the information of events, and also the option of registering for e-mail notifications of the meetings, click on the link or look up the following-