Welcome all! Why don’t you kick off those shoes, pull on that loose and comfortable clothing, reach for a cosy blanket and just relax. Here is a place where it is okay to be exactly who you are in each moment. Feel better now?
I love the internet because it connects us with people, and it has the potential to be a real tool for change. But nothing can beat physically gathering together with like-minded people from your local neck of the woods, and sitting in circle with a delicious shared vegan meal and each other….
In this space of sharing, equality, and down-to-earthedness, eyes shine, smiles are from the heart, and all present become each other’s mirrors and guides in a way that is so natural it is as if time is lost and we were back in each others ancient houses, or sitting beneath the stars around the mystical cooking fire with our ancient ancestors, our great grandmothers.
It is like popping a champagne cork and watching the bubbles stream out. It is joy giggles and raucous cackles, it is sometimes sadness and frustration. It’s not fixing or suggesting. It is forging deep connections with those around us geographically. And it’s essential; to create space for this and each other. The only way to inspire change is to be the change, and talk openly frankly and fearlessly together. There is something most magical about circles of women meeting, it’s medicine.
“In the ruddy shade of the red tent, the menstrual tent, they ran their fingers through my curls, repeating the escapades of their youths, the sagas of their childbirths. Their stories were like offerings of hope and strength.” The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.
It is easy to set up a red tent! Here are my top tips:
1. Read about other red tent groups, start by visiting Red Tent Directory
2. Develop your own vision – note down the bits you like best from all the other tents and add them to your own vision of an ideal tent, then create your unique day! Have a think about the logistics like times, age range of women, whether you can accommodate little children…it is a lot easier to make decisions like these at the outset!
3. Advertise it – posters, flyers, online media, ads in your local health food shop, or good old fashioned word of mouth.
4. Starting small is fine – the first Red Tent Gwynedd gathering at my home was tiny and only one woman came. Now it’s in full bloom; there are over 100 active committed and dedicated women in our community, the tent has taken on a life and form of it’s own, there are numerous offshoot red tents and facilitators change every time, and our red tent facebook event calendar has never been so full.
Having a Red Tent circle nearby can truly help you feel more ‘settled’ in your area. If you are quite nomadic and move about a lot it’s still absolutely worth setting something up, as you can hand it over to the other women when you move on. Time is precious, reach out to the amazing like-minded women out there.
Words from women of the tent
“Once I reached home I realised that I felt deeply relaxed, as if I had been “smoothed down” on the inside.”
“For me it was one of those magical times which will long remain in my memory – the hot sunshine; the gorgeous swags of red material and ribbons draped from bush and tree; the song of the grasshoppers; the spectacular views over some of the most beautiful countryside in the world; the glorious fresh salads and tasty foods, warm loving company, laughter and wise words of support and wisdom…. Surely yesterday we really did touch the absolute essence of the Red Tent – long may we grow in our feminine community and prosper together!”
“In just one afternoon I’ve glimpsed what it feels like to feel unconditional love and acceptance, authentic sharing and true heart connections. How empowering it was so sit and know in my deepest self that it is okay to cry…I feel so so so grateful for the red tent, and the beautiful women who I have met in there, who are all so special to me already.”
“The Tent is so important – in keeping it going and in spreading the word about it. It really is a valuable healing tool on many levels which we will rarely or never realise.”
“The red tent is a warm, safe and lovingly understanding environment in which we can all work, learn, experience, gain new and increased understanding and respect for ourselves, and consequently develop and grow.”
“The whole experience has touched me to the core. Finding the Red Tent has altogether affected me deeply and the revelations of feminine community and sisterhood are like a breath of fresh air to me and particularly precious.”
“Although I’ve stopped menstruating I’m finding that the affirmation of us being together and being at different stages of our life and cycles is wonderful. It’s not so much remembering what it used to be like having periods rather that reflecting on how your cycles are gives me a perspective on life and time and growth that is unique in my normal every day experiences.”
For more beautiful red tent quotes click here.
Dear woman, fight not the tides of sadness that come
Just allow, listen, learn, discern.
This temporary storm, the waves that crash,
and tear and erode. This too will pass.
Come morning, the night sky gently dissolves
In hues of rose and peach.
You will also slip into pure release, deep down within.
Dear woman, it will come. Needs no instruction, no help, from you
float into the arms of the mother, come home, be renewed.
Such gifts are abundant as your blood flows.
Hush now woman, surrender to tranquility and peace.
Let me cover you in jasmine flowers, comb oil through your hair.
Tonight you will dream anew and you will awaken energised,
fresh inspired in spirit,
as a new song given birth to sound,
or a bud of green on a winter tree.
Then you can run, with the wild Spring breeze in your hair!
Dear One, look, the rising sun!
The energy of flames infuse your heart with fire and sparks.
Live, love, express wildly the desires of your soul with passion and grace.
But remember dear woman
This too will pass.
The cycle will turn, your summer leaves will crinkle and fall.
Fear not to take refuge in the house of your heart and know that the nature of life and death resides in your soul.
Written by Jane in tribute to Red Tent gatherings all over the world!