Ways to honor your menstrual cycle in your Red Tent

by Jane Hardwicke Collings & Susan Stark

This article is an excerpt from the eBook “How to Create a Red Tent

Keeping a monthly record of your cycle is a great way to connect in and identify recurring patterns or themes. As you record your experiences of each day of your cycle you will begin to see a common pattern emerging. Various journals and charts are available to support you in your charting. See the resource section for further information. Each week of the cycle offers a different opportunity or flow of energy that you can utilize in your life’s journey.

"How to Create a Red Tent" eBook. Available for $9.99 at: http://www.redtentmovie.com/eBook-create-a-red-tent.html
Below are some suggestions of how to work with the different energy inherent in each week of your cycle. This list is by no mean exhaustive and we would encourage you to be creative and adventurous in honouring your own individual cycle. Part of the journey is finding your own unique expression of your cycle and ways to support your own needs. Sharing your ways of being with your cycle in circle with other women is a great way to gather new ideas and ways of honouring yourself and others.

Week One:

bar

It is often difficult to find time to rest and retreat from our busy lives. The demands of family life and work can feel like obstacles to creating quiet sacred space for you to rest. For some women this may feel like an unwarranted luxury that they cannot afford themselves. However, retreat time does not need to be three solid days alone. Of course if you can create this then fantastic, but for many of us we need to find creative ways to lessen our daily activities and finding means to honour ourselves. We can create ways of taking ourselves out of the busy routines of everyday life and with practice those around will grow more accustomed to our need for retreat. After all, a well nurtured mother is able to hold her family with more grace and ease than someone tired and unhappy without time for refueling and rest. Having a relaxing bath by candle light or ensuring the freezer is stocked with dinner for a few nights are great ways to create a bit of space or ease. Ensuring that you don’t schedule in big events or parties is another good idea in honouring your need to be less social.

Some women choose to create a bleeding necklace to wear or make a mooonstick as an expression of their prayers for the coming cycle. Wearing red or choosing special jewellery to wear can also let others know that this is your bleeding time. Paying particular attention to your dreams and setting an intention to remember them is another great way to tap into your night time wisdom. Drawing, crafting, journaling or meditating are also other great ways to slow down and reflect. Some women choose their bleeding time to rearrange their altar or read that great novel they have been saving! It is a time to go slowly and be gentle with yourself. By quietening we open ourselves to hear the messages of our body, our heart and our spirit. Want to read more….

ebook

 

barAbout the authors:

Jane Hardwicke Collings is amother, grandmother and an independent midwife, teacher, writer and menstrual educator. She gives workshops in Australia and internationally on mother and daughter preparation for menstruation, the spiritual practice of menstruation, and the sacred and shamanic dimensions of pregnancy and birth. Jane founded and runs The School of Shamanic Midwifery, which focuses on preparing women to practice and teach conscious rites of passage, awareness of cycles (Earth, lunar, life and menstrual cycles), and the mind/body/spirit connection. www.schoolofshamanicmidwifery.com. Jane is the author of Ten Moons, the Inner Journey of Pregnancy, Thirteen Moons, How to chart your menstrual cycle (handbook and journal), Spinning Wheels (a guide to the cycles), and Becoming a Woman (a guide for girls approaching menstruation). www.moonsong.com.au

Susan Stark is a home birth Mother of four children, a Shamanic Midwife, a practitioner and teacher of the Women’s Mysteries and Social Worker.  Susan is passionately committed to supporting women on their journeys of re-membering and transformation.  Susan currently offers circles and workshops in her own community and practices as a Counsellor working with children and young people.  Susan shares a deep connection to the Earth as Mother and Healer and honours every person’s unique journey to connection and wholeness.
Contact Susan: earthspiral@rocketmail.com

Leave a comment

Filed under growing up, how to create a Red Tent, menstruation, mooncycle

How to facilitate a “circle” in your Red Tent

by Jane Hardwicke Collings & Susan Stark

This article is an excerpt from the eBook “How to Create a Red Tent

In creating a monthly Red Tent you may like to consider the inclusion of a sharing circle. This is a space where women have an opportunity to share what is arising for them in their lives. You may choose to offer this sharing along a seasonal or lunar theme such as sharing moon prayers or intentions or using the seasonal festivals to let go of things that no longer serve. Or you may invite women to share whatever is arising for them in that moment.

"How to Create a Red Tent" eBook. Available for $9.99 at: http://www.redtentmovie.com/eBook-create-a-red-tent.html

In inviting women to share and speak in the circle it is important to agree on some key parameters that ensure the integrity of the space is upheld and women feel safe and heard. It is rare in our modern world to be truly heard without judgment or interference. One of the greatest gifts of a circle is the opportunity for women to speak unhindered and be heard. We can trust that we will all find our pathway to healing ourselves and being witness to a woman is an honour and gift for all.

Photos from Red Tents hosted by Aurora Rae. For more info: ourredtent.com/ Photo copyright: chrisloomisphotography

Photo from a Red Tent hosted by Aurora Rae. For more info: http://www.ourredtent.com/ Photo copyright: chrisloomisphotography

In many circles a bowl or item such as talking stick is passed around to symbolize whose ‘turn’ it is to speak. If using a bowl you may like to add things such as crystals, rescue remedy or other treasures and symbols a woman (if she chooses) can hold as she speaks. The first important parameter in this sharing space is “She who holds the bowl, speaketh!” Speaking in circle can be a scary thing for many women and it is important to honour and respect each woman’s courage. Some women may choose to say very little or nothing at all. Regardless, when a woman is holding the bowl it is her space and opportunity to speak or sit uninterrupted. This is not a time to offer advice or interject but rather open ourselves to be fully present to another’s story and unfolding.

Encourage women to speak in the first person and take responsibility for what arises for them. The container you have created together is a safe place to express and be whatever we need to be in that moment. There is no need to ‘pat down’ a woman’s emotions with soothing words or tissues but rather allow and trust her unfolding as a trusted pathway to healing and transformation.

10606499_10152683584281763_8866741821479573876_n

Red Tent Temple hosted by ALisa Starkweather at the Grail Lady Faire in Bancroft, Ontario, Canada

The remainder of the women are encouraged to sit in witness, holding space and listening with compassion. Encourage women to withhold their judgment and understand that any feelings that arise in listening to another woman are opportunities for our own insight and understanding. The Red Tent is a place where we can be true to ourselves. It is a safe place with many opportunities for insight and transformation. You may like to consider asking for an agreement of confidentiality in supporting to maintain this integrity.

ebook

barAbout the authors:

Jane Hardwicke Collings is amother, grandmother and an independent midwife, teacher, writer and menstrual educator. She gives workshops in Australia and internationally on mother and daughter preparation for menstruation, the spiritual practice of menstruation, and the sacred and shamanic dimensions of pregnancy and birth. Jane founded and runs The School of Shamanic Midwifery, which focuses on preparing women to practice and teach conscious rites of passage, awareness of cycles (Earth, lunar, life and menstrual cycles), and the mind/body/spirit connection. www.schoolofshamanicmidwifery.com. Jane is the author of Ten Moons, the Inner Journey of Pregnancy, Thirteen Moons, How to chart your menstrual cycle (handbook and journal), Spinning Wheels (a guide to the cycles), and Becoming a Woman (a guide for girls approaching menstruation). www.moonsong.com.au

Susan Stark is a home birth Mother of four children, a Shamanic Midwife, a practitioner and teacher of the Women’s Mysteries and Social Worker.  Susan is passionately committed to supporting women on their journeys of re-membering and transformation.  Susan currently offers circles and workshops in her own community and practices as a Counsellor working with children and young people.  Susan shares a deep connection to the Earth as Mother and Healer and honours every person’s unique journey to connection and wholeness.
Contact Susan: earthspiral@rocketmail.com

Leave a comment

Filed under how to create a Red Tent

Menstrual Hut and Moon Lodge History

Menstrual hut and moon lodge traditions show us that the Red Tent has a history: The idea of a separate women’s space or menstrual hut is not a new idea. Anita Diamant claims that the Red Tent in her book was fictionalized, but is rooted in research from Africa. Menstrual hut and moon lodge traditions shape women’s understanding of the Red Tent as a women’s power space. There are menstrual hut and moon lodge traditions all over the world that date back to 800 C.E and in some places are still practiced today. These spaces offer a unique view of the Red Tent, but do they reinforce or contradict patriarchal oppression?


To learn more about the history of menstrual hut and moon lodges read our new eBook/Audiobook “The Red Tent Movement: A Historical Perspective” by Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD and ALisa Starkweather. To purchase the eBook or Audiobook for $9.99 go to http://www.redtentmovie.com/audio-book.html

ebook-and-audiobook copy

I look forward to reading your comments below.

Leave a comment

Filed under From the filmmaker, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, menstruation, menstruation history, menstruation video, Moon Lodge, mooncycle, Red Tent TV

How to Create a Red Tent Altar

by Jane Hardwicke Collings & Susan Stark

This article is an excerpt from the eBook “How to Create a Red Tent

"How to Create a Red Tent" eBook. Available for $9.99 at: http://www.redtentmovie.com/eBook-create-a-red-tent.html

An Altar can be your own private Sacred Space in your home, or work place, or a group altar in a shared space, or the central altar or direction altars in a ceremony. In holding a Red Tent you may like to create a central altar around which you will sit as a group.

The altar contains symbols and talismans of the work you intend to do together. For example, if your focus is on women’s cycles you could have a collection of treasures that map the cycle around a circle, or perhaps various items that the participants have brought with them.

Red Tent altar examples from around the world

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can also have either around the outside of your seated or standing circle or within the central space, an altar to each direction (East, North, West, and South). These will serve the purpose of assisting you in invoking the directions and holding the sacred space you create by making a literal ‘container’ in which you sit. A central candle or Mother Candle may be placed in the centre of your altar. As part of your opening ritual you may like to light this candle and invoke deities or say a prayer for your circle. Women may also like to bring special treasures or things from nature to add to the Red Tent altar. These could be along a theme such as connecting in with our cycles or the season. Together you will weave a focal point of your Red Tent and use the altar as a way to set intention and holding.

ebook

barAbout the authors:

Jane Hardwicke Collings is amother, grandmother and an independent midwife, teacher, writer and menstrual educator. She gives workshops in Australia and internationally on mother and daughter preparation for menstruation, the spiritual practice of menstruation, and the sacred and shamanic dimensions of pregnancy and birth. Jane founded and runs The School of Shamanic Midwifery, which focuses on preparing women to practice and teach conscious rites of passage, awareness of cycles (Earth, lunar, life and menstrual cycles), and the mind/body/spirit connection. www.schoolofshamanicmidwifery.com. Jane is the author of Ten Moons, the Inner Journey of Pregnancy, Thirteen Moons, How to chart your menstrual cycle (handbook and journal), Spinning Wheels (a guide to the cycles), and Becoming a Woman (a guide for girls approaching menstruation). www.moonsong.com.au

Susan Stark is a home birth Mother of four children, a Shamanic Midwife, a practitioner and teacher of the Women’s Mysteries and Social Worker.  Susan is passionately committed to supporting women on their journeys of re-membering and transformation.  Susan currently offers circles and workshops in her own community and practices as a Counsellor working with children and young people.  Susan shares a deep connection to the Earth as Mother and Healer and honours every person’s unique journey to connection and wholeness.
Contact Susan: earthspiral@rocketmail.com

 

Leave a comment

Filed under how to create a Red Tent

The Red Tent Movement: A Historical Perspective

Have you ever wondered…

What if you could have your own Red Tent of women in your community?

What if our daughters were brought up to expect some kind of honoring when they had their first period?

What happens in our modern culture when we hold Red Tents for women?

Was there a Red Tent in history?

Where did this tradition come from?

Are you curious to know more…..?

ebook-and-audiobook copy

The Red Tent Movement:

A Historical Perspective

an eBook/Audiobook

by Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD and ALisa Starkweather

The Red Tent has a history, but what is it? There are thousands of women across the globe who are bringing forth their gifts as Red Tent leaders in their communities, but where did this tradition come from? “The Red Tent” was novel by Anita Diamant, published in 1997 that gave us a story of women who come together in a menstrual hut, known as the Red Tent. The Red Tent movement has a seventeen-year history, but connects to thousands of years of tradition of women honoring women and creating a world that embraces honesty, and respects for others, our daughters, and ourselves. We are in a new era of history. The healing of our planet is the priority of many committed visionaries. We understand that we are on a precipice and by building a woman-honoring culture we can create a huge paradigm shift one Red Tent at a time.

Leave a comment

Filed under ALisa Starkweather, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, The Red Tent Movement

I hope you dance…

Would you dance with me in the virtual “Red Tent” for today’s episode of Red Tent TV. It would be so beautiful if you would!!!

After you’ve watched the episode, I’d love to know…

Have you ever danced in the Red Tent? What was it like?

I look forward to reading your comments below.

1 Comment

Filed under "things we don't talk about", From the filmmaker, Red Tent TV

The Role of a Red Tent “Priestess”

by Jane Hardwicke Collings & Susan Stark

This article is an excerpt from the eBook “How to Create a Red Tent

The Red Tent Priestesses play a vital role in ensuring the set up and smooth running of the Red Tents. Their role is to hold space for women using the tent, allowing women to be inward and undisturbed in their own process. The Priestesses will hold the space in a quiet, respectful manner modeling and therefore encouraging others to also be accommodating, generous, serving, caring and grateful.

"How to Create a Red Tent" eBook. Available for $9.99 at: http://www.redtentmovie.com/eBook-create-a-red-tent.html

The Priestesses may choose to wear red and dress to celebrate their own inner Goddess. They may be available to drum softly for women in the tent and will also take responsibility for keeping the space clean and beautiful. Water and any other replenishables also need to be maintained throughout the duration of the tent. You may request that event organizers provide a suitable gazebo or tent which you can then set up. If no tent is available you may like to consider buying or borrowing a tent. We have found that either a 3 metre square or 6 x 3 metre tent works well. Mats and cushions can be placed on the floor and curtains hung (using rope) to create a dark quiet space. Consider the climate in which you offer your tents. Some tents have attached sides that can be lifted to allow flow through breeze. Others have a small ventilation on the top. This is particularly useful in hotter temperatures. Experimenting with different combinations of curtains, fabric and and tents will allow you to create the most suitable environment for your Red Tent.

Once the Red Tent space is created and decorated, the Priestesses are invited to smudge (see section on creating sacred space) the space in preparation for receiving women into the Tent. Smudging may need to be done at various times over the day to clear and cleanse the space. This will be done at the Priestesses discretion. A bowl of water in the Tent that is regularly emptied and refilled can also serve this purpose. Priestesses may also like to call in the Directions and set a collective intention for the space. In dissembling the Red Tent, the Directions need to be released with gratitude.

ebook

 

barAbout the authors:

Jane Hardwicke Collings is  a mother, grandmother and an independent midwife, teacher, writer and menstrual educator. She gives workshops in Australia and internationally on mother and daughter preparation for menstruation, the spiritual practice of menstruation, and the sacred and shamanic dimensions of pregnancy and birth. Jane founded and runs The School of Shamanic Midwifery, which focuses on preparing women to practice and teach conscious rites of passage, awareness of cycles (Earth, lunar, life and menstrual cycles), and the mind/body/spirit connection. www.schoolofshamanicmidwifery.com. Jane is the author of Ten Moons, the Inner Journey of Pregnancy, Thirteen Moons, How to chart your menstrual cycle (handbook and journal), Spinning Wheels (a guide to the cycles), and Becoming a Woman (a guide for girls approaching menstruation). www.moonsong.com.au

Susan Stark is a home birth Mother of four children, a Shamanic Midwife, a practitioner and teacher of the Women’s Mysteries and Social Worker.  Susan is passionately committed to supporting women on their journeys of re-membering and transformation.  Susan currently offers circles and workshops in her own community and practices as a Counsellor working with children and young people.  Susan shares a deep connection to the Earth as Mother and Healer and honours every person’s unique journey to connection and wholeness.
Contact Susan: earthspiral@rocketmail.com

Leave a comment

Filed under how to create a Red Tent