by Oceana Leblanc
Something I know in my body has placed me around the picture that I witness being colored and splashed, and painted with brushes from this world and most certainly others. I frame it. This is the only way I can think to describe my journey with the Red Tent, which began decades before I met the physical raising up of my own commitment to honor the sacred wisdom of women.
Roughly fifteen years or so before I had even heard the words ‘red tent’ uttered, I found a book that changed my relationship with my moon cycles and my blood forever. “Her Blood Is Gold” touched my soul and I began to embrace my own sacred blood secretly, wondering if anyone would think I was crazy for using flannel pads and watering my plants with my moontime blood. The comfort of bleeding onto a soft cloth after years of tampons and ibuprofen was a great relief and brought me into a more intimate and loving relationship with my body than I had known.
More exciting to me was the thought that my blood could heal this earth, and was a gift and an offering of the greatest value. At the time there was an innate knowing, much like the knowledge that I was absolutely committed to holding a space for a red tent when the idea emerged as an invitation. There was no hesitation, only an intense commitment and a knowledge that this had been waiting for me patiently for years…maybe lifetimes.
“A life of its own” is how I like to describe the red tent, clichés be damned. There seems to be an Energy that will live the red tent into being and gather women all over this tiny dirtball flying around in the universe. That Energy seemed to know me and gather me up in Her path towards calling Her own daughters home. I went so willingly and to this day am grateful.
I have had the deep pleasure, privilege, and honor of meeting so many women over the years I’ve held the red tent. Standing in awe as each brings her wisdom which is unique to her, and claims her place in the circle. I have watched the red tent transform lives, and seen it ripple outward to families and communities. Today I see this thread that is spinning a cohesive bond among women that gather and know each other. A simple statement to be sure, knowing each other, but in today’s world, this is a profound and earth shifting reclamation.
The women come and some get that feel in their bones and ask me to teach them how. I am overjoyed! Yes, weave more. Yes, create new stitches with your own flourish. Yes, bring your women together and heal. Yes, you are wise beyond your own knowing, for until you sit in circle with your sisters, mothers, daughters, and grandmothers, and speak your heart into women’s listening…until then, the silence of your wisdom is one more little death. Once you begin to unfurl your dreams, and listen in sacred space to other women, the mystery of our collective power to heal each other and this world becomes quite real.
What is the red tent? I don’t believe it can be captured as a thing, but rather it is a remembrance, a rhythm, a celebration, an affirmation, a reclamation, an honoring, an herstorical rising, a gathering together, a calling, a dreaming, a gestation, labor and birthing of the feminine from Herself unto Herself, gifting humanity with new hope…one woman by one woman by one woman. It is quiet revolution gathering up loose threads to cradle hope until she becomes strong enough to look a new world in the eye and claim it as her own.