Monthly Archives: September 2013

HorMoon Awareness Guide

by Leslie Botha

Click here to download the HorMoon Awareness Guide

HorMoon Awareness Guide

 A new book!

Understanding Your Mind, Mood, and Hormone Cycle was written for women who want to understand the sometimes, confusing physical and psychological changes they experience each month. It is also suggested reading for men who deal with hormonal women daily; and for educators, healthcare and social welfare professionals who support women of all ages that are struggling with physical and behavioral issues caused by hormonal changes. It is the product of a nine-years of research, analysis, and writing.

Purchase the book for $24.93 on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Your-Mind-Hormone-Cycle/dp/0989010104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374691726&sr=8-1&keywords=leslie+botha

Purchase the book for $24.93 on amazon

This richly illustrated, pioneering, book is co-authored by Leslie Carol Botha and H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik, with original graphics by Nicholas Batik. Medical researcher, H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik provides extensive clinical background to support the findings of this book. The conversational writing style makes it easy and compelling to read, while the richly footnoted text makes this a valuable resource for professional healthcare providers. The book explores on the very essence of a woman’s being — the fundamental nature of the female hormone cycle; and was written to fill the void of practical, menstrual health education that focuses on understanding the delicate mind/body connection — a connection that has the power to bring about health or disease in the body. Contrary to current medical thinking and pharmaceutical industry messaging that encourages women to deny, ignore, suppress and replace their natural hormone production with synthetic hormone birth control and hormone replacement therapy, Botha and Chevalier-Batik believe that the hormone cycle is the foundation of women’s health and well being. Modern medicine has promoted the concept of specialization, encouraging women to consult specialists to treat isolated aspects of our body and mind, rather than consider our body as an integrated system, and exploring the relationship of the hormone cycle with other cycling systems in our body. Creating health begins with a shift in this perspective to one that recognizes the whole body is greater than the sum of its parts; a shift that recognizes that health is our birthright and represents our natural state. Such a change in perception can change how we express vibrant health and inner peace. Using the tools and information provided in this book, women can learn to perceive symptoms as biometric feedback from our bodies about our diet, lifestyle and the state of our mental, emotional, and spiritual self. These symptoms are the “tell” for conditions such as: hormone imbalances, depression, mental confusion, exhaustion, autoimmune disorders, allergies, and reproductive disorders. The purpose of this book, is to help you tap into the magnificent intelligence of your body and interpret its profound language to finally understand your mind, mood, and hormone cycle. Using the tools and exercises provided you will learn to live with in your hormone cycle to prevent re-occurring gynecological problems and mental/emotional imbalances; Perhaps for the first time in your life, you will feel like you can reach your full potential by acknowledging your strength and who you truly are. It is our goal to open your eyes to the real you — a woman who can trust herself, has confidence in her actions, understands her feelings and knows how to create a fulfilling life by living with her hormone cycle With brilliant simplicity, the authors tie the menstrual cycle into the other natural cycles of the universe and to the Paleolithic wise women who tracked their cycles on antler bones. These wise women understood that menstruation was vital natural cycle that held power. These foremothers became the first mathematicians, agriculturists, and healers by applying their menstrual wisdom to their culture’s survival. It is imperative that we understand all of the cycles in our lives. Women must be pro-active in all aspects of their wellness. Education and the willingness to ask questions and demand answers is a start.

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Happy 1st Birthday to the film!

On September 15, 2012 “Things We Don’t Talk About: Women’s Stories from the Red Tent” premiered in Northampton, MA and was released to the world on DVD! And now it’s the film’s 1st birthday and we are celebrating and we want you to celebrate with us!

Our 1st Birthday

Our year in review:

We have done more than 200 screenings in 29 US States and 7 Countries, including multiples screenings in Australia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Israel, Chile, and Germany. We have also been accepted to many film festivals and won some awards! We believe that over 300,000 people have seen the film this year! And we are thrilled to announce that there are 1,000’s and 1,000’s of Red Tents that have formed throughout the world, some even in the most remote places.

When we started the film in 2008 and launched the fundraising campaign in 2010 we said, “Let’s Build Something Together” and as a global Red Tent community we are doing just that. “Things We Don’t Talk About” documents the stories of women reclaiming their sacredness, their truth, and their voice as changers in the world. We are grateful that so many women have been inspired by the film and are bringing Red Tents and Red Tent Temples to their community. We are in a new era of history–Red Tents are sweeping the world and it is thrilling!

New DVD with subtitles in 5 languages

We are excited to announce the release of the 2nd edition DVD featuring subtitles in Spanish, German, Portuguese, Hebrew, and English closed captions. Thanks to the help of some amazing volunteers who translated the film and created the subtitles!

"Things We Don't Talk About" 2nd edition DVD

“Things We Don’t Talk About” 2nd edition DVD

Click here to purchase your copy now.

Something is moving among us. We are learning to co-collaborate, co-create and move together in community where there are more resources together than alone. We are also listening to our intuition and finding the next step rooted in our courage to live out our larger purpose.

We invite you to join our plans for the next year:

To contact us, email Isadora at info@redtentmovie.com

  • The filmmaker made a goal to do 400 screenings in 2 years. We are 50% there, but we need your help. We are seeking American women and communities who want to co-host a screening and a Red Tent with the filmmaker. She will travel everywhere she can!
  • We are also seeking screenings in the following US states so that we can fulfill our goal of all 50 US states. If you live in one of these states and would like to co-host with the filmmaker, email her.

NV, ID, NM, WY, MT, ND, SD, NE, KS, AL, MS, IA, KY, SC, WV, ME, RI, DE, MD, AK, and HI.

  • Live abroad? Where do you want to see a screening of “Things We Don’t Talk About”? We can help you bring screenings to your communities wherever you live.
  • We would like to have the film subtitled in French and Italian. Does anyone want to help us?
  • We are applying to more film festivals, do you have any suggestions of festivals you would like us to apply to?

Any other ideas? We LOVE your suggestions. Let us know what you want by commenting or emailing us at info@redtentmovie.com

Dr. Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost

Together we can fulfill the promise of a great documentary that not only records history but also propels the future of women forward in a time where our leadership is most needed.

~In Service~

Dr. Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost

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How did the Red Tent movement begin?

By Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD

The Book

To begin this analysis of Red Tents, it is important to define what the Red Tent is. First and foremost, The Red Tent (1997) is a novel by Anita Diamant that retells the biblical rape story of Dinah. “The Rape of Dinah” (Genesis, chapter 34) was recounted not by Dinah, but by her brothers. Diamant provided a fictional feminist retelling of the tale, giving Dinah her own voice. She also gave the women a menstrual hut, a form of women’s community. The book is presented through Dinah’s eyes and those of the women around her. The Red Tent is rooted in its feminist retelling of this ancient biblical story, in which the idea of a menstrual hut has struck a cord with modern women.

The Red TentThe Red Tent novel originally did not have a great impact on women’s lives. This began to change when the author herself initiated a word-of-mouth campaign by giving copies away to Rabbis, female Christian leaders, and independent booksellers. This approach proved successful, and by 2002 The Red Tent had become a New York Times bestseller and a publishing phenomenon. The book has since been published in twenty-five countries and translated into twenty languages.

What is a Red Tent?

The “Red Tent” is many things to many people. It is a womb-like red fabric space, it is a place where women gather, it is an icon, and it is a state of mind—all concepts inspired by Diamant’s book. Some women create red fabric spaces specifically to honor their menstruation. Others create spaces where they can take care of themselves, promote women’s conversations, and/or hold workshops and other events for women.

Red Tent, ABC Carpet & Home Store, New York, NY.

Red Tent,
ABC Carpet & Home Store, New York, NY.

The “Red Tent Temple” is both a place and a grassroots movement founded by ALisa Starkweather to further expand the notion that a Red Tent Temple can be a place where women gather to honor all stages of womanhood. These spaces are technically Red Tent Temples, but they share many similar functions with other Red Tents. Many participants use the terms Red Tent and Red Tent Temple interchangeably. DeAnna L’am is another contributor to the Red Tent movement. She founded “Red Tents in Every Neighborhood.”

For many women the Red Tent is a sacred space, but it does not proclaim any one spiritual or religious practice. It is important to note, however, Starkweather’s Red Tent Temple Movement was established within the Women’s Spirituality movement, so many women who have created Red Tent Temples in their communities have incorporated elements of their goddess or pagan spiritual practices. A sacred space can be defined as a natural or human-made environment where religious or spiritual experiences take place and where rituals are performed. They are also places where one can go to meditate or pray and they may be considered personally special or profound. Susan Hale (Sacred Space, Sacred Sound, 2007) said, “a sacred space is temenos, a Greek word meaning an enclosure that makes it possible to enter into a relationship with a greater reality. Entering into sacred space, one crosses a threshold and moves from chronos, human time and space, into kairos, eternal time.” Through my own observations of Red Tents, it is apparent to me that when women enter, they enter sacred space.

While the original function of the biblical Red Tent in Diamant’s book had to do with women gathering following pregnancy and during menstruation, the contemporary practice of creating a separate space is not about ostracism. It is a spiritual practice, a sacred woman’s place, an enjoyable and non-judgmental space, and part of a women’s movement. The book was a tool that helped women reshape their relationships with each other and gave them a specific vehicle for coming together.

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Creativity was in abundance at August screenings

by Jayleigh Lewis

Creativity was in abundance at screenings of the Red Tent movie, Things We Don’t Talk About, during the first weekend of August 2013.

On Friday, August 2nd, the interfaith women’s organization Gaia’s Womb commenced their annual summer women’s retreat in Racine, Wisconsin, a small town on the shore of Lake Michigan. Angie, one of the founders and current director of Gaia’s Womb (as well as pagan minister and women’s spiritual leader), planned this year’s retreat around the theme of the Red Tent. She invited ALisa Starkweather, founder of the Red Tent movement, and Isadora Leidenfrost, Red Tent movie filmmaker, to attend as special guests and presenters.

The weekend-long retreat began with the film screening, the first screening since last September’s premiere to feature the presence of both ALisa and Isadora. Many of the small group of approximately 20 women had attended this annual retreat together for years, but almost none had previously heard of Red Tents. They were in for a treat as they gathered in one of the buildings of Racine’s DeKoven Center, surrounded by architecture evocative of cathedrals and old-style universities.

Unbeknownst to the attendees, at Angie’s direction, the retreat’s coordinators were creating a Red Tent space for the attendees following the film screening. The next morning, the women arrived into this space, finding as if by magic a sacred temple prepared for them. ALisa led one of that day’s workshops, giving the women a firsthand experience of the passion at the heart of the Red Tent movement.

Screening in Indianapolis, IN

Screening in Indianapolis, IN

Meanwhile, Isadora was off to Indianapolis, Indiana, for another movie screening that Saturday, August 3rd. The local chapter of the Re-formed Congregation of the Goddess – International (a Goddess-centered, legally recognized religion serving the women’s spiritual community, and one of the endorsers of the Red Tent movie) hosted the screening, as well as a Red Tent gathering, inside a church. Grace and Lia, the organizers, prepared some very unique activities for the gathering.

CabbageThe highlight, according to Isadora, was an activity involving vegetables. Small groups of participants each received a different vegetable which had been cut in half. They were given the instruction to look closely at their vegetable and describe its characteristics, with an eye to seeing it as if for the first time. Each group created a synthesis of their observations and shared it with the gathering as a whole.

Collective expressions ranged from lists to poetry; Isadora’s group wrote a poem inspired by a purple-and-white cabbage:

In life we see life & the many layers

all is connected, a labyrinth

Limbs extended, a woman gives birth

Eight arms for her roles

Center is protected by multiple layers

When placed core to core a spider is formed to weave the breath of life

The spine supports

the ribs wrap; the breasts feed

A tree reaches

Layers are the age of the cruciferous vegetable

revealing the organs to digest experience.

It is a Red Tent.

 IMG_1279

The white part of the halved cabbage had transformed in the group members’ imaginations into a woman raising her arms; the purple part had transformed into veil-like layers of fabric hung for a Red Tent. A second image emerged when they put the two halves of the cabbage together core to core: a white spider, limbs outstretched, against a purple background. More images, simultaneously suggestive of a tree and a woman’s body, revealed themselves when the outsides of the two halves were held side by side.

According to Isadora, the process was mind-blowing. This activity and another (a meditation that invited women to listen to sounds from nature with eyes closed) assisted Red Tent participants in expanding their perceptions beyond habit, in reaching toward the beauty of everyday sights and sounds. The fresh perceptions that emerged spoke to the ways in which women’s community is rooted in the natural world as well as the ways in which all life is connected. It was a clear affirmation of the creative power of women coming together!

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