Monthly Archives: February 2015

Our Voices are Returning

When we as women feel lost and far away from our authentic selves, the Red Tent is there to help us open back up to all those parts of our being that have had to shut down in the course of everyday life. We remember what we have been longing to speak, and the words pour forth.

Join us in the virtual “Red Tent” for today’s episode of Red Tent TV.

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

How do you find your way back to yourself?

I look forward to reading your comments below.

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Filed under "things we don't talk about", From the filmmaker, red tent, Red Tent TV, Video of the Month Clip

Hold Red Tents for women and girls

Are you ready to hold A RED TENT for WOMEN & GIRLS in Your Neighborhood?

I want to let you know where you can learn exactly How To DO This! If you are loving the Global Red Tent Summit, (or if you only love Red Tents 🙂 If you are Inspired to start one — but not sure HOW to BEGIN – this is your opportunity to get a Red Tent Road Map, with support and Guidance on how to walk the RED path…

My colleague DeAnna L’am has created OUR GIRLS, OURSELVES – an Online Tele-Tent CLASS – (starting AFTER the summit ends) designed to Inspire, Motivate, Inform, and Equip You To Hold Red Tents for WOMEN & GIRLS In Your Community!

Tell Me More!

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If you are hearing the Drum Beat. If you feel a YES in your Heart. If you are ready for A Red Tent -where You, Your Sisters, your Daughter or Granddaughter, your Niece or Neighbor, women you Love, and Girls you help Raise -can all be together, Monthly, to rest and renew, to Laugh and to Cry, to be Quiet or Wild, to Sing and to Dance, to Nap or to Create – Then Your Are READY For A RED TENT!

The Tele-Tent Class that starts March 17

(The Early Bird discount ends March 10th)

Here are the benefits you will gain from this class:

  • Grow the love of your Body & Cycle, and Inspire Girls to love theirs!
  • Create places for you to bond with Women & Girls beyond age differences
  • Receive Practical Tools and Skills to hold such spaces
  • Receive Support and Guidance to begin now!
  • Become part of a Worldwide Network of Women Visionaries

DeAnna L’am is an experienced, passionate, and inspiring teacher, and I know you will be in good hands!

The Tele-Tent Class is very focused: it meets for 5 Sessions over the phone,  with women from all over the world! All sessions are recorded: so you can Listen Live — Or At Your Leisure… Plus – you will receive an array of BONUSES when you sign up! If you are a Woman who is passionate about Empowering Today’s Girls and wish to hold A Red Tent in your Community – This class is for you! No experience is necessary Your vision, desire, and passion – are all that is needed… You will be guided, supported, and provided with tools to begin A Red Tent for WOMEN & GIRLS!

Oh Yes Sign Me Up!

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Filed under DeAnna L'am, red tent, Red Tents in Every Neighborhood

How to make a beautiful Red Tent doorway

What does every Red Tent need (besides incredible women)—a beautiful doorway inviting them in!

In this very special episode of Red Tent TV, Dr. Isadora (the Red Tent Movie filmmaker) gives you a step-by-step guide on how she made her Red Tent doorway that she uses in her traveling Red Tent. This is One-of-a-Kind item is sure to add splendor to your already amazing Red Tent and she’s going to give you all of her tips & secrets so you can create it yourself.

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These unique doorway panels are specially designed and sewn by Dr. Isadora (the Red Tent Movie filmmaker). Fashioned with an antique, decorative, hand-embroidered cotton Uzbeck Suzani (“Suzani”) top piece. Layered sheer fabrics create the doorway opening. Beautiful fringe on both sides create an elegant and welcoming entryway. Two ornamental curtain tiebacks to hold the sides open are included. Hemmed at the top to accommodate a tension rod (not included) to hang in a standard doorway (dimensions: 36” × 80”).

Dr. Isadora has created only two of each doorway design: finished or unfinished. Order the door as a finished piece, and hang the door in seconds. Or order the doorway unfinished and sew it together yourself as a fun project. The unfinished doorway has the exact same materials (decorative Uzbeck Suzani and other fabrics, fringe, and tiebacks) as the finished one. You will need a sewing machine and thread. Tension rod is not included in either the finished or unfinished doorways.

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Filed under From the filmmaker, how to create a Red Tent, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, red tent, Red Tent Art, Red Tent TV, The Red Tent

January and February Red Tents and Movie Screenings: Warmth and Community in the Midst of Winter

by Jayleigh Lewis

Dr. Isadora, filmmaker of the Red Tent movie, Things We Don’t Talk About, resumed Red Tent hosting and film screening attendance in January and February 2015, after a brief hiatus. As she reconnected with the women of her local Chicago community and traveled to Milwaukee for a screening co-organized by a Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference attendee, screenings were also taking place in other parts of the country and world.

Of particular note were the screenings in Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 25, and in Coyhaique, Chile, on February 7. The former took place at the Sophia Center for Goddess Study, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating men and women about contemporary Goddess traditions. It was well-attended; Dr. Isadora would have been there if not for her prior commitment on that date to the Chicago Red Tent. The latter screening took place at a Chilean women’s festival, Encuentro Ser Mujeres en Patagonia, held at the Centro Cultural Coyhaique. Approximately 300 women attended the festival, reflecting the explosion of interest in Red Tents among women in Latin American countries over the past six months to a year. Since Things We Don’t Talk About is subtitled in Spanish, the film is well-suited to be an introduction to the Red Tent movement in these parts of the world!

On January 25, Dr. Isadora hosted a Red Tent in her Chicago home. She transformed her dining room into a red fabric-draped space which was filled to maximum capacity by the approximately 15 women who attended. Many of the women brought their children; Dr. Isadora makes it a point to welcome moms who can’t always manage to get a babysitter but still need time and space away from their ordinary lives. (One advantage of this is that everyone gets a chance to hold the babies!)

Red Tent Chicago

The event was “loose and flowing,” a time for women to talk and be together in whatever ways they wished. Embodying her commitment to giving back to her community and to honoring the women who show up, Dr. Isadora offered foot rubs to all. She also bonded with the eight-year-old daughter of a friend while painting the little girl’s nails with sparkly polish. It was a gentle and nourishing midwinter gathering.

The February 7 Milwaukee, WI, film screening, which took place at the 5757 Spa Salon, had a similar light and flowing feel. Liz and Cathy were the organizers. Cathy, who works at the salon, had attended the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference last June and had seen the Red Tent movie there. She happened to have been sitting between a woman in her 80s and a young mother with a baby, and had an inspired moment when she realized that the Red Tent was needed by all generations. After that, she was determined to bring it to the women in her local community.

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The salon, a former doctor’s office, does not have many large spaces (although, in each of its many small rooms, unique inspirational sayings are featured, reminding clients to look for beauty within). In order to clear a space large enough for the screening, the merchandise storage area (which had originally been the waiting room) needed to be emptied, a process which took hours of work. But it was worth it when the women showed up. The event was sold out with approximately 20 women in attendance (including one woman who had driven two hours from Chicago and was glad to find out from Dr. Isadora that there is a Chicago Red Tent community!).

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The post-screening Red Tent, initially slated to last an hour and a half, stretched on for almost three hours; the women did not want to leave! Three activity options were available—henna body painting, chakra aromatherapy, and angel card readings—and in between “appointments” women relaxed, talked, and ate chocolate-covered strawberries in the Red Tent.

Dr. Isadora engaged several women in thought-provoking conversation during this time, bringing to life the spirit of Things We Don’t Talk About by talking about the things women don’t usually talk about! One woman, a nurse at a midwifery clinic, discussed what she knows about infertility and overcoming the fear of having children. Another woman, a salon owner and hairstylist for 30 years, who had been brought to tears by the film, told Dr. Isadora what had so moved her: the depiction onscreen of nonsexual intimate touch. She knows through experience how powerful this kind of touch can be, how it can generate instant trust. When women come to her to get their hair styled, they are often initially uncomfortable with the risk involved in changing their appearance. She has learned to subtly reassure them by unobtrusively massaging their shoulders as they discuss what they want—and thus what was a tension-filled experience becomes a healing experience.

Another conversation touched on a little-discussed aspect of menstruation. Some cultures have menstrual rituals that help to direct the intense energy of this time. Native American women who are menstruating enter moon lodges, because they are seen as too powerful to be part of mundane life; they need to be able to concentrate on ceremony and dreaming. The mikvah is a ritual bath taken by Jewish women that serves as a type of spiritual cleansing and reorientation to the ordinary world after they have finished menstruating. For some women, the Red Tent is a menstrual ritual that can help support and anchor them while they are bleeding. One woman offered the opinion that when women become bloated, “bitchy,” and depressed around the time of their menstruation, it is because they are carrying unresolved grief around the loss of the egg that is passing out of them, grief over the unexpressed potential for life the egg represents. If a woman feels this way, and wants a safe space to get in touch with this inner truth that might otherwise go unacknowledged, the Red Tent as menstrual ritual could be the perfect container for its expression.

Truth and trust were shared, bonds were strengthened, and sacred time was enjoyed during these recent Red Tent gatherings. And more are coming next month! To see a listing of upcoming screenings (including those Dr. Isadora will be attending), go here. If you don’t see one for your area, perhaps you are being called to host one?

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Filed under "things we don't talk about", From the filmmaker, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, Jayleigh Lewis, recent screenings, red tent, red tent experience, red tent film, red tent movie

Every community should have one of these…

Even a sixteen-year-old girl knows: our world would benefit immensely from all women having access to sacred spaces where we can be together, listen, teach, and pass on wisdom. It doesn’t matter whether we call them moon lodges, Red Tents, or something else—our instincts tell us how important they are.

Join us in the virtual “Red Tent” for today’s episode of Red Tent TV.

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

How would you life be different if you had a Red Tent?

I look forward to reading your comments below.

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Filed under Red Tent TV

How to Talk to your Daughter about Her Body?

By Nati Lucero

How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.

Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”

“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

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Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.

Reproduced with permission from Namaluc

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Filed under coming of age, daughter, growing up, Guest Blogger, menstruation, mother, motherhood, parenting, transition

The Red Tent has a History, but what is it?

Join us in the virtual “Red Tent” for a special episode with Dr. Isadora on Red Tent TV.

In today’s episode of Red Tent TV, I will give you some fantastic tips & secrets about the new eBook & Audiobook titled “The Red Tent Movement: A Historical Perspective” that I co-authored with ALisa Starkweather, the founder of the Red Tent Temple Movement AND you get a surprise freebie gift, which I talk about in the video.

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Filed under "things we don't talk about", ALisa Starkweather, Anita Diamant, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, red tent, Red Tent TV, The Red Tent

Learn the surprising history of the Red Tent

Have you ever wondered…

What if you could have your own circle of women each month in a Red Tent in your neighborhood?

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?

Why do women need Red Tents?

There’s a Red Tent movement, where?

Are you curious to know…..?

A new eBook & Audiobook titled “The Red Tent Movement: A Historical Perspective” by Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD and ALisa Starkweather.

An excerpt from the eBook:

There are thousands of women across the globe who are bringing forth their gifts as Red Tent leaders in their communities. Women who are standing in their power are essential to shifting present paradigms; these pioneers are a balm to an ailing world. But after years of oppression, how do women rise up out of trauma to remember the beauty that lives at one’s core? How do we strip away that which prevents us from rising as wise female leaders? This reclamation work is what many are a part of because when we find our voices, our inspired action, and our needed vision then we stand a better chance at creating a world we can thrive in. And it is with this spirit that the Red Tent movement has flourished as a global phenomenon.

Most women have heard of the Red Tent because they read the book. 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. In the story, Diamant 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. The book is presented through Dinah’s eyes and those of the women around her. The story showed us how the women raised young daughters who were taught the secrets held for women by women through initiation, stories, and relationships. For many, the story resonated deeply and caused us to question if there was a place like this in our society.

The 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.

Following the success of the book, Diamant’s number one question from her readers was whether or not the Red Tent ever existed. Here is her quoted response from her website:

It’s important to note that I have never claimed that the women of the Bible actually used a menstrual hut; there is no historical evidence to support such a claim. However, since there have been menstrual tents and huts throughout the pre-modern world, it seemed historically plausible to give them one. The importance of the tent developed in the process of writing, but the idea of making it a place of community, rest, and celebration predates [the book]. Some years prior to starting the book, I heard a lecture by a Jewish writer…who suggested rethinking a biblical law that required separation of a woman from the community for 60 days after the birth of a girl compared to 30 days after the birth of a boy…. This could be seen as a reflection of the notion that girl babies made mothers more “unclean” than boys. The lecturer asked us to consider a different theory, which was far more interesting to me. Perhaps, he said, this was an acknowledgment that giving birth to a birth-giver was a more sacred, a more powerful experience. The extra month could be seen not as a punishment, but as a reward.[i]

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?

Special Pre-Sale Offer

Buy the eBook or the Audiobook for $9.99

(delivered on March 8, 2015)

& receive a free rental of the Red Tent Movie “Things We Don’t Talk About”

for FREE right NOW ($2.99 value)

50-page eBook with gorgeous Red Tent photos

45-minute Audiobook narrated by Dr. Isadora

To READ MORE or for an audio sample of this excerpt or to purchase the eBook/audiobook visit: http://www.redtentmovie.com/audio-book.html

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About the Authors:

Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD is trained as a both a filmmaker, a textile historian, and a feminist folklorist. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Masters and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She wants to create world where women believe they can accomplish anything and where they have the courage to change the world. She creates multi-media (films, videos, websites, and other designs) to inspire YOU and improve your life! She believes in creating a world that promotes cooperation rather than competition and believes in the value of sisterhood and women’s community. She has a deep love of textile traditions, which is why she has made 13 documentary films about women & fabric. Her award-winning, internationally known red tent movie “Things We Don’t Talk About,” has been keeping her very busy doing hundreds and hundreds of screenings & facilitating life-changing women’s events. www.redtentmovie.com

ALisa Starkweather is the founder of the Red Tent Temple Movement, Daughters of the Earth Gatherings, Women in Power initiations, Priestess Path women’s mystery school, the online Fierce Feminine Life series, and the Women’s Belly and Womb Conference. ALisa is also in the award winning anthology, Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership; Where Grace Meets Power. She has been facilitating women’s empowerment for three decades of her life. www.alisastarkweather.com

 

This article may not be re-published without permission from the authors. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

 

[i] Diamant, Anita. Website. Accessed Sunday November 1, 2009.

http://anitadiamant.com/?page_id=320

 

 

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Filed under ALisa Starkweather, Anita Diamant, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, red tent, red tent temple, Red Tent Temple Movment, The Red Tent