Category Archives: menstruation

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:

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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….

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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 Womancraft, formerly 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 Guide, 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

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

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.

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Filed under From the filmmaker, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, menstruation, menstruation history, menstruation video, Moon Lodge, mooncycle, 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 story of the blood was silent…

If we don’t talk about our blood, are we collaborating with an oppressive silence? Why is it so much easier to talk about sex than it is to talk about menstruation? When we gather in circle in the Red Tent, we share stories of this intimate yet ubiquitous women’s experience—and turn the cultural prohibition on its head.

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…

Why do you think it is important to talk about menstruation?

I look forward to reading your comments below.

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About the Interviewee featured in this video:

DeAnna L’am, speaker, coach, and trainer, is the author of ‘Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood’ and ‘A Diva’s Guide to Getting Your Period’. She is the founder of Red Moon School of Empowerment for Women & Girls™ .

A pioneer in Menstrual Empowerment, DeAnna has been transforming lives around the world for over 20 years, by helping women & girls love themselves unconditionally!  She teaches women how to dissolve PMS symptoms; draw strength from their cycle (rather than be at its mercy); model self-acceptance, self-care, and self-esteem to their daughters; and hold Red Tents in their communities.

Visit DeAnna at: www.deannalam.com

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DeAnna L’am is excited to announce…

2nd Annual Red Tents In Every Neighborhood ~ Global Summit:

OUR DAUGHTERS, OURSELVES

 “A Mother-Daughter Interview in the Red Tent”
a New Video by Dr. Isadora Leidenfrost  and Teresa Moorehouse will be featured during the Summit.

What messages did your mother give you about being a Woman?

What messages are you offering your daughter, or son, about being a Woman?

What legacy would you like to pass to Today’s Girls?

About the Red Tent World Summit:

Join me to listen to Womb Wisdom, to Honor Our Mothers, Ourselves, and Today’s Girls! Get Inspired by Leading Visionary Women from Around the World: U.S.A, Spain, Austria, Italy, France, Ireland, India, Mexico, Chile, and New Zealand, with Special Guest – MARIANNE WILLIAMSON!

Our FREE Global Summit will air February 1-28,

and you can watch it from the comfort of your home!

join-the-telesummit

Leave a comment

Filed under "things we don't talk about", blood, DeAnna L'am, From the filmmaker, growing up, menstruation, menstruation video, moon, mooncycle, red tent, Red Tents in Every Neighborhood, The Red Tent, womb, women's stories

Leah’s First Period Ceremony

by DeAnna L’am

Leah called me to let me know she has just got her period! Being a heart-auntie to her I was delighted, and deeply touched that she chose to share this with me… Leah excitedly relayed the experience over the phone, told me of her Moms special attentions, and her bounty of gifts that included a red ruby necklace, a journal, fragrant bath salts, a red candle, a box of soothing teas, and many beautifully printed cloth pads. Leah continued to say that she chose to have a ceremony with only her Mom and myself present! I was lost for words…

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The date was set, and Leah’s Mom & I were busy planning. We knew we wanted the ceremony to take place in nature, and chose a special grove of Redwoods, which we both love, as our designated spot. We explored what we would want to convey to Leah, and planned ceremonial activities to reflect each of the points we discussed. This was exciting!

The grove welcomed us with warm sunshine, a slight breeze, and deep quiet. We walked softly on the forest floor: a veteran cycling woman, a woman who stopped bleeding, and a girl who just started her first cycle…

We draped red fabrics over lower branches to create an entrance to our sacred place: a cave-like hollow at the base of a huge Grandma Redwood tree. Leah explored the surrounding while we prepared the womb-like tree hollow. We placed a large red fabric on the ground, and created an altar in the center, honoring each of the 4 directions and elements: Feathers in the East to represent Air; A red candle in the South to represent Fire; Sea shells in the West represented Water, and crystals in the North brought Earth to complete the circle, while red flowers graced the center.

Everything was ready. We called Leah to the opening of the tree hollow, smudged each other with pungent sage to clear the old and welcome the new, and asked each other: ‘How do you enter the circle?’ To which we each answered: “In perfect love and perfect trust!”

Inside our cozy womb space we started with a song, and then Leah’s Mom and I each shared with her the story of our first period. Leah then told her fresh new story for the first time in sacred circle.

Each of us adult women shared some of the confusions or questions we had as girls about menstruation and what we learned over the years, which in turn allowed Leah to ask us some of her own questions and receive answers.

We then each presented Leah with a gift. Her Mom gifted her with a Moon Calendar that shows all phases of the moon, for an entire year, on one beautiful poster. Leah marked her first MoonTime by filling in the full moon image with a red pen, as her flow started on the day of the full moon! I presented Leah with a red bracelet and a red rose.

To symbolize Leah’s transition from girlhood to womanhood, her Mom and I created a gateway with arms stretched up and hands clasped together. We invited Leah to ponder what she would like to leave behind as she moves through the gate, and what was she hoping to move toward.

When she was ready, we asked Leah to say Goodbye to an object she brought to represent her childhood, and to discard of it anywhere she chooses. Leah placed a stuffed animal, which she had since she was a baby, in a small cavity inside a nearby redwood, and stood there a moment, saying Goodbye to it…

She then turned toward the open gateway, which her mom and I were embodying, and regally walked through to ‘The Other Side’ representing Womanhood. Our cheers and hugs lasted for a long time…

The time for blessings arrived! We opened a pomegranate juice bottle and poured a few drops on Mother Earth, speaking words of blessing for Her well being. Filling our own glasses with beautiful crimson liquid, we each spoke heartfelt blessing to Leah, honoring her as a newly cycling sister. We shared yummy dark chocolate to enrich and sweeten the moment, which we dipped into our juice and devoured!

It was time to close the circle by thanking and releasing the four directions & four elements whom we welcomed at the opening. While we gathered and packed our altar, Leah was quietly communing with a redwood tree. A shift seemed to have taken place in her. She was still a girl, but a sense of depth seems to have settled in and around her, that will only deepen and grow through her many years of cycling.

(* Leah is a pseudo-name I gave my young friend to protect her privacy)

About the Author:

DeAnna L’am, speaker, coach, and trainer, is the author of ‘Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood’ and ‘A Diva’s Guide to Getting Your Period’. She is the founder of Red Moon School of Empowerment for Women & Girls™ .

A pioneer in Menstrual Empowerment, DeAnna has been transforming lives around the world for over 20 years, by helping women & girls love themselves unconditionally!  She teaches women how to dissolve PMS symptoms; draw strength from their cycle (rather than be at its mercy); model self-acceptance, self-care, and self-esteem to their daughters; and hold Red Tents in their communities.

Visit DeAnna at: www.deannalam.com

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DeAnna L’am is excited to announce…

2nd Annual Red Tents In Every Neighborhood ~ Global Summit:

OUR DAUGHTERS, OURSELVES

 “A Mother-Daughter Interview in the Red Tent”
a New Video by Dr. Isadora Leidenfrost  and Teresa Moorehouse will be featured during the Summit.

What messages did your mother give you about being a Woman?

What messages are you offering your daughter, or son, about being a Woman?

What legacy would you like to pass to Today’s Girls?

About the Red Tent World Summit:

Join me to listen to Womb Wisdom, to Honor Our Mothers, Ourselves, and Today’s Girls! Get Inspired by Leading Visionary Women from Around the World: U.S.A, Spain, Austria, Italy, France, Ireland, India, Mexico, Chile, and New Zealand, with Special Guest – MARIANNE WILLIAMSON!

Our FREE Global Summit will air February 1-28,

and you can watch it from the comfort of your home!

join-the-telesummit

 

Leave a comment

Filed under DeAnna L'am, Guest Blogger, menstruation

First blood stories…

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…

What is your first blood story?

I look forward to reading your comments below.

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About the Interviewee featured in this videos:

DeAnna L’am, speaker, coach, and trainer, is the author of ‘Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood’ and ‘A Diva’s Guide to Getting Your Period’. She is the founder of Red Moon School of Empowerment for Women & Girls™ .

A pioneer in Menstrual Empowerment, DeAnna has been transforming lives around the world for over 20 years, by helping women & girls love themselves unconditionally!  She teaches women how to dissolve PMS symptoms; draw strength from their cycle (rather than be at its mercy); model self-acceptance, self-care, and self-esteem to their daughters; and hold Red Tents in their communities.

Visit DeAnna at: www.deannalam.com

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DeAnna L’am is excited to announce…

2nd Annual Red Tents In Every Neighborhood ~ Global Summit:

OUR DAUGHTERS, OURSELVES

 “A Mother-Daughter Interview in the Red Tent”
a New Video by Dr. Isadora Leidenfrost  and Teresa Moorehouse will be featured during the Summit.

What messages did your mother give you about being a Woman?

What messages are you offering your daughter, or son, about being a Woman?

What legacy would you like to pass to Today’s Girls?

About the Red Tent World Summit:

Join me to listen to Womb Wisdom, to Honor Our Mothers, Ourselves, and Today’s Girls! Get Inspired by Leading Visionary Women from Around the World: U.S.A, Spain, Austria, Italy, France, Ireland, India, Mexico, Chile, and New Zealand, with Special Guest – MARIANNE WILLIAMSON!

Our FREE Global Summit will air February 1-28,

and you can watch it from the comfort of your home!

join-the-telesummit

Leave a comment

Filed under "things we don't talk about", blood, coming of age, DeAnna L'am, menstruation, menstruation history, menstruation video, moon, mooncycle, red tent, Red Tent TV, Red Tents in Every Neighborhood, Reproductive Health, The Red Tent, Video of the Month Clip

Celebrate Menstrual Monday!

by DeAnna Lam

Everything starts as a Thought!

A dissertation, a dress, an airplane, this article, or a national holiday such as Thanksgiving…

The thoughts of Sarah Josepha Hale translated into action: she wrote letters to American politicians for 40 years(!) until Abraham Lincoln eventually proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday of November in the U.S.A. What does this have to do with us? Everything!

It took one woman only 40 years to change the tide of a nation, to create a legacy that is now an established tradition. We can do the same with Menstrual Monday!

Menstrual Monday is the Monday BEFORE Mother’s Day, since menstruation comes BEFORE motherhood (and typically long after…)

Menstrual-Monday

Menstrual Monday was conceived and birthed by Geneva Catchman in the 1990′s. Since then, grass root celebrations sprang up spontaneously anywhere a woman heard of the idea and was inspired to action. As one of these women I have been celebrating Menstrual Monday privately and publicly ever since I first heard of it.

Popular culture, in most places on Earth, goes beyond devaluing menstruation. It is considered a taboo and the attitudes about it are fraught with stereotypes, distortions, prejudice, and misinformation. This has been the case for a few generations, and the legacy of such distorted negativity has been passed on from mothers to daughters since the times of our Great-Grandmothers (if not earlier), as well as through literature, media, billboards and corporations trying to sell feminine hygiene products to women.

It’s time for us to reclaim Menstruation from the “medical condition” and cultural nuisance status in which it was fossilized, to the empowering, renewing, and intuitive condition it truly is. And what better way to do this than to celebrate it in an international holiday?!?

In 2008, in celebration of Menstrual Monday, I built a temporary Red Tent Downtown Sebastopol (the Northern California town where my family and I live) with the help of a handful of women. The response was surprise, curiosity and awe, as women stepped into the Red Tent to find out what it was all about. Not one negative comment was made! Drivers passing by the plaza playfully beeped in response to our sign that read: “Honk If You Are On Your Period!” More than anything, this was an opportunity to educate women, as well as a few brave men, about the power of Menstruation.

What is the power of Menstruation?

Menstruation is the process by which our body sheds the inner lining of our womb, a highly nutritious life-sustaining tissue, which grows monthly in anticipation for new life, and is shed monthly in the absence of pregnancy. This life-giving substance nourishes any and all life, and will give your garden, or house plants, a shot of life that no commercial fertilizer can ever provide.

Menstruation is also our body’s monthly call for rest, renewal, and regeneration.

Menstrual Monday is one way to acknowledge the power of menstruation, to honor and celebrate it, to remember our unique and magical ability to bring forth life, as well as our amazing creative forces that can be otherwise channeled. It is a reminder that our body speaks to us, monthly, and that we need to listen… Menstrual Monday is also a call for unification in celebrating womanhood around the world.

This is an invitation for you to do just this! In the privacy of your home, in an intimate circle of women, or in a joyous public gathering – celebrate!

If it took Sarah Josepha Hale 40 years to change the tides in a non-electronic era, think what we can do in the age of internet and social media… We can change the world!

About the Author:

DeAnna L’am, speaker, coach, and trainer, is the author of ‘Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood’ and ‘A Diva’s Guide to Getting Your Period’. She is the founder of Red Moon School of Empowerment for Women & Girls™ .

A pioneer in Menstrual Empowerment, DeAnna has been transforming lives around the world for over 20 years, by helping women & girls love themselves unconditionally!  She teaches women how to dissolve PMS symptoms; draw strength from their cycle (rather than be at its mercy); model self-acceptance, self-care, and self-esteem to their daughters; and hold Red Tents in their communities.

Visit DeAnna at: www.deannalam.com

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DeAnna L’am is excited to announce…

2nd Annual Red Tents In Every Neighborhood ~ Global Summit:

OUR DAUGHTERS, OURSELVES

 “A Mother-Daughter Interview in the Red Tent”
a New Video by Dr. Isadora Leidenfrost  and Teresa Moorehouse will be featured during the Summit.

What messages did your mother give you about being a Woman?

What messages are you offering your daughter, or son, about being a Woman?

What legacy would you like to pass to Today’s Girls?

About the Red Tent World Summit:

Join me to listen to Womb Wisdom, to Honor Our Mothers, Ourselves, and Today’s Girls! Get Inspired by Leading Visionary Women from Around the World: U.S.A, Spain, Austria, Italy, France, Ireland, India, Mexico, Chile, and New Zealand, with Special Guest – MARIANNE WILLIAMSON!

Our FREE Global Summit will air February 1-28,

and you can watch it from the comfort of your home!

join-the-telesummit

Leave a comment

Filed under DeAnna L'am, Guest Blogger, menstruation