Tag Archives: women’s spirituality

It’s a space held and created by women…

Deep within, women hold a knowing of what the Red Tent is. Sanctuary, sacred place, healing home: we know it when we see it because it is already inside us. Though it may feel uncomfortable and strange at first, the more we return to it, the more we return to ourselves.

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 does the Red Tent mean to you?

I look forward to reading your comments below.

If you liked this video, subscribe to our channel & sign up for our free weekly episodes of Red Tent TV at http://www.redtent.tv/

Missed my most recent episodes? Watch them here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmZGBmANkmSBD1337JiQWbw

Enjoy the video and have a fantastic day! Thanks for watching!

My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmZGBmANkmSBD1337JiQWbw
Website: http://www.redtent.tv
Friendship on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/redtentfilm

Opening song “Red Tent Temple” by Mother Turtle. http://www.motherturtle.com/

Leave a comment

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

The Girl God

By Trista Hendren

 

When I grew up, God was a MAN. I was a sinner in need of His salvation for my many transgressions.

This view hampered my life until my mid-thirties when everything completely fell apart.

It pains me to write this, but the reality is this: I was never taught that I mattered.

I came from a loving family but the emphasis was on meeting the needs of men, no matter what the cost to women. I watched my mother make a lot of sacrifices for all of us – and despite this I often still resented and blamed her. Because I grew up placing a low value on myself and my needs, I often made poor choices and was filled with resentment.

I had a rather dramatic end to my second marriage which forced me to re-look at my life. I began reading again—voraciously.

Despite 15 years as a feminist, it never dawned on me to question my family and religious upbringing. We were, by all accounts, “normal”. Compared to many other people, I really didn’t have much to complain about. So while I learned about and rallied against the systematic oppression of women, I did not correlate my family and faith to the roots of my own.

I now believe that it is these very engrained patriarchal systems that continue to keep women as a whole down. This is a very hard thing to face. It is painful to think that your own family had anything to do with holding you back. Most of us will do anything to hold on to the very idea of our family. Even until last year, I still was in the habit of biting my tongue whenever my father said something I disagreed with.

When my daughter was born 3 years after my son, I realized a very real difference in the way my children were regarded. I was raised with 3 sisters, so I did not have the first-hand comparison of how boys and girls were treated growing up. But my observation is that we still approach boys and girls very differently – perhaps even more so in traditional religious families.

When my daughter was 5, I realized that she could not relate to the idea of God at all. It seemed to come natural to my son, who enjoyed going to both the church and the mosque. Perplexed, I asked my daughter if she could feel God inside of her. She could not – until I asked her about a “Girl God.”

At that point she lit up with a big YES!!

I wrote a book about our conversation as we began our faith journey together towards the divine feminine. Since then, I have made it into a series, as I realized I could not address everything I wanted to in one book. As Ursula Le Guin said, “We have to rewrite the world.” I’m working on it!!

It was important for me to write interfaith books as I come from both a Christian and Muslim background. As I began to research the Divine Feminine, I found Her in every faith tradition! My hope is that women can work together despite our religious differences. We have much more in common than we might imagine.

I also see that sometimes there is a resistance within feminism to religion, which can result in putting women of faith down or into certain categories. I think this is a huge mistake.

The majority of women around the world belong to a religious tradition, and most are unlikely to leave their faith of origin. I think it’s really important to work with women and girls where they are at.

I believe that we cannot break the chains of our oppression until we address the roots of it. When we dig through what is there, we find that the Divine Feminine was often always there in the shadows. I would like to bring Her back into the light. I want women of all faiths to know that it is not a “sin” to worship a female deity.

In my years working with the Divine Feminine, it became apparent to me that women need their own communities. I was drawn to the Red Tent movement – the work of DeAnna L’am, Dr. Isadora Leidenfrost, ALisa Starkweather, and so many other amazing women. The two things that appeal most to me about this movement is the strong communities of women it builds and that it reverses the menstrual taboo of shame that is present in so many religions.

Audre Lorde said, “Without community, there is no liberation.” I believe by returning to the Divine Feminine, we will reclaim our power, together, as women.

You can purchase our books at www.thegirlgod.com

1 Comment

Filed under ageing, coming of age, DeAnna L'am, growing up, Guest Blogger, parenting, women's stories

3 self-care rituals to try in your Red Tent

Leave a comment

Filed under From the filmmaker, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, Red Tent TV

Behind-the-Scenes Interview with the Red Tent Movie filmmaker

1 Comment

Filed under "things we don't talk about", From the filmmaker, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, red tent, red tent film, red tent movie, Video of the Month Clip

My Religion

by Rebecca H. Jones

 Originally published on my blog, “Creatrix” – Creatrixlife.wordpress.com

My religion is going to have a big Goddess, with juicy hips.  She’s going to be as big as the Earth, and be the Earth and be bigger than the stars.

We will believe in the love between mother and child, and worship creation.

The Earth

We will meditate, but only in comfortable ways, and we’ll stretch together.

We will have a practice of dancing, where we dance joy into being.

Pure giggling will be our home state; we will work to reveal our true natures of amused contentment.

We will sing Girl Scout songs and Indigo Girls and worship the holy roasted marshmallow.

We will believe in ghosts and worship our ancestors.  We will find our roots in the trees, and in every lineage – physical/DNA and invented via any sort of new creation – family trees grafted together.

We will heal old wounds and be present to each other’s suffering.

We will honor our own bodies first, and be guided by our dreams.

In my religion, people will believe things that are true and trust in mystical unknowns larger than a star’s lifespan.

In my religion, we will write the texts and study them, and burn them as an offering to the unknown.

We will reach back to processes forgotten and hurtle forward with our exuberance.

The crow caws, and the birds will lead us in our flights to the heavens.

We will not be afraid, we will come together in blankets of healing and peace, and hold all-night vigils.

We will honor silence, and hold the crumbling Earth in our hands.

We will recreate creation in our gardens, and our bodies, and our communities.  We will speak one language and many.

In my religion, we will feel free and connected and unafraid.

1 Comment

Filed under Collective Consciousness, goddess, healing, women's spirituality, women's stories

Creating “Safe Space” in your Red Tent

2 Comments

Filed under "things we don't talk about", From the filmmaker, how to create a Red Tent, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, red tent, space, Video of the Month Clip

5 Red Tent Altar Ideas

2 Comments

Filed under From the filmmaker, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, red tent, Video of the Month Clip

Para todas las mujeres

By Brenda Knight

(The English translation of this article will be featured  in next Tuesday’s post)

Hay tantas cosas que me gustaría decir acerca de lo que es ser una mujer , especialmente las mujeres que se sienten incomprendidos para cumplir con las expectativas que otros tienen de ellas. Cada mujer es un misterio, esto es algo que sabemos, sentimos y vivimos, por lo tanto, debemos dejar de pretender que no lo somos. Descubrimos las leyes del ser, de vivir y de crear un mundo femenino, profundo, creativo, nutritivo y misterioso. La expresión de la personalidad corresponde con nuestra posición en la vida, lo que pensamos que somos y no que sentimos que somos. La Película, me hizo reír, llorar, pero sobre todo, me hizo recordar …. mis memorias antiguas, cosas con las que me siento familiarizada, como si estuviera soñando o mas bien, sintiendo que ya estuve allí antes…. La pregunta de ¿quién soy yo? y ¿por qué estoy aquí? vino a mi mente ….. y la respuesta a ellos llegó … Acerca de lo que soy, se puede abordar en el nivel de la especie humana dentro del flujo evolutivo de la vida en nuestro planeta , o puede ser abordado en el nivel de la persona individual, tratando de averiguar cuál es la contribución que cada uno de nosotras puede hacer dentro la tarea cósmica y de toda la especie . Y de por qué estoy aquí …. Estoy absolutamente segura de eso …. he recorrido un largo camino, estudiando, observando, viajando, leyendo, uniéndome a otras mujeres,  y en mi corazón yo sé lo que quiero, y quiero que todas las mujeres que comparten mi camino, puedan sentirse poderosas, hermosas, seguras, amadas, nutridas, bienvenidas. Me siento honrada y muy humilde por ser tan afortunada de haber tenido la oportunidad de aprender a través de mi vida todas estas herramientas, de todas las cosas que he aprendido, estoy agradecida, ahora es el momento de compartir, es mi tiempo para extender mis alas y hacer mi tarea cósmica. Quiero que todas las mujeres de mi ciudad y de mi país tengan tiendas rojas ! ! Yo vivo en México , y nuestra historia a través de años ha sido sobre el machismo, las mujeres han sufrido, llevan tantas heridas, que merecen ser escuchados, tener una hermandad, sentirse y saberse diosas !!

Leave a comment

Filed under "things we don't talk about", Guest Blogger, international, red tent experience, red tent movie, women's stories

Shall I Drive You To The Red Tent?

By DeAnna L’am, © All Rights Reserved

How would the world be different if girls growing up today had a Red Tent to go to, in their own neighborhood? 
Many of us would love to see a Red Tent where our daughters, stepdaughters, granddaughters, nieces, cousins, or any cherished girl in our life — could regularly find a haven.“Yes, but who would hold such Red Tents for them?” you may ask… and the inevitable answer is: YOU!
Imagine your girl coming home from school. She feels tired. She is actually crabby, and the sullen look on her face warns you to keep your distance. Throwing her backpack on the floor she runs into her room, not interested in answering any of your questions about her day. Her shoes fly off her feet, one at a time, on her way up the stairs, and land randomly on the floor. Her door is slammed shut, and you are not welcomed inside. You want to ask her about her feelings, to understand what is going on, but the door’s message is clear, and you know it will not open for a while…

Imagine, though, that you had a magical key to this closed door… Imagine softly knocking and whispering to your girl: “Shall I drive you to the Red Tent?” Imagine her door flying open, her eyes meeting yours, a sigh of relief rushing out of her mouth: “Oh, thank goodness! I’ve just got my period!” Imaging the two of you getting in the car, since it feels too cold to walk the otherwise pleasant road to the nearby woods. You likely wouldn’t talk much during the short drive, since your girl clearly wants to be quiet. She curls up on the passenger seat and closes her eyes. You arrive at your destination in no time.

The Red flaps of the Tent are hanging down to keep the warmth in, and you lift them to allow your girl to walk in first. It feels like walking into a different world. It is blissfully quiet. You start lighting a few candles while your girl walks up to the pile of red blankets and grabs three of them. She sinks onto a mattress in the corner, and huddles under the blankets, letting all the air out of her lungs. She knows you are busy making her a cup of herbal tea. This is a familiar routine… You’ve been here many times before, and the roles have changed back and forth between you: barely two weeks ago it was you who flopped gratefully on a mat and curled into a ball under a pile of red blankets, while your 13-year-old was skillfully brewing a cup of Raspberry Leaf tea to soothe your womb and soul.

This is an easy reality to imagine… And, as surprisingly as it may seem to you, it is also an easy one to live! This can become a reality for you, and for your daughter, stepdaughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, or a cherished girl in your life, since it is up to You, up to Each Of Us, to make it so! A Red Tent in your neighborhood is only as distant as the limitation your mind puts on it. It is as close as your belief in its possibility!

We can make this a reality in our life time! You can create a Red Tent in your living room, in your back yard, in a friend’s home, in a nearby forest, meadow or beach. It can be made of anything: you can pitch a camping tent, or raise a tipi. You can drape Red cloths from tree branches, or build a yurt. The outer structure is not nearly as important as the space it holds inside — a space in which permission is given to simply BE…

Nothing is more essential than this: we need spaces where we can BE when we flow, either alone or in the company of other women. Anything beyond this is luxury (and we can create luxury, of course we can!) but lets not make luxury become the reason for not having a Red Tent right now. Lets remember the bare necessities: Space and Permission. And these, my sister, you can provide for yourself, for your girl, for your community – right now!

© by DeAnna L’am, All Rights Reserved
bar
Join me to get inspired by the
Red Tents In Every Neighborhood World Summit – 
A Free Online Event
Featuring women leaders from USA, Spain, Germany, U.K, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Israel
Airing February 1-28

CLICK HERE to reserve your Free Seat.
bar
DeAnna L’am, speaker, coach, and trainer, is author of ‘Becoming Peers – Mentoring Girls Into Womanhood’ and ‘A Diva’s Guide to Getting Your Period’. She is founder of Red Moon School of Empowerment for Women & Girls™, and of Red Tents In Every Neighborhood Global Network!

A pioneer in Menstrual Empowerment, DeAnna has been transforming women’s and girls’ lives around the world for over 20 years. She teaches women how to love themselves unconditionally; how to dissolve PMS symptoms and draw spiritual strength from their cycle (rather than be at its mercy); and how to hold Red Tents in their communities. Visit her at: www.deannalam.com

Leave a comment

Filed under DeAnna L'am, red tent

The Myth of the Siren

by Robin Corak

I have always been fascinated by sirens. Yet, traditional myths of the sirens as beautiful but sinister creatures luring sailors to their death never made sense to me. These myths, like other traditional myths, portrayed the men as strong, noble, seafaring individuals going off to fight yet another war whereas women who had any measure of power were portrayed as ugly, shrew-like, simple, and/or cruel. These women were to be both feared and dominated. The message of these myths seemed to be to be saying that as a woman, we should be beautiful and society -and men in particular- would be enthralled by our beauty. By the same token, beautiful women were not to be trusted. It always seemed to me to set up a losing proposition-our primary source of power (at least according to the myth) was also to be our downfall and prevent us from finding lasting love and trust in a relationship.

But as with any story, there is more than one perspective and many ways to read between the lines.

What if we were to view these myths through a lens that considers that  masculine energy is active and feminine energy more reflective? Then, perhaps, the role of the sirens was to lure the men away from their determination to act  (in this case in a realm of fighting and destruction) and to instead entice them to stop and reflect for a bit, to appreciate the beauty around them and to consider another way of being. Given that the ocean has always been associated with our subconscious and the realm of feelings, perhaps the powerful draw of the sirens was a longing by these men to experience greater introspection and  dive deeper into exploring their own emotions- something not always accepted or encouraged by society.

By reclaiming the stories and myths that either cast women in a negative light or limit our identities, we can begin to more fully embrace and understand our power as well as the unique gift we can bring to the world. This is true not just with traditional stories but with the stories that others in our lives – well meaning or not- have told us and even with the stories we have told ourselves. I have often found that in the midst of my greatest fears and/or the most limiting beliefs about my self, I find a hidden power, talent, or strength I didnt know I had.

When I was growing up, I was often told and felt that I was not athletic or good at sports in any way. Part of this was due to a medical condition I had that made me appear tiny and somehwat fragile.  For that reason, I shied away from anything that required physical power, endurance, or speed. I was viewed – and I viewed myself- as being the “nice” one. Soft spoken and quiet, you could often find me holed up in my room with my head in a book.

Fast forward several years to a time when my very active son wanted to take a Tae Kwon Do class and wanted me to take it with him. I was terrified because I still believed the myth that I was not and would not be good at anything requiring athletic skill. But I certainly couldn’t explain all of this to my 7 year old son in a way that he could understand and I wanted to be there for him and support him. So in a testament to the power of love, I took the class with him. Not surprisingly to me, I found that I did not in my current state possess the power or endurance to do some of the more challenging warm up activities nor did I have the desire to engage in sparring with another partner. What did surprise me was that the forms we were required to memorize (which are actually sparring moves in a sequence) were alot like dancing. I have always loved to dance and thus I found myself enjoying and excelling in this area. What I lacked in power, I made up for in control and fluidity. I began to realize that what I had often thought of as athletic skill was much broader than I had ever realized and that there was a place for gracefulness in this new definition. Of course, my joy was suspended somewhat when I set out to prepare for my first belt test which required breaking boards with my fist and my feet.

Again, those nagging little voices in my head reminded me of the myth regarding my lack of athletic prowess which I had too willingly accepted in my youth and which had grown in power upon facing this most recent challenge. Fortunately for me, I am tenacious (and I will admit it, a wee bit proud) and there is a rebelling voice inside me that was not going to let this challenge defeat me. (The fact that the 5 year old testing right before me made it look easy certainly didnt hurt my resolve!) I approached the board, took a deep breath, punched with all of my might… and failed. But that is not the end of this story. Because I tried again -2 more times- and succeeded. Not only did I succeed in breaking the boards and passing the test, I succeeded in rewriting a story that had limited my view of who I was.

While I no longer participate in Tae Kwon Do, I have kept those broken boards as a reminder of the power we give to stories and myths as well as the power and the responsibility we have to rewrite and reclaim them. In the case of the myth of the siren, I have not only started interpreting the story in different ways I have also sought to find the ways in which I am offering or can offer my own unique gift as a siren in my own world. Whether in my role as mother, sister, lover, friend, writer,  or leader of the non-profit which I oversee, I have the power to emit a compelling, calming, safe and loving energy which allows people to pause, explore, and re-center. In creative and sometimes humorous ways, I “lure” people into looking at things from a variety of angles and exploring alternative visions, paths, or options. I try to inject a sense of joy and playfulness, particularly during those times where people are experiencing great challenges, need a break, or have lost the ability to connect with their inner child and let him or her out to play. In my own subtle way, I try to compel others to explore, appreciate, and emrace the undeniable beauty that exists within. These are the uniquely individual ways that I attempt to offer the gift of the siren. Your role as a siren may be completely different which is a wonderful thing, as we each have a uniquely powerful way of sharing our gifts with the world.

I challenge you to find the siren within. More than that, I challenge you to reclaim, reinterpret, and rewrite not only those traditional myths about women which you may have been drawn to but also those stories that have been told about you – whether by others or by yourself- which may no longer serve you. I assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Blogger, myth of siren, story, women's stories