Monday, 11 September 2017

Wise Women And The Circle of Sisters

Anyone who knows me knows I'm passionate about Red Tent.  Not just Red Tent, but women's circles in general.  In my experience these are sacred places of healing and certain kind of holiness.

A well run circle can heal a hundred rifts between women, rebuild trust and shut down the competitive feelings that derive from being told we are not enough and that there is not enough, love and approval mostly, to go round.  A circle such as this can nurture the cheerleader in all of us, the one that claps and shouts with her pompoms of joy for our fellow women in business, in homes, in art, in literature, in politics, in education, and in love.

A well held circle can gently caress and hug the souls of wounded women, hold the pain and the many stories.  It is in such a circle that a woman can feel heard, re-membered, and made whole and holy.  It is in the candlelight and the sharing that the vulnerable feel their true strength, the voiceless find their expression, the lonely know their kin, the saddened lean into comfort, and the traumatised have their wounds rightly acknowledged and tended to.

A well intended circle can call women to the altar of their sacred truth and teach the womb wisdom that belongs to all of them, all cultures, all races, all beliefs, and all ages and phases of life.  It is here before the shrine that women know the fullness of their beauty and their mystery, and can dive deep into the sensual world of the feminine in all her forms and rites of passage.

It has always been my hope to hold the space in a way such as this, and I do to the best of my ability.  I have witnessed powerful transformations over the time in my Moon Lodges and Red Tents.  I've seen a community evolve around them and through them.  I know that for myself I am more whole, less scared of who I am, less broken and actually okay with my brokenness, feel more connected to the cycles of earth, sun, moon and womb, and most important of all feel more connected to and supported by other women because of them.

One of the most common things that women say is that Red Tent, or their first time in circle, felt like coming home, home to themselves.

"The Red Tent feels like a homecoming - a place I've always longed for but didn't know existed. It has healed my relationship with other women in a powerful way, I always leave having learnt and grown”

“The red tent gave me the sisterhood I didn't realise I was craving, the voice I hadn't realised I had lost, and the permission to be myself”

“In the Red Tent I felt a sense of recognition and strength with other women and found the belonging I've been missing.”

Others directly link Red Tent to their own healing journey and it is with permission that I post the following: 

"I am officially OFF the antidepressants after more than two years. This is due in part to the wonderful support and space and love I have experienced at your hands, my sistars. Thank you - whether you are embroiled enough to know the ins and outs of my life, or whether we see each other only on Facebook, I would not be where I am if it weren't for Red Tent."

It is this movement, this overflowing river of red, the reclaiming and the healing, the stepping up and the supporting that was part of the original vision inspired by Anita Diamant's Red Tent.  ALisa Starkweather's Red Tent Temple Movement, Aisha Hannibal's Red Tent Directory, DeAnna L'am's Red Tents in Every Neighbourhood, and Isadora Leidenfrost's Red Tent Movie have helped spread the idea of Red Tent far and wide.  There are circles all over the place.  Many women are stepping up to hold space for their sisters.  Many women are co-creating Red Tents.  Many want to ...

Many want to ... but don't know quite how.  Even though the ideas for holding a Red Tent are out there, and any woman can do this, I have been asked over and over now.  "I would like to do what you do.  I want to learn how to hold space like you."  Having encouraged several women to start their own Red Tents, I am aware that for some the desire is strong, but so is the overwhelm and the task seems daunting.  So I've recently I've listened when some have said will you teach us, and I've put together an offering that I hope will be the start of many more Red Tents and sister circles. If you feel the call please come join us. 

Wise Women and the Circle of Sisters starts on October 1st and is a self led course delivered to your inbox.  It was originally going to be live in person workshop with a year of additional support via a Facebook group, but I've had interest from women all over the place and in the end it seemed impractical.  I've packed it with as much juicy know how and practicality as I can and will be passing on information mostly through video format to keep connected face-to-face.  During the month of October the initial teaching package will be shared and from this October till September next year support is offered via a lightly mentored Facebook Group and a monthly package of encouragement and ideas for Red Tents, including meditations, songs, activities and themes.  

I hope this will enable many women to feel empowered to hold Red Tents in their communities and reach the women who are crying out for connection, understanding and nurturing. 

Heidi x