“What is a Red Tent?”
A Red Tent is a physical structure that has more significance than the structure itself. Traditionally, it was a place where Middle Eastern women would go during their cycle to ‘bleed out’ into the ground, rest, rejuvenate and share stories. Usually when women are in close proximity, they cycle together, which made it possible for this type of sacred gathering. Other cultures did not have a Red Tent, but they had a moon lodge, or a lean-to (in the woods), or simply a special tree. In some cultures, the women would go in groups. In others, they would go alone. Always, it was a time of relaxation and reflection.
Red Tents create a beautiful and comforting ambiance for women to share their stories without judgement. Today, it is not necessary for them to be on their cycle as no one is ‘bleeding out’. The topics range from first menses to menopause and anything in between including relationships, sex, abortion, abuse and child loss to name a few. The purpose is to release the pain, to recognize that our stories are similar, and to receive emotional support. And for the brave and curious, there is an opportunity to learn how their own body works. Important to note, that while the circle conversations are women centered, they are not about male bashing.
Traditionally, men were not included in these circles, hence it remains a safe space for women. However, it is encouraged that men listen to women’s stories as her sharing her experience is critical to the healing of us all. As a result, we will offer opportunities for this sharing of space as it cultivates men to be even better partners and fathers.