A Red Tent is a type of Women’s Circle generally open to all of the women in the community and not tied to any one religion: a place to come together to set aside our roles and expectations in order to find nurturance, acceptance, support, beauty, healing and empowerment on our paths.
Women’s Circles are groups of women who meet regularly in order to connect, heal and empower. Sometimes, these are based on ‘religions’ such as Wiccan or Goddess Circles, but they most certainly do not have to be. I believe we have come (or are coming) to a point in time where we can move past restricting labels and find what uniquely works for us. I have always believed that it is less important how you find God (or the Goddess) than that you find God in some way. (As long as you find Divinity in a way that is respectful of others and for the genuine Good of All.)
My passion is small groups of the same women who meet, maybe once a month on the new or full moon or second Tuesday, because this allows you to get to know and trust each other. You can go ‘deeper’ and ‘farther’.
What do I mean by that? They are not therapy. There is usually sharing going on in a Red Tent or Women’s Circle, but it is usually limited in time to a few minutes each women. ’Advice’ is not encouraged as the premise is that we all know deep down what we need to do. ‘Sharing’ in the content of a women’s circle has more to do with finding your own voice, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and facing up to your issues. They hold up a mirror for you to peer in.
If it is the same group of women, you can build a comfort level of trust that allows you to look even deeper into your own issues.
Red Tents give you a ‘glimpse’ of this. Red Tents are not tied to a specific religion but instead the feminine qualities of nurturance and acceptance. They are ‘sensual’, and by that, I do not mean sexual but I mean oftentimes involving your ‘senses’ through sight (beautiful fabric, stones, statues), smells (incense or sage), touch (massage, dancing) and audio (music, singing.)
They often have some type of ritual involved such as saging away the negative or honoring the directions and thus balance in life. Rituals create comfort and allow us to connect with each other and the Divine.
In Christian religion just as many other religions, it is said:
“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20).
That is one of the most beautiful things about a circle is learning to be quiet amongst others through meditation or breathing. I have never been a fan of ‘chit-chat’ and women’s circles minimize this in order to connect with each other and ourselves spiritually. Spirituality is not necessarily religion in my opinion.
This is not to say that there isn’t laughter. I’ve had some great belly laughs in my circles, but it is most definitely not a gossip-fest.
There is also intention-setting. You are held more accountable to your intentions when said aloud and/or written. I have often been tested on my path because I owned up to something in our circle and then held to it as a result. We are greater together than apart.
And they are usually tied to nature and its cycles. ‘His’torically, ‘religion’ has been something apart from nature. There were those who rebuffed this (oftentimes ostracized as ‘witches’) and followed their own solitary paths amongst herbal remedies, pine trees and moonlit nights, but we have come to a time when we can both honor this beautiful planet that supports us and honor each other at the same time.
Red Tents are a great introduction to women’s circles in general, and I encourage you to check one out. Isadora Leidenfrost’s site is a great place to start to learn more of Red Tents and to see if there is one by you. Deanna L’am is another great place to visit as she has a free Third Annual – Red Tents in Every Neighborhood Global Summit starting February 1, 2016 where for three weeks, you will receive a daily video with womanly wisdom.
And next month, there is our computer app, The DF App: www.FindAWomensCircle.com to help you find, start and promote women’s circles and other divine feminine events. You can sign up on site to be alerted when it is released and join us at our Facebook group here in the meantime.
UPDATE JAN 2018: The divine feminine app has been released over a year and a half and has over 2000 Sacred Circles, Events and Resources listed from all over the world .. check it out here: www.theDivineFeminineApp.com