This month we find the exotic hot weather, gorgeous sunshine and happy buzzing of bees sparking a thought of the circle of life. Mirrored in the red tent by the menstrual cycle, which in these uncertain times seems to roll around with reassuring regularity.
We thought we’d explore this theme with you by comparing the menstrual cycle with the passing of the seasons, as highlighted in books like ‘Code Red’ by Lisa Lister, where she assimilates the seasons with the menstrual cycle. Looking at it simply it all seems so clear to liken them to the seasons, for example, Winter – menstruation, Spring – pre-ovulation, Summer – ovulation and Autumn – pre-menstruation. When we hold this in our mind we can easily see the change in energy levels that we experience throughout our monthly cycle and understand why we feel like withdrawing, slowing down and hibernating while we bleed.
But paradoxically why we feel a build up of buzzy energy where we believe that anything is possible, just like the buzz of summer during ovulation. In her books Lisa Lister encourages the charting of you cycle from day 1 of bleed to day 28 inclusive of feelings, physical changes and energy levels in order to make the most of life in relation to where in the cycle you are. This is an activity that although eye opening when done on your own, is definitely a delicious talking point and group activity in your Red Tents. For those of you in the UK, you can support the Environmenstrual Coalition and reduce the harm of period paraphernalia on the planet. We have joined the coalition so you will be hearing more from us on this and how you can take part in their week of action in October.
And now we hear from Michelle who joins us in circle to share her experience of Red Tents.
Sitting in Circle with Michelle
I have been running Swansea Red Tent for the past six months or so, after the original founding members moved away from Swansea, and we needed a new venue which is currently my home in Birchgrove, while it’s small it’s quite active.
However we would love to be bigger and more active, and we have been thinking of ways of attracting more women. I feel that the Red Tent offers a safe sacred space for women to meet and be held and heard away from all the trappings of our modern society.
So myself and another founding member came up with the Red Tent social; to try to make our Red Tent more accessible. My house is a distance from central Swansea and we’re aware that going to a stranger’s house, whom you have only spoken to via the Internet, can be quite intimidating. The Red Tent Social is in addition to our monthly Red Tent, where we meet again in a public venue (pub, park, cafe, etc) just to get to know each other and discuss plans for the next actual Red Tent. It fits quite nicely in a cyclic nature, the original Red Tent is at the Dark/New Moon (Winter/Menstruation) and is a more intuitive, and insular gathering based on meditation and contemplation. Our Red Tent Social is around the Full Moon, (Summer/Ovulation) and is more outgoing, active, and is about getting to know each other. We also hope to start organising day trips, such a Goddess Pilgrimage to Glastonbury, or Relaxation Days for those who wish to join us. Hopefully these will encourage women to join us, and we can spread the Red Tent love around.