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How to Create a Red Tent Altar

by Jane Hardwicke Collings & Susan Stark

This article is an excerpt from the eBook “How to Create a Red Tent

"How to Create a Red Tent" eBook. Available for $9.99 at:

An Altar can be your own private Sacred Space in your home, or work place, or a group altar in a shared space, or the central altar or direction altars in a ceremony. In holding a Red Tent you may like to create a central altar around which you will sit as a group.

The altar contains symbols and talismans of the work you intend to do together. For example, if your focus is on women’s cycles you could have a collection of treasures that map the cycle around a circle, or perhaps various items that the participants have brought with them.

Red Tent altar examples from around the world

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You can also have either around the outside of your seated or standing circle or within the central space, an altar to each direction (East, North, West, and South). These will serve the purpose of assisting you in invoking the directions and holding the sacred space you create by making a literal ‘container’ in which you sit. A central candle or Mother Candle may be placed in the centre of your altar. As part of your opening ritual you may like to light this candle and invoke deities or say a prayer for your circle. Women may also like to bring special treasures or things from nature to add to the Red Tent altar. These could be along a theme such as connecting in with our cycles or the season. Together you will weave a focal point of your Red Tent and use the altar as a way to set intention and holding.


Jane Hardwicke Collings is amother, grandmother and an independent midwife, teacher, writer and menstrual educator. She gives workshops in Australia and internationally on mother and daughter preparation for menstruation, the spiritual practice of menstruation, and the sacred and shamanic dimensions of pregnancy and birth. Jane founded and runs The School of Shamanic Womancraft, formerly The School of Shamanic Midwifery, which focuses on preparing women to practice and teach conscious rites of passage, awareness of cycles (Earth, lunar, life and menstrual cycles), and the mind/body/spirit connection. Jane is the author of Ten Moons, the Inner Journey of Pregnancy, Thirteen Moons, How to chart your menstrual cycle (handbook and journal), Spinning Wheels (a guide to the cycles), and Becoming a Woman (a guide for girls approaching menstruation).

Susan Stark is a home birth Mother of four children, a Shamanic Guide, a practitioner and teacher of the Women’s Mysteries and Social Worker.  Susan is passionately committed to supporting women on their journeys of re-membering and transformation.  Susan currently offers circles and workshops in her own community and practices as a Counsellor working with children and young people.  Susan shares a deep connection to the Earth as Mother and Healer and honours every person’s unique journey to connection and wholeness. Contact Susan:

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