by Jane Hardwicke Collings & Susan Stark
This article is an excerpt from the eBook “How to Create a Red Tent”
The Red Tent Priestesses play a vital role in ensuring the set up and smooth running of the Red Tents. Their role is to hold space for women using the tent, allowing women to be inward and undisturbed in their own process. The Priestesses will hold the space in a quiet, respectful manner modeling and therefore encouraging others to also be accommodating, generous, serving, caring and grateful.
The Priestesses may choose to wear red and dress to celebrate their own inner Goddess. They may be available to drum softly for women in the tent and will also take responsibility for keeping the space clean and beautiful. Water and any other replenishables also need to be maintained throughout the duration of the tent. You may request that event organizers provide a suitable gazebo or tent which you can then set up. If no tent is available you may like to consider buying or borrowing a tent. We have found that either a 3 metre square or 6 x 3 metre tent works well. Mats and cushions can be placed on the floor and curtains hung (using rope) to create a dark quiet space. Consider the climate in which you offer your tents. Some tents have attached sides that can be lifted to allow flow through breeze. Others have a small ventilation on the top. This is particularly useful in hotter temperatures. Experimenting with different combinations of curtains, fabric and and tents will allow you to create the most suitable environment for your Red Tent.
Once the Red Tent space is created and decorated, the Priestesses are invited to smudge (see section on creating sacred space) the space in preparation for receiving women into the Tent. Smudging may need to be done at various times over the day to clear and cleanse the space. This will be done at the Priestesses discretion. A bowl of water in the Tent that is regularly emptied and refilled can also serve this purpose. Priestesses may also like to call in the Directions and set a collective intention for the space. In dissembling the Red Tent, the Directions need to be released with gratitude.
Jane Hardwicke Collings is a mother, 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. www.schoolofshamanicmidwifery.com. 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). www.moonsong.com.au
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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