The Red Tent

There’s a shift happening in this modern (yet still at times archaic) world. Women are rising above the ashes burnt in their past and finding we have a voice, not only as individuals but together as one, it’s a loud echoing voice reaching past the mob of people who tell us no and refusing to be silenced.

I find myself sitting in a circle, the smell of sage and lavender in the air, with powerful women of different ages and backgrounds and instead of feeling lost, I feel welcomed and embraced. Connected in a way that I seldom am.

A woman, Altasha Lubbe, sits with us, she is my good friend and facilitator to this event. I’ve known her for several years and I have known her to be a strong and capable woman, those qualities shine out of her when she speaks of the history of The Red Tent.

Women in tribes would go into the Red Tent when mensuration came along, they would stay with other women, they would laugh, cry and heal together. And when menopause hit, the elder woman would be treated as wisdom keepers. A far cry from today’s view on the subject. Even talking about a period is still seen as taboo and menopause is hardly spoken of.

The Red Tent movement started because of a book aptly called ‘The Red Tent by Anita Diamant’ and it reached worldwide success and caused empowerment in women. The book is based on a biblical character Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, and Joseph’s sister. It gives voice to a woman who was rarely spoken of. And because of this movement, I am here, now. Trying to get in touch with my womanhood.

We mediate first, getting to know our womb and bodies, the very core of our beings and a heart that beats just for us. I’m comfortable in meditating, I know the basics, so it’s not too difficult for me. But then comes the sharing, I am not so fond of that. I’m a listener. Not a sharer, but hearing their stories makes me feel brave. These women, these lovely, kind, fierce woman, don’t reject my stuttering attempts at sharing. They are attentive as they listen to me, they are comforting in their silence and it makes me breathe easier.

The lessons I’ve taken away from my experience is this; It’s absolutely okay to be vulnerable, there’s a strength in that. To be open when you’re afraid of the outcome. I’ve also learned that power comes from unity. Knowing that other women have nothing but acceptance for you can be a life-changing event. Gone are the days where women are pitted against each other. We all are unique and have differences but what keeps us connected are the ways we are inherently the same. The insecurities we share and most importantly the great amount of love we have in our very souls.

I know now that the wall I’ve built around myself doesn’t really have to be there, especially now that I know what kind of ladies are out there, so very close to me. Women who are helping communities, helping better themselves and others. I feel very blessed to just be apart of this awe-inspiring movement.

I am in the Red Tent and I am found.

Hosted by Dream Yogi Johlene Vinova from Rainbow Dreaming & Rainbow Body Photography done by Veronica Whittney Walkerley