This is sacred space. We come here to reflect, to rest, to be women. We gather here when our monthly bleed is upon us so that we may be together and share our experiences and wisdom. We also come here to feel the love of sisterhood, of mothers and daughters and the timelessness of womanhood. Wherever we are in our lives we are welcome in the Red Tent. This is where we share openly, honestly, intently. We are safe here, and loved.
In this sacred space we can relax and feel what is happening to us through each month and year. There are physical changes as well as mental and spiritual changes. Being a woman means being in a constant flux, where change is the norm and indeed a good thing. Knowing these things, and having space to explore and experience them, is what the Red Tent is all about. Here, we can take time out and listen to ourselves and each other. Here we can be still.
This year is a brand new one. I have got a new good habit: I’ve had Nancy Blair’s Goddess in a Box meditation kit for several years and am re-reading Goddess Days: Daily Nourishment for a Woman’s Spirit book.
It’s a short meditation about a different goddess each day, to remind me that the sacred is also feminine, and to teach me a little of how different cultures and times have viewed the sacred feminine.
I learn the name of a different goddess and what she represents each day. This little meditation, usually carried out before sleep, is a lovely way to bring me back to a womanly focus at the end of a long day in what can often be seen as a male-dominated world. Simply put, the book helps me to be a better woman.
The meditation for today is on Arche, the Muse. She inspires beginning and is connected with menstruation. The meditation is “I awaken to the power of red, my wise, wise blood” (N. Blair 2002).
As I meditate on these words, I feel myself relaxing into my memories, my experiences of menstruation. And of giving myself over to the bleed, resting when I need to, sleeping when my body calls me to and drinking warm, red tea.
I recall shifting into an altered state of consciousness where I seem to know, understand and perceive things slightly differently, as if I am wiser than I am. This is where I feel connected with all the women who have come before me, and all the women around me.
I make an intention to explore this meditation at my next menstruation – I see where it takes me. Menstruation is always a very special time for me, I am both fragile and strong, certain and confused, old and young at the same time. And instead of being conflicting, these extremes fill me up and give me a fuller perspective on life, on my life and on being a woman. I look forward to my next bleed and will think of Arche it when it arrives.
“Finding the community of Cycle Harmony has made a huge difference to me. I am delighted to be writing to you from the Red Tent and hope to share thoughts and experiences you recognise, or find useful to ponder upon. I look forward to working with you all in exploring what it is to be women, and hope to hear from you. ~ Vild”