I was Googling around a couple of weeks ago, trying desperately to find a 5 Rhythms dance class, or a version of it, near to where I live. There are plenty in London, but I find getting into London exhausting and I do it enough for work. In my Google travels I found a Red Tent website
I’ve never heard of the Red Tent movement, but it is a place for women to gather, usually around the full or new moon, to take time out and to share and support each other.
The next day I went off to a djembe workshop, I love drumming and it is such a contrast to my more serious flute playing! I got talking to someone, and as is the way of synchronicity, they mentioned they were part of a Red Tent and it was meeting the following week. She very kindly invited me along and sent me the details.
I turned up in trepidation and excitement. I really do believe that women need their own spaces separate from men, and I haven’t got a group of women that I belong to, I am very much suffering from a lack of my own tribe. We were celebrating the Red Tent’s 2nd birthday and it was also a menarche ceremony.
I don’t like to share other peoples’ stories, as they are their own, but I found what everyone had to say to this young woman deeply moving. I felt a wave of deep envy at the relationship between her and her mother, and indeed many of the mothers and daughters in the room. They share so much with each other and talk about everything. This is not how I relate to my mum and I felt a sense of grief of all that I had missed out on.
I think, to be honest, that even though this was on Friday I am still processing the ceremony and how I feel about it. I do know that I will be back to the next one and I dare to entertain the hope that I will find a place to belong, share and build up strong relationships with new women.
You can find your local Red Tent here