Red Tent/New Moon Sister Circle Tips. One. Do you need to decorate?

Do I need to decorate my house before I invite friends over?

No.

I could leave it there but that wouldn’t be much of a blog post, would it? There is an idea that when we host a Red Tent, we should have lots of red textiles, wear red clothing, have candles and soft lighting and soft music in the background and yes, all of those things a gorgeous and wonderful. The pressure to conform to that ideal should in no way stop you from hosting your first Red Tent.

Whether you plan on meeting in a shared space, someone’s home, a Lady Lair, or an actual tent in the yard, the main thing is to gather. Decorating is nice, it does create a warm, womblike environment, it is not, however, the most critical thing for creating your own Red Tent Temple. What you need is community. Women. The intention to hold one another.

For the first several months I had my women’s circle, we met in a forest green room in the front of my house. It’s a small, cozy room and there’s a bathroom handy, but it was not, in any way, RED. In fact, it was exactly the opposite!

Women came anyway.

Image result for color wheel

Every month women came anyway, to sit in the green room, on old furniture, carefully balancing paper plates on their laps, feet tucked under them on the couch, to talk about their lives; to be held in sisterhood and safe space; to feel heard and seen in all of their (our) frustration, joy, sensuality, and humanity. No one cared that the room was green.

Eventually we moved out into my back yard, to a gardening cottage that was more private. We didn’t have a bathroom there and there would be the sometime mass exodus to come inside to use the bathrooms. Otherwise the cottage, now the Temple, was a perfect space.

The cottage in the back yard, aka the Temple.

We started out in the Temple with a bare, concrete floor covered with cleanly laundered but threadbare and retired bathroom rugs, a few camping chairs, and a table top that was the simply the long, narrow top shelf of the unit which housed paint cans and tools.

Every month I’d go out and knock the spiders down, clear and clean, light candles and turn on the space heater or a/c before the women arrived. If you’re gathering in a public space, like a church yoga studio, or community center, you won’t need to do any of this. You can set up chairs, or put cushions out and voila!

The idea of using red textiles to decorate is to create that warm, womblike space I mentioned earlier. The color also honors our bleeding time. The moon cycle that pre-electricity women nearly all synched to. The New Moon. This is why we hold the Red Tent Temple on or near the New Moon. They do create an ambience, a feeling of magic.

Inside the Temple in our back yard on a Red Tent Temple night. Our little altar.

My Red Tent group has now moved inside my home again, into our living room which ironically has red furniture in it. We do not have a lot of red wall hangings, or blankets around now. The candles don’t get lit like they used because I don’t want to soot up the house with untrimmed wicks, and none of us are minding the candles when we are hearing each other’s words. The fairy lights still hang out in the Temple, now storing piles of things that need going through and releasing. It seems that the Temple is the space for that. We initiated her.

Remember this if you’re starting up your own Red Tent Temple: give yourself permission to go ahead and do it; know you will grow as you learn; invite women to come and help with the Temple; try your best to include everyone who might wish to be there; hold the space even if you’re alone. Basically it’s the Field of Dreams concept: Build it and they will come.

Blessings until next time. xo Be

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