Red Tent Ontario
Where women gather...
All women are welcome
Red Tent Ontario was founded in 2015 to fill the growing need for a meaningful, supportive, safe community of women, for women.
Gathering every month in person and now virtually, our Red Tent is a loved and cherished hub of gatherings, events, rituals, ceremonies, and talking circles.
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Welcome to the Red Tent
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What women are saying:
Loved every second of my first Red Tent! It was an amazing experience of love and acceptance.
When you leave the tent - for a moment or a month or the rest of your life - you're the woman you WANT to be.
I was moved. I am still moving and inspired from the energy I received at my first Red Tent event. I will be returning again & again & again.
The red tent events are truly a magical experience and each one is a completely different experience, which for me makes it even more wonderful. I am so grateful to have stumbled upon this.
It's interesting how much I am looking forward to upcoming red tent dates. I truly find, as others have said, that it is "a gift" to yourself by taking time out of our busy lives to reconnect with ourselves and other women.
Feeling the unconditional love and support that flows throughout the room for other complete strangers is a remarkable experience.
When I came to The Red Tent on Saturday I had no expectations. The two hours in the Tent seemed to make the outside world disappear. Today is Tuesday and I am still basking in the red glow. There was, and I took it with me, an abundant peace and acceptance from women of all ages. It was an enriching experience.
In the centre is the sacred space, a low table, draped in a deep red cloth upon which is placed a sculpture of people connected in a circle, sage, a rattle and small sculptures of curved rounded women. Around the tent in a circle, taking their place as equals in the tent, are the sisters - women of wisdom - of different ages and stages joined and united, there for themselves and for each other. Women courageously honouring themselves.
The art of being fully present, leaving your troubles and to do list on a shelf for 2 hours is so intriguing. I felt completely safe and valued. Whatever anyone said I did not judge, simply listened and appreciated. How nice, how simple and how respectful.
Welcome to the Red Tent
We've been expecting you!
We are a safe community for you to discover and practise using your voice without receiving judgement.
You are free to express your emotions, your feelings, and your inner thoughts with your Red Tent sisters.
During Covid, we became a lifeline for many. When our physical connections were denied, our virtual connections thrived.
When women feel that they belong in a community that loves and supports them, they thrive too.
Come on in...
Women of all ages come to the Red Tent. We learn valuable life lessons from each other and through these multi-generational connections, we cultivate compassion.
Even if you've never been to the Red Tent before, you'll feel welcome and loved here. This is a safe, supportive place to be with your Red Tent sisters.
If your heart calls you to join us, please do. You'll be met with loving acceptance.
RED TENT PRINCIPLES
by Debra Jones
Whether in-person or virtually, our principles are laid out in this poem by Debra Jones, founder of Red Tent Ontario.
Sisters, welcome to the Red Tent - take a breath and calm your mind. You are welcome here in circle, Time for you to get aligned.
We’re positioned like a wheel, held by the centre’s sacred space. The circle is complete when every woman takes her place.
Sitting beside you as an equal - we show up just as we come. There is love here, we are friends here, and respect for everyone.
The circle is a vessel that supports your sacred time. It can hold you as you share with us whatever’s on your mind.
Whatever’s shared stays confidential to the tent, and not beyond. It’s that trust we share between us that creates the special bond.
We can share our own experience, the highs, the lows, the lot. We acknowledge others’ sharing even if they seem distraught.
We abandon need to rescue one another from her tears. Just a smile and kind attention lets her know they’re welcome here.
We embrace the pause of silence that allows us to reflect. It’s within that space of nothing that our soul can reconnect.
Take what you need to take today to fill your well complete. Give what you have to give to any woman that you meet.
And when you leave you’ll take away with you - inside your heart, a gentle knowing that you’re loved here, while together or apart.
Copyright Debra Jones - Red Tent Ontario 2021.
Some rights reserved. May be shared for non-commercial purposes with proper credit and citation.
We Gather at the New Moon
Traditionally, the New Moon, known as the Dark Moon, was a time that all women menstruated. Our modern way of life has since altered our individual cycles.
The moon goes through a repetitive cycle of waxing and waning, from New Moon to Full Moon to New Moon, etc. The entire cycle lasts 28 to 29.5 days (one full menstruation + ovulation cycle).
The cosmic energy of the New Moon marks a fresh beginning. A time to consciously let go of the gains and losses of the old cycle, and plant new seeds of intentions for what you wish to bring forth in your life for the next cycle.
Together, we discover the benefits of aligning to the moon's cycles.
The Herstory of the Red Tent
“The Red Tent,” a novel by Anita Diamant, published in 1997 gave us a story of women who, following ancient law, must take refuge during menstruation and births.
The women came together in a menstrual hut, known as the Red Tent. In 2014 the story was made into a TV miniseries starring Minnie Driver.
Around 2009, ALisa Starkweather, founder of the Red Tent Temple Movement, pitched her first Red Tent, inspired by the women’s consciousness groups of the 1960s.
Red Tents are not political. 1960s feminism fought the patriarchy. This is not feminism, this is empowerment.
The Red Tent movement follows a tradition of women-honouring-women that has continued for thousands of years. Today, we're creating a world that honours the Sacred Feminine. We support a balanced perspective that masculine and feminine attributes exist in all beings, and we can find that balance within the Red Tent.
When we learn to honour ourselves, we teach others how to treat us. The Sacred Feminine embraces love, honesty, trust and respect for all.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens in the Red Tent?
In our modern way of life we're all so used to having an agenda - things we need to accomplish, to plan, to execute ... WELL ... think of the Red Tent as the opposite of that - you get to BE instead of 'do'. Oh, we'll have a little structure, as we're all comfortable with that, but the rest is up to you! No expectations of you, no pressure, no judgment. It's whatever YOU need it to be.
What do you actually do in the Red Tent?
Every gathering will be 'organic' meaning that the activity or non-activity will flow according to the needs of the women who attend. It can be a SPIRITUAL experience, a HEALING experience, a BONDING experience, an EMPOWERING experience, an EDUCATIONAL experience ... you get the picture.
Most importantly, you get to be AUTHENTIC in an environment that encourages your self-empowerment and acknowledges your uniqueness.
A Red Tent Sister shared this: 'When you leave the tent - for a moment, or a month, or the rest of your life - you're the woman you WANT to be'. We think that says it all.
What can I expect in the VIRTUAL Red Tent?
We're on ZOOM, so you'll see the faces of your Red Tent sisters. We'll start with a poem that sets the tone for our gathering, then we might pull a Womanrune Card to start a conversation. The rest is created organically and will be perfect for whoever is attending.
What can I expect in the PHYSICAL Red Tent?
We will gather in person again soon!
To help you get comfortable, we wrote a little story...
My Red Tent Experience
When she arrived, she was warmly greeted with sisterly love and smiles as she hung up her coat and took off her shoes (she was glad she thought to bring her slippers - 'such a simple luxury', she thought). She was excited and gladly paid her $20 to help fund the Red Tent. She pulled back the red curtain and ventured into the Red Tent... A little unsure of what to do next, she decided to make herself a tea and found a cozy corner to lounge on the luxurious cushions and blankets that covered the floor. From this safe place, she felt she'd be able to watch what other women did. She hoped that she had sufficiently blended in.
The elders had taken their place on the comfy couch. She noticed their friendly smiles and an aura of worldly wisdom seemed to surround them. She looked around. 'This place feels exotic', she thought, 'womb-like and comforting. If only I had space in my home to recreate this feeling...' She watched her Red Tent Sisters arriving, some knew each other, some looked a little lost at first, but as she continued to observe she realized that it didn't matter. No one was watching her, she was free to be or do whatever felt right to her. There were no expectations of her, no pressure, no judgment. It was then that she realized why she had come; that the Red Tent was exactly what she needed ... and she gave herself permission to just 'be'...
She decided right then and there, that she would be back every month. 'What is 2 hours out of hundreds of hours in a month' she thought, 'I deserve it!' And she did!
** WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO RE-OPENING UP THE PHYSICAL RED TENT FLAPS! **
** Be sure you're on our email list to receive your invitation **
What else do you offer?
When we return to in-person events, we offer RITES OF PASSAGE ceremonies such as Croning, Queening (age 50), Menopause, Motherhood, and Menarche (first blood).
We hold talking circles, healing circles, drumming circles, fire ceremonies and other rituals.
We will also work with you to create a ceremony or ritual to suit your needs.
Can I promote my business or event?
In the RED TENT FACEBOOK GROUP - yes.
However, some Red Tent Sisters are businesswomen and it's important to mention that at New Moon Red Tent gatherings, we can put aside our business mind and step into receiving what we personally need to fill our well. Each sister attends the Red Tent to fill her own need for either 'down time' or interaction with her sisters.
There are many great events for networking and promotion but the monthly Red Tent gathering isn't one of them. We ask that you help us maintain sacred space by not promoting your business or events, or bringing promotional materials/business-related items for display or distribution to your Red Tent sisters - on or off the property. We thank you for respecting this very important aspect of our Red Tent.
Why do you smudge the Red Tent space?
Before each physical Red Tent, and collectively at the first Red Tent of the year, we use smudge to cleanse the energy of the Red Tent space and to clear our own auras.
Smudging is an ancient ritual that clears stagnant energy by burning sacred plants or wood, such as sage or Palo Santo, and allowing its smoke to clear and bless a space.
At the Red Tent, we like the woody scent of Palo Santo. It's considered a magical wood - the magic being in the alchemical process that happens after the death of the Palo Santo tree. For the wood to gain its healing properties it must die, but not just any death – only a natural death of a wise old tree. Palo Santo trees live for 80 to 90 years. After this death, the tree must remain in its natural habitat for 4 to 10 years to complete its metamorphosis. Only then do its sacred, medicinal and mystical properties come alive. A stick of Palo Santo wood is lit, and its smoke is used for the smudging ritual. This smoke is so powerful that it has become a staple in sacred rituals, becoming an essential energy tool for Shamans. Its aroma is just incredible - very fresh smelling with hints of mint and citrus - proving to be one of the most fragrant woods in the world.
How can I attend the Red Tent?
1. SIGN UP to get your invitation to the next Red Tent gathering
2. PURCHASE a ticket for the (virtual)Red Tent from your invitation
3. Using the camera on your smartphone or computer, connect using the button in your ticket confirmation email (link will become active 5 mins prior) Sign in to Eventbrite.