sisters – female blood relations having the same parents or women emotionally bonded by choice or circumstances; (having no blood sisters of my own, my female cousins and a few good girlfriends are my life sisters)
I live in a reality filled with men (my husband, my four sons, my brother, my father, my clients, etc… ) and all their beautiful energy is lively, fun, large and always demanding. But I cannot for a moment imagine a life not filled to the brim with female energy. My world is also full of wonderful women and these women make my world wonder/full.
I often ponder the Biblical concept of the Red Tent (The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant). During menstruation, the women were sequestered in their private quarters- a sanctuary of sorts- where no worldly demands met them. It was simply a time to relax and bleed. A place where neither men or children were allowed. A place where the young, pre-menstrual girls, and the wiser, menopausal women, tended to the needs of the menstruating women. This sacred space allowed a woman to rejuvenate her energies and strengthen her soul so that she could meet all her worldly obligations empowered.
This sacred space tied a woman to other woman in deep, meaningful ways. Stories were shared, strong experiences were nurtured and ever-lasting matriarchal lineage support systems were embedded. From girl to woman to wise crone, forever and ever in the red tent.
Each month on my moon cycle, I imagine myself going to the Red Tent. I imagine my sisters and I at last being able to share some quality time. I imagine my mother or my grandmother meeting me with hot teas and soups. I imagine my daughter or my nieces rubbing my feet and brushing my hair. I imagine my girlfriends coming in to visit me for a good laugh chat. I have to imagine these times in hopes that I may actually see them again. You see, I believe in those Biblical times the way I believe in my mother’s love. It existed, it was real, and it really mattered.
Unfortunately, without the red tent, we are often disconnected and disenfranchised from our female support systems. Without our sacred spaces too many misunderstandings can occur. There are, in fact, far too many times in our short lives when we are simply not speaking with the women who matter. For a multitude of reasons, circumstances, or emotions beyond anyone’s control, communications are down.
We may think of these women, fondly or in anger. We may dream of them, fleetingly or often. We may even believe to communicate with them, telepathically or through delivered messages. But moon after moon passes and the passionate, real, face-to-face, no faking the body language, communication has yet to occur. The loving experience one would need in order to shift the relationship back into equilibrium.
I have found that during these times, devoid of an important heart ally, I must sink my roots deeply into Mother Earth searching for an underground spring that can feed my body with core strength. In these downward journeys’, I have discovered an unending connection to that healing spring which is made possible by a matriarchal umbilical cord that has never ceased to flow with life force and love. We may not be in our tents each month anymore with a hosts of siblings and relatives, but we have not been forsaken and forgotten.
In fact, the ancestors and spirits and ghosts of my family have me remembering and salivating for those past times where there was a space just for the women. A space that honoured an ancient cycle of moons and blood and womanhood, in a world that valued heart connections.
Our world is different today, we don’t necessarily live near the women we value most. Yet, imagine, that in every village, town, island, or city that the red tent existed not only as a place but as a monthly expectation. Imagine how different our world would be if each time we cycled, we were allowed time off to do nothing but be with the women.
I am no longer satisfied to simply imagine that space, as my ancestors are beseeching me to restore the ancient ways of harmony. I have a burning need to establish “the red tent” in my home, then fervently hope and wish that my sisters can join me here, hence, if only for a moon of their life!
Today, having recently turned 40, I am going to pick a dandelion and blow the petals to the wind while I whisper my hopes and wishes…
can you hear me?
the love we share in the Red Tent, the stories we tell, the secrets we covet, will be heard, loud and clear, by the next generation of female ancestors and kindred spirits…
“may they learn to grow from our experiences”
Dreaming into the next world of harmony and peace,
Navajo, May It Be So
(incidentally, we all know women living together, regulate their cycles and bleed together…in a balanced healthy state, we would bleed at the dark of the moon into new moon for no more than 3 days placing us all in the tent at about the same time; of course hardly anything is balanced on Mother Earth at this time in the story, even the poles are shiffting- so cycles are definitely askew, nonetheless, Happy New Moon!!!)