I have spent the last several weeks, sweating, praying, and planning. Our first traveling Red Tent was coming up at a gathering that I have been a part of for quite some time. This meant a lot to me. Not just because it’s our first traveling Red Tent, but because Wolf Run has meant so much to me over the years. This land has literally been home to me, and these people are family. I hoped that I was bringing something that would honor that connection, and give back some of what was shared with me. So I worked hard. I planned, and slept little; both out of “trying to get everything right’ in my head, but out of sheer excitement. I sewed a lot of panels of material, poking myself with pins, burning myself, breaking sewing machine needles etc; but I did it all with love and joy, while listening to womens chants, and empowering music. I planned the altar layout, planned the Temple ritual, and the trance dance. I packed everything that we would bring with us out there, and that is a lot more work than it sounds. And it was all worth it! This weekend turned out better than I even imagined it.
This is the temple space out at Wolf Run, and we were the first to be able to use it. It’s a 10’x20′ space, that is about 8′ high. You can see some of things I brought, as we prepare to set up. The energy of the land out there is peaceful and healing. I was so very grateful to be invited into this space! The trail leading up to the Temple has Sweet Pea growing on either side of it. Can you imagine walking to the Red Tent surrounded by Sweet Peas?
So with the help of my husband, the fabric was hung. Then I blessed the space, set the altar, laid out the rugs, and blessed it again, inside and out. I called upon the spirit of the land, the Goddesses I work with, and Gaia herself to be present, to bless this space, to bring into it what the women who would be there needed. I asked to be a tool of their design, to be the channel or vessel of their wisdom and love.
Saturday, 8-8-8 energy we started our Red Tent Temple at 11 am. I blessed each woman entering the space with a drop of Rose Absolute and a hug. After getting settled in and greeting one another, chatting, and getting comfortable we raised the energy and got to work on a ritual designed to honor the seasons of our lives, the planting, the harvest, and that which does not grow. Women were invited to bring forth their emotions of loss and disappointment, pain, frustration, etc to be released by writing on corn husks to be burned away in the community fire. Then we focused on the abundance that we were blessed with, and with that energy set an intention for the next season into corn kernels, to be planted in whatever way they felt was right for them. The women in our group are such brave, beautiful, and amazing women. I was so proud of the work that they did in the tent this past weekend! We were gifted the food for our Temple by Wolf Run, and after the ritual we ate, and talked about the experience that everyone had. Everyone was so very supportive, warm, and open, and what was shared in the Red Tent stays in the Red Tent, and I was very humbled by the amount of healing that happened in that sacred space over the weekend.
I answered questions about Red Tent before and after the Temple, and throughout the remainder of the weekend. I told the women that the Red Tent was their space, and that they were welcome to go there, light candles, incense, rest, pray, whatever they needed. Often, when I went back to the Temple after eating or visiting or what have you, there was a new stick of incense burning and/or new candles lit, and it made my heart glad to know that the women felt comfortable using the space, they knew it was theirs too. That feeling.. it’s indescribable.
Trance Dance was powerful, and I had another first this weekend. My first time leading Trance Dance with a young lady present. She couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11 years old, and so I modified on the fly; and though it was toned down a little, she and everyone else seemed to have a great time, and got what they needed out of it. I had a blast watching the joy of that young one dancing, expressing the energy of youth, pure and innocent. The smiles, the giggles, and the goofiness of just having fun without any pretense or fear. She inspired me, and reminded me of all of our own internal maidens. May we always find that joy, innocence, and fearlessness!
I was requested by the women to come back again next year, and I already spoke with the board. We are invited back! In the meantime, I will plan, work, hope, and continue to dream in red!
For more information about Wolf Run Wildlife and Spiritual Sanctuary go to their website at Wolf Run Wildlife and Spiritual Sanctuary or on facebook at WRWSS.