“Women who regularly participate in circle are best at articulating its benefits. [One woman] said that what she loved most about her circle was how everyone went deep, and that this had changed her life because she now brought that depth into her relationships…”
The month during which I held this Red Tent was a busy month with lots of rituals: a Maiden blessing ceremony, Red Tent, a baby blessing ceremony, and a big summer ritual and chanting workshop for families. So, for this particular Red Tent it was important to keep it simple! I reached out to one of the regular participants who led us in a “soul scribbling” exercise that she learned in her training as a creativity coach. To do a Soul Scribble each woman closes eyes and draws a spontaneous scribble in her journal. Then, pass all scribbles to the left and each woman adds to each scribble. Keep passing to the left until each woman has added to each person’s scribble. This is really fun! The only eyes closed time is the first time, then you add what you’d like while looking. After the originals get back to their originator, she “reads” it. What does it have to tell her? What is the message? What does she see? Journal and discuss! We learned this from Traci, a Creatively Fit Coach with Back to heART Creations.
Remembering to ask for help from another woman in the circle was a good reminder to me that the responsibility for the circle doesn’t rest only with me…one of my skills is recognizing and reaching out to the skills of others and helping those talents unfold in the safe space we create together! I can’t forget to look around me! We also did a pre-recorded guided meditation to meet the four elements.
I chose these quotes to use for the passing of the rattle:
“There is a wild tiger in every woman’s heart. It’s hot and holy breath quietly, relentlessly feeding her.”
“Nothing will change as long as women say nothing.”
I asked the women to share: What is your tiger? And, what do you need to change? What do you need to be heard about in order for change to happen?
We also did a favorite body prayer adapted from the book Wild Girls by Patricia Monaghan:
1. Hands on your heart, take a couple of centering breaths.
2. Raise your open arms to the sky with face looking up.
3. Bring your hands back to your heart.
4. Touch the ground below you.
5. Standing up, put your hands back on your heart
6. Slowly, with left hand on heart and right arm outstretched, face looking to the right, begin to turn your body in a full circle.
7. Repeat with opposite hand.
The same week at the Maiden rite of passage ceremony I priestessed, we experimented with a collaborative, spontaneously created new chant.
We started with four pairs of words: “strong woman, wise woman, earth woman, sky woman” and then built the rest of the chant together in that moment. It was amazingly powerful and I encourage you to give it a try with your Red Tents! One of the women was looking a little skeptical as I encouraged them to do this and I said: “you look a little skeptical.” She said: “well, we already know lots of good songs, why not just sing them?” And, I said: “because we’re the only ones who know this one!”
And, that’s kind of the heart of it, right? Each woman, each girl, each circle knows its own “song” and we want to lift those songs up strong and proud! After we finished and I recorded us another woman said, “I continue to be amazed by how you get us to do things!” (That’s one of my gifts though. My priestess super power, if you will.)
Here is the recording of our song, one that did not exist on this planet until a hot Tuesday afternoon in August.
There is power in that act of revolutionary co-creation.
If you’d like to explore many more resources and techniques for the Red Tent as well as delving into the messy, beautiful real-life work of practical priestessing, I invite you to join me in our seven week Practical Priestessing or Red Tent Initiation courses.