Tuesday Tidbits: Red Tent

April 2013 019

Dogwoods are blooming here.

“..by honouring the demands of our bleeding, our blood gives us something in return. The crazed bitch from irritation hell recedes. In her place arises a side of ourselves with whom we may not-at first- be comfortable. She is a vulnerable, highly perceptive genius who can ponder a given issue and take her world by storm. When we’re quiet and bleeding, we stumble upon solutions to dilemmas that’ve been bugging us all month. Inspiration hits and moments of epiphany rumba ‘cross de tundra of our senses…”
Inga Muscio

“The great mother whom we call Innana gave a gift to woman that is not known among men, and this is the secret of blood. The flow at the dark of the moon, the healing blood of the moon’s birth – to men, this is flux and distemper, bother and pain. They imagine we suffer and consider themselves lucky…In the red tent, the truth is known. In the red tent, where days pass like a gentle stream, as the gift of Innana courses through us, cleansing the body of last month’s death, preparing the body to receive the new month’s life, women give thanks — for repose and restoration, for the knowledge that life comes from between our legs, and that life costs blood.
Anita Diamant

I have to be quick today—lots going on. I don’t know if anyone else is enjoying my little Tuesday Tidbits post series particularly, but I really love doing it, because it gives me an automatic structure for a post, a sense of focus rather than an open book of endless possibility, and also the ability to put something up quickly even admidst life swirls. And, I find it funny how things collect around a theme without me consciously trying to do so. What collected around me during the past week was Red Tent Resources again…

First, a short video about starting a Red Tent:

Then, this cool Lunation website where you can subscribe to a newsletter and receive a free guided meditation called Connect to the Red Threads.

And, I enjoyed an article called Menstrually Yours – Women Can Map Periods as a Path to Self-Awareness.

This article uses the same “seasons” metaphor for understanding the energy of your cycle that a lot of menstrual empowerment activists are using. This seasons idea has helped me find an enhanced place of understanding about my own ebb and flow of energy, enthusiasm, and creativity.

Winter is the first stage, when we bleed. Characteristically it’s the time of wanting to hibernate (or just hide under a duvet and eat chocolate). We are withdrawn and inward and it’s tough to focus and find a lot of energy, contrary to the images forced on us by the Bodyform adverts.

Spring is the week after when the bleeding has stopped and we suddenly feel more energised and sociable. We want to get on and often we get stuff done quickly and with grace and ease.

Summer is characterised by our really coming into fullness, it’s when we are ovulating and energetically we are fully blooming and really advancing.

Autumn is when we start the decline back into ourselves. Typically now we may experience some PMT, being a bit snappy or less tolerant than we were in spring and summer.

via Claire Snowdon-Darling: Menstrually Yours – Women Can Map Periods as a Path to Self-Awareness.

What I find transformative about this understanding is the acceptance that comes from realizing what season I’m in and knowing that a new season is coming. Rather than get frustrated with myself during “autumn” or winter, thinking it means a permanent state of being, I say, “ah ha! This sense of needing to pull in and retreat. I know this. Time to break out some of those saved guided meditations, say no to things I can say no to, and sit down with a book and some tea.” Just a few months ago, I would have taken this impulse as a sign that my life is too crowded and I MUST. QUIT. SOMETHING. NOW. THINGS. MUST CHANGE. ARGHHHH. NO MORE! Now, I see that it is just a call for right now, for this little season, not a permanent change, just an honoring of body rhythms. Interestingly, I’m actually in the summer stage of my own cycle right now, which is the time I usually wait for and get a bunch of “stuff done” and scheduled to post so that when I feel withdrawn again, my blog can go on on its own. However, with my grandma’s dying process and my mom’s absence while she cares for my grandma in California, I actually feel extremely “autumn” right now and would like nothing better than to just lie down with a book and STOP. My kids and my students all need attention though.

And, I enjoyed this cool website too:

Birthing Art Birthing Heart is a website

that promotes, facilitates and offers examples of art made by woman.

Birthing Art Birthing Heart offers new ways for woman to explore what they are ‘birthing’ at any given moment.

via Birthing Art – Birthing Heart – Home.

Bringing it into the Red Tent theme, they have a current project called Bleeding Art, Bleeding Heart too.

Speaking of art, though it isn’t finished yet, I made a couple of new pieces about my grandma. This is the first one:

April 2013 038

The shells were supposed to be a spiral, not a “6,” but on such a small surface, I couldn’t spiral them any better.

Related past posts:

Red Tent Resources

Book Review: Moon Time

Moontime’s Return…

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