Friday, January 28, 2011

Red Tent Temple, 2/6/11, Bloomfield, CT

Please join us in honor of the Feminine Divine. (You.)

We will gather for your Red Tent Temple on February 6, 2011.

our Priestesses for circle will be Charlene and Liberty!

Please see our new topic-specific pages for easier access to foundational information!

Bring with you very cozy-warm clothes and blankets, it's a cold winter!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Red Tent Memoir, December 2010, Going Inward

Going Inward: The darkness of Winter as Passage to Self

Sunday. Red Tent. Artist Bazaar. The looming solstice and the longest night of the year. Christmas on the horizon. Expectations. Family. Community. Drawing inward…..being pulled outward….the dichotomy. So many things became woven together in the circle at this Red Tent meeting. The morning started as it usually does, a few early arrivals working diligently to set up a cozy, sacred and alluring haven for the group to play and laugh and be silent, and share and dig deep and speak openly. More women trickle in, each bringing something sumptuous and nourishing to share with the rest of the goddesses present. Soups of all kinds, chocolate, teas, fruit, nuts, kombucha. Books are laid out, candles lit, pillows arranged around the periphery of the circle that was promising to be large and full.

The mood of anticipation of the holiday season was made even sweeter by the fact that many women brought handmade creations to sell, barter or gift. It was a delight for the eyes and for the senses, wandering from table to table voyeuristically observing the fruits of so many fellow journeyers. From paintings to cards, jewelry to clothing, honey and jam, and a delicious array of herbal remedies and tinctures, the displayed treasures were honored, respected, and enjoyed by all. As women stretched, talked, ate, shared stories, read tarot cards and just accepted each others gift of presence, it became clear that another beautiful gathering of special talented souls was being created and that it was touched by the hand of the seasons and what that means to each and every woman attending.

The storytellers chair was put to use, with the reading of a poem.

Persephone's Decent by Charleen Johnston

It began it began it began
The spin of things misunderstood
The underpinning of the disturbed mood
Mistaking music
As the magic food
To take us there
The take us there where
The river runs and hides
Its floods beyond our eyes
Where the beginning grin
Wakes our minds to the
Saltwater seas we left behind

Does the we make me less of a me?

My memory takes my hand
And leads me to the other land
Where seasons sing
And singers see
All the reasons that learn to flee
From the proud forlorn dance
Of the echo of the trance
Where-in I lie, awake
Waiting to take the terror away
Away from the thoughts that pester me
Deepening into desperate dream
And I cannot fly
I cannot fly
My wonders amaze my wandering eyes
And I am taught to seize the skies
And gather them in
Gather them up into a system
A method to cope
Amazing the size and the sight and
The scope of the demon in dream
The demon in me
The little black devil spilling the seed
Bruising the smooth white satin
Sheen of a world uncovered
But never seen
And all this all this all this
Still made me free

I tell you now in poetry
The song that was sung to me
Thought I asked not for the
Bludgeoning the bruising
The bastardly using
Of a silver shining thing to cut
Me raw to carve me out
To risk the shiver and shame the
Shout and all about me
The monotony whispers
‘do you see, can you see, will you see’
But the beckoning just mesmerized me
And I collapsed
Futile attempt to read the maps
That covered me
Beautiful white flakes snowdrops
And dreamcakes and outside
I hear I hear the chorus repeat
Just sleep just sleep just sleep

Down down to the desperate deep
Layer I stumble I crumble
I forget the player I was meant to be
I forgot the flower that was forbade me
As the earth shakes
And caves in upon me, caves in
And crushes me, till I am reformed
Into a darkened thing
With melancholy whisperings
Escaping my lips
No light visible no silver ships
Slipping silently over the clouds
No weaving of life down here
In the ground
Where the master of puppets
Takes my hand cuts my strings
And makes this land
My home for eternity
He offers me the fruit, the
Red dripping juice the blood
Ripping loose from the
Pomegranate the seeds
Bleeding wet as I lay within it
Tasting of the underneath
Testing shadows with my teeth
But never satiated never full
My heart still hungers as
The fiery heat cools

I am offered as the bride
I am offered as the mistress
I am offered as the scapegoat
For the pain and the misery
And I accept this tale
I make it mine I wait to weave
Myself alive
In time
And the thunder breaks and
Hades stakes are
Turning white with innocence
The lightening bolt from Zeus
Is sent the ground is cleaved
And the underworld bent
Into a refraction just an abstraction
As I am lifted with him
Gathered in by the glorious glow
That speaks from his fingers
In a violent blow
A vicious attach on my torment
A godhead laying dormant
Waiting under the mud
Hands tied drinking blood
Bleeding life into my soul
Giving me back the right to life
Of which was stole cut with knife
From my lips from my thighs
From my heart and from my eyes
Giving me back the sight to fight
Against these fleas
These parasites that torture me
From underneath the realm
Of the dead
The home I have fled in the
Arms of Zeus
Delivered to the mother
Who set me loose with passion
Aflame with integrity to
Learn the game
And as a child I descended down
To return again to the ground
Where form would claim me once again
And then I rose to ascend
Taking with me the knowledge of sin
The knowledge that fear
Is the only sin within which
We are called to grow in light
To sew the life into faces and names
Into dreams and games
Into darkness and pain and laughter
Knowing its all part of the plan
Part of the wheel that turns
Itself over again

I am turned over made braver
Opened like a sieve but no
Longer enslaved
To the masks that haunt my
Childhood grave
I rise awake aware alive
Molding the map from the inside
And the song it ends
The melody descends into my skin
Into my veins into my past
Of shadows and pain
And it remakes me it shakes me
Up and forces me to see
That I am a dream
Waiting to bleed.

After the poetry reading, the women took turns wafting each other inside the room with pine fronds and the like, passing on blessings and intentions for wholeness. The typical routine of smudging with sage outside in the fresh air was passed up in favor of remaining warm inside the circle, so the change in ritual was appreciated by all!

The structured circle saw the exit of four beautiful young girls who were taking part in the day by enjoying the energy and light of the many older goddesses of various ages and generations. To revel in their spirit of youth and potential is always a delight!!!!!! There were so many women present that the bowl was passed around the circle only once, with the theme of the darkness of Winter and how it affects each woman.

There was a mixed reaction among the women in regard to the way Winter manifests for them. After hearing from most that this season is fraught with depression and anxiety, it was gradually agreed upon that the main reason for this is the expectations that come with the holidays and the antithetical relationship with our own cycles that is set up because of the desire to meet outer obligations and yet the need to draw into oneself and ‘hibernate’ thru the winter season, assimilating all the outward growth of the previous 9 months.
Each woman released necessary feelings associated with the theme, and when the structured circle ended with an intention for the new cycle, more food and conversation followed as well as dismantling of the sacred space that had been created for the day.

I have drawn a tarot card to read with the Intention of: What will the Return of Light and the Sun mean for us collectively in this new year, this new cycle.

The deck is ‘ The Tantric Dakini oracle’.

CARD: 12 Slay the Ego -associated with the Hanged Man card of the traditional tarot deck

-fruition, breaking thru bonds of the Ego, the breaking of habits, self-surrendering


Slay the ego bears the number 12

Way out in limitless space the goddess Kali is depicted wearing a milky nebula, her dark body reminding us of the vastness of outer space. She is known as Kalaratri, the “Night Of Destruction” the event which will happen at the end of the world, and which is necessary before a new world can be created.
Forsake the particularization of self for participation in the universal dance of life. Dissolve the veil which separates the self from the one divine unity. With courage and insight cut thru the bondage of the ego. Renounce all that impedes progress, break with habits and habit-forming thoughts. Self-surrender, leading to personality transformation.

May each find a way to flow with the cycles.