Things We Don’t Talk About screening

I’m extremely honored to be co-hosting Things We Don’t Talk About: Women’s Stories from the Red Tent with the award-winning filmmaker, Dr. Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost in October.  I’ve seen this ground-breaking film several times and cannot wait to share it with both the women & men in my community.

Things We Don't Talk About screening comes to York PA

Things We Don’t Talk About screening comes to York PA

Dr. Leidenfrost created this amazing documentary to chronicle the Red Tent movement that was sweeping the United States at the time she was filming.  Just 2 short years after it’s release, the Red Tent movement is now a worldwide phenomenon.  (On a personal note, it’s this movie that inspired me to start a tent in York PA.)

I’m thrilled that men are welcome to the screening, not just because they’ve been curious about what goes on inside the tent but also because they have mothers, sisters, daughters, girlfriends, and wives.  What impacts women impacts men and they need to be welcomed in the conversation about how we nourish each other and care for ourselves in a sacred space.  Though they cannot stay for the Red Tent celebration after the screening, the men will get a picture of what women do once the flap closes and we are sitting in sisterhood.  Briefly put, the Red Tent movement allows women a safe place to share their stories, nurture themselves, hear the wisdom of others, & honor the divine within.

While I’ve written about the Red Tent movement & my role in it before, this screening with Dr. Leidenfrost takes it to a whole new level.  May women and men find the experience profoundly moving and inspirational!

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The Red Tent

For years, I’ve led women’s workshops on a variety of topics from goddess cultures to the Burning Times to the Divine Feminine in modern culture.  While I’m the one planning & preparing the workshops, I humbly admit that they are made rich & provocative by the intelligent, interesting women who attend.  At first, I used curricula designed by others such as Cakes for the Queen of Heaven 1 & 2 by Rev. Shirley Ranck and Rise Up & Call Her Name by Liz Fisher but when I could no longer find packaged programs, I created a 12-month program based loosely on the pagan Wheel of the Year & how the changes in nature mirror the changes in ourselves.  It connected us to the past, each other, & our Highest Selves.

As that year draws to a close, members of the group began asking “What’s next?”

“What do you want?”, I asked.

“More!” was the overwhelming response so I set to work looking for new inspiration & very quickly found “Things We Don’t Talk About: Women’s Stories from the Red Tent“, Dr. Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost’s documentary inspired by The Red Tent, Anita Diamant’s New York Times Bestselling book.  I loved the book & couldn’t wait to view the movie.  It exceeded my expectations.

Red Tent promo

The summary on the back of the DVD says “…A Red Tent is a red textile space where women gather to rest, renew, & often share deep & powerful stories about their lives.  The Red Tent movement is changing the way that women interact & support each other by providing a place that honors & celebrates women, & by enabling open conversations about the things that women don’t want to talk about in other venues.”  THIS SOUNDS PERFECT FOR US.

Red Tent Temple Movement

We hosted a movie night/potluck dinner for women of any age interested in the idea of a sacred space where women could connect.  I wasn’t deliberately recruiting new members to the group but I was curious to see what kind of interest was “out there”.  One woman brought her elderly mother, another brought her teenage daughter, & yet another brought her sister.  This was better than I could have hoped.  After the movie I said, “Anyone have any thoughts they’d like to share?’

Almost unanimously & in unison, they said, “When do we start our own?”  I laughed & got excited about the possibility.

All over the world & most definitely in neighborhoods around this country, women are yearning for deeper connections & taking it upon themselves to form groups such as the Red Tent Temple movement started by Alisa Starkweather (co-producer of the movie).  My Women’s Spirit Circle also came out of a desire to care for ourselves as we care for one another, honoring every stage of our lives from girl to crone.

Red Tents are places where we can explore any topic including sexuality, the decision to have children or not have children, menopause, aging, relationships, & our first periods.  Nothing is taboo.  In the tent, we can give each other massages, perform Reiki & reflexology, create art, sleep, write in journals, share, laugh, cry, drum, dance, chant, meditate, talk, listen, & most importantly- hold sacred space where we can be our authentic selves.

Interior Red Tent

As I learn more about the movement & consider a way to make it a reality where I live, I readily admit I don’t know where the idea will go from here.  All I know is that I want to make it a reality & let it take on a life of it’s own.  What’s meant to be will be.