Red tent ceremonies, ThetaHealing® and harnessing the power of your menstrual cycle

I was inspired by a ‘Go with the FLOW’ power of the menstrual cycle talk recently by Jo Fuller, founder of the Merry Menopause as part of the women’s entrepreneurial group milknbizz virtual retreat series, which lead me to think more about the role of healing ourselves in helping the next generations love their bodies, their femininity and their flow.

In the talk, Jo discussed the different ‘seasons’ of our menstrual flow, and how we can harness that in organising our time and when we do certain activities involving reflection, planning, communication and action, in our natural ‘spring,’ ‘summer,’ ‘autumn’ and ‘winter’ phases of our cycle. Having a group of women entrepreneurs coming together (even virtually on Zoom) to learn about a different way of organising your life and your time to go ‘with’ your own flow, not against it (e.g. the expectation to fit your life into a 9-5 daily grind of meetings, high pressure and deadlines in the majority of jobs – in the Western world at least), was a really amazing experience. It made me think a lot about the power of community, the influence that even one or two people can have on a whole group in being kinder to yourself, and the influence that women collectively can have on the next generation.

As a trained ThetaHealer® myself, I often find myself thinking about the impact of the individual, the significance of someone’s personal healing and growth, not only for the present, but also future generations (whether that be family, or the people around you – we’re all connected). Harnessing the power of your period as a theme of the talk made me think of one my 1:1 ThetaHealing sessions with another ThetaHealer, quite early on in my healing journey, where the energy of the ‘Red Tent Ceremony’ was a key aspect of that particular healing session.  

The healing energy of the ceremony came up at that particular time to help me to heal some of the shame I had around my own menstrual cycle. As with most of the healing that takes place in ThetaHealing®, it’s the energies that the healer senses in the meditation, which can often be very beautiful and significant to the person receiving the healing. ThetaHealing® is a gentle healing modality, with no touch or physical objects required, it’s the ‘witnessing’ of the white light energy as it pours over the client, that heals in this modality. The ‘Red Tent’ energy was something that my ThetaHealer witnessed in the Theta meditation in a particular 1:1 where we worked on my relationship to my femininity, and healed from some shame around this in childhood.

The ceremony traditionally refers to an ancient ritual where women from a community would meet in a nurturing and supportive space around the full moon, for rest, support and reflection, and girls from the community were thought to have started to attend once they’d started their menstrual cycle. It’s traditionally thought of as a time and nurturing space for gifts, songs, storytelling, conversation and support.

Like many teenagers growing up in the UK at the time in the early 2000s, I kept anything to do with my period a secret from most people, because I feared it wouldn’t be accepted, and this led to a subconscious feeling that my femininity, my sensuality, my maturity as a woman, wasn’t accepted either. Even big brand producers of sanitary towels at the time were creating funky tin holders to ‘disguise’ and ‘keep discreet’ the big secret that 50% of the population experienced for a large part of their life… the monthly flow! No-one would ever know what was kept underneath the lid of an art-deco aluminium disposable canister! Fast forward to now, little did I know what a magical, significant and divine time your menstrual cycle really was!

During the healing session, the healer witnessed the healing go to my inner child part of me, the part that needed nurture, support, appreciation and community around the time of starting my period, which for me happened in my early teens. By sending healing to my inner child, she was able to share the healing she witnessed, the energy of the Red Tent Ceremony, sent via the 7th plane meditation using ThetaHealing, the energy of receiving a selection of gifts for my inner child to choose from, of dresses, essential oils, jewellery to wear, songs to sing, dancing and support from other women. The older part of me assisted my inner child through a difficult time, with the energy of the Red Tent ceremony (via the 7th plane meditation) as a way of healing, and that part of me was able to invite any younger parts of me ‘stuck’ in the past, to join me in the present, celebrating all things divine feminine about my menstrual cycle, about my body, and me.

With ThetaHealing®, it was possible to heal my inner child, and also gave me the tools in which to talk positively about my period to the next generation and to those around me. My migraines that I used to get around my period have long since gone since the healing, and through a combination of ThetaHealing®, choosing a healthier diet (organic foods, cutting down on white flour and refined sugar), exercises good for the core and the pelvic floor (e.g. yoga and pilates), giving myself time to rest, meditate and journal during certain times of my cycle, and learning more about the magic of ‘womb wisdom,’ I’m constantly developing a more positive relationship to my body as a result. My feminine cycle is no longer something I’m trying to hide, but a power I’m learning to harness.

Is the answer the reintroduction of the Red Tent Ceremonies to help combat the suppression of this feminine superpower, learning to live in a way that’s in tune with the phases of the moon? Is it possible to fit in this kind of community, in a patriarchal structure where everything relies on pace and uniformity 365 days a year? Or it just talking about womb wisdom informally with others, and sharing knowledge and tools enough in this day and age to harness our divine feminine? Perhaps this choice is just down to the individual, but the more we share what’s possible in empowered feminine groups (I love you too divine masculine, just saying, but I know the more ‘awake’ among you have got our backs), the more we can feel empowered in our bodies, and not be shamed or somehow not feel visible, or like we don’t ‘fit’ in societal structures. There are ‘Red Tent’ style communities that have re-emerged since the ancient practice (this is assuming they ever totally went away!), and you can read more about one example in the US here and one here. Comment below if you know of any more 😊

I’d recommend reading more about harnessing the power of your cycle in the following books (you can also find a really comprehensive book list on the Merry Menopause’s website:

Period Power – Maisie Hill

Wild Power – Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer

Untamed – Glennon Doyle

The Soul of a Woman – Isabel Allende

From Daughter to Woman: Parenting Girls Safely Through their Teens – Kim McCabe

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