Which shall I go to, the Red Tent or the Purple Moon Tent?
In one word: Both!
If you are seeing Menopause on the horizon, if you are in the midst of it, or beyond it – you can find community in both. If you still cycle regularly – the Red Tent will continue to be your Home, while the Purple Tent will be something to look forward to…
In the same way that girls who haven’t started bleeding are invited to look forward to their Menarche as a powerful transition, so women in their cycling years are called to anticipate Menopause with new eyes. Not the corporate eyes that prescribe symptoms in order to sell you solutions, nor the cultural eyes that usher you into invisibility as an older woman.
In Celtic traditions Maidens were seen as Flowers, Mothers as Fruit, and Wise Women as Seeds. Flowering young girls need to be lovingly prepared by their mothers, grandmothers, elders, and mentors for their Menarche, the threshold into womanhood. Cycling women greatly benefit from preparing to transition from “Fruit” to “Seed”, taking their place as Wise Women once they cross the threshold of Menopause, celebrated and welcomed into the third phase of womanhood.
Women who have been menstruating for years, and are approaching “The Pause”, need support on their path toward becoming wise Elders of their communities. By and large no longer occupied with raising children, nor with furthering their careers, they become freer to spread their gifts like wild flower seeds in the fields of the world!
Red Tent or Purple Moon Tent, then?
Maidens, Women of all ages, and Elders – weave community in the Red Tent. Elders – need each others’ company in the Purple Tent.
The Red Tent is Multi-Generational by definition. And as such – it is revolutionary! There aren’t many places in current cultures for generations to mix. We have “Teen Centers” and “Senior Centers”, we have schools for the young and assisted living for the old. Separation, individuation, and compartmentalization are the order of the (main stream) day. In the face of it — the Red Tent is a haven for women young and old, a place where the emphasis is not on what separates us, but on what unites us!
The Red Tent continues to be a staple home for Maidens, Mothers, and Crones, where young and older women enrich each other and share their lives. The Purple Tent, much like circles of Grandmothers in indigenous cultures, is the next step. It is the sacred space women enter after having walked the path for many years. It is where women share with their Peers, where they give and receive support on the Wisdom Stretch of our lives. So indeed BOTH are open to all women, yet each serves unique needs. One — you can go to any time, the other is the one to look forward to. Isn’t it wonderful to look forward to being held in your wisdom years by a wise community of peers and elders, while being embraced by your multi-generational community throughout your life?