Including my teens in pagan practices has been both fun and challenging.
I moved to Colorado 4 years ago and it took me 2 years to really begin attracting my tribe. I was invited to a Red Tent women’s circle by a new friend and decided to go try it out. (I am an introvert and recluse except in certain situations.) I’ve been solitary my whole life in regards to my spirituality and it’s expression (excepting various online discussion groups), so this new thing, this welcoming into the sacred and safe space a Red Tent is to represent was very appealing to me. I also have two teen daughters and decided it was very important to include them in this new endeavor. I believed it would enrich them as much as myself.
The space provided by my friend was warm and welcoming and really really deep. I brought my two teen daughters. The first meeting we all worked together to decorate a talking stick which we use during circle time if there’s more than like three of us. After a few months, as we all bonded, it was obvious that ALL of us appreciated this sacred and safe space to share what was deep deep within each of us. Things we didn’t even know we were pained about would come flooding out.
There came a time when I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle really knowing how deeply my daughters have been troubled by various situations and trauma they experienced in their lives. I began to wonder if I really wanted my daughters to come to this particular red tent with me, with my friends and confidants, to share how much they were impacted by events in their childhood which directly related to some of my own life choices. I almost banned my daughters from coming with me anymore, especially as my own pains and traumas were drawn out within the red tent setting and there was no way to avoid it all pouring out in front of my children. But I persisted.
I felt it was really important for me to know the depths of their being, as well as reveal to them the depths of my own being. I also wanted to show them that you don’t have to be alone, especially after being solitary in my practice for so very long. There is support. You don’t have to keep it in. That commUNITY is about communicating with each other and having a place where each of us fit in. And by golly, if this was how our healing and bonding as yin/women was going to happen, and there is literally no modern initiation into adulthood/mind practices, then so be it. It is my thought that if they see the depths of me, raw, they would more easily accept their own raw depths.
I found the experience to be incredibly liberating, empowering and was so thankful for a space of women, other than my own space, for my daughters to be able to share in without too much inhibition that I was there also.
My oldest daughter no longer comes to the red tent with us, she’s having crazy adventures of her own. My younger daughter still comes with me most of the time, but I do make sure to go on my own without her on occasion. It’s really all determined via intuition.
While all of our red tents are scheduled around new moon, there are different things we do at each. Sometimes our red tents are all about healing our wounds. Sometimes our red tents are about intentioning. Sometimes our red tents are used to do actual ritual as we are a small group of women and the general public is not necessarily a part of our gatherings. All of these things are determined via intuition as the red tent approaches and astrological guidance.
Do you go to Red Tents? Do you include your teen daughters in your red tents or women’s circles?