In back of our house is a shed that looks like a cottage. It is small, 10×14 or so and painted pumpkin orange inside. Eventually it is supposed to become my Reiki studio and herbal apothecary space but for now the door is a little leaky and so it is used primarily for our monthly Red Tent temple and the occasional meditation when it’s not too cold. Now it is also used for our Pink Tents temples for the young women.
For our first meeting the layout was like this:
We all gathered and the girls seemed slightly uncomfortable and a little nervous. They all know the two of us adult leaders and have mostly been in classes we have taught or other groups we have led, so they were comfortable with us and yet still nervous about what we were doing. So I played some music and we danced and by we, I mean the two adults danced and the girls sort of stood there and maybe wiggled a little bit. They seemed very shy about this body movement thing but there was a lot of giggling. The dancing, such as it was, seemed to release a lot of the tension.
Then we all found a comfy spot, some on the couch, some on cushions on the floor, and I read them the story of Gawain and the Loathly Lady. This is a story of sovereignty, a tale in which the woman is whole unto herself and while there can be complaints made about how she achieves this sovereignty, still she does achieve it and that is the important thing. I spoke a little about how I hope that each of them will be whole within herself and not feel the need to have someone else in order to feel complete.
Patricia then took over and explained the G.I.R.L.S. list and the ideas for topics that we might cover in our gatherings. G=growing, changing bodies; I=image, self-image; R=relationships, (friends, parents, siblings, boys); L=love/hate, emotions; S=stuff, which includes a lot of things like sovereignty, sex (someday!) and other stuff. We invited the girls to add topics of their own under the headings and to erase those they didn’t think were important or didn’t want to discuss.
We had some dialogue when the girls asked questions, which is something that will always remain private* and then the adults left the girls to talk among themselves for about 50 minutes.
When we went back out to close, the girls had added to things to the list: crushes and modesty! Patricia then led us in an Earth Salutation to ground and the girls gathered their belongings and left. They all seemed happy and comfortable and agreed that it wasn’t as weird as they thought it might be.
I feel like our first Pink Tent was a success and that the girls all want to come back and spend this time with us and one another.
*Note: We told the girls that while the Pink Tent is like Vegas, What Happens Here Stays Here and that they should not discuss their friend’s personal revelations outside of the group, they are also to feel free to share our discussions with their parents.