a red tent in venice

Since the beginning of recorded time, some cultures have provided support, recognized sacred rituals and even celebrated a woman’s moon cycle. Menarche, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause were regarded as sacred rites to be supported by the community rather than in isolation. There was a time when women retreated to the wild woods, into tipis and tents, and with the cycle of the moon celebrated together their innate creative power.

The Red Tent is a concept that Anita Diamont depicted in her popular novel. A red-tent woman is on a sacred feminine journey to return to herself. She focuses on being free and independent, yet intimately connected. This urban sanctuary was born from founder Caroline Keating‘s dream to help women with depression, anxiety and mental illness to find peace in their lives. Keating says, “Our tradition-starved, fast food culture is having a severely detrimental effect on the delicate balance of the monthly cycling woman at every age.” As such, The Red Tent is all about nurturance.

Abundant energy is contained within this sacred, temple-like space surrounded by rich red tones and tapestry. The Red Tent space has a gigantic fenced-in backyard with a community garden that is cultivated by the women who have embraced the beauty of nature and also themselves. They plant the seeds of intention, and by planting something in the ground, are able to get in touch with their own lives. Caroline raised The Red Tent eaves in September, and has since been sending the message to women in healing that it is okay to have your own unique experience, and when in the company of other women, you can stand together and be whole.

The Venice space has enough on the agenda to keep any woman on the right track. With semi-private therapeutic yoga classes, Caroline instructs no more than six women per practice. Weekly lunar yoga classes cycle the phases of the moon, as we are of a watery nature and are affected by these phases. Spiral dance classes in May are especially important since that is the month of the maiden, when the maiden comes into her creative power. Also on agenda are a number of retreats and events, including the Honoring Mother’s Day on Saturday, May 12 at 6 pm, for all women who are a mother to someone or something. 

Caroline Keating has been studying yoga for over a decade, teaching for five years, and practicing yoga therapy for three years. She is a student of the KYM in Chennai, India, and directs clinical yoga therapy programs for eating disorders, self-harm and chemical dependency recovery in Los Angeles. Now with The Red Tent, she hopes to help women get out into the world and have a positive outlook in all aspects of their lives.

Schools of Indian philosophy citing the Vedas as their scriptural authority have said that, “If you want to evaluate how strong a society is, then evaluate it by the strength of their women. It is the female energy that creates the basis for a society that is strong. It’s the Shakti.” In Hindu thought, the Shakti represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power. At The Red Tent, women learn to harness the mother-goddess within and a place in the grander scheme. As women, we are communal by nature and we nurture by instinct, and when provided with the appropriate environment, we know by heart how to celebrate the meaning of life.



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