A Homecoming for Awakening Women

The rise of the Red Retreat...

“From the moment we arrive at the great mother river, to the time we depart, we’re essentially in ceremony,” says Kali, one of four crones holding space for up to 70 women camping annually on the banks of the Breede River. “In the opening dance, we’re invited to introduce ourselves by sharing our matriarchal lineage - from ourselves, to our mother, to our mother’s mother. In response, the women reply, ‘Welcome home.’ Without fail, everyone is taken by surprise at the raw power of this simple ritual.”

Now in its 6th year, The RED Retreat was originally dreamed into being by Valentina Leo, Kali Satyagraha, Rhianne van der Linde and Lolla Odendaal, and inspired by the ancient tradition of the Red Tent, where Middle Eastern women would take refuge in nature away from their communities during their menstrual cycles for seven out of every 28 days to rest and gently journey inwards into the mysteries of the feminine, motherhood and menopause passed down from crone to mother to maiden, over generations, through ritualised poetry, song, drumming, dance and prayer.

Today, Red Tent movements are growing in number all around the world as increasing numbers of women desire to remember and awaken the ancient mysteries of their ancestors, returning to a more intuitive, embodied way of living in accordance with the natural rhythms and cycles of being in a female body. 

There’s a developing recognition that the forgotten – but never lost - ways of the feminine are critically important to the conscious evolution of humanity as a whole, because when women heal, families heal, and when families heal, communities heal – and this healing ripples out across the world. 

The RED Retreat is a co-created, immersive experience into the untamed mysteries, womb wisdom, and pleasures of feminine embodiment, celebrating the intensity of being “fully alive in beautiful bodies of bliss”. Women eat, laugh, sleep, dance, trance, love, cry, sing, howl, shake, roar, drum, vision quest, pray and play together as one tribe returning home to their true purpose as the creators of life itself.

If you’d like to try the experience for yourself, the next RED Retreat will take place at Up the Creek Farm on the Breede River near Swellendam from 31 October to 6 November 2024. Visit www.theredretreat.com for more.

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