by Prue Nichols
I had always wanted to set up a woman’s circle. I think that when women get together to share their stories and support each other then it’s a time of great power and transformation. So when I read an article in the Telegraph about Red Tents; I immediately knew in my heart that was what I wanted to create. A monthly gathering, led by the lunar cycle, where women had the space to just stop and reconnect to their dreams and deepest wishes.
As I do healing, massage and reflexology; I’m very much influenced by body work and a key theme for each Red Tent is looking at which body part is affected by that particular new moon. During the evening we look at the emotions that the specific organ holds and journey, through meditation, to release toxicity that the cells are holding on to.
The first Red Tent was in May when the new moon was in Taurus. I was so nervous. Yet underneath all the fears was a desire, so strong to create a sacred, safe space for women to be held and supported wherever they were in their journey. And I knew that essential oils and the flower essences were an important part in how the space was held. For me I saw the essences and oils as an emotional safety net to support everyone in the circle.
I use these remedies a lot. I have flower essence cards and often start a session with my client choosing a card. It really helps to shape the treatment and gives an insight into where the person is emotionally and what the body needs. I was first introduced to the Healing Herb brand when i studied reflexology over 15 years ago. It was part of the course to choose a card each month. At the time I worked in Corporate PR and while I was happy enough living the standard London life; i knew it wasn’t my life’s calling. Yet at the time I just didn’t know how to get off the corporate ladder. I remember the Wild Oat* flower essence card came up a lot!
At the end of the reflexology course I decided to leave my job and move to Thailand to do a TEFL course so that I could teach English abroad. I didn’t know at the time why I was going to Thailand – I just knew on some level that i needed to start again. Really my thinking didn’t extend beyond thoughts that Ban Saen, a little Thai fishing village which hosted the course, seemed as good a place as any.
With hindsight I can see that I needed to shake up every part of myself so that I could come back to the UK and create a very different life. I ended up being away for two years and while I started in Thailand teaching English I travelled all around Asia and lived in New Zealand and India. Coming back to the UK was quite challenging and again the flower essences featured strongly in my life – I think Walnut** got me through some tough times as my mind likes linear goals and a clear direction. I often felt quite lost and alone during those times of transition.
Even when I had a vision of creating a sanctuary for women through massage and reflexology, I still felt unsettled. I wanted to move forward quickly and my Gemini moon didn’t want to wait for life to unfurl naturally. I still have a big bottle of Impatiens*** from this time. I can really see how this essence, more than any of the others have shifted my unconscious patterns of rushing, forcing and pushing things through at the detriment to my health and wellbeing. And yes there are days when I get frustrated but I really get, on a deep heart level, the power of divine timing. I simply wasn’t ready to have a non stop busy massage business at the beginning. There were still lessons that I needed to learn.
Alongside the flower essences, essential oils also play a big part in maintaining my balance and connection to my heart. While I had always had oil diffusers in my bedroom since I was a teenager (although they tended to be oil burners with tee lights in the early days), it has only been in the last few years that I’ve used essential oils regularly in my daily life. One of my favourite books is Emotions and Essentials Oils, as I love how the different oils support us emotionally. I have a diffuser in each room in the house and there is definite energetic shift when the diffusers are on.
Essential oils play a big part in keeping the space in the Red Tent sacred. Each month, the theme of the evening is connected to which sign the new moon is in. For example the October new moon (30th October) was in Scorpio. The essential oil Patchouli, having one of the deepest base notes as well as aphrodisiac properties, is the signature oil of Scorpio. Using this oil in a diffuser and room spray really helped act as a container so that a deep space could be opened for each person in the circle.
Overall I’m really grateful to both the flower essences and essential oils. As well giving me a sensory and emotional lift; they are my first port of call in times of need. As a holistic practitioner, I seek the emotional cause of any physical ill-ease I may be experiencing and without doubt I trust and have experienced first hand the healing abilities of both of these remedies.
*Wild Oat is all about when we’re lacking direction and feeling unfulfilled.
**Walnut – ideal for change and different stages of development. It came back into my life when I was pregnant too.
*** Impatiens is probably one of my default essences. The name is self explanatory and it’s when we feel irritated by constraints and impatient to move forward.
Prue Nichols is the founder of The Orange Grove Holistic Therapies wwww.theorangegrove.net and the author of ‘The Natural Laws of Work, how to stay cool calm and collected in the workplace’ which is available on Amazon.