Originally, the center was to be a gathering place, where we can be curious about things, try out new hobbies, habits, and ideas in a welcoming and comfortable environment. A place where we learn more about ourselves through connecting with each other through learning and having fun. However, our opening was scheduled at the same time the Pandemic hit our community and quarantine, social distancing and isolating became necessary. It was the exact opposite of our initial goal of bringing people together. So what did we do, we improvised, adapted and we have overcome! We are now a healing community working together to bring peace, healing and meaning to the lives of our clients and our community.
The Red Thread is a collaborative of licensed mental health providers, healers and teachers, who work independently while sharing collective space and resources.
Where Does The Red Thread Originate?
The red thread originates from multiple cultures: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Kabbalah, and Ancient Chinese legend.
In Hinduism, a red (also sometimes yellow or white) thread is worn by married women on the left wrist and by men and unmarried women on the right. The red string is viewed as sacred and is used in many religious celebrations and traditions. It is worn both as a symbol of good luck and protection as well as a way for people to feel connected.
Kabbalah is the mystical form of Judaism. In ancient Hebrew texts, Rachel, the mother of Joseph, tried to give birth for years without success. It was believed that she was infertile until, finally, she gave birth to Joseph. She died during childbirth with her second son, Benjamin. Her highest priority was to keep children safe and protected from evil, and for such she is revered as a holy mother figure.
Because of this, a ritual developed of tying a red string around her tomb seven times to infuse it with the energy of protection and luck. After unwrapping the string from Rachel’s tomb, it is then cut into bracelet sized lengths and tied onto the wearer’s left wrist while reciting a prayer for protection. It is believed that the bracelet will then ward off evil.
Because not everyone has access to Rachel’s tomb to wrap the red string around it seven times, it is instead often knotted 7 times while repeating a Kabbalah bracelet prayer.
In lineages of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism, the tying of a cord or string around one’s wrist is a common practice during ceremonies. The string is usually blessed by a Lama (a Buddhist leader) and given to students and practitioners to represent lessons learned, or to mark the occasion of taking Buddhist vows. Traditionally, the Lama blesses the string and then ties a knot and imbues it with a mantra. Similar to other traditions, it is said that these red cords bring luck and offer protection. They also serve as a constant reminder of vows if received for a vow ceremony, or lessons if received during a retreat.
“A scarlet thread” wrapped around the hand of two biblical figures, Pharez and Zarah, appears in Genesis 38 in the Bible. It is said that in the story in which this appears, the thread symbolizes redemption.
Ancient Chinese Legend
In ancient Chinese legend, the Red Thread of Fate is an invisible thread said to tie together all those whose lives will intertwine. It is governed by the Chinese God of marriage, Yue Lao, as it is often most associated with the link between two people who are destined to be married.
As you can see The Red Thread aka The Red String has significance to many different cultures. I feel compelled to share with you my personal significance with the Red Thread…..
In January 2005 I was tasked with one of the most difficult requests ever bestowed onto me. I was to speak at the funeral for a young man whom I had known since he was two years old. Griffin Allan Tobias Schwartz lost his life unexpectedly in a tragic car accident on January 1st, 2005. I loved this young man, I still do and I love/d his mother. The importance the two of them played in my life was/is profound. While trying to craft the perfect speech to share with the hundreds of friends and family that showed up for Griffin for his end of life memorial, I learned about the legend of the Red Thread. The Red Thread brought me peace and comfort and validated for me, a deep spiritual thought that I hold as truth……… The truth, for me is, we are all so deeply connected and our encounters and influence on each other’s life on earth is by no accident but by divine design. Even all these years later, I feel so completely connected to Griffin and even more so, grateful our lives are woven together by this beautiful red thread that continues to inspire me through hope, connection and love.
The significance of The Red Thread, stays with me with every interaction, connection and relationship I have, whether it is professional or personal. I can not deny the impact we all have on one another. May we all move forward in life, understanding, honoring and respecting our deep connections.
Click the links below to explore each of the Red Thread Center, Inc.’s Mental Health professionals below: