While living at Sweethome, I had several practitioners present their work in classes, workshops, and events. One Cree native desired to have a sweat lodge as part of our fall gathering. I had no idea there were so many dos and don’ts in setting up the space! I was reprimanded for not wearing the right clothing and for crossing the imaginary line that no one mentioned was there. I was told that no photos could be taken at any point during the setup or the ceremony.
Once inside the tent we had constructed, I had a lot of thoughts to examine. Why was I feeling like I wanted to run out of the tent? It was not the heat—I had stayed the full round in sweat lodges before. I felt trapped, just as I had in the Christian church where I had to conform to the rules set by the “leadership.” So, this was a trigger for me. [Read more…]