Tag Archives: sweat lodge

We go a Visiting

Saturday, Jas and I went down to Chattanooga to visit the folks we would have seen had we been going to support my cousin in his quest.

I had wanted to see a couple that I had liked so well from my first Sun Dance experience that we did not get to see at this past year’s.  It is the son of the Medicine man and his wife that had spent many hours with me during that first Sun Dance and they live in the same area we were going to.

We also wanted to visit and were expecting to stay with the folks who were to have hosted the prayerful time for my cousin.

Sometimes thing then happen to change your plans.  In Native American speak, I mooned out. (Got my menstrual cycle.)  There was another person that had scheduled to come in for his prayers when my cousin cancelled, so I could no longer stay at the house of the destination.  Mooning women cannot be around as they carry their own power during that cycle and it can interfere.

This would also mean that I would not get to sweat in the sweat lodge at either place – both sets of folks we wanted to visit have their own lodges.

So not being sure if we would get to see the folks at the original destination at all, we phoned the others and were graciously invited over there to stay.

It was great.  We sat around and just shared stories, had a wonderful meal, she played her guitar and sang wonderfully for us and we laughed and laughed.

Being with them was so welcoming that it was like being enveloped in a hug the entire time we were there.  Pretty awesome.

The area in Chattanooga is just full of hundreds of different types of deciduous trees that just create this gorgeous canopy of jungle type atmosphere.  I got up in the morning and tried to find any of the seemingly hundreds of birds that were welcoming the day as I awoke and due to the height, breadth and density of the foliage, I could not see any of them.

After sharing another meal, we headed off to see the other group as it was relayed that if I kept to the house, we could come and visit.  Again, we were welcomed with much love and were able to spend a few hours catching up on everyone’s lives before heading back to Nashville.

It was a great weekend for me and of course it also included the “road trip” talk-a-thon that seems to prevail.

Heading out for some more sites today weather pending.

Love Sally


What those Butterflies meant


At each Sun Dance there is a sweat lodge that is used for the participants prior to the Dance actually beginning and for the supporters and singers nightly throughout.  I never ended up participating in that part during my time in South Dakota.  It just didn’t fit in for me at the time as mostly I was in bed and asleep by the time they had the rocks red hot for the nightly sweat.

This time around, I did participate in the supporters sweats.  It was always with the Native American singers that were there to provide the drumming and singing for the seven daily rounds of dancing.  I’m sure all sweats can be incredible experiences, but the power of their voices inside the small, enclosed space – void of any light save for the glow from the stones until the water poured on them cuts the glow and leaves a pure and total darkness is a potent event. The four rounds of each nightly sweat was again over my expectations.

Those sweats were so incredible and rejuvenating that I would feel like I could do just about anything afterward as I was filled with so much energy.

I don’t know if it was during or after a sweat or sometime elsewhere in prayer during the week, but another clear thought came into my head that I needed to tell the butterfly story to either the person that was in charge from New Mexico or the one from Tennessee.

I really hadn’t spent much time with either of them but I felt more comfortable going to the one from TN.   I had not relayed any of my previous years experiences with him or of how I felt before and after the event.

There are no experiences that surprise this group as they have all experienced and heard stories that would make most people think it was a Hollywood script .  He just listen intently as I told the story of having the one colorful butterfly on my leg and then the hordes along and in the road as we left the state and of my experience that the Mourning Cloak one was not about a death to someone I knew (or myself) but was my invitation to the memorial service the year prior.

He asked if I knew what the other masses of butterflies meant.  I confessed that I did not and felt that I was to tell him.  He asked what color they were.  I might have said they were all one color when telling the story, but can’t be positive of that.  Anyway, still a little leery of saying out loud that they were all black, I said they were dark.

distance yourself from the negative

I was then told that from how he was taught by the Medicine Man, the swarms of black butterflies are symbolic of an emotional release.


Wow.  Nothing could have been truer of how I had felt when that Sundance was over the prior year.

Love Sally