When I first arrived one of the women I’m sharing a room with offered to give me skirt, out of nowhere. Just said she had a skirt and I should have it. Now, who here believes everything happens for a reason? Because I do. It turns out Creator meant for me to do a sweat. Had I not received that skirt I would have had nothing to wear to the sweat today. Spooooky.
Ok so let me remind everyone that I am Inuk, you know, up north, big cheeked, ice fishing, eskimo. I don’t do heat. Racial jokes aside, heat and me don’t mix. I have cried because I was too hot and couldn’t function. However I have always wanted to do a sweat. I love sharing cultural traditions with others and it was an honour to have my first sweat be a Two Spirit sweat with a Two Spirit elder leading us.
So for those of you unfamiliar with sweatlodge ceremonies, you’re to take off all your jewelry because it gets so hot it might burn you. I have a medusa piercing smack in the middle of my face and I tighten it as much as possible to make sure it never budges. Long story short I had 4 people try to yank the thing out of my face and ended up having to tape my upper lip and everyone said I looked like Charlie Chaplin. (Ps thanks everyone for saying Charlie Chaplin instead of Hitler).
We sang songs, we drank water, shared berries, and apples, and drummed, and it was absolutely amazing. I spent most of it with my face on the floor like a good little heatphobic Inuk. Everyone was really supportive and guided me through the different protocols and even let a few of us first timers step out between rounds to cool off.
After our last round one of the other youth received their spirit name. It was beautiful. His name is now Clear Sky Man. How freaking cool is that? I felt so honoured to witness. Keep coming back, more to come!