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inspired her to create her fi rst sweat lodge in Salt Lake City, Utah, and eventually her current one in Tucson. “No one was holding sweat lodges as frequently as I wanted to do them, so I created my own,” explains Clock. “Whoever wants to do it with me can come and attend the lodge. Sometimes it’s just one person and myself, and sometimes it’s 40 people. I welcome anyone who wishes to join me. They said that my sweat lodge in Salt Lake City was the Taj Mahal because it was so nice; the gal who helped me build this one claims that this is the Hilton. This is not your typi- cal lodge.”

I stared at the “Hilton of Sweat Lodges” as I sat around the fi re with seven other people who were about to enter into its confi nes. The full moon lit the cactus and the hills around us and gave enough light for me to see the faces of my companions for the evening. “We enter this lodge when sister moon is moving to the full so our prayers expand to Grandfather,” Clock’s voice broke the silence. “Clear

the mind, detoxify the body and heal the spirit. This place is special – a place to die and be reborn.” We went around the fi re and

shared why we were there that eve- ning. After sharing our experiences we formed a circle in which each of us was purifi ed with a smudging stick before lining up at the lodge. We were told that the entrance was made small so that everyone who entered had to crawl in as a form of bowing and giving praise to the earth and its spirits. We were instructed to say, “All relations” each time we entered and exited the lodge, as it indicated that our prayers and energy were directed to all relations in our lives and not limited to those in our thoughts. “Are we to be silent after we enter?” I asked Clock. She replied, “Everything happens in there. You leave the mind outside and the heart in. Anybody can say anything in there and we are all respectful that when someone is talking we honor them by listening silently. I pass around a talk- ing stick and you may choose to speak

or not. Some people do prayers, some people do songs, and some people tell stories. Having done it for over 20 years, I’ve heard everything you can possibly imagine.” I nodded, then crawled upon the ground through the entrance. As I sat on the bench against the wall, the opening was covered with thick sheets and I was engulfed by absolute dark- ness. There was not a speckle of light; it made no difference if my eyes were open or closed. Water was dropped onto the steaming rocks and Clock began to speak. “We call to the great spirits to join us…our ancestors, our families, those who have passed into the spirit world and all those we know and love. We accept their protection, their knowledge and their love…” Clock’s words echoed through the sphere and resonated deep into my relaxed state. The passion and knowledge that she conveyed with each prayer made the darkness a little lighter and the heat a little less daunting. We hon- ored each of the four directions, the

March 2011


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