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mother earth, our animal siblings, the grandfather moon, and the womb in which we were enclosed, then passed around the speaking stick. Time seemed to stop; my body began to slink and my limbs slowly became as loose as my mind. I won- dered how long we had been in there and then I remembered Clock’s words. “There’s no ‘have to’ about it. If you want to get out because you’re feeling a little intense or off, you can easily speak up and leave or take a break. It’s a place of healing, so you never want to push anyone beyond their comfort.”

I had no intention of leaving. Some people sang, some prayed and others sat silently. Time no longer mattered inside and when we finally were signaled to surface, the two and a half hours had passed in what seemed a matter of minutes. We were welcomed into Clock’s beautiful home to enjoy a wonderful potluck meal and the lively company of our fellow sweaters. I sat across from Clock and thanked her endlessly for including me in such a sacred and beautiful ceremony. “To me, the sweat lodge is the

greatest healer on the planet. The planet is the healer, the sweat lodge is the womb. It is attachable energy when you get in there,” smiled Clock. “The energy in Tucson is amazing and I feel it has to do with the circle of mountains within a circle of moun- tains. When I called the ancients to come with us into the lodge tonight they showed up. It’s a place for strengthening your connection to the divine – whatever you consider that to be. I’ve had people come from every continent who have said prayers in whichever language to whichever gods they honor. This is all-encompassing so that people can come in and do whatever they want to do to add to the beautiful energy of the world.”

Visit Ann Marie Clock and Spirit Gath- ering at or contact Ann Marie at spiritgathering@comcast. net. Sweat Lodge Sessions take place monthly on the eve of the full moon.

Jonathan D’Auria is a writer and jour- nalist whose work is featured in many of the largest music publications in America and the UK.



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