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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Sweat lodge
Where Summer Lives: Recovering Pagan Sweat Traditions

Och, it's the hairy armpit of Winter.

Here in the North, Winter has a cold armpit. The lakes and streams are all frozen, and who wants to strip off in this cold anyway? Get wet and face hypothermia.

Even for those of us fortunate enough to live with central heat and hot running water (and thank Goddess for them both), bathe or shower too frequently and—in our Winter Desert air—you'll shred your own dry hide with the itching.

That's why the gods gave us saunas.

The sweats that I've attended at festivals have all been structured along Native American—in fact, Lakota—lines. There's a reason for this.

The sweat is a Circumpolar tradition. When those very first ancestral Americans entered this continent, they brought their sweat traditions along with them. Time was, pretty much every Indigenous People here had their own.

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Dead and Back Again: Part 2 - Grief and Healing

While I was in labor with my stillborn baby, I remember telling my midwife that I spent the first thirty years of my life depressed and I would NOT allow this tragedy to drag me back there.  She smiled through her tears and told me I might not have a choice in the matter. 

 

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  • Niki
    Niki says #
    Thank you so much for sharing your grief. So many people don't know how to share it or that they can.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Sweat-Lodge-Paola-Suarez-Goddess-Spiral.jpg

Ten years ago I had the courage to attend my first Womongathering. Womongathering was a four day women’s spirituality festival in the woods of Pennsylvania. I had been reading about it since 2001 when I found the Womongathering newsletter at a local pagan store. It was a dark time in my life. I had nightmares almost every day, suffered from panic attacks and saw my therapist at least once a week. Some times I saw her more often, especially if I had a mental breakdown that week.  Mental breakdowns consisted of me crying hysterically, afraid to leave my room, and could be brought on by almost anything. I desperately needed to go somewhere safe. I needed to find the strength to continue. I remember my now ex-husband dropping me off at the gate. I was terrified making my way into the festival without him. I was so afraid to be alone back then. All the women at the festival were so friendly, but I was too scared to notice.

 

I spent my first night at Womongathering curled up in my blankets, clinging to my teddy and crying. Here I was, twenty-five years old with my teddy bear as a lifeline. No one could have guessed that the bulky book bag I took with me everywhere wasn’t full of books-- it held my teddy bear. I was doing a lot of inner child work and dealing with the memories coming up because of it. So with my therapist’s approval I was at Womongathering looking for something to switch on inside me. I hoped that an event full of women honoring Goddess energy would give me the change I was looking for.

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  • Ashling Kelly
    Ashling Kelly says #
    My first Womongathering was in '97 (and wrote about it for Sagewoman in '99), and while it sounds like a cliche, it changed my lif
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    What issue of Sagewoman was your article in Ashling? I have an issue with an article about Womongathering from 1999 but it's writt
  • Khrys Exposito
    Khrys Exposito says #
    I love the artwork! As an attendee of the Womongathering festival that Paolo spoke of attending, the drawing drew such wonderful f
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Thank you for sharing Khrys! It's so amazing to have the community of womyn that we have at our beloved festival. I also feel so b
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    Lovely! I'm heading to the Gaea Goddess Gathering in Kansas in just two weeks! Maybe someday we will meet each other at a Goddess

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