Before the Sun Dance begins, we purify ourselves in the Sweat Lodge and have a Pipe Ceremony to ask Great Spirit to help us dance Spirit awake. A soft breeze caresses our bodies. We are blessed.
Two hundred people. Three Circles. The outer, the supporters, the middle, the energy-givers and the inner circle – the Sun Dancers. Black Elk, my Fire Man leads the Sun dance and I, Moon Woman mirror him, step by step, saluting the four directions, the East, the West, the North and the South. I hold the energy for him as he dances, holding the staff of many colours in tribute to the sun. We dance for four hours, then rest for twenty minutes, then dance again. The drummers heart-beat the dance hour after hour, sunset to sunrise. The dancers dance round the Tree of Life, offering for the human race and blowing their eagle bone whistles to summons the eagles. The eagles come on the second day.
On the fourth day we have a small break and I go to his tepee. He tells his acolytes to leave the tent. Then he folds me in his arms, pent up with the power of the dance, the drums, the singing
He holds me, Sweat glistening on his arms, his smooth legs, his palms against my palms. Ever so gently, hardly at all.
I stand trembling. I become water and melting
A man comes into the tent. “Five more minutes”. Then he goes out.
Stretching of time, we are in the dream time, the Nagwal.
I sway with him, dancing the steps of the Sun Dance of Great Spirit.
We are one. Like the feathers of wings we fly together.
Then he touches me in my private energy place of power.
Lightening streaks through me from the sky to the bottom of the earth and again and again.
Then the dance goes on, drum beats, sacred songs and the prayers of the Sun Dancers.
Greatness of Spirit has touched us.