Oceti Sakowin, January 2017. (Photo by John Griswold)
Issue 42, Spring 2023

Ceremonial Failing The Test of Purging Oneself

Failing the Test of Purging Oneself

In the hogan I was miserable, not enlightened, felt funky and slimed. All the individual animal and species sins poured out of me, not as catharsis or healing, but as reminder and irritant, and I did not believe in sin. This was not my culture, my ceremony, my victory, my tribe. It was like being put to death slowly and humiliatingly for my presumption.