Modern Soldiers, Ancient Medicines
(Nov. 11) -- It's late afternoon on the Colorado plains, and the sun is disappearing behind the ridge of mountains to the west of us, but all I can see is darkness.
I'm in a traditional Lakota sweat lodge, a 15-foot-wide dome of willow branches covered in thick moving blankets and canvas.
Inside the tiny lodge, 20 of us are shoulder to sweaty shoulder in burning pain. The ceremony leader sings a traditional song, pouring cup after cup of water onto the still-glowing rocks, increasing the heat until voices break the darkness in anguish. Mine would join them if I could, but the heat is like a hundred pounds of sand, pressing me down into submission.
Now I know what it feels like to touch hell.
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