I think everyone would agree with me when I say I am very excited to go to Pine Ridge this week. I personally have never had an experience with any kind of ceremonies like the ones we are going to participate in, so I have no idea what to expect. I’m a little bit nervous, but overall I think the experience will be eye-opening.
The pipe ceremony definitely got me more excited to go. During the pipe ceremony I personally didn’t have any kind of vision, but I did feel energized when I was sitting in the circle, but when I walked out of the chapel and went back to my room I felt the exact same as I did before I had gone to Shove. Even though I didn’t personally experience anything life changing it was interesting to other peoples’ experiences. One of the things I am most excited for this week is to compare stories and hear about what other people are feeling to see if our experiences are similar or completely different.
When we are on the reservation I think it will be very important to keep an open mind. I strongly believe that these ceremonies will have an impact on you if you want them to and believe they can. When I was thinking about it, I found myself comparing the effects of the ceremonies to hypnotism. My senior year of high school a hypnotist was brought in to perform a show for the whole class. He chose members of the audience to go up on stage so that he could hypnotize them. A few of the people who went up there were obviously not impacted by what he did, but there were a few people who seems to be under some kind of a spell. I talked to people the next day, and it seemed like the ones on stage who didn’t get hypnotized went up there already convinced that hypnotism wasn’t real.
I would love to have some kind of intense personal spiritual moment while at the reservation, but at the same time I have some doubt in my head. I fall into the category of people who don’t believe hypnotism is real, and I don’t think I would every be hypnotized. Right now I don’t feel like anything will happen to me during ceremony. For the rest of tonight and the car ride up to South Dakota my goal is going to be to be to get rid of that doubt. I am going to try my best to go into this with an open mind, so that I can make the most of this experience and maybe even feel something life changing myself.