The name of this Ceremony “The Sundance” is based on the idea that the Dance to the Sun is created for the people and by the people.
This means that all of the Ceremony is planned, organised and run by the people – each person supporting and/or coming to this Sundance contributes to creating how it will unfold.
During the year
Throughout the year a cohort is planning and organizing the camp, the structure and equipment, the registration, the website, the food menu, looking at all aspects of the community life that will support the prayer. These efforts are held as part of the Give-Away to Life and to Mother Earth that the Sundance calls for. This is about creating the container for the prayer.
Alongside this, those drumming and singing will come together and start practicing, those intending to dance many rounds will build their physical strength, and we all begin to surface the prayer we want to hold and offer to Life.
During the Sundance
When we arrive, we begin with setting our tents, and focus on building our community spaces. Here again, the mind we are holding is that of the Give-Away.
When we arrive, we join a ‘clan’, a group of people who will care for particular aspects of the camp’s needs from the first to the last day. This also becomes a precious support to learn and have joyful exchanges with, as we deepen our inner prayers – especially for those ‘new’ to the Sundance.
With this structure to support us, throughout our days together, we will care for cooking, cleaning, dishwashing, the fire and the general beauty of the camp.
At the end of the Ceremonial time, we will also take the camp down together, leaving no traces and only beauty behind us.
Points and clans
In this Earth Wisdom Medicine Way, we care for one another through a structure of ‘points’ and ‘clans’ or ‘societies’.
Points here is a concept of someone (in this case one with experience of what needs to be cared for) agreeing to take responsibility for accomplishing a task by getting a team (called ‘clan’ or ‘society’) together as needed in order to work on the activity. Alongside this comes also a heightened awareness and responsibility for the needs of the people. Together, we ensure this Ceremony comes into being, on behalf of the people.
Alongside this, some of us will also hold the point of our ‘clans’, which will care for our daily maintenance tasks in a mutually supportive way.