Veterans Day Sweat Lodge
November 11th, 2012
Led by: Steve Citty
Veterans Day 2012
“Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If veterans can achieve awareness, transformation, understanding, and peace, they can share with the rest of society the realities of war. And they can teach us how to make peace with ourselves and each other, so we never have to use violence to resolve conflicts again”.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
If you have had difficulty reconciling your combat experiences with life when you returned from duty, we offer this opportunity to begin a process of purification and return as a Spiritual Warrior.
The description of the ill-at-ease feeling as a psychological disorder (PTSD) is a modern terminology for an age old condition whch as been know by many different names: melancholia, soldier’s heart, shell shock, and combat fatigue.
- Common complaints include:
- sleep disturbance
- anger (and impulsiveness)
- exaggerated startle response
- difficulty maintaining relationships
- difficulty holding down a job
- drug and alcohol abuse
Returning veterans often report sleeping with their weapon, arising in the night to “secure the perimeter”, awakening in a panic and an inability to distinguish friend from foe.
Whatever the name, it is in fact a normal response to the stress of combat and the trauma of battle. Indigenous cultures around the world have dealt with their young people returning from the rigors of battle in some effective ways.
In his book War and the Soul psychologist Ed Tick describes the alienation experienced by many returning veterans as a “soul wounding or soul loss”.
Many veterans return from the combat zone to be immersed into a society that does not understand their experience, in fact cannot understand it. They experience a sense of isolation from society in general.
One missing component is a connection with the Elder Warriors who have walked the path of reintegration and renewal. This sweat lodge is the first step in creating an opportunity for veterans to connect with other veterans who have walked this road.
Purification is the first step in the journey of Soul Reconnection.
Based on Native American teachings, the sweat lodge is an opportunity to begin the process by awakening the Mind, opening a space in the Heart, cleansing the Body and purifying the Spirit. It is a beginning step that can have profound results.The lodge can be a very intense experience of release and rebirth.
The lodge will be led by Steve Citty
Steve is a Vietnam veteran who went into counseling for PTSD in 1982. After several years as a participant in a combat veterans group, Steve began to work with the Veterans Adminstration as a peer group counselor in combat groups in New Orleans, LA and in Knoxville, TN.
In 1994 he stepped into the healing path of the native American, working with Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) using sweat lodges and the visionary Sun Moon Dance to reach a reconnection with soul.
In 1997 Steve was assigned the role of Sun Moon Dance Chief by Joseph. Since 1998 Steve has been the chief of the Seymour SunMoon Dance, working for the first four years with John Pehrson and for the past four years with his wife Nan Citty.
He has been leading sweat lodge ceremonies since 1998 and for the past eight years has led a monthly Thursday Night Sweat Lodge.
Several years ago, Steve was given a dance vision to begin work with veterans. The vision began to open and the way shown upon finding the Soldier’s Heart organization headed by Dr. Ed Tick. Steve attended a Soldier’s Heart retreat in North Carolina.
“After many years of work, I have found that the best way to reconcile myself with the experiences of combat has been to follow the way of the indigenous Native Americans.”
~ Steve Citty
Participation in this lodge is limited to twenty veterans.