The Sweat Lodge is an ancient Native American Ceremony of prayer and purification.
The Sweat Lodge is a very physical way to pray. It is a shamanic way in that we go away from the everyday world and go back to the mother, the earth, so that we can commune with spirit to bring healing and ritual back to our everyday world. We heat rocks in a fire and bring the glowing hot rocks into the center of the lodge. the rocks and pray.
For those who are not aware of what a sweat lodge is, it is a ceremony that has been done by various native peoples. The ceremony takes place in a lodge made from a skeleton of bent sapling poles covered with many blankets, tarps or anything else that can seal heat inside the small dome shape that people sit in. Heat inside a sweat lodge is created by placing hot rocks in the center and pouring water on them. The steam is trapped inside the dome and increases the temperature.People have different ultimate reasons for doing a “sweat”. There also different customs on how the lodge should be prepared, what herbs should be offered, and how the fire should be structured and kept to heat the rocks. I am not an expert on sweat lodges and the traditions that go with them, but I can tell you what I was able to take from the experience.Physically, the sweat lodge acts as cleanser. The temperature inside a lodge is extremely hot and toxins in your body are released through your sweat. It is like a sauna that is uncomfortably hot. However, the uncomfortable part of the sweat lodge is crucial. Doing a sweat lodge isn’t really something you do for fun like getting a massage, or sitting in a hot tub. It is a ceremony that puts you in a unfamiliar state that is uncomfortable, but allows you to relect about yourself and realize how comfortable our life usually is. I am not saying life is easy or is not a struggle at times. But doing a sweat lodge makes you feel alive in a way that cannot be felt regularly. It is also a way to check in with yourself wherever you may be in your life.
If anyone is interested in learning more about sweat lodges or other native traditions, contact me Shamanism Reiki Healing