The sacred ritual of the sweat lodge is many thousands of years old (probably the oldest ritual of mankind) and has not changed in its powerful form until today. This tradition, passed down from one generation to the next, is timeless and current.
Forgotten and Rediscovered
Holistic healing approaches of our indigenous ancestors were dismissed as superstition by science or Christian clerics. These heathens, primitive savages, were to be converted and brought to the right path. Thus, the sweat lodge was also torn out of its context and ultimately reduced to sauna and steam bath in the form we know today.
There, pleasant effects for our body are achieved, but deeper levels of our being or wholeness through spiritual experience, which is important for healing, are not reached.
This ancient knowledge has been almost eradicated in our latitudes. But there are more and more people who are interested in it, rediscover it and pass it on. So I also received this sacred ceremony from my ancestors in an intensive time out (vision quest) and got the order to work with it.
“White Bird says: Once the sweat lodge is finished, it resembles the belly of a pregnant woman lying on her back. Thus, we return here at the same time to our mother’s womb or that of our mother earth. […] By returning to the womb of our Mother Earth, we purify ourselves of all our excesses and experience new levels of consciousness that bring us inner clarity.”
(Pazzogna, “Inipi – The Song of the Earth”, 1998, p. 164)
We return from her womb as new people, purified on all levels, reborn. So this ritual has a very lasting effect on our organism and on our life.
Many illnesses arise from energetic impurities or a sense of being disconnected from nature and from the greater whole, from Spirit or from the great mystery. Through the sweat lodge we return to our true core, our origin, re-establish the connection. We become part of nature again.
How does this ritual work?
On the day of the ceremony, we should fast. We prepare a vegetable soup together during the day, which we eat after the sweat lodge.
With different rituals the group is introduced to the actual ceremony. The focus, the attention is completely on the matter. Thus, the group builds the sweat lodge together under my guidance. For this purpose, willow or hazel sticks are used, which are built up in a round igloo-like shape. This framework is then covered with blankets or skins. A pit for stones is dug in the center of the hut circle.
With the earth obtained in this way, a mound, an altar, is built in front of the hut at a distance of 3m, representing the heart chakra. On it a world tree is planted, as a symbol of the connection to the universe. Power objects brought along can also be placed here. The fire man or fire woman also digs a pit for the ignition of the flints. The stones are brought to glow in a fire in it. The participants take a seat in the hut and the fire man puts the glowing stones into the pit inside the sweat lodge with the help of a pitchfork. Afterwards the entrance is closed. Water is poured, drumming, rattling, chanting and meditation take place. This process is repeated for each cardinal point, four times.
We are purified inside and outside. The steam opens the pores and draws the diseases out of us.
“The highly sacred rite is thus finished and the participants are like reborn people; they have done much good, not only for themselves, but for the whole tribe.”
(Black Deer, “I Call My People,” 1978, p. 61)
Now the participants can wash themselves with cold water and drink something. We conclude the ritual by eating together the vegetable soup we have prepared. The next day there is enough time to reflect sufficiently on the experience and to dismantle the ritual place together.
- 29./30 March 23 Walpurgis Night
- 31.Oct-01.Nov.23 Samhain
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