About going to a Sweatlodge ceremony
About the Sweat lodge & the ceremony:
A sweat lodge is constructed of willow branches that are woven together to form a skeleton with a diameter of about 3 meters. The branches are covered with thick blankets to keep out the light and to keep in the heat and the steam.
In the old days instead of blankets they would use the fur of the wild buffalos.
In the middle of the lodge is dug a pit for the hot stones that are brought in from the fire. During ceremony the person who conducts the sweat will put herbs and pour water on the hot stones and the people joining drum and sing ceremonial songs.
The sweat ritual falls in four rounds (about 20 min. per round), where you can go out between the rounds, to cool down and drink water.
As part of the ceremony there is a pipe round where the Holy pipes are smoked to honor the grandfathers and grandmothers from the other side as well as the Creator and mother Earth.
The smoking of the pipes includes no intoxicating or hallucinogenic substances, the pipe tobacco consist of a mix of herbs and tobacco. The smoke is a symbolic gesture and usually people don’t inhale when they smoke.
As a completion of the ceremony we eat together, so everyone brings a dish for the pot luck
The purpose of going to a sweat lodge ceremony
The Sweat Lodge ceremony is a very ancient ritual of purification from the North American Indians. The cleansing happens in all 4 parts of you: the physical, the emotional, the mental and spiritual.
It is a strong spiritual ritual – a time for prayers.
In the heat and the darkness of the Womb of Mother Earth (the sweat lodge) people seek healing for themselves and their loved ones, a better contact with themselve and their Creator, Mother Earth and grandparents who went to the other side.
People who want healing at all levels, it may be of very different reasons, those who want to recharge their batteries, to come “home” to themselves, others seeking specific answers to some things … ..the reasons are many.
Everyone is welcome!
REMEMBER: There are times you DO NOT go to a sweat lodge ceremony:
You may not have enjoyed alcohol or other drugs less than 4 days before.
Menstruation (The Moon):
Menstruation (moon time) are in the understanding of the Indians a strong cleaning action in itself, which can influence the force ceremony. That is why women with menstruation and if the period has not ended at least 4 days before are not in the sweat lodge.
What to wear when going to a sweat lodge:
Men have half-length loose-fitting shorts and a large towel with them.
Women have a long cotton dress with long sleeves, and that also goes down to the ankles, it must not be so light that it becomes transparent when it gets wet. Alternatively, use a long skirt and long-sleeved shirt if necessary. preferably with gamashe pants below. It is important that it is not low-cut or miniskirts.
Bring along a towel and maybe flip-flops to wear between the rounds.
and also a long skirt for the pipe round.
Please feel free to ask questions to the person in charge.
It is not allowed to take photos of the ceremony.