Updated: Mar 15, 2018
One of my favorite ceremonies is the Native American Sweat Lodge. It consists of building a small domed structure out of sapling trees that will be covered with blankets. Rocks are heated in a sacred fire and brought into the lodge in a series of four rounds called 'doors.' During each round, songs are sung, drums are beaten, rattles shake and the spirits, guides and allies are called in to help facilitate healing for the participants. I find this ceremony particularly healing because it connects you with the four elements:
Earth: We sit on mother earth throughout the entire ceremony. Rocks from the earth are heated up to help us sweat and cleanse our bodies.
Air: We breathe in the hot air, filled with the scent of burning Sweet Grass, Cedar, and Osha Root, to purify ourselves.
Water: Water is poured onto the hot rocks to create steam. As the rocks sizzle and the steam rises our pores open and we begin the process of purification as our bodies sweat out toxins in the heat. We also drink the water in gratitude for it's purifying qualities.
Fire: A large fire is built in a sacred fire pit to heat up the rocks used inside the lodge. The rocks are referred to as "grandfathers." A medicine man I sat in lodge with used to call rocks "the oldest medicine" for they have been around much longer than humans, and the minerals in rocks have the power to heal.
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