Ceremony is a way to create a more intimate connection with your Self and with Spirit.
The Sweat Lodge
The sweat lodge ceremony offers us the opportunity to purify body, mind and spirit. In the process of living life we tend to pick up attitudes, emotions and beliefs that do not necessarily serve us. The sweat lodge helps us to purify and transform these.
The lodge itself is made of saplings, which are bent and tied together to create a round structure. It is covered with blankets and tarps to make it completely dark. Outside in a fire pit rocks are heated until they are red hot. The rocks are considered to be the holders of the earth records. The rocks are then brought into the lodge to heat the lodge. Water is poured over the hot rocks to create heat and steam.
After being blessed in by the ‘dance chief’ we enter the lodge on our knees with the words, ‘for all my relations’, which means that this ceremony is for the seven generations before us and the seven generations after us. Once the ceremony begins all the powers of the Universe are invited in to the lodge and each person then offers prayers for self, for others and for the collective. Between rounds the door is opened to take the prayers to Great Spirit. The ‘give away’ round is an opportunity to give away what you no longer wish to carry into the next cycle of your life. Finally the powers of the Universe are thanked and released.
The sweat lodge, which is sometimes referred to as ‘the womb of Grandmother Earth’, is an opportunity to feel your connection with the Earth, your guides, and all the beings that we share this Life with. Purification of our bodies, minds and spirits creates the space for new energy to enter our lives. In this way the sweat lodge ceremony can be deeply healing.
All are welcome to come and experience this sacred ceremony!
One of the ways we can achieve powerful transformative changes in our lives is through a Vision Quest. A Vision Quest is the practice of going alone into the solitude of nature to connect more deeply with your essential Self.
Just as the acorn has within it a blueprint of the majestic oak that it will become, we too have a blueprint of who we may become within us. It is, however, easy to lose sight of our uniqueness when it is not supported by a culture that reinforces sameness. Our life choices may be based on family expectations or societal pressures and little by little we may lose touch with our seed potential as we conform to what our culture tells us we should be.
A Vision Quest asks us to leave our everyday world behind so we can come back to our Selves. It is important to create Sacred Space in order to do our work. This involves creating a Medicine Wheel and inviting the powers of the Universe to sit with us in council. As we enter the beauty and harmony of Nature we begin naturally to come into balance and harmony.
Having left the external influences of our lives behind, including the comfort of home, our job, our relationships, and even our food, what we are left with is the way we perceive the world, as it exists inside our own minds. We begin to see the patterns in our lives that are keeping us ‘stuck’. This awareness is a first step toward change. The ‘give-away’ aspect of the Vision Quest allows us to do the work of releasing these patterns to Great Spirit. As our minds begin to quiet we create the space for the richness of the intuitive, creative and mystical side of our nature to emerge with its insights and visions.
With this new awareness we can re-enter our world with renewed energy and passion, fueled with the determination to integrate our vision into our daily life.