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Sweat Lodge


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#1 Appalachian Crone

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 03:12 AM

How many of you have participated in the Sweat Lodge (Inipi)?

Care to share your experience (well as much as you can share with others anyway)

Did you lead the sweat or just participate? I have participated in several and find it interesting how some of the ceremonial practices of the sweats differ these days from tribe to tribe and across the Nation (and other countries as well). Some still do men or women only sweats, others only do co-ed sweats. Some use man made materials for the lodge, others will refuse to enter if man made materials are involved.

I will post some on my personal sweat lodge experiences tomorrow.

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#2 zcree

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 11:58 AM

.... many Sweats vari, some put the Sacred Mound in front of the opening, so you have to walk around clockwise too & from the Lodge with Stones or enter or exit, some Sweats have the Mound to the right as you enter, some Sweats the fire wood is stacked like a Teepee and some stack solid square crossed with the Stones on top, the Sacred Pipe is passed around, most of the time at the end of the 3rd round, the number of Stones/Rocks used depends on the Sweat, Healing Sweats take many more Stones & time than a regular Sweat, some Sweats use man made stuff* and some Sweats don't, it all depends on how hard core the Sweat is ;) i've been in both types and I don't feel the differance, the Sweat Lodge is in the Spirit that the Sweat is done :) take care, be safe >>> Don :cool: p.s. good thread Cyndi :)

#3 Nosforit

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 04:48 PM

How hot does a 'lodge usually run? Here in Finland we're usually around 80 (176F) degrees Centigrade, ranging from 70 (158F) to 90 (194F) for comfortable conditions. The air is usually kept quite moist.

I've in passing been wondering if I could recreate some of the elements of a 'lodge here at home in our sauna. Got any tips? =)
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#4 zcree

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 07:55 PM

.... Hi Nosforit, the heat from the steam sweat vari's, i've never checked the temp before, the saunas i've been in is a dry heat, but if you have stones on your sauna and won't burn out your element you can throw water and have steam, when I didn't have a Sweat Lodge close, I went over to the Nudist Camp, they had a nice sweat room that I did my Prayers in, I got the room over a 100 degrees and stay in for a half hour at a time, for four times :D take care, be safe >>> Don

#5 Nosforit

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 02:00 PM

Woha. That's intense. I've been intentionally working up my sauna tolerance over the past month, but I think I have a bit of a way to go before I do 100C for half an hour. :)
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#6 zcree

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 09:42 PM

.... there is a differance in pleasure sweat and Prayer Sweat, your Spirit is in a differant place :( and can take more heat, I have been blisterd in the Sweat Lodge for negative actions, that caused me to be punished by my Protection Spirits :eek: but only once :) i'm a quick learner :) take care, be safe >>> Don :cool:

#7 Foxwind

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 03:14 PM

Inside a sweat was the 1st and only place I ever saw water burn... Not a gust of fire over the top, but
"yea I'm still amazed" actual water burning like fuel would burn, unbelievable, but it did...

For those who wear pierced type jewlery, and think that just because it's hidden, it shouldn't matter, so leave it in... Don't! Specially those hidden private piercings areas get extreamly hot, you don't notice the heat until done, then BAM! your wishing you were anywhere else, doing anything else... Hahahaa!!!
~~~SIDHE~~~
:p One by one the penguins are stealing my sanity:p

#8 Rose

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 12:00 AM

I was invited to a co-ed sweat lodge ceremony occurring next week, but if I'm as in tune with my body as I think I am, I won't be able to attend. I was a little surprised when the email said that women on their moon could not attend, so I did a little searching to see why this might be.

First, I found that not all sweat lodge ceremonies are run this way, as mentioned above.

Then I found these articles, which offer the following explanations.

  • "Bleeding women sacrifice and give to the people during their moontimes, and through childbirth. The sweat ceremony was created for men to have a way to sacrifice and give for the people since they do not bleed monthly, or give birth."
  • "A woman's power during her moon time is so strong that it can draw the power away from the sacred Sweat Lodge, Sundance, and Pipe ceremonies. Her power during this time can interfere with the power in the Sacred Pipe, Eagle Feathers, and the food offered for the feasts following ceremony. This interference can sometimes cause others to become sick."
  • "Men do not have their own natural purification and renewal process, therefore they must come to the Sweat Lodge ceremony for purification... Woman, be proud! We do not have to do any of this, but we choose to."

The first article says that menstruating women are welcome to be present at the ceremony, and the second adds that they should take no part in preparing the feast. I had thought of asking if I could attend to help build the lodge or cook the food, and it might still be worth asking, but more likely I'd be sitting there in my own special sacred red puddle while others did the work. Which is fine by me, but I could do that anywhere. :) My ceremony is in my pants. Cool.

I'm sure there are other beliefs and traditions surrounding this. What have you learned about it?

#9 TOLKA

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 05:41 AM

Ok. Im just gonna ask it and look stupid. What's a sweat lodge? other than a hot room.

From Rose's post I'm guessing its something to do with purification, but is that its only purpose? and what traditions paradigms is a sweat lodge associated with? Thanks... o_O
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#10 Rose

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 08:06 PM

I know the Lakota and Dakota (North American Indian nations) do it. I'm sure others do too, but I don't know specifically.

It's not just a hot room. People who lead sweats learn how to do so safely and effectively over at least a few years. I'm not one of those people. :D The lodge is a structure you build, and the heat comes from pouring water over hot stones. S'all I know.

When they sponsor another and I'm not on my moon, I can describe the set-up, but probably not the experience itself. It's highly personal and not the means to a specific end.

#11 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 07:26 PM

This is the Tradition I am Initiated In To. I have held the South Door, West Door, and North Door. Mostly by chance I found my self in North Door. I am still a Fire Keeper. I was a Pipe Carrier. If you want what is real, this, in my opinion, is one of the easier places to find it in...
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#12 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:12 PM

TOLKA said:

Ok. Im just gonna ask it and look stupid. What's a sweat lodge? other than a hot room.

From Rose's post I'm guessing its something to do with purification, but is that its only purpose? and what traditions paradigms is a sweat lodge associated with? Thanks... o_O
A Sweat Lodge is the most frequently encountered form of Native American Church. It is usually a dome shaped( With certain secret mathematical requirements necessitated in it's building) construction of specially harvested and specifically chosen saplings. Traditionally, it would be covered entirely with multiple layers of Buffalo hide; now more frequently, thick canvas tarps are used to entirely seal all light from penetrating to the interior of the lodge. One entrance to the lodge will be left open, aligned with one of the cardinal directions; most popularly East, however, that is Working specific. There are many different Orders within the Lodge, varying with Locale, Tribe, Working of Lodge, etc. The most frequently held Position in any Order seems to be Pipe Carrier, Seconded by Fire Keeper, and ascending though specifics depending on above said factors. There will be a small circular pit dug in to the center of the floor of the Lodge, which is just bare dirt. This pit is for the Fire Keeper to place heated rocks in. The Fire Keeper is usually responsible as Main Door Attendant. He Builds the Fire, along with the person who Has Permission to Build a Lodge. This person owns a Lodge of his own, so to speak, and is also the operator of the Ritual, in a way. He or She usually builds the Lodge next to their own Home. Rocks are specially chosen, and heated in the fire for many hours, until white hot. The Fire Keeper is responsible for staying by the Fire from the time it is lit until it is extinguished at the end of the Ritual. There is varying Numerological significance in the number of rocks chosen and used in each part of the Ritual, which is also the responsibility of the Fire Keeper. There are Four Parts to the Ritual, also known as Doors. They last in general one hour each. For each Door, the Participants sit inside on the floor of the Lodge. The Fire Keeper moves heated rocks in to the lodge in groupings of even numbers in amounts according to his Will. He closes the Door and Guards it. The Lodge Ritual Keeper burns fragrant Medicines on the rocks ( Which are more than mere rocks; in fact are our Ancestors, Teachers. ), and occasionally pours Horns Full of Medicine Water on the Grand Fathers and Grand Mothers. Sacred Songs are Sung, and Sacred Ancestral Musical Instruments are played. Ritual Tools of differing varieties, brought by individual Participants, are blessed in the Ritual and also used for Healing Prayer. Participants Speak at certain points of what they feel the urge to speak of. The Ritual is Closed with a Feast and Offering, Followed and/or Preceded by the Smoking of Pipes, Which is the tobacco Spirit carrying the Prayers of the Participants to the Creator. As you can more than likely tell at this point, the Sweat is Gnostic Shamanism.
More is experienced than can be described...talk to more Real Natives to know more. They are probably right next door.
Solve et Coagula

#13 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:32 PM

Nosforit said:

How hot does a 'lodge usually run? Here in Finland we're usually around 80 (176F) degrees Centigrade, ranging from 70 (158F) to 90 (194F) for comfortable conditions. The air is usually kept quite moist.

I've in passing been wondering if I could recreate some of the elements of a 'lodge here at home in our sauna. Got any tips? =)
If you are cool with the idea in your heart. I would not recommend attempting this thing for others until you have received an Initiation. And you will KNOW if you have received an Initiation in this Tradition...
Solve et Coagula

#14 Jeremiah Fuglseth

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 08:36 PM

zcree said:

.... many Sweats vari, some put the Sacred Mound in front of the opening, so you have to walk around clockwise too & from the Lodge with Stones or enter or exit, some Sweats have the Mound to the right as you enter, some Sweats the fire wood is stacked like a Teepee and some stack solid square crossed with the Stones on top, the Sacred Pipe is passed around, most of the time at the end of the 3rd round, the number of Stones/Rocks used depends on the Sweat, Healing Sweats take many more Stones & time than a regular Sweat, some Sweats use man made stuff* and some Sweats don't, it all depends on how hard core the Sweat is :rolleyes: i've been in both types and I don't feel the differance, the Sweat Lodge is in the Spirit that the Sweat is done ;) take care, be safe >>> Don :cool: p.s. good thread Cyndi :)

Sacred Mound = Spirit house. Composed of either the Ritually used Grand Fathers and Grand Mothers arranged in semi-circular form, around Prayer Pole, Tree, etc.; or an Oracular Skull. Three Circles in line Form the entirety of the ritual space. Alter/Spirit House, Fire Pit, Lodge. Inside the Lodge is the Sacred Fourth, or The Womb Ritualized.
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#15 TOLKA

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 06:51 PM

Jeremiah Fuglseth said:

A Sweat Lodge is the most frequently encountered form of Native American Church. It is usually a dome shaped( With certain secret mathematical requirements necessitated in it's building) construction of specially harvested and specifically chosen saplings. Traditionally, it would be covered entirely with multiple layers of Buffalo hide; now more frequently, thick canvas tarps are used to entirely seal all light from penetrating to the interior of the lodge. One entrance to the lodge will be left open, aligned with one of the cardinal directions; most popularly East, however, that is Working specific. There are many different Orders within the Lodge, varying with Locale, Tribe, Working of Lodge, etc. The most frequently held Position in any Order seems to be Pipe Carrier, Seconded by Fire Keeper, and ascending though specifics depending on above said factors. There will be a small circular pit dug in to the center of the floor of the Lodge, which is just bare dirt. This pit is for the Fire Keeper to place heated rocks in. The Fire Keeper is usually responsible as Main Door Attendant. He Builds the Fire, along with the person who Has Permission to Build a Lodge. This person owns a Lodge of his own, so to speak, and is also the operator of the Ritual, in a way. He or She usually builds the Lodge next to their own Home. Rocks are specially chosen, and heated in the fire for many hours, until white hot. The Fire Keeper is responsible for staying by the Fire from the time it is lit until it is extinguished at the end of the Ritual. There is varying Numerological significance in the number of rocks chosen and used in each part of the Ritual, which is also the responsibility of the Fire Keeper. There are Four Parts to the Ritual, also known as Doors. They last in general one hour each. For each Door, the Participants sit inside on the floor of the Lodge. The Fire Keeper moves heated rocks in to the lodge in groupings of even numbers in amounts according to his Will. He closes the Door and Guards it. The Lodge Ritual Keeper burns fragrant Medicines on the rocks ( Which are more than mere rocks; in fact are our Ancestors, Teachers. ), and occasionally pours Horns Full of Medicine Water on the Grand Fathers and Grand Mothers. Sacred Songs are Sung, and Sacred Ancestral Musical Instruments are played. Ritual Tools of differing varieties, brought by individual Participants, are blessed in the Ritual and also used for Healing Prayer. Participants Speak at certain points of what they feel the urge to speak of. The Ritual is Closed with a Feast and Offering, Followed and/or Preceded by the Smoking of Pipes, Which is the tobacco Spirit carrying the Prayers of the Participants to the Creator. As you can more than likely tell at this point, the Sweat is Gnostic Shamanism.
More is experienced than can be described...talk to more Real Natives to know more. They are probably right next door.

I'm afraid this is not an American only forum, so they are not right next door as I live in England. lol.

Thank you for the detailed description though. It interests me.
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#16 energamancer

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 03:29 AM

Bonjour everyone,

Sweat lodge is more than a hot room, it is a ritual. It helps one to connect with his inner power, to connect with his life meaning. There is many traditions, but in general the ritual is based on the medicine wheel and the four directions (north:silence, east:gratitude, south:expression, west:spirituality). We also put sweet grass on the red rocks to purify the body and mind.

The one I practiced, teached by one of Huron chiefs, is followed by the Expression of Anger.

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#17 Iago

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Posted 30 November 2011 - 01:34 AM

Nosforit said:

Woha. That's intense. I've been intentionally working up my sauna tolerance over the past month, but I think I have a bit of a way to go before I do 100C for half an hour. :)
This may be an ignorant question, I've never participated in a sweat lodge but have heard many interesting things about its effects and my Metís sister has some experience, but... wouldn't 100 degrees cause the water in your body to just...boil off? And kill you?

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