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Shamanism Shamanic Pathways, Shaman The Shaman and the Drum

Shamanic Pathways


The Sweat Lodge

Welcome to shamanic pathways. Tonight I would like to tell you about The Sweat Lodge

Sitting in the dark, the air is hot with steam and the fragrance of herbs, we pray, we suffer a little in the heat, we give thanks for our life and remember our mother who carried us in her womb. We sit in the womb of great grandmother earth as children who don’t know very much, and when the door is opened we leave her womb and come out with a prayer for all our relations. To be born as human beings.(Author Unknown)
A very good description of something that seems insignificant in this day and age. The sweat lodge seems primitive, yet until you actually construct one and then use it you will not truly understand the significance of the sweat lodge and why it is still as important now as it ever has been.
The sweat lodge is an ancient earth way, and it is used to clean both the physical and the spiritual body, as well as being used for such things as dream questing .It has been described as a prayer sauna, this does not explain its whole purpose either, but is enough for now. The most common sweat lodge and also the easiest to construct is that of the Native American sweat lodge.
To make one you first construct a dome skeleton of wood, any local wood is fine as long as it can bend without breaking. Then dig a small pit in the middle of the dome framework and pile the earth just outside where the door will be, this is your earth altar. Next completely cover your frame in skins, if you don’t have skins then tarpaulin will do just as well, leaving a flap open beside the earth altar for you to enter and exit. From the earth altar runs a straight line to a fire, which will be used to heat the stones you will place in the pit to heat your lodge, these stones are referred to as stone people. This line from the altar to the fire must never be stepped on, over or across, you can place sacred tokens on the line such as tobacco, corn or sage. Once the stones are hot you may enter the sweat lodge sitting first in the east and then everyone sitting to the right of the last person sat. Once everyone is in the flap will be closed and the ceremony begins.
Now many of these lodge ceremonies described as native American sweat lodge ceremonies are not and many are not even ceremonies and you will find you are being charged for these so called ceremonies .All native American ceremonies and in fact all true shamanic ritual ceremonies are free, though it is usual to give a token of some sort to the leader of the ceremony .
The ceremony consists of four parts with a break in between each section so you can rise and stretch your legs and the stone people can be replaced with new hot ones. Once the ceremony is complete , those in the lodge leave in reverse order so last one in is first one out. Once every one is out the leader should give a short prayer of thanks to the Great Spirit. A pipe that has been on the earth altar is then passed around all those that participated in the ritual, smoking the pipe is of course optional, but you must all sit down and share a meal as a sign of kinship and as a symbolic gesture of a shared experience.

Any questions?

Why can't you cross the line or go over the line to the altar
it is a sacred line between the fire and the altar and by crossing the line you break it
what’s in the pipe?
Tobacco of course
what are the 4 parts?
The four parts are likened to the four cardinal directions of the medicine wheel
What happens if you accidentally break the line?
Then the whole thing starts again.
Can you intake water during the breaks?
Yes, and water maybe passed around inside the lodge, it is up to the one who leads the ceremony
do you need to fast before the ceremony?
Depends on what you seek, but it is common to fast for 24 hrs before you take part
The idea is to clean the body of impurities, so the intake of water is really a necessity
So in a way you are using the natural drugs the body gives off to gain insight?
That is the general idea, yes
I have read in one book that the lodge is only for men, is that true?
No, not now although I do belief some shamanic pathways prefer it to be men only.
So when you take to sitting down on hot stones is this when you get your messages when meditating?
You don’t sit on the stones, they are placed in the pit you dug at the start.
For those of you who missed the start the circle will be available for you to read in the class and circle archives in a few days

Thank you for sharing your time with me, and thank you for listening.

(I have left these last questions in as they do seem important to certain participants in the class/circle)

Do you have a grey wolf with you! Or the man grey wolf!?
My wolf is a grey and my guide is a man in a grey wolf cloak and besides him you will see my wolf
Thanks, as I came in I did see those.
Are you just covering Native American shaman or shaman in general?
I will endeavor to cover all shamanic pathways, from Native American to the flower shaman of Peru.
Great thank you.

Shamanic Pathways - Shamanism - The Sweat Lodge

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Shamanic Pathways - Shamanism - The Sweat Lodge


Written by WolfinPurple, Designed & Editing by Sol © Mystic Familiar 28th of April 2005

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