Written by A'Channa Kitchiwa, Fox Shaman
A very ancient ritual practiced in different forms by indigenous peoples in all areas of the world, the sacred or ceremonial sweat lodge is available today as an opportunity for release, reconnection, relaxation, and renewal of body, mind and spirit.
Through singing and drumming around the fire, one connects with the energies and the elements of the natural world. With sacred smudge, one is blessed, cleansed and protected. Kneeling and entering the woven willow lodge, one bows and speaks a word of gratitude to earth mother and all the helpful energies of nature present in this sacred place. Sitting upon the earth, singing as each participant joins the circle, and as the rocks are brought in, time begins to stand still.
Blessed water over heated rocks creates a loving enclosure of steam and heat. Through three or four rounds, as sweat pours from the body, toxins, worries and fears are released and transformed. Gradually, the endless chatter of busy minds and over-extended brains slows down and dissipates. With the gift of silence one can begin to hear the quiet voice within, a voice which gently, lovingly speaks the Truths of Spirit – that we are all the beloved children of the Great Spirit Beingness and that love, joy, peace, light and abundant, enthusiastic life are freely available to each one of us. Soon the breath opens up and the heart is full of light. Now joy and love can break free, no longer boxed in by daily routines and the complexity and stress of modern life.
Emerging from the lodge after a round of thanksgiving, it is as if one is reborn. There is time to rest, to breathe with earth and sky and the feelings of health and vitality that now course through the body. Celebrating the abundance of all life, a potluck meal is shared. This completes the lodge experience as once more in a sacred circle, all join hands to bless both the food and those who contributed to bringing it to the table.
Healing our selves, we heal our ancestors. Healing ourselves we heal our earth.
Our lodges follow the energy and teachings of the Tao. Sweat Lodge ceremony has been used globally as a form of healing for many, many lifetimes and we hold our lodge ceremony in high regard for all traditions. If you have a lodge tradition you follow, please talk to the lodge leader well in advance to see if it is appropriate for all lodge goers' highest good. Private healing lodges are available.
Is a fully initiated Antelope Shaman and Lodge Holder. She has been offering the gift of the sweat lodge over 15 years, after many years of training. She currently has students learning to fire keep and hold the space of the lodge.
What is sweat lodge
The sacred rite of purification and healing through sweat lodge is a custom to many cultures. The Sweat Lodge represents the sacred womb of Mother Earth. It is a sacred place to reconnect to the earth, your body, a place to let your spirit fly.
The frame is constructed from the sacrifice of grandmother willow, who bends her beautiful boughs into the frame. The frame is covered loosely in blankets, the center holds heated lava rocks. The rocks are heated in an exterior fire pit. (pictured above)
Come to the lodge ceremony in a mindful space as possible.
To prepare for lodge, spend some time contemplating what is drawing you to the ceremony. Perhaps you know or just feel you need to be part.
If you are under the care of a physician, please speak directly to MeeshaKeena at least on week prior. (including Prescription drugs).
Detox your body from alcohol, marijuana, or other intoxicants at least one week prior.
Increase water gradually 3 days prior. Pounding water right before lodge isn’t very effective, nor is it mindful preparation.
Eat one light, plant based meal the day of lodge, no later than 4 hours prior. Lighten meat and sugar 3 days before.
Remember you are preparing for Sacred Ceremony. Detoxing the body, mind and spirit will help you have a deeper experience and clarity. With sacrifice comes rewards of spirit.
Breaking the Fast and Sharing of Food is a required time of the lodging Ceremony.
This is a time we integrate the energies of the lodge, get to know each other and fully return to the body. If you “have” to run home and don’t have the time for the full process, this is not the time to come to lodge.
Bring something to share that is vegetarian, very little gluten, dairy or sugar. If you have specific dietary needs, please bring a dish you enjoy eating.
The lodge and focus will be posted on the calendar page of the website. The lodges will be designated if they are open or private.
If you are interested in a specific energy, please contact MeeshaKeena to discuss options.
an experience and written by MeeshaKeena some time ago.
The lodge is a space for peoples to find their space of Chiendai- (Che-en-day)- The Sacred. There are many forms for the lodge to take, on the ground, in the ground, this wood or that, pellets or blankets. This lodge is formed of with the energy of the willow. Grandmother Willow bends gently to form a bowl to hold the children who will come and honor the earth, themselves and each other. She is kind, yet firm. As the stones heat the lodge, her fragrance fills each person present. Her branches support and cradle allowing one to feel safe to be themselves.
On this particular women's lodge night, the women of the valley have felt her call to come and heal the sisterhood. The women began to show up, first one, then two, than two at a time, and more and more, even a group of 6 beautiful women came together. The lodge can hold about 12 women tucked in tight to each other, the number of women standing around the fire continued to grow well past 12. As lodge keeper I had to exhale more than once and 'trust' this will work in rightness. At 7:15 we had TWENTY ONE women ready to lodge. The lodge said 'they will fit'. So I trusted that we would all fit. We began to enter the lodge, our womb. The women nestling in one by one, layer by layer. The lodge was full of the divine feminine, you could feel her starting to stretch. I leaned in and told the women we were almost there, only 8 more to fit. With a sigh, they began to move and weave tighter together allowing the remaining women to enter. The pulse of energy was amazing! The women woven like a fine braid of sweet grass.
The stones came in one by one for the 7 nations, for the angels and masters, for the women. We closed the door and we were the heartbeat. We were ONE woman. As we sat in the heartbeat we wove with women of all times and spaces. Hearing their cry to be healed as sacred woman. Reclaim the sisterhood despite the pain. There will be betrayal, love lost, scars created, be brave and love each other anyway! The teachings of Grandmother ShaShala continued. We reached back in time to the space where women were one, knew who they were and worked together. Where they knew the importance of their role, they gift and gave it freely. They knew that what they taught the children was vital for our future. We reclaim that knowing and brought it forward, healing as we come through time the forgotten and fearful. We each given a seed of hope for womanhood to rise in beauty and be her true nature.
With gratitude we give the Metta Prayer away, for our sisters, for our brothers, for our people.
The lodge birthed 21 new women from its tight, stretch womb. Each woman taking her seed into the world.
The beauty and grace of Capra Sepwa has served many women, creating a space for women to be exactly who they are. It is time to unweave this lodge and create a space for all people. For the women to continue their work, for the men and women to come together, for the brothers to have a space, for the honoring of the scared hayamoni (our weavers).
Living Life with no limits! Woven in the eternal hoop of life!