Sweating for healing has been around for many centuries, and is found in many cultures. The Sweat Lodges I hold, come from the traditions of the First Nations people of the Americas. I was primarily taught by Elders of the traditions of Turtle Island, which is what we now call North America.
We heat lava stones in a fire until they are red hot. The stones are the oldest inhabitants of the planet. We call them Grandmothers and Grandfathers, depending upon regional traditions. We bring the stones into the Lodge, we close the door, and we put water on the stones. The joining of the heat and the water creates steam. This steam is not only physically benificial in our healing and cleansing process, it also helps us get out of our heads, so we can go into our hearts.
There are four rounds. In each round, new grandmothers and grandfathers are brought into the lodge. We sing songs and offer prayers during each round. Each round, again depending upon regional traditions, represents a major element, spirit animals, a color, a time in our lives, and other things which we discuss each round. After each round, the door opens and we breath in the fresh air and have a talking circle.
One Medicine Wheel teaching is to help us find balance between the Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, and Spiritual. Another teaching helps us find our authentic path. It is then we can to learn better to be in balance and walk our authentic paths in a good way.
Sweat Lodge helps us in many ways. And with each Sweat Lodge one attends, the layers of our life’s challenges peel away like the layers of an onion. Sweat lodge detoxifies our physical bodies. Sweat Lodge helps us open to our emotions. Sweat Lodge helps us deal with life, on life’s terms. Sweat Lodge helps us connect with the spiritual world, no matter what spiritual background one has.