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Author Topic: How one Sweat Lodge Ceremony Can Be Conducted and What Can Be Expected  (Read 1161 times)

WhiteFeather

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Before Starting this, please keep in mind these ceremonies are never conducted the same each time, and are totally up to the one who conducts it. And all tribes and different Nations may not follow the same procedure.

The one who conduct it, is usually the "Water Pourer" and should be one who has had to be trained by the Elders of their tribe or nation. This training along with even the "Fire Keepers" for the preparation, caring and heating of the "Grand Father Stones" should have had the same proper training. The training for each position usually is five years, before one is allowed to do a complete sweat lodge ceremony on their own. As you can see and understand, no position of this spiritual event can be done lightly and without complete knowledge of what can be and is involved.

This event can and often is a very moving and deeply spiritual happing. But remember please, it does not happen to everyone.
If one goes totally expecting something paranormal to happen, it will not.
Each individual has to rid themselves of selfish wants and desires and open themselves to cleansing of one's soul or spirit. Asking for advice or the healing of someone besides yourself is usually the best way and attitude to go in with. This is where the Creator and ancestors begin working through you and help you in the entire process.

By figuratively going back into the womb of "Earth Mother" you enter the beginning of the beginning of one's self. You start all over again fresh and new, no bad or hurtful past .. just what is now and what can be. You may experience flashes of certain times and areas of your ancestors, or what lesson they want you to learn to carry on with. Or that they ARE with you and beside you always, that you are never alone. Or you finally find what purpose you have in this life. Or, nothing visionary, but that of divine inner peace for the first time in a long while comes over you. Everyone will be different, the needs and prayers and answers to those, will all be different. Everyone will have their own unique and individual experience from it.

After the lodge has been constructed, along with where the fire pit will be for the Grand Fathers to be heated and brought to the correct tempt. This is the responsibility of the "Fire Keepers" who have to have come 4-5 hours before the ceremony or the night before, to have the Grand Fathers properly heated and ready before the people show up, except for the Medicine or Water Pourer.

The area has to be blessed and cleansed by the Medicine person or Elder or Water Pourer themselves.
Then they have to be prepared to smudge each and everyone attending the ceremony. Plus if they have access to "Bitter Root" or preferred "Osha Root" a small thumb-size portion is to be given each one to consume immediately when given, of who will be entering the sweat lodge ahead of time.
The smudge cleans and pushes back all the outward and surrounding negative influence's, the roots cleanse the inward from any and all negativities. 

After the first steps are done, then the "Water Pourer" makes sure the water container is in the sweat lodge along with the wooden dipper (other materials can be used like marble or ceramic) as long as they are NOT metal in anyway. And whatever other sacred objects for the ceremony needs to be used.
The seat of the 'Water Pourer" is usually always next to the door on the right hand-side after making the complete circle around the fire pit from the left hand-side, the others come into the lodge from also  the left-side and go all around to the far right towards the door, going around the fire pit (in the sweat lodge) not through or over it.

EXCEPT for places like Australia and places where the energies flow opposite, once you go past the Earth's Equator.
The "Water Pourer" will make their circle around the fire pit (in the sweat lodge) from the right-hand side to the far left next to the door. And the people will come in accordingly till they are seated around the fire pit going also counter clock-wise like the 'Water Pourer" and the last person end up to the far right.

It is part of the "Fire Keepers" responsibilities to make sure and "Check" the draping of the blankets or canvas and hides so they are done correctly before the ceremony starts and are going to block out all light from the outside..

The responsibility of the participates is this: NO metal of any kind is to be worn, that means: necklaces, rings, earrings, piercings (Of Any Kind) anywhere. The reason is because you can and will get second or third degree burns wherever the metal is on the body.
WOMEN: PLEASE wear no bras! unless they are one piece athletic  support cotton bras that are worn for exercise activity. Loose fitting clothes! are a must..  LONG COTTON skirts are usually better to wear for air circulation and comfort. Shorts can cause heat to build-up and burn or be really uncomfortable. Personal towels are a must too, for wiping sweat from the face and such.  MEN: again, the same to you, NO METAL of any kind. You are allowed to wear large bath towel around your waist ONLY IF underwear is worn underneath. otherwise, loose basketball type shorts that DO NOT fit tight against skin. You gentlemen will still need a personal face towel also.

Also, Please DO NOT FORGET, it is essential as part of the ceremony, bringing at least two good sized blankets or all cotton quilts to place on the lodge. It is a symbolic gesture that you wish to share your spirit with that of the others with you, and that you are giving your spirit openly to the Creator who made you and Earth Mother and to the good ancestors that join with you this day.

Now the "Fire Keepers" wait for the "Water Pourer" to go inside and get settled in and calls the people to come in. The "Fire Keepers" make sure they go in correctly and quietly one at a time. When the last one is in and settled, then the 'Water Pourer" will call for the Grand Fathers to be brought to the door one at a time. The "Fire Keeper" if trained correctly, will NOT ENTER THE LODGE themselves only the pitch fork is allowed to come past the inside of the door  FAR ENOUGH to ALLOW the 'Water Pourer" to use the deer antlers they have to transfer the Grand Fathers off the pitch fork to place it into the fire pit and arrange them.

At the lowering of the first door of the Sweat Lodge, it is a REQUIRED rule for any and all outside the Sweat Lodge to NOT talk or even whisper. This is a most sacred ceremony please remember that, and should be held in complete reverence as such.
The worse and most sad is for people to talk outside the sweat lodge and ruin it for the others who are in a certain state of heart and mind for the reason they came. Socializing can be done before and after NOT during.
It will be a enforced by the "Fire Keeper" and helpers to remove people outside from the area all together if they choose to ignore this. And if too much is taking place outside while the ceremony is being conducted, then it will come to a halt and all will lose out because of it. Think about the consequence's, if you want to be held responsible for stopping it for everyone. 

NOTE: There is ONLY (4) COMPLETE ROUNDS of Grand Fathers to be brought in.

Prayers are said to the Creator, and to invoke and invite the good and good only ancestors and spirits to come and join in the ceremony.
 
It is up to the "Water Pourer" to ONLY allow (5) to start with. Representing the Creator of all and the four directions all will be told the story and meanings from the "Water Pourer" throughout the whole ceremony.

The "Water Pourer" will after that call for the door to be opened, for a brief time for fresh air to come in, then the "Fire Keeper" will be told to bring the next count of Grand Fathers.. which is usually (2) more to make the total seven all together.
Then the door will be let down again for the next round, round two.
Usually, the story of the seven fires told at this time, or whatever the "Water Pourer" decides to be done or told.

The door is called again by the "Water Pourer" the 'Fire Keeper" will open the flap once again and prepare to bring (7) more Grand Fathers to represent the pure whole complete number of the Creator Himself who is the centre of all the universe.
It is up to the "Water Pourer" to decide what is to be done or said for the completion of this round. Sometimes a pipe ceremony is done at this time, instead of doing it outside. Then the door is called by the "Water Pourer" for the completion of round three.
The door is called and opened.

The last and final round.. At this time, there can be more Grand Fathers brought in or not. Again it becomes the decision of the "Water Pourer"
This is the time that the "Water Pourer" allows the participates to speak one at a time what is on the heart and mind if they wish and what they are there for. It is NOT required to do so, but a short word or prayer is also allowed instead. After all has had their say and sharing time, the door is finally opened for the last time and one at a time from the door opposite the "Water Pourer" can go out. The "Water Pourer" is the last to come out.

It is usually customary for water to be provided, NOT COLD!!!! a body will cramp and spaz from real cold anything.

SPECIAL NOTES:

Nudity is not allowed in any sweat lodge in this day and time sorry.

And if a woman is on her period, she cannot enter the sweat lodge, because her energies are a bee-hive of mixed hormones and produce absolute confusion and discord NOT her fault. A woman does not know this happens every time.
And actually can cause the spirituality to be disrupted in others.
Please let it be known it is not to taken in offence in any way, or think they are dirty or unclean. It is a very natural cycle of womanhood, but they are already going through a different type of "cleansing" of the body and not to be mixed with sweat lodge cleansing of spirit.
In older tradition of the Native Peoples, when a woman was on "Her Moon Cycle" she usually went off by herself to have her "special" time spent without having to do any daily work and just to have that time to reflect on things, by being peaceful and quiet and restful.

If one drinks alcohol, they are not to partake for 4 complete days before the ceremony. This clears your system for cleansing and purification of the ceremony itself, and puts you into the proper mindset. One does NOT need the spirit of alcohol or of mind altering drugs to have a spiritual experience. It all will be a NATURAL experience and more meaningful in every sense of the word, if meant to be for that individual.



ShaunaSay WhiteFeather
Spiritual Elder and Advisor


 
« Last Edit: November 15, 2015, 03:17:42 PM by WhiteFeather »
"We are not Human Beings having a Spiritual Experience, we are Spiritual Beings having a Human experience"

 

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