People have taken part in Sweatlodge Ceremonies for thousands of years. Evidence can be found in cultures around the world including Northern Europe.
Sweatlodges have a strong elemental quality incorporating earth, air, fire and water, invoking a strong sense of connection with spirit in the pursuance of a clear intention or as a means of cleansing mind, body and soul, and the release of something which no longer serves the individual.
Sweatlodge structures are characteristically simple in design, usually made of natural materials low roofed, dark and intimate. The ceremony itself is highly ritualised with respect, humility and gratitude at its core. It commonly involves the heating of stones in a fire pit (referred to as the ‘Grandfather ’ representing the male aspect of life) which are ceremonially brought into the Sweatlodge (referred to as the ‘Grandmother’ representing the female aspect of life). Water is poured onto the stones and the steam generated creates a hot and emotionally charged atmosphere which builds up over the duration of the lodge helping to release inhibitions and foster an air of deep introspection and honest, heartfelt expression. Enhanced through prayer, chanting and drumming, a sense of profound spiritual connection is often experienced between participants.
Due to its elemental quality these ceremonies greatly enhance a deep connection to the earth and the natural world.