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Sweat Lodge Ceremony

The Sweat Lodge for ceremonies was visioned and created by a community of women, men and children, known as the People of the Heart. Rev. Jayna and Jonny Gieber, as the stewards of this land and lodge, were guided by Spirit to offer all-nation ceremonies on this piece of Earth. In the building of this sacred space, it was made clear that it was to be used as a place for people from all walks of life and spiritual traditions to come together for healing and community support.

Jayna and Jonny have researched the use of sweat houses found throughout the world, and drawing from their decades of sweat lodge experience, create healing and community building ceremonies for many participants. This Sweat Lodge is a composite of many cultures' use of sweat ceremonies over thousands of years around the earth. Therefore, what you will experience is not a traditional American Indian Lodge but is composed of practices from many traditions, including Celtic, Buddhist, American Indian, New Thought, and the Christ Presence. We honor all paths here, and hold that spiritual guidance is often best governed by personal spiritual truth. We ask that you respect your own spiritual path as well as those who will share this sweat lodge experience with you.

The Sweat Lodge Ceremony honors the Masculine and Feminine coming together in Sacred Partnership on behalf of all peoples and the planet. Together we recognize this intention with our Partnership Pole ritual just prior to the ceremony. The sacred space of the Lodge is a manifestation of the womb of Mother Earth with many of the materials used to build it coming from this land, including the Alder Tree people and the Stone people who live on the Earth here. When we enter the lodge we are returning to the womb, and when we leave we can be like babies again, fresh and innocent leaving anything no longer helpful behind, if that is what we choose. In the center of the lodge a hole has been dug which will receive the hot stone people (in various numbers) that have been warming up in the fire outside and that will help us cleanse and purify ourselves. They are our most ancient living relatives. Having lived so long they have much wisdom to share and to teach. There will be darkness when the flap is shut, contributing to the womb-like atmosphere.

The flap will be opened between rounds to let in cool air and light.

If you feel the need for it to be open at another time you can say so and this will be respected, but do so at the end of a prayer or song not during. It is very powerful to complete the circle together so we ask that you consider carefully your decision to be a part of the ceremony and set your intention to stay in the circle until we are finished.

Fear or anxiety may come up. Expressing the feeling or opening the flap may be helpful. Most sweat ceremonies last 2 hours or so. Ceremonies may include men and women or same gender sweats depending on the purpose. Before entering we use smudge with herbs which prepare us for healing, fanning the smoke of sage, cedar, lavender and rosemary over our bodies. When it is time to go in we are standing as 2 leggeds and we enter on all fours like our 4 legged relatives. Crawling in and greeting the lodge we move to the left around the inner circle of the lodge in a sunwise direction. Some people bring symbolic items to place on the altar outside (However, our dogs are Buddhist and teach nonattachment—sometimes they take things, so be aware of this.) The Fire Tender and Stone Handler will bring in the stone people on a pitchfork and we will welcome them with words and herbs. When the flap is closed, water will be poured on the stones releasing a healing moisture for our bodies and souls. It will feel like a sauna and you can cover your face with a towel or lay down. It is good to remember to pray on why you have come. We will sing and pray, sharing stories and so on. It is okay to pray out loud or silently, just let us know when you are done by closing with an ending, such as All My Relations, Amen, Shalom, And So It Is, Blessed Be...

When the ceremony comes to an end we will leave the same way we entered, on all fours, crawling out to the left.

Afterwards, it feels so good to lay down and let the cool air brush over us. A sweat lodge experience is a sacred thing and a blessing to be shared. Please come early to orient yourself to the land and get comfortable. Bring a prepared vegetarian potluck dish to share afterward as part of the ceremony. No alcohol or other recreational drugs prior to, or right after the ceremony. We appreciate your respect in this matter.

Helpful Hints: Wear mudworthy clothes and shoes—sweats, shorts, and shifts are appropriate sweat attire. Bring a change of clothes for after and two towels—one for inside and one for afterwards. Avoid wearing any metals or buttons that may get hot. Glasses or contacts should be left outside. Makeup melts. Strong colognes get stronger in the heat.

It is kind and thoughtful to remember to acknowledge and thank the community helpers who contributed to the ceremony. Monetary contributions to cover the cost of wood and other ceremony expenses are encouraged along with energy exchange, for we practice the spiritual principle of generosity, which benefits everyone.

People of the Heart holds open community ceremonies for men and women. Call for information or leave your email address if you'd like notification of dates and times. Please speak with Jayna and Jonny if you wish to invite new folks.

All My Relations!

Warm Nest Woman and Heartsong, Jayna and Jonny Gieber