Author: Tamarack Song
72 pages, offered in both a paper and electronic form (PDF). Photo is not an actual representation of the booklet.
Chapter 1 The Mother Lodge
Chapter 2 The Preparation
Lodgesite and Lodge
Chapter 3 Personal Attunement
Health and Safety
After The Ceremony
The Tradition of Silence
Chapter 4 The Ceremony
In the Lodge
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The Creation Stories of virtually all cultures reflect the universal Human awareness that we are Born from the Womb of The Great Earth Mother. Common to these cultures are ways to Return to that Womb in order to be Reborn — to be refreshed and begin life anew. The Sweat Lodge Ceremony is one such way.
The Sweat Lodge is the Earth Mother Lodge. To enter the Lodge is to return to Her Womb and be blessed to again be as a newling in Her warm, nurturing Belly. To leave the Lodge is to be birthed with a clean body and a clean slate. We leave the Lodge literally reborn — we leave the past behind. We are cleansed of the soil and scars that have accumulated since we last left the Womb. “Don’t look back”, was the direct instruction given me by one of my Elders. We have no guilt to carry, no penance to serve. What a gift — life begins anew!
What we shed in the Lodge is kindly absorbed by The Mother, in the same way that She converts compost to rich soil. In return for gifting Her, She and The Sky Father imbue us with their renewed presence within our Heart-of-Hearts.
Because one transitions from one Lifepath to another — entering the Door of Death and emerging through the Door of Birth — the Sweat Lodge Ceremony is a unique Rite of Passage. It is unique also because it allows us to repeatedly experience death and birth. This is the empowering core of the ceremony.
‘Sweat Lodge’ is the common contemporary term used to describe both the structure and the ceremony associated with it. Although I sometimes use the term for ease of communication, I prefer other terms which I feel are more descriptive. One does sweat in the Lodge — profusely, in fact. Being only one of the Lodge’s array of gifts, ‘Sweat’ falls short of conveying the essential spirit of the Lodge. Other terms I’ve heard used are: Purification Lodge, Cleansing Lodge, Rebirthing Lodge, Stone People Lodge, Healing Lodge, Mother Lodge. I think all of these terms give Honor to the Lodge. I personally prefer to use ‘Mother Lodge’, because the Lodge is Her Womb, no matter what the reason for entering.