Curious in what entails a Native American Sweat Lodge? Freelance Writer Janny C takes you inside one as she share the meaning of this event in Native American culture as well as her own personal experience.
The Medicine/Sweat Lodge Experience
An inside look into the sacred Native American Medicine/Sweat Lodge
I recently attended a medicine/sweat lodge ceremony (My first as well). If you are unfamiliar with what a medicine/sweat lodge is it can be a hut, cavern, where water is then poured on hot rocks to create steam. You see the goal of the sweat lodge is it is built in a round hut like shape to represent the womb of mother earth. The steam that is created is to represent her hot molten core. When we think of sweat lodges we are familiar mostly with the Native American medicine/ sweat lodges as a place for healing and ritual.
For me the medicine/sweat lodge experience was profound. In fact words actually fail me now. That is pretty profound since I am a freelance writer, and writing is what I do for a living. My reason for attending the sweat lodge ceremony was not just to experience it, and write about it though, I did need some healing. I currently suffer from chronic neck and back pain caused from some degenerating discs in my spine, which has kept me from normal work for about 4 years. What surprised me though is that a more emotional healing took place which in part healed my physical pain by 90%. Little do we know that sometimes our physical pain can be emotionally related as well. Even doctor have recognized this as if you look at a list of signs of depression can be physical pain sometimes even back pain.
For me the medicine/ sweat lodge turned out to be a metaphor for emotional therapy almost. Inside the medicine lodge with the drumming, singing, meditation feelings I thought I had longed buried and dealt with welled up inside me. Here I discovered that both my physical and emotional well being were tied together in a nice tight knot. It is not easy being a self sufficient single mom only to get sick and have to crawl back to family that is none too supportive. It takes a toll on the psyche that I didn't know. If I wanted to heal I had to deal with my emotions as well, and inside that lodge I finally can honestly say I learned what forgiveness really is. I knew if I did not forgive I would not heal. It was why I could not heal. In the end I learned both our physical and emotional well being are tightly connected in our over all health. So it is not silly to stop and take time to heal your spirit as well as your body.
Native American Spirtual Center
The Sweat Lodge I attended was in Lake Mills, Wisconsin with Shaman conductor Bruce Whitewolf. Mr. Whitewolf hosts the Native American Spiritual Center in Rockford,IL for more information in case you are near or in the Illinois, Wisconsin area and want to attend visit link above.