Sun, May 29|
Sweat Lodge Ceremony
Sweat lodge ceremonies are about more than just sweating — Most sweat lodge ceremonies practiced today are led by wisdom keepers with the intention to use these ceremonies to give thanks, to heal, to seek wisdom, and to purify the mind, body, and soul.
Time & Location
May 29, 2022, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Hamilton, 987 ON-6, Hamilton, ON L9H 7J2, Canada
About the Event
Sweat lodge ceremonies have been used by traditional Indigenous healers for thousands of years. Sweat lodge ceremonies are about more than just sweating — they’re purification rituals used for a broad range of purposes, depending on the culture and the occasion. Most sweat lodge ceremonies practiced today are led by wisdom keepers with the intention to use these ceremonies to give thanks, to heal, to seek wisdom, and to purify the mind, body, and soul.
In our circle, we facilitate a sweat lodge experience with Mama Janja, a qualified traditional healer.
The article below is a summary taken from National Endowment for the Humanities by Amy Lifson: Traditionally, the ritual of purification and cleansing in the sweat lodge, a domed enclosure formed of willow branches and cloth exterior, was performed before soldiers went into battle and on their return, before they were reunited with their families. The interior is heated by rocks that have roasted for hours in fire. Once the rocks are brought inside the lodge and the door is closed, the healer pours water on them, like in a sauna, and leads a ceremony that lasts for several hours, using ritual songs and chanting. The sweat lodge was one of four steps that a returning new warrior had to complete: First, they were isolated and cared for apart from the rest of the tribe, then they underwent purification in the sweat lodge, next storytelling of victories and losses, and then a final ceremony to welcome them home.
The First Nations Elder or Knowledge Keeper conducting a Sweat Lodge will bear in mind the health and well-being of the participants. All First Nations Sweat Lodge ceremonies are intended for prayer and healing. Participating in a Sweat Lodge ceremony can be difficult. In general, each person may leave the Sweat Lodge if they are feeling unwell of feel that they are not able to finish.
All genders are welcome to the ceremony. It is suggested that those who identify as women wear a long dress, covering the upper body and the lower body and carry a towel to cover one's self. It is suggested that those who identify as men wear shorts with a towel wrapped around their waist. Any clothes that you are able to sweat in are also welcome.
Please bring food, adequate water, a change of clothes, towels, and any other items you may need during the ceremony.
Spiritual & Physical Health Benefits of the Sweat Lodge
by: Samantha Allen
"Every aspect of a sweat lodge ceremony, from the construction of the lodge itself to the prayers offered, is imbued with deeply spiritual symbolism. The shape of the lodge is intended to represent the womb of the Earth, which renews and purifies those within it.
The ceremony itself is often divided into four parts representing different spiritual challenges. The sweat lodge is a special place that engenders introspection and communion with the Earth, as well as a renewal of social and cultural bonds. Chanting, drumming, and meditation empowers participants to endure the heat for much longer than they usually could, teaching participants to overcome physical discomfort and frustration.
These ceremonies can be a profound spiritual experience, and the science of sweat lodges helps explain why. Research has shown that sustained heat releases the same endorphins as heavy physical activity, but without the burst of adrenaline that accompanies a challenging Ashtanga Vinyasa session, for example.
Sweat lodges can also help fight infections by creating a temporary fever state in the body, which some say lessens chronic inflammation. The heat is also a great remedy for arthritis, muscle pain, and skin disorders, which can be improved by the increased blood flow at the surface of the skin."