The sweatlodge (rainbow lodge, inipi etc.) is a traditional purification ceremony (and/or preparation or conclusion of important events or rites of passage): it comes to us mainly through the Natives of North America.
The sweatlodge in its essence is
physically composed by a low half spheric structure constructed by willow
branches bound togheter, an altar and a fire place.
hut is covered from the outside in order to create absolute darkness inside.
All participants enter either naked or covered by a towel and sit. Stones
get heated up to incandescence in the fire and are brought into the center
of the hut: water and purifying herbs are put on the hot rocks by the
leader to provoke steam.
After the smoke has gone, the door gets blinded, and the central part of the ceremony begins: we sweat, we pray, we are quiet, talk, sing and/or we sit in meditation. More water is poured on the stones...until the time is ready to get out, to the new birth.
Traditions are various, more or
less rigid, and the ways of conducting the ceremony vary from leader to
leader: the essence is always respect. Common is, with a few exceptions,
the division into 4 rounds, that correspond to the 4 directions of space,
the 4 elements,the 4 seasons, and the 4 human plans: physical, emotional,
mental and spiritual.
At the end of every round the door is opened and "fresh" rocks come in.
The Sweatlodge is the symbol of coming back to the sweet dark womb of
Mother Earth, going through a "little death" (suffering, sweating,
missing air, maybe bad body position), to new Birth and Life.
It is dedicated to all our Relations (all beings who surround us) and it is a prayer sent to Great Mistery that surrounds us for common good. It can be used for healing, thanksgiving, to mark a specific moment of change, as individual purification, to get clarity and strenght on one or all four plans, to ask for answers, inspiration or vision in one's life, or for other purposes.
have received permission and blessing for becoming a ceremonial leader
from Manitonquat, Wanpanoag tribe (Amerikas north-east coast), and I
have been partecipating to many traditional and not Sweatlodges.
last years I have led many many huts, both for Rainbow gatherings,
for our school Tribal Life and for several groups of people, in
different occasions including equinoxes and solstices, healing circles,
marriages, threeshold ceremonies, memorial service, woman groups and more. I
am very honored and grateful for this gift and responsibility.
guidance is simple, essential and disciplined, inspired both from my
"earthy" and spiritual teachers, intuition and experience, and of
course by the participants's prayers and needs.
is possible to "reserve" the Sweatlodge for you and your group (room
for six people, plus me), or be with in the big hut with room for up to
persons ( the big hut can be reconstructed if necessary).
YOU ARE WELCOME!
you be atheist, critical or skeptical, you are welcome too, as long as
you respect the process, and the other's beliefs and ways.