THE SWEATLODGE AS MEDICINE
Sweatlodges for Women
restore the balance between fire, earth, water and air
Calling in abundance, nature, lots of herbs, herbal water, softening the hardness, melting with earth, water, fire and air, letting go of sorrow, dissolving shadows, remembering we are bringers of life, vessels of love, expressions of the divine mother, holding hands in a circle, returning to sisterhood and feeling the ancient mother moving through us, roots growing deep in our ancestry, reclaiming our power.
coming events for this ceremony:
for women: 28.3. – Full Moon
Ode to the sweat lodge
Touch the Earth and Surrender yourself to PachaMama
Be a flowing River, observe the Water within you
Listen to the Air, you can hear it, feel it, smell it, touch it
Wonika Wayan, the sacred air, spirit, life, breath
Melt together with the Fire, the Stones, your Ancestors
Become one with your true nature
allowing it … to emerge
From these roots you shall grow, move, breath…
Veerle Phara, author of Wise Playful Woman, medicine woman, shamanic healer & coach, earth & fire keeper, keeper of sweatlodges
What sweat lodges can offer women:
♥ Reminding us that Mother Earth is a mother to all women, unconditionally. We can give her all our baggage as nourishment and the space that is freed up, can be filled with energy from the deep warm core of the earth.
♥ Reminding us that Mother Earth nourishes each of us to the very depths of our cells and she does it with love. Earth drenched love!
♥ Reprograming our cell memory. Releasing fears, old patterns and beliefs to the earth and the water. To a greater or lesser extent, we die in every sweat lodge.
♥ Daring to be, to live, to breathe, to yawn, to cough, to burp, to speak our inner truth, to play.
♥ Learning to love ourselves and each other in a natural, simple way.
♥ Learning to become aware of embodiment, of everything that we embody. Coming home and learning to appreciate ourselves in our beautiful authentic sensual bodies, just as they are. Daring to touch ourselves, learning to love and cherish every part of ourselves, including our belly, yoni, breasts. Daring to pay full attention to our feminine beauty again.
♥ Honoring the power of prayer. Listening to the wisdom of the grandmothers in the lodge, but also praying for women in their moon time and for the younger generations. We honor especially the women in their moon time in the sweat lodge. I admire their courage to participate in the sweat lodge in their naked vulnerability and their primal strength. I honor them in the midst of the circle of women. Often, they offer some blood to the earth, a fertile and healing gift.
♥ Rediscovering playfulness. How wonderful it is to cover ourselves, in our naked beauty, with mud or honey, to touch each other, to sing, to connect, to honour each other, to honour each other so deeply in who we truly are.
♥ Reminding us that we as a circle of women can be present for each other, just by being there, without having to care for each other. When someone is crying or grieving, we do not need to comfort, care for or reach out for this woman, because we feel pity. We are simply there for each other, we carry each other without words, in love, gentleness and compassion.
♥ And… that we are allowed to be gentle and compassionate towards ourselves.
I will be gentle with myself
I will love myself
I am a child of the universe
Born in every moment.
♥ Participating in a sweat lodge is coming home to ourselves,
it creates balance between earth, water, fire and air, in and around ourselves.
Sweat lodges are rituals, initiations, portals, … balancing all the elements, allowing us to come home to ourselves and guiding us towards the heart of the earth’s creative power. They are ancient ceremonies connecting our daily reality, all worlds and the Sacred Web in which everything is intertwined.
A sweat lodge is a medicine wheel, an instrument for balancing ourselves and remembering who we truly are. They are not about who we are supposed to be, or who we think we are, but they are about who we are in our naked truth, without frills or masks. We peel off our roles and offer them to the earth, the water, the hot stones.
While living in our mother’s womb for nine months, we remain in the dark. We are born into the light, new life arises from the dark. Just like the seeds in the black soil during wintertime which germinate in spring.
In a sweat lodge, it is not the dark nourishing womb of our mother that we are crawling back into, but it’s the womb of the Earth, our universal mother. The Earth is here for everyone and it is always ready to receive our heavy baggage and transform it into nourishment and lightness. In this way we can heal and be reborn, full of new energy and life force.
A sweat lodge is a ceremony with different rituals. It is a ceremony for our personal prayers and wishes, for the prayers and intentions of all participants, for the healing of a community, of women and men, children, the elderly, and for an intention far greater than ourselves.
We connect our hearts with Spirit to create a New Earth. That process starts with and in ourselves. We cannot change anything in our surroundings unless we live in harmony with ourselves and cherish our unique gift in this world. From there, balance can flow to society, to all our loved ones and relatives, to our sisters and brothers and our tribe, connected with all the places in the world where sweat lodges are held.
Death and Rebirth
In each sweatlodge, we die a little to be born again. Depending on the intention and purpose, we can sit in a sweat lodge from two hours to a whole day and night. Certain sweat lodges keep working overtime as initiations.
The Chadir is the Siberian sweat lodge or the house of death. What part of us may die, what do we leave behind? A profound sweat lodge in which we dive totally into the energy of the Indian Time, No Time, asks us to let go of any form of control and to go into complete surrender. This dying process makes a sweat lodge so powerful because it resets our cell memory and makes room for our true soul path.
A sweat lodge acts like an alternative doctor. It doesn’t matter whether our biological ancestors died of cancer, heart disease, dementia, or illness. It doesn’t even matter what’s the matter with us. If we can surrender ourselves to the silence, the emptiness, the warmth, the ‘not knowing’, then we forget for a moment who we are supposed to be. Embracing our shadows, embracing our nakedness! A deep dive into the void. Inside the womb of Mother Earth and not that of our biological mothers. The Mother of All, who wants to be nourished with our heavy energy, so she can give back light, transformed energy.
After a sweat lodge, we are reborn. We crawl out of the womb as a new human being, healed and cleansed. We lie down on the earth to recover and cool down. A shower or herbal bath works wonders. Afterwards we share our experiences and together we enjoy a potluck, the abundance of mother nature.
A sweat lodge doesn’t end when we hug and say goodbye. When we drive home tired, satisfied, and with an open heart, we send gratitude and healing to all our loved ones and relatives. The ceremony will be resonating on all levels for the next few days. Because of their deeply healing and transforming energy, sweat lodges sometimes work as initiations. That is why it is so important that we take time to integrate this ceremony, immediately after and if possible, the next few days.
Because of the deep grounding effect of sweat lodges, they have an enormous healing effect on women. Sitting naked in a circle of women in the warm womb of mother earth is a process that sets a lot in motion. During women’s festivals, we hold morning temazcales for up to fifty women, with lots of herbs and water. They provide a powerful grounding bedding, after a few days it is as if roots are growing under the sweat lodge that extend far beyond the grounds of the festival.
coming events for this ceremony:
for women: 28.3.