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Sweat lodge ceremonies are a tradition for many First Nations throughout America. A sweat lodge is a place of refuge, for physical and psychological healing, a place of prayer and a place to get answers and guidance from the ancestors, spiritual guides and the Creator. They often serve as a type of testing ground, proposing a rite of passage where participants can demonstrate endurance, strength and courage.


Although all sweat lodges have similar features they all vary depending on the Elder or spiritual leader, and the purpose of the sweat lodge. Most sweat lodges are dome-shaped, which is representative of Mother Earth’s womb; exiting the sweat lodge after the ceremony is often likened to being reborn. In many traditions the entrance to the sweat lodge faces east, which has great spiritual significance, as the sun (the Creator) rising in the east represents the start of each new day.

Inside a sweat lodge stones are heated and water is poured over them to create steam, each Elder or spiritual leader has his own way of leading ceremonies, and so all sweat lodge ceremonies differ, but the common thread is prayer. The steam eliminates toxins from the body, meaning that sweat lodges don’t only benefit your mental health, but they are good for your physical health, too.

Mike Doucette brings you an exclusive look into a sweat lodge ceremony in episode 12 of konnected.tv.
Feb 8, 2016
Mar 27, 2017 | Stewart Cook
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