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AIFC – Women’s Sweat
December 9, 2022 @ 5:00 pm
Artwork credit: The Lodge by Sharifah
- Please plan to be there at 5 PM so we can enter the lodge right at 6 PM.
- A light meal will also be shared afterward. Please feel free to bring food to share, but it isn’t required.
- Facilitated by Sharyl Whitehawk every first Friday of the month; please call to verify.
What to bring and wear: a loose-fitting dress, shorts/skirt for inside the lodge, along with a loose-fitting shirt, a change of clothes for after, a towel, drinking water, and a dish to share later (optional). A modest t-shirt or top is also acceptable upon wearing a long skirt or shorts.
AIFC’s Women’s Sweats are regularly scheduled. If you are interested in attending a regularly scheduled sweat or have questions, please get in touch with Sharyl Whitehawk at (651) 505-6838, (719) 322-4447, or Sharyl.Whitehawk@aifcmn.org.
Directions to the sweat lodge: Turn left into the drive, and then open the gate (it’s not locked but looks like it is) and drive through, staying to the right at 2 forks until you go up a small hill where the sweat lodge and a parking area is.
Sweat lodge teachings:
A sweat lodge is a tool for healing everything that a person wants healing for. It begins with a firepit where your intentions for the sweat are given with tobacco. The firepit represents the Creator, whereas the fire has the power of transformation. So, it holds the stones, heating them and getting them ready for healing work. The path to the lodge is a lifetime of unresolved issues that you carry with you. As you enter the Eastern doorway you announce yourself by Spirit Name and clan. If you do not have them, just use your English name. You sit where the person pouring assigns you.
In most cases, the women come in first, and then the men. The stones are brought in by a firekeeper who brings in the stones with the person who is pouring guidance. The lodge’s people are reconnected to their first mother, the Earth. The sweat lodge and the firepit in the lodge are dome-shaped and represent the womb and have the power of rebirth. The stones once brought in become grandmothers and grandfathers who heard the intentions and come in to help. The doorway is closed, and the four directions are honored and asked to assist. It can be hot when water is added to the grandmothers and grandfathers. Steam is the conductor of transformation. The steam pulls out the trapped issues or problems that the person is hanging onto and releases them so that healing can happen. The songs, prayers, and medicines shared in the lodge help people let go of their resistance.
The time in the sweat lodge varies as well as the number of stones used. It can be short as an hour or up to 2 hours long. It can have 7 up to 42 stones. It can be done in any part of the day. A sweat lodge is a healing tool that has been passed down for generations and is changing with the times.