The Healing Earth Lodge Ceremony (Sweat Lodge)
"When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
The Healing Earth Lodge ceremony is something that is very close to my heart. Since receiving my first ceremony in 2008, it has managed to wind its way into my entire being. So I would like to write a bit about it here.
Most recently, the lodge has become a more intimate part of my life. I have been blessed with the initiation into facilitating this most ancient ceremony for others.
The lodge for me has been transformative, both as participant and facilitator. In my experience, it has brought the opportunity for deep healing and connection with the Earth. This is unique in our modern age of technology and disconnect from Nature.
In May of 2018, I initiated a build of a lodge at a beautiful retreat centre in the Muskokas of Ontario (you can see the photos on the "Groups" page). This was a dream come true for me. What an honour to build a space of healing upon the land.
The "sweat lodge" as a term is familiar for most people as a ceremony part of many First Nations/Indigenous traditions. It is a ceremony held for the purpose of purification of the four levels of our being - mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. There are numerous reasons for holding sweat lodge ceremonies, which are unique to each tradition.
I want to be clear here that I am not a First Nations person, nor do I run a lodge that claims any such heritage or healing process. As such, it has been re-named Healing Earth Lodge by me and my teacher. It is very different than traditional lodges .. therefore, it is its own entity. Please read the description of it on the "Groups" page.
The lodge that I have been initiated into does not follow a specific native / indigenous tradition, but embraces all traditions, and at its heart is guided by Spirit and the Mother Earth herself.
I have been taught to incorporate teachings from certain African (Dagara African Cosmology) and Shamanic traditions into the lodge process, the ones that have inspired me and my teacher the most.
In my experience, the lodge is a call to the ground. It calls us to connect to Nature and the Mother Earth. Something we so desperately need.
The lodge follows a spiritual death and rebirth process, where participants surrender to Mother Earth, the elements and nature, and open to the compassionate love that is there waiting. We are received by the Mother Earth as a nurturing presence.
Therefore, it is the Mother Earth that heals in this ceremony. I as facilitator merely co-create the sacred space for what is needed to occur.
Many associate a lodge with a sauna. The only resonance between a lodge and a sauna would be the heat and steam! A lodge is a ceremony: a specific sacred process of purification and cleansing.
Ceremonies in general have the ability to shift energy. When we finish a ceremony, we are in a different "state" than when we started.
The same is true of the Healing Earth Lodge. We begin full of our "stuff" and are given the opportunity to let go and receive something different. What that is, is very personal and cannot be intuited ahead of time.
We sit on the ground, on the Earth herself. It is said to be in the lodge is to be in the womb of the Mother Earth: a warm, moist and dark cradle of love.
Here, we make offerings. We offer what comes up for us in the lodge, whether it be thoughts, emotions or physical expressions. We offer it as a prayer ... as our prayer for release and healing.
Then, once we have surrendered, we have more space to receive. To receive the love and compassion that the Earth offers. To receive a gift blessed by Spirit. Each experience and gift is unique.
And, we do this in community: communing with nature and the elements, and our fellow man and woman. We are all in this together.
So, how do you know you are to receive a Healing Earth Lodge?
You will be called to it.
It is not for everyone, and many have expressed concern about the heat and tight spaces. I always say, honour how you feel.
It is my great honour to be able to offer this healing space for others. I do it with incredible respect and love, and take it very very seriously.
It is a responsibility I cherish, and my hope is that many can receive the benefit of healing from Nature and the Mother Earth, through this most sacred and ancient process.
©Jodie Cara Lindley