This is my current sweat lodge and ceremonial sacred space. This is a unique lodge in that I designed it as an octogon shaped structure about 17 feet across, made with pine wood frame and a center pit that we can sit around to form an inner circle. I have placed a wood burning Finnish sauna in the center as an internal fire source with volcanic rocks as Elders on the top of it to hold the heat of Grand Father Fire. The smoke is channeled out the top of the lodge with a stove pipe through a cement board top enclosed in a small octogon cap. The inside of the lodge is covered with black cloth with the 4 Direction colors making a colored cross on the ceiling and Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags around the perimeter. Above that is a non-toxic rain cover to protect the lodge from the intense rain storms we have. The entrance is the West doorway and our time of ceremony is usually late afternoon and into the sunset invoking the power of the West. We usually use junniper wood for the fire...
So there are 4 doorways for the 4 Directions each with its own color coordinated doorway covering and the Spirit Power and teaching that goes with it. Although we mainly use the West door to enter and exit when necessary all four doors can be opened between the 4 ceremonial rounds to allow extra fresh air in and the blessings that a cool breath can bring. Usually just opening the Western door is enough but sometimes using the Eastern doorway when needed helps if we need extra cooling and fresh air.
Once all the doors are closed we begin the ceremony and start the 1st Round in the dark singing invocation songs and setting our Intent with words of prayer. I have put tea tree oil, eucalyptus, peoppermint or other essential oils in the water and on the rocks before I pour water onto the heated rocks of the Altar. As i pour water and begin to steam the lodge we smudge ourselves with the steam calling forth blessings from the Great Spirit and the Sacred Mother. After about 15 minutes or so we call for the opening of the West door and bring forth the blessing of fresh air and a cool drink of water.
After we have completed the 1st Round, next we again close the lodge and enter the darkness as we transition into the 2nd Round and the energy of the North which corresponds to the Wintertime, Midnight and the color White which brings us into the power of spiritual renewal and purification. After the harvest of the West and our inward turning for understanding and right relations, we now connect with the Wisdom nature of the Spiritual Elder, and the North. Like the rain that turns to the white of snow in the wintertime revealing a crystal grid in the form of a snow flake, within us and in all things is an intelligent design. It is sometimes necessary to strip away that which conditions us in order to connect with the Spiritual renewal of the North and the wisdom nature inherent within us. This cleansing and spiritual renewal of the North and the 2nd Round also corresponds with the start of our prayer circle which includes spoken words offered for love and forgiveness for self and others. This is a time of taking responsibility for what we have created in our lives and for coming into alignment with the power of our higher destiny.
Next we come to the East and the 3rd Round and again we enter it through the darkness, heat and steam. I use Red for the East door invoking the power of creative vision and passion to give rebirth to our purpose and to our coming forth to manifest the awakening of our higher mind and heart wisdom into the outer world. East corresponds to the Springtime and to the Sunrise and to birth in general, and the color Red helps us to physcially embody our inspiration so we can move forward doing what needs doing. After ending this Round is when i may call forth to open the Eastern door to allow for the extra cool air for those sitting on that side of the lodge.
And next along the circle we enter into the 4th Round and the power of the South. I use Yellow for the South Door as Yellow energizes the Intelllect and the desire to learn and know. The South corresponds to the growth cycle in nature as seen in the Summertime, and to the suns highest place in the sky at Noon. Here life is rooted and we desire to take care of that which gives us stability in the world. Its expression is to find security in home and family as the place of the Child through innocence and trust. In the South we come to heal whatever has wounded us and offer our prayers for the well-being of the children and all that we care for. So we steam again as we offer our songs and love to again bring forth blessings into the world before opening the doors to bring the 4 Rounds into completion.
It is the Power of the Great Spirit that not only comes through the gateways of the 4 Directions, but also downward from the Sky Father - Above - which is our connection to the higher dimensional enegies of the Universe. And to bring it all down to earth we connect with the Spirit of Earth Mother - the power Below and to her heartbeat. So from the power of the Sky Father Above we connect with the power Below and with the soul of the Mother Earth through the Grand Father Fire in the Center of the lodge and within us. The 4 Directions, including Above and Below form 6 Directions around the 7th at the Center and the presence of Grand Father Fire to form an Octahedron double sided pyramid which is one of the 5 Platonic sacred solids.
This lodge is full of symbolism and sacred geometry as seen in the vortex of the Medicine Wheel, and is an expression of the knowledge of ancient wisdom traditions from around the world transcending any one particular tradition or culture. We work as a bridge between the Old World traditions and the New by giving focus to our ceremonial Intent through giving thanks to the Great Spirit and forgiving ourselves and others through the power of love and healing to bless all of our relations in the circle of life. In the darkeness that surrounds the Grandfather Fire in our ceremony we turn a vortex merkaba clockwise and open the door to the Will of Heaven. May we give birth to the rainbow body and dream forth Heaven on Earth... with blessings for all of our relations...