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Planned 2017 Lodge Weekends:
Mad Tea Party ~
Drum 'N' Splash ~
Big Dub ~
Stones Rising ~
Bass Harvest ~
The Sweat Lodge Site is a beautiful and sacred place on the land at Four Quarters and we invite you to come by to pray and sweat with us! The sacred fires will be continuously burning, and at anytime you are welcome to come in to meditate, visit the tipi, chill out, talk with us, and reconnect in this area.
The Sweat Lodge at Four Quarters holds to the same interfaith view as Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary and does not follow a single tradition or path. All are welcome.
As with other spaces at Four Quarters this is ceremonial space and is to be respected as such.
This is not a sauna so when visiting the sweat lodge do not alter the land, alters or fire, there are staff to take care of these things now.
Ceremony for sweat lodge will be scheduled in advance and no one other then those approved pourers scheduled will be running lodges. These rules are in place for safety and the ability to hold ceremony without conflicts. Sweat lodge is not open unless specifically scheduled with four quarters and fires made in those spaces (sweat lodge, women's circle, and welcome fire) are to be started and tended by four quarters sweat lodge staff members.
We will be holding many Sweat Lodges throughout the festivals, during the day and possibly evening – typically 11 am-5 pm – please come in and ask for the day's schedule, you can also listen for the conch shell as it will sound when a lodge will be beginning soon. If you see people standing around we are probably getting ready to go in, if the flap on the lodge is closed we are in there and will be out soon.
The sweat lodge ceremony, older than recorded history, is practiced in some form by every culture in the world. Our sweat ceremonies facilitate personal and collective inner cleansing and healing.
Each lodge has 4 rounds, and you may experience one, multiple rounds, or all 4. Each round can last anywhere from a ½ hour to over an hour. We will come out in between each round and take a break.
· As you walk into this sacred site at the entrance you will find the “Welcome Fire” – a gathering place to relax and reconnect, talk with family, and center yourself.
· Before you come to the Lodge fire, where the stones are heated, you will see a small altar with sacred herbs on it. It is here that you can take some tobacco to offer to the sacred fire, saying a prayer, intention, or making your connection, the smoke from the tobacco carrying your request to the Great Spirit. This is a prayer fire and we ask that you throw nothing besides this into the fire. There is a Fire Keeper that will be there, he/she is also the only one that will be working with the fire, or adding wood. Please feel free to ask him or her any questions that you may have.
· Volunteers are always welcome to help! Let us know!
· Support of the lodge site is what makes it possible for us to continue to provide Ceremony and maintain this beautiful area. We truly appreciate all Love Donations. You will find a jar on the sacred herb altar where you can make an offering if you choose to.
If you choose to join us for a Sweat,
here are some good things to be aware of:
Items to bring:
Bring an offering for the water pourer and fire keeper.
Two to three towels one to keep clean and the other for lodge.
Bottles of water, water will also be on site.
A small blanket or serape to sit on, and one to keep warm with.
Any spiritual items you need (Drums, rattles etc…).
Personal items and personal food.
· We insist that every participant bring and drink sufficient water to replace fluids released by sweating for the duration of the ceremony.
· We sit on the Earth, you are welcome to bring in a towel on which to sit as well, know that anything you bring into the lodge will get muddy and wet.
· The ceremony is clothing optional. This means that whatever you choose to wear to be most comfortable is how you enter the lodge. Some wear sarongs, shorts, bathing suits, or nothing at all.
· If you have sacred things you want blessed please make sure the pourer knows so that can be done.
· If you are feeling too hot in the lodge get down close to cool Mother Earth and breathe. If you find yourself uncomfortable in the lodge for any reason, you may leave at any time. It is preferred that you wait until the person praying or a song being sung is finished, but if necessary, at any time, you can let us know that you need to leave, and we will open the flap and let you out.
· If you have chosen to leave the lodge for any reason, you can choose to sit with us outside of the lodge and hang out with us, and/or you may re-enter the lodge the next time the flap is opened in between “rounds.”
· Bottom line: In choosing to participate in the sweat lodge, we expect that you are an adult, conscious, intelligent and aware of the needs of your own body and health.
o You are the best judge as to whether this experience will serve you or not. If you have any doubt about your health, please check with your doctor before you decide to sweat. We have many participants that choose to join us outside the lodge and have great experiences!
o We expect that you are aware enough to take good care of yourself and that you will request to leave if you find it necessary.
o Pregnant women, those with heart conditions, seizures, or with other health challenges that involve physical or mental issues that would not be served by sweating are encouraged to join us outside the lodge. In addition if you have any communicable illness such as a cold or the flu, we encourage you to stay away until you are well.
The structure of the Sweat lodge symbolizes the womb of our Mother, the Earth in which everything is available to us and where we are held and nourished in the best and most natural way possible.
Within the darkness and heat of the lodge, we sit humble and equal with our sisters and brothers, all children of our Earth Mother. We sit within her womb waiting to be born, remembering our true identities. In her womb we remember our connection with all living beings and when supportive to each other all life may live in harmony.
Working with the element of Fire, we heat stones till they glow red. The stones are referred to as our Grandmothers and Grandfathers and they represent the ancient wisdom of our Mother Earth and our Ancestors. These stones are passed into the lodge to a central pit, where water is poured onto them to release the heat and wisdom they hold. Sacred herbs are used to further purify, cleanse and empower us.
Through prayer and sacred songs we ask the Creator for support and give thanks for what we have already achieved.
The Four Elements are with us. Fire in the red glowing stones, Water we pour on the stones and in our sweat, Air that we breathe and the Earth on which we sit and which glows in the stones before us.
At the end of the ceremony we crawl out of our Mother’s womb as new borns. Complete, with greater understanding of ourselves and looking forward towards our futures.
We are cleansing on all levels of our being and recovering our connection and harmony to the Earth and all of Creation, becoming whole again.
Donations for the continued upkeep of the lodge site at Four Quarters is appreciated. In no way is a donation required to be made and is no way your participation in ceremony dependant upon a donation. All donations received at the lodge site at Four Quarters are put into the continued upkeep and improvements of that site. The Lodge Staff and Four Quarters directly absorb the thousands of dollars that are required every year to operate the Lodge Site.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated time, blood, sweat, tears, and money in the past. Donations can and have come in many forms. Donations of sage, sweetgrass, cedar, food, blankets etc are just as important and helpful as cash, and just as appreciated. Your previous and continued support of the lodge site is what makes it possible for us to continue to provide Ceremony.
We are here for you! Please feel free to ask us any and all questions!