Awakening Centre Sacred Sweatlodge ceremonies are based on ancient Lakota rituals with added elements coming from a variety of Shamanic and meditation traditions. The lodge itself symbolises the womb. We enter in sacred silence and then experience the power of heated volcanic stones, blessed water, sacred herbs, guided meditations and group chants, before being re-born cleansed, purified and spiritually re-connected.
Andy and Laurel co-facilitate Sacred Sweatlodge ceremonies for both men and women on a Saturday evening.
Check our Events Page for coming Sweatlodge dates.
Our lodges are followed by a shared meal.
It is important to follow some guidelines in preparation to attend a Sweatlodge ceremony – a detailed email will be sent to you on confirmation of your attendance (see below for an overview of preparation required)
Contact us on 07 5494 2101 or via email for bookings and enquiries.
Energy exchange: $50
This video shows Laurel preparing the lodge and setting the fire for one of her New Moon Womb women’s lodges:
The Sacred Sweatlodge has a long and wonderful history, spanning several continents, names and traditions. The current revival in Sweatlodge comes to us courtesy of a number of Native American and meso-American traditions, where fortunately this amazing practice has been carried on into modern times.
In other cultures, particularly in northern Europe and the British Isles, there are remnants of evidence that ceremonial sweating was part of general spiritual traditions. The Irish and other British Isles Celtic peoples have recently revived their teach an alais, which was a purification ritual using a space dug into the side of a hill and covered with turf. And of course the modern Scandinavian and Finnish sauna is a remnant of an age-old tradition which is nowadays preserved as a social and physical cleansing experience. Unfortunately the dominance of patriarchal religion over the past couple of millennia has seen the spiritual aspects of these traditions and many others all but wiped out.
Our lodge ceremonies are very much based on the Lakota tradition from the mid-western USA, but we have incorporated elements of other traditions: Celtic, Sufi, Yogic, indigenous Australian among others.
The ceremony takes place in an inipi, a specially-built dome-shaped structure covered in canvas and containing a central pit for heated stones. We gather outside the Inipi where everyone is smudged with sacred white sage before entering the lodge and in this traditional all participants will be given a small piece of tobacco as an offering of gratitude to the Fire.
During the ceremony several rounds of red-hot volcanic rocks are brought into the inipi, placed in the central pit, blessed with sacred herbs and words and then sprinkled with blessed water. This is enhanced by guided meditations, chants and drumming.
The whole ceremony lasts between 90 and 120 minutes, we ask that you allow 2-3 hrs for these events.
You will need to fast before the ceremony for at least 4 hours. So for the morning New Moon Womb lodges it’s OK to have a light breakfast at around 6, and for the evening mixed lodges it’s good to have a nice healthy light lunch. After that it’s best just to drink plenty of water and maybe have a juice or a small amount of fruit if you get really hungry.
Hydration is vital as you are bound to lose a lot of fluid in the form of sweat during the ceremony, and we don’t actually drink in the inipi until we share blessed water at the end of the ceremony. We recommend that you keep a water bottle with you for several hours before the lodge and sip often.
Please note that if you are taking any medication or have any medical concerns we need to know (discretely) beforehand to make sure that you have a safe and effective journey. Even if we or you determine that it may not be in your best interest to actually sweat inside the lodge, it is still possible to participate actively in the vital and responsible role of Fire Keeper.
If any women are in their bleeding time it’s absolutely fine for them to take part in the ceremony. It is a good idea, however, for you to tell Laurel or Andy discretely beforehand as the present of a menstruating woman in the circle has been known to increase the power of the lodge in a wonderful way.
Leaving the lodge
It’s OK for you to leave the lodge at any time if you find that the process is too intense or that you are too uncomfortable. However, once you leave the lodge we ask that you don’t come back in, as it disturbs the process for the group. So it’s a good idea to push yourself a bit if you are feeling a bit challenged. The door is opened and some fresh air brought in when each round of stones comes in, and the general energy of the group is strictly monitored by Andy and Laurel to make sure everyone is safe and has a good experience. If you do leave the lodge, it’s a good idea to sit or lie down next to the inipi so you can still join in the chants and meditations.
Like any deep experience, your intention is very important, and worth having a good think about before you arrive.
If you like you can wear shorts or swim wear in the lodge and we do ask that women cover bikinis with a sarong, as you enter the lodge and in the areas around the lodge.
What to bring:
- Two towels (one to sit on in the lodge, the other for when you rinse off in the shower or swimming pool afterwards), a sarong or similar to preserve your modesty outside of the lodge.
- A water bottle to make sure you’re hydrated before the ceremony
- A plate of vegetarian or vegan food to share afterwards
Some words you might hear in the lodge ceremony:
“Aho” … means “I have spoken”, said at the end of an intention statement or when you have finished a sharing. Often echoed by the rest of the group, accompanied by the namaste gesture (praying hands at the heart).
“Mitakuye Oyasin” … means “all my relations”, an expression of the interconnectedness of all beings in the universe. We use this as a blessing for the stones as they are brought into the lodge.
“Senna” … means simply “thank-you”
“Tunkashila” … Great Spirit