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 dietary, physical and spiritual preparation guidelines for these events, for your own safety as well as to allow the deepest experience. Therefore it is essential to book well in advance so we can make sure you have followed the preparation guidelines – 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: $45
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. This inipi symbolises the womb. We enter into the womb in the ceremony, only to be re-born cleansed both physically and spiritually, and re-connected with the Earth, with our Universe, with Spirit and with each other.
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 water causes steam, whcih gives you the physical sweat with its beautiful process of removing body toxins and leaving you feeling relaxed and re-connected. The heat and darkness also contribute to a spiritual process whereby visions, revelations and messages can come to you. This is enhanced by guided meditations, chants and drumming.
The whole ceremony lasts between 90 and 120 minutes.
We follow the ceremony with a sharing circle to help start the process of understanding and integrating our experiences.
And then we all share a beautiful meal … and we promise you, no food ever tastes as good as a meal eaten after a sweatlodge ceremony!
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 spiritual experience, your intention is very important, and worth having a good think about before you arrive.
If you like you can wear shorts, swim wear or more commonly sarongs in the lodge and we do ask that you are covered as you enter the lodge and in the areas around the lodge. However, in the darkness in the lodge if you prefer to uncover and just sit on your sarong then that is okay as long as you respect others and are covered outside the Inipi.
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