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Shamanic Retreat - Lakota Inipi (Sweatlodge)

Colombia Retreat


The traditional Lakota ceremony of the inipi (sweatlodge) utilizes all the elemental powers of the Universe: earth and the things that grow from the earth, water, fire, and air. When we use the water in the sweat lodge we should think of Wakan Tanka who is always flowing, giving His power and life to everything. We should even be as water which is lower than all things, yet stronger even than the stones.

The willows which make the frame of the sweat lodge are set up in such a way that they mark the four quarters of the universe; thus, the whole lodge is the universe in an image, and all the things of the world are contained within it. The stones (grandfathers) represent the father, which through the water receive the reflection of the earth mother’s love. The masculine and feminine are united in the undifferentiated form of Wakan Tanka (Great Spirit). The fire which is used to heat the stones represents the great power of Wakan Tanka which gives life to all things.

When we enter into the lodge we enter back into the womb of the mother, of the earth. We enter in for purification through the heat and steam. We are reborn again into this world as small children.

"By bowing low in order to enter this lodge, I am remembering that I am as nothing compared to You, O Wakan Tanka, who are everything. Help me to become pure, before I send my voice to You! Help us in all that which we are about to do!"
Black Elk

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