The sweat lodge: an ancient rite of purification and healing

Wellness and spirituality are two terms connected and inextricably linked to each other since the dawn of humanity. Today we handle them with dexterity in everyday jargonespecially when to regain physical and mental well-being we approach all those disciplines that connect the spirit with the soul.

Some of these, like thehatha yoga or meditation, are now part of our daily life. Let’s approach these disciplines for rediscover the meaning of things that surround us, to connect us with our interiority and with the universe, but there are some that are very ancient and very powerful, and that we should really know.

Digging among the most fascinating rituals in the worldwe came across a practice as sacred as it is ancient that has its origins in traditions of indigenous Americans, practiced mainly by the Sioux populations. His name is sweat lodge and it is a ceremony that has the goal of purify and heal the soul and body.

The sweat lodge

The sweat lodge, also known by the name of Inipi or purification hut, is an ancient ceremony that, even today, is practiced in some native peoples of America. It is a ritual which, as the name itself suggests, has the aim of purifying the spirit and the mind through sweat.

The ritual can be practiced at any time of the year, but carrying it out becomes essential and necessary before taking part in any other ceremony, precisely to guarantee people to participate in subsequent rites with greater awareness.

The ceremony of the purification hut, as we have said, goes back to one centuries-old tradition which is closely related to the indigenous Americans. However this practice it has also spread to the rest of the world, embracing various territories and cultures. The rites may vary from country to country: the materials, the structure of the hut and the songs change, but the goal, however, always remains the same.

The great significance that is attributed to the ceremony, and the great charm that characterizes it, has meant that the sweat lodge spread also in Europe, and more precisely in Germany, Switzerland and Italy.

How the ceremony works

According to the Sioux tradition, the hut a must be built with the help of young willows forming a dome, which is then covered with canvas or bison leather. In some areas of America, however, the huts are built inside mounds of earth or sand. The Eskimos, on the other hand, use their igloos to practice this ceremony.

As we anticipated, the ritual symbolizes purification and soul healingof the body and spirit that happens with sweat.

In fact, at the center of the hut, a hole is dug into which some are placed glowing stones heated on the fire alive, lit right outside the facility. The participants of the ceremony sit in a circle around the rock cradle where the stones are, and by singing songs and prayers, they connect with nature and the universe.

The sweatwhich is caused by the steam from the incandescent stones, eliminates skin impurities, but also purifies the soul and beyond, invites the participants of the ceremony to heal from their wounds by rediscovering an authentic and primordial contact with themselves and with the universe. During the ritual, participants are invited to free themselves from negativity, fears and worries in order to be reborn.

The sweat lodge: an ancient rite of purification and healing