The Sweat Lodge, also known as, Temascal or Inipi, was developed to gather in a sacred ceremony before hunting, Sundance, vision quests, and as a way of life to connect with the Sacred Mystery. The intention is to clean the mind, the body, and be in balance within.
It is an ancient and pure medicine ceremony, a temple to honor the elements of earth, fire, water and air. An opportunity to experience a spiritual reunion with the creator and a respectful connection to the earth itself.
The Sweat Lodge is a small, round, closed structure, meticulously hand constructed with natural products. Red hot, fire heated, rocks are placed in the center pit where medicinal herbs are added. Water is poured over the rocks which produce steam that purifies and heals. The Shaman opens the ceremony with words of intention, rattle sounds, drum beats, songs, and pouring water over the heated rocks. The ceremony lasts four rounds, also known as “doors” representing the four directions - north, east, south and west. Each round consists of adding 7 heated rocks to the center of the lodge, gradually building heat. At the conclusion of the Sweat Lodge participants exit the lodge in silence.
To the Native Americans the Sweat Lodge symbolizes the womb of Grandmother Earth. The fire represents the opening of the Sacred Mystery, the source of all life and power. The 28 stones represent the bones of the earth, while the steam supports purification and healing. Entering the Sweat Lodge represents going into the womb, life’s starting place, to be born again.
The ceremony begins with a fire ceremony followed by the Sweat Lodge. The ceremony lasts approximately 2-hours in total.
Cacao has been used in ancient ceremonies throughout the Americas for thousands of years. It has an active ingredient in it called theobromine — which can be translated to, ‘Food of the Gods’.
It is said that the word cacao actually came from the Maya word Ka’kau, and the Maya word Chokola’j — which means to drink chocolate together.
Cacao comes from the cacao bean — which is also used to make chocolate. The cacao plant is seen as a medicinal plant, and has been used for a number of spiritual, medicinal and ceremonial purposes throughout history. Ritual cacao is made from mostly cacao beans, water, and cacao butter.
In ceremony, cacao is consumed in a warm liquid form out of a cup or mug, and typically has a bitter taste to it.
The cacao ceremony will involve sitting in a sacred circle, taking prayer, and setting intentions to be received. Gathering in a circle as one people, one nation to drink cacao, for some clans represents blood. This medicinal brew awakens our ancestral memory, honoring and remembering our ancestors. Cacao opens the spirit world. We travel this journey held by songs and ancestral sounds that help us look inside and open our heart to unconditional love.
Shamanic healing is one of the oldest holistic healing practices, which has been used by ancient cultures worldwide for centuries. Cacao ceremonies are actually a type of shamanic healing, but they don’t have hallucinogenic or “out of body” effects, unlike some of the other shamanic experiences.
Cacao ceremonies are rooted in helping to re-balance the energies within us, and restore good health. For centuries, cacao has been used to heal the mental, physical, and spiritual body.
Native shamanic tools like drumming, feather cleansing, smudging, and shamanic sound journeys may be used in the ceremony. The ceremony lasts approximately 3-hours in total.