The Sweat Lodge represents renewal.
And that’s what recovery is all about – reconnecting with your higher purpose, renewing your relationships with your family and community, and becoming the person you were BEFORE alcohol or drug misuse.
The sweat lodge offers a way, symbolically, to sweat out the bad and allow for the healing
process to begin.
“A sweat lodge means rebirth,” Phillene said. “You are going to leave everything in the sweat
lodge when you crawl out, and you’re going to emerge like a newborn. It’s like being reborn.”
The Sweat Lodge is a small, circular dome structure made with saplings, like willow, and covered with hides, or blankets, or tarps. Inside, a pit is aligned with the lodge’s entrance. Outside the lodge, stones are heated in a fire.
The ceremony consists of participants entering the lodge, having a spiritual leader place the hot rocks into the pit, and pouring water on the blistering-hot stones, generating steam. Then, the healing process begins.
Native Americans have included Sweat Lodges in their religious lives since its first recorded description in the late 17th Century. They use it as a way to heal, to strengthen their moral beliefs, and to renew social and cultural bonds. New Day uses it as a purification ceremony in the holistic recovery process.
The fire is used for the sweat. This view is from inside the Sweat Lodge