“The Inipi or Sweat Lodge is an ancient ceremony of the Lakota people, and has been passed down through generations as sacred knowledge.
The Inipi ceremony is a purification ritual that prepares for divine intervention and God’s blessings. It’s a spiritual experience that reconnects participants with their oneness with the universe and nature.
Native American Indians believe that the Inipi lodge stands for the universe. They build it with a frame of willow poles, which they cover with blankets. The lodge houses a fireplace in the centre, which stands for the centre of the Universe. Rocks, heated in a fire outside are brought in with sticks and placed in it. Sage is scattered all over the floor A path leads out of the door to an altar where the Sacred Pipe is kept.
The lodge is heated with fiery volcanic stones, smouldering in the pit. Participants, dressed in loose clothing or swimming trunks, gather around the fire in concentric circles, legs crossed. When water is poured over the stones, it bursts into steam engulfing the Inipi and plunging it in total steaming darkness. The fragrance of cedar and sage permeates the blazing air.
Songs and drums accompany all Inipi rituals. While the people are singing, the leader of the lodge holds a pinch of tobacco and calls forth the universal force (the Four Directions, the Universe above and the Earth below) to enter and manifest itself in the lodge.”