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SweatLodge At Sacred Groves, Bainbridge, WA


 I have been wanting to participate in a spiritual ritual cleansing.  The sweat lodge is the way to do it.  Renew your body and your spirits. The event is held only 2x a year. October 5th is the only time that I can participate.

Please bring cash for sharing ferry and gas.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you do not like saunas and cannot sit in humid environment for an extended period of time, this event is not for you. 


Theme: Honor the growth and bounty of the passing summer and celebrate the harvest coming in this autumn season. Face our fears about the deepening darkness of this time of year and move into deeper peace and trust. 

 Please eat breakfast and/or have some snacks before arriving unless you have made a specific intention to fast.  Drink lots of water; avoid coffee or soda.

After the sweatlodge we will enjoy a potluck dinner together.  We hope to finish up by 5pm. Timing is unpredictable as we’ll be on “spirit time.”  Please don’t plan anything else that evening as a sweatlodge requires spaciousness afterwards. You will be in an altered space, moving slowly, feeling the power of the ritual.

Sweatlodge Format

Although our sweatlodge ceremony at Sacred Groves includes many elements of traditional lodges held by Lakota or other native tribes, our lodge is a "rainbow lodge."  One of the primary differences is that we welcome menstruating women into the sweatlodge whereas traditional peoples have a taboo against this. More info on this topic below.

An overview of the ritual is this:  A ceremonial fire is laid with 25-40 stones in the fire.  The fire burns for 2+ hours heating the stones.  While the stones are heating we cover the lodge with blankets, connect with the fire and make prayer bundles to help focus our intentions. Once the rocks are heated, we undress and enter the lodge.  Some of the stones are brought in with a pitchfork.  The door is covered.  We sit in total darkness, praying and singing for as long as it takes for everyone to say their prayers, led by the “water-pourer” who pours water on the stones to create steam after each prayer.  When the time is right, the door is opened and that “round” is over.  People can get out and cool off between rounds.  We will do four rounds.

We believe there are two different ways and "places" to experience the sweatlodge: being inside the lodge in the heat, darkness and intensity; or sitting outside tuning into the magic of the fire, supporting the fire-tender and the door. Being outside is a deep, long nature meditation with the fire, rich and rewarding in its own way. The sweatlodge fire is alive and full of messages.  Please open to the mystery about where you will be called that day. It is a sacred and powerful experience whether you are inside or outside. After you arrive, listen to your heart about where to experience this lodge.  It may be different than you think now.
Health Concerns:  The Sweatlodge ceremony involves sitting on the ground in darkness in a hot steamy sauna-type environment.  If you have physical/health concerns that may be adversely affected by heat, steam, and/or sitting on the ground in close, dark quarters, it would be best if you experienced the lodge by being outside by the fire rather than inside.  We ask that those who come into the lodge take full responsibility for monitoring their health and well being.  If anyone starts feeling badly, we will open the door.  We never force anyone to stay who feels they need to leave the lodge.

What to Bring:
We will be outdoors in the meadow whether it is raining & cold or not.  Wear comfortable clothing and outdoor shoes.  Bring layers of warmth and rain gear if necessaryThe lodge is “clothing optional.” If you want to wear something, it should be light and loose, e.g.sarong-wrap skirt or shorts and t-shirt  Bathing suits are nylon so get hot & sticky.An old towel or little rug to sit on in the lodge (it might be muddy)a robe, blanket or large towel to wrap in after the lodgeRe-fillable water bottle for your personal use—we have wonderful well water here that we can fill it with, much better than bottled water!FOOD to contribute to our potluck dinner.  We’ll provide a vegetable stew, so bring bread, fruit, salads, veggie platters, cheese or other ‘spread’ to accompany it.  Fruity desserts are welcome

It is traditional to offer the fire-tender and pourer a small offering as a sign of respect.  We welcome sage, sweetgrass, sage, tobacco, cornmeal and/or candles.  These offerings are optional of courseOptional: A symbol of summer passing away, something to put in the fire and/or a dry tinder offering (pine cones, sticks, small splits, dried herbs and flowers)Optional: symbolic object(s) that you would like to place on the altar, what you hope to harvest this autumn and in the coming weeks of deepening darkness
Preparations for the Day

When you come into the sweatlodge, you will be bringing with you your four sacred bodies (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) that are reflected in the four sacred directions of the ancient medicine wheel.  It is important for you to begin ahead of time to thoughtfully/prayerfully prepare each of these bodies.  You are each responsible for choosing/creating what that preparation looks like.  For the physical body, it could mean altering your regular eating/drinking habits for some days prior to the lodge.  If you use sugar, tobacco, alcohol or recreational drugs, it would be best to clear your system of these the day of the sweatlodge.  On the emotional side, you might reflect on what feelings, resentments, and patterns you are holding onto that no longer serve your life, and open to releasing them.  In the mental realm, you might choose a practice that empties your mind, and opens it up to receiving new insights and understandings that may be "beyond thought".  In the spiritual realm you might take time to receive and articulate prayers of thanksgiving for what has just passed and intentions for the coming year.  Our preparations will be unique to each one of us.  Our prayer bundles will hold our very personal intentions.

Women on their Moontime

In many Native American traditions, women on their moontime (i.e. menstruating) are not welcome in the sweatlodge.  We've heard a couple different reasons for this: first because the energy of a menstruating woman is so powerful, it is believed it can affect the energy of others; and second, because women on their moontime are so open they can pick up energy and emotions from others in the lodge.  Here at Sacred Groves we DO welcome menstruating women if they feel called to be in the sweatlodge. We believe a woman's moontime is a potent time for prayer and ceremony.  Woman who happen to be menstruating on the day of the sweatlodge are encouraged to consider the issues above and choose the place that feels right: inside the sweatlodge, outside the sweatlodge by the fire, or in the nearby MoonLodge here at the Groves for a private ceremony in womb-an’s space.  Follow your heart and know you are welcome to bring your powerful self to join this ceremony in whatever way feels right.


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  • Eddie C

    Thanks Gabrielle that was an awesome meetup....

    October 7, 2013

  • Julie

    Hi, I would like to join for the ritual. How do I pay and are we carpooling? Is there room?

    October 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Julie. At the moment we are full. BUT because of a change in date, space might open up. However, I won't know until all currently attending people respond back. So, if you flexible about Sunday, I am sure we can work something out. Please keep in touch via my email on my personal meetup site.

      October 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    sweat lodge is confirmed.

    October 1, 2013

  • Christian

    I've soaked, done saunas, etc around the world but this will be my first sweat lodge. I can't wait! Thanks for arranging this event.

    September 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you for the payment and see you soon

      September 24, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      It is my first one too. I am excited about the experience

      September 24, 2013

1 went

  • A former member

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