In my experience a sweat is a sacred process. It can be beautiful, uplifting, nourishing, cleansing and healing. It can also be excruciating, frustrating, uncomfortable, challenging and exhausting!
I have found that each sweat is different. The experience of each person with in the process is completely unique.
I was introduced to sweats by a work friend and was blessed to find myself participating in a backyard urban sweat lodge led by Claudio Silvani. Claudio is a strong, wise ceremony leader who created and led the most beautiful sacred sweat process.
I remember the anxiety I felt in the days leading up to my first lodge. Heat was a big challenge for me but I was inexplicably drawn to this experience. The euphoria I felt when I emerged from the inipi (Lakota word for sweat lodge) was delicious. I felt reborn; fresh & calm yet invigorated. My skin felt sensational! And I was blessed with some strong visions in the inipi.
Claudio held both mixed and women's sweats. He ran lodges in the traditional Lakota manner: with wood fired stones which were brought in each round, and in the contemporary urban manner; with gas fired stones in the lodge from the start.
After many sweats with Claudio I was lucky enough to train with him so that I could pour in my own lodge. A small group of us spent a weekend learning everything we could from Claudio. It was a wonderful experience and those of us who trained have stayed in touch and continue to support each other as most of us pour in Western Australia.
After pouring a few lodges at a friends place over the years, I held my first public sweat in my own lodge on the land where I live on the 1 October 2010.
Running a sweat is no small undertaking! I asked for Claudio's help and he gave excellent advice. I am so glad I followed his suggestions. It led me to the birthing of the Cauldron of Brigid.