Gaia Sagrada has a wonderful ayahuasca and san pedro medicine sweatlodge ceremony at our ayahausca retreats in Ecuador. It is often one of the favorite ceremonies at our retreat center! The ayahuasca and san pedro sweatlodge is the third ceremony in our 12-day ayahuasca retreats. Anything the first two ceremonies didn’t accomplish for a person, the sweatlodge does! There is a reason we put the ayahuasca ceremony, san pedro ceremony and the sweatlodge ceremony in the order that we do. It is the most conducive to a transformative and life changing experience.
Symbology of the Sweatlodge Ceremony
The symbology of the sweatlodge is that we all go into the mother’s womb to go through all four stages of life, looking at our purposes in life, letting go of the blocks we have to our life purpose, and when the sweat lodge is finished we come out reborn into a new chapter in our lives.
Four Rounds of the Sweatlodge Ceremony
There are four rounds in the sweatlodge ceremony. In each round the ayahausca shaman and the san pedro shaman who run the sweatlodge ceremony say specific prayers for the round and the intention in the round. The medicine is passed (and water), san pedro for the first two rounds, and then both ayahuasca and san pedro in the third round. Then the sweatlodge firekeepers bring in red hot rocks, glowing. If you have the eyes to see, the rocks will have faces in them (really! just look!). Specific herbs are put on each rock to bless it as it comes in and we all marvel at the light show it makes on the sweatlodge ceremony rocks, taking a blessing from each one, one at a time. Then the bucket of water (sometimes two!) comes in and the door to the sweatlodge is closed. Then the round begins. Each round is about 30 minutes.
The first round is the round of childhood, where we look at attaining once again our innocence and wonder about life. The second round is about adolescence, when we were teenagers, and we look at regaining our enthusiasm about life and looking forward to life, and gaining our independence. The third round is about adulthood where we look at taking action in our life and maturing, taking responsibility for our lives and what we create. The fourth round is about our old age and the wisdom we have after having lived a life. We can live with that wisdom even while we are young if we are diligent and self disciplined on our spiritual path.
At the end of the fourth round, closing prayers are said, summing up the experience of the sweatlodge. Water and delicious food is passed around to everyone and it is quite the joyful moment and everyone is really ready for something to eat by then! Then one by one, each of us leaves the lodge and is “reborn” into the rest of our lives, able to live with a new clarity and intention. We each leave one by one, and the volunteers welcome us with blankets and cheers, laughter and joy, and we go to stand around the fire to say the final closing prayer of the ceremony.
Once everyone is out of the sweatlodge and the final prayer is said, we all sit by the fire under the stars, play music, talk, laugh, and really enjoy this celebratory moment in the sweatlodge ceremony. It’s a lot of fun! We have more delicious food to munch on all night, and one by one we eventually all find our way to our beds and some stay by the fire all night.
You will really enjoy our incredible sweatlodge ceremony! Many people have been in a sweatlodge once before, but they all say they have never experienced anything like this in their lives and that it was one of the most incredible experiences they have had. People still talk about the sweatlodge ceremony long after they have left Gaia Sagrada. It is well positioned in the middle of the retreat (we put the ceremonies in a special order to accomplish the most transformatory experience), and from here the ceremonies get easier because the body is so cleansed physically, mentally and emotionally.
It is not unusual that people release tears and sadness in the sweatlodge ceremony, but it doesn’t last long because the sweatlodge moves everything right on out of your mind and emotions, your body too, that doesn’t serve you anymore. There is always plenty of laughter in the sweatlodge ceremony as well! The shamans are funny and crack jokes sometimes to keep it light.
Sweatlodge Ceremony Fire
No one is obligated to be inside the sweatlodge if they don’t want to be in order to participate in the sweatlodge ceremony. They can still participate and take either of the medicines, ayahuasca or san pedro, outside by the fire, sitting in the beautiful natural setting. Some people are a bit daunted by a sweatlodge, but not many. Almost everyone does it. However, we have made provisions for those who don’t want to be inside the sweatlodge or are afraid of it. We have no judgment. The ones who experience the sweatlodge ceremony on the outside circle by the fire have an amazing experience as well and connect with nature.
We look forward to seeing you in this beautiful, unique sweatlodge ceremony. Be ready for a big change and an entry into joy and purification!