On October 6th, Tony Davis of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians will be holding a Men's Sweat Lodge at American Indian Health and Family Services on the Southwest side of Detroit. The event begins at 12 noon, with the Lodge at 3:00PM. This will be followed by a feast consisting of the dishes brought by the participants.
For those unfamiliar with the Sweat Lodge, the practice itself
"is a place of spiritual refuge and mental and physical healing, a place to get answers and guidance by asking spiritual entities, totem helpers, the Creator and Mother Earth for the needed wisdom and power http://www.barefootsworld.net/sweatlodge.html"
The structure is a wikiup of slender branches covered by natural materials. In general it is about 4 to 5 feet high and and has a central fire pit. The Fire Keeper is the one who watches over any activity within the while ceremonies are going on, and sees to the safety of the People.
Outside the Sweatlodge, the Sacred Area between the Altar and Fire is Holy and should be respected.... Nothing is to be placed in the Sacred Fire except by the Firekeeper, and the Sacred Fire must only be tended by the Firekeeper or a designated helper. At the request of the conductor, the firekeeper brings the Grandmothers and Grandfathers (rocks) to the lodge door http://www.manygoodteachings.com/sweatlodge-understanding.html"
The dress code is comfortable clothing, usually shorts, for the men, and it is advised that a towel be brought.
Unlike a sauna which is "a Finnish style sweat bath, usually consisting of a room constructed of soft wood, containing a stove which is used to heat the room http://www.fitnessforworld.com/relaxation_techniques/sauna_bath.htm" used for relaxation and rejuvenation of the body and mind, the Sweat Lodge is also for purification and uses stones.
Also, this is a ceremony which includes sacred teachings. This lodge is for men at this event.
The Traditions of the First Nation Peoples are diverse and rich, and we are fortunate to have the chance to learn more about the Teachings in Michigan without having to drive long distances. Though many have embraced the Jesus road, others have held firm to the ways of religion that have evolved as the times have changed, yet kept the Elder's ways and beliefs. This classifies them as Pagan, as they are non Abrahamic, but not in the neo Paganism movement seen today among Wiccans and others.
Guests are asked to bring a dish to pass, which will be shared by all as a "giveaway". The practice of "giveaway" is also a form of purification. For more information about this significance, please visit http://www.nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/1415/the-giveaway to learn more. This is so much a part of the spiritual culture of the Traditions that it was targeted for eradication by those who would destroy the People here.
American Indian Health is located at 4880 Lawndale in Detroit. If you have any questions, contact Nickole Fox at
(313)846-3718 x1212 http://aihfs.org/. This agency is constantly doing beneficial services for, and with, the community. This is a great time to learn more about them, and to get involved. They service the Tri County area of Metro Detroit.
The Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians http://www.ltbbodawa-nsn.gov/ is located in Harbor Springs, Michigan. They are a very active part of positive actions in the state and are worth checking out.
Do not miss this free opportunity to learn something new about yourself and others in the Spirit.