wellnessindurham@rogers.com          905.442.3044

 
Stories
    The Celtic Sweat Lodge - by Shawn Rumble

Comment: Peat is an organic substance that has been used by the Irish as a fuel source. Tradition states that the Deities would hear a spell said over a Peat fire as the smoke carried the message to them. The smoke of the peat fire also is known to drive away negative energies and malicious Fairies. The Celtic Sweat Lodge Tradition has been practiced since the Bronze Age.

Read comments by placing your mouse on the picture.

The Sweat Lodge is an ancient healing tool used by the Celts for the purification of the mind, body and spirit. The Sweat Lodge Ceremony involves an individual or group of individuals placing themselves within a heated dome shaped structure. In Traditional Sweats, individuals sit in darkness so that their minds can be free of distraction and insights into the soul can be realized. This darkness also represents the darkness that comes before birth. The Sweat Lodge then is the symbolic re-enacting of our birth as we enter the womb of Mother Earth. The Lodge in its ancient form was made of flagstone with a small ventilation opening in the roof, a fire pit in the center and a low doorway which would be secured by a stone once all the individuals were within. The flagstone seats within the Lodge would be covered with organic materials such as straw or sod. Depending on the Conductor of the Ceremony hot bricks or a small peat fire would be placed in the center of the Lodge . Herbs would be placed on the bricks or fire to assist with the healing of the participants. The direction of the doorway of the Lodge would differ depending on the intention of the healing to take place and the time in which the ceremony was to be performed. Doorways facing the eastern direction would assist the individuals with learning and communicating with Creation. A Lodge with the doorway facing south would be used for the expression of emotions as well as to receive guidance for one’s destiny. When the door faced the West the Lodge would be used for healing and spiritual growth. A Lodge with the doorway in the north would assist with the death of the self and the preparation for a rebirth of one’s life. My Druid teacher has told me that the majority of Celtic Sweat Lodge Ceremonies involved placing the doorway in the west, as that is where the knowledge of the Ancestors’ comes.

The Celts constructed their Lodges in sacred places usually around natural springs or rivers. According to John Matthews, a renowned Celtic Scholar, the Teach an Alais Ceremony was abandoned by the 19th century in County Monaghan, County Tyrone and throughout Ireland. Matthews is correct in that the traditional forms of the Sweat Lodge were abandoned but the Ceremony has continued into the present. The flagstones have been replaced with animal hides, canvas, and Hazel or Willow rods (saplings) have been utilized to form the dome like structure. Many critics argue that the modern Celtic Sweat Lodge has been greatly influenced by the Sweat Lodge Traditions of the Native American peoples, as there are many questionable similarities. This criticism has very little impact on the longstanding Celtic Sweat Lodge Traditions and Practices . It is only right that the rituals and ceremonies of the Celts should evolve with the passing of time. The structure and materials of the Teach an Alais may have changed but the traditions and the intentions of the participants have remained the same.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Home | About us | Mission | Modalities | Indo-head massage | Stress | CanIndo
Stories |
Contact us | Newsletter | Channel Hopping |
Free Downloads | My Corkboard