The Plant Nation Lodge
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
My Experience with Sweat Lodges:
I want to make it clear that this information is the result of direct Spiritual Guidance, and is not in any way represented as any type of Native-American ceremony. I consider the herbal sweat lodge as Sacred, nonetheless; not because of who I am but because of the Source and because of the results for those who participated testifies of Sacredness.
I remember my first Sweat Lodge. For those unfamiliar, Sweat Lodge is a Native American tradition that may vary from tribe to tribe. My experience was mostly with Medicine Men and Women of the Lakota Sioux tradition. Here’s some general information about Sweat Lodge Ceremony. I felt as if I had come home in that first sweat lodge, home to a place I hadn’t visited in lifetimes. It was a profound sort of spiritual reunion.
Sitting in darkness, in the womb of a ceremonial Sweat Lodge, is one of the most Sacred places on earth to me. Participating in a Sweat Lodge was, for me, every bit as as sacred as being in any church.
There in total darkness, I feel safe to be vulnerable and open to Spirit – to let Spirit see into the deepest recesses of who I am. The soul level unveiling that often happens in the Void of the Lodge is, I believe, part of what makes the sweat lodge such a powerful ceremony. Even though you are there with others, your journey is your own, with Spirit.
After many Lodges, with many Relatives, I received information on a new tradition – Plant Nation Lodge. In a spiritual vision, I was shown a way to connect with the wisdom of the Plant Kingdom in the Sacred Sweat Lodge, through the use of 150 or more different medicinal herbs, in minute amounts. This was way back in the late 90’s. Since then, I’ve had occasion to go through all manner of doubts and confusion about whether or not this was actually divine guidance, ego or some combination. I sort of landed on the latter. There were too many profound things that happened in these herbal sweat lodges for me to dismiss them as some kind of ego trip. That being said, I felt a certain authority in working with the plant medicines in this way and I may not have been entirely entitled to that authority at the time. Live and learn.
In addition to homeopathic levels of literally hundreds of herbs, transformational sound was utilized in the herbal sweat lodges, along with laying-on-of-hands energy transfer. The four-round Lodge focused on healing and release within the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies (with specific herbs chosen for each round and each level of cleansing) as well as the creation of a stronger connection with Earth energies.
This Lodge was challenging in many ways. People are so accustomed to talking, singing, praying out loud that, for many, these particular herbal sweat lodges presented a true challenge simply to express from a primal place within, disengaging the conscious mind. Without words, some were unable to communicate their feelings while others felt free to express for the first time in their lives. Some were simply not able, or willing, to let go that much. Some Lodges were extremely difficult. But then there were those where the sound took over – raw, piercing, strange, evolving and finally, balancing in a healing space of peace.
I do not pour these herbal lodges now and am not sure I ever will again. It seems the purification lodges were part of my spiritual experience and those it drew to ceremony at the time. If I ever do begin pouring again, the ceremony will most likely continue to evolve. It was always a living ceremony, changed by those who a part of it each time.
Spiritual herbology is a way of calling on the spiritual energy of herbals to intensify both their physiological gifts and their spiritual wisdom.
Many years ago, I understood that the principles of homeopathy were based in Sacred Truth. I knew that the essence of a plant medicine was not determined by the amount ingested. In fact, the Plant Nation is energetically well suited to imparting their gifts without ingestion, if approached with spiritual respect in Sacred Ceremony.