Among the new additions to the Twin Cities community is a sweat lodge. Last week, call went out for supplies to help complete the sweat lodge, which will be housed in the north suburbs. Coyote Hawk is organizing the effort. He took time to discuss what this sweat lodge means for the Twin Cities community.
Is this the first sweat lodge in the Twin Cities area?
Actually, this is not new. There have been other sweat lodges. One of the first was built in 1994 in the Corcoran neighborhood in Minneapolis. We had the [Corcoran area sweat] lodge for 8 years.
Coyote Hawk noted that as a result of the sweat lodge success, he knew of at least two sweat lodges that were formed: one at 31st and Bloomington, in a church and another set up by a native-based family. So we did see an increase in activity for a period of time.
What do you want people to know about exactly why you are doing this again, at this time?
We’re experiencing fairly intense changes at all levels: the earth, levels of consciousness. The web of life is changing. To prepare ourselves for this next age, we need to gather and do ritual. This is a larger response from the society and earth. We are honoring the greater need and call for ritual in community.
People are going back and understanding that we need ritual. They were squatting on sacred ground. Some of the sacred ground is ritual. The ground is not just the building on the hill; the function of the community is to gather, to heal, and to connect through ritual. We are giving space for other viewpoints to be expressed (e.g. alternative medicine, yoga, anyone who is working outside the dominant paradigm).
It is important to remember that we are all indigenous people struggling to remember a life that works in relationship to earth and to other beings. This is something that works at a deep level and fulfills us physically and spiritually.
This sweat lodge will help to import consciousness to the sacred masculine and feminine,and harmonizing the two. This is not just about couples, but the individual. Teachings on masculine and feminine polarity are a part of it.
In alignment with the call for increased opportunities for people to connect with the sacred and shamanic worlds of spirit, nature, and new earth consciousness, and to help move our personal, ancestral, and communal healing journeys forward to the next phase of making peace and creating a world of beauty and wisdom, we are building a modified traditional sweat lodge and hosting prayer and purification rituals. The lodge is based on Anishinaabe-Creek style, yet includes teachings from all parts of the medicine wheel. Mayan, Celtic, Tibetan, Dagara, and other traditions are incorporated within this new circle.
Why are you in particular called to do this? Why not someone else?
Well, I am here because I am called to do this. This is being done in a good way and with the support of local elders. There was a vision to set up the sweat lodge; the person hosting the land for the lodge had a vision that ritual would happen there. He was the first person asked to host and it was right. This is a traditional lodge;it is informed by tradition.
The lodge is being set up in a good way with the support of local elders. It is set up as a healing lodge, open to men and women of all backgrounds, denominations, ways of life. Anyone from any race, creed, or belief may participate; everyone is expected to show up in a good way and respect themselves, others, the lodge, and the earth. To show up in a good way means to share, to acknowledge, to learn, to receive.
Is there any other aspect which makes this attractive for participants? Are there any groups which will find this of additional benefit?
Yes. This is a socially responsible project. We do have a financial accountability system; however, we want to keep it simple. The only focus is the lodge itself. It is a place for community to show up. Our main concern is that the lodge remain spiritually focused on healing.
There will be several adult and teen groups in recovery and treatment using the lodge. They will pitch in some of the costs. This is a part of the mission of healing. Participants can contribute for the raw costs of feast, food, wood, upkeep of the lodge.
So the cost is free?
We are not charging for the lodge. It is customary for people to gift to help cover the expenses, such as wood, food, etc. It’s a love offering. Because of the nature of the mission, there will be constant fundraising.
How accessible is the lodge for participants?
We are in the north suburbs, accessible by bus line. We will be wheelchair accessible.
Any final thoughts?
This lodge is in line with the Medicine Wheel teachings. It is open to all four colors of the wheel, meaning it is open to anyone. We only ask that you show up in a good way. To show up in a good way means to share, to acknowledge, to learn, to receive.
How far along is the current sweat lodge construction and when might it open?
We are 80% complete with the lodge construction and plan to have our first lodge by end of November this year.
What do you need and how can those who wish to learn more about this project contact you?
We have a need for resources including the following:
$$ Funds to help purchase the skin and covering for the lodge. We still need $200 for the canvas.
$$ Funds to help pay for wood, and whole food for the feast, for monthly teen and recovery groups.
Dry-split-aged wood for the fires.
6-8″ dry stones ”grandfathers” for the lodge.
Some animal hides/skulls/bones, and special woods or minerals such as quartz, crystals, hematite, fossils etc can be donated (please contact for details).
For more information or to join the effort to complete the sweat lodge, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.