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Sweat Lodge - Are You Ready for a Deeper Spiritual Connection?


For Informational Purposes Only
Lodges are not currently being offered

Getting in touch with Nature and Mother Earth is the best way!
Celebrate and commune with Spirit at an
Earth Sky (sweat) Lodge


Earth Sky (sweat) Lodge
Entering the Earth Sky (sweat) Lodge, Santa Fe, New Mexico


Read the information on this page to gain a deeper understand of what a sweat lodge is and what happens during the ceremony.


"Thanks again so very much for the incredible sweat lodge experience. I had reached a plateau in my journey of recovery from child abuse and neglect, and the sweat lodge experience helped me break down internal barriers to future progress. I am more self-confident and spiritually connected, and I have already made great progress in my therapy work since my return. I was led to the lodge and to you, Raven, for a reason, and that was to reach the next level in my healing process. I am so glad I made a leap of faith and trust to try a new approach. And thank all of you for your hospitality and good company following the ceremony."
- Joni


Benefits of an Earth Sky (sweat) Lodge

  • Experience the power of renewal.
  • Through prayer, song and the setting of intention you heal and purify yourself as well as Mother Earth.
  • Gain new insight into your true path.
  • Connect with your Medicine Path, the unseen world around you, you alies, guides, & teachers.
  • After honoring the powers and energies of Spirit through ceremony you leave the womb of mother earth a new person, leaving behind that which no longer serves you.
  • Meet new people and have lots of fun!

If you are a AAA (automobile club) member in New Mexico, you may have read a fabulous article by Dimity McDowell that included Raven and the lodge at Spirit of Nature Retreat. The article was focused on native american spirituality and spas. When Dimity called to interview Raven about sweat lodges, he said, "You can't write about one unless you have experienced it." So she came. It was delightful meeting her and like so many before her, she had a powerful experience. The photos were fabulous of our lodge and Raven with the moose skull that hangs outside the healing sanctuary - we often get really odd gifts. Here are a couple of quotes from the article:

(just as the doors opened after the 2nd round) ". . . I'm grateful for the rejuvenating air and for surviving the second of four rounds in the lodge, but I'm more appreciative of the lightness I feel in both my body and mind, and for the healing, compassionate presence I sense around me." When the lodge is complete she comments that, "All I can do is savor the silence and the strong sense of inner peace and purpose, which I've never before experienced with such intensity."
- Dimity McDowell, AAA New Mexico Magazine


One Woman's Experience of the Earth Sky Lodge:


"I would like to dedicate this poem to Raven and Spirit of Nature, in appreciation for my wonderful experience at his Sacred Medicine Lodge.


The Lodge

I watched Raven as he walked and prayed,
gathered wood and prepared for the sweat lodge ceremony that lovely day.
The air was charged with magic as little people gathered and dragons hovered near.
We gathered blankets and tarps to cover the willows
bent in homage forming a dome-shaped dwelling.
Precious objects were placed upon the alter to be blessed
as the fire cooked lava rocks until they smoldered and sparkled.
We followed Raven on hands and knees clockwise into the lodge
carefully around the fire pit that awaited the stones.
Stone people were carried upon deer horn to the fire pit
as Raven blessed each stone with cedar praying all the while.
We sat waiting in the darkness humble and quiet
as ancient spirits sang thru Raven while he prayed and played his music.
We were transported back to a time when ancient ones sat in sacred circle
connected to Great Spirit and Mother Earth.
Thru Raven, the winged ones chased problems from our hearts and minds,
gently and kindly Raven led us through the ritual.
We met each direction giving our sweat to Mother Earth.
Burdens lifted from our shoulders, my mind cleared.
My heart opened as I moved through the prayers, sounds and steam.
After the fourth direction we followed Raven on hands and knees
into the cold night - warm, purified and free.
Fire crackled its dying embers, Grandmother Moon shone
as star people smiled upon us on that cold winter night.
Raven then brought us into his home,
his kindness and care continuing to nourish us with food and drink.
As I drove home that night I knew I had undergone transformation of my Soul
- that Mother Earth had my burdens.
I prayed, grateful for Raven and all his relations
for this most wonderful and beautiful experience.
I have been in many Native American sweats,
but none where I have felt so accepted and so at home.
Thank You."

Maureen Jett, Santa Fe, NM


Purpose of the Lodge:

To provide a doorway or access to parts of yourself and parts of the Universe that are usually hidden from view. The ceremony and the Lodge offer you a time of renewal and reflection. The Earth Sky Lodge is a safe sacred space that allows for purification, transformation, and deep healing.


"Hi Takara, we've been meaning to email you since the beautiful day we spent with you and Raven. What an amazing has given us both so much. Thank you for the opportunity to meet you and Raven and to participate in the sweat lodge experience. Thanks to you both for all the work you are doing in the world!" - Debbie and Matt, California

During the creation of the 9 Fires Medicine Wheels of Peace, many participants have reported having extraordinary experiences - everything from energetic awakenings to visual, auditory and kinesthetic perceptions. Here are just a few of their comments:

  • "I was sitting with my eyes closed. I could hear Raven making a sound, but I did not know what he was doing. Every time he made the sound, I found myself raising my arms above my head feeling energy flowing through me. The third time this happened, I opened my eyes to see what he was doing. I realized that I was feeling the activation and raising my arms at the same time that Raven was raising his as he directed the energy of the pillar upwards. It was an amazing experience." - participant Eldorado, NM
  • "Every time Raven ignited a fire during the activation, I felt energy move right through my heart and expand my heart chakra." - participant Eldorado, NM
  • "I'm glad I was so grounded or I would have fallen over. When Raven activated the 9th fire in the center of the wheel, I could see this ball of energy raise up and move skyward. It kept going higher and higher and getting bigger and bigger until it just disappeared into the sky. I usually don't see things like that. It was quite something." - participant Pagosa Springs, CO
  • "This was definitely the highlight of my three days here." - participant at a 3-day conference at Ghost Ranch, NM

The Steps and Stages of a Lodge:

We begin with the lighting of the Sacred Fire. The Fire heats the Grandfather Stones that are used in the lodge. The number of stone people used in each lodge varies but is usually between 16 and 28. There is a Fire Tender that is in charge of working with the fire and the energies for getting the stones and lodge area prepared for ceremony. Usually we have a teaching circle and discussions about the lodge and any special intention that is being set for that day. Following this we prepare our selves by smudging, praying to the fire and the stone people and enter the lodge. We enter the lodge on hands and knees, being humble before Creator and leaving our egos and expectations at the door.


"Give yourself the gift of self exploration through ceremony, spiritual community, and new paradigms of unfolding with Raven . . . don't let this opportunity pass you by."
- Page Press, Santa Fe, NM


Meaning for the various symbols, rituals, and customs used in the Lodge:

Lodge - The lodge represents the womb of Mother Earth. It is the place that we go to be reborn, to purify ourselves and to heal. Inside is dark, warm and wet just like the womb of our own mother. It is through this womb that we begin a new.

Fire - The Sacred Fire represents the Fire of Creation. It is the place where the Grandfathers are heated and return to their original form. It is the place where we give back all that no longer serves us to be transmuted and returned to Creator to be made useful again. The fire is sacred in many traditions and often burns for the duration of an event. This could be several days. Do not approach the fire without permission of the fire tender. Always ask before offering tobacco to the fire.

Alter - The alter is between the fire pit and the lodge. It represents all of creation. It creates a bridge to connect the physical and spiritual worlds. It also connects the lodge and the sacred fire. This is where offerings and sacred objects are placed to be charged (or blessed) with the energy of the ceremony.

Line between the fire and the alter - this is the line of communication between the fire and the lodge. It is sacred and should never be crossed as this could interfere with the energies that are being created. The fire tender and ceremonial leader will often cross this line, however they are intimately involved in what is happening and this does not interfere with the energies.

7 directions - The directions are honored in many different ways. They represent the teachings and wisdom of our ancestors, Mother Earth, Father Sky, the elements, animals and all of our relations. Each direction has a color, animal, plant and mineral that correspond to it.

Grandfather Stones - The ancient wisdom of Mother Earth is contained within the stone people. If we listen and watch we can receive messages from them in the lodge that will assist us in our own lives. We use the stone people until they split open, giving up all of their wisdom and power to us at that time. They are then placed around the fire pit to watch over their relatives.

Smudging - to cleanse ourselves and clear away any negative or lower vibrational energies to be returned to Creator to be transformed.

Sage - a sacred plant used in smudging.

Sweetgrass - after smudging, sweetgrass helps to bring in the sweetness of life and balance our energy.

Drumming - the drum is sacred and represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth. It connects us with Creator through song and sound.

Singing - the songs we sing open us for healing and strengthen our connection to each other and Source.

Rounds - There are usually 4 rounds. Each round has a different purpose and can vary from lodge to lodge.

Spirit Medicine - This is what all of the different plants, songs, prayers are called. They are all medicine because they help us heal. We call the lodge a Medicine Lodge because the whole purpose is about becoming whole and finding our Medicine Path.


Comments about an Earth Sky (sweat) Lodge:
"We thank you for a wonderful, inspirational, and healing time. . . we feel the positive effect already. . . . Thank you again for providing a place where people can heal, and renew their spirit within. It was a real treat for the two of us."
- Regina and Weldon Merritt, Santa Fe, NM
"Although my time with Raven and Takara was short, I have never felt so connected to the Universal Source. It has changed my life forever. . . They helped me Empower my life. For this I will be eternally grateful."
- James Jeffrey, San Clemente, CA
". . . you (Takara) and Raven have been so guided, so intuitive, so "ready" that you were given information ahead of most of us. I just wanted to acknowledge you for your inner wisdom, your willingness to share it, the love that you are. NO accident that the two of you were brought together to do your work."
- Joy Linsley, Chicago, IL


What to Bring to a Lodge:

All participants will need to bring: a tobacco offering (any loose leaf or pipe tobacco), a small gift for the fire tender (crystal, candle, tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, handmade item), two towels, water bottle, lodge clothing - which is a dress or sarong for women and shorts or swim trunks for men. We have a feast and sharing after the lodge and we ask people to bring a vegetarian potluck dish to share. Please DO NOT bring pets. Bring children ONLY by prior arrangement or if you are bringing your own babysitter. Thanks.


Energy Exchange for the Ceremony
Within native culture everyone knows that there is always an energetic exchange given to the medicine person or facilitator for healing or ceremony. There is not that same understanding in non-native cultures unless they have been taught. And these non-native people are primarily who visit the Spirit of Nature lodge. That is why there is a minimum donation. Because in white society, if you don't ask or at least explain about energetic exchange, many give nothing.
The Earth Sky (sweat) Lodge is not a traditional lodge. It is based on the many forms of sweat experience available throughout the world and the prayers and inner guidance received by Raven. Numerous natives from a variety of traditions have participated in the Earth Sky (sweat) Lodge including two who proclaimed that it was one of the most powerful lodges they have ever experienced. Several teachers, including native elders, who lead workshops in Santa Fe, often have Raven facilitate a lodge as part of their experience in the Southwest. The "white" groups typically bring money and tobacco. The "native" people typically bring gifts and tobacco. Both are simply giving what is common within their society.
Raven spends the entire day preparing the space and the Lodge in order for people to have the sacred and powerful experience that they do. He doesn't own the property and it takes much money and time to keep the space available. He lives in white western society where products and services are exchanged for money. He requests an energetic exchange that he feels is fair and affordable. He therefore feels that receiving a monetary donation is equivalent to the traditional gifts always offered to a shaman, medicine person, or ceremonial leader in an indigenous culture.


How to Get the Most Benefit:

Ask yourself why you are attending and set a strong intention. Speak with your guides and helpers and ask that they be there to assist you as you heal and purify. Come with an open heart and a clear mind. Leave your judgments and expectations at home.

Raven is no longer offering sweat lodge.

Daho, Megwetch, Thank you.


Return from Earth Sky (sweat) Lodge to the Spirit of Nature spirituality and shamanism home page.

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