Guidelines to better understand
Ancient Native Tradition


"About the Sweat Lodge"

  • Bring an unopened package of Tobacco as an offering to the Creator and the Spirits. (Give it to the leader of the ceremony.)

  • Jewlery, contacts, glasses etc. Should not be worn in the Sweat Lodge Ceremony.

  • Women wear a long skirt or a large towel tied around waist in Sweat Lodge. (Skirt should be worn over shorts, sweats or jeans.) It is to honor native Tradition!

  • Bring as an offering a box or a bag of frozen berries. (Straw-, Blue-, Black- or Raspberries.)

  • Bring a couple of towels for personal use in and after the Ceremony.

  • Bring dry change of  clothes for after Sweat Lodge. (Outdoor clothing.)

  • Bring your rattle drum and personal sacred items anytime we meet. (If you have.)

  • Bring items that are sacred to you to be blessed at the Sweat Lodge or Pip Ceremony.

  • Bring old blanket or chair for reflecting after at the Sacred Fire.

  • Donations are accepted for Sweat Lodge and other ceremonies. The Pipe Ceremony is a free offering to the Creator and all his relations.

  • No alcohol or non-prescription drugs 24 hrs prior to Sacred Ceremony participation.

  • Some people choose to fast 24 hrs prior to Sweat Lodge Ceremony.

  • Be aware of your intensions for Sweat Lodge.

  • It is best tp pla on a little time after ceremonies to relax in a meditative state.



Prayer of the Directions

O Great spirit, Father of all Creation:
We thank you for bringing us together
On our  journey around the Medicine Wheel;
That we may exist in balance of spirit, mind and body;
That we may functionin harmony with all that is around us.

(We give thanks for the gifts from the directions):



We give thanks for gift of vision, guidance and leadership.

May we be like the eagle-to fly high and see far.
As we watch and guard the well-being of anishinabe
May we see situations clearly and always lend a helping hand.
May we listen and be a true leader-provide service.


We give thanks for the gifts of love, trust and discipline.

May we be like the rosee and learn to love and treat with love,
To listen, to overlook the negative and positive, to voice,
Communicate, and to make an effort to do something for others.
May we be determined to fullfill our purpose
And achieve the goals that we have set.


We give thanks for the gifts of introspection and perserverance.

May we be like the turtle, to go within, to see from within
That we may accept ourselves as we really are
May we be like the bear, to have the strength to pursue the
Challange of achieving the highest level of care.


We give thanks for wisdom, understanding-gifts of intellect.

May we be like the buffalo and be strong,
May we think clearly to make good decisions balanced by reason,
May we lear how things fit together and see reflections of life,
May we learn to live balanced lives.


We give thanks for the gift of life.

We give thanks for the provisions of our every need-
The plants for food and medicine.The trees for shelter, protection,
May we always respect these and use only what we need.


We give thanks for gifts of the sun-light, life, warmth.

We give thanks for those things that we ned to be in harmony with our
Environment-the rain, the snow and the sleet.

For all the gifts we say MEEGWETCH, MEEGWETCH, MEEGWETCH.


The Four sacred Plants

Samah (Tobacco)

Samah, or tobacco, is one of the four sacred plants, representing the EASTERN direction. Ojibway used a form of tobacco know as kinikinik, or red willow but many use store bought tobacco.

Samah is used in the offering of prayer to the Creator, acting as a medium for communications. It is either offered to the fire, so the smoke can lift the prayers to the Creator or it is set on the ground in a nice lean place at the base of a tree, or on the water.

This is done on a daily basis as each new day is greeted with prayers of thankfulness. The elders say hold it in your left hand as that is the hand closest to your heart.

It is always good to offer Samah when seeking knowledge or advice from an elder or when a pipe is present.

Keezhik (Cedar)

Keezhik, or cedar, represents the SOUTHERN direction. The leaves are cleansed from the stems and separated into small pieces which are used in many ways.

When burned, Keezhik, acts as a purifier, cleansing the area in which it is burned and emitting a peasant scent.

Elders say put some in your shoes and goodness will come your way.

To some tribes, Cedar is considered the "Tree of Life" because it withstands the four elements year around.

Shkodawabuk (Sage)

Shkodawabuk, also known as sage, represents the WESTERN direction.

Shkodawabuk is used in much the same way as Keezhik (Cedar). It is burned as a purifier, but when compared to the piney scent of cedar, sage has a spicy air.

Weengush (Sweetgrass)

Weengush, the sweetgrass, is known for its beautyfully sweet, aromatic scent, which is enhanced when it rains or when it is burned. This too is a purifier.

It is often braided and thus signifies the hair of O´gushnan (our Mother the Earth). Each of the three sections that go into the braid have a specific meaning, being: mind, body and spirit.

Suggestions how to use Weengush, and how it works:

  • Ceremony of blessing one self: you hold the bowl of burning herb and slowly move it around in continuous circle surrounding the body from head to foot.

  • Smudging (blessing down) your home, protecting from evil spirits.

  • Purifying holy items.

  • Carry it with you when travelling, attached to the sacred war-pony and/or in your vehicle.

  • Kept as it is protects your home, car etc.

  • Burned, it calls spirits. - Prepare the area first with sage and Cedar.



Because Native people live life in a very sacred manner, when taking from the Earth, one should always explain to spirit of the plants why it is being done and offer some tobacco in return for the generosity and help of the plant which shared itself so freely.

The Native culture can be a lifeline for those who are searching for direction and meaning in their life. When we learn our spiritual culture, we discover ourselves.


If you are interested in herbs as mentioned above and wish to order some, please visit:  Here you also can find variety of Native items.


The Seven Grandfather Teachings


  • To cherish knowledge is to know WISDOM

  • To know LOVE is to know peace.

  • To honour all the creation is to have RESPECT

  • BRAVERY is to face the foe with integrity.

  • HONESTY in a facing situation is to be brave.

  • HUMANITY is to know yourself as a sacred part of the creation.

  • TRUTH is to know all of these things.


Traditional Indian Medicine & Western Medicine:

A Comparison of Values

Traditional Indian Medicine

Intergrate, hollistic approach to health:
body, mind and spirit, interact together
to form person.

Emphasis on prevention of sickness.

Personal responsibility for health and

Health and sicknes understood in terms
of the laws of nature.

Man living in balance with nature, with
natural law.

Traditional medicine governed by the
laws of creation: everything we need
comes from the earth - our food,
medicine, water, education, religion and

Medicine man is accountable to the
creator, to the people, to the elders of
his medicine society.

Medicine is not for sale, not for profit
- it is a gift to be shared.

The land and the people support the
medicine man and his practice.

Encourages self-sufficiency, self-care
and responsibility and control by the












Western Medicine

analytic approach: separation of body, mind and spirit (total split between medicine and religion).

emphasis on disease, treatment.

impersonal, "scientific" approach to health and sickness.

health and sickness understood in terms of quantifiable, scientific data.

man controlling nature, manipulating natural variables.

Western medicine governed by laws of the State, man-made laws which grow out of a political- Economic system.

medicine is a business , the patient is the consumer , the doctor and the medical indistry profit.

the goverment, the taxpayer and the consumer support the doctor and the practice of medicine.

Encourages dependency and abdication of self-goverment by the people.






Words of Wisdom

We all pray to the same God. We could become stronger if we all prayed together.

Death takes too much importance, when we do not patricipate in life.

When we can talk to one another and not about one another, then and only then shall we embrace and know the real meaning of spirituality. When we learn the meaning of true love and respect for the human race, then, and only then shall we understand the true meaning of spirituality.

J.Reauben Silverbird
(Apache Navajo Cherokee)




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All word on this page is copyrighted work made by Joy Masda, except for "The Four Sacred Plants" were some additions has been made by Lia Engberg


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