Every morning Wi wakes and rises high in the Eastern Sky and wakes Tunkasila (Grandfather) Yappa, and the Eastern wind begins to blow. Tunkasila Yappa walks West and South to bring the message of Wi to Tunkasila Okaga and the Southern winds wake, bringing life to people. Tukasila Okaga walks North and West and finds Tukasila Io the terrifying Unknown and the West winds howl. Tunkasila Io walks North and East to find Tunkasila Waziyatta quietly resting on his blanket of snow. Tunkasila Waziyatta looks up and gazes South to the Center of all things and the North Winds Blow. In the Center of all things, the Center of Creation rising from the Rainbow Tipi is the youngest Tunkasila Yummani (Umi) the Twister. Chaos forms and in it's center stands the creation of all the divine Tunkasila (Grandfathers) Human Kind. HO. All these together are the reflections of the Great Spirit Grandfather, Wakan Tanka Tunkasila.
The Inipi or Sweat Lodge is the first of the 7 sacred rites of the people. The Inipi represents the Womb of the Great Mother Earth giving birth to all living things. Ina Mahka, (Mother Earth) is the great wheel of creation that gives rise to the Great Grandfathers of all direction, the Four Winds (Topa Tate). The Inipi is the place where our prayers are heard, our cries are listened to, and we are nurtured by our Mother the Earth.
We enter and exit from the East, Yappa. The path from the sacred Fire pit (Iktu), that sits just to the right at the end of the path for the opening to the lodge. This is the bringer and sender of prayers from the Mother to the Great Spirit, Wakan Tanka Tunkasila.
Many years ago I and some like minded individuals had a working Inipi on a friends property. I would conduct a minor ceremony for the folks who were willing to sacrifice their comfort for the rite. It was a good way to commune with nature and other human beings in a way that is sacred and creates the kinds of memories one never forgets. It's good for the soul.
The Inipi is the Sacred Rite that with the Chununpa, (Sacred Pipe) precedes all other Rites and Ceremonies. It is the Mother that cleanses and nurtures the soul, our true selves.
Peace and Balance,