Sweat Lodge


Sweat Lodge

Sweat Lodges are held at Felipe's house on or as near as possible to the Equinoxes and the Solstices. The lodge starts at sundown, so the time varies with the time of year.

Apache Two Spirit Sweatlodge

The sweat lodge is a Two-Spirit lodge in the Apache Tradition. There are four rounds, honoring the hac'tsim of the East, South, West & North. Each round is opened by a song to that particular direction and a prayer by the water pourer.

The lodge has only three rules that need to be followed:

  1. No shoes & no shiny objects are to be worn for the eagle feather blessing/empowerment;
  2. If a participant makes a “silent prayer” during the lodge, they have to remain in the lodge for that round, no matter how hot it becomes.
  3. Feasting may begin once the water pourer has received water in the 4th round and a Spirit plate with food has been placed outside, as the Spirits who helped in lodge have to be fed;

Everything else is expressed as a preference and so, it is a gentle lodge with which to be introduced to the tradition of sweating.




Upcoming Sweat Lodge

We will offer a sweat lodge on April 22, 2017 for Felipe's health and well being. Gather at 7pm for lodge at 7:30pm. Mary will pour water.


Major Festivals

Over the past few years, public lodges have only been held on the major feast days of equinoxes and solstices i.e. in March, June, September and December., on a day that is on or close to the actual equinox or solstice.

Spring Equinox: around March 20/ 21/22.

Summer Solstice sweat lodge: around June 20/21/22.

Fall Equinox sweat lodge: around September 20/21/22

Winter Solstice sweat lodge: around December 20/21/22.

Please email or call (505-583-2345) Felipe in the week before lodge to check if the sweatlodge is going ahead and to inform him you are coming.

Join our mailing list or like our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SweatLodgeLaMadera to always get the latest information about when a sweat lodge will be held. You will receive a single notice and a reminder before each sweat lodge. Should a scheduled sweat lodge need to be cancelled, word will be posted on the facebook page and also sent via email.

The sweat lodge begins around sunset but no later than 7:30pm. We gather 1/2 hour before lodge start time for confab, when the water pourer for the night, leads a short introduction to the sweatlodge.


Suggested Donation: $10-$20 per person.

lodge at Felipe Ortega's house
The adobe sweat lodge at Felipe's house, November 2006, with the stones heating in the firepit.

It costs upwards of $300 a night to hold a sweat lodge so we ask that you be generous in your support, if the lodge is to continue being available with any regularity. Felipe as keeper of the lodge, cannot fund the lodge by himself. Given that most people are only able to come for the lodge itself and not able to volunteer to prepare the lodge or the fire and are not able either to tend the fire or prepare food for the feast, Felipe has a lot of out of pocket costs in preparing for each lodge. The preparation of the lodge, of the fire and of the feast are undertaken with a generous heart and for the convenience of those attending. We ask that your support, in return, be equally as generous and supportive.
This request is very much based in the Apache understanding of lodge and of Reciprocal Giving. This is an understanding of recognizing what has been given and gifting in return. Traditionally, the gifts that were brought to lodge, supported the lodge and gifted the personnel involved (Waterpourer & Fire tender) for the sacrifice they had made. The gifts included wood for the fire, food for the feast & a gift for the water pourer and Firetenders.

These days, firewood, towels and the main food for the feast are provided by Felipe's house. The lodge is prepared, the fire for the stones lit and everything made ready for participants. It is therefore more practical for those who attend to make a monetary donation to the house to off set the cost of firewood, laundry, food & maintenance. Where possible, it is suggested that participants donate $10 -$20 per head.

Gifts for the feast (side dishes or dessert), & for the Water Pourer and Fire Tender are also appreciated. Medicine items like Tobacco, Sage, copal, smudge sticks, crystals are welcome.

Please be clear that attendance at lodge is not dependent on one's ability to donate, but we do ask that those who can support the lodge in this way, do so generously.


  1. Email Felipe a few days before the lodge and let him know you intend to come to lodge. Also inform him as to food allergies and preferences (vegan/vegetarian/GF etc.) so that there will be food for you at the feast. contact Felipe

  2. Drink plenty of fluids on a day you attend lodge. Water, fruit/vegetable juices and electrolyte drinks are all suitable.
  3. Attendees do not required to fast but it is recommended, at the minimum, that you eat lightly from mid day on. Fruit, vegetables and some protein are all good. Remember that the lodge is a sunset lodge and the feast will be late that evening after lodge. Pace yourself accordingly.
  4. If you have items that you want blessed by the lodge, bring them with you. (see the note on altars below).
  5. Shower facilities are provided. Bring your own unscented soaps/shampoos.
  6. Bring a dessert or juice for the feast, if you can.
  7. Bring a gift for the house (usually money) and a gift for the water pourer or Fire tender (see note on gifting), if you can.


The lodge is clothing optional where people dress to their own level of comfort for entry to lodge. Blankets for sitting on and towels are provided.

Scent-free Environment :

Please use scent free and un-perfumed products: lotions, soaps, deodorants etc. coming to lodge. Do not wear scented products while at Felipe’s house as he is very allergic to such items.


There is an altar outside the door of the lodge where people leave objects, photos of loved ones, etc. for the duration of the lodge, so that those objects can be empowered by the lodge. There is also an altar in the Medicine room on which gifts for the house may be left.

How to Find out more:

Come to lodge and experience it! Participants can arrive about ½ hour before the lodge is due to begin, as there is always is a short introduction, led by the water pourer for the night, before each lodge. The 'confab' allows newcomers to introduce themselves and get a full overview of the lodge and ask any questions they need to.

You can also check with Felipe about upcoming lodges or to check if you could schedule one for a private group. contact Felipe

Mailing List & Facebook

If you wish to receive notices about future lodges, follow our sweat lodge page on Facebook: facebook link https://www.facebook.com/SweatLodgeLaMadera

or please signup here to our mailing list:

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