Awakening My Inner Goddess

by Madelyn Miller

My aura has been smudged, my body anointed with pure oils. After the secrets of the Indian rituals are explained to me, I filled my medicine bag with native grasses, dried grains and tobacco. I have carefully chosen my animal totem, not taking the first one I saw, but searching deep into the basket to find the one that truly called to me.

I am about to embark on an exciting journey, surrounded by beautiful red mountains in the land of my ancient people.

I am not alone, lying on a table, I am lead and ministered during this journey by a skilled massage therapist who knows the rituals of the magical treatment at Red Mountain Spa in St. George, Utah. While many of my fellow tribesmen have chosen adventures that involve hiking in the mountains, I am happiest surrendering my body for this empowering treatment.

I have learned much at this spa—about eating green, honoring my body, and respecting my inner being.

The Four Directions Treatment

Each of the four directions relates to a color and season in Indian lore. The sacred herbs and minerals, totems and talismans were explained to me before the ceremony started.

The 4 Directions Treatment began is with smudging, a common practice among Native Americans for the cleansing of energy thought the burning of sage, tobacco, and sweet grass. I was told that these substances emit certain smells that are pleasing to the Great Spirit. Sweet Grass grows high in the Rocky Mountains and is known as the grass that never dies. As it is burned, our thoughts and prayers are carried on its smoke. The smoke is a visual representation or our thoughts and prayers being carried to the Great Creator.

The smudging itself is performed by mixing the sweet grass, sage and tobacco in a bowl, usually an abalone shell, burning the ingredients, and then blowing or fanning the smoke over a person. Often an eagle feather fan is used, as Native Americans believe that the prayers and thoughts contained in the smoke are carried to the Creator on the wings of eagles.

Smudging plays a central role in traditional healing ceremonies because it is believed that once negative energies are cleared out, a sense of peace and relaxation take over, putting spiritual difficulties to rest.

According to John Joseph, “Western medicine primarily looks at physical causes, and often does not consider the spiritual well being of the individual. You have to understand that there is a big difference between healing and curing. Curing is a quick fix and will only be long-term if the spiritual site is fixed.” Smudging is often combined with other modalities that get to the root of illness, such as talking to a shaman, taking long walks, fasting, praying and engaging in purification ceremonies.

After the smudging, there was a massage and a wrap. I cannot share all the secrets of our ancient people that revealed to me. You must come to Red Mountain Spa and experience this and many other wonderful things for yourself.

The spa offers fabulous food, extraordinary adventures, educational and exercise classes plus nurturing treatments in a breathtaking setting. Everyone who comes, takes what he needs. You could just exercise, just hike, or as I often choose, just eat and enjoy the setting. The Red Mountain Spa Philosophy is to let you create your own adventure in a guided structure.

Special Package

The Red Rock Rejuvenation package is currently being offered at Red Mountain Spa.  Starting at $219 per person, per night, it includes deluxe accommodations, three gourmet meals each day, daily guided morning hikes, life enhancement activities and programs, full use of the swimming pools, outdoor whirlpools, labyrinth, strength training room and strategically placed hammocks and unlimited fitness classes, such as NIA, Yoga, Balletone, Spinning and more. The rate is good through May 31, 2005 and has a 3-night minimum stay requirement.

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