Vision Quest



A vision quest is a rite of passage, similar to an initiation, in some Native American cultures. It is a turning point in life taken before puberty to find oneself and the intended spiritual and life direction. When an older child is ready, he or she will go on a personal, spiritual quest alone in the wilderness, often in conjunction with a period of fasting. This usually lasts for a number of days while the child is tuned into the spirit world. Usually, a Guardian animal will come in a vision or dream, and the child's life direction will appear at some point. The child returns to the tribe, and once the child has grown, will pursue that direction in life. After a vision quest, the child may apprentice an adult in the tribe of the shown direction (Medicine Man, boatmaker, etc).

The vision quest may be a part of shamanism, more exactly, the learning and initiation process of the apprentice for achieving the ability for shamanism, mostly under the guidance of an older shaman.

A vision quest may include long walks in uninhabited, monotonous areas (tundra, inland, mountain); fasting; sleep deprivation; being closed in a small room (e.g. igloo). The technique may be similar to sensory deprivation to a rite of cleansing and purification. One objective is to commune with the other side.

In traditional Lakota culture the Hanblecheyapi (vision quest, literally "crying for a vision") is one of seven main rites. Vision quest preparations involve a time of fasting, the guidance of a tribal Medicine Man and sometimes ingestion of natural entheogens; this quest is undertaken for the first time in the early teenage years. The quest itself is usually a journey alone into the wilderness seeking personal growth and spiritual guidance from the spirit, sometimes Wakan Tanka. Traditionally, the seeker finds a place that they feel is special, and sits in a 10 foot circle and brings nothing in from society with the exception of water. A normal Vision Quest usually lasts two to four days within this circle, in which time the seeker is forced to look into his soul.

It is said that a strong urge to leave the quest area will come to the seeker and a feeling of insanity may set in. However, the seeker normally overcomes this by reminding him or herself of the overall outcome of the quest, causing the mind to stop wandering on random thoughts. The individual can generally find solace in the fact that he or she will not die in just two to four days.

Some have claimed grand visions on their first Vision Quest while others have not. It is an individual experience and often subject to the emotional, spiritual, and physical make-up of the person.

Native American totems are said to be capable of speaking through all things, including messages or instructions in the form of an animal or bird. Generally a physical representation of the vision or message such as a feather, fur or a rock is collected and placed in the seeker's medicine bag to ensure the power of the vision will stay with the individual to remind, protect or guide him.

Since the beginning of this cycle of time, humanity has returned to nature to connect with spirit and to seek answers to problems of the physical realms, especially in this timeline when the messages of prophecy reveal themselves to the seeker.

There is something about being alone in the wilderness that brings us closer and more aware of the 4 elements and our connection to a creational source. We go to seek truths and divine realization, just as many of the ancient prophets did in their time.

In its own way, the vision quest is an Initiation not unlike the days of the ancient mystery school teachings where one learns about themselves and the mysteries of the universe are often revealed to them. It is a time of internal transformation and renewal. Who am I? Why am I here? Physical surroundings allow the soul to move into the grid or the collective unconsciousness.

Though the Vision Quest is associated with Native Americans traditions - it is practiced all over the world. As an expression of the archetypical "Heroic Journey," the vision quest has been enacted in religious pilgrimages, mythological tales (including the story of the search for the Holy Grail), and our own daily pursuit of truth and purpose. Today, there are companies that sponsor these journeys. They provide a wilderness area in which it is to occur, and they give instructions and guidance before and after the event. It might take a day, a week, a month - whatever is necessary to complete the transformation and get the answer one seeks.



Preparation:

Now you are ready to go out alone in nature to spend the time seeking greater truths through dreams, meditations or hallucinations. This transformational experience has been sometimes been done with the use of hallucinogens such as peyote, mescaline, and the South American Iawaska plant during sacred initiation rites. These plants were held as sacred teachers from the plant kingdom. The insights during the sacred space allowed the veils between this world and the next to be pulled back and for the individual voyager to transcend himself and this dimension. You may, or may not, understand the messages received. It may take time for you to process affecting dreams, synchronicities and more in your life.


The benefits of a vision quest




Vision Quest


by Black Elk

A Vision Quest is an experience of deeper understanding of Nature and Spirit. It is a ceremony practiced by American Indians.

To prepare for this "insight" one must first cleanse the body and mind by going through a Inipi or sweat lodge.

Then with the help of a Holy Man is told certain things and must go to a spot, usually on a holy mountain, and stay 2 or 3 days

During this time no food is eaten and one does not sleep but spends the time in deep prayer and observation.

Many times, but not always, there is a vision. This vision is then shared with the Holy Man to help learn of its meaning.

Sometimes the meaning is not shown for several years afterward.

This is part of a vision quest I was told to share with all who may be interested.

Once, I went to pray at the top of the sacred mountain of my ancestors.

As I climbed to the top I heard voices singing as the wind blew the leaves.

At the top I saw, made from many stones, a large circle with a cross inside.

I knew from my teachings that this represented the circle of life and the four directions.

I sat down by the edge of this circle to pray.

I thought this is only a symbol of the universe.

"True," a very soft voice said.

"Look and you will see the Center of the Universe.

Look at every created thing."

As I looked around I saw that every created thing had a thread of smoke or light going from it.

The voice whispered, "This cord that every created thing has is what connects it to the Creator.

Without this cord it would not exist."

As I watched I saw that all these threads, coming from everything, went to the center of the circle where the four directions were one place (the center of the cross).

I saw that all these threads were tied together or joined here at this spot.

The voice spoke again, "This is the Center of the Universe. The place where all things join together and all things become one. The place where everything begins and ends. The place inside everything created."

That's when I understood that all of creation, the seen and the unseen, was all related.

The voice spoke one last time, "Yes, now you know the Center of the Universe."

I pray to the four directions.....hear me.

I pray to the West which gives us rest and reflection.

I thank you for these gifts for without them we could not live.

I pray to the North which gives us patience and purity.

I thank you for these gifts for without them we could not live.

I pray to the East which gives us energy and emotions.

I thank you for these gifts for without them we could not live.

I pray to the South which gives us discipline and direction.

I thank you for these gifts for without them we could not live.

Grandmother, share with me your wisdom, and I thank you for this gift.

Grandfather, share with me your strength, and I thank you for this gift.


God, grant me the serenity to accept
the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.




Vision Quest With Music





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