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Vision Quests

Vision quests have taken many forms over the centuries, from tests of survival, to pilgrimages, to inner quests. A vision quest can bring you in touch with yourself and the spirit world in an unparalleled way. Everyone can benefit from such a quest.

You will need to decide certain things before you start your quest. Where will you go? When will you go and how long will you be gone? What will you ask? Where you will go is important. A personal
place of power is best. It should also be someplace secluded. As for the length of your quest, it does not have to be long, just long enough. Sometimes just one afternoon will be enough, sometimes it will be days. Ask your guide if you are not sure how long you should spend. Remember to let someone know where you will be and how long you will be gone. Questions for vision quests are normally major questions about your life or about very large problems you might be facing. If you can not think of a question ask you guide for help and if you are ready to take such a quest.

Historically shamans fasted before and during a quest, both to purify themselves and as a sacrifice of them themselves to show that they were serious about what they were undertaking. Please note: Severe fasting can be VERY harmful to your health. Instead I would suggest you eat less than normal for a couple of days before your quest. Do NOT take alcohol or drugs for a couple days before or during a quest if you are in the habit of doing so normally. During the quest try to eat nothing. If you need to drink a little juice or broth. Do NOT try and go without water. Make sure you bring enough to last your entire quest. Your health is most important. If you have special medical considerations. please take them into consideration. Do not do anything that might hurt you!

Bring as little on your quest as possible, clothes enough to keep warm, a blanket, water, a drum and or rattle, sage, and if you wish writing or drawing material (for stuff related to the quest not for writing letters home to Mom! {grin}). Do not bring snack foods, radios, walkmans, gameboys, trampolines, battery operated TV's, etc... The fewer distractions the better. Bring only what you think you will need.

If you have a general area for your quest once you get there you can feel your way to the correct spot, much in the same way you found a
power spot or you can use your rattle, shaking it in front of you, to guide you to the right place. Once you are there, create a ritual circle, calling the six directions and outlining a circle about eight or nine feet in diameter with stones or twigs (find them on the ground, don't pull them off the plants) or other such things. Make yourself comfortable in this doorway between the worlds. Close your eyes and greet and introduce yourself to the elements and life around you (plants, animals, rocks, etc...). Spend as much time as you need, a long time spent doing this is good. Journey, dance, sing, chant, listen, learn, experience.... If you wish you can try and stay awake for the entire quest. On a long quest you can choose to sleep a couple of hours, but try to sleep as little as possible.

Look for signs form your guides. Subtle signs are the rule. The spirit world doesn't need to use a sledgehammer. A bird call, a pebble formation, or a visit from an animal can all have great weight and meaning on a vision quest. Do not worry if you get restless and hungry, you probably will be and it will bug you. Just acknowledge it as part of the experience. Don't leave early. Stick with it. The experience will be much more powerful.

When it is time for you to leave, restore the area to how it was before you came. Clean up any trash left there by others. Remember to thank the spirits and your guides before you leave.

Your answers may not be clear. In fact, they may be a long time coming. remember that time is relative and you will know what you need to know when it is time for you to know it. Feel free to share what you experienced with people who will not judge you if you wish. If you feel something should be kept private then do so. You don't have to tell anybody anything if you don't want to.


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