Today we want to introduce you to vision quests, which serve as an amazing tool for self-discovery and growth. Vision quests have ancient roots, but still exist today in shamanic cultures. You are going to see how this quest is not about looking for something you don’t have, but rather, a means for looking for a way to release something that is already within you.
This expression of your true authentic self is something you had to repress due to materialistic duties, schedules, society and the rigid structures of life. Without further ado, let’s learn something about vision quests and their significance.
A vision quest is a rite of passage in Lakota culture and consists mainly of reaching an altered state of consciousness through physical stimuli such as "inipi" (sweat lodges), fasts, and isolation, so as to reach a breaking point and receive a vision of one's life path, a counsel, or a spiritual power.
A vision quest usually lasts several days, and is one of the most important rituals of the shamanic tradition to get a direction in your life, to have a more complete understanding of your role and personal journey in the world, or to discover a shamanic dowry.
In all shamanic populations presently on our planet, some kind of research of the vision is practiced, aimed at deepening and developing a profound contact with the Spirit. Depending on the tradition, we have different types and methods of vision quests, with precise rules that consist of allowing the individual to experience a temporary state of isolation in order to get in touch with the super-sensible world and receive an important message from the Universe; enabling one to bring clarity to his or her life, or to proceed on the path of acquiring shamanic skills.
It is a real sacred journey, aimed at the discovery of your soul and of the connection that unites you to the Sacred Vision of the Universe.
It's a ceremony that asks you to leave behind the everyday routine you're used to; your family, your job, and your friends. This means making a temporary disconnect from everyday life; with the certainties and needs that keep you anchored. You must go into nature and, immersing yourself in the depths of your soul, return at the end of the experience deeply reborn.
Many people contemplate the search for vision in their traditions through physical tests, the use of plants or entheogens, sound (drums/ rattles), dance and song. These modalities all have a common denominator: "the breaking point."
It is said that energy follows thought, which is governed by the mind. In order to reach the vision it is necessary that the mind softens the grip and in most cases, this happens to take the body to the limit - saturating it with stimuli (or on the contrary, by deprivation). When this happens, a sort of lock opens up that opens the channels of perception and "we see" what in reality is always ever-present.
Psychedelic vision is often expected when, above all, drugs are not taken. They are simple visions or large "understandings". Vision does not necessarily make us "enlightened"or transform us into gurus or spiritual guides. Visions are a personal event that helps those who receive it to optimize their life path. For its intense nature we can, however, say that it is a real initiation.
Initiation is a stage of transformation that marks the moment of transition between two life stages in a powerful way. We are used to the idea of initiation that derives mostly from Masonic societies. Initiation, however, consists of a "beginning" and to begin there must be an end or a symbolic death.
This death consists of a series of trials that are not imposed in shamanism by men themselves, but by spirits. These tests, or challenges, are also faced in everyday life and those who decide to undertake the path of communication with the Spirits know this very well.
The actual initiation takes place within us, it is the moment when something in us dies to allow the teaching to become part of us. It is not the heat of the inipi that makes us die, the silence of the forest or the hunger that initiates us; they lead us to the breaking point, but true initiation does not take place in the body, rather, it takes place in the mind. Initiation begins with that "click" that opens the lock of our psychological landscape.
Many think that it is enough to learn some techniques of shamanic rituals to become a healer; It is not like this. In order to heal, one must first become an injured person who has treated himself.
For this reason, the aspiring shaman will be the first to cross the test and to successfully overcome it. The overcoming of pain itself, of a challenge, is the conditio sine qua non of the development of the healing technique and of Power. For this reason, it is about initiation: the old self is destroyed with the test to be reborn with knowledge.
These initiations are not always visionary or striking experiences, sometimes they are just physical and they are faced in everyday life. The ordinary and non-ordinary reality are not different worlds, no more than the world looked at through the lens of a microscope: we see different things because only the tools with which we look around change.
Our eyes. To reach the vision, one must be able to close the eyes in order to open the Eye. You will not see new things, you will see only what we have had under our noses the entire time, what we at the end have always kept in a corner of our memory and that for a brief moment we can remember. The vision means looking within, through the silence of the mind, where the Soul speaks to us. This is why it depends on everyone: no one can decide to see for you.
A visual quest means so many different things, but first of all, it means entering a different space-time dimension, living alone, surrounded by nature. During fasting for example, you become more open to spiritual reception and you will feel more transparent, even towards yourself.
You will live suspended between the inner world of dreams, fantasies, and emotions and the vision of the natural world provided by Nature; with its forests and streams. You will encounter challenges such as unexpected fears, boredom, loneliness and regrets about your life. You will face these enemies/allies with your heart and your spirit and you will recognize their immense value: they have the power to lead you to your deepest and truest self, finally revealing your essence!
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