A vision quest is a solo journey that takes place in nature. It is a time to step back and withdraw and remove ourselves from our personal confusion. Our inner truth emerges from stillness and retreat. This is a time when we are “seeking a vision.”
This is a time to get guidance, clarity and direction on life’s larger questions. These are questions like…
- Who am I?
- What am I meant to do with my life?
- What is my life’s mission?
- What is my purpose in life?
- Is it time for me to change careers?
- What must I do with my relationship?
- What can I do about my health?
Questions like these are often answered on a vision quest when we leave the business of our lives behind for a moment.
Even if you don’t have a burning question, it’s still a good idea to go on a vision quest to explore the depths of your soul. Your soul knows the truth and if we make the time to sit in this quietude, then the answers to all of our questions will become clear. But we first must become still to receive these messages.
The vision quest is one of the oldest method used by tribal people to seek direction in life. Usually, under the guidance of a medicine person, the seeker is sent to a remote location to fast and pray for three to four days.
The vision quest is a time for us to ask assistance from our spirit allies and ancestors so that your choices will be reinforced by their wisdom. Keep in mind when you are seeking answers that you stay open and accepting of the guidance you receive.
The Lakota Sioux word for Vision Quest is Hembleciya (ham-blay-che-ya). The word Hembleciya means “Crying for a Dream.” Sometimes this ceremony is called “going up on the hill,” because people would often go to a nearby mountain to carry out their Vision Quest.
Exercise: Schedule at least one day and/or one night where you will take time away from people and situations (around the full moon is best). Bring your cell phone but keep it on silent and put away. You only have it at this point for emergencies. Create a sacred circle of stones or surround a small area with sage or cedar for protection. Simply become one with nature, be still, watch for the signs, and open your heart to receive the messages from your higher power. Try to stay awake throughout the night but if you do fall asleep, try and remember your dreams. Then you can journal about your experience.
Items to bring: Drum, sage, and any other ceremonial items that you believe may help you.
*Always let someone know where you will be and what time you intend to return.
*Bring plenty of water