We’ve all heard the term ‘vision quest’ which forms part of many beliefs systems from Native American spirituality to Buddhism. Even Christ went on a vision quest and this journey has long been associated with finding one’s true path or purpose, a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood, or getting in touch with one’s animal or spirit guides. In today’s busy world, for many of us the mere idea of a vision quest seems either an impossible dream or just not relevant to the times – who we are and how we live.
Certainly, if we live in an urban environment, the concept of wandering off alone into the wilderness to commune with spirit guides appears unrealistic to say the least if you inhabit a space filled with hundreds or thousands of other people. However, we can say that city dwellers – in other words those striving to be Urban Shaman, are those who are likely to benefit the most from this practice.
You don’t have to be outside to Vision Quest
If you live in a city, chances are you have parks and green spaces available – which are filled with other people. If being alone in the open air is impossible, then create the space to quest indoors. How you create this is up to you and your higher self will guide you. You may want to bring the outdoors inside for example by brining in flowers or plants. Hanging up a picture of a landscape is another way you can create that connection to nature. Have a notebook or pen to hand as well.
If you are lucky enough to live somewhere where you can be in nature undisturbed or if you have decided to travel out of the city to undertake your quest then do pack water, and wear comfortable and warm clothing. Again, your higher self will guide you to the best location to start your quest if you have chosen to be outside.
Open Yourself to Spiritual Guidance
The main purpose of any vision quest is of course to hear the messages our spirit guides have for us. It’s always a good idea before embarking on your quest to know what you want to ask and what is most important to you. Vision quest questions are not about the things we want or outcomes we desire. So, it’s no use asking if your ex will come back to you or when you’re going to land that better paying job! Vision quests are intended to hand us answers to life’s big questions such as: What is my soul path or purpose? Why am I here? How can I overcome my fears and doubts? What do I need to know?
When you are ready to begin – either because you have arrived at your chosen location or have prepared your sacred space indoors, please ensure you won’t be disturbed. Turn off your phone and if you are at home ensure you do this at a time when no-one is likely to call round. If you are at home you can put on some ambient music. If you outside then tune into the sounds of nature – the wind, the sound of birds or the sea. Take a deep breath and as you begin to relax and become one with the space around you, notice where in your body’s energy system (your chakras) you feel the most connected to the space around you. Don’t over-think this one, it is the first spot that comes into your head! Imagine that this is your doorway to the spirit world through which all your answers will come.
What colour is this doorway? What season do you associate with it? What plants, flowers or animals? What kind of people? What kind of landscape? Like the one you are in or somewhere entirely different? Allow images and ideas to come to you now – don’t censor them and let your imagination roam free and make as many connections as it wants to. You will find however that it will latch on to one or a combination of several – you might have thought about a certain type of landscape, a certain animal or person and now may see an vision that incorporates these in front of you.
This is your sacred space and your guide(s) come to meet you. Have your questions ready but bear in mind that your guide may not speak but you may hear their voice in your head. Spend as long as you need talking to your guide and when you are finished, remember to thank them. Take a deep breath and then return to where you are.
While it is all still fresh in your mind, write everything down in your journal. You may find you recall many more details than you think. Be sure to write down the answers you received as this was your goal for taking the quest, after all!
Now you have accomplished your vision quest, if you did travel to a location there is no need in future for you to go back there to re-connect to your guide as you will be able to do this anywhere. I even know one Urban Shaman who managed this on a commuter train!
The benefits of a vision quest are available to us anywhere, but we are the ones who have to take that first step on our journey – even if it’s just from our own lounge room.
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