In ancient cultures throughout the world, different forms of Quests were used as doorways to enter spiritual realms and expand self-knowledge. Quests usually involve a period of solitude and could take the form of a retreat into nature or a pilgrimage, and through these extraordinary inner journeys, sacred visions revealed personal direction and life purpose.
By undertaking this ancient rite of passage, people give themselves the opportunity to undertake a period of honest, authentic and open hearted reflection in which fears are confronted, difficult issues are resolved and a new sense of direction revealed.
A Vision Quest is usually divided into three phases:
- Preparation: time is set aside to help put the quest into an appropriate context setting intentions and nurturing a sense of openness. This commonly involves ceremonial elements such as Sweatlodge ceremonies, art, song and dance.
- Transition: this is the questing time, a time of fasting alone in nature for a period of two to four days.
- Re-integration: the questers are held in a safe and sacred space through ceremony and sharing to integrate their experiences.
Traditionally Western culture has no equivalent rite of passage, yet many people yearn to return to their spiritual roots in the grounded embrace of the natural world.