Vision Quest Retreat
A Time of Inner Exploration and Mystical Vision in Nature
Connect with your authentic self in the power of Nature in this personalized 8-day intensive:
Sedona Vision Quest Retreat with solo overnight option in the Sedona, Arizona area.
2021 Sedona Vision Quest timing:
- Spring; May 15 – 22
- Summer Solstice: June 19 – 26
- Autumn Equinox: September 18 – 25
Best months for this program: mid-April to early November.
Or can be scheduled at a date that works best for you.
If another person or register two at that time, you receive the 2 or 3 person rate discount.
Good alternative to 8-day program
The 6-day Expand Horizons Pathways of the Modern Day Mystic Retreat can be done year round. It has the same skill building components that empower you to be your own seer. However, it does NOT include the solo overnight, breakfast and shield making.
Vision Quest is a ceremony of becoming available to Spirit.
The intention is to support you as you open your vision in a natural way (withOUT aide of entheogenic drugs) to worlds often hidden from normal view and enter the deeper reality of the unseen universe and your own Higher Self.
As a modern-day mystic traveling the shamanistic path, you personally engage by direct experience with the Great Mystery. New insights and choices emerge.
The power of your experience is the intention and attention you put into it. As you can become still within, flashes of illumination occur that are beyond the grasp of the intellect.
The sense of personal empowerment and divine connection stays with you for years as an inner guidepost.
Mysticism is expressing our capacity for Love, according to Matthew Fox. He says that as we establish a powerful mystical connection — and then begin living from it — we discover reserves of strength and love we didn’t dare believe we had.
Core Retreat Experiences
- Connect with the land daily as a grounded, attentive mystic at dawn, sunset, and under the stars.
• Develop shamanic skills to experience empowering communication with your spiritual allies for healing, wisdom and discovery
• Inner pathways: meditation, lucid dreaming, here-now presence
• Clear patterns, beliefs, energies that no longer serve
• Stay Present with yourself as you move through blocks or face inner resistance
• Engage with the Great Mystery with the mystic’s eye as you interact with a larger reality. Revelations occur as you notice patterns, signs, energies, and have flashes of intuitive insight.
• Experience Nature as a field of sentient vibrational power and energy that mirrors back your authentic self as you calm the busy, thinking mind and tune in
• Use Ceremony as a powerful tool for activating positive change.
• Develop adaptive life skills, such as: resiliency, compassion, courage, and fluidity to adapt, grow and change
• Learn to trust your perceptions as you see yourself from a spacious higher perspective and seed new realities
• Experience the sacred sound of your own voice and of the drum as you create your power song, tree song and speak with the authentic power of your Totem Animals.
• Medicine Pieces: make 4-Directions emblems and a shield as part of your intention work and as physical representations of your prayer to Spirit.
Why do a Vision Quest Retreat?
Please my article here for some inspirations.
Dear Potential Participant:
Please read this and see if you are ready to commit your time and energy to this. When done with intention and spiritual preparation, the solo overnight in nature can be a powerful experience that opens self-confidence and inner seeing.
It is not a quick fix or a magic cure-all. It is not for everyone.
This retreat is for people willing to engage with Spirit with humbleness and openness, take responsibility for their safety, and engage with the process.
I ask you that you move beyond romantic images and over-expectation about what will happen. Rather, a kind of surrender of mental control is called for. This makes space to glimpse more of the destiny line your Higher Self is calling you to walk.
You have all the magic within you.
I provide mentorship and a safe and sacred circle of energy, wisdom and support.
I have created an integrated program that helps you open the pathways to your own soul’s knowing based on my lifetime of mystic seeing in nature and more than 3 decades of experience with shamanic and ceremonial practice, and leading mystic insight and vision quest retreats.
I have also been inspired by circles with, and years of sharing in friendship and respect, with Native peoples here in Arizona, in Alaska and Peru.
There are many skills involved.
Are you willing to devote your whole self to this for a week?
It is a big leap from modern busy living and racing mind to nature based spirituality. Deep inner work, nature awareness skills, and willingness to be more present with yourself is essential. Otherwise, staying out alone overnight becomes more of a camping trip experience.
Create a space to Listen to Spirit. Will you commit to minimizing electronic time and other distractions? This gives the busy mind permission to relax and move out of the daily planning, analyzing, being in constant inner dialogue mode.
Are you willing to turn off the mind chatter–the rush to plan the future, and the need to figure out everything in your mind?
Full Days & Evenings. We do daily sessions on the land around Sedona and/or in my studio a few minutes south of Sedona. Expect your days and evenings between sessions to be full with nature practice, and inner pathways and ceremonial practices.
You do the solo overnight on your own. You can choose to spend one night out on your own if you feel confident in your preparation. Or you can choose to be out in solo circle for the evening or for a late night into dawn experience. The whole week IS a ceremony of seeking new vision, not just the solo overnight.
Vision is a natural state that can be cultivated with practice. Psychotropic drugs are NOT used to achieve visionary connections (see more below). Also, before and during the retreat, please refrain from alcohol or recreational drugs–this dulls intuitive perception skills.
I send you preparation and places to stay info (lodging and transportation not included in retreat: there are campgrounds, moderate to high end lodgings in Sedona and greater Verde Valley area). You will need a car to go out on the land and to drive to sessions.
Creator gifted me with the ability to hold space for people, to see and reflect back their soul’s gifts in an honoring way, to assist you in creating movement in your life. I am here for you if this program speaks to you.
I do not copy tribal fasting ceremonies &
We do NOT use “plant medicine” to invoke vision.
“Plant Medicine”. Frequently people ask about peyote, which is used as a sacrament in the Native American Church services, or ayahuasca which is used in South American indigenous practices. While I respect that these ways have meaning in the context of the religious practice within the cultures involved–I do not offer that. Nor do I recommend that.
Ecstatic union with the greater field of wisdom is a very high frequency state. This can be achieved with nature attunement, clearing the mind, deep contemplative observation, prayer and awareness practices, clearing of emotional blocks, ceremony, being grounded in your body and fully Present in your physical body. Eating light, mostly plant based nutrition is helpful to this process. I ask that you refrain from alcoholic or other mind altering substances before and during the retreat.
Neither do I ask you to take the path of being out for multiple days fasting such as is done in the masculine Plains Indian tradition after supplicants do months of preparation work. I honor that this is a powerful ceremony that supports opening to Spirit in Plains Indian cultural context.
In my decades of experience with people from today’s Western world, I have observed that most people already are not fully present in their bodies. Fasting adds to that tendency to float off. It can also cause drops in blood sugar and energy.
The deeper challenge for modern day participants is to be grounded, aware, clear the incessant mental static, and surrender to Spirit taking lead.
“We change our reality being out alone in sacred circle away from our daily life praying for a gift from spirit in the form of a vision,” Arkan Lushwalah says. “Connecting our human mind with the mind of our spirit is about becoming available to the natural wisdom of the universe.”
(see blog article: The Will of the Heart, Earth Energies and Vision)
Retreat Cost Per Person
3 – 6 people, $1,350 each;
with 2 people, $1,680* each (1 person, $2,200*)
NOT included: Lodging, transportation, meals (except breakfast on return from overnight), entry fees at lagoon park or private site on Oak Creek.
Included: program, reference packet, materials, pre-retreat recommended preparation, 1 breakfast, coordination-planning of your personalized program.
Each program is customized to participants and season:
–Additional fee to have someone stay out near you overnight.
–You take responsibility for yourself on the overnight.
*does not guarantee a private retreat, but does guarantee that it will happen on the dates you want to come to Sedona–the retreat is available to others who may want to come at that same time. I will try to get others to join you if possible.)
Let me know if you would like:
–a list of recommended retreat-friendly places to stay
–transportation options from Phoenix to Sedona
1 – 3 day independent journey to Hopi and Navajo lands to deepen your experience in the context of doing blessing and ceremonial circles with these warm-hearted indigenous peoples. That opens more vibratory pathways if you are receptive. (not available in 2020)
Sessions included in your Sedona Vision Quest Retreat:
The final order of programs may vary. The time frame can be compressed/expanded if need be. Length of sessions depends on number of people; they are a bit shorter if done as a solo retreat.
Each day we will share dreams, knowings, signs that come to you–I will be giving you feedback.
In between sessions, on your own: You will have dream, meditation, and journaling practices. There will be study sheets to support your experiential learning.
Each day (including dawn – sunset – stars times) you will have nature practices and communion time on your own at special sites in the Sedona and Verde Valley area. This solo work you do each day is a key component of the your program.
This daily solo work and attentiveness is a key part of you being your own seer and healer.
morning program, 2 hours at a Sedona trailhead site
- Sedona Sacred Sites/Vortex Program to prepare you to explore on your own.
- Introduction to Vision Quest practices.
Preparation work on own during the week: cut and shape willow hoop for shield, stretch and attach leather to hoop; make 4 Directions emblems/prayer bundles; focus on nature skills, dreams, prayers, attentiveness, mindfulness. It is a very full week (you make daily reports and receive feedback on these experiences in addition to the new session work we do each day).
afternoon session++, (2.5 hours with 2 or more; 2 hours with one person)
Insight Session*: Inner Pathways – Conscious Evolution. Powerful insight tools to enhance shamanic seeing: lucid dreaming, meditation, tracking-clearing energies, listening to body wisdom, developing Here-Now Presence as your point of power, and more. Includes chakra clearing and sound healing instruments.
Outdoor Seminar: 6 hours at a private site on Oak Creek.
Shamanic Journey Mentoring, Nature connection practices, and a series of Ceremonies.
morning insight session, (sessions are 2.5 hours with 2 more people; 2 hours with 1 person and are normally held at Cottonwood studio site. During Covid, they will be held at a Cottonwood outdoor park on the Verde River or a Sedona outside site)
Insight Session: Past Life, Mystic Child, Future Self, Current Challenges, Deepening Medicine Animal connections
evening outdoor program, 3.5 hours at a Sedona trailhead site (3 hours with 1 or 2 people)
Sunset-Starlight Nature, Solo Sacred Circle. (3.5 hours; 3 hours with 1 or 2 people). Deepen medicine animal and nature at night practice, Native star stories and star connection, reciprocity with nature, solo vision quest circle practice.
Connecting with the Natural Life Forces Heart to Heart and Rebirthing Ceremony at an outdoor site. 2 hours.
afternoon insight session, 2.5 hours (2 hours with 1 or 2 people)
Insight Session: Extraction, Release Unbeneficial Energies. We enlist the aid of spiritual allies to provide support, insight, energy and integration in a series of shamanic journey experiences supporting your shamanic extraction work.
afternoon insight session, 2.5 hours (2 hours with 1 or 2 people)
Insight Session: Soul Retrieval. You become your own shaman in a safe and nurturing space in a poignant session of calling back and integrating a part of your own soul that has become energetically separated from you.
afternoon ceremony program, 3 hours at outdoor site (2.5 hours with 1 person)
Circle of Power Teaching and Healing Ceremony Learn ancient principles of working with ceremony; receive a vibrational healing from earth and cosmos and drumming; shamanic rebalancing work by Sandra as guided by spirit.
evening on own:
deepen and clarify your intention, clear your mind, begin writing your New Mythology that has emerged so far, finish prayer bundles.
morning session, (2.5 hours;2 hours with 1 or 2 people)
Insight Session: Imagining, Conscious Re-Creation. Final overnight preparation and spirit helper connections. Experiential journeys to activate new pathways, potential new beginnings.
Solo Overnight Ceremony
Afternoon to sunrise next day in solo communion with nature in your sacred ceremonial space–this is optional and done on your own with you taking full responsibility for your safety. You go out on your own. Then during the night I pray for you and hold space for you.
Dawn Return, Fire Ceremony, Processing Your Experience, Hopi blue corn pancake breakfast, 2.5 to 3 hours
During the day on your own:
Journal, paint your shield, Write your new mythology, rest and dream.
Closing circle* in late morning or early afternoon, 2 hours
Share completed Shield, New Mythology and Intentions for your return; Closing Ceremony, moving into future focus as you prepare to return home.
I recommend you take an extra day or two after and relax, integrate before returning to your busy world.
INSIGHT SESSIONS are normally held at my studio location in Cottonwood. During covid time, they will be heled outdoors at park sites in Sedona and Cottonwood. They are 2.5 hours (2 hours with 1 person).
Links for more info about sessions:
Past participant comments:
“Sandra, when my soul called me to come out and do the full retreat with you, it was such a blessing. I came full of fear and anxiety, missing and longing for a piece of me that had been lost. Through your guidance I pulled out a giant cork that had been stopping up a well inside me for many years. I found a self-acceptance and self-validation. I know I will never be the same again. Anyone who has felt that longing of emptiness should take the full retreat with you. The training leading up the the vision quest is indispensable. The vision quest itself is like a favorite topping on a favorite dessert. This is truly a journey of the self. I anyone is feeling that call, they should definitely come here. Thank you so much!” Neal Lieberman, Birthing Tiger, Aug., 2004
“My vision quest journey taught me so much how to get back to my authentic self, how to piece together the pieces that I had lost connection to, how to recognize my powers and step into my future boldly.” Claire, Ireland, September, 2018.
Vision Quest, Communing With our Soul in Nature—article
The Call to Deepen Vision article
Shamanic Journey in Today’s World:
Direct Experience with the Sentient Universe–article
Ceremonial Circles–essence of ceremony–article
Mystic Path articles: