Why do a Vision Quest Retreat?
Article on the call to pilgrimage, the soul’s longing for a transformative experience of connection to the Great Mystery within and around us.
By Sandra Cosentino, based on decades of experience with Vision Quest as a personal practice and in leading/mentoring Vision Quest Retreat programs.
The Calling to go on Pilgrimage
Maybe eagle has been coming in your dreams.
You may sense a calling to go on pilgrimage to a powerful place in nature.
We resist, yet are irretrievably drawn. At some point we feel limited or get tired of repeating old patterns and we give in to the call of our soul.
Call to pilgrimage sparks action…..
“A seed thought sparks a new intention and calls you into a time of wandering the desert. It initiates a regeneration more in alignment with our source. This action creates a release from the tyranny of our egoic mind that thinks it is in charge of our life.” (Rev. Bruce Kellogg)
A Hopi elder once said:
“To be wise, first you must ask.
Then pay attention, and then it is up to you.”
Call of the Sedona High Desert Cliffs & Canyons
“What you come to see on the surface is not what you come to know. Emptiness in the desert is the fullness of space, that eliminates time. The desert is time, exposed time, geologic time. One needs time in the desert to see.”
“If the desert is holy, it is because it is a forgotten place that allows us to remember the sacred. Perhaps that is why every pilgrimage to the desert is a pilgrimage to the self. There is no place to hide and so we are found.”
Terry Tempest Williams (Wild Places Charge our Imagination)
Wild Nature is a Portal to Spirit Connection
Given even a brief encounter with a coyote’s bold yellow wild eyes, or in a soul-imprinting moment gazing at the luminous layers of light and color of a sunset over cliff and high desert vistas, or seeing the stars out away from city lights–-wonder can erupt.
In a flash we remember we are connected to a vaster universe full of mystery and beauty that is always there, eternally waiting to inspire us directly from Source.
Nature casts a spell that takes us out of our own looping mind into something vaster. This is medicine!
Nature excels at archery, at marksmanship – she goes right for the heart, our wildness – that which isn’t trapped yet, that which still runs free to our deeper rivers of Awareness, not yet fully revealed, to either ourselves, or to others. It calls us out, to stand Terra Firma, as we, at the same time, look out into the night deep, to our ancient calling from the stars.
(China Indigo Jones, Engage in Conversation with Nature)
How much do we know of nature at night?
The energy shifts as the sun goes down and moon and stars comes out.
Have you ever felt direct connection to the stars as they revolve overhead during the night?
Value of Doing a Vision Quest
I have seen how participants who answer their call to pilgrimage gain a greater sense of confidence that is reflected in the new fire in the depths of their eyes. They go home with fresh insights and renewed personal inspiration.
The value of doing vision quest is insightfully described in words of Barbara Furlotte from Eastern Canada. I was honored to support her 2001 Vision Quest journey to Sedona. She had a powerful intention for deepened soul awareness. She never had camped out overnight before and spent months preparing for her solo journey in nature.
“There was a lot of preparation before going out into the desert. This was something I was drawn to do for a long time. On my Solo journey I could feel a deeper knowing . It is hard to put into words, but I just knew that I was not alone. I had nothing to fear alone in the desert or in my life. That feeling is with me still.
What you accomplish on a Solo journey depends on your reason for doing it. What is your intention for going into nature alone, and how willing and open are you to what may come to you? Most people I think use the Solo experience to find themselves or to deepen an already strong connection to spirit. Whatever the reason, if it is done authentically, it will change your life forever.
A journey alone is really the only way to connect with yourself. You rely and trust only on your own instincts. You pay more attention to your gut feelings. You are not following another’s advice or opinions, you do not have the false security of others around you.
You are not trusting another to keep you safe and out of harms way. Nothing and no one can give you the confidence and courage to trust yourself, to live your life fearlessly only your own connection to spirit can do that.
I do know that all spiritual masters spent many years of their lives alone with nature. This should tell you of the powerful energy of nature. The same life energy in nature is also within us, we just have to stop our way too busy lives long enough to feel it.
Being alone gives you a more peaceful and aware feeling towards your own life. You begin to see things in your life differently and you begin to react with more understanding and Love to the situations in your life.
And I do believe that LOVE is the most powerful energy known to us all !!!!”
If this calls to you and you are willing to put your whole focus on this for a week, I welcome you, I am here to support and mentor your intention.
“Vision quest is a time for a person seeking direction in his or her life to withdraw from the routines and pressures of modern living into the solitude and silence of the wilderness. It is also a symbolic journey into the wilderness of the mind and spirit. Direction usually comes in the form of visions, powerful synchronicities, lucid dreams, spontaneous revelations, and/or magical experiences with the natural world.
It is the single most transformative experience a person can have. I have witnessed numerous lives, including my own, changed as a result. In contrast to workshop “highs” that all too often wear off with the passage of time, a vision quest always seems to effect permanent change in a person’s life.”
Peter, Calhoun from Soul on fire : A Transformational Journey From Priest to Shaman