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The first day consists of:
Beginning Fasting and Prayer
On the first day of the Vision Quest, the quester should rise before sunrise and greet the day with prayer. Then, the quester begins to fast at dawn.
They should not take a shower, brush their teeth, or put any liquid into their mouth unless directed by the facilitator. They should also forgo sleep.
Now the quester spends the morning preparing their offerings.
Steaming and Smudging
All items used for the Vision Quest can now be steamed and smudged. First, the quester should stack stones in a fire and heat the rocks. Once the rocks are heated, the offering items which make the altar must...
Many items are needed in the lineage Vision Quest, which becomes part of the Quest's offerings and altar.
Each item has a specific purpose in the Quest, and each item offers the opportunity for the quester to access another layer of connection. Items should be made, gathered, traded for, or even purchased with mindfulness and in the spirit of the Quest. The traditional guidance to acquiring the things needed for the Quest advises that you begin to prepare for the Quest a year in advance. Twelve months allows enough time to ensure the items are gathered with the mindfulness required. A year is also enough time to prepare oneself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
The items are gathered over the time between setting intentions and the pre-selected Quest date. Sometimes this is less than a full year, which means that some things will most likely have to be purchased. Many Native America style stores, often called "Trading...
During the transition between older childhood and adult, there is a universal instinctive calling into nature, searching for ambiguous questions. People have felt this calling worldwide, and many have followed this calling into the wilderness. The need to fulfill a quest of this sort transcends all boundaries imposed by human societies. It is an innate part of the human "design."
In a Sacred Hunt, the young man (or woman) hunts a large animal for the first time in their lives. They have been trained and have indeed hunted and killed small game by this point. The difference is that now they are pursuing with the adults, killing a large animal. They will witness the animal's struggle for life, running in fear and pain. They perhaps even observe the last breaths of the animal and the tremors as death finally come. The older hunters help the young person recognize the life which has been taken, praying over the body of the fallen animal. The meat is taken...
In this vlog, we delve into the practices that support connection as a way of life. Living into our connection potential is of paramount importance to finding health and happiness. We are born to learn this in life. Learn more about the practices and teachings of how to be in better relationship with yourself, nature, others, and the challenges life brings us.
Questing is a powerful connective practice that allows human beings access into deeper communication and awareness. The quest itself can come in many forms and varies from lineage to lineage.
At its essence, a Quest is when a person holds the intention to seek out spiritual guidance and purpose, and expresses their commitment by being in isolation from community and forgoing human needs/comforts for a period of time. A Quest is a ceremonial process which allows someone to be fully supported by the spirit and natural world in their search for help or guidance.
A Quest can aid a person to understand their role in life by opening them up to deep understanding of themselves and their relationship to the world.
A traditional Quest consists of a person spending one to four days and nights (or longer) secluded in nature. This provides time for deep communion with the elemental forces, spiritual energies of...
Traditionally, the quest was scheduled a year in advance to give time for preparation. Preparation includes the process of gathering the Quest articles, building connections and support, purifying, and clarifying your intention.
After being introduced to the Woptura lineage and moving to their ancestral home, I was introduced to their powerful version of the Vision Quest. This specific lineage has developed and refined the Vision Quest over generations. Various layers have been added as generation after generation received spiritual guidance in creating a more effective ritual. A Vision Quest's effectiveness can be measured in what connections are accessed and what layers of protection are activated. The Vision Quest of this lineage has developed into a powerful means to access spiritual guidance safely. The lineage Vision Quest has a complexity level that I have not seen in other versions.
The processes of preparing...
Just recognize that this lineage that you are learning from, it was not taken or stolen. This lineage was a gift that was passed on with the message, “You all need to learn how to do this”.
People that have not been raised with these ceremonies need these traditions because this is how life works. The message from my native teachers has been, “This is how we've lived as human beings on this earth. And this is what we want you to understand so that you can live as a human being on this earth, because we are all, on this earth together. And without you being a human being and us being human beings, there is going to be problems. We all need to be human beings. And this is how we've been able to become and maintain our humanness.”
Wherever you go in this world people historically had a way of using sweat therapy as a form of purification and healing. I know there was European sweat lodges, there was sweat lodges in England, and of course, ancient...
Human Beings have always searched to find meaning and understand purpose in life. Through profound nature interaction we can better understand who we are and our own unique gifts. When this is combined with supportive, conscious community, human beings manifest their highest potential. There are time tested methods which can help us deeply connect to nature and find our purpose. In this presentation we explore the meaning that can be found through interacting with creation in a symbiotic relationship.
Helpers Mentoring Society's Bison Project continues to be developed over the winter. At this time, the project is focused on supporting the small herd to thrive through the long cold season. The video above shows pictures and footage from a trail cam placed in the bison pasture. The bison (and other wildlife) grazes on about 20 acres of grass and wood areas at this time. This is enough land to support our small herd, with hay supplementation. Our future plans include fund raising to purchase/lease more acreage to grow the size of the herd - and public accessibility.
Many people around the world travel to South Dakota to connect to this incredible landscape and the creatures of this ecosystem. Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors travel to the Black Hills of South Dakota, many seeking to witness and bond with the bison. Unfortunately, each year people approach wild bison and cross into this powerful animal's personal space - often leading to...