Offering Visionary Leadership Training - Healing, Optimism, Purpose, Evolution
One question we often get asked is how to tell the difference between the male and female bison. When first encountering a bison herd it might be difficult to tell the differences, but with a little bit of knowledge and observation, you will find it easy to tell them apart (most of the time). Below are some of more easily observed unique features of the male and female bison.
Size/Weight: Adult male American Bison can weight up to 2,000 pounds, which sets them at the largest animal in North America. An adult female bison is typically only half as heavy. Bison tended in ranches can exceed these weights with food supplements.
Sex Organs: Male bison have a tuft of hair on their belly which indicate the penile shaft.
Horn Shape/Size: In adult males have horns that are wide, stand straight up and are thicker than females. The female horn is slenderer (compared to the males) and have an inward curve.
Once the set duration of the quest has been accomplished, the quester is often retrieved by the person facilitating the quest. The quester is brought back to the village and ceremonially released from the quest. This typically involves a gentle purification ceremony and specific songs. During this final step in the Vision Quest, the quester shares about their experience during the quest with the facilitator of the ceremony. This is opportunity for the facilitator to support the lessons of the quest and the re-integration of the quester.
After the completion of this final stage of the Vision Quest, the quester is welcomed back by the community. Often this first occurs by the community feeding the quester. During this stage the quester may or may not their story with those that are present. This is completely up to the quester to decide.
Later, after rest and recuperation, the quester may have personal conversations and share the events that...
Watch the latest video blog about the world-wide solstice sacred fire ceremonies (Fire Light For Life). On this video the vision of this ceremonial events is share, and guidance on how you can join.
This is a 1-hour recording.
By spending an extended duration in nature, in communion with creation, the quester comes to a deeper state of connection with the dream of creation. While the quester is at their altar they should remain in constant state of communication and reflection.
During the time alone, the quest should reflect on the intentions of the quest. Why are they there? What are their goals? How can they accomplish these goals and be more effective? There are many reasons to quest but whatever the reason, the quester should focus their thoughts and feelings towards asking the unseen aspects of creation for help.
The quester should remain in a deep reflective state as much as possible – without falling asleep. During the day(s) and night(s) the prayers may become a waking dream. The quester might find themselves going on inner vision journeys or have the sense of visitors that come to them in their mind’s eye.
The quester might also have visitation from...
The cold days and nights of winter that took all the excess energy to endure are long gone and replaced by the warm spring rains. The land is renewing from the long winter slumber and providing our bison with the new growth of green plants. As green grass with higher nutritional content is now accessible to the bison, they have more energy to expel. This has given the bison a burst of energy that they often put into running play.
Before tending bison, I never realized just how much they like to play. Many days they seem to relish in running around each other, bumping, and jostling one another. Sometimes they can be witnessed nuzzling and bumping head in a friendly way. They tend their bonds of relationship with brushing against each other and licking each other's sides. As the heat of the day builds, they can often be seen on a hillside lounging together, keeping a watchful eye on the land.
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...