The Vision Quest is a traditional native initiation rite of several tribes of the USA and Mexico. The vision quester climbs the mountain with the purpose of seeking a direction in life, a rebirth, or a deepening in self-knowledge through prayers, reflection and commitment.
With this purpose questers are taken to the mountain for a fast from food, water and speech for 4, 7, 9 and 13 days. The intention is that the seeker reaches a greater level of understanding of his/ her purpose or way of life, thus recognising the ways of traditional people who gave us the sacred designs, medicines, knowledge of fasting, meditation, observation, self-study and the conscious interaction with the environment and the elements. That which is hidden is revealed through the mystery, the self-observation, the internal and external manifestations of the quester and through the wisdom of nature.
A “Four Tobacco’s” ceremony is held when the time comes to climb the mountain, with the purpose of the ceremony being to set the intention of the Vision Quest. Seekers participate in this ceremony, together with friends and family. After the ceremony, seekers will take a last shower, have a meal and enter the sweat lodge for purification, prayers and songs. The sweat lodge is where the focus becomes internal and the vow of silence begins.
Seekers are then taken to the assigned spaces on the mountain and planted surrounded by their 365 prayer ties where they remain in their spots for 4,7,9 or 13 days. For the 7,9 and 13 day quests, support by way of liquid and fruit is provided after day 4. Once seekers are harvested (collected) from the mountain, their quest is closed with a sweat lodge.
The Vision Quest path is the commitment to complete four quests in your lifetime –
- the first year honours the colour red and is for 4 days and 4 nights praying towards the East for humility.
- the second year honours the colour yellow and is for 7 days and 7 nights praying towards the South for the purpose of our lives.
- the third year honours the colour black and is for 9 days and 9 days praying towards the West for healing.
- the fourth years honours the colour white and is for 13 days and 13 nights praying towards the North for peace.