- Are you at a transition in your life, wanting to make sense of who you are, your life and what comes next?
- Do you want to live more authentically, to have a life in line with your values and where you are happy with the person you are?
- Do you want to move forward into your later life, to consider your role as an elder and to find a way to understand who you are and to make sense of your role in society?
- Are you at a point in your life where you want to think again on your life purpose but this time to do it in nature. To get in touch with the deeper part of yourself?
Your focus has been on things that are ‘out there’, seeking another promotion, focus on status and external things, possessions that haven’t brought you long lasting joy. It’s time to do things differently.
Time to look inwards and to use nature as your guide.
Join me on a Vision Quest. Friday 20 October – Sunday 29 October 2023
What is a Vision Quest?
We must all follow our vision quest to discover ourselves, and to find our relationship with the world around us.
A Vision Quest is a Rite of Passage used across millennia and in many different traditions. It allows you to have a deep connection with the natural world and to get a deep understanding of the person you are.
A Vision Quest is a ceremony to facilitate change and to help people to move from one stage of their life through to the next. You start by setting your intention, your focus for your time in nature.
In traditional cultures the vision quest was undertaken by the young men on their initiation to become a man. They came back when the wild animal was slain. That was a way of addressing their fears. In our modern culture the fear to overcome is hunger from the fasting.
One reason for me doing my first vision quest was to escape the noise and chatter of my daily life and listen to my inner voice. Rather than looking for the answer via books and other sources of external knowledge I would find the answer within me.
There are 3 stages to a Vision Quest:
Stage 1 – Severance
The first phase is preparation, held at base camp. As part of a small group, you get clear on what you need to say goodbye to, what you are letting go of. This process starts before the Quest, writing a letter of intention and a 10-page autobiography.
From the day I decided yes, I felt different – mainly a calmness and a noticeable heightening of my senses. I noticed more – my vision was sharper, hearing more acute.
Three full days at basecamp. We listen to your stories, your intent for being here. We give you tools – earth awareness exercises to drop you into the natural world. We talk about the ceremonies you will undertake – a death lodge on the first night, a purpose circle on the final night. We give you a structure for your four days solo time.
On the Tuesday you leave with no phone, no watch, no books to read. You can take a journal and pens, a musical instrument and a knife.
I advise you not to fill your time with doing. This is time for you to consider your gifts and your place in the world; what it is that you can do for your people when you return.
Stage 2 – Threshold
You spend 4 days and 4 nights on a solo fast. You have water, but no food. When I first heard this, I said I can barely go 4 hours without food, never mind 4 days. But as I reflected on this, I felt it was a fear. People do fast, why can’t I do it? And I did.
You will be alone with your thoughts. A lot of time to think. No technology, no watch. You will judge the passing of time by the movement of the sun. How many of us really listen to the sound of the wind and look closely at plants? It will be nature that guides you and helps you find your vision.
You don’t have a tent but can use a tarp to make a shelter.
The quest is a liminal state – deep listening and prolonged daydreaming. The word Liminal is from the Latin for Threshold. You will be severed from the familiar and the everyday – caffeine, phone, watch, food. Time alone to reflect on your life – the challenges, difficulties, questions about a sense of direction. Remembering the parts that we may want to forget. You don’t try and figure it out, you just listen and experience.
For me the solo fast was time to consider my past – regrets, as well as successes. Seeking forgiveness and giving forgiveness. Helping to be more comfortable with who I am. I came back with a glow about me, friends said. I felt a greater calmness within than I had before. Whilst a couple of times I felt myself losing this, time back in nature, and a more reflective period helped take me back.
Stage 3 – Incorporation
“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place”. Paulo Coelho.
Back at base camp you will tell your story. We, as the elders at the circle, listen to your story, and mirror back. Picking out on themes and clues that we can hear. The messages from the birds, the trees. And their actions.
It’s a lot to take in and we give you our notes to refer to later.
And then you leave. You return to your ‘normal life’ and your story will unfold over the coming year.
On my return I realised that a lot of my life was happening ‘out there’. I still had my energy, but it also showed itself in quieter ways too – appreciating nature. Being a person who radiates warmth and energy. Striking up conversations, looking for more depth. Saying things that come across as wise. As they should. I’m now a wise woman.
One year later you return to the land. A final 24 hours to close the vision quest. From then they can share the experience with others.
You arrive on Friday from 2pm and set up your small tent. We have a shared meal Friday evening.
3 full days spent at basecamp with breakfast and dinner provided each day. This is your preparation phase where you get to connect with nature and learn more about the 4-day solo fast. You learn about the medicine wheel and the 4 shields. You undertake nature awareness exercises and we talk about ceremony and ritual so you can create your own.
We use the wisdom of the medicine wheel, my knowledge of rites of passage and psychology gained over a life time and brought together in my doctoral research.
Tuesday morning you leave close to dawn. You take a tarp, you have ample water, but you don’t take your phone, a watch or food. 4 days alone to focus on your intention with nature as your guide. And we remain at basecamp, holding the space to support you.
The solo time
The solo time is a period without distraction – no phone or social media, no conversation, and no focus on cooking or eating. With no clock you lose a sense of time. The period alone allows you to get in touch with your thoughts, to pay attention to your senses, to allow your fears to surface. And to allow space to widen and deepen your thoughts
You return on Saturday morning, and we have 2 days at basecamp. We go beyond listening to your story, we mirror back and help you get a deeper understanding of the experience. I prepare you for your return to your day-to-day-life. Food is again provided. Departure is Sunday afternoon/ evening or Monday morning. You have guidance on the next phase.
We follow up with a group Zoom call a month later.
Price and what’s included
The total cost is £750. On booking your place you pay a £250 non-refundable deposit. You then receive preparation materials including a list of what to bring.
Breakfast and an evening meal is provided each day at basecamp. Water and hot drinks are freely available.
Any meals outside of camp are purchased by yourself. For example, we will go to a café for breakfast on the Saturday you return from the 4 day solo. You may also choose to go to the local pub whilst at basecamp for a meal.
As a Vision Quest Guide, I want to provide support, to connect deeply, to allow you to develop a deeper understanding of yourself and for me to truly be your guide. I have a strong connection with nature and seek to help people achieve wholeness.
I have been in apprenticeship to David Wendl Berry, the first person in the UK to run Vision Quests, he remains my mentor and I continue to support him in his work. With my own Vision Quests my focus is on people at mid-life and beyond so I can incorporate my doctoral research into meaningful ageing.
I have a strong academic background, over 30 years as a psychologist and working with people in the areas of self-understanding and personal development. I have a growing interest in depth psychology, deep imagery and the work of Carl Jung. I have the knowledge and wisdom gained over my 65 years on this earth. Nature is my greatest teacher and has allowed me to live a more authentic life.
Is a Vision Quest for you?
I’d be happy to set up a time to talk by phone or WhatsApp to help you find out more about what draws you to the vision quest and to answer any questions you may have to decide if now is the right time for a Vision Quest.