Vision Quest



vision quest retreat


SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME, humans have headed off into the wilderness in search of messages, from the spirits who dwelled there. They often described the Vision Quest, as a process of death and rebirth, and an opening of a door within, that revealed their true identity. They went in search of answers to questions such as, Who am I? What do I have to give? How can I heal my wounds? Why am I here? and Who and what is the Creator?

TEMPLE MOUND RE-CREATES THE VISION QUEST experience of our ancestors, in a modern day version of this ancient right of passage. Indigenous cultures of the past, spent their lives in and around nature. They lived off the land, and were used to sleeping on the ground exposed to the elements, every day of their life. In today’s times, seekers of the Vision Quest experience, come from a more tamed environment, of paved surfaces, climate control and hand sanitizer. For this modern day initiate, even being outdoors overnight can be a fearful ordeal.

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We have created a program that will introduce people to outdoors, and the magic of the nature spirits, by making available, several levels in which to experience a Vision Quest. I believe, that in these modern times of climate controlled, soundproof, living, that there is the potential for todays seekers, to have just as powerful of an experience as did the Ancestors.

THE VISION QUEST has been practiced around the world for thousands of years, as a right of passage, and was normally performed around the age of puberty. When a child was deemed ready by the village Elders, they would leave everything behind, including their clothes, and head into the wilderness in search of their vision, free of the encumbrances or conveniences of the material world . The Vision Quest would normally include, fasting , prayer, ceremony and would sometimes include the ritual taking of hallucinogenic substances.

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The Vision Quest would last from several days to weeks, until the "Vision" was obtained. They would invoke the Spirits, Animal Guides and the Ancestors, to accompany them on their Vision Quest for guidance and support. Through the use of spiritual tools, and the performance of personal ceremony, they would obtain communication with the Spirits, who would then introduce them to their Vision. Once the Vision was acquired, they would return to the village, where they would sit with the tribe Elders, for council. After a Vision Quest, the seeker would often begin an apprenticeship, with one of the elders in the tribe, based on the direction of their vision.

DETERMINING ONE'S PLACE and their path in this world, was the main focus of the Vision Quest. It was meant to give direction and purpose, that would outline the way one would live the rest of their life . In many cultures, receivers of the Vision, would return many times to a Vision Quest, to regain clarification of their initial Vision, and how it may apply to changes later in their lives, but the initial Vision never changed focus. I believe this program, can have the same benefit for those who perform this ritual practice, at any age. All one needs to do, is to be open to the information that presents itself, to allow for true transformation to take place.


THE TRADITIONAL VISION QUESTat Temple Mound, is performed in the truest form, that it had been practiced in all cultures. Vision Quests were always performed in the native language, of the people performing the ceremony. The prayers and practices, were of a type common to them, in their everyday life. The Vision Quest was adapted to the climate, and the conditions, of their native land. For example, the Inuit version of the Vision Quest would have been performed by taking long treks alone in the wilderness, or isolation alone in a darkened igloo. And, though the Vision Quest was meant to be difficult, it was never meant to be dangerous. We do not pretend or aspire, to recreate any specific culture's version, of the Vision Quest, as may have been performed by the ancestors centuries ago, but have created an experience, as true to the traditional way, in which each culture created them.


YOUR JOURNEY


THE FIRST DAY will be spent learning about, and creating sacred tools and ritual, learning about the traditional practices of the Vision Quest, the power of the four directions, emergency procedures and coping techniques, guidance in how to perform personal ceremony, and preparing your space, and learning self-meditation practices.

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THE FIRST NIGHT will begin with a sweat lodge ceremony, as a means of preparing the spiritual bodies to begin their journey. The ceremony will cleanse you of the energies, that you may have brought along from the outside world, and may not serve in the best interest of your Vision Quest. You will also be asked to pray for guidance, and the appearance of your Spirit Animals, to help you find the way to the information, that is already waiting for you. Immediately following the Sweat Lodge Ceremony, the Initiates will silently find their way to the sites, that have been previously chosen and prepared by them, where they will begin their own silent meditation and journey.

ONE TO THREE DAYS, depending on the level of Vision Quest you have chosen, will be spent in silent fasting, meditation and prayer, in isolation and free from the contact of others. You should expect to look inwards, as well as outwards, for your Spirit guided messages. There will be signs and symbols, in everything nature presents around, from the smallest ant, to the largest tree. Only in complete silence will you hear the messages being spoken to you.

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THE LAST DAY will begin at sunrise, where you will begin your day with a silent walk to the beach, where you will immerse yourselves in the healing salt waters, of the Gulf of Mexico, in a cleansing and healing self-baptismal ritual, designed to awaken and purify the new vessel you have created to house your Spirit . You will then return to the Sweat Lodge arena, for a short ceremony to offer up your prayers and to thank the Spirits for your Vision, and ask for clarity of thought, on the interpretations of your completed Vision Quest.

A "ONE TO ONE" WISDOM COUNCIL with a member of the staff, will help you to better understand, the process you went through. You will then be asked, to privately discuss and debrief the experiences you have had, with an emphasis on the interpretation of your visions, the meanings of various animal spirits that may have appeared, the incorporation of these new wisdoms into your everyday life, and the importance of grounding yourself before re-engaging the outside world. The true effects of the Vision Quest, are often not realized, until you return back to your previous life, outside the circle, and see how differently these "new clothes" feel.

A MORNING FEAST, in the form of a poolside brunch, will be served as soon as the group has had a chance to take showers, put on fresh clothes and gather their things from their Sacred Circle. This is the ideal time to tell any stories and insights, you wish to share with the group. This part of the program is also designed, as a way for you to reintegrate into a group environment, after your period of isolation in the "wilderness".


EXPERIENCE LEVELS


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Our Vision Quest Retreat is broken down into three levels. All levels will include the availability of water, and a tarp and use of your own personal sleeping bag if you choose to bring one. Clothing should be kept to a minimum and suited for the time of year.

LEVEL ONE, is a three day retreat that includes one full day and two nights alone in Nature.

LEVEL TWO, is a four day retreat with three nights and two days alone in Nature.

LEVEL THREE, is a six day retreat with four nights and three days in nature and an extra day spent at the end of the Vision Quest, for additional meditations and incorporation exercises. This last day will be spent in the retreat center.



"There is something about being in Nature that revitalizes our soul.
The connection with the Earth Elements, seems to fascinate us,
and keep us in a state of awe, and aware of the Divine."

Apaha Awan Yanka



WHAT TO EXPECT


Sleeping outdoors
Extreme heat or cold
Insects / Insect bites
Nocturnal animals milling about
Dampness, dew, frost, rain
Getting and staying dirty and sweaty
Hunger
Extreme boredom
Strong urge to flee
Emotional release


BENEFITS

Working through emotional, physical and spiritual illness
Learn why you are here
Discover your Animal Guides
Learn to be one with nature
Discover and receive guidance from Guides Angels, Ancestors and Guardians
Discover your own truth about your beliefs
Find inner peace and resolution
Develop a feeling of inner peace
Improve self-esteem


PREPARATION

Experience a night outdoors under the stars
Have a basic knowledge of first aid
Obtain a sleeping bag or blanket
Experience a meditation
Experience being silent and alone for extended periods.
Purchase a journal to record your experience
Gather a support group to hold energy for you
Get a physical from your Doctor to verify your health
Cleanse your system of meat, caffeine, and other known toxicants


VISION QUEST INVESTMENT

LEVEL ONE…………………………………………………………$277
LEVEL TWO…………………………………………………………$446
LEVEL THREE……………………………………………………..$639
Level Three includes one night stay and meals at the retreat center in one of 5 theme styled rooms (double occupancy)





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