Vision Quest – Stalking the Dream

In some traditions as a male reaches his maturity, he is encouraged to go on a vision quest either with or without hallucinogenic assistance. The idea being that he heads off into the wilderness with the intent of seeking a vision about the nature of his purpose or role in life. In humility he beseeches the great universal spirit Wakan Tanka to furnish him with a vision. He must be fully open and adopt the right attitude. He is not “allowed” to return to his tribe until he has been given this bounty. Impatience and frustration prevent the vision. Sometimes he has to have very harsh experiences before the vision is granted. Other times it is much more straight forward.

In the late nineties I engaged in a course of North American Indian based Shamanics and we used to have overnight stays here at Cuffley Camp. {It has been enhanced by a long way since we were there.}

I never used to sleep. I used to stay up all night and keep the fire burning. The woods, the forest can be a tad creepy in the middle of the night. On the Saturday we would do various activities, then have a barbecue and a fire, on one Sunday I went on a vision quest in the woods and then on Monday I taught chemistry at uni..

Obvs, it wasn’t a deep vision quest in the sense of a rite of passage. The idea being, and this is related to the fifth aspect of the stalker’s rule previous, that if you open yourself up to the universe it will offer assistance and guidance. Moreover, if you are in an altered state of consciousness due to shamanic drumming you might be a little more susceptible. The drumming produces a state of ecstasy as per Eliade. It shifts the boundaries of the assembled world view. No need for drugs, drumming suffices.

The key is to let go and not force anything also have not one single expectation. Your mind and heart must be open like a proffered open palm of hand.

I have quite literally sat in the arms of a tree and waited for guidance.

The dream is all around you. The dream is not the socio-political “reality” of your day-to-day life. The dream is imbued with dreaming symbols.  Because my mind is calm, and I now walk slowly I have more animal encounters than most.  And these animals can be interpreted as dreaming symbols, just like one may try to interpret a nocturnal dream.

I can relatively easily shift into what is called left-side awareness or the dreaming awareness. On a number of occasions, I have gone “walkies” without a map largely in heightened awareness. I have explored places like Kinder Scout, the Old Man of Coniston. I once followed some crows up Coniston into the mist when It was descending and covered with snow. Nobody else was foolish enough to be out. I got further and further into the mists, confident that I could follow my tracks in the snow back. And then I bottled and headed back down. Two things might have happened that day. I could have been granted a vision or I could have died.

Because I can see, at the moment, no clear way forward I will invoke the fifth aspect of the stalker’s rule to see if the universe wishes to offer me any assistance or not.

“Whenever faced with impossible odds, a warrior opens himself up to the world around him by allowing his mind to become occupied with the little details of life.”

I’ll let you know what if anything transpires.