Many people ask me 'how does it really happen, this solitude in nature.' Good question and in a way I will need to answer by saying 'I don't know'. It is always a uniquely unfolding journey, deeply symbolic, that surpasses our personal level. We open ourselves to receive what needs to be given, nature and the mystery show itself and we merge with it.
However, yes on a practical level I can answer this question 'how does it really take place, this solitude in nature?' I have tried to make this visual in the image below. This is just a fictional example (showing the sacred mountains of Andalusia)
There will always be a basecamp, which is shown on the map, this is where the guides will be for the whole duration of the Vision Quest (day and night).
The numbers on the map are the participants. On the map the spots might seem close to each other, but in reality this is still quite far. I have never come across anyone else during my Vision Quests. We try to see that people are not further away from basecamp than a 30/45 minute walk.
The day before the Vision Quest we will give space in the process to let everyone find their own place. This at itself is an important part of the process.
Where is your place in the world and how do you come to find it?
We as guides will know where your place is and you will share a buddypile with the person that is nearest to you. On that buddypile you place either with sunset or during sunrise a stone for your fellow Vision Quester. The yellow dots on the map show the 'fictional' buddypile points.
You can explore around on your Vision Quest but most people stay close to their place. Always check in with your self, does this really contribute to my inner journey or am I doing this just to have something to do? Be willing to be with what is in the space of nothingness and 'everythingness'.
Vision Quests are mostly held in mountains, in open areas. When I first signed up for a Vision Quest I remember to be afraid of the idea of having to spend the nights in the forest. Too many horror movies and ghost-stories that had cultivated a certain association in me with dark forest and spirits. I 'feared' to be in total fear for 3 full nights. ''Fortunately'' back then, I arrived in a beautiful, clear, wide and open mountain-kingdom and felt a state of relief. No dark forest for me at that time. And neither for you here in Portugal or Spain, an open area of mountains awaits you. But the idea of a Vision Quest in the woods calls me still. Why are we afraid of the dark woods?
The beautiful home of animals is nature so we could meet animals on our time out there. Often they become great symbols for one's personal stories. They have played an important role in many solitudes. We are in sacred space when we are out there and in union with the land. All that is alive in that space and place will be part of the ritual as we are part of the land and energy there.
Dependent on the landscape and country animals differ. Before we go on the Vision Quest we will discuss the possible animals that you could encounter. For the areas in Portugal and Spain this will only be (small) harmless animals that will leave you to be.
About coming to life
Lastly, I would love to mention that the Vision Quest is not about surviving (f.i. searching for food and preparing it with a fire). It is about allowing yourself to 'die' (the old) and be reborn into a new direction.
It is about really going inwards
Really going inwards...
If you have any other practical questions (or else), welcome to be in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org