About Vision Quests

The Vision Quest Experience 

river roots

photo courtesy of Claire Heron


In our bones is the rock itself; in our blood is the river
   Nancy Wood

The Vision Quest unfolds in four stages:-


Severance is the phase of preparing to die to an old way of life. It begins as soon as you feel the call to quest. 

 This calling can come for many reasons: you may be at some transitional point in your life and need clarity

to make the leap forward; you may long to strengthen your relationship with spirit and nature; you've tried

many techniques for healing an old wound and know that something radical and ancient is called for;

or perhaps you simply wish to step out of your hectic life and find peace, space and renewal.

The mountains are calling and I must go

John Muir


Whatever your reasons, the power of a vision quest to find clarity, healing and purpose is as real today

as it's always been. By entering into stillness, silence and solitude in nature, major shifts in perception

can take place, and your own unique path to wholeness can be revealed.

I felt in need of a great pilgrimage so I sat still for three days
and God came to me

In the weeks leading up to the quest, we will assist you in your preparation, giving you

guided activities that will help you clarify your intent and enhance your ability to benefit from the experience;

also practical advice on how to prepare physically for fasting (if you choose to fast during your quest).

When the time comes to meet, we will spend the first evening and the following day in further preparation,

with a cleansing ceremony and traditional teachings. You will have time to explore the land, find your

power place, and get to know your fellow questers who you'll be sharing this journey with.

The quest will be held on private land in a beautiful, wild location on Dartmoor with stunning views

of the moors. Here will be our basecamp, where we'll spend time together before and after the quest in the

comfort of a medicine lodge or round the open fire. During your solo time questing we will be supporting

you from the basecamp, and at hand if you need help of any kind.  

Adventures don't begin until you get into the forest.
  That first step is an act of faith.
   Mickey Hart, Grateful Dead Drummer


The Threshold phase is the heart of your quest where you spend three days and nights in your

chosen power place in nature. Here you create a circle, large enough to hold yourself and your tent

(if you choose to use one).

Your circle represents your Self, and becomes a sacred altar, with you as the offering at the centre.

You offer yourself to the earth, the Divine, to All That Is.

On this holy ground, through prayer, meditation and fasting, you offer everything up that you

thought you were, and fervently pray for what you would like to become, for the highest good of all.



photo courtesy of Vikky Minette

You may feel moved to sing, dance, sleep and dream, or walk round your boundaries for hours

 strongly claiming your place in the world – you create your own personal ceremony

that reflects who you are and what you need.

Between activities you just sit, surrender to the greater part of yourself – listen, observe, and just be.

Take rest; A field that has rested
  gives a beautiful crop


This initiation ceremony is the act of a warrior. In the Hero's Journey you go out to seek

sacred gifts, go through some kind of hardship, and come back transformed. It can be intense,

beautiful, cleansing, life-changing. But it takes courage. Your spirit and purpose can be tested.

Initially, the hard edges of the conditioned mind can put up a fight. Some people experience fear,

irritation, boredom or misery as the ego struggles with the “deprivation” and with the elements

 that it is so used to shutting out.


 Thornworthy in Autumn 036

The best way out is always through  

Robert Frost

By facing these challenges, by stepping out of your comfort zone and into emptiness,

you are  consciously creating a space in yourself where great blessings and beauty can enter.

You become the “hollow bone”.

Love is the willingness to give up a part of yourself you think you know,
to discover a part of yourself you never knew existed.        

John Squadra

It takes courage to bear witness to your own death and rebirth, to use the silence and

stillness as medicine, to empty yourself until you stand as naked as the winter trees.

In this rich and fertile emptiness new possibilities can flower.



As you soak yourself in the wilderness and wrap the silence around you like a blanket,

your thoughts subside and time slows down.

You become part of the life unfolding around you – you enter the Dreamtime, Spirit time.

The doors to many worlds open and the powerful currents of the soul are felt.

Here in the body are the sacred rivers:
Here are the sun and moon as well as all the pilgrimage places.....
I have not encountered another temple as blissful
 as my own body


Annees Oak 013 

As your awareness expands and you begin to “see” with your heart, you are able to receive

gifts, signs and insights from the natural world around you. The energies and intelligence of the

alive and vibrant universe are available to you, and working with you. They bring you messages.

What is the buzzard telling you as it soars overhead, or the racing clouds, the lichen-covered rock,

the oak that stands sentinel over your circle, the delicate wild flower in its mossy home?

 From the wheeling moon and stars at night to the tiniest kingdoms living and breathing around you 

all can hold revelation and meaning.

It is when we learn silence that the birds speak to us. 

  Joan Halifax

Something inside me has reached to the place where the world is breathing   




This is the joyful time of coming together at the end of your quest, breaking your fast,

and celebrating your achievement. We will spend the rest of the day in a circle in the medicine lodge

 where you'll share your experience with your fellow participants and the facilitators.

It's a time of integration, and we will support you in grounding, embodying and understanding

 the teachings you've received during your passage through the threshold.

Hearing the beauty and meaning of each quester's story

is an added boon to your own rich experience.

vq11 lodge 2c

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious 

Albert Einstein


The final stage of the Vision Quest is when you return to your people to live your vision.

This is when the true work of the quest begins. This is the time of rebirth.

You return changed, open, with new eyes.

The sacred power and gifts you've received are now ready to be offered out to your community.

The energy of the quest flows through you into the world.


Thornworthy in Autumn 037

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes

Marcel Proust