If you would walk the paths of the American Indian — be prepared. Walk softly, O My Sisters, O My Brothers.

Tread lightly, break not the stillness of the dawn, for in this stillness one can hear the whispers of the Great Spirit.

Choose your path and walk forward, turn not back. And, when the stone appears the obstacle, turn each stone one by one.

Do not try to move the mountain, but turn each stone that makes the mountain.

And when the desert sands sear your moccasins, curse not in despair lest the South Wind hear and construe and bring wrath upon your head.

And when the cold winds buffet you, bend with the wind. And, soon, you will walk unattended.

For in this walking there is an awakening. Think twice before you walk the trail of the Red Man. Then walk softly, O My Sisters, O My Brothers

—Red Dawn

A central practice of the North American Indian is the Vision Quest. This journey often begins in childhood and the search for the vision continues throughout life. The Vision Quest helps the seeker to realize his oneness with all life and that all creation is his own relative. It helps him to pray to the Great Spirit for further knowledge of the One who is the source of all things yet vastly greater

In Voices of Earth and Sky Vinson Brown described the rite of passage, saying that among the Plains tribes and also in most of the Plateau and Eastern forest tribes, practically every young man and many a young woman was sent to seek a vision. In effect their whole childhood was programmed to fill them with a desire to seek and receive visions, spirit power, and an understanding of the sacrifice and ordeal involved. Most of them expected to see in vision one or more guardian spirits, usually in the form of an animal, a bird, or as a natural force like thunder and lightning. This guardian spirit is a reflection of the Great Spirit in each seeker, and will remain with him all his life to help and protect him, especially if he keep his heart purified.

American Indian Vision Quest

Since the beginning of this cycle of time, humanity has returned to nature to connect with spirit and to seek answers to problems of the third dimension. There is something about being alone in the wilderness that brings us closer—makes us more aware—of the 4 elements and our connection to a creational source. We go to seek truths—divine realization—just as many of the ancient prophets did in their time.

In its own way the vision quest is an Initiation not unlike the days of the ancient mystery school teachings where one learns about themselves and the mysteries of the universe are often revealed to them. It is a time of internal transformation and renewal. Who am I? Why am I here?

In a vision quest, conditions are set up that allow the soul to move beyond the illusions of the little self and enter the unity of the inner whole. It is a time of fasting, praying and being in nature.

It is a period of solitude in which we seek an inner revelation—a vision—which grants profound meaning and direction to our life. This initiation leads to maturity and an understanding of our responsibility to ourselves, our society, our natural environment, and our soul.

Though the Vision Quest is associated with Native American traditions it is practiced all over the world.

Vision Quest

Graphics: Andy Everson