A period of spiritual seeking among certain Native American peoples, often undertaken as a puberty rite, that typically involves isolation, fasting, and the inducement of a trance state for the purpose of attaining guidance or knowledge from supernatural forces
A vision quest is a rite of passage in some Native American cultures. The ceremony of the Vision Quest is one of the most universal and ancient means to find spiritual guidance and purpose. A Vision Quest can provide deep understanding of one's life purpose.
A traditional Native American Vision Quest consists of a person spending one to four days and nights secluded in nature. This provides time for deep communion with the fundamental forces and spiritual energies of creation and self-identity. During this time of intense spiritual communication a person can receive profound insight into themselves and the world. This insight, typically in the form of a dream of Vision, relates directly to their purpose and destiny in life.
In many Native American groups the vision quest is a turning point in life taken before to find oneself and the intended spiritual and life direction. The Vision Quest is often used as a Rite of Passage, marking the transition between childhood and full acceptance into society as an adult. A person’s first Vision Quest is typically done during their transformative teenage years. When an older child is ready, he or she will go on a personal, spiritual quest alone in the wilderness, often in conjunction with a period of fasting. This usually lasts for a number of days while the child is attuned to the spirit world. Usually, a Guardian animal or force of nature will come in a vision or dream and give guidance for the child's life. A Vision Quest helps the teenager to access spiritual communication and form complex abstract thoughts. Through this Rite of Passage the child becomes an adult, taking responsibility for themselves and their individual contribution to a healthy society. The child returns to the tribe and once the child has grown he or she will pursue that direction in life. After a vision quest, the child may become an apprentice of an adult in the tribe of the shown direction (Medicine Man, boat-maker and so on).
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