For 2 years the women in the circle of the Eight Seasons Journey have been anticipating this time.
We are three weeks away from our Vision Quest.
We will spend eight days out in the wilderness together, and in the middle of that, the women will go out on a 3 day and 3 night solo.
I will stay in base camp with the apprentices and the mamatoto’s (women with young children that cannot be away from their mothers yet).
For some of them Vision Quest is the whole reason they have joined the course, for others, it was the most frightening part of the journey to agree to. It is said that once you say yes to Vision Quest, the quest begins. It has been a long lead into this quest, and now, so quickly, it will be upon us!
Have you ever spent a night alone in the bush? Have you ever carried all you need for three days and nights and set up camp completely on your own?
I hadn’t when I set out on my vision quest 6 years ago. I had camped a lot, the Four Seasons Journey gatherings are all camping events. So you gather your camping skills and gear over the course. But it was a different thing entirely to go from base camp with all I needed for 3 days and nights and to be completely self reliant and alone for that time.
Vision Quest is generally a fast. No food, just water. Though if you are pregnant or have special needs around food you need to eat, so food needs to be taken in that case.
The thought of no food takes many to their total edge.. How will I survive without food??? Food dominates our daily rhythm in our everyday lives.
You do not expel a lot of energy on quest, so there isn’t as much need for all the food and energy we require in our daily lives. Fasting can be done for months at a time with the right support and environment.
I was 30 weeks pregnant on my quest, so I needed to eat. Honestly I found it a bit of a hassle and a distraction that took up much of my time out there. I was a little envious of my sisters resting and dreaming. But it was also a great privilege to be held with my baby within, by my circle of women in base camp, while I quested.
It was my 4th baby, my 4th pregnancy, so having this space away from the rest of the family was so unbelievably sacred. What a gift!
It was the first time in my life I had ever been alone for 24 hours let alone 72! (though I had my sweet baby within me).
On quest there is no need to ‘do’ anything. You can sleep, look, listen, journal, drum, meditate, sing or do nothing. No books to read, no phone to zone out to, no photos to take, no connection to the outside world, but total connection to your inside world and the land you are on/ you are part of. Who will you find out there without all the usual distractions and responsibilities? Maybe you will find who you truly are.
Have you ever had the opportunity to do that for 3 days?
And the vision?
The whole experience is a vision, from the moment we step onto the magical land that will hold us. We walk the land, and search for the site that calls us.
We stay in base camp together for a few days, sharing the story of our life up until this quest.
Then each woman packs up all she needs and heads out to her site for 3 days and 3 nights.
On the 3rd night at dusk we drum in base camp. We hear all the women at their sites drum the sun down too. We send our blessings and love through our drum for the night ahead.
This is the night they cry for a vision.
Through fasting, solitude, silence and slowing down you reach an altered state of consciousness. If not fasting, the altered state may be slightly less, but for me I felt crystal clear and connected to the land and my vision. I knew it would come quickly, and it did.
You can read about my quest here.
The next day they return to base camp, to be nurtured and held and heard in the story of their quest.
I know the Eight Seasons Journey women who are questing this time are experiencing every possible emotion in the lead up to this gathering. I send them love, support and trust in the journey.
So many unknowns, and no matter what happens on this quest, they will meet themselves and know themselves as part of this Earth.
Our 3rd night will be the eve after the next full moon in October.. send us some love if you happen to look up at that big moon and remember these amazing journey women.
Right now the Four Seasons Journey women are on the same land we will be on, doing their quests. The greater circle is holding you all out there too dear women.
Journey well sisters.
The School of Shamanic Womancraft‘s programs- The Four Seasons Journey in NSW with Jane Hardwicke Collings , VIC with Nymh Harper, UK with Jane Hardwicke Collings and the Eight Seasons Journey NSW with me, are now taking registrations. Information here. Or feel free to contact me here.