Vision Quest 2022
Dartmoor, England, August 4–15, 2022
Often there is a inner knowing that change needs to occur or that change is already happened or happening to us. This knowing could have been rumbling inside you for some time, years even. A feeling that life is somehow waiting for you and that something is calling you to live a fuller, wider and deeper existence.
Life events and our changing lives require of us to be different. This asks us to step into the unknown, in order to do, be and feel these differences. To bring a now fuller version of ourselves into our families, our communities and the world. Old ways and stories need to be seen and heard in order for them to be let go. To allow space for a new way to emerge. These stories and a new vision of change is experienced when we place ourselves in nature in an intentional way. Removing distractions and being ’empty’, we meet ourselves ‘out there’ and nature provisions an opportunity to greet our potential.
Edward about his vision quest
Vision Quest as a Ceremony
A vision quest or vision fast is a time where we step away from what we know and choose to embark on a new way. We place ourselves in a wild place, away from distractions and old habits, to spend time alone yet with and in nature.
Versions of this ceremony have existed in all cultures throughout time and participation in them in the modern age provides a space of adventure, marked with significance and meaning, which can enable such changes to occur and importantly stick. A vision quest or vision fast is a way to mark these changes in nature: space that provides both time and place to look inside ourselves as well as look ahead.
For 4 days and nights we are without food and have little shelter. What gets us through, is our intention – a new way of wanting to be or live. This brings us closer to the essence of who we actually are. Our true self. With nothing to lean on except the true spirit of ourselves and our experiences of the ‘spirit of nature’ whilst out there. We emerge from this space more guided, more focused. We begin to see – we have vision.
The word “experience” seems wildly inadequate to describe what the vision quest in Dartmoor was like. It is not a mere “experience”. It is an initiation into a different way of being and moving in the world—an invitation down a path which threads into eternity. The magic on the moors ripples forth and outward… For this, I am infinitely grateful.
A Vision Quest is ancient wisdom
In our modern lives we rarely place ourselves in such circumstances so as to receive vision. As such we remain doing, thinking, feeling and being the same as we have always been. Yet there are times when doing what was the old way, the way we know how to do life, simply doesn’t get us through anymore. A vision quest in this regard is an initiatory experience, where change occurs as a result of time spent in nature.
Such initiations have been documented in most countries and today still happen within many cultures. As a rites of passage – they mark something, for example the coming of age into adulthood, the severance of an old relationship or the acknowledgement of new beginnings. Times of change can bring us to these points without conscious choice. Such as a death of a loved one, redundancy, separation or ill health. However, we can also consciously choose to become more of who we are and how we wish to live. It may be that we go ‘out there’ to find out what is actually on the inside of us.
Vision Quest as a rite of passage
A vision fast is always marking a passing. Something that has had it’s time is going or been. Something new wants or needs to be born, a difference is coming. This extra-ordinary time, allows you to be open to those endings and new beginnings. A reason to go on a quest could be because…
How does a Vision Quest work?
The process as a whole starts once you make your decision to come. It ends when you have integrated all the treasures you unearthed during your time out on the land – something we call incorporation (more about this below). Your time out on the land is 10 days and has three phases.
To get you ready for going out to your spot in nature there are preparation days. During those days you will be heard. Guided and supported, utilising the Way of Council and the Four Shields teachings from the School of Lost Borders. This is to help you focus on why it is that you have come and are going out there. You will find your own personal spot of land to spend your time away in nature.
Then the day comes when you will be parting from the group and from your old life. At dawn you’ll be crossing the threshold and you will heading out to your place. There you will meet yourself and spend time with nature. This is the testing time.
On your return from the time on the land, we will hear your story and prepare you to return to your life and your community. We hear and reflect back your experience – your vision – assisting you to begin to incorporate (literally: bring it into your body) what you found into your own life. This is a process that will continue on long after you have returned home from your vision quest.
You’re on your own, fasting – yet, you never feel alone, there is so much going on. Nature kind of comes and plays with you… It’s our biggest fear to be alone, that there is nothing… yet, there is so much there, you don’t have to worry.
Incorporation with Wild and Home
Incorporation continues long after your return home. In our experience it is this part of the quest that can be challenging. Making your experience matter, being rooted in your life and making the vision and changes stick. We will spend time introducing you to incorporation and give space for you to begin to discover what that could mean and how to start. To assist you as you go forward, we create and offer ways and practices that you can use and work with. At the time of quest, after we have heard all the stories we will also participate in a ceremony of Incorporation. Both as an individual and as a group we will create a structure to hold you as you go back to your communities and loved ones.
In addition we offer a chance to gather once again, 3 months and 1 year after your quest. At 3 months this will be an online group. At one year, the circle will be at an venue with an overnight stay. We will share details of this invitation at the quest itself.
Coming to vision quest is a journey you embark yourself. Yet, as guides we are by your side along the way. Here is a list with some of the things you will get when you sign up for a vision fast with Wild and Home.
What I really appreciate is the attentiveness, the care in every single detail of the experience – from the initial contact to the experience itself, in the journey, in the incorporation part. … I felt I could be fully myself. … In this presence, magic happens.
Our summer vision fast 2022 is in the south eastern part of the Dartmoor National Park, Devon and our base is at High Heathercoombe Centre, a charitable community space. The centre has direct access onto the moors which means we don’t have to relocate for you to go out on your solo time. Giving you plenty of time to arrive and become acquainted with this part of wild moorland and it’s tors.
We will camping and self sufficient, so please bring your own tent, food etc. In our basecamp we will be living as a small community independent of the centre, with a camp kitchen which we will supply. We will provide you with a welcome meal on the first night. There is a small village shop in Manaton a few miles from the centre with supermarket facilities at both Bovey Tracey and Newton Abbot.
Please arrive between 2-4pm on August 4th. That gives you enough time to set up your tent space and begin to ‘arrive’. We will eat together around 7pm. We will go through the overall form and give more detail on the timings of things when we gather that first evening. We finish around 4pm on our closing day, having already broken down our camp.
Please send to us a letter sharing why you find yourself wanting to participate and what is in or has been in your life that gets you to this place. If you have specific questions, please contact us. We will send to you a packing list, medical forms and other details that you may find useful.
If you have an inkling to understand yourself and the human condition a bit more, in nature, with some incredibly supportive guides, then I would absolutely recommend it.