Vision Quests


Also found in: Dictionary, Medical.

Vision Quests

(dreams)

A vision quest is the active seeking of a vision or other sign from spiritual forces. Vision quests are especially associated with the aboriginal cultures of the Americas and are frequently tied to initiation rites and to shamanism. The most widespread initiatory ritual is the puberty rite, in which the individual becomes an adult member of the community.

Vision quests are regularly preceded by fasts, purifying sweats, and other ritual preparations, which are believed to open the mind to visions. The distinction between a vision and a dream is often difficult to draw (see visions and dreams). One thing is clear: Some aspect of visions make them similar, in some way, to dreams.

For example, in the puberty rite vision quest of the Lakota shaman Lame Deer, Lame Deer’s own vision begins during a moment of full wakefulness. Thinking back to his experience, however, he recalls that he worried. “What if I failed, if I had no vision? Or if I dreamed of the Thunder Beings …?” (p. 13—see Sources). He was worried that he might have a vision of beings who, as his guardian spirits, would direct him to undertake a vocation as a sacred clown. However, rather than using the term vision, he refers to this alternative possibility as “dreamed,” a change that indicates he regarded visions and dreams as being on par with each other.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
No comfort or distractions whatsoever--this was a traditional vision quest, and my only entertainment would be whatever spiritual clarity happened to rain down on me.
"I just went to a spa and I met a guy who was connected to the tribe and he told me about this vision quest which they don't let outsiders on.
Our vision quests will include popcorn and a drink.
She takes young Irish people up to the Galtee mountains for vision quests to dream up their new Indian name.
A plan adopted two years ago by the National Park Service--after consultation with environmentalists, Native Americans and rock climbers--balances recreational use of the tower with the spiritual needs of the twenty tribes who have sun dances, sweat lodge rites, vision quests and prayer offerings there.
They visit Native American shamans and participate in drumming ceremonies, sun dances, vision quests, sweat lodges, and rituals that include the smoking of the sacred pipe, among other practices.
Vision quests are currently in vogue and in demand by a New Age generation.
I've been blessed to travel to Sun Dances, Rain Dances, Horse Dances, sweatlodges, pipe ceremonies and Vision Quests in virtually every part of Indian country.
Advanced exercises and concepts include grounding and neutrality, running your energies, the Akashic Records, energy healing, spirit guides, and vision quests. Esoteric subjects receive matter-of-fact coverage with clear, simple language that ties into practical applications.
His strength is continually renewed in vision quests and sun dances where he remembers himself equal with the two legged, four legged, winged ones, and all of plant life.
Unlike the "vision quests" or "walkabouts" of other cultures Cross's trek is without apparent danger and little true solitude is involved.
The intention of this paper is to explore the ancient Native American ceremony of Hanblecheyapi (or vision quest) and examine its potential effectiveness in helping participants to discover and heal autonomous complexes.