|Home | About shamanism | Shamanic healing | Workshops | Wilderness Vision Quests | Earth Healing | Travel Abroad | About Ana | Testimonials|
Wilderness Vision Quests
Wilderness Vision Quest with Ana Larramendi and staff.
a loving staff and nourishing vegetarian meals before and after the fasting time.
Vision Quests are generally held in late September or early October. There currently is not a quest scheduled for this year.
Please contact me if you are interested in doing a Vision Quest. There needs to be a minimum of 4 fully committed questers
in order to secure a quest date, and the maximum number of questers is eight.
The Driftless Region Southwestern Wisconsin
The wind is calling your name
The Earth is speaking to you
In a language so vast,
That mere silence could move mountains.
And that aching hunger will be filled.
The nourishment is here…
In these ancient stones
In these dancing river waters
In the circling hawk
Sweet Wilderness whisper in my ear
All my life I have hungered for the nourishment of You.
Let your sweet mystery steal me away with Wild Abandon
And may the ecstasy of You
Shatter me into a million possibilities
Of my total Truth.
Wilderness Vision Quest
The Vision Quest is the great mythic inner journey that pushes our edges and takes us beyond ourselves. Every indigenous culture has incorporated elements of the vision quest into spiritual seeking, either as a form of initiation, or an impassioned search for inner truth or God. From Jesus to Buddha, Native Americans to Aborigines, the vision quest is the profound search, the archetypal journey to wholeness, healing, truth and wisdom which is done alone, in the remote wild and has been with us for thousands of years.
Many contemporary people quest when they are facing momentous life transitions. Events such as marriage or divorce, loss of a loved one, facing ones death, a spiritual crisis, moving to a new location, loss of a job, or a deep dissatisfaction with ones life, can bring a person to an emotional edge which calls them to seek the answers found in the solitude of a Vision Quest. Questers come from all walks of life and backgrounds. The quest is open to adults of all ages and levels of physical ability.
The wilderness is a powerful teacher and healer. In our modern lives we have lost the connection to the wild which was such an integral part of spiritual, emotional and physical vitality to our ancestors. We are so overrun with busy schedules, noisy environments, emotional and psychological stresses, that we have stopped knowing how to listen to our inner voices and truths. In the great beauty and silence of the wild, many people rediscover a wholeness they had lost long ago.
Incredible things can happen when you spend eight days and nights in the wild. At first the changes seem subtle, there is quiet and stillness that begins to slow down our inner chatter. Then we begin to see the exquisite beauty of the wilderness around us; the towering bluffs, the delicate springs and streams, the sweeping prairie hillsides, the gnarled old majestic oaks or pines growing out of impossible rock faces. As we become more still the animals begin to present themselves; deer stroll through the meadows, a vole burrows in the grass beside us, a mink hunts in the stream, above us a chickadee does acrobatics in a branch, a hawk soars on thermals, a family of turkey vultures swirl on the winds of a cliff. As the days pass our rhythms slow down to the rhythms of the natural world, it is here that you begin to discover that you are a part of a very alive and vibrant universe, a generous and loving earth so ready to teach you and hold you. The Great Mystery opens up and soon you notice that the animals, birds, insects, plants, trees, rocks and elements all have gentle teachings to help you on your journey. You learn to trust in the ways that a child trusts, and recapture the body-wisdom that is your original birth right. For many people it is a coming home.
The inner journey begins when you make the decision to go on the vision quest. With a commitment to the quest you will begin to feel a shift inside. Emotions of fear, excitement, anxiety or anticipation may begin to stir. During our nine days together we gather in circle to clarify our goals, prepare for our quest, participate in ritual and ceremony and learn to open our hearts and minds through spiritual teachings. In the days prior to the solo time, I will meet with each person to clarify the main purpose & issues the quester needs to bring to the wilderness. Instruction is given to learn wilderness respect and safety as well as teachings of the personal medicine wheel. Time is allowed for exploration and enjoyment of our surroundings.
Following the teachings, vision questers find a special power place for their three days of solitary time, fasting and opening to a vision which culminates in an all night vigil in the medicine wheel. This is the time to become transparent to Spirit, to cry for healing or teaching, to listen for a medicine name or song, to surrender all that holds us back from our divine connection to the Great Mystery.
There are challenges that come during the solo time. Our addictions and attachments come to haunt us, emotions of fear, helplessness, confusion, irritability, boredom, or loneliness can overwhelm us. Fasting can take us to our emotional & physical edge. Yet it is these very challenges that, when faced, can transform us and help us reclaim our lives.
At the end of the three-day solo time, questers return to base camp to eat and rest. Then the group joins in circle and each person shares the sacred story of their journey. On the final night we participate in a community ritual to incorporate the gifts of the vision quest and a grand celebration by fire and moonlight. The following morning we break camp, make our final prayers and offerings to the land and reenter the everyday world with breakfast in a local small town.
Saturday: Arrival between 1-4pm. at at our meeting place.
Private meetings begin. 4:00pm group orientation, followed by a Purification & Intention ceremony. Potluck dinner follows, sleep.
Sunday: Rise at dawn, breakfast, carpool to site, set up base camp. Wilderness awareness skills, private meetings continue. Prayer ceremony at night.
Monday: Locate vision quest site, medicine wheel teachings, evening severance ritual.
Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday: Questers leave base camp at dawn on Tuesday and stay alone in the wild questing and fasting. Thursday night questers stay awake all night in their personal medicine wheel, leave the wheel at dawn on Friday, and return to base camp.
Friday: Base camp welcomes back questers, breakfast and sleep. Afternoon & evening: sharing sacred stories.
Saturday: Continue with sacred stories. Evening: Grand celebration, Fire and Transformation ceremony.
Sunday: Pack base camp. Closing blessings to the land, off site showers, drive to a local restaurant for breakfast, final hugs and good-byes.
You will be asked to send a letter of intent along with your deposit for the vision quest. The letter of intent is an instrument to help you focus and organize your thoughts prior to the quest. It is important to spend time contemplating your purpose for undertaking such a powerful journey. I have found that the more focused the intentions, the more powerful the quest. You may find that aspects of your purpose may change before or even during your quest. Stay curious to what this journey is for you. The more sincere your intention, the more you open your heart to the mystery of the moment, the deeper and more profound your experience will be.
When you write your letter, please write from your heart, avoid being analytical…this is your soul journey.
The following questions are merely suggestions as a guide for your letter of intent.
What parts of your life are you ready to release or bury?
What are the obstacles, inner or outer, which keep you from letting go? What are the attachments in your life and how do they control you? What attitudes, belief systems, or habits no longer serve you? What are the shadow aspects in your life? What do you really fear and resist? What keeps you from standing in your power and manifesting who you are? Who are you, truly? Who are your allies? What gives you strength when you have been in the deepest, darkest despair? How do you call on this strength?
For Visioning, what do you wish to call into your life? What do you wish to integrate and accept?
Do you hear a calling for a new and different life? How will you answer that call?
Ana Larramendi spent more than 14 years supporting wilderness Vision Quests, first in the California Desert, and then in Wisconsin. A shamanic practitioner, ritualist, teacher, chef and wilderness enthusiast, Ana brings her deep passion for the wild and desire to support people on their healing paths to her work. She now brings the Vision Quest experience to the area known as “the driftless region of Wisconsin” on privately contracted lands. These lands are chosen for their beauty, safety and sacredness which creates a safe container for questers to explore their deep inner landscapes
Ana’s training includes:
Sedonia Cahill, Vision Quest leader and founder of The Great Round.
Tom Brown, Jr. Wilderness survival teacher and founder of The Tracker School.
Red Cross, Wilderness first aid and CPR certification.
For more information about Ana’s training and experience see section “about Ana” on website.
Cost: The Vision Quest cost is $995 which includes the 9-day journey, meals and teachings. A deposit of $500 is required to hold a space. The balance is due 4 weeks before the quest begins. If there are not enough people signed up for the quest, and the quest is cancelled, you will receive a full refund. Payments can be made with VISA or Master Card, or checks made out to, The Hollow Bone.
“Where there is no Vision, the people perish…”
-Anonymous Native American Prophet-