Carrowkeel, Passage Tomb, Co. Sligo
Date: Fri. 20th. July 11am – Sun. 22nd. July 2 pm 2018
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not ta their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
and I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For the time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
A vision quest is an ancient rite of dying, passing through, and being reborn.
Wilderness fasts have been a part of human culture for many thousands of years. Writer and wilderness guide Bill Plotkin, who has revived this ancient tradition as part of his work in Animus, describes Vison Quest as: ‘Honouring a fallow time in our spiritual lives, an emptiness into which something utterly new and generative might enter. It is to create an open vessel capable of being filled to overflowing by the sacred Other”.
The basic, universal elements of a vision quest are: a remote wilderness setting, fasting from food solitude (no other human companions), direct exposure to the forms and forces of nature, attention focusing and consciousness –shifting ceremonies, prayers, and practices, a significant period of time.