It is a privilege to witness the return of those who have spent 4 days and 4 nights fasting from food, time and people in the wilderness to seek their unique vision of Wholeness. These courageous folk come back to the Wild Rites base camp like new-borns.
The ceremonial process of the Vision Quest is a re-birth right of passage. A renaissance for the Questor. In fact the word renaissance, literally means re-birth. Ancestors are a part of the imagery of re-birth because, as Ginette Paris says “there is no birth without heredity”, so every renaissance/re-birth implies a link with the past and with the ancestors of our lineage.
What I notice about guiding Vision Quest is how often those who enter the process connect, sometimes unwittingly, with their ancestors.
There is an individual renaissance with Vision Quest, a turning within and return to one’s origin, one’s story, to see how it needs to be re-written, healed or redeemed. This return to one’s origins cannot help but put the Quester in touch with the archetypes of Mother and Ancestor, and through these to our own personal myth.
For the ancient Greeks the word myth had a double meaning. Myth denoted an archetypal reality that symbolised the situation of the human psychic life; whilst at the same time denoting a made up story. This paradox is at the heart of the healing process that can occur in Vision Quest because many of us carry the myth of our ancestors, the story they lived, which is in our blood and bones and has become our own story.
It is interesting then to see how for many that quest, the stories of their ancestry that have been unconsciously lived out in their lives, begin to be brought to consciousness, transmuted and un-made. As one questor put it “get this shit out of my body”. The rejection of the made-up story.
Alongside this phenomenon is a felt sense of the support and healing that comes directly from the ancestors that liberates the gold that can be reclaimed from the back of the metaphoric cave as the old story is let go of. I often imagine a deep release of out-breath coming from the realm of ancestors as individuals heal their stories; a realm I believe is very real.
Personally, I recall telling the story of my ancestors and realising how much of my own patterns of repressing and denying my “gold” was much, much older than my then 39 years. I traced the threads and patterns back generations and realised “not all of this is mine to carry”. It was a very freeing moment in which I realised my heredity and decided what of my punitive myth I could now let die.
When we quest the healing (making Whole) is both personal and ancestral and will reverberate through future generations. We do this work for Self and for our people.
All My Relations!
by Alex Hatfield
Learn more about the Wild Rite Quest here.