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Author Topic: Vision Quest-ions  (Read 4469 times)

Livia Indica

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Vision Quest-ions
« on: September 13, 2011, 08:51:16 pm »
Some years back I journeyed via the use of datura, my only experience of this kind. I don't remember much of it but as the years have passed I find myself still learning from it and still seeking more answers.  And, after all this time, I've come back around to one of my first questions: how can one tell the difference, or is there a difference, between various visions? I mean, I've always wondered: how much of what I saw was just me and how much was the otherworld? Is there even a difference or are these seemingly fantastical things always there and we're just "normally" blind to them?

I'd like to hear about others' experiences and thoughts that can hopefully give me some perspective and insight.

AthenaiiseSofia

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 02:27:35 pm »
Quote from: Livia Indica;19757
Some years back I journeyed via the use of datura, my only experience of this kind. I don't remember much of it but as the years have passed I find myself still learning from it and still seeking more answers.  And, after all this time, I've come back around to one of my first questions: how can one tell the difference, or is there a difference, between various visions? I mean, I've always wondered: how much of what I saw was just me and how much was the otherworld? Is there even a difference or are these seemingly fantastical things always there and we're just "normally" blind to them?

I'd like to hear about others' experiences and thoughts that can hopefully give me some perspective and insight.

 
Well, I don't know what datura is, but perhaps I can help?
I've only had one vision, and I know this because it was quite... obvious (lack of a better word) that it wasn't just my regular imagination. I was meditating (on the bathroom floor, haha) and all of a sudden it was like the normal darkness behind my eyes was a screen. The colors of my vision were much more vibrant than usual, and everything moved very quickly. It was amazing.
Now, I don't know if it is like this for everybody. I don't believe I'm very close to the supernatural (or whatever you call it, I need a thesaurus!), so if you are closer, things may be harder for you to identify.
Also, I tend to believe (and it may be different for you, of course) that visions are sent to us to teach us. It may take us years to understand the meaning, but remember, it was sent to us when the time was right. Perhaps keeping a journal of your visions might help give you some insight? Writing things down always helps me.
And if you are just completely lost and confused, next time you meditate or whatnot, pray for a guide to help you understand. Crows guide me in my dreams, and they tell me when to wake up.
Hope this helps!
"Go then and make of the world something beautiful, set up a light in the darkness." - from Awakening Osiris by Normandi Ellis

Livia Indica

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2011, 06:20:40 pm »
Quote from: Nuri;20241
Well, I don't know what datura is, but perhaps I can help?
I've only had one vision, and I know this because it was quite... obvious (lack of a better word) that it wasn't just my regular imagination. I was meditating (on the bathroom floor, haha) and all of a sudden it was like the normal darkness behind my eyes was a screen. The colors of my vision were much more vibrant than usual, and everything moved very quickly. It was amazing.
Now, I don't know if it is like this for everybody. I don't believe I'm very close to the supernatural (or whatever you call it, I need a thesaurus!), so if you are closer, things may be harder for you to identify.
Also, I tend to believe (and it may be different for you, of course) that visions are sent to us to teach us. It may take us years to understand the meaning, but remember, it was sent to us when the time was right. Perhaps keeping a journal of your visions might help give you some insight? Writing things down always helps me.
And if you are just completely lost and confused, next time you meditate or whatnot, pray for a guide to help you understand. Crows guide me in my dreams, and they tell me when to wake up.
Hope this helps!

 
Oh! I should have said that datura is jimsonweed, a legal but potentially dangerous plant that has heavy duty psychotropic qualities. Round these parts is grows everywhere.

That sound like quite a vision! Thank you for sharing, kinda puts things in perspective.

I think you're right, visions are sent to teach us. I did once write all this down in my blog, maybe I should get back to doing that, that's a good idea, thanks.

RandallS

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2011, 08:11:17 am »
Quote from: Livia Indica;19757
I mean, I've always wondered: how much of what I saw was just me and how much was the otherworld?

I think you need to ask how much of what you saw was just the drug? Most cultures that use drugs for visions do so in fairly controlled circumstances and often with considerate preparation to try to ensure it works for visions and not just for a "trip".
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Malkin

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2011, 06:08:41 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;21793
I think you need to ask how much of what you saw was just the drug? Most cultures that use drugs for visions do so in fairly controlled circumstances and often with considerate preparation to try to ensure it works for visions and not just for a "trip".

 
And what is it that makes a trip "just a trip?" I think that's a false dichotomy, personally. Granted, not everything you see on a trip is going to have a deep spiritual/personal/transcendental significance, but that doesn't mean that you didn't see what you saw or that it isn't a feature of the landscape you were traveling in. Whether that landscape is "internal" or "external" is a question that can be explored, but that's an issue whether or not you've had some help from a plant.

monsnoleedra

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2011, 07:10:22 pm »
Quote from: Livia Indica;19757
.. I'd like to hear about others' experiences and thoughts that can hopefully give me some perspective and insight.

Perhaps I'm jaded by the influnce of Native American practices but I do not see that as a vision or a vision quest.  A journey for sure, whether it be upon an external landscape or an internal landscape.

But a vision, especially a vision quest, is not just a drop some drug and see what happens.  A vision quest is a highly sturctured and focused process where the person has a specific question in mind and goes to thier allies in order to gain an answer to that question.

I do admit sometimes though one gets prophet / Seerer type visions to specific questions and undertakings.  But even those seem highly differnent in my experince to what you've described.  Many of the prophetic visions I've had are more like nightmares that you can't wake up from and frequently result in physical manifestations upon the body of what was seen or witnessed.  I've had welts, rashes and even smells upon me that were noticable to others as I came out of them.

In every culture I am aware of the pursuit of such a "Vision" scenario is something that usually requires a great deal of purification, meditation and usually encompasses a number of days in the attainment of it.  If its for a personal quest then it many times is part of a formal Vision Quest scenario with supporting sweats, retreats into the wilderness and a questing partner who will watch over the questor.

What you describe sounds simply like a journey to me.  Drop some drug or use some other form of sensory deprivation to induce a trance or semi-tance like state.  even something as simple as a beat pattern or highly energetic dance or ceremony that triggers the journey sequence.  A resulting situation that is usually highly "Clear" in the intensity of the journey landscape and what one experiences upon it, especially when associated to shadow totem / shadow self workings.

But to everything I know its not vision work and definately not Vision Quest work.

So, yes I've had minor visions and even prophetic dreams but never have undertaken a full blown Vision Quest though I know of them.  I've used sensory deprivation techniques to instigate the sequence, beat or repitition sequence to obtain the required state of trance and in the past psychotropic means but I prefer to avoid those now as the "Shadow Self" also influences and controls those landscapes.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 07:11:01 pm by monsnoleedra »

RandallS

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2011, 10:37:44 pm »
Quote from: Malkin;21872
And what is it that makes a trip "just a trip?"

The same difference between "just a dream" and the type of dream that actually has a message.
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AthenaiiseSofia

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 02:57:28 pm »
Quote from: Livia Indica;20287
Oh! I should have said that datura is jimsonweed, a legal but potentially dangerous plant that has heavy duty psychotropic qualities. Round these parts is grows everywhere.

That sound like quite a vision! Thank you for sharing, kinda puts things in perspective.

I think you're right, visions are sent to teach us. I did once write all this down in my blog, maybe I should get back to doing that, that's a good idea, thanks.

 
Well now I know. =)
Since you had this vision while on a 'trip', it probably deserves a closer looking-at than a regular meditative vision. Your brain was chemically altered (to an extent) so you never know. But if you vision was rife with symbols that you hadn't been thinking about or even familiar with, then you can probably say hey, this was a message. It's all about taking a closer look. =)
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Livia Indica

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2011, 01:52:11 am »
Wow, where do I begin? There seems to be some confusion: this was not some fun, party drug or something that I did for a laugh. I studied the plant itself and meditated on the idea for well over a year before I made my decision to learn from the goddess datura.  It's not something that could be called fun, in fact, it was grueling and I learned a lot about my own body as well as my own mind and the unseen world around me.  It was not "just a trip to see what would happen". It was a dedicated, planned, major event in my life unlike anything I'd ever done before or since. I thought that was plain but apparently not.

I find the idea of writing off such an experience simply because a particular substance was ingested to be the easy way out, a knee jerk reaction of sorts.  Perhaps "vision quest" isn't the proper term; I don't really consider the term to be the important part. The experience is what is important, not what it's called. Whether is be a trip, a vision quest, a journey of the mind or a dream I consider each just as valid a teaching tool as the rest.

Surely there are similar experiences that someone might want to share?

Malkin

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2011, 08:01:40 am »
Quote from: RandallS;21913
The same difference between "just a dream" and the type of dream that actually has a message.

But that's not the first question you would ask someone if they started a thread about a dream they thought or felt was meaningful. Is it?

She says that she's still learning from the experience years later - that sounds pretty meaningful to me.
 
Quote from: Livia Indica;22275
Surely there are similar experiences that someone might want to share?

It's very difficult to find neopagans who experiment with this kind of practice. (I know of exactly two, neither of whom frequent this board. Chaos magicians are the people you want to talk to.) I've made plans to, but still haven't gotten around to it.

I probably wouldn't use the term "vision quest" myself, but toxic plants like datura and mandrake are a traditional tool in a variety of witchcraft practices. Many of us don't have the benefit of learning how to work with them from someone with knowledge and experience (luckily, I do - my High Priestess is a nurse with a degree in botany), but there is absolutely nothing wrong with learning from the daemon of the plant itself. It's my opinion that it's important for modern practitioners to preserve and/or rediscover our relationship with these traditions and our allies in the natural world. Everything we ingest has a chemical effect on us - how often do we ask someone if their spiritual intuitions are just the result of some midnight chili, or too much caffeine? Not often. Do we suddenly question the merit of a dream someone had after sleeping with an herb-filled dream pillow? No. There's no real difference between this and kitchen witchery, if you ask me.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 08:04:43 am by Malkin »

Livia Indica

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2011, 02:22:51 am »
Quote from: Malkin;22549
But that's not the first question you would ask someone if they started a thread about a dream they thought or felt was meaningful. Is it?

She says that she's still learning from the experience years later - that sounds pretty meaningful to me.
 

 
It's very difficult to find neopagans who experiment with this kind of practice. (I know of exactly two, neither of whom frequent this board. Chaos magicians are the people you want to talk to.) I've made plans to, but still haven't gotten around to it.

I probably wouldn't use the term "vision quest" myself, but toxic plants like datura and mandrake are a traditional tool in a variety of witchcraft practices. Many of us don't have the benefit of learning how to work with them from someone with knowledge and experience (luckily, I do - my High Priestess is a nurse with a degree in botany), but there is absolutely nothing wrong with learning from the daemon of the plant itself. It's my opinion that it's important for modern practitioners to preserve and/or rediscover our relationship with these traditions and our allies in the natural world. Everything we ingest has a chemical effect on us - how often do we ask someone if their spiritual intuitions are just the result of some midnight chili, or too much caffeine? Not often. Do we suddenly question the merit of a dream someone had after sleeping with an herb-filled dream pillow? No. There's no real difference between this and kitchen witchery, if you ask me.

 
Thank you for your input!

Malkin

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2011, 02:43:48 am »
Quote from: Livia Indica;24016
Thank you for your input!

 
No problem. If you ever have any more questions, I can see if I can put you in touch with someone more knowledgeable.

Livia Indica

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2011, 04:54:45 am »
Quote from: Malkin;25501
No problem. If you ever have any more questions, I can see if I can put you in touch with someone more knowledgeable.

 
Thanks. I've actually recently found a different message board that addresses these kinds of things. It's not a pagan board so I'll still be here I think.

Fagan_the_Pagan

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Re: Vision Quest-ions
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2011, 03:15:23 am »
Quote from: Livia Indica;19757
I've always wondered: how much of what I saw was just me and how much was the otherworld? Is there even a difference or are these seemingly fantastical things always there and we're just "normally" blind to them?


Emphasis mine.  This is not a question you can expect to get a uniform answer on.  It is one of those things you can ask 10 pagans and get 11 answers.  :p  

I personally am inclined to believe that the otherworld is there, and we are just unable to see it.  I have read a few books and articles recently that I think have influenced my thinking, at least to some degree.  A friend of mine suggested I read the Celestine Prophecy, and that hints at an otherworld, or at a heaven-on-earth that is vibrating at a higher energy frequency than we are, and as such we cannot detect it.  Supposedly the next book in the series goes into more detail on it, but I haven't had the chance to read that one yet.  

I also read an interesting article by Erynn Rowan Laurie and Timothy White about the possibility that the Celts used psychotropic mushrooms in ritual practices to access the Otherworld.  Not sure I totally buy their reasoning and their "evidence."  It nevertheless raises some very interesting questions.
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