This month, I’m creating + embarking on a vision quest. An internal one. Because I deeply feel that it is the perfect time for that. There’s so much I want to do, for myself + for this world, there’s so much that needs to be healed. And, I am so certain that I, and this world even, are at a threshold, a turning point, and the beginning of a new phase. Do you feel it too?
You see, a vision quest, inspired by Native American tribes, is just the thing to help me gain insight, wisdom, and enlightenment. It forces me to slow down and drop deep into my soul, instead of just forging ahead without really digging into how I can best live my truth + serve this planet. You can join the vision quest → here.
After you subscribe, you’ll receive a weekly newsletter with information, tips, and activities for your journey. Pssst. It’s free.
So, it’s no secret that I am a fierce lover of all things native-inspired. I find inspiration from indigenous cultures and from the ancestors of various countries + places. There is magic and mystery in how they have lived (and still live) in symbiosis with the natural world around them. In how they connect, trust, flow, and live by universal truths + the cycle of life.
And, on this Columbus Day (a national holiday in the United States, sadly), I aim to share a bit about how we can, and should, tap into our own native + wild souls. How connecting to the spirit of the earth + sky is the same as connecting to each other. I hope to celebrate these ancient, mysterious ways, instead of celebrating the conquering + killing of indigenous cultures in pursuit of power, greed, and fame. These selfish ends, met by any means, are, of course, still present in today’s world. It’s not just Columbus and other European explorers that engaged in genocide for their own benefit. No, first world countries today, also seek to conquest + conquer other countries and people.
So, this is my little bitty effort in gathering us together to reconnect with our wild + native souls. But, why? Why connect to the wild + native spirit within us? Well, here are some of my own personal thoughts.
→ To slow down: Native life is a life of being aware, mindful, and grateful. By its nature, it encourages us to live slowly. One cannot give thanks or observe a tree or listen to a bird’s song or discuss matters of the heart without slowing down + focusing. And we need to slow down + step out of the hectic-ness that is our lives so that we can find deeper meaning in all we do. No one really wants to just run around from task to task, do they? Native ways teach us to move slowly.
→ To live in peace: The tradition of passing the peace pipe, of seeking diplomatic means, is something that we desperately need today. I am absolutely inspired by indigenous cultures + their emphasis on seeking peace, both within the individual + within the community. This is where I think vision quests come in. But making a journey to discover one’s own purpose, which gives an empowered sense of peace to the individual, is just the first step. The second, is to then embrace one’s purpose + to share it with the life of the community, in order to build up, improve, and create a better community in one’s own unique way.
→ To coexist: We are all one. There is unity in diversity, and native cultures know this. We are not only united with our fellow humans, through our humanity, but also with everything on this planet. To live in unison, to connect with all that is around us, is to recognize the sacredness that every person + every plant and animal has it’s purpose. And, that, my friends is a powerful way to live.
→ To live with the mysteries: Oh, we have so many questions about life, death, spirit, science, and everything that is unknown. Native cultures inspire me to accept these questions and live with them. I do not need to know everything… for certain. I can live in the uncertain, mystical, mysterious realms of life and feel completely safe. In fact, within the mysteries is where we begin to discover + trust our own soul.
→ To listen to + learn from the past: Tradition is important to native cultures. Passing on wisdom, celebrations, rituals, beliefs, stories is what happens when gathered around a fire or at a pow wow. This is vital for the future, I think. To look backwards, reflect, and gather the wisdom of the elders is what helps to shape the future. I am become more + more interested in tapping into the wisdom of my ancestors, of exploring their histories and listening to their voices rise up in the feelings + intuitions that I feel in my soul. The past has much to say to us, in helping to guide us forward.
Of course, these are all things that I have gleaned from my limited understanding + personal experiences with Native American cultures + other cultures, such as ancient Nordic, Celtic + Greek pagans. These are the things that have spoken to my soul, as I have been pulled by my soul to live more closely with the earth and her cycles. This is an ongoing exploration of spirituality for me and I would love to share something that I think is quite meaningful in connecting with our wild + native souls.
Here is a little ritual, based on the four directions, that I think is so very inspiring for helping us simply ponder a bit about who we are + where we are in life right now. I encourage you to use it in celebration of native cultures worldwide. And as a tiny moment to acknowledge that, yes, at our deepest core, perhaps we really are wild + native souls.
A Ritual for the Four Directions
Items needed: candle, mat (blanket, chair). Optional: symbols for each direction (east, south, west, north), journal, pen
→ Sit on your mat, blanket, or chair. Outside, if weather + time of day permits
→ Light a few candles. Or a bonfire, if you have access
→ Lay out the symbols of the 4 directions in front of you. (here are just a few suggestions).
EAST: sunrise photo, coffee or tea, beginnings, new start, something that symbolises morning, or a place that lies to the east of where you are. (I might choose Asia).
SOUTH: something that symbolizes warmth or fire. a symbol of slow living, intuition, passion, commitment.
WEST: a symbol of the setting sun, closing, ending, fulfilment, completion, rest,
NORTH: a symbol of wisdom, a compass, map, the north star, something that symbolizes cold (again northern hemisphere people), or something that lies to the north of you
→ Rub your hands together until they are warm + then place them in prayer position at your heart.
→ Close your eyes + breathe deeply 3 times. Let go of everything. Just be here + now. Begin to relax, more + more deeply, with each breath.
→ Open your eyes + begin to ponder these questions associated with each direction. Take your time, be slow + intentional. Write down your thoughts.
EAST: What is beginning in your life? What do you need or want to explore? What are you seeking? Let your head be in the clouds. Think freely. Imagine. Cast visions. Dream.
SOUTH: What is expanding in your life? What have you been learning lately? What are you passionate about? What gets you excited, makes you feel confident + inspired?
WEST: What have you been gathering? What is coming to a close for you? What do you need to say goodbye to, or let go of? What old habits are ready to be put to rest? How can you flow better with life?
NORTH: What do you need to nurture? What words of wisdom have come to you? How do you need to ground yourself before you begin to move forward?
→ Sit in silence for a few minutes. Just feel + process + be.
→ Rub your hands together again until they are warm + then place them in prayer position at your heart.
→ Close your eyes + breathe deeply 3 times. Let go of everything. Just be here + now. Remain relaxed. Give thanks with each breath.
→ Move your prayer position hands to your forehead. Bow your head + thank yourself, and the spirit within you, for this moment to connect with your soul.
→ Blow out your candle + carry the power within you with you throughout the rest of the day.
my inner knowing,
the senses of my body,
the blessings of my spirit.
Teach me to trust these things
so that I may enter my sacred space
and love beyond my fear,and thus walk
in balance with the passing of each glorious sun.
And, with that, we’ve spent a few moments with our wild, true souls. Native blessings to you all.