Testimony of my Vision Quests
Testimony of my Vision Quests
By Hristiyana Dragostinova
First time I heard about the Vision Quest, when I was travelling around South America. On my journey there I´ve met as well the sacred medicines, the major Plant Teachers – Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Peyote and Tobacco. For me it was really dramatic and eye-opening experience – it felt like finally arriving home, like I finally found something, I was searching for all my life. The medicines brought me to a magical reality, the reality of the spirits and I felt very strong urge to get to know more about these spirits. So what I heard about the Vision Quest back in the days was, that it was kind of initiation to communicate with the spiritual realms. You had to go 4 years in the mountain, fasting and not drinking water. Allthough it sounded rough and abstract for me, I knew already that I will do it. I was about to go back home to my country Bulgaria, but I was having the strong intention to come back to Latin America for the Vision Quest.
Well, the things didn’t happen as I was thinking. When I returned home, my health suddenly worsened. Even before I had problems with my kidneys and now they deepened, bringin me to dialisis machines, which made the travelling impossible. I felt desperate and totally broken – all of a sudden my sickness took me away my freedom and so many things, that were important for me and I had to deal with strong feelings of frustration, anger and resentment.
In the same time, accidentally (or rather not) I met some people, organizing Ayahuasca and San Pedro ceremonies in Bulgaria. They were led by a medicine man from Spain and I was very surprised to hear, that he is also organizing Vision Quests in my country during the Summer. Well, ofcourse I wanted to participate, but having my kidneys in such condition was a bit problematic and the shaman told me better to stay in the support group. What to do – I agreed and when the time came, I followed my way to a beautiful place in the Balkan mountains, called Dara Dharma. I remember seing people, preparing beautiful colored tobaco bags – they explained me these were prayers for the Vision Quest.
⁃ How many prayers you should do? – I asked.
⁃ 365 – for each day of the year. – someone answered.
⁃ Wow! But how, how can you even think about so many things to pray for?
⁃ Well, it is a process – you are entering a special state of flow and they are just coming out…
These prayers had to be done in different colors for each year – red for the first one, yellow for the second, black for the third and white for the last one. The colors were corresponding to the four directions – East, South, West and North and to the four basic elements – Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Beside these, there were also 7 bigger tobaco prayers, hanged on strong sticks, which were supposed to build “the house” of the seeker during the Vision Quest – besides the red, yellow, black and white colors, there were also blue one – for the Father or the Sky, green one – for the Mother or the Earth and purple one – for you and your center, your heart.
So, the ceremony was opened and the Fire was lit. We had to take care of the Grandfather Fire and keep him burning during all of the days of the Vision Quest, to keep the spiritual connection between the seekers and the supporters.
The Vision Quests starts with Inipi – a Sweat lodge, where the seekers and the supporters enter to get purified before the process. As soon as they leave the Inipi, the Vision Quest starts and they cannot speak, eat or drink anymore. It was our tasks as supporters to eat, drink and pray for the people in the mountain. It was very important to get really connected with them, so our support reaches them.
In the evening we went to do the “sembra” of the vision-seekers. Everyone got their place in the mountain and got his “house” built, surrounded by his prayers. Then every day, in the morning and in the evening we sang songs for them, calling the spirits to help…And little by little I started seing things happening, answering to our prayers….We were singing for the rainbow and then rainbow appeared….we were singing calling the spirit of the bear and then bear came into our camping! I felt so strong connection with everyone and with everything!
So I asked our leader again if I can go into the mountain. This time he said yes, and even if I didn’t have anything prepared, I managed somehow to do all the prayers and sticks for 2 days only! Mainly I was praying for healing and recovery of my kidneys.
So, after the Inipi, I was brought to the mountain. I took with me a woolen blanket and tobacco, which was supposed to bring me back my words after the 4 days. The sticks with the big prayers were placed around me, according to their corresponding direction and my Vision Quest “house” was built. I was so tired after all these days, that I just wanted to sleep – well, it wasn’t ment to happen like that. Two hours later it started raining – heavy, cold rain, whick rained and rained and rained and didn’t stop for all the four days. It was really hard for me, I was feeling miserable and angry and alone…Many months later actually I understood, that this rain was a blessing from the Spirit – cleansing and purifying water, which was brought to me as an answer for my prayers for healing…
After my first Vision Quest the condition of my kidneys improved, I was feeling much better and didn’t need dialisys. Sadly I didn’t learn properly the lesson of the water – to let my emotions flow and go – so at the beginning of the 2016 I had to return to the dialisys machines.
I went to Spain, looking for better threatmentand eventual transplantation. I wasn’t really sure, that I want to do second year of Vision Quest – I was afraid, that remaining so long time without dialisys might be harmful for me. But in the end I realised I didn’t have a choise – I made already the promise to the mountain and to the Spirit – and it was calling me back to do my work. So, I looked over and found out, that Esther was doing Vision Quest on the Canarian Islands. I had my doubts and fears, but deep inside I knew already, that I will go to the mountain again, so I booked my flights to the Canarias.
The same day I had the flight, Amma, the famous Indian avatar, was giving Darshan – her hug, so me and a friend of mine decided to go and to receive this blessing. In the night I flew to Tenerife, where I was received by Esther and by the Rain, another blessing from the Water spirit. So I wasn’t really surprised, when Esther told me, that the mountain, where I will be “sown” was namet The mountain of the water. The next day there was a temazcal and after that – guess what – heavy rain…Well, I was expecting it, I still had work with the water. The next day I was brought to my “house” by Esther and my new Canarian family. The following days were sunny and really beautiful and I was feeling something was getting healed deep inside me. I felt very connected with the place and all the plants and animals around. And again came the time to go back to the “civilization” and enter the purifying temazcal. On the second round I was finally given the permission to speak, eat and drink again. And, accidentally, or rather not, the first water I was given, was blessed by Amma – a girl from Canarias went to Barcelona, especially to meet her and then brought back water, blessed by her…
Well, I am not going to write about it – for me the Vision Quest is the most miraculous experience I ever had and the only advise I can give is – if you really feel it in your heart – follow that inner voice and experience it!
Writen by: Hristiyana Dragostin