Shamanic Vision: Living Life through the Eyes of the Heart Issue #5: September, 2017 - Page 8
Types of Quests...The Pilgrimage, the Night Vigil and the Vision Quest
There is an old story told about a proper English
anthropologist who was traveling through a distant land
interviewing and studying native people. One night while
camped between villages, he heard drumming deep in the
woods. Intrigued, he set down his cup of tea and headed
in the direction of the drum. He came upon a clearing
where a man was drumming and dancing around a fire.
The man chanted and sang, put down the drum, picked up
rattles, and continued his ecstatic movements around the
fire. After about an hour of continuous dancing,
drumming, and rattling, the man sat down to rest.
The anthropologist approached and said politely, “Sir, I
have been admiring your ritual. You must tell me what it’s
all about. Why are you here all alone, dancing, drumming,
rattling, chanting? What does it all mean?”
The native looked at him, puzzled, and asked, “What do
you mean ‘all alone’?”
Back to square one for the Englishman; he lacked the perspective of indigenous people, such
as the Dakota Sioux, who teach their children that there is no such thing as complete solitude.
Wherever we go we are surrounded by life—conscious, responsive, and communicative.