Some are drawn due to a longing for clarity while others for a deeper
connection to their Creator/God.
"It being almost a year since my Quest. Man, what a year. The opening that those 10 days provided for me can in no way be put into words, it has just been unbelievable. I feel like a totaly new man. So many challenges have been thrown my way, some of the biggest of my life, yet each time I am able to handle them in ways I never dreamed possible, coming from a place within I never knew existed, a place of love and light, wisdom and compassion, and certainty, in myself and in my connection with spirit. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I know it was I who did all the work, but it would not have happened without YOUR light and love, YOUR wisdom and compassion. My connection with spirit has guided me thru some incredibly tough times, and for that I am deeply humbled."
Stephen (Martha's Vineyard, MA) 2004
"I guess this is the difficult
part because how can you put into words an experience that changes your life,
sees you "reborn." You can't. What I will say is this, I returned from my quest
understanding what my purpose in this life is. I became one with my soul, Great
Spirit, Mother Earth, and all creatures. It was peaceful, clarity, oneness,
simply exhilarating. That was the day after, but what about three months later.
Well, life is different. My wife will tell you I am a better husband, my family
will tell you I am a changed man, my co-workers have noticed a difference. I
view the world differently and I am trying to making a difference everyday in my
community, my family and myself.
I wish that everyone could/would go through this process because the world would
be a much better place, much sooner."
Keith Cox (1999)
"My journey from "then" until "now" has been quite an amazing one. I’m a firm believer that if you are meant to go on a vision quest it will happen at a time and place that is meant and right for you.
My interest in going on a vision quest was sparked by reading a book about life changing vacations, together with the fact I was in the midst of major life changes. This turned into a tail spin of what I guess some people would call coincides, I call it fate. As I was reading this vacation book and researching vision quests on the Internet, they all seemed so harsh. Harsh was not something I was looking for, especially since this was something I was going to do with my 66 year old mother. Then, low and behold, I came across Carol’s website and as I read testimonials, tears streamed down my face. I knew then and there this was the right one. Carol does not believe this needs to be rough or harsh, gentleness is just as effective.
With respect to timing, my mother and I had signed up for a vision quest with Carol and a few months beforehand, my father had a stroke. This was something that delayed our trip for about a year. In retrospect, we both agreed that at that point in time when we were originally supposed to go, we weren’t mentally or spiritually ready. When we did go in June 1999, the timing for both of us just seemed perfect. Carol was so helpful in recommending books, providing detailed checklists, as well as answering any and all questions that crossed our minds. The checklists were especially helpful in that we had never camped before. I’m happy to say as a first time camper I had no problems.
I guess one does not know what to expect, butterflies filled my stomach and excitement filled my veins. Markleeville was just a site to behold (snow-capped mountains, green pastures, blue skies and a running creek). The days were filled with glorious warmth and sunshine and the evenings were filled with cool air and starry skies. I worried so much about the fast and found in the end it was not a problem whatsoever. I was visited by many creatures, my favorite being four vultures who danced above me in figure-eight form. A site I will never forget.
I personally found so much peace, all judgment, anger and negativity were completely released. This is an experience that clears the body, mind and spirit. I truly think this is one of the greatest things you can ever do for yourself."
Christey ("Snow Flower") 2000
"For the last year before going on my vision quest, I had been doing lots of self exploration and growth. One day, while surfing the web I was drawn to Carol's web site. The minute I went to it, I knew that I had to go on the vision quest. There was absolutely no hesitation in my mind. I felt strongly lead to go on the quest. I immediately picked up the phone and called Carol and made arrangements to go on a quest.
The period after making my decision was one of mixed feelings, anxieties, fears, and knowing that I was doing the right thing. Little did I know how right it would turn out to be. Not only did I gain the friendship of a wonderful person, Carol - but I was able to release about seventeen years of anger and pent up emotions. Little did I know how much my life would be changed by those 4 days of fasting and solo time. They passed very quickly for me and much was released - it was a glorious feeling and time in my life - the feeling of the freedom that came from the quest has been marvelous. It continues to grow each day and I marvel at it and enjoy the new me that is emerging from the old - like the phoenix who was reborn from the ashes. "
Blossoming Flower (9/98)
"I have had continuing blessings from my experience in Wolf Creek Canyon. My intent to find personal and community healing was directly expressed this last weekend when my brothers, our nephew, our wives, my Dad and I traveled to Bishop to scatter my youngest brother Gordon's ashes in a beautiful rock cathedral at the foot of the Sierras. As the wind blew gently through our tears and a canyon wren gave voice to our brother's missing body at the precise moment of scattering, I knew deeply, as I discovered on my rocky knob above Wolf Creek, that spirit cannot die, nor can it be wounded, it can only be denied and forgotten and ignored. The tall rock people now stand watch and I have the peace of knowing that Gordon's son and all of us can return and find solace at this holy place.
I have also found a deep source of wisdom in the visions I receive from White Raven Speaks. I've begun singing more, and dreaming more deeply, and finding a balance in the midst of a very demanding schedule.
So thank you again for holding the space of vision for us."
Ho. David Sibbet (9/98)
"If you are thinking about going on a Sacred Journeys vision quest, you're probably wondering the same things I wondered before I did my vision quest with Carol in June 1998--whether the guide would be competent, whether the site would be pleasant, whether the process would be meaningful. I hope I can answer some of your concerns.
Because I discovered Sacred Journeys on the Web, I had never met Carol before the beginning of my quest week. I must confess I was a little apprehensive about flying across the country and undertaking a quest with a total stranger, but Carol was all I could have hoped for in a leader: warm, gentle, positive, and very down-to-earth. She both offered guidance and allowed room for self-discovery as needed, and always made me feel at ease with the process we were sharing.
The Wolf Creek site in the Sierra Nevadas was breathtaking. The vibrant green valley was full of rushing creek water and golden wildflowers, the snowcapped crags towered above in the bluest sky I've ever seen. The morning sunlight shone red-gold on the high rock formations, and the huge cottonwood and Ponderosa pine trees stood sentinel over all. During my time there, I was blessed to see Deer, Coyote, Bear, Eagle, Hummingbird, Squirrel, Robin, Jay, Chipmunk, Vulture, Raven, and Lizard.
The weather in June was perfect, sunshine and blue skies, and only a short rainfall on one evening. Nights were cold, but with a warm sleeping bag, a couple sweaters, a wool hat, and a scarf, I managed to make myself fairly snug, even when sleeping out under the stars. Days were pleasantly warm, and I had no problem with mosquitos or other biting insects. The hardest adjustment for me was getting used to the high altitude, which made me short of breath whenever I had to hike uphill.
It's difficult to express in words the meaning I got from the quest itself. It was a challenging and rewarding week that I will never forget. There were no sudden, hallucinatory "visions from God," no booming voices from the sky, as some people imagine, but a quiet, profound opening to the wisdom of the Universe. I asked for answers to my questions from trees, mountains, flowers, animals, birds, even insects, and I heard the replies within the inner voices of my heart.
So far, the changes I have experienced in my life in the 3 months since the quest have been neither sudden nor unexpected. The quest was not a miracle cure to magically solve all my problems. But what it did do was give me the courage and confidence to confront the problems with true inner power, and to know that I can create "miracles" in my life. Where I was blocked and frozen before, I feel the icebergs starting to shift and melt. I feel the great wheel beginning to turn. It is a wonderful, empowering feeling to have done something so significant for myself, and I look forward to seeing the results unfold in the years to come.
If you have other questions about my quest experience with Carol, I'd be happy to try and answer them. Best of luck on your quest!"
"I was introduced to Sacred Journeys and Carol Hannagan through a dear friend who not only shared a difficult life passage with me, but also the vision quest experience. At a time when "difficult" was the operative word, Carol calmed my fears, eased my journey, and encouraged my passage into a new world of love and light. May my words find a way into your heart to assure you that the journey to self is so very sacred and a gift that only you can give. Carol will be there every step of the way, as will I and others in spirit, to welcome and encourage you to a new meaning for living, caring, and sharing life.
My family, friends and business associates know me as "Linda Fischer". I am a single woman in her late 40s who has quested all her life for meaning. My business world revolves around technology consulting; my personal world is like yours, a mix of challenge and reward. How does one articulate for you how it feels to reach deep into your soul and find a new meaning for life that far transcended what you knew could be?
How does one describe the sense of overwhelming love from a higher power when you are at your weakest…or what it feels like to lie on the desert floor and hear the heartbeat of Mother Earth against your breast? To inhale the dawning of a fresh morning when you have slept under a dome of mesmerizing stars. To feel the Sun's warmth on your naked skin revitalizing and restoring you with healing energy. What it's like to purge from your body years of pent-up frustrations over lost dreams, wishes never fulfilled, and relationship challenges that left you drained emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
To give yourself the gift of precious time to spend four days by yourself within yourself embraced by nature, held captive by the slow ebb and flow of life while you allow yourself to become a part of something much bigger than you every knew possible.
To allow yourself to release all the fear demons of being alone, to meet and be in the arms of wisdom and grace of the gods waiting to give answers to unasked questions. What it's like to live and be in the moment, in truth, without expectations.
To have Raven wake you in the morning and tuck you in at night with reassuring sounds of love and peace; to watch finches and hawks soar on the warm breezes of Sedona's red mountains… this is what it meant for me to experience my vision quest.
I listen more, I taste food for nourishment now, I ask questions all the time. I hug trees, I thank Mother Earth and Great Spirit for all the blessings of our great environment. I no longer set unrealistic expectations. I continue to show up and tell the truth. And when I become lost or lonely, I pick up my beautiful quartz stones from my sacred site and touch my necklace that Carol helped me to make before I left. These beloved gifts take me back to my sacred place time and time again, for now I know myself spiritually as…."
Linda (Pittsburgh) "Bleu Feather of Sacred Eagle Mountain."
"My vision quest experience was, and still is, like that of a flower bud unfolding to bloom. My heart and spirit had been laying dormant for some time but once I embarked on my journey I began to feel myself grow spiritually. Making the committment is the most difficult aspect of the vision quest. When you first read about it or talk about it with someone you think it's for you and you want to make the committment, then as time goes on a few doubts creep into your thoughts and you may feel somewhat unsure. This is all a part of your rebirth, you must call upon yourself and your inner strength, as well as your spiritual beliefs to make the final decision. At times, it's difficult for me to put into words how much I have learned about myself, about the earth and all of its gifts, about all of the animals, birds and insects, about God and about my own people. Sometimes I think it would be easier to answer the question "How was your vision quest experience?" if I just placed the questioning person's hand over my heart, I think it would beat all of the answers and the truths that lie within me.
Carol Hannagan's philosophy regarding the vision quest experience is that it should be "gentle, thorough and easy." Because of her way of thinking, she has enabled many people to receive a gift that would have otherwise been unattainable. Her words of wisdom aided me throughout my 4 days and nights solo time, and continue to ring true in my everyday life as well. She has also become a treasured friend and mentor.
In summary, the vision quest has changed my outlook on life in a way that I never thought possible. I feel as if I'm living on a higher plane, the blinders have fallen off and I'm seeing life at 360 degrees rather than peripheral vision. It's an indescribeable feeling and point of existence. If you have any doubts or fears before you embark on such a commitment, please feel free to contact Carol. She answered all of my questions, no matter how trivial they were. If, however, you would like my perspective of my own experience, please do not hesitate to contact me. If I could be of any help in directing you to your final decision as to whether or not you should embark on the quest of your life, I would be honored to do so."
"My experience with the Women's Sacred Circle was phenomenal. We were guided by Carol with gentleness and genuine kindness experiencing nature in a profound way. With this experience, I gained spiritual insight and connectedness. I had connections and communications with animals that allowed me to understand that every living thing is connected. The sharing within the circle was very powerful. A great amount of healing took place for myself and each individual present. I was taught how to let go of what no longer serves me while thanking that experience for the knowledge it gave me. The beginnings of understanding what I do want surfaced as well, leaving me with a sense for balance. Many truly wonderful things happened for me there. These experiences will always be a part of me and will help me walk along my path. Carol is a very gifted soul. She has within her heart love for all living things. She has so much respect for that which Great Spirit, God has created. She shares her knowledge of nature and animal medicines is a way we could feel in our souls. Her partner, Sierra Snow, a beautiful yellow lab is not only intuitive, but also smothers you with love and kisses!!!!"
"This was by far the most powerful journey I've ever been on! I've done years of therapy, so many workshops I cannot count, and read more books than I choose to remember. Trust issues, that I thought I had handled came up for me. I have spent thousands of dollars on therapy with this issue and in 4 days I now know it's complete. I have to say nothing compares to the profound Growth I got. It would be worth $5,000 to me to have gained the insight that I came away with on my Vision Quest. Unlike other workshops I've done, this not only stays, but builds and heals after the quest. I am now complete in Body, Mind, and Spirit. Thank you Carol for showing me how to heal and be whole for the first time in my life."
"Thank you for a great experience! It was exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. I'm feeling human and connected for the first time. I went on the Women's Sacred Circle to heal my anger and rage I've had for as long as I can remember. This weekend did that and now I feel the love, compassion, and peace I've always been seeking. Also, I'm smoke free for the first time since I was 13 years old. The loving space which you created with all of us was the most beautiful experience I've ever had. I will go on more of these retreats. I would say I experienced a MIRACLE!!!!
"Little did I know the skills I learned on the Nature Awareness Weekend would save my life but it did. I took this weekend retreat in July of 1995. In August, of that same year, I went backpacking in the Desolation Valley wilderness area in Northern California by myself. Because of the extreme amount of snow, that we had gotten last winter, almost all the trails still had snow. I was about eight miles in the wilderness area and at 8,500 feet elevation when I got a cramp in my leg. I unbelted my pack and reached down to rub my leg when I got a cramp in my other leg. I twisted and fell at which time my pack came off and proceeded to slide down a totally snowy hill. After several minutes my cramp went away and I proceeded down the hill to find my pack. By dusk I still hadn't found my pack and it was getting very cold and the whole place was thick with snow. I then remembered what Carol had said in her class. First to stay calm and to stay where you are!!!! Find shelter, make fire, and find water were critical for life in this type of situation. I was in shorts, tank top and baseball cap and it was going to be below freezing. The lake was still frozen and I was in deep trouble. " NOBODY will find me" kept going thru my mind. I built the debri hut, that I learned in the class, and it was warm. The next day I drew help in the snow in big letters and continued to look for my pack to no avail. In all, I stayed 3 days before I was found by a ranger that was "passing through". He gave me some food and we walked out. If I had not taken Carol's class I'm sure I would not be writing you this. I owe my life to her and the knowledge she so lovely shares with the people she takes out."
"I found my own sacred soul and now know there is a Great Spirit or God. I feel it in every cell in my body. I have been seeking my whole life. I FEEL IT !!!! THIS WORKS!!! The peace and joy I feel is indescribable. I've done two Vision Quests with Carol and will continue to do this to obtain more insight, peace, love, joy and clarity. For me it's a time to honor self by being with my Creator and listening for 4 days without distractions. Carol is so connected to the Earth and Great Spirit that it's an honor to have her teach me what her elders, animals, spirits are continuing to teach her. I now have the connection to my God in a way I can work with and know which I didn't have before."
"I feel I finally have found balance. It grows everyday and I'm getting more and more of Great Spirit every day. I'll never forget Sedona and the incredible magic of the Red Rocks. Great Spirit does live in this place."
||Olga After her VQ in Sedona
"It's interesting that the things that were the main reasons for going out on the Vision Quest were left on the mountain top and I brought back with me a deeper level of truth. The time on the mountain with facing myself has helped me tremendously in living more openly with my wife. It feels like there is less to hide from myself and my loved ones. I have peace of mind!"
Some people who have taken Vision Quest and other tours with Sacred Journeys:
- Linda (Bleu Feather) (Sedona 1997) email@example.com
- Val (Frolicking Finch) (Sedona 1997) Freesp19@hotmail.com
- Dawn (Wolf Creek Canyon 1995 and Sedona 1996) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bonnie (Sedona 1996) Bonnie.Hamilton@ncal.kaiperm.org
- Leeja (Vision Quest 2000 & 2005) email@example.com
- Minnetta (Vision Quest 1998, Women's Sacred Circle 1999 Shamaic Training) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tracy (Vision Quest 1998, Hiking Tour 1999, Shamanic Training 1997) Kalista@aol.com
- Janice (Vision Quest 1999 Switzerland Hiking Tour) JanCogg@aol.com
- Cathy Mikles (Vision Quest 1998, Hiking Tours, Shamanic Training, Women's Sacred Circle 1997,1999) email@example.com
- Christy (VisionQuest 1998) Christey.Chopp@bfkpn.com
- Chris and Mose (Vision Quest 2000) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Aine Mowens (Vision Quest 2001) email@example.com
- Christine Thorton (Vision Quest 2002, 2003, 2004) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kim Marino (Vision Quest 2003) email@example.com
- Joyce Hilsabeck (Vision Quest 2003) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mark Connolly (Vision Quest 2003, 2004) email@example.com
- Arlene Connolly (Vision Quest 2003, 2004) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Svenna Peschel-Ahvis (Vision Quest 2004, 2005) email@example.com
- Heike Marruzzi (Vision Quest 2004, 2005) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stephen O'Brien (Vision Quest 2004) email@example.com
- Liz McDonoug firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chris Barry email@example.com
- Kathy firstname.lastname@example.org
- Heike email@example.com
- Tito - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Geoff Panek (Falling Leaf) (Wolf Creek Canyon 1994 and Sedona 1997): read about his Sedona insights at his Pure Synchronicity website.