Carol Hannagan's first book, beautifully illustrated, describing the Vision Quest, was printed in January 2007 and is available. Click the paypal button below to download the e-book version in pdf format or buy the spiral bound version or kindle on Amazon here. Cost is $30.
Here is a sampling taken from Chapter 5, The Medicine Wheel.
The Medicine Wheel is used by most all
Indigenous People in symbolic ritual of becoming
one with the universe. The wheel has no
end and no beginning. It is the circle of all creation.
It is where the answers to the heartfelt
questions are found. It is where power of the
earth’s knowledge is available for all who ask. It
is a place of protection, guidance, healing, and
balance. This is a place of powerful enlightenment
for which our soul has yearned to know.
This is our way back HOME to Creator.
Although the Medicine Wheel has thirty-six positions, questers will only use five
for the Vision Quest. Those will be the North, East, South,West, and Center. These will
represent the four directions which each quester will face to meditate and pray for
guidance. Each quester will stay in the wheel for the duration of the quest, except for
going to the stone pile or going to the bathroom. On rare occasions, a quester may be
guided to walk outside the wheel for revelation of an important message, but this is
extremely rare and must be checked to make sure it is not a diversion from being one
Prior to establishing your Medicine Wheel, determine if this site will be suitable by
observing the topography and lay of the land. Make sure it is protected from the wind,
sun, possible inclement weather, and the view of other people. This will be your Sacred
Site for the next four days Here you will:
- be doing your profound work with Creator.
- be conducting ceremonies, rituals, and shedding the old ways that no longer
serve you or your people.
- becoming one with Creator.
- be singing of the songs of releasing; dancing with the joys of freedom; crying
out the sorrows of betrayal; yelling the pain of anger; walking the path of hope;
and dreaming happiness and wholeness.
Create your Medicine Wheel, make sure it is large enough for you to sleep and
move around in (you will live here for 4 days).
- In each direction place an object that represents the color of that direction
on the outside of the wheel.
- Place objects such as sticks, stones, pine cones, or a line to complete your
- Step into your Medicine Wheel from the West through the threshold you
- Place your center stone (white) to represent Creator.
- Next create a ceremony facing each direction.
Welcome all the Directions, ask each Direction’s element, mineral, plant,
animal, season, and lessons be with you during your quest.
- Ask each Direction for its Spirit Keeper to enter your Medicine Wheel and
give you guidance during these next four days.
- Ask each direction for its name, a song, a dance, or a poem it would like to
bless you with during your quest.
- Bless each direction with with gratitude, grace, and thankfulness and an
offering such as tobacco, corn meal, sage, or a special item you brought
While in the Medicine Wheel, sit or stand in
the center and face the direction from which you
are seeking guidance. Some questers spend a
whole day in each direction, while others move
from direction to direction for answers. Still others
spend the entire four days in one direction
depending on the issues at hand.
Polarities—or the manifestation of opposing tendencies—of a Direction often give
us the answers to our questions. For example, if you are facing the West and attempting
to embrace the shadow side of your being (as well as responsibility, strength,
resourcefulness, power, courage, and leadership) but are not getting any answers, turn
around to the East for help. East represents illumination, that where the sun comes up,
clarity, awakening, unlimited possibilities, and the new beginnings of Spring.
The same is true with the South in dealing with your emotional self. It is where
you go to heal your fear, anger, rage, sorrow, pain, and relationships. If you turn to the
North, where your Elder’s reside, you get physical healing, spiritual grounding in the
physical body, acceptance of all, wisdom, and gratitude for the experience.
We can work the wheel with compassion for ourselves and All Our Relations.
Cry out for all that needs to be transformed, letting Mother Earth transmute it into
good. Release and let go of any and all That-No-Longer-Serves-You and Your People.
Let go of:
- Past hurts
Let go of any destructive physical
patterns such as:
- Unhealthy Sexual behavior
- Deceitful or deceptive behaviors
Be willing to walk away from the past
and into the future directed and protected
by Creator. Cry out to the Spirit Keepers of the directions about the issues at hand and remember to listen and be still for the
answers. The answers well come in the form of metaphors, words, signals, animals,
wind, thoughts, feelings, or as a clarity of knowingness or understanding.
Continue to ask for the
messages that Creator is sending
you. Ask that Creator speak to you
in a way you can hear; show you in
a way you can see; and touch you
in a way you can feel. Also, ask
that this be done in a gentle, easy,
but thorough way for most have
done hard long enough!