One of the messages I received on my vision quest was about the current state of the world and how to change it. It came from a very dark and disturbing dream I had while in Sedona:
I am in a laboratory with a lot of equipment, with other people. It is set up for a demonstration. Someone (whose face I never see) begins to explain how to terrorize people using a guinea-pig. He explains that you must submerse people in fear until they turn blue, which is further than one would think you must go. He then demonstrates on the guinea-pig by plunging it into a large jar of water and removing it when it turns blue. The guinea pig is not dead, but certainly is terrorized. At this point, I feel mortified and I begin to look around the room wondering how in the hell I got here. Why am I here? Why am I watching this? Why are these people not mortified too?
I felt deeply disturbed by this dream. I love animals and have experienced a kinship with them my whole life. I wanted to know what this dream’s significance was.
After some work with my medicine woman about this, I came to the realization that the meaning of the dream is that I have to be able to understand the darkness to find the light. I have to see the darkness within myself instead of judging the darkness in everyone else. That the darkness inside all of us WANTS to become light. But instead of embracing and transmuting our shadow, we reject the shadow we see outside of us in others. When the REAL work to do is to say, “Yes. That lives in me too. Let me heal that within me. THAT heals the world.”
In the video below, Martha Beck shares her version of this, in what I feel is a powerful and clear way:
Embracing ALL of ourselves – darkness and light – is one of the key aspects of doing a vision quest. To meet ourselves, soul and spirit, in a place of love so that the shadow in us is transmuted into light. Of all the deep inner work I’ve done, my vision quest has so far had the deepest lasting effect on me outside of my spontaneous spiritual awakening.