Field reports of the participants
Tom, 56 years old:
My vision quest was half a year ago now, but I still wear my orange “emergency whistle” around my neck.
My time out in the seclusion of the Bergell mountains is an unforgettable experience for me.
Over 2000 meters high. The physical effort of the ascent took me to my limits.
How I imagined myself and the reality were no longer in harmony. My youthful energy is a thing of the past, I am now a mature person with all the advantages and disadvantages that come with it.
I will soon be old- and that’s a good thing! The time of contemplation flew by and the fasting led me into a kind of waking dream state, in which my life unfolded before my inner eye as if by magic.
I experienced a deep connection to nature and was entranced by it. Seldom have I felt more connected and uplifted than in these mountains at 2000 meters, amidst the forces of nature consisting of sun, rain, thunderstorms and cold.
A deep acceptance of my “that’s how I am”, “that’s how it is” and something like a serene confidence has spread within me.
I feel richly endowed and deeply touched by something for which I have no name.
I would also like to thank Annett and Jakob, who with their benevolent and open-minded manner gave me the confidence for this by making me feel supported. The effort you put in, with all the carrying up and down of food, drinking water and equipment was amazing. Viva!
Helena, 60 Jahre:
I value my life, I walk barefoot, upright and true.
When I told my friends that I was going on a Vision Quest, they were amazed and asked if I wasn’t already living my vision. Yes, I am living my vision and at the same time I am in a constant process of change. Especially in my 60th year of life, in the transition from getting older to being old, the question of what to let go and what to complete, and what I still need, arose in an intensive form.
To be allowed to share this nature ceremony with a small group and to be accompanied by Annett and Jakob, the Vision Quest leaders, who acted as companions in the dying and re-birth and provided for the external security, had a strong and lasting effect in me.
In addition to recapitulating my life, I wanted to make an intensive examination of dying. I was inspired by the book “The Song of the Dark Goddess” by Scott Eberle, which Annett had recommended to me. He writes: “At the End, the Death-hut, an important change in the attitude of the dancer takes place. There is no more time for indeterminate and unrealistic fantasies. Now, with so little time left, the dancer sees clearly what is real and what is not”.
On the third day of the time-out, there is the possibility to perform the so-called ritual of the “Death- hut”. For this ritual I found a special place and put myself with all my perception, physically, sensually, emotionally and mentally in the place to make my farewell from life, in order to clarify my relationships with people close to me, just as if I was about to die. It was not so much a matter of choosing whom I would like to say goodbye to, but rather of waiting to see what happens, who comes by, with whom there is still something to look at, to clarify, to pacify or to exchange. The encounters were surprising and full of intensity that outshone the experience in my ordinary reality. These exchanges were deeply touching, true and fulfilling. I had expected long discussions about my failures, my transgressions and feelings of guilt. In fact, I received reassurance for my trust in life and living, which includes the process of dying.
The preparation and follow-up process in the group had a special depth and honesty from the beginning. In the face of letting go or dying, which everyone, in his or her own way has experienced and lived through, there was nothing else but this relentless revelation of the wounds and wonder within us.
Even months later, the experiences are still very much alive in me. I was able to close the door on my deep insecurity, the perception of being separated and not good enough, and move on. Not that you misunderstand me, I still pass through valleys, and yet there, in being alone with myself and the mountains, I have discovered something very important for me.
I value my life. I walk barefoot, upright and true!
Arno, 35 years old: The Arno Way! My way is the way! I’m a child of fortune!
Vision Quest, what is it? A friend had told me about his Vision Quest. 4 days and 4 nights alone in nature! That grabbed me immediately, I liked it! A wonderful opportunity to recapitulate my past phase of life.
A turbulent, interesting and eventful life lay behind me. However, I wanted to come to rest with something and understand and process in depth what I had experienced so far. I wanted to end with something so that I would not slip into my thought and emotion loops again in the next phase of my life. I wanted to fathom my innermost being, without distraction from outside. I wanted to find my trust and devotion again.
… And once again it was confirmed … I can rely on my intuition. My time in the wilderness of the mountains was enchanting – this tree, this stone, this flower, my oh so wonderful bath in the pool under the waterfall in the chestnut forest, so many details in the vibrating beauty of nature. My retreat was partly like a pilgrimage, it was light and at the same time deep.
For example, I was able to immerse myself once again in my childhood, to deal with my father’s lack of love, and to contemplate the consequences of this in peace. Some things suddenly stood clearly and distinctly before me, as if viewed through a magnifying glass. “I will no longer let myself be dominated and influenced by my outside world”.
I found a piece of wood and immediately saw an eagle (Arno means “the one with the strength of an eagle”) and a snake before my inner eye. I wanted to work with this wood and started carving. I experienced the carving like a meditation. Themes came and went again, questions dissolved as if by magic without me having to think about them. I was completely connected with the Creator. I experienced wildness and freedom, and my walking stick which I had with me the whole time became my companion and a symbol of my strength
self that I’m ready. If not now, then when?
On this “pilgrimage” of mine I became aware: “My way is the way!” “My way is the Arno way!” I am aware that my path will also be lined with stumbling blocks and my inner independence will be tested. But I feel within my
I am happy!
The summer was wide and wild, powerful and tender, so full and yet so empty.
At 6 o’clock in the morning, gusts of wind drive the pitch black weather from the west. Thunder rumbles accompany this gloomy morning … doomsday mood.
The weather forecast is devastating. Continuous rain, thunderstorms and wind throughout the day. Soon Helena, Ronja, Tom and Arno will return from their time-out at an altitude of over 2000 meters. For 4 days and 4 nights they have fasted at their respective places and last night they did not sleep so as to reconnect with their intuition, their deepest beings and a renewed inner alignment.
A two hour descent lies ahead of us. We decide to leave the big backpacks in the tent and descend only with the day packs. First of all we rest and sleep, and then tomorrow we climb up again and pick up everything. But behold, suddenly the weather starts to change. The sky breaks up and we can walk down into the valley to Soglio in bright sunshine. Another WonderFull day begins!
We have put our passion, our lifeblood and great anticipation into our Bergell Vision Quest and the circle formed there. We have been richly endowed for this. From the beginning we have felt protected and guided. We were deeply touched. We felt lifted up and loved … by the Great Spirit!
The summer was great, wide and wild, powerful and tender, so full and at the same time so empty.