vision quest

Among Native Americans, vision quests are a common means of establishing contact with the spirit world and seeking the guidance of a special manifestation of the divine power. The quest is often associated with coming to adulthood, though it may take place any time one needs spiritual discernment. After preliminary rites of purification, one would go to an isolated place, especially one of the many sacred places associated with vision quests, such as the Black Hills in South Dakota or the Medicine Wheel in the Bighorn Mountains of Montana. The three or four day ordeal includes fasting and prayer, all the while alert to the signs and the dreams through which a vision is revealed.