Nature Wisdom

with Pat Tuholske


Throughout human history, we have always felt the need to set time apart from daily activities, sit alone in Nature and quest for a vision.  There are many variations of the historical vision quest — from the 72-hour Vision Fast, to a weekend Solitude Quest — from the Night Quest, to a Walkabout.  Whatever shape a quest takes, we embark on this Right of Passage to heal ourselves, pray for family, face fears, receive guidance, gain power or strengthen our relationship with the Wild.

Once you decide to quest, your preparation begins.  Eating a cleansing diet, journaling dreams, and making prayer flags are ways to focus your intentions.  Ask for support from loved ones and tell them where and when you will be questing.

Prepare your questing place with a circle of stones and prayer flags.  Each rock and flag represents a prayer, person, spiritual ally, direction or element.  This circle is the center of your quest.  It is your sacred space.  Protected within this circle you pray, listen and see your world.

Sit as quite as a deer and observe all that is around you.  Coyote, rabbit, fox, hawk, or chipmunk may visit you. Feel the breezes, witness the changing colors of the sunset or watch the stars wheel across the night sky.  Open all your senses to the Wild.  It’s quite easy when you get away from the distractions of TV, computers, and cell phones.

There is no greater teacher or healer than Nature.  Her elements can be portals to forgotten talents and hidden qualities.  Let the wind bring inspiration.  Feel the eternal spark of your spirit in the rising moon.  Allow the water to wash away worries and fill your heart.  Put your hands in the dirt.  We are born of earth and our cells need to feel its touch.

Everything that occurs within your questing place is part of your vision… your thoughts, dreams and fears in the night… an insect’s buzzing, a snake’s meandering, the voice of a bird, shapes in the clouds, movement in the trees…. all are answers to your prayers.  These messages are now yours to interpret and incorporate into your life.

Nature can show you the inner workings of your soul.  Time alone sitting and being makes you reach down deep inside yourself to know what you are made of.  It is a process I trust deeply.

Go to the Wild and remember who you are.

Check out Pat Tuholske’s journal “Nature as Healer” for musings on the Human-Nature relationship.  Go to elementalearthcamp.com. Pat is the guide at Elemental Earthcamp  “off the grid” encampment in the Missouri Ozarks and leads yearly quests.  See her wild wreaths and native plant remedies at WillowRainHerbalGoods.com.