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The Temptation: A Vision Quest


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The Temptation: A Vision Quest
by Tau Malachi Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 2:51 pm

The Temptation: A Vision Quest

“And the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted
by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him” (Gospel of St. Mark
1:12-13).

All too often religious creeds and dogmatic doctrines encrust and obscure the greater implications
and meaning of the Scriptures, filling our heads with preconceptions so that looking, we do not
see, and listening, we do not hear. An excellent example of this is the story of Master Yeshua’s
spiritual retreat in the desert, which has come to be known as the “temptation.”

When Yeshua receives the influx of God’s energy, the Holy Spirit, and is anointed by the Holy
Shekinah, God’s presence and power, according to the gospels he is driven out into the wilderness
of the desert, he is called to go on a spiritual retreat to integrate the influx of the Divine Light.

Now, indeed, Adonai Yeshua is the Messiah, the One Anointed by the Supernal Light and Spirit, but
he has been a spiritual seeker, a disciple of Yohanan the Baptist, a seer and wonderworker, a
Jewish magician or shaman, and Yeshua himself is a seer and wonderworker, a Jewish magician or
shaman; understanding this and reading of the “temptation,” we know and understand that at the
outset of his spiritual work Yeshua goes upon a *vision quest*, seeking to know and understand who
he is in God, the True Light, and seeking to know his place in life, on earth. Thus, having prepared
himself, and having received teachings and initiation, he goes out into the wilderness, out into
nature, to commune with the Holy One, the Heavenly Father and Earthly Mother, and with the
Divine Powers, the angels of Earth Mother and Sky Father; quite naturally, on his vision quest he
encounters his own fears and insecurities, his own shades and shadows, the Adversary, Satan.

Fixated upon the “temptation,” the sublimation of desire and facing of fears, unfortunately the
greater depth of this spiritual retreat is all but lost in the Christian stream – the teaching of the
need for spiritual retreat and vision quest in our spiritual lives. If we remove the fixation upon the
“temptation” by Satan and understand this spiritual retreat as a *vision quest*, then this story
becomes a teaching of vision quest and instructs us that we all have a need for vision quest early in
our journey and at significant times in our spiritual lives.

In that Yeshua is baptized by Yohanan and then inspired to go out on a vision quest, we know that
preparation and purification is required; that the vision quest is linked to baptism, we know that it
is a sacred task following the Threefold Rite of Initiation, seeking to integrate the Divine Light
from above, and seeking to know who we are in Christ, the Human One of Light, and God, the True
Light, and seeking to know our place on earth, our mission or work in this life. If Adonai Yeshua
went upon a spiritual retreat – a vision quest, and we are to follow in the Way, doing what he has
done, then we too must go out on a vision quest when we are called by the Holy Spirit to seek a
vision.

On the one hand, a vision quest is a journey out into nature, the wilderness, seeking to commune
with God in sky and earth – all creation; on the other hand, it is a journey into the depth of
ourselves, seeking to commune with God’s presence and power in us – embracing the inner silence,
our inner silence is joined to the outer silence, and we experience the Great Silence, the Great
Mystery, that God is and we are.
When we go out on vision quest we are returning to our center – our being, which is in God, the
True Light, and we are reintegrating ourselves with God, the True Light, restoring our balance and
harmony; we are seeking to become clear and we are seeking a renewal of our energy, and we are
seeking inspiration, revelation.

Before we go out on a vision quest, however, we must prepare and purify ourselves on spiritual,
mental, emotional and physical levels, making ourselves fit in spirit, mind and body.

On an emotional level we must learn to sublimate and direct our desire-energy so that we can
focus it during our sacred quest, and we must learn to face our fears – to be fearless. Fearlessness
or courage does not mean that we do not experience fear, but rather that we do not give way to
our fears or identify ourselves with them, but rather that we view them as they are with
detachment, no longer being dominated by them. In any vision quest there is something of an
emotional ordeal or “temptation,” an increase in the play of desires and fears, so naturally we
must be ready to integrate our desires and face our fears or insecurities – if we already know our
weaknesses, our shades and shadows, then what we encounter will be no great surprise, and
already we will have gained some skill in responding to them.

On a mental level we must learn to let go of habitual grasping at thought and thinking, and
reasoning and analyzing, to allow the greater intelligence and intuition of our deeper being to
shine through – we must learn to silence the mind and still the vital; only then will we be able to
look and see, and listen and hear, what God would show us or say to us.

Coupled with this is the release of our preconceptions, preconditions and expectations – we must
be empty of ourselves to be Spirit-filled.

On a physical level we will want to prepare and purify the body – as the time for vision quest
comes we will want to eat well and get plenty of rest, and we will want to abstain from more
powerful mind altering substances, such as alcohol, marijuana and the like.

Coupled with this we will want to spend more time in spiritual practice and good company as the
time for vision quest comes near – avoiding vain entertainments and all frivolity, focusing our
energy.

On a spiritual level we prepare ourselves with prayer, meditation and sacred ceremony, with a
special emphasis upon purification; we ask God and the Divine Powers for guidance and
empowerment in the process and journey of vision quest, and we ask that we might be made pure,
clean, restored to our true nature and being as we are in the Divine Light.

In this way we prepare and purify ourselves on all levels before going out on a vision quest.

On basic and simple level we can say this: Seek to be pure in thought, feeling, word and deed as
you prepare yourself for a vision quest, and do not give way to shades and shadows.

It is ideal to have a holy man or woman, a holy tzaddik, as a teacher and guide, and if we are
blessed to have a holy Tzaddik it is good to visit them and to request teachings and instruction
from them on the way of vision quest, and to seek their counsel. On occasions, they may offer a
special blessing or empowerment, or they might become more actively involved in the vision quest
itself, going out with us to initiate the movement – it all depends upon what Ha-Shem and the
Divine Powers inspire them to do as a helper and guide.

When you go out on a vision quest you will pledge to go a specific number of days; usually one to
four days, and during that time you may drink water or fruit juice, but you will fast and pray.

Traditionally, following the Holy Torah, a day is sunset to sunset, so the vision quest begins at
sunset.
Now, there are many ways of vision quest – many sacred ceremonies that may be associated with
it; but generally speaking, you go out with a sacred rug or blanket and a staff, and the clothing you
are wearing – nothing else. However, usually there is bread and wine, and an essential Wedding
Feast is performed each day, but merely a very small morsel of bread dipped in wine, nothing
more.

When you go out on vision quest you seek a place of power, an energy vortex, where luminous and
righteous spirits tend to dwell, a place holy to the Heavenly Father and Earthly Mother.

In that place you draw a sacred circle on the ground and place your rug or blanket in the center –
throughout the vision quest you will remain in the sacred circle until the time of your vow in Spirit
comes to an end.

Most of the time you will remain in the center, and always when you go to sleep you will lay in the
center, usually with your head pointing north; but at times you may also be called to sit in the
directions within the circle, and at some point you will sit in each of the directions, but always you
will return to the center.

The vision quest begins with the celebration of a Wedding Feast, and with an offering to Ha-Shem,
the Divine Powers and spirits of the place; if a holy tzaddik has come out with you, they may
administer the Wedding Feast at the outset and impart some last words or blessings, and then
depart, leaving you to your quest.

At the outset, you will cry out and lament for a vision, calling upon The Name and calling in the
Powers; then, throughout the vision quest you will pray and meditate, and periodically make
offerings as inspired – prayers may include chants and songs, as well as dances in the sacred circle.

Essentially, it is a time of worship and deep communion, restoring the awareness of your innate
Spirit-connection.

More than anything else, on a vision quest we seek to be awake and alert, and we seek to look and
see, and listen and hear – we do a lot of listening and looking so that we might see and hear. Thus,
often, much of our spiritual practices are sitting in silence, or are very simple methods of
meditation, going within to commune with the Holy One in the depth of our being. In this process,
typically, we will alternate between a complete inward concentration of our awareness, a
complete introspection to commune with the presence and power of God in us, and a complete
outward concentration to contemplate and commune with God in nature, in creation – at times in
our experience the distinction between inward and outward vanishes, and it is then that powerful
insights and revelations tend to come.

Here we may give an example of a practice taught for vision quest. Sitting or standing in sacred
circle, we become aware of our breath and do not change it, and we become aware of our
connection with all life and the Great Spirit in our breath; inhaling, we breath in the power of
Earth Mother, exhaling, we breath into Sky Father, merging ourselves and all with the Holy One.

We often listen to our breath and to the winds during a vision quest, for the Spirit of God often
speaks to us in them.

Now, you must understand that insights and visions may come before you go out on vision quest,
when you are in the labor of preparation, purifying yourself and doing sacred tasks to generate
merit; or they could very well come afterward, when you have returned – the way of the Great
Spirit is circular, not linear, and often does not match our linear mental perceptions of sequential
space-time.

You must also understand that the Holy One and Powers can speak to you in many ways – it could
be in a big dream or luminous vision, it could be through angels of our Heavenly Father, or angels
of our Earthly Mother, but it could also be an intuition of the soul or feeling in the body, or it could
be an insight or epiphany that comes from the stillness of the heart, or it could be a sudden
illumination of the mind remembering teachings; it could also be a pregnant no-thingness or
silence from which clarity and inspiration flows, or a direct knowing beyond words. The word of
the Lord can come in many and diverse ways, so you will want to be awake and pay attention!

When all is said and done, and the time you have pledged comes to an end, a Wedding Feast is
performed, sealing the vision quest, and praise and thanks is given to God, the Divine Powers and
spirits of the place, and you depart in peace, shalom.

When you return from a vision quest, as with your dreams, it is very important that you do not
speak about it too much, and that you are very careful with whom you might speak of it – save
when we are given a Body of Vision for the people, such a communion is deeply personal, intimate
and private, it is only with our teacher and guide, or very close spiritual friends, that we might
speak of our experience. There is no play of “show and tell” in such matters.

During a vision quest we may be asked by the Divine Powers to do certain sacred tasks – whatever
we have been asked to do we must do, just as we were instructed to do.

In a similar manner, whatever might be revealed to us of the Truth and Light we must seek to live
according to it, honoring the word of Ha-Shem that was spoken to us.

The virtue of teachings in the tradition on vision quest is that they remind us that we can all go out
any have direct spiritual and mystical experience of God – we can all entertain deep communion
with the presence and power of God, and “receive the word of Yahweh.” In the Gnostic Christian
path it is not about blind belief in religious creeds and dogmas, but direct experience of the
presence and power of God, our Heavenly Father and Earthly Mother, the Spiritual Sun and Holy
Spirit.

In this process we should not fear the ordeals or temptations that might ensue; just look and see
the revelations that occurred in the vision quest of Adonai Yeshua – the Gospel and all of the
wonders he performed for the people. We should not fear the ordeals or temptations, but we
should go out on vision quest trusting in the Spirit of Yahweh to speak to us, confident that the
revelation we need and seek will transpire.

In this, perhaps, you may know and understand the basics of the way of vision quest so that you
might be empowered to go out on a vision quest yourself; at some point, after reception of the
Threefold Initiation, whether the outer or inner form, it is good to go out on a vision quest, and
likewise at significant points in your life, or whenever the Mother Spirit calls you to seek a vision.

I wish you well in your journey – may the Holy Spirit instruct and guide you in the Way; amen.

Blessings & shalom!

by Kyle Sibrel Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:37 pm

Greetings Tau Malachi,

I have been visiting the sophian site for a few years now and have found it a great help in my
spiritual life. Thank you!
I will be starting a thirty day cycle of prayer on April 1st. My heart wish during this cycle of prayer
is to find how I might best be of service in the world. I was wondering if you could suggest a prayer
and/or meditation to help me during this cycle.
I would like also, if I may be bold, to ask a blessing of you. I am most appreciative of any
assistance you are able to provide.

Bright Blessings
Kyle
Advice
by Tau Malachi Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:08 am

Salutations in the Light of the Messiah!

Yes, I can suggest a practice during your retreat my friend.

It is simple. Go within and abide within, holding the conscious intention for the reception of the
Light from above; waiting up the Holy Spirit in this way, let your prayers arise from your heart
seeking the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit – when you pray, as much as speaking,
remember to listen.

Each day, arising, envision the Spiritual Sun within and behind your heart and gather yourself into
it, and envision that you stand as a light image in a Pillar of White Brilliance, diamond-like light
sparkling with rainbow hues, and intone Eheieh, Yeshua Messiah and Adonai – rejoice in the
presence of the Holy One, give thanks and praise, and pray.

*It is good to wash your hands and face before morning practice.

So in the evening, do the same, but intone these Divine Names in the reverse order, running and
returning from Ratzon Elyon, Eheieh.

In the afternoon, remember the continuum you are attending.

Here and there during this continuum take the time to seclude yourself and review your life, and
consider where prevailing thoughts, speech and actions carry you – enact a life review, as though at
the time of death, and if you find a need for redirection or tikkune-correction, pray for the
empowerment to do so and make that change in your life.

Also, use methods for self-purification during this time.

Remember and keep the continuum of Shabbat, and on that holy day deepen your continuum of
study and contemplation, prayer, meditation and sacred ceremony each week.

The most powerful prayers is this kind of continuum are those of your heart – prayers that the Holy
Spirit might inspire and speak.

This is the advice that came for you.

I will, indeed, keep you in my heart and prayers for thirty days, each day mentioning your name at
the altar of the Holy Mother-Bride, praying that you might be blessed and empowered with insight
into the will of the Supreme for you; may the Shekinah of El Elyon, the Supreme, bless you and
keep you in the Way. Amen.

I wish you well in this journey.

Blessings & shalom!

Thank you
by Kyle Sibrel Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:41 pm

Dear Tau malachi,

Thank you so very much for your guidance and prayers. Thank you!

Bright Blessings
More on Vision Quest
by Tau Malachi Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:30 am

Greetings and blessings in the Light of the Messiah!

There is more that may be said about the way of vision quest in the tradition. The truth is that
there are several different ways of vision quest. As shared above, often we go to a place of power,
fashion and sacred circle and remain within the sacred circle for the duration we have elected to
abide seeking a vision. Then, there is also another method, somewhat opposite. Instead of
remaining in one place, we may walk about, wandering in the wilderness guided by the Spirit and
Powers, abiding here and there to pray and meditate, or make offerings, and then moving on, our
wandering itself being a prayer and sacred ceremony seeking a vision. As we learn in the Mystical
Path of Guadalupe, we may also go to the sacred fire, gazing and talking with Grandfather Fire,
and through the sacred fire we may also commune with Ha-Shem, the Shekinah and the Powers,
and receive a vision.

We may even go out on vision quest in a more relaxed and casual way, rather like “sacred
camping,” holding the intention of seeking a deeper communion with the Spirit and Powers, and
seeking vision, foregoing fasting, but holding to a constant continuum of contemplation, prayer and
meditation, and sacred ceremony. It is all a question of what will facilitate our sacred intention
and what our capacity is.

In each of these ways the preparation is basically the same – we purify ourselves and we seek to
deepen our continuum of prayer and meditation before our vision quest, and we invoke the Spirit
and Powers, praying that they will guide us in the Way.

Now, often a call to vision quest is for the sake of clarification and inspiration in our spiritual life
and practice, the deepening of our spiritual life, and the deepening of purpose and meaning in our
lives – seeking a vision, we are seeking insight into our true will or true desire, or into our purpose
at this time in our lives, and we are seeking guidance from the Divine. Yet, at times we may be
called out on vision quest for the sake of the people, to seek a vision for the people, or to bring in,
hold and anchor greater spiritual power or light power for the people. Although, at times, we
might be called to go out alone for the people, often such vision quests take place in community,
and a number of initiates will go out together.

There is something to be said for the power of a communal vision quest, for it becomes a dynamic
manifestation of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Spiritual Sun. It is something that was very
common in the circle of Tau Elijah and Mother Sarah, and that has been common in our own circle
in different periods.

Essentially, in a communal vision quest the tzaddik and a number of their companions go out into
the wilderness, and near a place of power they form a base camp, a sacred circle and sacred fire
pit. Among the companions, the initiates, there will be those who have made a commitment to go
out seeking a vision, and there will be others who go along to remain at the base camp to focus on
the generation of merit or light power, and to bring in, hold and anchor spiritual influxes. Thus, on
the first night there will be a ceremony in circle around the sacred fire, opening the way and
blessing the sacred event, and the tzaddik will give a discourse or “speaking,” and will bless and
empower the initiates for the spiritual works that they are undertaking. Then, the next day those
seeking a vision will go out an find their places in the wilderness nearby, and prepare those places,
and when evening approaches the tzaddik will visit each, sharing bread and wine with them, and
blessing them, and then leave them to their quest.

Each day of the vision quest the holy tzaddik will do the same, bringing bread and wine, and a
blessing, and each night in the base camp there will be a ceremony in circle around the sacred
fire, with offerings and invocations. At the base camp teachings and empowerments are given, and
a continuum of study and contemplation, prayer and meditation, and sacred ceremony is kept – a
perpetual generation of merit or spiritual power.
On an energetic level, this creates a dynamic interaction between the initiates on vision quest and
the initiates supporting them, laboring for the foundation, and as might be imagined, great
influxes of spiritual power or light power are brought in, held and anchored for the people in this
way and the continuum in the sacred circle is bolstered.

In fruition, when the cycle of vision quest is complete, there is a gathering and sacred ceremony,
and experiences are shared and the movement is sealed with a wedding feast.

So there are, indeed, many different ways of vision quest in our lineage.

Here, perhaps, it ought to be said that even when we go out seeking a vision for ourselves, or for
our lives, it is never for ourselves alone, but as much as for ourselves it is always for the people
and the land, and for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, and for the worship and glorification of
Ha-Shem and the Shekinah. Any time we venture into the wilderness to do spiritual work or seek a
vision we bring in spiritual power or light power and transmit blessings to the people and the land –
it is good for everyone!

As you might imagine, in these dark times, when relatively few people know or are inclined to
sacred ways, it becomes even more important for those who know them and are inclined to them
to enact them – if we do not, who will? Thus, tending the flame of the continuum in every way that
we can for the people and the land is essential – it is our sacred duty, and hopefully our joy.

In terms of a vision quest – all of the time, energy and resource we dedicate to it become our
offering before Ha-Shem, and an offering for all our relations; and so it is with all spiritual works
we take up.

Receiving our Body of Vision in the Risen Messiah, may we wear it for the sake of all our
relations, extending the Light of the True Cross into all lands. Amen.

Blessings & shalom!

by +rue Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:39 pm

namaste

this morning in dance (bodychoir.org or worldwide, www.dne.org/dancedirectory/), i was visited by


visions of a sophian gnostic gathering and how powerful that would be for people to spend several
days in meditation, vision questing near each other. i don't know what would be central to most
folks, but the four corners area came to mind. . .perhaps for a spring equinox.

just wanted to share the idea.


blessings!
+rue

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