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Sun Tea Pejuta aka Peyote an Experience unraveled

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Rising Star
I've done the Lakota vision quest several times. This time I would vision with the addition of sun tea. Since this is a Pejuta thread... I will entertain you with the memories of a vision quest done with Pejuta. Mind you, I have generally do not use Pejuta on a vision quest as it is not needed, but it can certainly alter the speed or onset of experiences. Let me begin with the basics of how a vision quest is supposed to work as it was relayed to me.

First, there is the reason to vision quest and then there is formed the intent to vision quest. If the reason for vision questing is sufficiently strong then the intent grows as one prepares oneself for this experience. The preparation phase can and does often take up to a year before one is ready to vision quest after declaring ones intent. Traditionally, as I was taught, one declares your intent formally by offering tobacco and or a pipe at the very beginning to a spiritual leader, medicine man, yuwipi man, etc. It is at this time that you discuss your reasons and if accepted you will begin more serious preparation. You will make prayer ties in the colors of the 6 dirctions most generally for a vision quest. Prayer ties are looked at as books that are read by the spirits that will visit you and form the boundary of your altar where you are to stand. Prayer flags are also made and are much bigger with tails that stream down the lengths of the small trees or staffs they are attached to. Both prayer ties and prayer flags are filled with tobacco and serve also as offering to the spirits. So, the making of these things must be done in a mindful way. You have to have the intent and reason filling your every movement while you are making these so they are imbued with these thoughts, emotions, etc. The serve to prepare you and to prepare the spirit world with a ready guide to what you need. Mind you, what you need may be different from what you wish. It is generally expected that you will go to as many inipi or sweatlodges as you can during this year of preparation. As a general rule, at least one sweat lodge a week is to be expected, but there are no real rules. Many may sweat multiple times in a day and some may sweat many times in a week. The sweat lodge is another ceremony in and of itself that has much symbolism surrounding it so I will not try to do it justice here.... suffice it to say that it is viewed as a means of purification at the simplest level as well as a tool to become more in harmony with the world.

I will jump to the actual experience here and describe what I have felt and seen. Day one, I am feeling a bit afraid as night is upon me and I am all alone. I hear trees breaking and falling as there is a storm. I have been told never to leave the altar under any circumstances so I stand still. I hear a rattle snake beneath my feet and I am scared to look down. This keeps me still and alert however. In the morning hours I attempt to lower my head down. I move my head at the speed of the movement of the hour hand of a clock in my mind. I am paying attention to my speed as I can hear the snake that could kill me at my feet. I have no real plan other than to bring the snake into view. At what I think is perhaps midday...I finally gaze upon the snake... that is really a moth beating its wings against my pipe as it fights with an ant for its life. I think about how powerful those two are. In a battle for their lives the entire night without stop. How weak I am in comparison with my thoughts of hunger. My thoughts of how painful my feet are beginning to feel simply standing there.... not having to fight anything other than my own weakness. My thoughts change to thoughts of admiration and wonder and this gives me strength to continue. Time begins to slip away from me and seconds seem like days. The best I can use to describe this experience is perhaps the experience that one has Sally D... Next I see a plague of flies surrounding me and landing on my beautiful prayer ties. I think, they must be attracted to the sweet pipe tobacco I used. How in the world I thought to use sweet tobacco is beyond me. I am now kicking myself figuratively for this mistake. I know I am not allowed to kill anything or defend myself from attack while on this journey. I can only stand and allow these flies to surround myself and land on me as they will. I try to relax and eventually over many hours I would guess... but it could be seconds.. there is no real way to know... I look at the flies and they are all turning into beautiful blue lights. I've been told that spirits often manifest as colors and take the form of various size orbs of light and these seem to appear to be about the size of small marbles lighting up the night and dancing around me. You come in and out of these types of experiences when on a vision quest.

During the daylight hours in a moment of clarity one of my supporters came up and offered me some tea. I thought that this was unusual as there is generally no contact with supporters other than hearing their voices in song from a far off distant. I was deathly thirsty and as tea was being offered I assumed there must be a reason for it. Whatever the reason, I was weak and was not going to turn down any source of hydration at this stage in the game. I had been dreaming of ice cream, hot dogs, pork, you name it in the many moments of lucidity I had. These dreams tortured me rather than helped me, but still I indulged them. So, when in this weakened state I was offered tea... I took the jug and guzzled it down trying to fill every inch of my stomach before the tea could be jerked from me. My supporter and dear friend told me... hey, slow down their fellow. This is medicine. By then, it had hit me. This was peyote tea done sun tea style and as such it lacked a strong peyote taste. The main difference at this point was that the visions were more fluid and without the interruptions that can be seen with a typical vision quest where one comes back to this world and this reality for periods of time that can seem to stretch out to an eternity. Time then for me at least and in relation to vision quest time is thus sped up and the time spent in the spirit world is more full. What I mean by this is... in a vision quest you can see spirits or elements that will seem to be a part of this world such as when the flies where a part of this world and yet spirit. Elements within this world and those of the spirit world can exist at the same time or you can be a part of either world in its totality and sometimes you don't know which is which. With the addition of tea to this experience you are more fully involved in that other world or spirit world and totally leave this world behind. I hope this helps your understanding of what was experienced, but to be completely honest these types of experiences cannot be put into words. There is no way for me to be as brutally honest about how much I craved such mundane things as different types of food, companionship, etc. during these days or how such a short period of 4 days can seem like many moments of eternity shared with losses of time where moments of vision that seemed like minutes revealed that many hours had passed... so much sometimes that one wondered whether you were up there for 7 days... panic would settle in and then you might feel like... yes.... I should go down. Something has happened and I could save lives by going back now and every moment I wait things could be getting worse. These excuses are the excuses we give ourselves when we are on such a vision quest... we just need to find the right excuse to allow us to come down and stop our vision and return to normal life. Please, take this with a grain of salt as this is a reflection of one of my vision quests and as the old saying goes... your mileage may vary. What is certain is that for anyone undergoing such an experience in whatever form or tradition you will face challenges and some of those challenges will be unique to your own self... your own individual weakness or fear. Each time is different for me, and yet there always remain elements that remain the same.
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