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Sedona Vision Quest Retreat

Sedona Vision Quest Retreat
Sedona red cliff landscapes are powerful places for vision quest

Sedona red cliff landscapes are power places for vision quest. photo by Rusty Albertson

Vision Quest:

Connecting with your Authentic Self in the power of Nature &
Developing be-your-own-Shaman-Seer skills

A Time of Inner Exploration and Vision in Nature

A personalized 6 – 8 day intensive Sedona Be Your Own Shaman-Seer Retreat with solo overnight options emphasizing nature connection, inner pathways insight skills and ceremony in the landscape temples of Sedona, Arizona



  • May 12 – 19
  • May 31 – June 7
  • June 15 – 23: Vision Quest Retreat
    June 23-24: Hopi Solstice Spirit Journey
  • Sept. 21 – 28:  Vision Quest Retreat with special Fall Equinox Ceremony
  • Oct 4 – 6:  Navajo/Canyon de Chelly and Hopi Vision Circles Spirit Journey

This vision quest program can be scheduled at other dates.
April – October are the best weather times for this (August is thundershower season, October nights are longer and cooler.)

“What is it exactly that called me here?
Mystery is what called me here–the answers to questions I hadn’t known yet to ask, hadn’t lived yet. Something Wise knew I was getting ready to ask those questions–and to hear the answers, and it called me in so that we could talk.” 
Shay Panther , March, 2002

Heading out for solo overnight by Sandra Cosentino

My Holistic, Adapted-for-Today’s World Approach to Seeking Vision in Nature

Dear Potential Participant,

Solo time in nature is a core mystical practice that renews our spirit when entered in a humble and open-hearted way. Vision time in nature belongs to all human beings. Please read this and see if this program speaks to you and you are ready to commit your time and energy to this. When done with intention and preparation, the solo overnight in nature can be an act of power and development of self-confidence and inner seeing. It is not a quick fix or a magic cure-all. It is not for everyone.

I ask you to move beyond romantic images and over-expectation into a deep commitment to being more fully aware of the depth of your own spirit and the destiny line your Higher Self is calling you to walk. And opening in a deeper way to Nature as a powerful vibratory field that mirrors back your authentic self once you calm the busy, thinking mind.

The retreat is based on my lifetime of mystic seeing in nature and 3 decades of experience leading earth-spirit retreats including with solo overnights. We begin with opening pathways to conscious evolution and using focused intention, clearing blockages and mental static, making soul connections, developing inner pathway skills, learning principles of self-generated ceremony, developing comfort being with yourself, deepening ability to observe nature and your aware dreams. Without this deep inner work and willingness to be more present with yourself, staying out alone overnight becomes more of a camping trip experience. It is a big leap from urban life and racing mind to nature spirituality.

Expect your days and evenings to be full with your own nature practice and inner pathways and universal ceremonial practices in between our sessions. Are you willing to devote your whole self to this for a week? There are a lot of steps and focus involved. Will you commit to minimizing electronic time and other distractions, and to having clear mind (please, no alcohol or recreational drugs before and during retreat–this dulls intuitive perception skills). This clears space to let your Spirit take lead.  This gives the  busy mind permission to relax and go off of planning, analyzing, being in constant inner dialogue mode and creates a space to Listen.

Sedona vision quest, nature connection, mystic nature

Sedona is a mythological landscape perfect for soul communion in nature. Photo by Sandra Cosentino

I do not copy tribal ceremonies. Many times I have people ask about peyote, which is used as a sacrament in the Native American Church services or ayuhuasco which is used in South American indigenous practices. While I respect that these ways have meaning in the context of the religious practice within the cultures involved–I do not offer that. Nor do I recommend that. Neither do I ask you to take the suffering path of fasting for days which is part of the Plains Indian tradition and is a powerful sacrament in their cultural context.

Ecstatic union is a very high frequency state that can be achieved with nature attunement, clearing the mind, deep contemplative observation, prayer and awareness practices, being grounded in your body supported by light, mostly plant based nutrition. You do not need any psychotropic drugs to achieve this. 

I do invite you to cultivate a willingness to be present with yourself and the natural world, to use awareness tools to face fears and doubts that arise, invoke higher frequency vibrations to support your evolution, and trust in Creator and your own higher self. These are life skill practices which I hope you will carry home with you to enrich you own wisdom path.

As a modern-day mystic traveling the shaman’s path, you personally engage by direct experience with the Great Mystery of existence. This energetic infusion helps connect you with the original pattern of your energy field. New insights and choices emerge that may have been latent or short-circuited. Shamanism is the worlds’ oldest form of communion with Source and is based on a deep, living relation to Nature and inner pathway seer skills.

During the week you will experience being out in nature both at dawn and sunset into stars come out practicing deep observation, sensing energies of nature, learning shamanic journey skills to connect with spirit helpers and gain insights. I will mentor you, hold the space, give you intuitive insights, help you with your shamanic work and support you as you move through blocks or face inner resistance. You learn to trust your perceptions and gain confidence in their own seeing skills.

But the power of your experience is the intention and attention you put into it. If you can become still within, glimpses of new vision emerge in tiny moments of awareness during the retreat and for months and even years later.

“The first spiritual insight that human beings gained is still the most profound—that we are all manifestations of the divine. Shamanism, the most ancient form of meditative practice, gives us tools for touching our true sacred nature—and accessing our potential for healing, divination, and connecting with the spirit world.” (source: SoundsTrue.com)

Turning off the mind chatter, the rush to plan the future, and need to figure out everything in our mind and the dealing with your own expectations will be your biggest challenge.

You get your own hotel (B&B or campsite) in Sedona or the greater Verde Valley (I will give you some recommendations.) We do daily sessions at my Desert studio and some sessions out on the land. Plus each day, on your own, you work on inner practices, aware dream skills and spend time out on the land practicing nature attunement skills. You can choose to spend one night (or more) out on your own if you feel confident in your preparation. Or you can choose to be out in solo circle for the evening or for a late night into dawn experience.  You do the solo overnight on your own.

This retreat is for sincere people willing to enter this without expectation, take responsibility for their process and safety and put effort into it.

I am absolutely dedicated to supporting you in being your own seer. You have all the magic within you–I provide mentorship and a circle of energy, wisdom and support. I share wisdom I have gained from nature being my doorway to spirit all of my life.

I do highly recommend adding an optional 1 – 3 day journey to Hopi and Navajo lands after the retreat to deepen your experience in the context of doing blessing and ceremonial circles with these warm-hearted indigenous peoples. That opens more vibratory pathways if you are receptive.

Why do a vision quest program?

Given even a brief encounter with a coyote’s bold yellow wild eyes, or in a soul-imprinting moment gazing at the luminous layers of light and color of a sunset over cliff and high desert vistas, or seeing the stars out away from city lights–wonder can erupt. It is never too late. In a flash we remember we are connected to a vaster universe full of mystery and beauty that is always there, eternally waiting to inspire us directly from Source.

I have seen how participants gain a greater sense of confidence and go home with fresh insights and renewed personal inspiration.

If this calls to you and you are willing to put your whole focus on this for a week, I welcome you, I am here to support and mentor your intention.
Sandra Cosentino


“Darkness and silence were tangible things. She felt them. And they seemed suddenly potent with magic charm to still the tumult of her, to sooth and rest, to create thoughts she had never had before…loneliness was necessary to gain consciousness of the soul.”
Zane Grey’s words from Call of the Canyon in 1924
still speak to us today

The energy shifts as the sun goes down and moon and stars comes out. How much do we know of nature at night?  Have you ever felt direct connection to the stars  as they revolve overhead during the night?

Bell Rock, one of Sedona’s vortex sites.

Divine Communion with our own soul is what solo time in nature mean to me.

A Hopi elder once said:
“To be wise, first you must ask. then pay attention, and then it is up to you.”

Something inside is longing to see the bigger picture of who you are. Maybe eagle has been coming in your dreams, calling you out to the silence of the desert. You know you are not expressing your fire, there is a longing that is calling you to be more than you know you are.Present now is a rising tide of new energy, a positive surge there for us at this time in the evolution of humans on earth. Full of potentiality we can vision into a new reality. This is a time of each of us now today accepting the call to be our own shaman-healer. No longer the sole province of the magician-seer as in times past, but a birthright, a gift, a calling voicing through each of us.

“The greatest friend of the soul is the unknown. Yet we are afraid of the unknown because it lies outside our vision and our control. We avoid it or quell it by filtering it through our protective barriers of domestication and control. The normal way never leads home.”

“The greatest friend of the soul is the unknown. Yet we are afraid of the unknown because it lies outside our vision and our control. We avoid it or quell it by filtering it through our protective barriers of domestication and control. The normal way never leads home.”
Jon O’Donohue

We resist, yet are irretrievably drawn. At some point we feel limited or get tired of repeating old patterns and we give in to the call of our soul. The first step is to create a powerful intention for change and step out of your busy life away from familiar surroundings. You step over the edge of your known boundaries into the creative terrain of the unknown. Then please do not limit Creator with preconceived ideas of who you think you should be or how insight may come to you. Be open to cumulative effect of subtle signs. Dare to stay Present and witness your own mind at work trying to stay in its comfort zone. Be patient and kind to yourself–even use humor–as you diligently shift into new frequencies.

When your heart issues that call to pilgrimage and you answer and go to a place with great natural energy and power, you receive cellular level stimulation, awakening. Entering with a child-like sense of awe, heart wide open, in reverence and prayer opens the door. This is really a pilgrimage to your own heart– an act of great love and courage to just be with you.

“We all have our own ground to work, you know. You have yours, too. You just have to find out what it is. But you know what? It is right on the edge of yourself. At the cliff edge of life. That’s the edge you go to. Put yourself in conversation with that edge no matter how frightening it seems. Look down over that edge.” David Whyte, Crossing An Unknown Sea.

Going alone into wild nature at night builds personal confidence and power as you use your awareness tools and trust in Source to overcome fears that arise. This is an ancient way of connecting with your own soul.

You don’t necessarily get a technicolor movie spelling out your big vision, but you become more tuned in, more receptive in your day to day basis life.You listen more to your heart’s yearning and each new bold step out opens more doors of creative expression taking you places you never would have imagined. You gain confidence and a new fire that people will see in the new depths of your eyes.

Simply being alive and fully present in the moment opens a direct connection to all of Creation which shamans call a state of ecstatic union. If you can feel this even for a moment, it will change your life forever. In the seeming simplest ways is hidden profound wisdom. The gateway is within.

“The seeing begins when understanding ceases; that is, the cognitive process may hinder the attainment of pure vision.”

“Vision quest is a time for a person seeking direction in his or her life to withdraw from the routines and pressures of modern living into the solitude and silence of the wilderness. It is also a symbolic journey into the wilderness of the mind and spirit. Direction usually comes in the form of visions, powerful synchronicities, lucid dreams, spontaneous revelations, and/or magical experiences with the natural world.

It is the single most transformative experience a person can have. I have witnessed numerous lives, including my own, changed as a result. In contrast to workshop “highs” that all too often wear off with the passage of time, a vision quest always seems to effect permanent change in a person’s life.”
Peter, Calhoun from Soul on fire : A Transformational Journey From Priest to Shaman

“We’re very proud of what we accomplished this past week, getting to know our true selves better, and camping overnight. You were wonderful and we thank you immensely.” Tracy and Sean , Virginia, May, 2007

Develop skills with:

– Shaman-seer inner pathways skills
– Attention
– Intention
– Focused awareness
– Signs from dreams, nature, your inner being
– Trusting what you perceive
– Sensitizing to vibrations of wild nature
– Develop practices in nature
– Cognitive dreaming, re-dreaming
– Ceremony and prayer

– Release stress of old programs

– Trusting the universe listens to you
– Connecting with your inner power, fire and seeing
– Tracking how you use your energy
– Reclaiming more of your soul’s presence in your life.
– Courage to see and live your truth
– Seeing yourself in a bigger view, seeding potent-realities

“Sandra, when my soul called me to come out and do the full retreat with you, it was such a blessing. I came full of fear and anxiety, missing and longing for a piece of me that had been lost. Through your guidance I pulled out a giant cork that had been stopping up a well inside me for many years. I found a self-acceptance and self-validation. I know I will never be the same again. Anyone who has felt that longing of emptiness should take the full retreat with you. The training leading up the the vision quest is indispensable. The vision quest itself is like a favortie topping on a favorite dessert. This is truly a journey of the self. I anyone is feeling that call, they should definitely come here. Thank you so much!”Neal Lieberman, Birthing Tiger, Aug., 2004

Ceremony is used to activate positive change and help bring us more into alignment with our greater vision.

Medicine Wheel made by David Singing Bear and Sandra Cosentino.

Role of Ceremony:

Reaching far back into human consciousness is a knowing of the importance of aligning with patterns of organization found in our greater universe. Ceremony is used to create balance and instigate positive change.

Ceremonies remind us that we are part of a wave of energy in flow with all of creation and not merely a separate particle as our thinking mind perceives. We can use ceremony to emerge new phenomena.Role of Ceremony:

Ceremony makes our shifts real to our mind. It opens a new sense of connection between you and the powers of the universe and gives you experience working with your helping spirits. A sense of inner harmony is generated as we open our heart and become one with the universe.

In ceremonies I lead I am very respectful not to copy from any of today’s Native American tribal ceremonies. I use universal, time-honored ways as a framework. I have learned the power of focusing many days or weeks in advance as helper energies are evoked. I listen to my guidance and intuition and use years of experience to bring these universal ways into a living, contemporary form for all people. A kind of surrender takes place as you become a fluid vessel for waves of energy to flow through.

Integrated Program Elements

 I have created an integrated program that helps you open the pathways to your own soul’s knowing based out of decades of learning inner seeking skills directly from wild nature, my dreams, my guides, Native peoples and other wisdom keepers of many traditions. This is your time of divine communion with your own soul supported by powerful east-west practices of self-awareness, shamanic healing and soul retrieval. I have found that this sequential process is necessary for people coming from today’s modern cultures. Most of the work is in clearing the mind, releasing stress and old programs so you can be fully present and aware here and now.

Experience shamanic journey and nature awareness to gain insights, guidance and connect with spirit helpers. We will use these skills to deepen knowledge that comes us from dreams, signs, symbols and the constant flow of energies around and within us. Gain new balance, receive shamanic healing in the Circle of Power Ceremony and other ceremonies.

You will make 4 directional staffs and medicine bundles as a meditative focusing practice to energize your circle. You create a power shield of native willow you gather and shape as a frame for rawhide on which you will paint your insights and visions to take home with you as a tangible support of your personal medicine. Experience too the sacred sound of your own voice and the voice of the drum as we create our own songs, voice the songs of the rocks and trees.

If this feels right, if you feel ready, I am here for you. Creator gifted me with the ability to hold space for people, to see and reflect back their soul’s gifts in an honoring way, to assist you in creating movement in your life. But your own intention and willingness to be in loving communion with all that you are without judgment gives wings to your journey!
Sandra Cosentino

“By you they will know the directions to guide them.”
(Bernard Second, Mescalero Apache speaking of the stars’ role in human creation)

“In the purity of connection to wild nature, we have direct access to all of Creation. Domestication diminishes our direct knowing–as a wise Peruvian shaman told me years ago: “think of the difference between an eagle and a chicken.”

“The vision quest is a spiritual journey to wisdom that has been practiced by people for as long as history can remember. The resulting visions are recorded in cave drawings and described in the oral traditions of cultures throughout the world. Native North Americans believed that animals took vision quests when they hibernated during the long winter months. Christ’s forty days in the wilderness was a vision quest. Many of the prayers, meditations, and rituals used by the world’s religions originally were developed as vehicles for the vision quest. .. We and the other “moderns” on this planet are perhaps the first people in history not to practice some form of the vision quest as a regular part of our education process.” (John Perkins from The World is as You Dream It, Shamanic Teachings from the Amazon and Andes)

Sedona Vision Quest Retreat Program Outline:

8 day program (this can be shortened to 6 or 7 days; however, this does not allow enough time to fully develop your nature and inner practices work that are a powerful part of the process).

Retreat Elements

The final schedule may vary and can be compressed/expanded into less or more time depending on your time frame. Length of sessions depends on number of people; they are a bit longer with more people. They are a but shorter if done as a solo retreat.

If you have the time, it is good to spread this out for a longer period to give you more integration and practice time.

I send you preparation and places to stay info (lodging not included in retreat: there are campgrounds, moderate to high end lodgings in Sedona and greater Verde Valley area.  You will need a car to go out on the land and to drive to sessions.

Each morning you will have dream, meditation and writing practices on your own flowing from the skills we practice in the retreat. Each afternoon you will have nature practices and communion time on your own. These begin instilling skills to take back into your life and are the essence of you becoming your own seer and healer.

Each day we will share dreams, signs that come to you–I will be giving you feedback. I recommend you give yourself a day after our retreat to shop, have fun, integrate before returning to your busy home-work world.

This retreat, to be meaningful, requires your full attention to the practices all week in between sessions. You want to come well rested with space cleared to devote to this.

day 1

Kachina Woman, the guardian spirit rock at entrance to Boynton Canyon, one of the vortex sites by Sandra Cosentino

Sedona Sacred Sites/Vortex Tour, exploring qualities that have made Sedona a sacred site for thousands of years, including insights into broader Colorado Plateau/ancient cultures regional perspective on sacred lands–showing you all the major areas so you will know places to go for your own daily and overnight work out on the land. 2.5 – 3 hours
Vision Quest Introduction Session, 1  – 1.5 hours. Begin to form medicine pieces for your 4 Directions staffs. Detailed instructions for the preparation work you will be doing. Preparation work on own during the week: make prayer ties, willow hoop for shield, 4 Directions staffs, focus on nature skills, dreams, prayers, attentiveness, mindfulness. It is a very full week (you make daily reports and receive feedback on these experiences in addition to the new session work each day).

Insight Session: Inner Pathways – Conscious Evolution (2 hours with 1 or 2 people; 2.5 hours with 3-4 people)
Powerful insight tools to enhance shamanic seeing: lucid dreaming, meditation, tracking-clearing energies, listening to body wisdom, developing Here-Now Presence as your point of power, and more. Includes chakra clearing and sound healing with gong and Himalayan metals. From this centered aware place, you become self-referencing, less looking to outside sources for approval and more trusting of your own wisdom.

day 2, dawn
morning practices on own

Mystical Nature Shamanic Journey Seminar on the land to develop skills in shamanic journey and connecting with helper spirits, and Earth and Sky Speaks to Us, and Water Ceremony, and labyrinth ceremony (6 hours with 2 or more, 5.5 hours with 1 person)
Core nature awareness skills development. Practice ways of being in nature as a doorway to open to fresh inspiration: rock divining, vision circle, tree wisdom, thick description, close observation, embracing the elements, messages mirrored to you from nature, noticing patterns. What are signs? Opening to the supportive energies of nature, walking quest experience.

Ancestor totem pole ceremonial circle by Alka Kapoor.

Nature circle connecting with spirits of the land from one of our retreats.
By Teresa Settles, she calls it “Juniper Class.”









day 3

morning practices on own

Insight Session: Mystic Child Self, Past, Future Self, Issues, Deepening Medicine Animal support:
Redreaming Ceremony. Shamanic journey work connecting with your mystical child, past and future self, Who Am I? and other areas of importance to you. Continuing feedback on dreams and nature work, 2 – 2.5 hours

On your own during afternoon:
Integrate clearing work
Mini-vision quest experience on in powerful setting
Work on prayer ties and 4-Directions staffs

Evening Circle watching full moon rising by Sandra Cosentino

Sunset & Starlight Nature + Sacred Solo Circle. 3 – 4 hours deepening shamanic and nature practice with nature at night, Native star stories and star gazing, mini vision quest experience, medicine animal circle.

day 4
morning practices on own

Insight Session: Extraction and Clearing Non-Beneficial Energies
We enlist the aid of spiritual allies to provide support, insight and energy in a series of shamanic journey experiences to connect with powerful guidance, re-align your energy matrix, and do shamanic extraction work. We create a releasing ceremony and connect with guidance to reinforce this healing. 2 – 2 1/2 hours


during day on own:
hike/be in nature with awareness, find your power song, integrate soul retrieval work

during evening on own:
work with star gazing, star energies, being out at night with nature

day 5
morning practices on own

Insight Session: Soul Retrieval Advanced Experiental Seminar: you become your own shaman in a safe and nurturing space in a poignant session of calling back and integrating a part of your own soul that has become energetically separated from you. As time allows, connect with Mystic Child self. Continuing work with your dreams.
2 – 2 1/2 hours

Circle of Power Teaching and Healing Ceremony, 2.5 -3 hours (depending on how many people). Learn ancient principles of working with ceremony; receive a vibrational healing from earth and cosmos and drumming; shamanic rebalancing work by Sandra as guided by spirit. An uplifting experience for creating positive movement in your life as you align with your soul energy and the cosmos.

during day on own:
deepen and clarify your intention, clear your mind, begin writing your New Mythology that has emerged so far, finish prayer ties

late afternoon or early evening:

day 6
morning practices on own

Insight Session: Imagining and Conscious ReCreation experiential journeys to activate new pathways, potential new beginnings

constellationviewsmSolo Overnight Ceremony
Afternoon to sunrise next day in solo communion with nature in your sacred ceremonial space–this is optional and done on your own with you taking full responsibility for your safety. If you have the comfort zone for being out in nature for 2 or 3 nights, you could choose to do that.
You go out on your own. Then during the night I pray for you and hold space for you.
You can choose to stay out more than 1 night.

prayertiessmday 7
Dawn Return, Fire Ceremony, Processing Your Experience, Hopi blue corn pancake breakfast 3+ hours

During the day:
Journal, paint your shield, Write your new mythology, rest and dream.
You will want to keep your hotel room so you can go there in the early morning for shower and rest.

Day 8
Closing circle in afternoon or evening, 2 hours
4 Directions/4 Elements Ceremony
Share New Mythology and Intentions for your return; closing ceremony
and/or shamanic journey, moving into future focus as you prepare to return home.
Doing the closing on Day 8 gives you a full night’s dream time to process your solo overnight. But we can do the closing late on day 7 if need be for your time frame.

I recommend you take an extra day or two after and relax, integrate before returning to your busy world.

Retreat Cost Per Person

1 person, $2,350;*
2 people, $1,680* each
3 – 6 people, $1,440 each

Lodging, meals are NOT included (except breakfast on return from overnight).
Included: program, transportation for on-land sessions, reference packet, materials, pre-retreat recommended preparation, 1 breakfast (blue corn pancakes made from roasted Hopi heirloom seed flour),
coordination-planning of your personalized program.

Each program is customized:
additional fee to have someone stay out near you overnight.
You take responsibility for yourself on the overnight. More experienced outdoor skills people might opt for 2 nights out.

*does not guarantee a private retreat, but does guarantee that will happen on the dates you want to come to Sedona–the retreat is available to others who may want to come at that same time. I will try to get others to join you if possible.)

Let us know if you would like a list of recommended retreat-friendly places to stay
and transportation options from Phoenix to Sedona. You will need to keep your room even the night you go out for the night so you can return and rest/shower in morning.

Related Programs:

For a shorter introduction to Vision Quest and Seer Skills Development, please see Mystic Vision & Ceremony 3-day program

5-6  day Be Your Own Seer-Healer Insight Retreat without the solo overnight and vision quest preparations and return ceremony.

Hopi or Navajo Spirit Journey or Independent Travel Journey option before or after Sedona program deepens your experience

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