Michael Ismerio's vision quest ceremony

For: Michael Ismerio
Barnardsville, NC
Organizer: Michael Ismerio
Michael Ismerio's vision quest ceremony (Michael Ismerio)
of $2,000 goal
75% Complete
Raised by 29 donors

The Story

In May I will set off on an 11 day vision quest ceremony with 4 days of fasting and solitude in nature.  To do this I will need support from community.  My intention is to seek a vision that will support both me and my community, as well as inspire others down the path of healthy rites of passage.

At 21 I realized I had never spent more than a day alone in my entire life.  I decided to venture into the Olympic National Forest for 10 days of solitude.  By day two I was talking to myself out loud. Society told me that was abnormal behavior and I knew not know what to make of it.  After 3 days of hiking I decided to climb a peak to see if I could view Mount Olympus.  As I climbed the slope got steeper and steeper until eventually I was face to face with a rock wall.  I turned around and realized my descent was just as steep.  On the side of that mountain I finally felt fear.  The fear that if I tumbled down the mountain and broke my leg no one would no where I was.  Or even worse, what If I died out there?  I was three days hike from my van.  I decided to give up my 10 day solo and return home.

At the time I considered leaving early a failure.  But now, many years later and with an understanding of rites of passage, I look back at it as a phenomenal success.  It required risk and bravery, and far exceeded anything I had done before.  And most importantly, I realize now that no one was there to guide me, support me, witness me, or point me in the right direction.  Without that support, I did the best I could have done.

I now know that what experienced was a vision quest.  One I created from an internal knowing of what my soul needed.   But, with out guidance I didn't know that a vision quest could be so much more.  It could be a conscious shedding of the old and welcoming of the new held, supported, and witnessed by a village.  And It could be guided by someone who had been down the path before me and knew what I would encounter.

Synchronicity recently introduced me to a man named Kedar Brown.  I knew upon meeting him that I wanted him to guide me on another vision quest.  He was thoughtful, gentle, intentional, spiritual, and humble.   He has guided many people down this path and been down it himself many times.  And to top it off he leads his quests in the same valley and along  the same river where I live in North Carolina.  I can seek a vision in the very place where I would put that vision to action.

A vision quest is not just about serving my self, it is also about serving my community and humanity as a whole.  I feel strongly that my life path is leading me toward supporting people through vision quests and other healthy forms of rites of passage.  I seek to be a role model showing others that this path exists. My own quest will not only move me forward on this path but also ensure that I have done my work before helping others on theirs. 

Since this vision quest is also for my community I feel called to reach out  for a tangible show of support and to know that my community wants, needs, and values this vision.

There are several ways you can support me.
  • First and most pressing is financially.  This guided vision quest costs $2000 and I need help paying for it.
  • Second, I ask that if you don’t know about vision quests and healthy rites of passage that you begin to familiarize yourself with them and how necessary they are for our healthy evolution as a species.
  • Third, I invite you to pray, eat, and drink for me on May 27-30th while I am alone on the mountain.

I thank you so much for your support and witnessing of my journey,

Michael Ismerio

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 25, 2017

Posted on April 25, 2017

It is exactly 4 weeks until the start of my vision quest ceremony.  I have raised nearly 70% of my goal and for this I am so grateful.  I am committing myself more fully to my prayer tie practice and starting to regulate what foods I put into my body.  One big shift that is happening for me, thanks to the words of one of my mentors, is that I am letting go of the idea of this quest as a struggle or challenge and instead leaning into the curiosity of what will happen upon the mountain?  how will my body respond to no food and no water?  How will I maintain my body heat when it's cold and rainy? What will shift inside me?  What parts of me will I be forced to let go of? What parts do I want to let go of? The thought of not changing is scarier to me than the thought of changing. 

Have you gone up the mountain?  I would love to hear your stories.

Posted on April 17, 2017

Posted on April 17, 2017

Hey friends, with 5 weeks to go I am at about 60% of my goal.  I am really excited about my upcoming vision quest and making prayers every day.  I hope you can support me.  In Gratitude, Michael

Posted on April 7, 2017

Posted on April 7, 2017

This past Tuesday I went on a medicine walk to prepare for my vision quest.  Starting at dawn I spent an entire day fasting from food and water while wandering on the mountain behind my home with no agenda. 

Early in the day I came upon a Tiger Swallow Tail butterfly that had just recently emerged from its chrysalis and it's wings were floppy and dragging on the ground behind it.  At first I wasn't sure if it was injured or emerging.  It crawled onto a stick and hung upside down with it's wings dangling below.  I sat and watched it hoping it would emerge into flight while I was there. 

After about an hour I started to get impatient and my mind started questioning whether I was negatively impacting this butterfly or was I keeping it safe from predators?  Should I stay or go? I finally decided to go.  I stood up to leave and shook the leaves off my shirt that was on the ground.  At that moment the butterfly pulled itself to the upper side of the stick with its wings now standing upward, no longer floppy.  This was a sign. I had let go of the idea but the butterfly told me to wait.  I sat back down and waited patiently.  About 15 minutes later the butterfly lowered it's wings straight out to the side.  15 minutes after that the wings started to vibrate as if an engine was powering up.  One minute later the butterfly flew away as I cheered it on.

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