In Caney Circle tradition we believe that every human being is born in the company of a spiritual entity whose task is to guide and protect that person. We believe that this spirit is difficult to access at first and does not normally make its presence readily evident. This spirit is called “semisaki” (“sweet spirit” or guradian spirit”).

The guardian spirit is a personal protector. Although the energy and strength associated with an individual’s guardian spirit can be used to aid another individual, the primary function of a person’s guardian spirit is to guide and protect THAT person exclusively.
The guardian spirit is also an information conduit. It is uniquely connected to the flow of Cosmic consciousness and Cosmic wisdom that emanates from the Center of the Universe. As such it acts as a vehicle for the individual to connect with that consciousness.

As I said earlier, the semisaki is not normaly automatically connected to the conscious awareness of the individual from birth. Usually that connection has to be coaxed into existance. The process by which an individual attempts to establish a lasting and meaningful connection between himself or herself and the guardian spirit that is supposed to guide him or her is called “VISION QUEST”.

taino shaman

Shamanic cultures all over the world have within their ritual complex a Vison Quest type of special ceremony designed to connect the individual with his or her guardian spirit. It may not always go by the name Vision Quest but these rituals all play the same role and in many ways they resemble each other quite closely. The Vision Quest in all shamanic cultures is undertaken in complete or nearly complete separation from the rest of the community. Often times it is undertaken under the guidance of a shaman or priest. It always includes some sort of privation, the abstinence from something that the quester usualy takes for granted. Most commonly the quester abstains from food and sometimes drink. Almost always it is undertaken in some secluded location associated with the wild. The goal is always to see something. The thing that the quester seeks to see is a sign or symbol that will identify his or her guardian spirit and the course that the quester should set in his or her life under the guidance of that guardian spirit.

The way in which the quester “sees” in his or her vision quest is through visions. A vision may manifest itself in waking consciousness or in sleep through dreams.

In most shamanic cultures the guardian spirit identifies itself in the form of an animal. The kind of animal that the guardian spirit chooses to manifest itself as indicates the nature of that spirit and the nature of its relationship with the individual that it is assigned to guide and protect.

Although the Vision Quest in the tradition of the Caney Circle can be undertaken independently, we strongly recommend that it be undertaken under the guidance of a Caney Circle beike or boitiu.

The ceremony itself lasts four days and is divided into four parts, each part dedicated to one of the four directions. There is fasting involved on all four days. The quester must be secluded and restricted to a small area of the questing place for a good deal of the time that the procedure takes place.


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