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Charlene transitioned into Spirit on November 17, 2014.  This website is in memory of her.

Vision Quest

A Vision Quest is a rite of passage and a traditional ceremony among many indigenous peoples. The purpose of this quest is to guide people in connecting with Spirit, their inner self, and to learn their life purpose. After such a quest, lives have more meaning, their spiritual walk is deepened, and they find renewed courage to face and conquer their fears.

Joseph Campbell in his book, "The Hero With A Thousand Faces," says that for many this journey starts with a call, which is either accepted or refused, if accepted we are aided with supernatural help. We then cross into many thresholds of initiation, release, healing, and transformation. The adventure is always and everywhere a passage beyond the veil of the known into the unknown.

In early 1995 I got a spiritual call to travel to Australia. This seemed like a big journey to undertake since I did not have the financial means to support this adventure. The Vision persisted and I was guided to sell everything that I owned. This gave me just enough money to buy my round-trip airline ticket and a total of $150 in spending money. I had no other financial resources available to me. This blind adventure was completely outrageous for me, wondering if I could survive in another country with so few resources, however I knew I must undertake this journey..

Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse says that, "There is a time for giving up old ways of being and moving on. The moment is different for each person. There is no magical time when risk is easier, each persons inside self knows the "best time." I left the United States and all that was familiar December 28th, 1995 to step into the unknown.

The mystery of my trip began on the plane in San Francisco. I just sat down feeling anxious and tense waiting for others to board the plane when something hit me on my ankle. I turned on the light and found an amber colored polished stone with the words written in gold letters "Courage."

I got up from my seat and looked around to find the person who had thrown this stone. To my astonishment there were no other passengers yet boarded in this back section of the plane. Further ahead people had already boarded, but it would have been virtually impossible for anyone to throw the stone and have it land precisely as it did.

Who was this mysterious messenger? Why this message? Was this the supernatural aide I was promised? In that moment, the most I would know of this gift is that it had a much needed calming affect on me. I was to have many more such experiences over my years travels throughout Australia.

It is clear that the major purpose for my trip was to give up old ways of being, complete the healing process of the wounded child within, face my fears, and claim my life purpose. Each person and experience along the way were placed there to help me reach my goals. It was not always easy, I felt exposed, vulnerable, and afraid much of the time. As a child and again in my teens I have had three near death experiences which set the tone for my life work and my comfort level with the "other side" and the many spiritual dimensions. Perhaps in many ways these death experiences helped pave the way for what was to unfold.

With each step of the journey challenges were placed before me. More times than I can say I experienced what I call mini deaths, facing these challenges at the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels, experiences that took me to the core of my being. Transformative shifts were happening within me at a faster speed than I thought it possible to process them. Transformation requires trust but more profoundly living life in uncertainty. Not just the uncertainty of the moment which may pass, but a depth of uncertainty that follows us all of our life.

Marilyn Ferguson, in the "Aquarian Conspiracy" states, "Paradoxically, if we give up the need for certainty in terms of control and fixed answers, we are compensated by a different kind of certainty - a direction, not a fact. We begin to trust intuition, a whole-brain knowing."

Without guidance and my willingness to trust I could have made some very "wrong" choices. Instead I was led to four major cities and experienced generosity and kindness from many people who openly and willingly shared their culture (aboriginal & non-aboriginal), history, resources, and most of all their hearts with me.

Life is never one sided, I surely was a student on this adventure but I was also a teacher. It is of no surprise to find that in another country the same problems prevail as they do in the USA. Like a plague touching every life directly or indirectly alcohol and drug addiction was present. I visited several treatment centers sharing ideas, experiences and research. In the Aboriginal communities, the people are aware that they must find ways to bring their people back to the land and to their kinship. It is discovering ways to do this in the midst of the twenty first century with its environmental decay, threat of world wars, space age technology, and the fast growing communications highway.

I participated in what ever way I could to support healing. Using my experiences and training as a therapist and drug/alcohol counselor I spoke on a local radio station on alcohol/drug addiction, sharing my belief that coming back to nature and that which is deeply inherent and natural within us is of vital importance in recovery. I offered classes, Spiritual Counseling, and Intuitive Guidance.

I was fortunate to have spent time in a clean and sober aboriginal community called Manyalluluk. A community that is self governing and regulating. This gave me another opportunity to learn more about women's business, tribal history and stories, basket weaving, bush food and medicine, and walk in the terrain of the outback.

Many questions of life were answered for me as I traveled throughout the magnificent landscape of Australia. Experiencing the monoliths of the Olgas (Kata Juta), Ayers Rock (Ularu), and the canyons and caverns of Kings Canyon awakened in me an ancient knowing and remembering. I came back to the USA with a renewed outlook on life, clarity and direction.

I know that my work in the world is humanitarian. I serve as a messenger, teacher, and intuitive guide. I offer my services to assist others in addressing the many facets of the human experience, facilitating and encouraging movement through their inner world in a manner that is inherently natural to her/him.

Each of us in our own way and time must make our own trek into the unknown. However one chooses to undertake this adventure, it is the most important journey of our lives.

~Charlene Ryan

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