The Shamanic Journey is a type of meditation in order to receive guidance, answers, solutions, information, and visions from the spirit world.
Most Shamanic cultures believe that there are three primary Spirit Worlds, The Lower World, Upper World and Middle World.
The Lower World is the realm of nature, animals, trees, plants and rocks. Here lies the root of our deepest thoughts and emotions. This is where we meet and connect with our Power Animals. This type of vision is usually reached by some form of tunnel that leads into the earth.
The Upper World is the spiritual realm that connects us with the universe, planets, stars, our ancestors, and ascended masters. Here we find our teachers and guides. This type of vision is usually reached by following a beam of light starting at your third eye and following it out into the universe. Some will climb through the inside of a very tall tree or ladder. The Upper World can often seem very ethereal and can appear to be very bright and can go from light pastels to a soft gray.
The Middle World is the place where we live and breathe. This world overlaps the world of the seen with the unseen and the dream world. This is where we can travel back and forth through time. Here we can also look for lost or stolen objects, perform long distance healing work and to find the souls of the recently deceased in order to help them cross over into the afterlife. This is also a good place to have a conversation with someone like a co-worker, friend, or family member to discuss matters. You can reunite with an old friend or communicate with someone who has already crossed over. In the Middle World we communicate with the Spirit that lives in all things. This is where the Shaman becomes the medium between the spiritual and physical worlds. This type of vision can easily reached by a simple walk in nature or passing through a doorway.
Reaching an Altered State of Consciousness
The constant beat of the drum or shaking a rattle are the most common tools used to assist us in a successful Shamanic Journey. Studies have shown that this continuous rhythm affects our brain in such a way that allows us to more easily experience a vision.
The Helping Spirits
The helping Spirits are the guides of the Shaman and can assist us in the healing of individuals, the community and Mother Earth. The most common types of Spirits who work in partnership with the Shaman are the animals, the plants and trees, the elements such as wind, the stone and mineral kingdom and humans who appear as teachers.
The Spirits who appear as animals are more commonly known as Power Animals or Animal Spirit Guides. They provide us with strength, protection and support.
The Plant and Tree Spirits can provide help with very specific issues. Shamans and Medicine People have been using the help of the Plant and Tree people since the beginning of time for healing.
The Spirits that appear to us in human form are usually messengers and can act as intermediaries between us and the universe. They have compassion for our pain, confusion and suffering, therefore they gladly volunteer their help.
Exercise: How to perform a Shamanic Journey
Create Space: First you want to prepare yourself by creating a space with no distractions. Give yourself at least an hour to complete the journey. Have a journal ready.
Set an Intention: Set your intention for the journey. It can either be an answer you are looking for by asking a specific question or a solution to a situation in your life. It can also be to just be open to receiving the best possible vision or message for you at this time. Either way, it is good to set an intention before starting. Also decide if you are going to the Lower World, Upper World and Middle World.
Set a Time: Some journey’s can be 15 minutes all the way up to a full hour. You can set a timer to allow yourself the desired amount of time.
Entering the Trance State: Close your eyes while you or someone else begins to beat the drum or shake the rattle. Focus your attention on the sound of the drum or rattle for about a minute, then shift your attention to your intention for the journey and allow the rhythm to carry you into the spiritual worlds. Now continue the constant rhythm for the amount of time you have set.
Thank You and Until Next Time: At the end of your journey make sure thank the spirit guides who assisted you on your journey. Then say until next time or Good Bye to the Spirit Guides. This signals the psyche that something has ended and will help you feel more grounded when you return from your journey.
Journal: Once the journey is complete, take as much time as needed to journal about your experience. This will help you to remember the details easier.
Interpreting the journey: Share your journey with a good friend. Remember that the only one who can interpret the journey is you so you so you can ask yourself questions like, “what does that mean to me?” Or for example, “How did the scene where I was walking the dog answer my question?” Some people just need to sit with their journey for a while and may not have the “ah ha” moment until later. Some may need to schedule a follow-up journey to ask the guiding Spirits why they did not understand the information they gave them. There could also be a message there that you are not willing or wanting to look at. Either way, it is a good idea to begin with no expectations and end with an open mind.