Shamanic Journeying: the Basics

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There are many books available now that detail the technique of shamanic journeying, so I will be brief here. A shamanic journey is an ancient technique common amongst many indigenous cultures worldwide. In it, one travels to the spirit world through various means. A simple way to do so is by meditating, getting into a peaceful mind-frame, and then visualizing the World Tree. This is the Tree that connects the spiritual realms. It is commonly believed that there are three realms: the lower world (animals and wilderness), the middle world (human beings – our world), and the upper world (spirit guides and teachers). Thus, at the roots, trunk and the highest branches of the World Tree, you can visualize portals to these realms and choose where you wish to travel.

This technique involves faith in your own feelings. If you wish to pass into the upper world, you should feel something as you visualize it that marks your achievement. Be patient and take your time: it will come.

If you wish to find a spirit guide, in shamanic journeying you would travel to the upper world and respectfully ask for a guide to aid you. You can ask for a particular kind of guide if you wish. If you desire a guide that will work with you for a long period of time, you may certainly ask, but remember that this is a relationship you are requesting, and much like human relationships, spirit relationships can be unpredictable. Thus spirits may come in and out of your life, and you may come in and out of theirs. The key is to put emphasis on and be open to learning, growing, and maintaining deep and respectful relationships. If you feel something is not right for you, you may respectfully end any spirit relationship just as you can end a human one. But I would suggest keeping doors open and maximizing your potential to learn from spirit.

In a shamanic journey, it is important that you always approach spirit with a clear question in mind, or else you may drift around lost – or even fall asleep! Thus each shamanic journey should have a clearly defined mission. In this case, once you are presented with a spirit guide, you can ask other questions – and at this point, be prepared for a wild ride. You may find yourself chasing after a winged spirit that’s soaring off to a whole new spiritual world. Your guide will keep you safe, so listen carefully and mind any advice given to you.

Your spirit guide may represent the very first spirit relationship you forge. It is a good idea to devise ways to honour and spend time with this spirit, as I discussed above. You can also ask your spirit guide what you can do to honour it – but be prepared to follow through, even if it is a strange request! (If it is something that makes you feel truly uncomfortable, respectfully say so and ask for an alternative.)

Your spirit guide will also introduce you to other spirits. Whenever you enter a shamanic journey with a question, let your guide know that you wish to speak to a spirit who will give a good or appropriate answer to your question, and your guide will lead you to such a spirit. Just remember your manners – these spirits don’t exist solely to answer your questions. Greet them, honour them, bless them, and always speak with respect.

At this point you may be thinking that a shamanic journey sounds beyond your capabilities. The truth is, if you can dream, you can learn to experience a shamanic journey. The key is to not be afraid of your own imagination. Imagination is a thought-form, and thus a vehicle for spirit communication! Like other thought-communication, just let your mind flow and don’t push, and when the journey is guided by spirit you’ll find that what you experience doesn’t feel self-invented. This is your best determination of whether or not a shamanic journey is “real” – if it feels spontaneous, original, and not something you are directly or purposely imagining for yourself. For instance if you get an answer to a question that you don’t understand or that you didn’t really want to hear, you can take that as a sign that the answer is spirit-sent.

I do shamanic journeys and healing for others for free. If you are interested in receiving healing, find more info here: Spiritual Readings and Healing

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