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The Shamanic Journey

...and some basic instructions on how to go on a Shamanic

Click here to hear a sample of journey drumming >>
Click here for weaver's shamanic journeying CD/mp3 >>

Journeying is a classic and very ancient technique that has been practiced by
healers, shamans and shamanic practitioners all over the world for over
40,000 years in many cultures on every continent.
You may remember accounts of journeying in our fairy tales and stories...
Alice in Wonderland journeyed deep into mother earth down a rabbit hole...
Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz journeyed up through a funnel in a hurriane's
eye to the upper world...
Journeying enables you to mindfully intend and send your awareness into
the hidden realms of your own consciousness to connect with inner wisdom,
teachings, receive healing, answers to problems or to discover information
that can facilitate your personal growth and understanding.
A shaman is one who can go into an altered state of consciousness at will.
While in this altered state, he or she
makes a conscious choice to journey to
another reality, a reality which is outside of time and space. This other
reality is composed of three realms...
The lower world, the middle world or the upper world and is inhabited by
helping spirits or guides.
The shaman is able to establish relationships with these spirit-guides and to
bring back information and healing for the community or the individual.
Shamanic journeys are always undertaken with a specific purpose in mind.
The classic way of entering the spirit world is by using a steady rhythm of
drumming. This encourages theta brain waves that induce the altered state
of consciousness required to travel to the spirit worlds.
The drum is known as "the shaman's horse" where the shaman "rides" on
and with the drumming rhythm to enable him/her to get to the spirit world
and like a lifeline to find their way back quickly and easily.

Basic instruction on how to Journey...

*Note: these steps can vary depending on the type of journey - the
below is just a general guideline...

Create sacred space in a private, quiet space

- When we create mindful, sacred space before beginning to journey... we
create a safe container from which to do our inner work... remember that
you are always in charge of your own journey...

Lie or sit down & get comfortable

- it's important to really relax when learning and taking shamanic journeys
and to be in a place where you won't be disturbed... don't be discouraged if
you don't "receive" anything the first few times while attempting to learn
how to journey at the beginning...
Learning to take or go on a shamanic journey does require some practice
like any new skill - think of it as "exercising" a part of your self that hasn't
been accessed before - the more you practice, the easier it will become...

Be patient with yourself and trust your own inner guidance... what has
worked for me is to really trust that "first hit" that you receive while
Become presently aware of ALL your senses... what is it that you are
smelling?... hearing?... feeling?... seeing?... what does your body sense?...
what is around you, behind you... above or below you?... if you're still
having trouble receiving... you may need to learn how to relax more deeply practice relaxation techniques first before journeying...
Also know that not everyone "sees" while journeying... some people just feel
information through their body or they only receive scents... others hear
sounds... know what works best for you and go with it... also after much
practice, you will receive more and more as time goes by...

Relax, cover & close your eyes & start sound of drumming
- it reallly helps to cover your eyes or be in a darkened room while
journeying - being in complete darkness really assists you to go within

deeper... especially if you want to be able to "see" or "sense" better during

your journey...
I also recommend that you learn to journey sitting up instead of lying
down... lying down runs you the risk of falling asleep... although, also know
that when you sleep while journeying sometimes that can also mean that
you are going very deep... but you might not remember much either...
Use a shamanic journeying CD like the one i offer "journey with laughing
wolf" or tape yourself drumming for some drumming to listen to...
You can also drum for your self to journey but for beginners, this might be a
bit difficult and requires practice with much concentration to do both drum
and journey - listening to a journeying CD can be much easier when starting
to learn how to journey...
What i do when i drum for myself is, sometimes, is, to sit up with the drum
resting vertically on the floor and then i gently rest my forehead gently
against the side-rim of the drum... where the sound of the drum really
focuses me within - my mind is literally physically "riding" the drum...
drumming with a quick pulse (108 beats per minute is recommended) works
best for journeying than a slow beat...

Formulate the question you wish to ask before you journey

- to really receive a clear answer, be really clear with your questions - be
specific and keep your questions simple... and you will receive answers...

*Visualize/picture an opening in the earth

- be creative... go to a place in your mind where you have gone to before or
dream of a place and let it be a special, safe and private place that is calm
and serene...
Some of the places that i go to enter the earth to journey are... an old
favourite apple tree that used to be in my back yard when i was growing up
- i enter the earth by through the base of the tree's trunk where it meets the
earth... another place i enter is by walking up to, parting with both hands,
and step through a very large beautiful spider web into the middle world...
Or walk through a large cave at the beach... i always stop for a moment
before entering and ask the spirits for permission to enter first... it is my
way of honouring and respecting the spirits and the process... journeying is
a gift...

*Enter the opening, journey either down a tunnel to the

underworld or "fly" up to the upperworld
- after you have entered down into the earth... imagine going down some
sort of tunnel... be acutely aware - use all of your senses as you journey and
travel down... what does the earth smell like?... what do you see?... what
direction are you going... staight down or in a spiral?... is it cold or warm?...
what do you feel or touch on the way?...
- to fly to the upperworld can happen in many ways... if you wish to journey
to the upperworld, state your intent clearly before you begin... when i
journey up, i often visualize myself riding on the back of an eagle or any
other type of bird...
A friend of mine often journeys on a winged-horse... be creative... it could a
magic carpet... or holding our your arms and simply float up... or go up the
rungs of a ladder or climb some stairs... i have often journeyed to
grandmother moon and the stars...

Find yourself at a river or clear running spring

- go into this river or spring to wash and "cleanse" yourself as you are
entering sacred space within your inner realms of consciousness... to also
further your respect your own intent of why you are there... you come
refreshed having left the remnents letting go of ego and a linear mindset...

Meet guide or ally

- a guide or an ally can be a animal totem of any kind or a being from
another realm or an ancestor that you have once known or not known... be
respectful when your guide or ally shows up... they are meeting you in this
realm for the first time and wish to know your intent and why you are
there... offer them a sacred gift like tobacco, a sacred stone or chocolate,
etc... for the gift that they will offer you of information or an answer to your
- We are taught while going through the teachings of the traditional
Inca/Inka Medicine Wheel journeying-process that we always call-for to work
with a archetype-being named Huascar (pronounced "wascar")...
Huascar was a 13th Inca emperor (ruled 1526-32), having seized the throne
after the sudden death of his father, Huayna Capac. Huascar was captured
and executed by his brother in 1532 and didn't complete his "ayni" (right
relationship) and went to the lower world, the Ukhupacha, to complete his

ayni. When we journey to the lower world, we always ask for Huascar's
guidance and permission to enter the lower world of the Ukupacha.
... Huascar as archetype can be male nor female showing up as many
forms... Huascar usually shows up for me as a wild and old shaman-like
character, with very long hair in ragged clothes with all kinds of "stuff"
hanging off of him and he has a large horned-headdress... and he
communicates with me telepathically with no sound... another guide that i
work with is a grandmother white wolf who is very old and wise...

State or ask about problem or question to guide

- again, during your journey, be specific and clear about what it is that you
seek... with respect... keeping your questions simple is more effective...

Follow the guide's lead & instructions implicitly

- trust their wisdom even when their message or gift to you doesn't make
any sense at all... Once, information that i was given during a journey didn't
make any sense to me until almost 4 years later...
It's interesting to note... If you ever visit Peru and receive a soul-retrieval or
journey-message from a shaman there, they often only "through their
breath, blow" the information or message they received into one of your
chakras, not telling you any information they received - they believe it is up
to you to discover what the teaching/message was for yourself! ...it was
"your" journey not theirs...

Return from the journey via the same route you came from
the start when you hear the drum "call-back" ...(7 beats
together 4 times)
- it's important to have some kind of call-back when returning from your
journey... the shamanic journey takes you very deep into a trance... a callback helps you come back into the middle world and back to life as it is... if
you don't use a call-back with the drum...
Pat your body, legs and arm and clap a few times to wake you up to return
back... do not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery during or right after
a journey... give yourself time to return fully... other ways that hep is to also
burn some smudge (sage/cedar) incence or drink some water...

Offer & give thanks to your guide & close sacred space

- be appreciate and mindful of the gifts and sacred knowledge you have
received... and honour and thank your guides in some way... when they
know you come with a pure heart of spirit they will honour and respect you
back.. and always know that your guides and allies are always there for
you... ask them for their name and they will tell you... ask them anything
all you need do is ask!

You may choose to journal your experience to deepen your

- writing down the teachings and learnings we have recieved "grounds" our
experience and also opens the way for more understanding and also keeps a
record of your path and journey...

Special Note:
If you meet or see something while journeying that is uncomfortable or
fearful - a good practice to remember is to NOT ENGAGE with whatever you
sense or seeknowing this journey is your journey and you are not available
to be manipulated... a good practice to journeying is to be in the role of the
"observer" - especially when first learning...
For more detailed information or to ...learn how to journey where you live,
go to www.shamanism.org
Happy journeying to you... weaver (((o)))
copyright 2009 - carol weaver - all rights reserved... please do not copy, it's really not good for your karma...

Above... weaver with grandmother "laughing wolf" at Deer Lake Park

photo by Joan P. Wright 2006

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