Shamanic Journey

The Shamanic Journey is a type of visualization exercise used to receive guidance, answers, solutions, information, and visions from the spirit world. It is a guided meditation where you just relax and go on a spiritual journey.  Shamanic Journeying can be guided or it can just be pure drumming. Most people experience seeing animals or ancestors and may receive a good message to carry out on their earth walk. It can be fun, simple, healing, validating and powerful.

The first thing you will need is a good Native American hand drum. I use an 18″ elk hide drum. The larger the drum, the deeper the sound.

Get to know your drum. Sit with it, play it, and make sure to oil it often so it never dries out and cracks. Treat it like an animal, likes it’s alive! Name it if you want. I name all of my drums.

Keep in mind that no matter where you are in an exercise, it is always a good time to drum. If you feel like drumming, then do it! Beat the drum at 180 BPM (beats per minute) Same as the eagles heartbeat. This allows you to go into a deep relaxation so you can have a good journey. How long should you drum? As long as you want. Keep it intuitive and organic. Trying to set a timer or any other organized processes may not always work. Each client will be different and move through their experiences at different paces.

You can do this for individuals and groups or just for yourself. I have a morning ritual where I will burn sage and drum when the sun comes up. It’s a peaceful way to honor the sun, the new day, and say a gratitude prayer for my life.

When working with groups, it’s a good practice to incorporate using the talking stick. This allows everyone to share and equally. The Talking Stick is a tool used as a Native American Tradition when a council was called. It allows all members to present their sacred point of view and assures that all participants get to speak their voice. The Talking Stick is passed from person to person, traditionally left to right or sunwise. Only the person holding the talking stick is allowed to talk during that time period. It allows all others to listen with respect, not that they have to agree with what they are saying, but to at least give them the opportunity to feel like they have been heard.

Most Shamanic cultures believe 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 a tunnel that leads into the earth. This is the best place to start for beginners. The lower world may also be associated with the past.

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 lower world may also be associated with the present.

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 coworker, 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 be reached by a simple walk in nature or passing through a doorway. The lower world may also be associated with the future.

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.

Shamanic journey meditations

Earth lodge fire ceremony

Journey into Sacred Mountain