Shamanic journeys are important for the shaman to find answers and help. When shamans journey they are not being transported outwardly but inwardly. They move into altered states of perception in which they experience these inward realities. Shamans travel with their imaginations to contact the spirit world, which allows them to bypass the normal blocks of this reality. This non ordinary reality (another aspect of this reality) is always here and available, just is normally blocked out by the conscious mind.

Typically it is drumming that allows the “western white” shaman to make this journey. Sound makes it usually easier, but all that matters is one’s concentration is able to shift. Many cultures use hallucinogenic plants to open them to these other realities. Psychedelic means mind-expanding or soul-enlarging, and the Greek and early Christian culture was influenced by the use of magic mushrooms and other plants. Peyote is the common plant used in Central America. The non drug journey is preferred, as under a drug, one can not stop the journey when they want, unlike using drumming when one can just open their eyes and return to ordinary reality.

There is often considered three worlds: lower (place of the power animals), middle (place of using this reality), and upper (place of spirit guides). One is not better than the other, just different with different rules and help available. The lower world is for opening to the knowledge of the earth: plants, animals, rocks etc. The middle world is the opposite to this reality, that allows one to travel all over the earth at any time, even within past and future, or help with a problem someone has now. The upper world is for special problems or situations.

The lower world journey is the most common, where one goes through a hole that is a tunnel that leads to a particular landscape where we meet with our power animals to ask for assistance. In time one will return to this place at the beginning of all journeys.

To begin a journey it is suggested to begin with 5-10 minutes of vigorous dancing or movement to awaken the body. Then one will smudge, perhaps light a candle, then turn off the lights (to work in the “black light”). Power songs may be sung, offerings made, pipes smoked. Then one lies down comfortable, and relaxes oneself. Drumming, rattling, even tapping 2 rocks together can help to get the mind to alter its normal patterns and begin to slow down to allow the journey to happen. Find the hole then jump down the tunnel. Here you look for your power animal, and ask for help or tell them your question. To go up, jump off a tree, building or mountain etc, then keep bursting through cloud layers until you find the spirit you are looking for. When finished thank the guide and return the same way you came.

There are many possibilities for what may happen, but remember it will always be an answer to your question, and may be in symbolic form. When you are on a spirit journey you need to pay attention to every detail that you perceive, every single aspect as some significance. A journey you take is real, more real that what you call the normal world. When you awake, write the journey in a journal, many of the elements may not seem clear at the moment and may need to be reviewed. Make sure to record a feeling, the key part of the whole journey. It may feel like a visualization, but this is far greater than that. You are walking into the world of dreaming. This is awake dreaming, and much easier practice than control of asleep dreaming. Thus one is recommended to become good at awake dreaming before you can gain strong control in sleeping dreaming.

A power animal is a good journey to start with. The power animal is our natural energy connection to mother earth, and provides us with energy and power. Lose contact with our power animal (or animals) and this is when sickness, confusion and problems will occur. Children all know and often can “see” their power animal. They may call it an imaginary animal, or imaginary friend. They may often draw pictures of a particular animal.

To look for your power animal on a journey, go through the tunnel and find a beautiful spot in nature. Then call out that you want to meet your power animal. Many animals, birds, fish, insects may appear. Avoid any that show fangs or look overly hostile. Then wait. Your power animal will reveal itself to you clearly 4 times. When that has happened you know you have found your power animal. Go with it and see what happens. Do not necessarily choose your animal. In fact an animal you may not like could be your animal, but you have shoved it away, thus shoving away those same positive qualities in yourself.

Then honour your animal and welcome it. Read books on it. Draw pictures of it. Act like it. Put of posters of it. You are reintegrating a part of you back to you. Power animals can give assistance in this reality or non-ordinary. On a journey clean and fix you power spot.

I often use journeys to help with people who come to see me who have difficult problems in their life but have no idea what the root is. Through the journey, with their permission, I can look at their body to see what is happening on the inside, and then drift back to different moments of their life to see what may be affecting them. With this new information, new ways of handing their current situation can be suggested. A very special journey, called a soul retrieval, can be done in certain situations. See the soul retrieval page for more information.