Shamanic journeying is said to be different to that of meditating, as part of your soul takes flight and travels along the cosmic web between the worlds of spirit and physicality.
The purpose of taking a shamanic journey is to bring back knowledge, inspiration and healing. It is especially good for finding solutions to problems in your outer reality, which have consistently eluded you.
As previously mentioned the shamanic journey takes you into subtle reality along the cosmic web of life which links the material world to the physical world. When we are in alignment and connected to this cosmic web, our life flows with ease, we are in our power and we experience synchronicity and serendipity.
Entrance into subtle reality or the otherworld is usually via a tree but it can be anything. The druid that I created my drum with, entered it from a spring faucet along the lane from where he lived. The main point to make, is that this starting point for your shamanic journey, needs to be from a place that you know, a place that exists and has happy memories for you. This ensures that you are connected to the cosmic web as you travel and that you return to this world grounded and able to function straight away.
A journey is traditionally taken listening to a rapid steady drum beat of 205 – 220 beats per minute. This puts your brain into an altered state of awareness, harmonising both hemispheres of the brain so that you can completely disassociate from your body and fully take part in what unfolds for you. A rattle can also be used and I have even journeyed whilst flowing reiki. It is important to listen to the resonance of the drum and not the tap of the drum stick.
There are three worlds to travel to and that is why tree imagery is so useful. The branches allow you to access the upper world, a place of harmony and beauty where we can commune with angels and teachers of our spiritual lineage. It is associated with the future and we can gain an overview of our lives. The lower world is accessed via the roots of the tree and is the place where we can seek the wisdom of our ancestors and regain power and vitality. The middle world is accessed through the trunk of the tree and is where the spiritual dimension of nature resides including nature spirits, the green man and the goddess and from where we intuit things. We can find guidance on present issues here.
Shamanic journeys are always taken with an ally – spirit companions such as animal helpers, ancestral and spiritual teachers who ensure we do not get lost and direct us to exactly the information we need. This leads me on to the next important point about shamanic journeys. A clear intention set before the journey, gets clear answers. Often we are shown a lot of symbolism during the journey and we can gain clarification by asking our spirit companions what we are being shown.
Finally it is best to not expect too much from your journey as I find this blocks the surrender needed to gain access to subtle reality. Be curious and witness what you are being shown, in order to stay centered in your heart and not allow your mind to interfere.
I have taken part in Caitlin and John Matthews ‘walkers between the worlds ‘, programme which is Celtic shamanism and I highly recommend their books – ‘The Celtic Shaman’, by John Matthews and ‘Singing the Soul Back Home’, by Caitlin Matthews.