Dancing woman in the desert
Photo taken by moi in the dunes near Uluru,
of the magical Ellen Hawkfeather.
Hola gorgeous Goddesses!
Yesterday I spent the morning curled up in our bathtub. Not in the usual way, no. I got a big furry blanket, filled the tub with it, and had a blanket bath. I read and listened to meditation cds and cried.
And then something a little different happened: I felt like I needed to go on a shamanic journey.
What is Shamanic Journeying?
Shamanic Journeying is a simple, ancient practice of meditation and finding answers. It can feel like a light trance – one that you are totally conscious in. It feels more powerful than just a normal meditation because it is a Journey – you feel yourself move into it, and back, and often get lessons or visions during it. It is a way you can connect with your highest self and your guides. It’s earthy & born from ancient traditions, and often uses drumming to aid the journey.
I’ve done journeys before – but usually with groups of people, led by a shaman. This time I needed to do it on my own. I found some drumming music, wrapped myself warmly, lay in the bathtub and let the music take me where I needed to go.
I was already in a bit of a trance state already as I’d been meditating for about thirty minutes before, so it felt easy to slip down the hole of consciousness, and follow the drumbeats.
My Shamanic Journeying experience
I found myself walking in a meadow for a moment, and then was quickly transported to a fire. There by the fire was an ancient man and woman – I called them Grandmother and Grandfather. They cupped my head in their hands, and wiped away my tears, and whispered to me all I needed to know. They reassured me, and held me in their wise elder embrace. Afterwards, I was given wonderful healings by the women in the tribe, and herbs gathered from a field. They asked me if I wished to know some of my guides, and when I said I did, they showed me some of my guides. I didn’t remember anything more from the journey until I came to, and realised I’d been journeying for about forty minutes.
It felt deeply replenishing in a very real way – when I find my mind worrying now, I remember the teachings of the elders from my journey, and I am comforted again.
How to take your own Shamanic Journey
I’m not an expert, but I am an information-sharer – so if you’re interested in taking your own shamanic journey, here’s some guidelines. Hurrah!
Give yourself some space to be quiet for a little while. I didn’t have any humans in the house while I did mine, but I did let Charlie the Healing Dog jump into the blanket bath with me, and lay on my legs while I journeyed. Because that’s just how we roll.
Make sure you are all nice and warm. Either sit or lie down in a position that you can maintain for at least twenty minutes comfortably. The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner also recommends that for extra help to get journey tranced, keep your right arm by your side, fingers stretched and the whole arm relaxed, with your left arm bent and over your forehead so it shields your eyes. Go with what works for you though. It’s all good.
Most shamanic journeys use drumming to go even deeper into trance. If you’re not at a drumming circle, you can use shamanic drumming CDs which have a specific pattern to them to assist in trance. Being the use-what-you-have-renegade I am, I didn’t want to get out of the bathtub to get one of my shamanic journeying CDs, and instead used some world music that had drumming and chanting in it. And it worked beautifully.
Set your intention of what you want out of the journey, even if it is just to experience a shamanic journey. My intention for my journey was to find solace, healing and answers to some of my big pains. And they came.
To begin your journey
When you begin your journey, imagine you are in a place in nature. You can either imagine yourself entering a cave or well to take you down into your earth, or see yourself walking on a journey through meadows.
Allow what comes
You may have strong visions. You may not. You might flip in and out of seeing your journey. You might not remember anything. It’s all good. It’s all perfectly needed.
Don’t over-question and over-think your visions too much. Allow them to come, and allow them to go. Just trust that what you need is coming to you, and may emerge as a feeling, or a soft knowing after the journey.
After the journey
Make sure you are feeling clear and back to normal consciousness once you’ve returned from your journey. To help with this, have a big glass of water, eat something small or stand outside on the earth with barefoot. Grounding is goooood!
If you’re called, you can also write about your journey afterwards, or just let it sit within you.
As always, your journey is perfect just as it is. There is no one right way, there are no shoulds – just doing what is true for you.
More resources for Shamanic Journeying:
If you want to explore shamanic journeying, you can check out a couple of books available, or have a search around to see if there’s any shamans or circles in your area that offer drumming and journeying. You might be surprised to know how many there are around! (As an example, I know of at least three in my town.)
Shamanic Spirit (book & CD) by Kenneth Meadows
Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide by Sandra Ingerman
I hope this mini-guide helps you, dear soul.
Trust your intuition to what it is you need.
May your journey always be beautiful,
There’s a whole lot of ways to get inspired.
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