A Guide To Shamanic Journeying

I thought I would share my thoughts and experiences about journeying and look at the three worlds, the Upper, Middle and Lower starting with the Lower World or Under World as it is known in Celtic Shamanism.

Meditation has well known benefits and journeying is a visual form of this practice. It has been compared with lucid dreaming where you are active in the dream rather than watching yourself in it. You should be totally relaxed and some people find the use of an eye mask (to block out sunlight) useful. Drumming music, which has been specifically designed for journeying, can be used to enter into an altered state of consciousness. This drumming music is now widely available.

Whenever setting out on a journey it is very important to have an intention, even if it is initially just to explore the world to which you are traveling. Start by exhaling all your tiredness and tension and inhale energy, love and power. As you relax find a favourite tree then imagine yourself, like Alice in Wonderland, shrinking and falling through the roots, entering the Lower World. ‘A world of nature’ is how I would describe the landscape here, a shamanic world where you can meet your Power Animal and Spirit Guides. If this is your first journey it can be best to simply explore, making note of what you see, feel and hear. I believe it is best to discover your Spirit Guide and Power Animal via guided meditation. Be sure to take note of any creatures you meet and ask them if they are your Power Animal. This is the world of our traditions and memories which allows us to connect with our ancestors as well as asking for healing and regaining personal power. Reverse your route to return to this world, making sure you are grounded and record your experiences. Eating and drinking will ensure you are fully grounded. I have taken insights (from many issues I have faced) from journeying (ensuring I always have a clear intention), even when journeying for someone else. The feeling after a journey is one of inspiration and refreshment.

Next we travel to the Upper World where we access wisdom, knowledge and inspiration. The landscape here will look very different, more ethereal and can be surrounded by clouds and crystals.

Once you have relaxed by playing the drumming music and locate the same tree, noticing how the branches stretch up into the sky. Climb those branches and reach the Upper World with your intention to be the exploration of this world and perhaps meet your spiritual mentor.

Notice how easily and quickly you can climb the tree and when you see a cloud above you, pull yourself up into the cloud and into the Upper World.

Look around and notice the different landscape. Start to walk; what do you see, hear and feel? Is there anyone around? If you do meet someone, and they will be in human form, ask them if they are your spiritual guide or mentor. If the answer is no continue walking, if the answer is yes be receptive to what messages they give you. These can be very subtle and you may just get a feeling of something or see a sign or hear a sound. Your spiritual guide many have a gift for you, if so thank them.

It is now time to retrace your steps and journey back to this world. Take a last look and thank your spirit guide again or just send a thank you to the Upper World for your visit.

Again come back, write up your experiences and ground yourself.

These are the two most common shamanic journeys that the majority of people talk about, however there is another world; the Middle World. This is the one we currently interact with although most of the time we are completely oblivious to the subtle reality of this world. Journeying to the Middle World can be used to help deal with current problems we are facing; we can develop skills or expertise by mentally rehearsing and have the ability to move backwards or forwards in time. This is the world of elves, fairies and the elemental spirits. Many of us have ’seen’ these creatures when young. For example, did you have a ‘friend’ that only you could see? I did, but once I started at school he faded away. This is because many cultures don’t encourage us to challenge the subtleties of the world around us or to use our ‘3rd eye’ to see beyond the everyday world.

So to your journey to the Middle World; again set your Intention; is there a current problem you want to solve or have you lost something you need to find? In the Middle World you can travel backwards and forwards in time. Use the drumming music, relax and find yourself at a familiar place (real not imaginary). It may be that tree and will be a place with happy memories. Here you will meet you Guardian Animal who will help you with your shamanic work. Notice what you see, hear and feel. Be aware of the difference between physical reality and subtle reality. Your Middle World place may look very different. You can now call out to your Guardian Animal and if the animal that appears is your Guardian Animal then you may experience it with excitement. As before it is now time to come back to physical reality bringing your Guardian Animal with you and spend time getting to know this animal.

As before, record your experience and ground yourself.

These encompass the Shamanic Journeys to the Upper, Middle and Lower Worlds. There are other ways to achieve passage to these worlds; this depends on your beliefs and culture. For me I follow a Celtic Shamanic way, using my favourite image, the tree, as a starting point for my journey.

Colleen Guy is an experienced spiritual coach and mentor, you can visit her site at www.spiritmystique.com, or learn more about the upcoming Shamanic Journey Workshop.

Growing Beyond Your Own Archetypes: Your Powerful New Path For Career Development

Would you consistently agree with any of the following statements?

I don’t think I’m valued at work

I don’t enjoy the prospect of going to work

I’m unsure as to the best job that suits my skills

I don’t get offered training or the chance to learn anything new

I don’t get to use all my skills in my current role

If I came into a lot of money I would give up my current role immediately

I don’t have any work/life balance

Do you find yourself agreeing with any of those statements? If so, is it an occasional feeling or something you consistently feel? If it’s more than a once in a while feeling perhaps it’s time to take a look at what you’re doing with your career and how you can get more from life. Remember our working lives should be productive as we all spend around eight hours a day at work.

It doesn’t matter what kind of job you do, we all have negative feelings now and then about what we do. The work/life balance is discussed more and more and, even for those who love their jobs, is there to remind us that we need to make time for our personal and family lives.

From experience of helping people with their careers for twenty years I believe that two-thirds of people are in the wrong jobs, chasing the wrong career or are not enjoying their working life. As high as this statistic is, it shouldn’t surprise any of us when we reflect on the challenge of planning and following our own career plans.

Why is it difficult? Well, firstly, unquestionably a major problem is that we don’t know what we don’t know. We don’t, in other words, really know about the multiplicity of niches that are available out there.

This problem, though, can to a large extent be solved by research and by getting to know the industry in which one is working; it tends to be a bigger problem for new entrants to a particular private or public sector.

Secondly, we all suffer from the same major problem: not knowing what we can or can’t be.

In other words, we don’t know what we’d like to do or what we’d be good at. We use approximations or guesses based on what we know and what we’ve experienced. This leads to many of us ‘going with the flow’ pursuing a profession that feels like the best option.

This is a problem, yes, but it also identifies an opportunity which, if handled correctly, we can use to constantly develop ourselves and become better at what we do. After all, if we don’t know what we can be, we also don’t know what we can’t be. So why not find out?

In fact, maybe we shouldn’t just be getting on with the job. Maybe we should be doing the job we really want to do. Maybe we shouldn’t accept compromise.

How do we do that?

Part of the solution is to be determined not to accept failure and frustration in our working life, and to be prepared to look at other possibilities if we find ourselves confronted with failure and frustration.

However, a large part of the solution is to know more about ourselves. This is where the personal development tool, Archetype Analysis, can help.

Using Archetype Analysis allows you to avoid those unsatisfactory compromises in life. However, it’s particularly aimed at aiding you in your working life and avoiding decisions you later go on to regret.

The word ‘archetype’ is used to describe a pattern or mould from which copies are made. However, thanks to a Swiss psychologist (Carl Jung) the word now means something very different. Jung believes an archetype was a belief or attitude that isn’t developed but inherited. In other words, they’re inherited attitudes which are both supportive and restrictive at the same time.

An American, Dr Carol Pearson (a personal development specialist) has worked on Jung’s earlier work and throughout the last thirty years has developed Archetype Analysis. In effect it states that you are more restricted by your own ideas, beliefs and attitudes than you would have thought possible. By understanding these restrictions you can understand more about yourself, liberating decision making and identifying negativity and limitations.

Want to find out more about Archetype Analysis? Why not read the full article Archetype Analysis, then visit Colleen Guy’s site, Spirit Mystique for more information.