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.