Updated: Dec 2, 2019
What is Shamanic Journeywork?
Shamanic journeying is a beautiful practice that I have found to be life enriching and empowering. It is a technique typically used by Shamans, and they enter a slightly altered state of consciousness or light trance state in order to receive messages, healing, and guidance. However, you don’t need to be a Shaman in order to go on a Shamanic journey. I love the words used by Sandra Ingerman in her book Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide, “Shamanic journeying is a joyful path to regaining the knowledge of how to bring our lives back into a place of harmony and balance. It helps us to wake up to our full creative potential. As we do this, our lives change in a way that brings good health and well-being to ourselves and others.”
Shamanic journeying will feel similar in many ways to a guided meditation. You consciously take time to calm down and center, focusing on your breathing and allowing your mind and body to still. I will guide you through the experience using the sound of a rattle and my voice to facilitate relaxation and guide you through the journey. Personally I found shamanic journeying to be easier than a guided meditation, but that experience varies. I also appreciate that journeying has a specific intention and goal in mind set prior to going on the journey.
Now to address some fears…
The terms “trance” or “altered state of consciousness” may seem scary so let me address those concerns. First, the trance is light- you will be able to remember what happened, and will not have an out of body experience. Journeying is not like a hypnotic trance- you will still have complete control over your body, thoughts, and mind. Journeying is gentle, a way to facilitate relaxation so that you can access messages you are normally not aware of. It may feel like a dream, or a guided meditation. There is no need to be scared of the experience- it is completely safe and you will be guided the whole time.
What will happen on the journey?
Prior to the journey, we usually do a few short breathing exercises to help you relax and enter a calmer state. Then we state the intention for the journey, and a few protections.
Usually journeywork is best completed laying down, or you can sit up if you are worried about falling asleep. I will use a rattle to create a rhythmic background sound, and use my voice to walk you through each step of the journey. Your body stays still, and your mind travels. It’s like using your imagination! You may “see” what’s around you, perhaps you will “hear” messages from your guides, or you may “feel” what’s going on around you. It is different for every person, and typically the more you journey the more you experience. Each journey has different intentions and may involve travel to different places. For example, on a power animal and shield journey I will guide you to a place to meet your power animal, and then we will install an energetic shield to help protect you. At the end of the journey, I will ask you to write down what you remember from the journey so that it stays with you- it’s like waking up from a dream where the details may slip away if you don’t write them down.
What are your experiences with journeywork?
I personally found journeying very helpful in being able to connect with my guides. It was my first introduction to my power animal! Now I am able to connect to guides and higher self without journeying, but learning how to journey was my first steps in order to do so. I love how journeying is fully about self-care. Taking the time to go on a shamanic journey feels very loving, since I usually journey to receive guidance or healing for myself. I have always had positive experiences on journeys, and often they are even more beautiful than I could have possibly anticipated. My favorite part about journeying to speak with guides is the sense of support I receive. Sometimes I feel lonely in my spiritual work. Don’t get me wrong- I have a huge support network of humans who support me in this life, but sometimes it can still feel lonely. Shamanic journeywork connected me with my spirit guides who work with me on an energetic level. Their love and support feels so tangible in a journey, and it reminds me that I’m never alone, that I can always call on spirit guides for support, guidance, and healing.
What are some things you might do on journeys?
The possibilities are virtually endless, but here are a few possibilities!
-Meet your spirit guides
-Visit with the plant kingdom for guidance on healing herbs and foods
-Ask for interpretations of dreams
-Visit loved ones who have passed
-Ask for guidance about social situations happening in your life such as conflicts with loved ones
-Explore the three worlds (upper world, lower world, middle world)
-Learn more about your history, or meet an ancestor
-Receive guidance on your health, well-being, happiness, career, etc.
-Connect with nature spirits around the area you live, want to live, or have visited,
For more information about shamanic Journeying, feel free to send me a message. Or, I highly recommend Sandra Ingerman’s book Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide.