Some weeks ago I read a blog that stuck in my mind and got me thinking. The author of it was talking about how visiting nature in your mind, in your imagination, instead of getting out in it meant that often it was a very sanitised view of nature that was being visited.
In a shamanic journey this doesn’t happen. There is nothing at all about shamanism that is sanitised in any way so in a shamanic journey death and dismemberment can both be realities, the space that is being ‘visited’ can also be dark, damp, dangerous and unknown and the journey is always as real as being here in ordinary reality.
And therein lies the difference between going somewhere in your mind, in your imagination and undergoing a shamanic journey. For a shaman there is no difference between this reality and any other reality that is entered. They are one and the same.
So what is a shamanic journey?
A shamanic journey is a way of accessing realities that are unseen or unnoticed in our ordinary everyday reality. They are alternative realities where those taking a shamanic journey can access their spirit allies, knowledge and the guidance that is made available to them there.
A shaman’s cosmos consists of Upper, Middle and Lower Worlds and there are many different levels to be found in each of these making the shamans cosmos both complex yet easily accessible to them.
All shamanic journeys take place in some form of trance. Sometimes the trance is deep at other times light. It can also at times be a case of walking with a foot in both worlds, neither fully here nor fully there in order to shift back and forth between realities as needed but the shaman always knows where they are and is in complete control.
Unlike in a meditation within a journey, just as in this reality, decisions need to be made, conversations had, and tasks undergone all of which stem from the reason for or purpose of the journey, for it is the intention at the start that drives everything.
Ways of entering a journey are for example, working with a drum or drumming CD, a rattle, singing bowl, chanting, dancing, Breathwork or simply stepping in, in fact any way that the shaman chooses to use to step into a trance.