Personal Shamanic Journeying

Published Nexus News, Lansing, MI. Nov./Dec. 1998

Are you a spiritual seeker but feeling a little lost? Looking for a personal divine connection? Then Personal Shamanic Journeying may be for you.

Shamanic Journeying is a method of connecting directly to Spirit Source for guidance and connection. According to Michael Harner, founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and author of “Way of the Shaman”, the term Shaman has been adapted from the Tungus people of Siberia meaning “one who sees in the dark”. The name denotes the ability of the Shamanic Practitioner to journey out of space and time. Shamans are often called “seers” or “knowers” because of this ability to journey into non-ordinary reality and experience the Spiritual realm first-hand. Becoming a Shamanic Practitioner who journeys for the purpose of healing others requires extended training and experience, however learning to journey shamanically for personal use does not. Everyone has the ability to connect with Spirit and Personal Shamanic Journeying is a simple method for completing this connection.

Shamanism is not a religion, it is a method of healing. It co-exists with other religions in many cultures and underlies all other spiritual traditions. Shamanism has been effective for approximately 40 thousand years and has existed on all continents. Shamanism represents the most widespread and ancient methodological system of mind-body healing known to humanity according to Michael Harner.

Learning how to Journey Shamanically is enjoyable and has many benefits. The experience of journeying is personal, deep, and profound. When you learn to journey, you learn to travel inward to the world of the Spirits, in what is termed non-ordinary reality. It is a reality that is real and happening, just outside of our daily perceptions. Through listening to a rhythmic sound such as steady drumming, a person is able to enter an altered state of consciousness termed the Shamanic State of Consciousness (SSC), similar to that of hypnosis or deep meditation.

In an interview with Alternative Therapies (magazine), Michael Harner states, “Everything that’s ever been known, everything that can be known, is available to the Shaman in Dreamtime. That’s why Shamans can be prophets; that’s why they can go back and look at the past. With discipline, training, and the help of the Spirits, this total source of knowledge is accessible.”

Shamanic Journeying also has the added benefit of improved physical health. In shamanic journeying the body relaxes and brain waves shift into theta state, the state of deep relaxation. This is the same state we are aiming to reach when we do meditation, hypnosis, or guided relaxation. So the same physical benefits apply.

The most profound benefit I have experienced is the ability to have a personal divine relationship with my Spirit Guides. This has shifted my life in a very positive way. I no longer feel alone and adrift in the big sea of life. It has healed my physical challenges of chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome and fibromyalgia. Any questions I struggle with, any concerns I have, anything about anything, I simply journey to my Spirit Guides with this question in mind and after about 15 minutes of journeying, I have received guidance. I feel more calm and peaceful in my everyday life having this direct Spirit connection. It has given new meaning to my life and my understanding of all of life.

In my daily practice, I have found shamanic journeying more effective than meditation because of the focus which frees my conscious critical mind and allows for a more complete relaxation and alteration of consciousness. Frequent journeying keeps my Spirit relationships strong, maintains that calm I feel when I am connected, and gives the added benefit of deep relaxation. I find shamanic journeying enjoyable while it takes me to deep and profound place. It is fun and empowering to meet the many Spirits who are there to help us live life to the fullest, to explore new worlds, and to personally connect with the divine.

In beginning shamanic journeying a person learns how to journey to the upper and lower Spirit Worlds to make contact with their Power Animals or Guardian Spirits and to become familiar with the “terrain” of the Spirit World. There are many different levels in the Spiritual realm and many different Helping Spirits who guide us. Therefore, all journeys are unique and personal. More advanced personal journeying allows an individual to move between the Spirit realms and become more proficient in the process.