Shamanic journeying seems to be gaining more and more popularity as the world awakens to our deeper subconscious. Journeying is a beautiful tool to connect deeper to our inner wisdom, receive insights and healings as we walk the Sacred Path. However, it can be a bit overwhelming to some. In the beginning of my relationship with journeying I had a lot of questions and as I guide others into journey, they have a lot of questions so below is an FAQ about shamanic journeying. I hope it brings clarity and encourages you to deepen your connection to this sacred spiritual tool.
What is the point of journeying?
Many of us in todays society are disconnected from our inner voice. We take on the "noise" of our busy lives and often lose our deeper connection to the world around us. Journeying serves as a tool to reconnect to our inner world, our wisdom and to the natural world around and within us. Journeying can help bring insights to questions you may have about your path/your life, it can introduce you to Spirit Guides/Ancestors to bring you healing and blessings and if you're a healer in any way, it may help you with the medicine you bring to others by improving/connecting you even deeper to your psychic gifts.
2. How do I prepare for a journey?
You really don't need much for a shamanic journey. Some people like to sit in a comfy position while journeying or choose to lay down. Keep in mind if you're prone to falling asleep easily, you may want to sit upright.
Clear the space you're journeying in. You can energetically clear it with positive words or intentions or smudge with herbs or herbal infused cleansing sprays.
Set an intention. Are you seeking clarity, insight on a specific part of your life? Maybe you are wanting to meet a guide to help you in an area of your life. Or maybe you are requesting a healing for a physical/mental imbalance in your body. State that intention. I also like to say a prayer of gratitude for any guides or helpers as well as My Ancestors that will be with me in the journey space. I really like Betsy Bergstrom's invocation.
Listening to a shamanic drumming beat can be very helpful to get you out of your left analytical brain and help you tap into your right creative brain. Some people choose to listen to relaxing music while journeying or choose silence. You get to decide what works best for you. I enjoy Michael Harner's drumming track on youtube:Michael Harner: Shamanic Journey – 15 minutes solo drumming - YouTube
Some also prefer a blindfold while journeying.
3. How long do I journey for and how often?
This is totally up to you. I describe journeying like working a new muscle. It can feel challenging to surrender for long lengths of time at first. And a lot can happen in a short journey space since time is really an illusion in the spiritual realm. So maybe you start with 5 minutes a day and work your way up to 15, 30, etc. Your intuition will show you how long you need each time. I journey every day to every other day now. Sometimes my journeys are 10 minutes, sometimes an hour. It all depends on my intention. Give yourself grace and remember consistency is super helpful as journeying is a skill take everyone is capable of but takes practice.
4. What if I can't "see" anything during my journey?
A common misconception is that the goal is to SEE something in your journey but the truth is the intention is to connect back to you fully. And you are full of many more sense than sight. Everyone has senses they are most connected to. Are you a feeler, do you hear messages, are you someone who just knows when something is happening? Maybe you are someone who tastes or smells things in the journeying space. Sight is only one way to experience the journeying space.
Start playing with and paying attention to all your senses in the journeys. Notice the way Mother Earth feels below you, what is the temperature like in your journey, are there any scents coming through? By focusing on all your different senses, your ability to more fully receive divine guidance in the journey space with increase over time!
5. How do I know I'm not making this up?
I get this question a lot. Our unhealed egos get in the way during our journeys at times and make us doubt what we are experiencing. That's normal-our ego is trying to "protect" us and pull us back to "reality" even though the journey space is a very real reality but the ego just doesn't see it that way. So one thing I do before and during a journey is ask my unhealed ego to step aside, just during the journeying time. You may even visualize where your unhealed ego is in your body and imagine picking it up and putting it into a golden box somewhere in your room.
Ok, so the reality is your are making some of this up. But it is purposeful imagination. Your imagination is a GIFT during your journeys. It creates images, sensations, sounds that you are meant to experience during a journey. Your imagination is actually a beautiful guide when you are connecting to the spiritual realm. However, again, the ego can get in the way. When something is coming through in a journey that I am wondering if I am making it up for my ego's sake I place a hand on my heart and ask: Is the experience of my heart or ego? Then I feel into that answer. It it feels like its my ego I ask it to be released and to only be shown guidance from my heart space. You can do this as many times as you need to in the journey space until your ego tries to butt in less and less.
All in all, when you make things up it is either ego driven or heart driven. Heart driven imagination is the key to receiving spiritual guidance. Welcome that. Try not to question that.
5. What if what I'm experiencing in the journey doesn't make sense...like at all?
Totally normal! So the intention is to be in your right brain primarily during these journeys. That means you've essentially turned off your ability to understand/judge/analyze what is coming up. Think about it like this: when you go on a journey its like picking up little bits of subconscious knowledge + wisdom and putting it into a little basket. As you walk/float/run around in the journey you put it in the basket without really knowing what it is. But you keep moving on ALLOWING the little gifts to go into your basket.
Once you come out of the journey and enter into that left brain thinking again you can look inside of your basket and start analyzing what took place. Things will likely start making sense as you flip into the left brain. And if they don't make sense now, maybe they will later down the road. Try not to force meaning on anything coming up for you.
6. What do I do after a journey?
I recommend keeping a journeying journal so you can write about what you experienced in the journeying state. Especially because things may not make sense until a bit after you come out of the altered state of mind. If you're not into writing, I suggest keeping an audio or video journal of you talking about your experience. Some people enjoy recording themselves describing the journeying during the journey the whole time. I do a mixture of both and find it really helpful.
Drink lots of water to help integrate all the quantum shifts that tend to take place during a journey.
Call a friend. Sometimes its helpful to share your experience with another human.
Give yourself grace and space to process what took place during your journey.
7. What if I have tried journeying and I'm just not getting it?
Reach out to a professional and get some guidance. One of my favorite services I offer is Shamanic journeying and Ancestral journeying where I guide you with my drum to an altered state of consciousness to gain insight and wisdom. I am always amazed at how deep people go and their ability to surrender to the Great Divine during these journeys. Book a session with me or a phone consultation.
Journeying will truly change your life if you dive into it with receptivity and commitment.