Shamanic Journey Primer
Your First Shamanic Journey
So, you're going to take the plunge right, you say, and go on a Shamanic Journey. It may be a guided meditation style, or you may be taking yourself under, but in any event you've decided to dive into another world. It may be a world within, or a world outside yourself, but one thing is clear: it is a world you exist within made of at least as many parts of thought as it is energy. Before you go in it is wise to do a few things, have a few things ready, and know what to expect.
Before getting started, it is best to do some form of cleansing work and ritual on yourself. This may be as simple as burning some sage and allowing the smoke to cleanse you and the room, or as complex as a full banishing ritual. Take some time during this for some quiet internal contemplation; even ten minutes can make a very large difference. While you're cleansing, remember to ground as well. Excess energy can be great under the right circumstances, but in this situation you need to be balanced and clear of mind.
Have a light snack (something whole grain, filling, and earthy is always a good option) beforehand. Alternatively, fruits or vegetables can be invaluable for this. The snack will help keep you focused on the journey and less on appetite issues. Remember, a small snack is not a large meal. It is just enough to be sure you're satiated, but not enough to fill you. Along with your snack, get a very small glass of water or a small cup of chamomile tea. The tea will be relaxing, the water will act to keep you from thirst better, but both will work well.
Make sure there are no distractions. The issue with being distracted by intervention during journeying is NOT that it creates some major difficulty within your life, but that the act of being distracted builds a negative pattern toward the act of journeying. When we are distracted when beginning journeying or during journeying, we teach our minds that journeying is a thing we may not have time for. We reinforce negative patterns if we allow distractions to be a major factor, and create worry for future journeys. Put the cell on complete silent. Turn the TV and Radio off and find a room in which you will not be disturbed.
What to Expect:
Shamanic journeying is a rewarding experience that is often more or less real than we might expect. For most people, it is a shadowy experience of intense emotions but less physical, less solid. For some it is hyper solid, hyper real, not indistinguishable from the real world but certainly more intense. The main thing during such journeys is to not judge your outcome based on someone's description of what it SHOULD feel like. You're going to experience your journey in a way that is unique and wholly yours.
Remember you are never in danger during shamanic journey. You're safe, cleansed, grounded, and ready for this and as such have nothing to worry about. Recognize, though, that you may feel discomfort, pain, or even panic. These are all ok, don't judge yourself if your journey involves these. Shamanic journeying is a cleansing practice that brings us sometimes to confront many things in our selves.
After Your Journey:
First make sure you have another glass of water on hand or available for after the journey. A small piece of chocolate can also be a positive reinforcement. Bread can help with grounding out after the journey is complete. Having sage or other incense to cleanse with after the journey can also be very valuable.
Above all, take your time coming out of the journeying state. Be relaxed, at ease, and find your footing gently after the journey. If you take the time to come out of your journey slowly, you will find the reward for having done so much greater. Do not rush function afterwards and leave at least ten or fifteen minutes for recovery after the journey.
Remember, the journey can be a great and enjoyable experience if you take the time to prepare appropriately, do not force an expectation upon yourself of the result, and are prepared to take the time needed to process what you have experienced. You can gain much from a journey in terms of insight into the self. Recognizing this valuable tool and how to be better able use it in your life can be wonderful.