Spiritual Development

Page 62

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Shamanic Journeys
© CinnamonMoon

Tink asked me to stop by her website and post about shamanic journeys and how to get them
started. I thought I'd share here too so no one is missing anything. So I'll give it a go with a brief
overview, some suggestions, and an exercise to get you started on creating your own sacred
space. This material is copyrighted from my book so please honor that.

The object of a journey is to enter into dimensional realms, usually to meet with a Spirit Guide or
Teacher that will help to enlighten you about the realm, it's laws, teachings, or some spiritual
insight you are seeking, perhaps a question you have in mind initially. Generally it accomplishes
this and a whole lot more.

It is initiated through the meditative state where you have selected a secluded location so you
won't be disturbed, smudged to rid yourself of the negative energies around and within yourself,
and then the focus begins on your breathing. In come the cleansing breaths and you exhale
negative energies, thoughts, or images to clear the mind. As the contol of your breathing begins
to slow and deepen your heart rate matches the pace and you start to balance in this way. From
here you can let the images come or you can employ what many call guided imagery--an
excellent way to start.

Many suggest that you begin the journey through a hollow tree following it's root system down
or going up through the branches. Others focus on elemental forces, the pure element of Air,
Fire, Water, or Earth and create a portal through which you enter that realm. Some suggest
stairways, ladders, ropes to follow. Whatever your preference, they take you deeper within
yourself and to the point of projection as the portal comes into view.

As the image comes into view (much like a daydream does) it begins to take on a life of its own.
There is often the question of what's real...and what's imagination. I can only tell you to assume
it's all real. The root word of imagination is "image" and in that sense it brings it to mind where
you can visualize images that will become animated.

A location is selected, the area and the practitioner then are purified or smudged to clear away
any negative energies and focus on the higher mind. A period of focus that would take one into
meditative states is then initiated. Calling in the elemental forces of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth
and heeding their relative symbology to enhance the cleansing as one inhales, exhaling the
negatives, brings a state of centeredness about. I recommend this as the initiating steps always.
As the meditative state clears the mind and focus is achieved, a veil parts allowing the
practitioner to focus on another location outside time and space as the journey begins. The
shaman can control where he goes, stop sound, stop action, control the speed of travel, and shift
locations at the speed of thought. This journey is one into worlds of other beings and spiritual
entities, where speech becomes telepathic. Movement is at will, and that intent allows the
projection of the inner spirit to be accomplished while all senses are heightened and very much a
part of the process. You can see, taste, touch, feel and hear things very clearly. Some even have
shapeshifting experiences and that's nothing to fear.

Journeys can be taken at different levels that vary from as little as a few minutes to hours. They
include various states of trance, out-of-body experiences, and the projection of spiritual energy.
I'm going to post an exercise here that will allow you to see what I'm talking about and if you
follow it, you will see how this will apply to any focus that you want to take. For our purpose
we'll explore a portal that will let the environment come into view for you and create your own
sacred space.

I suggest the image of a meadow near the edge of a forest. In this imaginary place you can walk
near the tree line and see a deer trail leading inward. Following it into the dappled shadows of
sunlight that spill to the ground spreading through the undergrowth, you see the roots of trees are
bared along the path, and you must carefully step over them to make your way up an incline. The
trail begins to veer left winding around the hill clockwise.

Forest creatures are skittering around in the branches of the trees. The air is warm, damp, and a
refreshing breeze brushes your face. As you come to the back side of the hill you see a bush that
has nearly overgrown the entrance to a cave. Your curiosity gets the better of you, so pushing
back the branches you duck to enter and find the ceiling of the cave gives just enough clearance
to stand upright. As your eyes adjust to the light you notice a faint flicker near the back and walk
toward it.

The formation of a dimly lit tunnel off to your right calls you to explore deeper. The tunnel goes
on for about 100 yards with a path of soft, damp sand. Fresh air is coming from the far end
drawing your attention to a brighter light at the end of the tunnel. Your curiosity beckons you to
quicken the pace. As you reach the end of the tunnel it opens into a chamber with a myriad of
crystals that are embedded in the rock walls. There is a fire trough in the center of the floor.
Look up and explore all the nooks and crannies as you step into this secret chamber.

Letting your imagination take you from here, you can create anything you want. This has now
become the center of your Sacred Space, a workroom from which you will begin to assemble all
you need for furnishing the chamber. Take control. Do you want a work table, a desk, tools,
books, chairs, or a smoke hole in the roof? There should be a source for each of the four
elements to manifest themselves for balance. You are the creator of this space and can make it
comfortable, secure, and as roomy as you like, coming and going as you please. It can be an
escape from the mundane world, stress, worries, or the complications of life. It can also be a
springboard for much more.

It may take several visits to get the chamber furnished, but as your abilities and needs grow the
cavern can and will accommodate them. When it has been visited several times it begins to take
on a feeling of being at home and comfortable. At that point you can shift your consciousness to
the next level. You may be ready to enter it through the Dream Lodge and find yourself going
there automatically at night to work on your skills. You may feel you are ready to begin journey
work and find a need to expand its capabilities. There will be no doubt in your mind when that
time comes, and it is the next level you will explore.

When you are ready to journey there will be a need for a portal of some sort that you can pass
through into other dimensional realms. Create an image you are comfortable with and work with
it. Perhaps a dais with a light you step into and through; a mirror that is a secret doorway; an
ordinary door; a trapdoor in the floor; a ladder against the wall; hidden passageways; a pool of
water that you dive into; a waterfall you step behind...you choose what pleases you.
These new passageways will open into the dimensions where landscapes will await you and the
explorations you wish to pursue. There will be encounters with strange and wonderful places,
their inhabitants, Power Animals, Totems, Spirit Guides, and entities that will become your
friends. Each encounter you experience will teach things about the dimension, but more
importantly about yourself.

When you enter such a dimensional realm it is important to be cautious and observe at first. You
must learn the laws by which it functions, cultural aspects and ethics of those who inhabit it, and
never forget your manners. You are a guest in a strange land, in the abode of spiritual entities
that did not necessarily ask you to come there, so you need to behave. Walk with respect as you
present yourself to them. They will generally present a challenge to see your courage, intentions,
integrity, and if your ways are impeccable.

Standing to these challenges means that you also have the right to expect the same from them.
You should return the challenge respectfully by asking the name of the being you encounter and
why they have chosen to appear. Ask what they have come to show you or teach you. It is
always best to open communication with a proper introduction as to who you are, why you have
come (this can be as simple as stating you want to learn about the realm), and what you are
willing to give in exchange for the privilege of being there.

Trust your senses, as they will be raised to a new height to explore this strange environment. Let
them bring back their messages so you can begin to understand things. On this level the
subconscious mind is in control, functioning with its own expansive logic, and it can
comprehend with acceptance things that the conscious mind would argue. What is fantastic
becomes the norm and is assimilated quickly. You may find the ability to understand different
languages, move with the speed of thought, receive telepathic communications, and any number
of things.

You have now stepped outside your imagination to experience another reality. As you begin
getting your bearings, note the landmarks in that area. Initial explorations are short, allowing you
to become familiar with the surroundings and how to function. With each successive venture
there is a gradual deepening to the probes, more entities reveal themselves, and you receive
greater enlightenment. You are a visitor and cannot remain in these realms forever. Through your
senses you will come to know when it is time to return to your Sacred Space.

Upon returning you need to close the portal that was used so that your own chamber remains
secure. The close is achieved by reversing the process used to enter your sacred space.
Withdrawal is then gentle as the senses and elemental energies flow with momentary focus. You
let yourself sense the elemental energies slip away into Mother Earth. Step by step you return to
a conscious state where you feel the solidity of your immediate environment return.
Your senses are triggered by the choice you made to begin to attune to the new movement. Each
sense, already honed, takes a unique focus and together they team up to act as a powerful tool.
Our senses guide, warn, and protect us extremely well when in an altered state of consciousness.
The trick here is in the level of trust we place in the senses and their accuracy. Time proves this
to us.

It is necessary to shift back into the awareness for that level and put things in order. Gather
yourself when you have finished, leaving through the tunnel which leads back to the cave
entrance. Let your eyes adjust to the dimmer light and then the brighter light of day at the mouth
of the cave. The Wind is gently rocking the branches of the bush that conceals the entrance.
Smelling the density of the forest growth and the dampness of the soil, you now step back out
into the dappled sunlight to follow the deer trail back to the meadow.

Songbirds are lending their voices to the setting sun, and the critters that scamper are beginning
to settle in for the coming of twilight. Your senses are telling you it's time to shift again and
close your mind's eye, to breathe deeply and draw back to your secluded space. Each breath takes
you closer to the surface and the shift comes once again to let you know that your environment
has changed.

You are back where it all began. Continue with a few more deep breaths, feeling invigorated.
When you are ready, open your eyes. Settle into the physical reality, releasing the elemental
forces and bidding them well. Remember to thank them for their help by leaving a token gift if
you have not done so already. Break your Sacred Space by gathering up any things you may
have elected to bring with you. It is advisable to do any journal work while your mind is still
fresh. When this is complete the assimilation process begins and the need to focus on honing the
lessons that have been received becomes important.

Once back to the mundane world there will be tests and the need to apply your new skills or
knowledge. At that point you may experience a lull in your spiritual path. This is a time of
restoring energy to the body, attending to family, work, and other matters. It leaves the open
space needed to enter a new cycle of growth. The skills and knowledge you gain find many
applications as you walk your spiritual path...and the mundane one too. Learn to use them to
serve your own basic needs, but more importantly to serve the will of Spirit and All Our
Relations. Learn the side trails that lead to dimensional sources of even greater growth. Utilizing
your Sacred Space becomes second nature after a few of these journeys, which become tools of
simplicity to be used in a wide variety of ways.

You may discover glimpses of the future are shown to nudge you onward. These are clues as to
what lies ahead, wetting your curiosity, making you explore a little deeper, inspiring you to try a
little harder, and giving you the confidence to do it. When you heed the call these visions stir
within you there will be other discoveries along the way; blessings await as Gifts of Spirit that
will make the journey a little easier to grow into your path.


That bit about experiencing a lull as your energy is being restored etc.
What kind of impact have you found physically from journeying? As in... I remember when I first
started journeying, it was like being mugged by energy. Hit me very strongly on the physical
level. Not necessarily very tired, but just a bit flat or burnt out feeling. But soooo hungry!!! lol.
Then I got used to it. and didn't have such a strong reaction. Now I find the impact is not on my
immediate physical body, but I can see the impact of the journey through the physical and
emotional fields of my life.

Sometimes something would unravel and it would leave my life - a person's association, or a
point of view. Others would move in. the Interplay between the journey world and the physical is
totally fascinating me at the moment.


I've personally never had a reaction to journeying, Lune. It's no different, for me, than sitting in a
chair on a lazy afternoon and coming out of a daydream. Deep trance work does affect me and
there is a little grounding that needs to be done and rest afterwards, but not with a journey. For
me anyway.

Nor do I associate events in my life to the journeywork I do. That's something I'll try to be more
observant about. I do see events relative to my own growth though, and those are very applicable
to the spiritual work I do...VERY much so.


Like my subject heading? it is because I couldn't think of one. I think with the life events and
journeywork it is like you say that they are connected with your growth, and journeywork is a
tool to facilitate your spiritual growth. That is why I think I associate things with the journeys.
But you know, you post also leaves me thinking about the difference between trance work and
journeywork. Most journeys for me are like you describe of coming out of a daydream.
But sometimes I have the physical reaction that requires grounding and rest. In fact I always
thought of it as grounding the work I had done in the journey. Say for e.g., doing work on the
spirit webbing, it is most important to ground that work so it will sort of be concreted in reality
more. Otherwise the threads just kinda slip back a bit to the way they were or halfway, or get a
bit scrambled.

I just call that kind of work journeying though too, as for me the biggest hallmark of a journey is
the trusting and surrendering to the process. As opposed to say setting a wheel where you are
directing the process a lot and guiding things through a predetermined ritual.
Where does journeying end and the rest of life begin? That trusting and surrendering to the flow
of things and working within that flow is something that journeying has taught me to do better.
Where does it change from journeying to general life?

What about the other end - where does journeying end and trance work begin?

Is it all just semantics anyway, Cinn? I think I experience it as a continuum from general life
through journeying to trance work. All of which I tend to think of as journeying anyway! LOL
What about you?


Well Lune, I think to some degree you are right it is semantics. If you're open and centered it's all
there for you. I guess that I would say these are terms for varying degrees of conscious
awareness like varying degrees of trance, some is lighter and some is deeper.
The journey is like taking a trip through spiritual realms and learning as you go. Trance work is
more focused on a specific issue. Bringing it into the physical reality and conscious awareness is
the trick...if you want to be aware of that, you bring it with you (willpower). We have to choose
to be aware.


That makes sense to me.

I think the difference in the points of view is that right from the start I learnt to journey with a
specific focus and goal to accomplish. In fact I was told to make sure that each journey I did had
a specific point to it, until I was experienced enough to go on a journey without a specific point.
I never did find out when you were experienced enough to do it I just ended up doing it
eventually. But I think I like the safety of the framework that journeying with a purpose gave me
while I was learning the ropes.

Looking back at out posts though that makes sense of the difference in perspective.
So when do you use a journey without a specific point to it?
I never did figure that one out.

Bringing it into the physical realm and conscious awareness... yep I agree. Otherwise it ends up
being a dream you have forgotten LOL

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

Cinnamon Moon
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