- Tips for Beginning Journeywork
- What is Shamanic Journey?
- Where do we go when we Journey?
- Who are Shamanic Guides?
- What is Soul Retrieval?
- What is Soul Recovery?
• Be comfortable on your back You can sit up if you prefer but have a tall spine.
• Have a Journal & Water handy Fruit and nuts are good for grounding after your Journey too.
• Cover your eyes This helps to activate your Pineal Gland which aids in dreaming and sleep.
• Be Open and Try, Try, Try Again Often it takes people several months of Journey work before things start to make sense, be patient with your experience and commit to trying it at least 6 times.
• Just Say No If your experience becomes uncomfortable or “too much,” say “I need less at this time” and continue on your Journey or come out, before you Journey ask for things to be clear, simple and for your highest good in a good and gentle way.
Shamanic Journey is a “drummed meditation” that is 4 beats per second to help our brainwaves shift into a more meditative and dream-like state (theta or alpha waves) where we are open to insights about ourselves and others. It is also important to cover the eyes during Journey work to activate the pineal gland which secretes melatonin, the hormone that helps us relax, sleep and dream. Often we “Journey” for information about ourselves, to meet our guides or explore healing work for yourselves or others. When we are beginning Journey work we should only do work for ourselves until we have met our guides and have a very firm grasp on what happens when we Journey, where we go, become familiar with the landscape, have had some healing work and explored our “shadow components.”
Oftentimes it can take several years of personal Journey work and guidance from an experienced practitioner before we are ready to “be hired” by another person to Journey on their behalf for information or soul parts (see Soul Retrieval). We may never “be hired” by other people but may “be hired” by our ancestors, the spirits of the land or our own guides to do healing work on their behalf.
We may only ever do Journey work for our own personal exploratory reasons, to open up to messages from our subconscious, our dreams, our guides, our ancestors or the land.
There are 3 worlds or realms we visit when we practice Shamanic Journey.
The Lower World is the place of the subconscious, primal urges and our Animal Guides who are waiting to help us sort out our issues. The Lower World is guarded by Waskar (Huascar) in the Inca (Andean) view. Waskar may appear as a person or a rock or a tree, Waskar guards the threshold to the Lower World and may also be our guide for many of our beginning Journeys. It is best to start in the Lower World and continue to visit for a good long while to become familiar with your own energies and the energies of your Guides.
The Middle World is where we experience energy work (like Reiki or Healing Touch), meditation and day dreams. The Middle World is the “design behind the physical.” It is the energetics of our physical existence, we can effect change in this realm though intent and practice, sometimes the physical shifts first then the energetic, sometimes the other way around.
The Upper World is a striated realm of 5 different places where we may experience “otherworldly” plants, rocks, germs, sometimes animals, but most often Spiritual Guides who may not have a physical form, sometimes Angels and even whales or dolphins exist on this plane, it is the closest to our Star Relatives and so is the most difficult to put into words. When we shift our vibrations higher and higher, the less physical our experience becomes. When we try to explain it we find it’s like music or color, it’s more experiential than our human experience can contain.
When we start Shamanic Journey work most likely we will be connected with Animal Guides. Sometimes these guides are not animals but plants or people or stones. This is absolutely fine, sometimes they begin as animals and morph into other beings. When beginning Journey work to connect with guides it can be fun to play with meeting animals and learning from them; their characteristics, their personalities, the way they situate their homes, are they solitary or communal creatures? There’s so much we can learn from just one guide, it’s good to get very familiar with one (animal) Guide, try to visit your Guide frequently, once week is a good amount of time to practice Journey work, more than that is fine.
Over time, after many years of Journey work sometimes we can tap into that space of connection without going into Journey with the drum and receive “on the spot” guidance. Keep practicing and enjoy the process!
When we experience trauma sometimes parts of ourselves leave in that moment because it’s “too much.” It can be any kind of trauma; emotional, mental, spiritual or physical. Our spirit may fragment in an attempt at protection – preservation of the self.
Receiving those parts back once the trauma had passed and we are ready to take care of them can be an incredible healing. The result of soul retrieval is usually a sense of feeling “ones self again.” Feeling at home in our own bodies, hearts, minds and spaces after a period of time of living by coping without that piece that needed protection.
Soul Recovery is similar to Soul Retrieval but more spontaneous. Sometimes when we are “doing the work” and the trauma has passed where a soul part left, we are ready to receive that part back. Sometimes those parts come back to us during Shamanic Journey, Meditation or Dreams, or any other ordinary time we have the notion; a memory or sudden thought about those moments and who we used to be or the moment of trauma. Typically we are already doing the work that that soul part wants us to do and so it comes back on it’s own, where as with Soul Retrieval we hire someone who experienced in Journey work to go find those parts and bring them back intentionally if they are ready and we are ready to do what they need.