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Shamanism is for Everyone Part 1

Updated on September 11, 2011

Shamanism is for the uninitiated. It is for each and every human being. It is the birthright we inherited from our ancestors, who can all be traced back to native peoples.

Shamanism is the name given to the spiritual art, practiced by all indigenous peoples throughout history, of directly connecting with spirits to be guided by their extraordinary wisdom, insight and intelligence, while traveling between the worlds of different realities.

Shamanism is just one of many ways to access Divine Wisdom and to explore the unexplored within. It shares many similarities to other spiritual tools including guided meditation, quantum jumping and astral travel, to name a few. Multi-dimensionality and the essentiality of focus and intention are some elements they all have in common. Any of these techniques necessitates following a few simple guidelines to ensure a safe and successful journey into the spiritual realms.

Journeying Guidelines

  • Be willing to work with the Spirits in new and unique ways
  • Be sensitive and compassionate of yourself or anyone you are journeying for
  • Clearly and consciously connect with your Spirit Allies
  • Be respectful of the Spirits and honor them by putting their guidance into practice in your ordinary reality as best as you are able – it is okay to negotiate with them
  • Ask the Spirits to clarify anything you don’t fully understand
  • Ask your Spirit Allies to protect you from spirits whose intentions are other than for your highest good, and that of whom you are journeying for
  • Have a clear intention or intentions before starting each journey (see below for some examples of intentions)
  • Remain non-judgmental of what unfolds during the journey
  • Stay focused, believe and pay attention to the details you receive (see, smell, hear, feel, intuit, etc.) without analyzing them during the journey
  • Unleash your imagination and let the journey unfold as it will
  • Free yourself of expectations

About 6 years ago, I became aware of a constant inner prompting, which I later recognized as my higher self, attempting to rouse within me the desire to explore more of my potentials that I have previously left unexplored. It has, not so subtly, been instructing me to be more open and willing to investigate that which is within me, to release my fear of the unknown and to reach out and tap into the infinite knowledge that is available to not only me, but to each and every one of us.

My baptism into the world of Shamanism came during my first animal communication workshop. With minimal instructions, we journeyed to the Lower World with the intention of retrieving a power animal for a fellow classmate. Once each of us had our own power animal, we then went on our second journey, which was to explore more of the Lower World and get acquainted with our power animal.

Later, as we discussed our journeys, we were surprised at how magical, yet uniquely individual, our experiences were. Each of our journeys also revealed at least one thing that was particularly meaningful for the journeyer. For me, an interest in developing my healing skills in order to help others was just beginning to blossom within me.

In my story of my second journey, I recounted how I met an elven girl, who introduced me to a gnome. I did not get any names, which is not unusual, but it felt right to follow them to the home of the gnome. Only the doorway was visible above ground in a little knoll. We entered through this door and continued down a tunnel that went further into the earth. I remember feeling and smelling the earthiness and dampness. After some time, we came to a room with floor to ceiling shelves. The space on the shelves was completely filled with various containers and jars, each with its own label. The gnome, with a sweep of his arm, indicated to us that here was where all the knowledge and wisdom of herbs was kept.

Typical Journey Intentions

  • To meet your personal or another’s guides or power allies (also called power animals or totems) and get to know them better
  • To request and obtain healing for yourself or another
  • To receive guidance or advice for yourself or another
  • To gain wisdom or knowledge about a particular subject
  • To express gratitude or celebration
  • To explore the infinite beauty of other dimensions or worlds
  • Or anything else that supports your highest good

Types of Spirit Allies

  • Blood ancestors
  • Power animals or totems
  • Your own past, present or future incarnations
  • Spirits of things, places or forces of nature
  • Fairy, mythical or magical creatures such as elves, leprechauns and unicorns
  • Ascended Masters
  • Gods or goddesses

Alternate Realities

  • The Middle World, also referred to as non-ordinary reality, is the counterpart to where we are now in ordinary reality. To visit the Middle World, you may only need to pass through a natural opening or a structure, such as a garden gate, from a place in nature that you are already familiar with. I enter my Middle World through an imaginary garden gate that opens from a remote section of our hay field into a beautiful garden. This garden has a waterfall that I stand under at the start of all my journeys to symbolically “wash away” any ordinary reality static from my day that is monopolizing my attention. The Middle World is also where I call in my Spirit Allies. It is an ideal place to communicate with your Spirit Helpers or have a telepathic conversation with your animal companions. Some practiced journeyers say it can be tricky and difficult to navigate further out in the Middle World, however, as long as you enlist the aid of your Spirit Helpers and heed their guidance, you will be taken care of.
  • The Lower or Under World is all about nature and the physical. It is populated with the animals, spirits and people who are rooted in the earth. Getting there usually means traveling through a tunnel, cave, water or a similar natural feature that goes down into the earth. Travels to the Lower World are for meeting your power animals (they will present themselves to you in 3 different ways), to request healing and guidance, to extract knowledge from the subconscious, and to connect with Ancestor Spirits or other wise beings.
  • The Upper World’s beauty comes from multi-faceted pastel colors and a crystalline clearness. It is sometimes described as heaven-like and is the realm of the Gods/Goddesses, Angels and other Divine Beings. The Upper World is about energy, light, spirituality, higher frequencies and higher learning. Traveling to the Upper World is accomplished by passing through a membrane, such as clouds, smoke or fire, or sometimes from the highest reaches of the branches on a tree or from a mountaintop. Spiritual guidance and healing are common reasons for traveling to the Upper World.

A Power Animal Journey

My intention for this journey was to get to know one of my power animals better and what teaching he (I sense a masculine energy, which is why I say “he”) may have for me.

After entering the Middle World and standing briefly under the cleansing waterfall, Porcupine, my power animal, appeared from the midst of the ceremonial fire. We were directed to walk into the fire, which we did. After entering the fire, we began to rise with the flames and smoke. For a time, we soared over hills and through forests, before landing lightly on a grassy knoll. Porcupine invited me to pet him and to notice how petting him in the “right” direction, in the direction of his quills, he was soft and there was no resistance. But, if petted against the quills, there was resistance and sharp pain. He showed me how his quills quiver and to notice again how he was a contradiction … although, his quills could cause great pain, they also were full of medicine … the nature of my experience with them is dependent on how I approach him and the purity of my intention.

The porcupine’s message to me was about how I get defensive when feeling threatened, and how it may be time for me to let go and forgive the unkind words or actions of others. Defensiveness and seeking retribution only serves to create more pain in a relationship. If I choose to approach others with sensitivity and creativity, I can heal instead of further wounding the relationship.

In Part 2, I go through an easy step by step process for journeying, as well as have an example of a healing journey. Click here:


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    • JBSNVNY profile image

      JBSNVNY 3 years ago from Upstate NY

      Much thanks to you BizGenGirl! I deeply appreciate your comments and the time you took to write them.

    • BizGenGirl profile image

      Bema Self 3 years ago from Seattle

      I can't believe no one else has commented on this beautiful hub! I feel honored to be the first. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and knowledge =)