Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide

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Have you ever felt disconnected from your spirituality or searching for a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you? Shamanic journeying may be just the tool you need to embark on a journey of self-discovery and connection with the spiritual realms. But what exactly is shamanic journeying? How does it work? And how can you get started? In this article, we will explore the basics of shamanic journeying, including its origins, benefits, and step-by-step techniques for practice. So, grab a journal and an open mind, and let’s dive into the world of shamanic journeying.

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What is Shamanic Journeying?

What Is Shamanic Journeying?
When it comes to exploring one’s consciousness and spirituality, there are a plethora of practices and methods to choose from. One such practice that has stood the test of time and continues to intrigue people to this day is shamanic journeying. This ancient technique involves entering a trance-like state in order to connect with the spiritual realm and obtain guidance from benevolent spirits. But what exactly is shamanic journeying, and how does it work? Let’s delve deeper into the definition, origins, and mechanics of this fascinating practice.

Definition and Origins

Shamanic journeying is an ancient practice that has been used by indigenous cultures around the world for centuries as a way to connect with the spiritual realm. Here are some definitions and origins of shamanic journeying:

  • Definition: Shamanism is an ancient practice that involves connecting with the spiritual realm through altered states of consciousness. Shamanic journeying is a specific shamanic technique that involves entering into a trance state to explore the spiritual realm.
  • Origins: Shamanic journeying originated in indigenous cultures around the world, including Native American, African, and Siberian cultures. Shamans were regarded as spiritual leaders and healers who could communicate with the spirit world to gain insight and wisdom.

The practice of shamanic journeying typically involves the use of a drum or other rhythmic instrument to induce a trance state. The shaman then travels to the spiritual realm to seek guidance, wisdom, or healing. In many cultures, shamanic journeying is seen as a way to connect with one’s ancestors and to receive guidance from them.

Shamanic journeying is a powerful spiritual practice that allows individuals to gain access to the wisdom and guidance of the spiritual realm. It can be a transformative experience that helps individuals to connect with their true selves and to gain insight into their lives.

How It Works

Shamanic journeying is a powerful technique that can open the door to the spirit realm and allow for deep personal transformation. It works by altering the brainwaves of the journeyer to facilitate a state of expanded awareness that allows them to interact with spirit guides, receive insights and learn important lessons.

Here is how shamanic journeying works:

  • Shift in Brainwaves: Shamanic journeying involves slowing down the normal waking beta brainwaves and entering into a deeper alpha or theta brainwave state. This shift allows the journeyer to access their subconscious and connect with other realms of consciousness.
  • Spirit Helpers: Once in this altered state of consciousness, the journeyer can communicate with their spirit helpers like power animals, ancestors, and angels. These helpers are believed to have access to vast knowledge and wisdom that can assist the journeyer in gaining greater understanding and insight.
  • Symbolic Language: The spirit realm often communicates with symbolic language, which may appear to the journeyer in the form of metaphors, images, or other sensory experiences. These symbols can be interpreted to reveal deep insights into the journeyer’s personal path, purpose, and potential.
  • Integration: Upon returning from the journey, the journeyer is encouraged to integrate their experience into their daily life. This can involve reflecting on the insights received, journaling about the journey, or simply allowing the experience to inform their thoughts and actions as they move forward.

By using shamanic journeying as a tool for self-discovery and personal growth, individuals can gain greater clarity, insight, and meaning in their lives. As with any spiritual practice, regular journeying can enhance one’s connection to their spirit guides, deepen their understanding of the self and the universe, and ultimately lead to greater spiritual fulfillment.

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Why Practice Shamanic Journeying?

Why Practice Shamanic Journeying?
As we delve deeper into the world of shamanic journeying, some may wonder why this practice is worth pursuing. What are the benefits of embarking on such a journey? What can it offer to those who take the leap of faith? These questions may arise, but fear not – the answers lie ahead as we explore the many reasons why shamanic journeying is a powerful and transformative tool for personal growth and spiritual exploration. Through connecting with the unseen realms, we can tap into our inner wisdom, find guidance and support from spirit allies, and cultivate a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us. So let us journey forth to discover the many wonders that await us on this path.

Benefits of Journeying

There are numerous benefits to practicing shamanic journeying that can positively impact one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Some of the main benefits include:

  • Relaxation and Stress-Reduction: Shamanic journeying facilitates a state of relaxation and inner calm, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels.
  • Healing and Self-Discovery: Through meeting power animals and exploring the spiritual realm, shamanic journeying can help individuals gain insights into themselves and their life path, leading to personal growth and self-discovery.
  • Connection to Nature: Shamanic journeying involves connecting with the natural world and honoring the web of life, which can help individuals to deepen their connection to the earth and all its inhabitants.
  • Increased Creativity and Intuition: Journeying can enhance creativity and intuition by allowing individuals to tap into their subconscious and receive guidance from the spirit realm.
  • Enhanced Emotional Regulation: Shamanic journeying can help individuals learn to regulate their emotions by cultivating a sense of inner peace and balance.
  • Improved Mental Clarity: By quieting the mind and accessing a deeper level of consciousness, journeying can improve mental clarity and facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Heightened Spiritual Awareness: Through connecting with spirit guides and the forces of the universe, shamanic journeying can help individuals develop a deeper sense of spiritual awareness and connection.

The benefits of shamanic journeying are numerous and can lead to profound personal growth and transformation.

How It Can Help You

Shamanic journeying can be a powerful tool for personal and spiritual growth. Here are some of the ways it can help you:

Improved Self-Awareness By journeying, you can gain insight into your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You can also become more aware of your own energy and how it interacts with the energies around you.
Healing and Transformation Journeying can help you identify and work through emotional or spiritual blocks that are holding you back. This can lead to profound healing and transformation.
Connection with Spirit Guides and Allies During journeying, you may encounter spirit guides or allies who can offer guidance, wisdom, and support. These relationships can deepen over time and provide ongoing spiritual support.
Expanded Consciousness Journeying can provide access to expanded states of consciousness beyond everyday reality. This can lead to new insights, perspectives, and experiences.
Increased Creativity Journeying can stimulate creativity and help you tap into your inner wisdom and imagination. This can be particularly helpful for artists, writers, and other creative types.

Shamanic journeying can be a powerful tool for self-discovery, healing, and spiritual growth. It can offer a unique and profound way of connecting with the world around you and discovering your own inner truth.

Preparing for the Journey

Preparing For The Journey
Getting ready for a shamanic journey can be a profound and transformative experience, but it can also feel overwhelming if you’re not sure where to begin. To create a safe and sacred space for the journey, it’s essential to take some time to prepare yourself and your environment beforehand. This involves setting clear intentions, cleansing your energy field, and creating a nurturing atmosphere for your journey work. By following these steps, you can set yourself up for a successful and transformative journey experience. Let’s dive into the details.

Setting Intentions

Before embarking on your shamanic journey, it’s important to set your intentions for the experience. Setting intentions will help you focus your mind and create a clear purpose for your journey.

Step Description
1. Take some time to reflect on what you hope to gain from the journey. Do you need a specific answer to a question? Or do you simply want to explore and see what arises?
2. Once you’ve identified your intention, write it down. This will help you remember it and stay focused during your journey.
3. It can also be helpful to state your intention out loud, as this will help solidify it in your mind and give it more power.
4. Try to keep your intention simple and concise. If it’s too broad or complicated, it may be harder to focus on during your journey.
5. If you’re having trouble setting an intention, you can always ask for guidance from your spirit guides or simply ask for a journey that will be for your highest good.

Remember that setting intentions is a personal process, and there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. The most important thing is to be clear about what you want to get out of your shamanic journey, so that you can fully engage with the experience and receive the insights and guidance you’re seeking.

Cleansing and Grounding

Preparing for a shamanic journey is essential for creating a safe and sacred space for the journey itself. One of the crucial components of preparation is cleansing and grounding. This involves clearing the mind and body of any negative energies or distractions so you can connect with the spirit world with clarity and focus.

To perform a cleansing and grounding ritual, there are several techniques you can use. These include:

Technique Description
Smudging A practice that involves burning herbs, typically sage or palo santo, and using the smoke to clear the energy in a space or around your own body.
Centering and Breathing A technique that involves taking slow, intentional breaths and focusing on the present moment to calm and center the mind.
Grounding Meditation A method that involves visualizing roots growing from your feet into the earth, connecting you to the grounding energy of the planet.
Crystal Healing A practice that involves placing crystals on the body to help balance and align the energy centers, also known as chakras, in the body.

These techniques can be used individually or in combination with one another, depending on what feels most effective for you. The goal is to release any negative energy and to create a clear and open space for the journey.

By cleansing and grounding yourself before journeying, you can approach the experience with a clear mind and an open heart. This can enhance your ability to connect with the spiritual realm and receive valuable insights and guidance.

Creating a Sacred Space

Creating a sacred space is an important part of preparing for a shamanic journey. This is because the sacred space acts as a container for the journey and helps to create a sense of safety and protection. Here are some steps to help you create a sacred space for your shamanic journey:

  • Cleanse the Space: Begin by physically cleaning the space in which you will be journeying. This will help to remove any negative or stagnant energy from the space. You can do this by dusting, sweeping, or vacuuming the area.
  • Set the Mood: Creating a calming atmosphere can help to relax your mind and body. You can do this by lighting candles, burning incense, or using essential oils.
  • Define the Space: Use items to define the space, such as a small table, altar, or special cloth. This will help to mark the space as sacred and separate from everyday life.
  • Call in the Spirits: You can also call in the spirits, such as the four directions, the elements, or your spirit guides, to help protect the space and support your journey.
  • Personal Items: Bring in personal items, such as crystals, feathers, or other sacred objects, to help connect you to the space and provide comfort during the journey.
  • Music: Playing soothing music or drumming can help to set the tone and induce a meditative state, which is ideal for shamanic journeying.
  • Avoid Distractions: Try to eliminate any possible distractions such as electronic devices or loud noises from outside by closing the door or putting on some noise-canceling headphones.

By taking these steps to create a sacred space, you are setting the intention for a safe and powerful journey. This will help you to connect with the spirit realm and receive insights and guidance from your spirit guides. Remember to trust the process and allow for whatever experience arises during the journey.

The Journey

The Journey
As you begin your shamanic journey, you may feel a sense of anticipation and wonder. With each step, you move deeper into the unknown realm of spirit, where anything is possible. The journey itself is a unique and deeply personal experience, as you connect with your inner self and the wisdom of the universe. You may encounter spirit guides, power animals, and other entities, each offering their own insights and teachings. As you traverse through this mystical landscape, remember to stay grounded and focused on your intentions. Let us continue exploring the journey and the steps involved in this transformative practice.

Entering the Lower World

To begin your shamanic journey, you must first enter the Lower World. This is a non-ordinary reality, where you can interact with spirit guides, discover insights about yourself, and even access deeper levels of consciousness. Here are the steps to entering the Lower World:

  1. Set your intention: Before entering the Lower World, clarify your intention for the journey. What are you seeking guidance on? What questions do you want to have answered? Focus on this intention as you begin your journey.
  2. Create a safe space: Find a quiet, comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed for the duration of your journey. You may want to light candles or burn some incense to create a calming atmosphere.
  3. Use rhythmic sounds: Rhythmic sounds like drumming or rattling can help you enter into a trance state. Find a drumming or shamanic journeying track, or use a physical instrument to create your own rhythm.
  4. Breathe deeply: Take a few deep breaths to relax and clear your mind. Visualize yourself descending down a staircase or tunnel, getting deeper and deeper into a trance state with each step or breath.
  5. Visualize the entrance: Imagine a hole, cave, or other entrance into the Lower World. Focus on this image in your mind’s eye, and visualize yourself passing through that entrance.
  6. Meet your guide: Once you’ve entered the Lower World, you’ll likely encounter a spirit guide or power animal who will accompany you on your journey. Observe your surroundings and wait for your guide to appear.

Remember to trust the process and go with the flow. The Lower World is a unique and personal experience for each journeyer, so be open to whatever comes up for you. Stay focused on your intention and allow yourself to embrace the experience.

Meeting Your Power Animal

After entering the Lower World, it’s time to meet your Power Animal. Your Power Animal is an essential guide and ally for your shamanic journeying practice. They can provide you with protection, support, and valuable insight into your life.

Here are the steps to meeting your Power Animal:

  • Set your intention: Before meeting your Power Animal, focus your mind and set your intention to connect with them. It’s important to approach this encounter with respect and openness.
  • Call out to your Power Animal: To call out to your Power Animal, you can use a mantra, a drum or rattle, or simply your voice. Address them by name and ask them to appear.
  • Be open to different forms: Your Power Animal may not appear in the form you expect, and that’s okay. They may present themselves in the form of an animal you’ve never seen before, or even a mythical creature. Trust your intuition and embrace the experience.
  • Ask for their guidance: Once you meet your Power Animal, respectfully ask for their guidance and help. They may have wisdom to share or specific actions for you to take in your life.
  • Express gratitude: Before leaving, express your gratitude to your Power Animal for their guidance and support. This is a way to honor them and deepen your connection.

Meeting your Power Animal can be a profound and transformative experience. Trust the journey and the guidance of your ally.

Exploring the Spirit Realm

Now that you have met your power animal and established a rapport with them, it’s time to explore the spirit realm. This is where you may encounter other spirits or entities that have messages or guidance for you.

Step 1: Follow Your Power Animal

Allow your power animal to guide you through the spirit realm. Trust them to lead you to where you need to go. Don’t try to control the journey or where it takes you.

Step 2: Observe Your Surroundings

As you explore, take note of your surroundings. What do you see, hear, smell, or feel? Pay attention to any details that stand out to you. These could be symbols or messages from the spirit realm.

Step 3: Communicate with Spirits

If you encounter any other spirits or entities, approach them with respect and an open mind. Ask if they have any messages or guidance for you. It’s important to remember that not all spirits have your best interests at heart, so use your intuition and discernment.

Step 4: Trust Your Intuition

Don’t discount any messages or guidance that you receive during the journey, even if they don’t make sense at first. Trust your intuition and allow the insights to unfold over time. You may need to integrate the guidance into your waking life slowly.

Step 5: Prepare to Return

After you have explored to your heart’s content, it’s time to prepare for your return to reality. Check in with your power animal and thank them for their guidance. They will know when it’s time to return.

In the next section, we’ll discuss how to process and integrate any insights or messages from the journey.

Returning to Reality

Returning To Reality
As the shamanic journey comes to an end, it can be difficult to transition back to reality. Your mind may feel foggy as you try to recall the insights and experiences you’ve had in the spirit realm. It’s important to take your time returning to your physical body and gently processing what you’ve learned. This stage of the journey is crucial for integrating the wisdom gained and incorporating it into your everyday life. Let’s explore some tips and techniques for returning to reality with grace and ease.

Processing and Integrating Insights

After completing a shamanic journey, it’s important to take the time for processing and integrating insights to understand and internalize any messages received during the journey. This can be done through a variety of methods such as meditation, reflection, and discussion with others.

One effective way to process and integrate insights is through the use of a journaling practice. Writing down your experiences during the journey, your interactions with your power animal and other spirit guides, and any messages or symbols received can help to solidify the experience in your mind and create a record for future reference.

Another helpful technique is to engage in reflective exercises. This can involve asking yourself questions such as “What did I learn from this journey?” and “How can I apply these insights to my everyday life?”. Taking the time to think critically about the experience and its meaning can help to create a deeper understanding and promote personal growth.

It’s important to be patient with the process of integration, as it may not happen immediately. Insights may occur gradually over time, and it’s important to stay open and receptive to the messages received during the journey. Utilizing practices such as meditation and mindfulness can also help to deepen the integration process.

Ultimately, the goal of processing and integrating insights from a shamanic journey is to apply the lessons learned to your everyday life, creating a deeper sense of purpose and understanding.

Journaling and Reflecting

After completing a shamanic journey, it can be helpful to take some time to reflect on and integrate any insights or experiences you had during the journey. One way to do this is through journaling.

Journaling: Set aside some time to write down your thoughts and experiences from the journey. This can help you make sense of what you saw, felt, and heard, and may also help you remember details that you might forget otherwise.

Reflection: Take some time to reflect on what came up for you during the journey. What did you learn? Did you receive any messages or insights? How do you feel now? Reflecting on your journey can help you better understand the experience and how it relates to your life.

Gratitude: Consider expressing gratitude for any guidance or insights you received during the journey. This can help you to deepen your connection with the spiritual realm and cultivate a sense of trust in the process.

To organize your journaling and reflecting, you may find it helpful to use a table with different prompts or questions to guide your writing. Here is an example of what that might look like:

Prompt Reflection
What did I see? Describe any images or scenes that came up during the journey.
How did I feel? Reflect on any emotions that arose during the journey.
What did I learn? Summarize any insights or messages you received from your journey.
How can I apply this to my life? Think about how the insights from your journey might be relevant to your life.


As with any spiritual practice, shamanic journeying can come with its own set of challenges. These obstacles can arise during any part of the journey – from preparing your intentions to processing the insights gained after the journey is complete. It can be discouraging and frustrating when obstacles arise, but with patience and persistence, they can be overcome. Let’s take a closer look at some common challenges that may arise during shamanic journeying and explore potential solutions to keep you on track for a transformative experience.

Common Challenges and Solutions

It’s common to face challenges when practicing shamanic journeying, but there are several solutions to overcome them. Here are a few examples:

  • Difficulty entering a trance state: If you find it hard to enter a trance state, try different techniques such as deep breathing, drumming, or visualization. Alternatively, practice meditation or another relaxation technique to help achieve a trance state.
  • Distracting thoughts: If your mind is distracted by thoughts during your journey, try focusing on your breath, repeating a mantra, or visualizing a peaceful scene to calm your mind.
  • No clear guidance: If you feel lost or unsupported during your journey, try setting a clear intention before you begin or ask for help from your spirit guides or power animal.
  • Fear or anxiety: If you experience fear or anxiety during the journey, try grounding yourself by imagining roots growing from your feet, connecting you to the earth. You can also ask your spirit guide for protection or envision yourself in a protective bubble of light.
  • No apparent results: If you don’t seem to receive any results or insights from your journey, don’t worry. Trust that the journey was helpful in some way, and try again later. Remember that each journey is unique and might not always produce immediate results.

Remember, these are just a few common challenges and solutions. Every journeyer’s experience is unique, and a variety of unique issues may arise. Embrace them as opportunities for growth and continue to trust in the process.


In conclusion, shamanic journeying is a powerful tool for self-discovery, healing, and connection to the spirit world. It allows individuals to explore their psyche, receive guidance from their higher self, and connect with their power animals and spirit guides. However, it is important to approach this practice with respect, intention, and grounding.

Preparing for the journey involves setting clear intentions, cleansing and grounding oneself, and creating a sacred space for the journey to take place. It is crucial to approach the journey from a place of openness and trust, allowing oneself to surrender to the experience and receive the gifts that the spirit world has to offer.

During the journey, individuals will enter the lower world and meet their power animal, who will guide and protect them on their journey. The spirit realm can be a place of incredible beauty, but also powerful emotions and insights. It is important to keep an open mind and heart, and trust in the journey as it unfolds.

After the journey, it is important to take time to process and integrate insights gained from the experience. Journaling and reflecting are powerful tools for integrating these experiences into daily life.

Troubleshooting is also important to consider, as journeying can sometimes bring up challenging emotions or experiences. It is important to approach these challenges with compassion and seek support if needed.

Overall, shamanic journeying is a valuable practice for connecting with the spirit world and accessing innate wisdom within oneself. With respect, intention, and grounding, it can be a transformative experience for personal growth and healing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is shamanism?

Shamanism refers to a spiritual practice in which a person, known as a shaman, enters an altered state of consciousness to interact with the spirit world.

What is an altered state of consciousness?

An altered state of consciousness is a state in which a person’s normal waking state of consciousness is altered, often through the use of techniques such as meditation, hypnosis, or the use of psychoactive substances.

What is the Lower World?

The Lower World is a term used in shamanism to refer to a spiritual realm that is believed to exist beneath our physical reality, and which can be accessed through shamanic journeying.

What is a power animal?

A power animal is a spiritual guide believed to be present in the Lower World, which can assist the shaman in navigating the spirit realm and provide protection.

How can shamanic journeying benefit me?

Shamanic journeying can be beneficial for personal transformation, healing, and gaining insight into one’s life purpose and direction.

Do I need any special skills or abilities to practice shamanic journeying?

No special skills are required to practice shamanic journeying, although it can take practice to learn how to enter an altered state of consciousness and engage with the spirit realm.

Can shamanic journeying be dangerous?

While shamanic journeying is generally considered safe, it is important to approach the practice with respect and caution, and to work with a qualified practitioner if possible.

How long does a typical shamanic journey last?

The length of a shamanic journey can vary, but a typical journey can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

What should I do if I have a challenging experience during a journey?

If you have a challenging experience during a journey, it is important to remain calm and focused, and to seek guidance from your power animal or other spiritual guides that you may encounter.

Can anyone learn to practice shamanic journeying?

While shamanic journeying is a spiritual practice that can be learned and practiced by anyone, it is important to approach the practice with an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow.


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