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Author Topic: Shamanic journeys  (Read 2174 times)
samwords
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« Topic Start: April 25, 2011, 01:15:00 pm »

Apologies if this is in completely the wrong place.

I purchased a book called 'Practical Shamanism; A guide to walking in both worlds' by Katie Weatherup. The activities in the book are relatively simple and as someone with a very active imagination and a frequent lucid dreamer, I haven't had any problems visualising the journey at all.

This is where the problem comes in however; I have realised that the act of doing this is precisely what happens to me naturally when I begin to fall asleep (vivid pictures whilst still partially awake, walking through somewhere or in a garden etc) and so every time I try to complete the suggestions in the book I fall asleep. It's quite frustrating!

It has led to very interesting and unexpected dreams, however. At this point I don't follow any particular religion and consider myself agnostic. The first time I tried one of the activities in the book - journeying to a garden of my choosing - I managed to reach the garden just as I was falling asleep, and was then confronted by seeing my younger self with an angel stood behind me.

My questions are - should I be avoiding falling asleep whilst doing this, and are the dreams most likely just random continuations of what I was 'making' myself think? Or are they something to be embraced? It's not so much that I'm worried that I'm 'doing it wrong', as believing that I'm doing something I'm actually not.

Any thoughts or experiences of your own welcomed Smiley
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monsnoleedra
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« Reply #1: June 07, 2011, 09:33:32 pm »

Any thoughts or experiences of your own welcomed Smiley 

I can't speak on the book as I have not read it but I can comment on the journey facet.

First off shaman or shamanic practioners journey to all three worlds.  We journey upon the material, we journey to the lower world and we journey to the upper or celestial worlds.  Some might even say through the various means used that we may in fact journey to alternative demensions and worlds.

Journey work may take any number of forms.  Sometimes Dream time is one of the methods of achieving union with our guides and totems.  They take us to different places in order to experience what ever lesson or purpose they have at the time.  Many times we experience oen form of Shift-Shaping or Shape-Shifting as it maybe while in Dream Journey.

Other's will use a form of sensory deprivation to achieve journey.  I have used sensory blockage by having eyes and ears coverd to achieve an out-of-body state or trans-state of mind.  Body binding is also another form of sensory deprivation that is used, sometimes wrapped in a blanket or other restricting wrap.  THough I must warn that any sensory deprivation method should only be used with the help of an assitant or aide as it can really turn deadly in no time at all.

Some practices utilize drug or mind altering methods to achieve journey work.  Myself I do not use them as the landscapes I have ended up on are mind boggling enough without drugging myself out before hand.

Beat, druming, dancing or flash are other methods that are used at times to achieve the right mind set.  In an almost exotic way the shaman / shamanic practioner sinks into the beat, surrenders to the dance or steps into the flashing lights in order to achieve seperation from the physical and contact thier guides, totems or power animals.  Here another warning is needed in that dehydration can quickly occur and epaleptic type seizures can occur when using flashing lights depending upon the flash sequence and timing.  Like the drug inducements one should have a trusted aide or companion with them when they do these.

Another type journey is that of the Vision Quest.  Not only the quest but the typical precursory and prepratory things that go with them.  In many situations before one goes on a quest they will undergo a sweet lodge or similar type purification.  Will spend days fasting and drinking only water to purge their system of inpurities.  Must have a aid or partner that will look out for your safety while on the questing.  A note should be added that a vision quest usually is supposed to last a minumum of 7 days and only taken when a true need is before a person.

Though in the neo-shamanic world and exploitation world you see Vision quests that are advertised for a few thoudsand dollars and last just a day or two, many times with an accompanying sweat lodge.   These must really be checked out to avoid the type issues that occured in Arizona a few years ago that resulted in deaths of some of the participants.

One other journey that many Shaman / shamanic practioners and hedge riders undergo is that of approaching the viel between life and death.  It is one that serves to make the practioner face thier deepest fear, that of life and death of the physcial body and self.  Other will take a similar journey but not physical die but suffer the loss of all things and become so sick that death seems immanent.  Unfortunately these must be taken alone and it is just the one journying and their gods / goddesses or Spirit to stand by them.

With the exception of dream time journey almost all other journy works occur when the shaman / shamanic practioner or hedge rider is awake and steps outside of thier body.

Hope this helps
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