What is Shamanic Journeying?

Shamanic journeying is an adventure. Your intention for the journey serves as a vital focus, but there’s no telling in advance where it might lead or what might occur.

You may have heard common definitions of shamanic journeying, such as an altered state of consciousness where the shaman journeys outside of time and space, into non-ordinary reality, to retrieve information or power for themselves, their clients or their community. Or, as Dr. Roger Walsh puts it, shamans are cosmic travelers who primarily engage in soul flight.

All of this is true, but a little academic for my tastes. The shamanic path is very much about direct experience. So let me share my own recognition of the shamanic journey—beyond the definitions, into the heart and soul of the experience.

True shamanic journeying calls for courage, openness, and a willingness to be with whatever comes up in a spirit of curiosity. It’s a reflection of life, in ways that allow you to interact with it more deeply and experience what’s present, but may not be conscious for you yet.

A spirit of play is perfect for journeying! Experiencing other worlds and other beings—frolicking in the playground of your soul. There be dragons and angels and tigers and sea turtles and so much more!

Who knows if the moment calls for engaging in realms of water, land, air, fire or something else? For delving into your unconscious or subconscious, known as the Lower World, or exploring your “everyday” world in its other dimensions, known as the Middle World. Or perhaps it will be engaging in your superconscious or the Time to Come, not just for yourself, but simultaneously for all beings, in the realms of the Upper World. Or maybe it’s entering into the Void, where all form arises and returns, where No-Thingness is fully present. All these realms are ones shamans have engaged with for centuries.

And there is a continuity to it all. I’ve been journeying for more than ten years and am often called from the Lower World into the Upper World in the same journey, and vice versa. When journeying down into the Lower World far enough, you come out into the same space that journeying through the Upper World’s “limits” takes you. Journeying allows for the unique integrity of everything, even as it is simultaneously an expression of Oneness.

It’s like exploring a Fun House of mirrors and going out the exit, only to come right up against yourself. It’s rather startling the first few times that happens. Possibly every time it happens! *laughing* So maybe you decide to go back inside and wind your way through, seeing images of yourself all the while—but these are mirrors, after all. Finally you come out the entrance. Only to meet yourself again! This is shamanic journeying at its fullest.

After a while, everyone and everything you meet—whether in “ordinary” or “non-ordinary” reality—is an expression of yourself. Not in the sense of individual ownership, “This is me,” but as a recognition. A simple recognition of our shared divinity, expressed as our individual uniqueness.

I’ve heard one translation of “namaste” as “the god in me bows to the god in you.”

Namaste. Ho!

In divine recognition,

Sandie Hum

If you’d like to experience your soul as a shaman does, I invite you to experience a Soul’s Journey Session.