I made my first shamanic journey in 2015, in a gathering about Shamanism by Ayşe Nilgün Arıt. She had an interesting story if I remember correctly. She was working as a high-level manager in a pharmaceutical company in Turkey, then in a visit to South America, while walking in nature as a tourist, she met the person who later became her teacher. The person got closer to her and gently said ‘welcome, we were waiting for you.’
Since then she began to learn the details of the shamanism from Don Miguel Angel Vergara Calleros and then as the interest in Turkey was increasing and so many people were demanding this information about shamanism, she designed some gatherings to start the shamanic path, which I am very thankful.
Shamanism is the wisdom of our ancestors to be deeply in connection with nature and the cosmos. It is interesting as Mircea Eliade found out all the commonalities of the wisdom and the rituals and ceremonies of ancestors all around the world, showing that somehow our ancestors could connect with the source, where their wisdom is coming from.
5 years ago, I went to 2 days gathering, in the middle of a city, inside a normal room with several people. We listened to many stories from Ayşe Nilgün Arıt. Then I read her books and began to practice some shamanic rituals that she has provided.
At the end of this 2 days gathering, she holds a space for us all, to experience a shamanic journey. My first experience was incredibly vivid as I was doing with her, later on, when I began to practice on my own, it took a lot of time for me to figure out my power animal and my way to shamanic journeys.
Some months later, I attended another gathering of her and have been practicing the shamanic rituals she provided, for many years now.
What is a shamanic journey?
In Shamanism, there is a belief that there are below the world, upper world, and middle world. In the below world, you can meet with your power animal(s) and ask them any kind of guidance.
There are some fundamentals around shamanic journeys:
First of all, you need to find out your power animal (nagual), those animals that appear in your journeys, you can have a power animal for all your life and depend on your circumstances and your needs you can also have temporary power animals coming to your journeys.
How one can find her power animal?
By going to shamanic journeys to find your power animal. My journey of finding my power animal took almost 6 months and many shamanic journeys meanwhile. In the beginning, till I found my power animal, I was going to shamanic journeys with just one intention, finding my power animal. Once you find it, then in your next journeys you can go with any intention that you need guidance.
How one can start a shamanic journey?
Before you start your shamanic journey, you can do some relaxing meditation or breath work, which would provide you to have a deeper experience.
In shamanic journeys, shamanic drums are the keys. Drumming temporarily changes brainwaves to Theta waves, where images become very active. You can not control anything but just begin to journey. If you play a shamanic drum, you would know it, once you get the drum to play, you get this sensation that drum plays itself, that you do not have any control.
The drum is magical, both for the Shaman that is playing and for the person who is in the shamanic journey. Even though my experiences with live drums were always quick to go to journey, at home for my shamanic journeys, I use shamanic journey recordings, especially from Michael Harner, 15 minutes or 30 minutes option, depending on my mood and need for it.
For every shamanic journey, one goes via a secret place, a door, a pool, a well, you choose it.
How does the shamanic journey process continue?
First, you lie down, it is important to have the spine upright. You can cover your eyes with something for a better experience than you simply imagine this place of entrance to the shamanic journey as detailed as possible. This place can change or all the time could be the same. For me, I am entering the same place since I started experimenting on shamanic journeys.
Once you enter from your secret place, then you begin to walk in your tunnel, you are imagining your tunnel as detailed as possible, up to a point where the shift will happen. You will not create images anymore but the imaginations will come to you. You will meet with your nagual-power animal and then you will let it know about your intention.
Importance of clear intentions
It is important to have your intention very clear as shamanic journeys are working with symbols as in dreams, so the experience you will have with your power animal will be full of symbols. If you have your intention focused and clear, it will be easier to understand the meanings of the symbols.
Then you will let your self just be and experience the journey. In the meanwhile you can interact with your nagual as well, asking more questions for clarification.
It is a relationship what you have with your power animal and any relationship flourish with care
I love my nagual and I am very grateful for all the guidance he has provided to me. In years, we have created a relationship. Sometimes in this world, when I see animals in an unexpected situation, I know that my nagual is asking me to come for a shamanic journey, or when I do not go for a long time, I miss him so much and he misses me too.
In the shamanic journey, the drumming has 3 parts. Let’s say if 15 minutes drumming, first 13 minutes is a steady rhythm, then for 1-2 minutes the rhythm changes and then becomes quicker, as a reminder to come back, so you are just coming back remembering all the steps you have been taken. Finally, you come back to your tunnel and finish the journey once the drumming finishes.
Then you gently open your eyes, do some grounding work is very much recommended afterward.
Once you finalize the journey, the first thing which is recommended to do is writing down all your journey. You can have a shamanic journey notebook, to keep them all together. This is a powerful thing to do, to finalize the ritual, and to put much care into your experience.
It is recommended to do shamanic journeys at most twice per week, not more than that. I generally do once a month or once every 2 weeks, though.
Shamanic journeys have been a great guiding tool for me and still is. I am so glad that I have learned about them and then had the persistence to try until I gain the trust of my nagual.
So tell me in the comments, if you also do shamanic journeys? Do you do the same way or another kind?