Shamanic Journeying is a powerful guided meditation technique for accessing the soul resources (archetypal wisdom) and dynamic processes of our unconscious mind and our personal guides in the spirit world. By this means our conscious mind can be brought into alignment with our unconscious mind and our "soul purposes" for this lifetime. Connection to divine guidance may also be made. Safe practice, possible hazards and risk management considerations are described in this review.

Shamanic Journeying - Shamanic Drumming

Shamanic Journey - A Drumming Meditation Video
Check the Health & Safety Tips below before playing this video clip.

Learn Shamanic Journeying

It is always best to learn to journey under the guidance of an experienced Shamanic Practitioner [Contact me if you need help finding one on your area] or in Shamanic Journeying Courses & Workshops or Drumming Circles.

Some people learn and practise from Shamanic Journeying CDs. These are less than ideal, but can be very helpful for building experience if there is no drumming circle in your local area. However, if you encounter any difficulties, or find yourself becoming stressed, or increasingly disconnected from everyday life and relationships, you need to stop journeying and get experienced support and guidance.

Shamanic Journeying is a wonderful skill to acquire and can bring great benefits to your life and happiness if used carefully and wisely. However, there are potential pitfalls for the unwary or inexperienced shaman: Journeying can be like "opening the lid of pandora's box" if, in the past, a lot of dis-owned feelings or unskilful living has accumulated a lot of dark or destructive energies in the subconscious or unconscious mind.

Acquiring a reliable spirit guide (spirit world helper) is an important early step in developing skill in the craft of journeying. Beware of false guides who might be merely an aspect of a destructive, self-sabotaging aspect your own shadow self. A genuine guide will not force or demand you to do anything - merely gently advise. A genuine spirit guide will not urge you to do anything harmful to yourself, or to any other living being.

Preparation for Shamanic Journeying

It is important to be relaxed, grounded and centred before drumming begins. See grounding, centering and balancing. Suitable preparatory exercises might include breathwork, chanting, prayer, sacred ritual, yoga, walking meditation etc. A conducive environment - candles, sage burning or incense, dim lighting - is also important.

Health & Safety Tips for Shamanic Journeying

Shamanic Journeying is a powerful process, only suitable for people who are in good psychological health and emotionally and socially balanced. Never try to enter the journeying process from a place of acute stress, urgency or desperation! Shamanic Journeying, it is not suitable as an immediate way to calm or de-stress, it is for accessing deep and powerfully-wise resources and guidance from a balanced, calm state from which we can access, interpret and implement these resources/this guidance sensibly. Instead, take a look at these suggestions for de-stressing:

...and/or attend a Stress-Management & Wellbeing Workshop.

If you are reasonably calm already, you might use Shamanic Journey Drumming CDs (without actively journeying) to deepen your state of relaxation. Never try to journey, or listen to rhythmic Shamanic drumming tapes or CDs, while driving a vehicle or operating any kind of machinery or electrical equipment or power tools.

Traditional Shamanic cultures have often used psychotropic plants or fungi to facilitate their Journeys, but these people live(d) very grounded, physically active lives, living in close harmony with nature. Modern hi-tech cultures are already over-balanced towards excessive use of the mind (cerebral cortex) and imagination (TV, telephone, films, computers etc), so hallucinogenic drugs are not only unnecessary, but can be actively harmful due to over-stimulation of the brain and imagination.

It is good advice to undergo some training in practical and safe techniques for Shamanic Journeys with an experienced shaman before undertaking a journey on your own.

"Grounding" Your Journey!

I strongly recommend that you find ways to "ground" [bring into the everyday world] the experiences, images and guidance you encounter in your Shamanic Journey. For one thing, your everyday life, relationships, success and indeed, your "everyday reality" will not improve merely by having "other world" experiences. To expect the spirit world to "fix everything" is what I call "spiritual dependency". It is your job to do the creative and practical work of adapting and implementing a journey's wisdom so that it enriches your everyday life, self-esteem, relationships and contribution to the world. You are a co-creator - a creative and powerful being in your own right - not a passive pawn of the spirit world!

Spiritual Dependency the mindset where we expect the "spirit world" to fix, or to compensate for, our earthly-life limitations and difficulties, when in fact the "anser to our life" may actually lie in learning new practical, down-to-earth [e.g. communication, relationship or work] skills, or to grow as a human being and develop more mature adult patterns and perspectives than we might currently be living by. Spiritual Dependency can become an addiction - an "emotional crutch" of support for a narrowly-based, enfeebled lifestyle.

How to "Ground" Your Journeys

Drumming circles, shamanism workshops and "shamanism buddies" can be very helpful in Grounding Your Journey, as can psychotherapy and dream symbolism experts. There are also online public forums e.g. where you can share your journey findings and get feedback e.g. Shaman Portal ( and some groups on Yahoo. However, be aware that some people in public forums may not have their own feet "firmly grounded", so be a little cautious in believing what people say, especially if it heightens your fears, or encourages you to become over-confident and step too far, too soon!


Author:  Michael Meredith


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