Tradition and History
Shamans are the “medicine people” of indigenous tribes around the world. They are typically those who have the ability to access the spirit world while in a state of altered consciousness. A shamanic journey traditionally involves a shaman guiding a participant through a visionary world to collect pertinent information, guidance, and wisdom.
The journey is a fascinating adventure through the landscape of the participant’s higher consciousness, lush with wisdom and awareness. Frequently, the journey opens the gateway to access the spiritual realms, including guidance from spirit guides and other supporters.
Modifying a Traditional Technique
In my private practice I have created a modified version of such a journey, which I call a Spirit Journey, that is useful in opening communication with spirit guides as well as with the participant’s higher self or subconscious mind. The purpose of a Spirit Journey is to obtain information, wisdom, and guidance from the subconscious mind and the spirit realms.
Specific goals can be set in mind as the participant enters the Journey, such as resolving an issue, gaining understanding of a decision at hand, or peering into the future of their life path to see what lies ahead. Alternatively, the subconscious mind can be allowed to go where it needs to go to usher its hidden message into the conscious mind of the participant. Often, the results are surprising as previously unknown information is revealed.
Traditionally a shaman would use drumming and/or rattles at the beginning or throughout to enhance the trance state. No other conversation occurs until the participant has completed their journey.
In counseling, I have used a drum or rattle, although in my smaller office it is more comfortable for everyone to simply use music. Then I guide the client in an induction and then step by step through the journey, allowing them to relay their images and messages while they are occurring. In this way, the journey is fully recorded and remembered, and can be addressed in a counseling fashion.
Occasionally, the Spirit Journey is facilitated in a group. When this occurs, it precludes conversation, so the participant is experiencing their journey silently, and can record their memories of it in a journal at the end.
The imagery of the Journey takes place in a canoe or boat, with a guide along for the ride. If the participant is not comfortable with water or boats, or for any other reason, the journey can be created as a walk that begins on a path.
Because the Spirit Journey reveals messages in the form of a metaphor or story, the real value becomes known when the elements of the Journey are interpreted and integrated into the present life of the participant.
Benefits have included: Increased awareness, surprising revelations, resolution of indecision or other issues, introduction and communication with spirit guides, questions answered, patterns revealed, forewarning of future obstacles with alternative pathway to overcome them, confirmation of the proper life path, and so much more.
The adventures that are experienced, along with the conversations with the guide, all provide a treasure of knowledge, wisdom, guidance, and views into the life and path of the subject.
To experience a Spirit Journey, please make an appointment for a private session. Workshops are frequently available such as the upcoming event at East West Bookshop (Seattle) entitled Journey to Self-Discovery (June 13, 2014). To learn to facilitate the Spirit Journey, check out my professional training, Hypnotherapy: Spiritual Awakening. (Next dates are June 14-15 & June 21-22, 2014.)