The Basics of Shamanic Journeying

August 22, 2016 | Uncategorized | 0 comments | Author:

Learning to Journey with Shamanism

Shamanic journeying can be a safe and fun way to talk with animal guides and to receive guidance in life.

What is a Shamanic Journey?

In her book Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide, Sandra Ingerman says “ The Practise of shamanic journeying helps us to part the veils between the seen and unseen worlds and access information and energies that can help awaken us and restore us to wholeness?

The actual journey takes place when participants relax into a trance like state using their imagination to take them to unseen worlds. Drumming accompanies the journeyers so they know when to begin the journey and when to end.

Preparations Before a Shaman’s Journey

Before beginning a journey it helps to set a purpose for the journey. This can be a question about one’s life. Ingerman points out that those who journey without a clear intent may experience a fuzzy journey of a disjointed nature. Having intent can add focus to a journey so it is important to take the time to set a clear intent before beginning to journey.

Traditionally, Shamans prepared themselves to journey with the use of dance and song. This is still considered helpful in preparing the body and mind for the journey. Meditation also allows the mind to achieve better focus and helps the participant to access his spiritual side.

Shamanism and Drumming

Traditionally Shamans used drums to alter the state of consciousness of participants. A shaman may drum for a group to journey or you can use a drumming disk. The rhythmic beats of the drum alerts the journeyers to the beginning and ending of the journey. Listening to shamanic drumming can slow the brain waves making it easier to enter an altered state of consciousness.

Steps to Shamanic Journeys

  1. A beginner to journeying usually journeys to the lower world which has a landscape similar to the earth and follows a series of events in the journey.
  2. The journey begins by visualizing an entrance way in the real world that will lead to the lower world during the visualization. Journeyers are encouraged to find a natural opening into the earth like a lake, a cave, or a hole in the ground. Once through the entrance way some people take time to transition down a tunnel that leads them to the lower world. Once out of the tunnel they continue to visualize.
  3. In the lower world the journeyer then begins to look for her spirit guides. During shamanic journey, spirit guides are often animal guides and are called Power Animals. They represent the spirit of the animal species and the essence of the animal it represents.
  4. If an animal is identified you can ask the animal if it is in fact your guide. Ingerman says to uncover more information the participant can ask the animal what gifts or qualities it is bringing to you. You can also ask your power animal if he has anything to show you.
  5. Once the drum pattern changes the journeyer then retraces his steps and leaves through the same hole or entrance he took to begin his journey.

Why Go On a Shamanic Journey?

Shamanic journeys are often sought for spiritual development. They are also paths for healing, self discovery, sharing energy with others, or for working through personal issues. A shamanic journey can be taken on your own or with a group. Anyone can learn to journey and it’s a good idea to learn through a weekend workshop or with a group. There are many Shamans who give such workshops. You can find a list of National and International Shamans at Shaman Healer Links.


Ingerman, Sandra. Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner’s Guide. Sounds True Inc., 2004.