What is a shamanic journey?
The easiest way to explain a shamanic journey is to compare it to a dream- it happens inside your mind. Shamans journey in an altered state of consciousness. The shaman lies down and listens to drumming- at a certain beats per minute the drumming induces a theta state in the shaman's brain, similar to the dream state. The shaman, in his mind, uses a predetermined route to go down into the earth to the Lower World, or up into the atmosphere to the Upper World (we humans live in the Middle World). The Lower and Upper Worlds are realms of pure compassion- the beings who occupy both worlds are there to help humans navigate the uncertainties and complexities of life. The shaman enters the world of his choice with a predetermined intention- that is, a question he needs answered for his client. Teachers in the Upper World and Power Animals in the Lower World are the compassionate spirits who help the shaman locate the answer. Upon receiving the answer, the shaman returns to the Middle World the same way he departed. The journey is over.