REFLECTION -- PRACTICE -- TEACHINGS
WORKING WITH DRUM JOURNEYS
The journey to the Spirits is a key aspect of shamanic work. Even though it may not always feel easy to journey when you are on your own, we very much recommend that you keep working with it. There are a few guidelines that help to make journeying effective:
Always have a clear intention and work in a well-held space. Read more about formulating missions and how to work with Sacred Space. Remember to always turn off your phone and digital devices when doing Spirit work.
Try to journey regularly, maybe once every few weeks. This will help you to get to know the Spirits who want to work with you, and get a clearer sense of the geography of the Spirit world. We recommend not doing more than one journey a week for yourself, to give room for the work to integrate.
It is good to prepare your space and call in the Spirits before setting off on the journey. Make sure your are well rested and allow plenty of time. Use either the 20 or 30 min drumming track and stay in the journey until the end, to give the Spirits room to work (unless they give you clear instructions to return earlier). It is good to have at least half an hour after the journey, to absorb the experience and come back fully.
Stay connected with the Spirit Guide throughout, unless they give other instructions. Take an active but non-controlling role, letting the Spirits lead the way. Learn to trust them, and let them show you what you need, rather than what you might want. Take part in the journey, rather than observing it from a distance. Instead of searching for answers, try to experience the journey as fully as possible, even if it is not what you expected or hoped for. Be attentive and focus on what is happening, not what isn’t.
When the drums call you back, remember to say thank you. Journey all the way home until you are in your body again. If you are not sure of how to get there, ask your Spirits for help and let them guide you. Always return when the drums call you back.
Once you are home, write and/or draw the journey in full, with as much detail as you can remember. Read through it and spend time exploring it: underline what feels important, look for teaching situations and what you were asked to do. Ask yourself: How was the help or advice given? What did you have to do in order to receive it? What are the steps or chapters of the journey and the thresholds that took you from one place to another? Write down the essence of the teaching or power in a few sentences, something you feel and remember, and contemplate it. Try to see everything that happens in the journey as a response to the intention. Remember that shamanism is a spiritual discipline.
In the coming days, keep the Power by remembering and honoring your experiences. Look for sign posts which point in the direction of your next steps. Practice what you have been shown. Notice the changes in your life.
These steps of working with a journey are good guidelines for coming to deeper teachings also in Medicine Walks or with Power Place experiences. If journeying is not easy for you, Nature work can be a very good place to start, either with Medicine Walks or working with Power Places.
If you would like further help to understand your journeys, formulate clear missions or staying connected in the journey, you might want to work with a shamanic counsellor.
Many people find their experience of journeying deepens and intensifies by working with a shamanic counsellor. This way of working can also help you to frame clear questions, engage in Spirit work in a focused way and learn how to apply teachings to your life. It is a good help if you find it difficult to journey, or have deep issues that you want extra support for. To find a shamanic counsellor in your area, email Zara
CONNECTING WITH OTHERS
Sometimes it is easier and more rewarding to journey together in a group or journey for each other. It can be good to practice journeying in a group, with people from your course and stay in touch with them. If you have completed SCSS essential training in shamanic journeying, you can also join the International Shamanic Community (the ISC) to connect with practitioners in different countries. More information on how to join: http://www.shamaniccommunity.org