Shamanism includes journeying with the sound of drums or music, sometimes sitting, sometimes standing. It also includes pipe ceremonies, smudging and "sweats" which occur within enclosed spaces called sweat lodges. I'm going to include some of my experiences of shamanic journeys below and explain different aspects of Shamanism practices.
A shaman is considered to be a holy person who can see into and visit other worlds that are invisible to people who are "asleep" here on this 3D plane of existence we call earth. Honestly, with the proper training, anybody can do this. It is a wonderful thing to take a shamanic journey and meet ones' spirit guides. Spirit guides can look human, angelic or animal, among other appearances. They are our helpers even though often we can not see them in 3D "ordinary reality." Shamans live in our world and are regular people with special abilities. I believe that a long time ago many more people were shamans and many more people had special abilities. We all have these abilities within us but they are mostly buried under stress and strain of daily life.
I've done some ""baby" sweat lodges, sat in circles passing a peace pipe and making wishes, stood in circles making good wishes for the planet, animals, plants and people, sat or stood in circles doing journeying.
Linda, the owner of this Web site had been studying Celtic Shamanism since the spring of 2003 till February 2006. She completed Celtic Shamanism One, Two, Three, Four and Five. She has had many wonderful, expansive shaman journeys.
She isn't doing this any more. That's me. You can read about why I quit elsewhere on this section of my site.
Body Twitching or can't sit still?
One thing I should mention is I have often had my body twitch, or feel like I couldn't sit still, and wanted to move during journeying. Other people often frown upon this. Well... too bad, that's what I do and I believe it's okay. So if you do this I think you should not worry about it. If you are journeying and this happens to you, just lie down, take a bit of time and then get out of there.... wherever it is you are doing the journeying. If you are with a group of people who frown upon this maybe you should find another group...... I'm still looking for another group.
Sometimes I would burp and sometimes that would help, but mostly I needed to move. I've had this experience with meditation as well. I just gently lie down and let myself come out of the meditation or journeying mode and then get up and do something else. If this happens to you try the meditation or journeying some other time when you feel calm and ready. At least that's my experience.
Sometimes I would feel hot and faint and had to sit down in the middle of a standing journey or ritual. I feel that's okay as well.
I quit doing all this because of what is mentioned above and because our "leader" smoked cigarettes and I don't like that. Couldn't stand it any more.
But then sometimes I would have deep, deep journeying and meditation experiences and that's why I stuck with it for so long.
I sought out other groups but couldn't join them because the people smoked pot. I can't be around pot smoking people or be in a house where people have smoked pot. I get a headache and then feel like throwing up. It's not for me.
Remember that every encounter with all beings on this planet is a holy encounter and remember to be in a respectful state of mind with yourself and others as much as possible even when out in the world.
One thing Shamans often do is smudging a space, room, house or vehicle to cleanse the area. To do this, burn some incense or some sage and walk around the area letting all surfaces receive the smoke. You can hold a larger piece of burning sage or burn some loose sage in an abalone shell. Of course you can also cleanse yourself in this way. Let the smoke touch all parts of your body, either dressed or undressed. After you have cleansed yourself and your space in this way also smudge the clean clothes you are going to put on your body. You can do this in a group fully clothed. it seems that the smoke will go through the clothes with no trouble.
More about clearing and smudging | More information at other sites and where to order smudging supplies
Some of my experiences (the ones I can write about - the light ones)
March 23, 2005
Once during a journey I was lying down in an area with grass and flowers like a meadow. I was looking at the daisy-like flowers and at one in particular. I saw a being there - like a fairy. I thought of the old Thumbalina story. She seemed to be frightened of me.
I think me thinking of the Thumbalina story made her think I would take her home with me or something. I told her I wouldn't do that and I wouldn't harm her. I didn't say anything else to her and she didn't say anything to me. She was just doing her flower thing. She was very pretty.
Shortly after that I came back from my journey.
May 4, 2005
I journeyed into a purple/violet world in a purple crystal amethyst. I found myself in a grassy (green) area/meadow. A purple/violet beam of light came down from above. It surrounded me and was inside me. After a short while I found myself standing in a purple fire with purple flames. It was very nice and cleansing. I stood there for some time feeling this cleansing energy flow throughout me and around me. Then it changed to white energy. Then it was time to "come back."
Often when I journey with a group someone rings some bells after an agreed-upon time period. This is what happened when it was time to come back.
May 14, 2005
I took a journey with the Celtic shamanism I students. I traveled on the river of time into my past. I found myself at the beach at Salisbury Beach State Park (I spent a lot of time there in my youth). I was about 15 o 16. My sister and her children where they. I saw myself playing with them. I saw myself going into the ocean. I tried to remain the observer. I (the observer) also went into the ocean waves and further into the water to the pare where the waves are big bumps. I could hear the seagulls. I could hear the people on the beach. I stuck my hand in the water and tasted the salty water. I could feel the wonderful ocean around me. I breathed in the ocean energy. Very beautiful. I dived down where it wasn't too deep and found a pretty shell. Then I waled out of the water (me, the observer). I found myself wrapped in a cape and could still hear the people on the beach. I saw my younger self again and my nieces and nephews. I put the shell in the sand so that my younger self could find it. I think she did find it. I placed healing energy in that shell for my younger self to find. Then I came back from the journey. This trip was to practice my Shamanic senses, all of them and to practice remaining the observer. I felt I did have all my shamanic senses working.
June 14, 2005 evening
Once during a journey along the river of time I found myself among large stones like the stone forest in China. I was a man - a monk dressed in orange robes - walking among some of the stones. Then I sat down to meditate. A VERY deep meditation. It definitely was an oriental feeling. It seems I was about 40ish or 50ish. I felt calm quietness, gentleness. I was sending this good energy out into the world. This was my life, apparently, in a monastery in China long ago, it seems. I wanted to stay there meditating forever. I was "out" for 45 minutes and it didn't seem that long. I did come back. Is this true? Was this a past life or did I just make it up in my head?
"Shamans -- whom we in the 'civilized' world have called 'medicine men' and 'witch doctors' -- are the keepers of a remarkable body of ancient techniques that they use to achieve and maintain well-being and healing for themselves and members of their communities. These shamanic methods are strikingly similar the world over, even for peoples whose cultures are quite different in other respects, and who have been separated by oceans and continents for tens of thousands of years."
~ by Michael Harner from The Way of the Shaman
Books about Shamanism
The Way of the Shaman - by Michael Harner
Books to Read about Celtic Shamanism
By Oak, Ash, & Thorn - by D.J. Conway
Books to read about Shamanic Practices
Soul Retrieval - by Sandra Ingerman