described in the preceding sections, what is experienced in a
shamanic journey may be literal and tangible or
vague and almost without form, or even formless and
intuitive only. There will be times when you are
sure that nothing happened, only to remember something
later, almost like the memory of someone else.
Gorman describes his discernment along the lines of
making a list of the ten thousand most likely things
he would think of on a subject; when he sees
something that is not on that list, he feels that he
can depend on that vision pretty well as being a
real shamanic experience.
journey happens when the practitioner drops their
brain activity levels into the realm of Theta waves,
normally only accessed fleetingly, if at all, whilst
awake and conscious. As the Theta level is
'locked in', the mind is freed of its typical
constraints. The journey will then typically
follow the intent for the journey (never a, 'let's
see what happens.', that is without respect).
The information often seems irrelevant, but teaching
is presented and the wise practitioner takes it all
in and looks for the answers afterwards, often by
then so obvious that the looking part is not needed.
normal experience of a rhythm based journey is a
period of relaxation, settling into the drum or
rattle beat's 'groove'. Then you may feel and
experience just about anything. You may go
speeding over the plains, see the land before men,
after men, form the view of an eagle or sparrow,..
just about anything.
intent of the journey is all important, and the
intent, when well fixed and desired, will be
addressed in a journey, even if you missed it the
first time around due to a personal blind spot.
Sometimes a journey addresses the personal blind
spot first - which can often be quite confronting;
the spirits involved figure that the one journeying
does not come there unwillingly and they will do
what is needed, not necessarily what is desired.
desire to repair a relationship might end up as a
strong lesson in not being a prick when it comes to
another's idiosyncrasies, with the journeyer coming
back feeling a bit like they've just been beaten up
spiritually. They asked for it, and got the
Discernment is important. Just as there are
tricksters and opportunists in life; predators and
prey, so are there
the same mix in the spiritual and energetic worlds.
Curanderos of the Amazon tell the seeker to ask,
"Are you my teacher?" to any who present in a
journey, if they are not of good intent, they will go away, or at least
distance themselves somewhat (provided a shaman is
providing a sealed area for your journey, otherwise
it is up to you).
find an entity you do not want to deal with, take a
deep breath and through tightly pursed lips blow a
long stream of air to remove them. If you are
still feeling in peril, call to your supervising shaman
(who is probably up to speed already, just waiting
for you to ask).
Most of the time, this will not happen unless under
the influence of hallucinogenic plant teachers.
Please do not use entheogenic substances for
shamanic purposes without a guiding shaman to help
and protect you. At least, not until well
practiced; then you will not want to do this anyway.