The idea of going on tandem journeys was inspired by the practice of going on tandem jumps when learning to skydive. While you won’t convince me to skydive anytime soon, I have found that jumping into unseen realms together is a hell of a lot of fun and assists the novice journeyer in several ways.
Tandem journeys help to demonstrate how you connect to Spirit (e.g. feeling, seeing, hearing, moving), give emphasis to particular aspects of the journey I undertake on your behalf, and can support you in deepening your shamanic practice with a more vivid experience of the spirit world.
Journeying at the same time with the same intention together can also help to demonstrate that the spirit world is an actual place.
It is not unusual to see the same places or things when journeying together, to receive complementary pieces of the same story, or to have feelings that track the narrative arc of the journey that I undertake on your behalf.
Tandem journeys are a compelling way of arriving at a felt sense of the reality of the unseen realms and can give us a taste of the miraculous nature of this life where far more is going on than meets the eye.
I make beginning instruction and opportunities in tandem shamanic journeying available in shamanic spiritual guidance sessions and in journey circles we host here in Eugene. Make an appointment or contact me for more information.
There are many ways of learning how to journey; each pathway has its relative merits and drawbacks.
Online courses are convenient but lack a face-to-face connection. Books are inexpensive. Local classes connect you to others in your local community, but can be more expensive or offered on days or times that are inconvenient.
At the end of the day, it is most important to choose an approach that works best for your personality and within the constraints of your life.
Each Shamanic Spiritual Guidance session, conducted in person or via Skype, includes beginning instruction in shamanism and tailor-made guidance to help you deepen your practice.
An inexpensive and good introduction to shamanism and its practice is Sandra Ingerman’s Awakening to the Spirit World: The Shamanic Path of Direct Revelation
To journey for yourself you will need:
• A quiet, private environment;
• Bandanna or eye mask to cover your eyes, allowing you to “see” any inner images better;
• Recording of a drumbeat or a drum/rattle sounded at the correct frequency;
• An intention for your journey.
The shamanic drumbeat recording that I use is Shamanic Drumming by Michael Drake available on iTunes for $9.99
A 9 minute recording of Shamanic Drumming is available for free on You Tube.
If you find that recordings of a drumbeat don’t really work for you, try shaking a rattle, sounding a drum, or dancing to the beat. Many folks are aided by adding movement to the practice of shamanic journeying.
Another way of deepening your journey practice is journeying with others, particularly more adept practitioners.
The intention-setting process for the shamanic spiritual guidance session can be a regular practice for your life journey as well.
Carrying questions in your heart with awareness creates a sacred space within you. Bringing your thoughts and attention inward as you chew on your questions about life re-collects and focuses your life energy.
No longer scattered, but instead held with purpose and intention, your thoughts create a sacred space within. The purpose of ceremony and ritual is to facilitate this state of gathered inwardness, but you can dispense with the intermediaries altogether and instead walk about the world in a state of ceremony.
It does help, however, to create a sacred space outside of yourself as a reminder that life is indeed a sacred journey and to prompt you to practice a few moments of gathered attention.
Not much space is needed for your altar: a windowsill, a place on a bookshelf, or a spot outside that you pass by often will do. Clearing a space and leaving it empty, or only putting one thing there like a cloth, an empty bowl, a candle, or a picture is a good start. The point is to signal the subconscious that you are making room for the sacred. The less clutter the better.
Now, with your sacred spot created, keep your eyes open for things you might want to add to your altar.
This is a powerful practice in the days leading up to your shamanic journey and the days immediately following, but it is also a lovely spiritual discipline to maintain over time. It helps you to stay present and on the look-out for gifts of beauty and meaning on your life’s path each day.
Often, but not always, people seek a shamanic spiritual guidance session because there is something unresolved in their life.
Topics for journeys can include:
• Questions about life purpose and direction.
• Difficult relationships with family, mate, classmates or co-workers, yourself, and/or God.
• The meaning and soulful lessons hidden within illness, a tragic event, job loss, disturbing and/or recurrent dreams.
• Creating an authentic life, cultivating more joy, finding right livelihood, sustaining activism over the long-haul, or deepening your intuitive gifts and innate connection to Spirit.
Intention is everything, for what you look for in the journey of life determines what you will find.
Shamanic spiritual guidance addresses questions about real problems and offers practical advice, but shamanic journeys also nudge us out of the mind’s singular focus on problems into a broader perspective—that of the soul.
The soul prioritizes growth, choice, and experience over getting things “right.” Looking and even feeling good are less important to the soul than progressing to a life of greater internal freedom and meaning.
Shamanic journeys tend to address the big picture aspects of what you are experiencing, give next steps or homework for developing a capacity for expanded awareness, and nudge you to self-understanding and acceptance.
It helps to be forthright about what questions you hold for shamanic journeys as well as a tool for personal development. It helps to carry the questions of your heart with awareness.
The more clarity you have about your intentions, the more clearly the imagery and symbolism of the shamanic spiritual guidance session–and life’s journey itself–can speak to you.
You might think about the things you most want guidance on before going to sleep at night and then write down your intentions and any insights upon awakening. Or you might create or do something— doodle, wash dishes, play music, chop wood, weed the garden—while reflecting on your life.
However you deepen awareness and recollect yourself after a busy day, do that. And if you find getting clarity about your deepest questions difficult, do note that as something for the shamanic spiritual guidance session to address.