When shamans journey to the spirit realm, they enter a trance-like state of consciousness. In this trance state the brain generates theta waves. One can journey successfully listening to a drum beat frequency of 4 beats-per-second for at least 15 minutes. This is a consistent beat of between 205 to 220 beats per minute. The drum is called the “horse” that one rides into the journey state. Other vehicles that can also be used to travel to the trance state are: rattles, ecstatic dance, hypnosis, and hallucinogens.
The shaman’s world consists of 3 levels of non-ordinary realities: the Lower, Middle, and Upper World. The shaman journeys with a specific intent and meets power animals, spirits, and guides.
Michael Harner calls ordinary reality the Ordinary Sate of Consciousness (OSC) and the altered state of shamanic trance the Shamanic State of Consciousness (SSC). Mircea Eliade referred to the shamanic trance as ecstasy. The 3 spiritual worlds consist of:
Lower World – The non-ordinary reality (NOR) of the subconscious.
Middle World – The ordinary reality (OR) of the conscious. This is the world we currently exist in.
Upper World – The non-ordinary reality (NOR) of the superconscious. This is where the Higher Self resides.
There also exists an Under World, which is a state of unconscious that is not traveled to on shamanic journeys.
Here is a chart listing the characteristics of each the shamanic levels of consciousness:
|Level of Consciousness||Subconscious||Conscious||Superconscious|
|Brain Wave State||Theta 4-8 cycles per second||Beta & Alpha 8-30 cycles per second||Theta 4-8 cycles per second|
|Time||Timespace – 3 dimensional||Spacetime – Linear||Timespace – 3 dimensional|
|Typical Entrances||Into a cave or crevice in a rock
Through a tree knothole or roots
Into an animal’s burrow
Through a worm hole
Into a well
Through a doorway or gate
Into a waterfall or stream
Under ocean waves
|Out the door or a window||Leaping into a gap in the sky
Cave mouth high on a cliff
Climbing a tall tree
Climbing a flight of stairs
Up a mountain that pierces a cloud
Up a ladder
|The Landscape||Rich with jungles, meadows, forests, swamps, rivers, mountains, deserts. Most communication is in symbols.||A direct parallel of ordinary reality although many features may be changed.||Light, bright, ethereal, and airy. Most interactions are verbal.|
Natural & Mythical Animals
|Low Level Souls
Spirits with Ego
|Questions to Ask||Questions on guidance, power, & healing||Questions about finding objects||Questions that are existential:“Why am I here?”“What is my path?”“What is my next step?”|
Here are some basic ground rules to formulating questions to journey on:
- Ask one precise, clear, and concise question.
- Use the following words: Who, what, where, why, and how.
- Avoid divination questions, such as questions that ask when, unless you are doing a specific divination journey. Asking about the future, changes the future.
- Use simple and positive language.
- Do not ask compound questions using “and” or “or”. If you want to ask additional questions, make additional journeys. However, you can ask questions for clarification while on the journey.
- Only journey for yourself. Never journey for someone else unless you have their permission. Remember, it is not ethical to exert any energy towards influencing someone else’s path.
You can obtain drumming and rattling recordings from the following sources:
- Smart phone apps
- You Tube
- Make your own
- Purchase mp3s from Amazon
Basic Journey Procedure
- Formulate your question before beginning the journey.
- Go to a quiet private space where you can sit or lie undisturbed. The darker it is the easier it is to “see” on your journey. You may want to use eye covering to insure darkness.
- Open sacred space.
- When journeying engage all of your senses: smell, hearing, feeling, seeing, knowing. Everyone has a primary mode of receiving information. Tune into what your mode is.
- Begin the drumming or rattling.
- Enter an opening in the earth to journey to Lower World or travel upwards to journey to the Upper World.
- You may find yourself at a river or running spring, where you can wash and cleanse before continuing your journey.
- Acknowledge who comes to meet you. It may be a guide, ally, power animal, or ancestor. Offer them a gift, like tobacco.
- Tell them the purpose of your journey and as them to provide the information or take you to somewhere to get the answer to your question. Then allow the entity to guide you. Trust in the wisdom or information that is shown to you.
- When you hear the call back or when you feel the journey is complete, give love and thanks to your guide. Return by the same route that you arrived.
- Allow yourself time to come fully back to the Middle World. Journal your experience. Do grounding exercises. Drink water. Burn sage. Don’t drive right away.
- Give gratitude and close sacred space.
Shaman’s say that there is no Time in Non Ordinary Reality (NOR). This is because they are traveling outside linear time, which only exists in the 3rd dimension of physical reality. While traveling in the Upper World or Lower World, time is a frequency and all time exists concurrently, so this is a state of No Time. For more information on the different states of Time, request my free e-Article at DrakeInnerprizes.com/soulstore.htm. There is also a free e-Article on the Shaman’s Medicine Bag, which lists more information on the tools of the shamanic practitioner.
Copyright © 2014 Drake Bear Stephen. Except where acknowledged. http://www.DrakeInnerprizes.com