HomeSeries Posts - Shamanism For YouJourney SeriesJourneying and the Imagination

Imagination is the Translator For the Shamanic Journey

seeing your feetWhen I teach journey classes, I explain to students that journeys often feel like you are imagining them.  This is because your imagination is the translator that helps your every day mind understand what is going on in the journey.  When you go on a shamanic journey, part of your soul goes on the journey.  Another part of your soul stays behind.

What happens on the journey happens to your soul.  These happenings would not make any sense to your brain, if your imagination did not step in to explain it in a way the brain can understand.  This is what I mean when I say the imagination is the translator for your journey.


Using the Full Power of Your Imagination light and pattern images

Recently, one of my teachers* gave me a new idea for the imagination and journeying.  Simply put: You can use your imagination to help you experience the journey more fully.

While I knew that imagination was the translator for the brain, it never occurred to me to ask my imagination to do more.  Your imagination doesn’t just have to translate the visual parts of the journey or the sounds.  If you engage your imagination fully it can also help your body feel the sensations that occur on your journeys.

If you are on a journey moving through rapids, you can engage your imagination to help your body feel the sensations of the water rushing around you.  If you are in a field of flowers, your imagination can help supply the smells of what is it like to be there.

experiencing your journeys2In some societies, shamans talk about taking your body with you when you journey.  When they say this, they mean that their entire body and all of their senses experience the journey as if the body is there on the journey.  That is the potential of how strong your journeys can feel if you unleash the full power of your imagination when journeying.  The ultimate goal would be to see, smell, feel, and hear your journeys.


Am I Making This Journey Up?

writing a storyAs I explain in other articles in The Journey Series, it is common to have the feeling that you are making your journeys up.  While I explain that this is due to the fact that your imagination is translating the journey to your brain, this is may not be enough proof for the analytical mind.  In many cases, its only the experience of journeys over time that begin to give you proof that you are not making your journeys up.

However, ultimately all experiences on a journey are anecdotal.  By that, I am meaning the scientist’s word for unreliable.  Experience is not usually considered a scientific fact or the type of proof you can use for statistics.  This is true for all experiences.  The more powerful the experience the more personal it becomes, because the power of an experience happens on an individual level.  Shamanic journeying can provide you with many powerful experiences.  It is up to you to decide if those experiences are valuable to you or not.


Tips for Using Your Imagination

jumping over the firePeople who are in professions which require a lot of imagination, will probably not have any problem using their imaginations to “bring their bodies with them” on a journey.

That is because imagination is like a muscle that requires building up.  You may have to practice using your imagination.  You might have to focus on one sensation at a time, to build that imagination muscle.  For instance you might focus on receiving the smells first, then adding the feelings in your body so that eventually you are experiencing the journey with all your senses.

Some people will also have a mind which worries about whether they are making it up.  

The question then comes down to:  Which thing do you wish to satisfy?  Do you want to satisfy your mind to prove beyond a doubt that you are not making the journey up? Or do you want to satisfy your soul and your body with a full and rich experience of your shamanic journey?

For the last tip, its important to know that imagination requires energy.  I’ve already explained in the article on trouble journeying that it is hard to journey if your personal battery is not charged.  If you don’t have much energy, that can make it hard for your imagination to supply all the details of your journey.  In societies where they have an unbroken tradition of journeying, there are lengthy rituals to prepare for journeying.  Those rituals were used to really charge up before doing a journey.  The more charged you are, the more power you can supply to your imagination for its translation work.

warrior-pose-241611_1280Charging up can be doing something you love before journeying.  Singing, dancing, drumming and rattling can really charge you up as well.  The more your charge up first, the better your imagination will be able to supply the full range of sensations and experiences that are happening to you.


* The teacher mentioned is Sandra Ingerman

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See Also:

The Power of the Healing Story



Journeying and the Imagination — 1 Comment

  1. I have a strong imagination as I write fiction and am an artist also, but I often have problems with the logical mind stepping in telling me that I am imagining the journeys- so I am trying to work on that. I can sometimes feel and see aspects of the journey and wish to experience it almost as real as being in the physical experience. I kind of need it to this vivid to believe it.

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