Shamanic journeying is something everyone knows how to do innately. However, sometimes things can get in the way. These are the Top 8 Reasons people have trouble journeying.
Reason 1 – Mental Chatter
Some people will find that they have so many thoughts running through their mind, its hard to settle down to journey.
It is not always necessary to stop the mental chatter. If you can tune the chatter out, than you can still journey successfully. In shamanic journeying, you have to learn to tune out what is going on in the room you are journeying in, and tune into the world of the journey. Sometimes, while you are tuning out what is happening “back in the room,” you can also tune out your mental chatter.
For instance, when I first began to journey or practice doing healing work, I used to imagine that the chattering part of me would “go sit over there.” Just as a child might sit in a corner with his toys to play, while the adults have their own conversation. This worked well for me.
Drumming for your self, or rattling for your self on a journey is also helpful. This gives your mind something to do, and can often help cut down on mental chatter.
Reason 2 – Analyze This, Evaluate That
When people are learning to journey, the senses they have on the journey are delicate. Lots of analyzing can definitely disrupt the flow of the journey. In this case, you simply remind yourself that you can do all the analyzing you want after the journey.
This problem can also include rejecting things in the journey if they don’t fit your expectations. “That’s not what the teacher told me to do.” or “Why is there a ladder in the forest?” The analyzing mind will sometimes halt the journey process when something unexpected happens. Once again, you want your analyzing brain to take a break while you are journeying. Just keep reminding yourself you can analyze the journey, when you get back from the journey. “Right now, I’m just going to go with the flow.”
Reason 3 – Expecting to SEE things
Many people are not visual on their journeys.
We live in a very visual culture, so it can be surprising if you find out you are not visual on your journeys. You then have to learn to pay attention to senses that may not be your normal way of perceiving things. People who aren’t visual journeyers may feel that nothing happened on their journey. However, if you review the journey, you may find that many things actually happened on the journey in non-visual ways. Did you smell anything? Feel anything in your body? Did you hear anything?
Reason 4 – Nothing Happened On My Journey
Beginners may find that they lose what happened on the journey when they return to their bodies. In this case, writing down the journey can be very helpful. People often find that more happened on a journey than they had recalled at first. As you begin to write, details will begin to return to you. Sometimes you will be even be surprised by how much happened.
Reason 5 – I Think I Imagined That
The faculties that you use when journeying are very closely related to the faculties of the imagination. Imagination serves as a type of interpreter to your day to day mind about what is happening on the journey. As a result, the journey can have a similar feel to imagining something.
The difference between a dream or a day dream and a journey, however, is the unexpected discoveries that come with journeying. In a journey, you are in control of where you go (unlike a dream), and you are not in control of what the spirit you are talking to does (unlike a day-dream.) It is really what you learn on a journey, and how the information gained on the journey impacts your life, that help prove to yourself that you are not imagining your journeys.
Reason 6 – Weak or Unfocused Intentions
Intention is what leads you and focuses you on a shamanic journey.
Unfocused intentions can leave your journey scattered, because there is no clear destination for an unfocused intention. Almost like the law of attraction, your intention leads you to where you need to go in the spirit world.
It can also be a problem if your intention is not motivating to you. When you really want to know the answer to a question, that can give you the drive you need for the journey. Weak questions don’t give you that motivation. Also, for some questions, you may not be sure you want the answer which can create a reluctance in you.
Advanced journeyers can sometimes get away with less specific or less focused intentions. Beginners however, usually need a single clear question or purpose to their journey. Wanting to meet your power animal is often motivating for a first journey. After that, you want to make sure you have questions that are motivating to you.
Reason 7 – Depleted Battery
This is not only a problem of journeying when your tired and falling asleep. The more energy that you have flowing through you, the easier it is to journey. I learned this when I tried to journey after a major surgery. My body was healing. I did not have my normal energy and found that I could not go far in the journey.
In societies which had group rituals, they would do a lot of dancing and singing in order to achieve trances or journeys. This is because the physical activity of dancing or singing will fill you with energy. If you find that you are having trouble journeying, look at whether you are trying to journey on a depleted battery. Doing something as simple as singing a song you love, or taking a quick walk outside can supply you with more energy to journey.
Journeying in groups also seems to boost the energy needed for journeying. This is why people sometimes find it easiest to learn journeying in a class or workshop.
UNUSUAL TIP, for Charging Up:
I have recently begun to do the Hokey Pokey in my Intro to Journey Classes.
For those outside of the US who may not know what the Hokey Pokey is, it is a children’s song that involves singing and movement. (YouTube Video of the Hokey Pokey for those who don’t know what this is)
My spirits had actually been advising me to try it for a while, but I didn’t register the message until more recently. I also didn’t understand the brilliance of the suggestion until I started using it in class. For my intro to journey class, on the last journey right before lunch, people are usually feeling a bit low in energy. Almost everyone in the US knows the Hokey Pokey from childhood, so we can quickly go through a few movements of it before we start the next journey.
The signing combined with the dancing changes the energy in the student’s body. They all instantly recognize how much better it feels to go into a journey energized. The silliness of the song also helps perk people up. You may wish to try the Hokey Pokey yourself and see if that helps you, or try another thing that you know how to do that combines movement and singing. See if you can tell the difference in how you feel in your body, and how that helps you feel charged up for your journey.
It doesn’t matter what song you choose, drop it like its hot, swirl a tango or do the country two step! The more that you engage in the movement part of this, the more charged up your body will become.
Reason 8 – Tuning out the Room
When you journey, part of your soul stays with your body, and part of your soul goes on the journey. Therefore, you will still have some awareness of what is going on in the room. For some, they may lose track of the room completely. For others, they will remain aware of everything that is going on in the room. That is normal, and does not mean that you aren’t journeying properly.
In this case, successful journeying is more about shifting your focus. I often tell people that you should think of this like a radio or an Ipod. You want to turn up the volume on the journey, and turn down the volume of what is happening in the room. You can also set an intention that any extraneous sounds that you hear in the room, will take you deeper into the journey.