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Journey Series: Trouble Journeying — 4 Comments

  1. Hi!

    I found this site through your post on cultural appropriation in neo-shamanism. Thanks for that! I’m very new, such that I have no idea where to begin a practice that isn’t based on colonial expectations of what “exotic” or “special snowflake” shamanism is. And, if I may, I have a request for advice on books or articles on how to start, specifically because I trust your opinion from having read the appropriation blog-post. I’m just really confused as to where to simply begin, but I crave a deep, spiritual practice.
    I have read through the info on Journeying on this site, and the blog series on it, and have checked out the site’s list of books already. I know that Sandra Ingerman’s books for beginners are listed here, but I can’t tell if she is appropriative or not, so I’m wary. Without including specific cultural practices, from what I can tell, there are the base ingredients of intention, body posture, openness, and drumming or some sort of sound-focus. But how do you ensure that you’re entering the spirit world properly, and with the right reverence?

    Thanks so much for your time! I’m sorry if this comment seems entitled at all; I’m not expecting a personalized guide, or anything. I’m just nervous about starting off on the wrong foot, and will be very grateful for any advice you may have time to share. Thank you!

    • A book would not be specifically mentioned on a Shaman Links article unless we believe it is culturally respectful. The Shaman Links Book directory may contain books that there would be disagreement on because there are diverse points of views and we aren’t trying to curate the list so much as provide additional categories to allow people to find books. However, we are more careful when linking to specific books from articles. Everything I know of Sandra Ingerman is that she is respectful of other cultures, and does not wish to misrepresent herself. She has taught many students, and is a knowledgeable teacher.

      With regard to how to be sure your beginning the process of journeying respectfully, the fact that it is your intention to do so is very helpful. You want to meet with a spirit or a group of spirit that is evolved and wants to work cooperatively with you. Once you do, you develop a direct relationship with those spirits and develop your own practice through communication with them. When you are unsure, you ask them. You take it one step at a time, honor your instincts, and work at developing a relationship with the spirit world. Anything that has depth takes time to develop, there is no rush.

  2. It seems to me that it is quite possible to do basic journeying without seeing much. But how then does it work for actual tasks, such as retrieving a power animal for someone, if you are unable to see any of the animals? Sure, animals can be sensed in other ways……you can hear them, smell them and so on. But I can’t see how you can identify what sort of animal it is, or even give a description of the animal if you can see nothing. It seems to me that if there is no seeing when journeying then some of these tasks need a completely different approach to the standard methods.

    • You can obtain a great deal of information without any visual information, but that does not mean you aren’t “seeing” anything. If by seeing you think of perception and not visual information. We tend to think of perception as visual only. Our society(ies) emphasize visual things, such as adding videos to music.

      As an example, I do not receive much information visually when I journey. I know that I am in a forest with a pond, I know that a tiger power animal is presenting itself to be retrieved, I know the emotional content of the soul I am retrieving. What I describe when I return from a journey may sound visual, but it did not come to me that way.

      In the real world, a blind man or woman is not unable to make meaning and understand the world around herself. Ultimately, “knowing” something is a deeper perception than the visual perception of the outer covering of things. When I started journeying, I didn’t think I was successful because I did not receive information visually. Luckily, I learned to trust my other ways of perception, or I might have forever thought my journeys were not working.

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