On your first shamanic journey you are going to encounter your power animal. This is a simple visualization, but it is very meaningful, for your deeper, wiser self will reveal to you the animal force that is best able to guide you. This animal will be your friend and your champion when you go on other journeys, maybe to find out more information about your spiritual development, or guidance in your life. For instance, you may wonder if a past incarnation is affecting your progress in this life. Journeying to find clues about this could be quite challenging, but your power animal will protect you. Or you may be wondering about something more practical, such as a career-choice. Your power animal, journeying alongside you, can help to guide you about what is important, and what is misleading. You will understand how this works out when you start to journey, for it’s all very individual. For now, your first, exciting task is to meet with your helper, your own power animal. Please remember that you may, at different times, have more than one power animal but the one who first comes to you is the one you need now. Also, please don’t judge your animal. It’s impressive to think you have Eagle, or Wolf by your side, but sometimes little Mouse can be just what’s needed!
It will help if you set up a small medicine wheel before you journey. This is a good grounding activity, enabling you to feel protected and to make a sound start. Certainly you should have with you something that makes you feel safe, such as a crystal, picture or jewellery-item, for shamanic journeying isn’t for fun and what you encounter could make you uneasy, until you understand it. You will also need a recording of a drumbeat. Some music, with a steady drum-beat can also do the trick, but there shouldn’t be any singing. You can buy such recordings on the Net – make sure you have found something that works for you, and makes you feel day-dreamy. Settle yourself comfortably, sitting or lying, close your eyes, start your recording and relax.
Now visualize yourself in some place that’s familiar, or which you can imagine in great detail. This should preferably be somewhere in the natural world – it’s great to choose a location close by, maybe that you regularly visit, but now you are going to see it with ‘otherworld’ eyes, for you will be in ‘Middleworld’, which is like this world but mystical and filled with spirits. (see Your Map for Shamanic Journeying.) This special place should have an entrance to Lower World, maybe through a cave, a hole in the ground, a hollow tree or simply tree-roots. It should also have an access to Upper World, which could simply be the high branches of a tree, or a path up a hill. Some people choose city locations, with cellars and rooftops, and that’s okay if it appeals to you. Get your ‘place’ clear in your mind, go into a dreamy state as you listen to the drum-beat, and imagine that you are in your chosen place. See it in all its details, but don’t worry if you are shown some aspects that you’d not noticed in ordinary life, because you are now seeing beyond surface reality, into the hidden landscapes of Middleworld.
Now you are in your ‘place’, ask for your Power Animal to come to you. Wait patiently, for it may take some time, and try to let go of all your assumptions about what you Animal might be or where it will come from. When your Animal comes, ask it three times ‘Do you come in Love and Trust?’ If it is still there after this challenge (N.B. Some animals can be a bit ‘huffy’ when confronted, but your true Animal will still stay with you!) then this is your wonderful, wise, helpful Power Animal. Thank it for being there for you and ask it please to come again, when you want to journey. You may feel your Animal is communicating with you - it may actually talk. Take note of anything it says and take your leave respectfully as you bring yourself back to the everyday world.
When you are back to normal, write down what you have experienced. It is often a good idea to look after your Animal species in the ordinary world, as this intensifies your bond. So you may want to conserve foxes, turkeys, robins or badgers. If you want to know a bit more about the meanings of your Animal check out THE GIFTS OF YOUR POWER ANIMAL, but always remember that your experience and intuition is what matters.
You have now completed your first, and very important journey. If you didn’t actually see any animal, don’t worry. This may take practice and it isn’t unusual for your Animal to be shy, cautious or simply to want you to be a bit more experienced before showing itself.
After your journey, take a sip of water and make sure you are properly grounded and ‘closed down’ by tapping your body all over and taking deep breaths. Always remember that if you experience anything at all that disturbs or puzzles you, our expert readers at The Circle are there to put you straight and give you the advice and support that you need.
PUBLISHED: 17 November 2014