‘The Shamanic Journey is the ancient method of the shaman that can be used by everyday people for healing, personal growth, and to connect with nature’
If you’d said to me a year ago, I’d be trying out different therapies, attending meditations & gong baths & considering yoga as my New Year Resolution, I’d have told you you were mad.
I would’ve also told you that you were mad if you’d suggested I’d become alcohol free for the rest of my life and just look how that turned out.
The main thing I miss about drinking alcohol is ‘getting out of my head’. When I say that, I don’t mean drinking myself into a black out state but actually taking a break from myself and stopping the internal chatter.
You see, I have a very busy brain. I always find it hard to just ‘be’ in the present, always thinking ‘what next?’, always looking way too deeply into any given situation and always overthinking to an overwhelming degree.
Through trying different therapies and activities, I’m looking for something that shuts me off from every day life, just for an hour or two, that gives me space from all the things that we worry about. I want to go somewhere lovely, somewhere peaceful, somewhere I actually shut the f**k up.
I get a fair amount of headspace from walking in the fresh air, listening to my audio books, my mind distracted from mundane normal life. I also love the way gong baths take me to another place for a small snapshot of time. But I want more.
A few weeks ago, I was invited by a special friend to attend a Shamanic meditation for 12 ladies on 12/12. Double numbers have great significance as does the number 12. I had no idea what a Shamanic meditation was and kind of didn’t want to know beforehand so that the experience was totally brand new and so that I didn’t have a chance to become cynical about it! All I knew is that I’d be going to a friends house in my comfies and needed to bring a blanket, a pillow and some water.
When we arrived, we all took a place on the floor or couch in a large room lit dimly by the lights on the Christmas tree. Our host for the night explained that she would be guiding us on a Shamanic journey and asked us all to share what we were expecting from the evening. It was a great ice breaker as, although I knew most of the women, I didn’t know them all. By sharing our expectations, it also connected us all in the room, ready to begin our journey.
Meditation involves a lot of deep breathing. Before Soberdom I would’ve been utterly self conscious in a room full of people breathing in and out loudly. But breathing is helpful and soothing and takes you to a meditative state and so breathing is what we did.
Our host advised that she would be taking us to a place of nature, like a wood, and we’d journey through it until we found our ‘power animal’. We were asked to observe how the animal behaved and continue on with the animal until we found a hole or a door or likewise to lead into the spirit world. This journey would be accompanied by drumming at different speeds at different parts of the journey.
Honestly ... I won’t lie ... my brain screamed WTAF (what the actual f**k)!! Power animal? Hole in the ground? Drums?
But I was curious. There was a possibility this may give me what I was looking for and ... you never know til you try right?
So the meditation began. I saw a wood with bright light, mainly turquoise, and I continued on until I reached a clearing. I had a distinct thought that my journey was mundane & predictable. ‘Just’ a wood and ‘just’ a clearing. There was a fire burning in the clearing and I chucked a few names into it, hoping they would burn away for good, and carried on. I was conscious I was supposed to be looking for my power animal and expected to see a tiger or a lion or a jaguar but instead saw a non-descript green snake hissing at me. Again, I was thinking ‘oh great, all I get is ‘just’ a wood and now I get ‘just’ a snake’. Brilliant.
When the meditation finished, I felt so very relaxed and calm but also short changed as my fellow roomies talked of eagles & owls & wolves as their power animals. They talked of snow and hearts and water and music. I ‘just’ had a snake and some blue light.
But, once I explained what I had seen, it transpired I didn’t ‘just’ have a snake. I had one of the most powerful animals of them all as the snake represents healing, rebirth, transformation, shedding of skin. Ironic eh?! And the blue light was representative of the hottest part of the flame, of fire, of healing.
I felt bad. I’d dissed my snake & I’d dissed my journey when in fact I was terribly privileged to have seen what I had seen. I then realised that my Shamanic journey had been very representative of my life at the moment, that I feel my life is very samey, that I think other people are having better journeys than me and that I’m not seeing what I have in front of me as special and lucky. What a wake up call!
My overall feeling after the meditation was ‘I need to do that again’. It was kind of trippy and kind of chilled and kind of cool. I’m fascinated at how all of our journeys in the room were so different and yet so representative of our lives. This can’t be mumbo jumbo right?
My advice to anyone struggling with their own mind is give it a go. What do you have to lose? The answer is nothing but you may gain a new pet (power animal) and a couple of hours peace.