I was asked the other day by someone what were the benefits of shamanic journeys. I gave a fairly vague response based on feeling calmer and having more direction in my life. The fact that I didn’t have a nice neat answer perturbed me. Surely given how much journeying I’ve been doing over the years I could come up with a clear answer. So after a recovery from my bruised ego and further reflection here is a more complete answer. I would love it if you would leave you own perspective in the comments so this isn’t just a quick ego trip for me (As some have commented, my ego is quite strong without).
Helping Yourself: Our spirit allies are there to help us, they will answer questions and give insights. They work in a way that is loving, kind and compassionate. The answer may be literal or metaphorical – it’s like being told a story as an answer. That’s the best way that I can describe my experience although everybody’s experience is unique to them. That’s one of the great aspects of shamanism, that Spirit communicates with us in ways that work for us, and are specific to us. It’s not one message for all, it’s a message for us communicated so that we can understand it.
Healing self: Shamanic Journeys can be healing in many ways. Firstly they give us space and time in a supportive environment, which is healing in itself. Sometimes they can give us a story that changes the way we think / feel about something which is very healing. Sometimes there is a direct spiritual healing within the journey.
Helping Others: Journeys can give you insights that can help another. You can connect with your spirit allies to answer a question that has been asked.
Healing Others: There are many journeys that are part of a shamanic practitioners tool kit that are specifically designed to enable the spiritual healing of another. This may be a simple as finding a power animal for someone lacking in power, or finding part of their soul that left due to trauma.
Deepening Spiritual Relationship: Some of my shamanic journeys have just been about getting to know my spiritual allies better or have given me insights into the spiritual realm. I have found that deepening the relationship doesn’t generally come from reading a book but comes from my own experience.
I also want to point out that communication with the spiritual realm doesn’t just happen during shamanic journeys. Dreams are another common element but often it may just be a feeling or a thought that I have during “normal” time. Overtime I have found that I get more from things around me – for me this is part of my spiritual development.
One final aspect about shamanism would be – everyone has their own journey. There is no right or wrong about what you should do or how you should do it – it is for you to find out and will be unique to you. We each have to follow our own path.
So do let me know if I’ve missed something out. I do feel better now that’s clearer in my own mind.
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