Levels of Consciousness
There are different levels of Shamanic Healing which deal with the different levels of consciousness. To some degree, the levels of consciousness are flexible – boundaries blur and you can divide consciousness into as many levels as you like. However, for simplicity, we will divide consciousness into conscious, subconscious, unconscious and super-conscious. Within the traditions I trained in, Shamanic journeying deals with the unconscious and super-conscious through the tools of underworld and Upperworld journeying.
The Potential of Underworld Journeying
To start with, let’s not make the mistake of thinking that the underworld is the unconscious. The unconscious, by definition can’t be known. The underworld is the interface with the unconscious. This is a very powerful place to access when you consider that the unconscious has unlimited power but the conscious mind makes choice. Furthermore, as the unconscious controls all our biochemistry, bringing choice into it gives us unlimited potential for healing and transformation and brings eternal youth within our grasp. Just stop to consider the implications of this. It is clear that many people who set out to explore shamanic journeying are not finding its full potential, usually through lack of guidance.
Upperworld and Miracles
When moving on to the Upperworld, we begin to interface with our super-conscious mind, which gives dominion over the laws of nature. This potentially takes us beyond healing into occult and mystical realms where miracles are produced. Again, to master this, one needs the right guidance. We need to understand the symbolism, techniques and methods of communication with these deeper levels of mind; the Shamanic journey is just the first step.
Tips for Mastering Shamanic Journeying
I want to give a few tips to help any students reach for greater mastery.
1. Embracing death
Since our normal point of moving on to the next plane is death, we have built in survival mechanisms that can hold us back from fully crossing over. These are held in place by our fear of death. In order to overcome this blockage, we need to go through the fear, experience what it feels like to die, and fully embrace the afterlife. This is why near-death experiences can awaken one rapidly, and why dramatized death experiences are often part of initiation. There are a few simple exercises one can do alone to work towards this end. The simplest is to spend a day imagining that it’s your last day and you are going to die. Note what becomes more important to you and which things become less important.
Another exercise is to spend time handling spiders as they have a natural resonance with the realm of death. On my Tethatu Shamanic Healing training, I take my students through a journey to the future to experience their deaths. The exercise is also described in my book “Working with Tree Spirits in Shamanic Healing”. Once you know what it feels like to die, you can embrace that feeling every time you journey to the underworld and it will propel you more strongly and deeply.
2. Embracing reversal of the Planes
There are a number of planes of existence starting with the Physical Plane, followed by the Underworld, then the Upperworld and then a number of further planes which are described in my book “Ultimate Healing Handbook”. As each plane is in some way inside out or backwards from the last plane, one of the problems one has with adjusting to the next plane is that the brain is not prepared to function within it. This is easily overcome by training the brain through mirrors. Spend a day (at home, not out driving!) with a mirror in front of you, doing everything by looking in the mirror, not looking directly at what you are doing. This simple retraining of the brain prepares you for all kinds of astral experiences and may stimulate lucid dreams.
The three colours white, red and black, used in sequence, stimulate the opening of the unconscious. They can be brought into the initial visualisation in many ways to improve the quality of one’s journeying. One way I like to use them is to bring in the natural visual changes that happen when one moves from bright light into a dark place. There is usually a moment of red filling your vision before your eyes adjust to the darkness. You can visualize this in meditation as you step out of the light into the tunnel down which you are going to travel to the underworld.
Key Points for Underworld Journeying
The above tips are all good preparation for getting into the underworld, but what can you do there, apart from the usual fetching power animals and soul retrieval you hear about?
The possibilities are endless once you get to know the playing field. Here are some key points:
This level of the mind tends to personify everything. The various beings there; the demons, animals, people, even plants, are all personifications of natural processes, habits, bodily mechanisms, stored traumas and memories, beliefs, personal laws, choices and complexes. Every thought form, once created, will act like a living thing and try to survive. Habits and complexes you want to remove have to be killed. They fight back, so you will need strong and vicious allies. Other beings can be nurtured and changed to produce the healing or transformation you want.
It takes experience and a good rapport with your power animal to get to fully understand the cryptic and metaphorical nature of the denizens of the underworld, but as you gain experience, you can change anything in yourself or another person, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
2. Sacred Sounds
The language here is pre-verbal. The unconscious can be controlled through a science of sacred sound which is not formed into words. There are sounds for everything in creation, every part of the body, every function. I teach these sounds on my Shamanic Healing course, but can’t really write them down.
3. Aspects of You
Everything you encounter in the underworld is somehow a part of you. Although there are some aspects you can destroy, don’t go killing any demon on sight, as some of these demons might be important survival instincts. Learn to follow your power animal’s guidance. Its natural instinct will serve you far better than any religious ideals you may have learned.
Learning Shamanic Journeying
This pretty much leaves the subject open for your own exploration, but it is certainly helpful to learn from other’s experiences and pick up some techniques. In my Shamanic Healing course I teach journeying to Underworld, Upperworld and pre-creation, and the use of sacred sound with the mystical energy of these worlds to remove blocks from any area of one’s life. I also have an Underworld Journeying Home-Study Course which you can purchase. Completion of either of these courses or other experience of shamanic journeying and meditation is a pre-requisite for my Magick – The Faery & Dragon Path course.
For further information on Shamanic Journeying or if you would like to join my course, please Contact me.