learning to travel to the otherworld... need help

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kaniie
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Postby kaniie » 09 Jul 2006, 03:27

Oh man...

Well, I'm finally back from my trip and well, I didn't expect this to take off like it did. Haha. But all the information has been terrific and just hearind everyone's different opinions and knowledge is extremely helpful.

I was on a family vacation and, as my parents are strictly a no-no to any of this, I wasn't able to practice at all. But now that I'm home I'm expecting to work on it soon, like, tonight. The unfortunate thing is I have to wait until everyone is asleep (they are so loud!) so as to not be distracted, and that can be a long time... but I read in one book that the veil is thinner at midnight, so that might be a good thing.

I've heard about setting up a circle with an athame, but I don't have that. And I read where you take water, sprinkle salt in it, and take a sprig, dip it in the mixture, and sprinkle it around your area vanquishing dark spirits and keeping them away. And I have done that at times. Most books though simply suggest calming yourself with the mindset that nothing bad can happen to you... I don't know, I'm still working on the journeying part myself, haha. When I actually make it I'll worry about finding my guardian- well, I mean thats my first step. :)

And about possession, Iconoclast wrote: "I'm sure everyone is well aware of the power a nightmare can have on someone, and I'm sure a number of possessions occur while people are in a half-dream state." Hmm, I know what she means... I don't know if this is the same thing, but about three to four months ago I was having an extremely vivid dream (okay, this part is odd) where my cat was in my room wanting out and there was an entity in the room, (couldn't see them, just felt them) and it asked if it could let the cat out and like we were old friends i casually replied yes and as soon as the door had shut behind my cat the covers began being peeled back and i was in an eagle-spread position and couldn't move, and i tried to yell out for my mom but nothing would come out, and i kept struggling and then woke up, and the covers were half gone and i was in the exact same position. my cat was still in my room though, and clawing at the door... so i let it out and turned on the light and was so scared i wouldn't move. the next night i made my dog sleep with me, and ever since he's slept with me every night- which he's never done before. in fact, if he's not in my room at eleven he'll claw down the door until i or someone else lets him in, or he'll track me down wherever i am. it kind of scares me. that may be kind of off topic though...

I would like to do a class but I don't have the financial means and I don't think I'm old enough, as soon as I can though, I will. :)

maire wrote: "Some people are naturally empathic and therefore more susceptible to negative forces.  I know, because I was just such a person when I was growing up.  I had no idea how to protect myself, and I could sense spirits all the time, all around me."

this is true for me as well... when I was young I was extremely empathetic, so much to the point that I had to be excused from reading the Hatchet in fifth grade because there was a heart attack scene and I felt I was having one too, justs from reading it. That's lessoned over the years, but I can still feel things both emotionally and physically, if that's what you're talking about. I use to feel negative and positive forces all the time (truth be told, mostly negative when I felt them). but i'm not sure what that means.

ach, sorry, this was long... but thank you  :yay:

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Postby Iconoclast » 09 Jul 2006, 05:22

Hehe...not that it's an issue or anything...but I'm a boy...hehe, no harm no foul

I find it endearing that your dog serves as your guardian. That's wonderful. I'd watch out for that cat though!

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Postby kaniie » 09 Jul 2006, 16:13

haha. i knew that. it was just really late. i apologize. :D thats wierd, i usually generalize everyone a boy because girls annoy me, but i dont know. lol. it was like three in the morning. :D

yes, my doggy is. he gets upset when i leave and stuff. but he wasn't really "my" dog till a few months ago. now he follows me around and stuff. he's going to be sad when i go to college. :(

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Postby Propheous » 10 Jul 2006, 15:38

How do you guys suggest going about finding one's guide? I have never encountered what you might call a companion on my journeying. Do you summon them? I don't know. I wonder why a spirit would spend its energy guiding someone...unless of course its actually an incarnation of a former/future self. That would make sense. Sorry... ranting...bah
I've not posted on this forum before and feel rather hesitant but am so fascinated by this thread I've just got to chip in...

I've always suspected that my guides are somehow aspects of my present self.  They seem to 'rule' different parts of my life experience: the three grove guardians for the three aspects of druidry in life, plus the wild woman, the wanderer, the child - and the beekeeper who seems to be about domestic things.  They act independently and turn up unexpectedly duirng journey work.  Tarn the child, for example, walked into my grove towards the end of the Ovate grade and I still don't know quite what to make of him/her.  I think of them as separate beings and also as the deeply buried parts of my psyche that I can't access in normal consciousness.

That's what I think at the moment, anyway!  

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I agree and disagree with the above personally.

I find that while all aspects of me spiritually are seperate entities with in me I find that my totem or spirit guide is a seperate entity from me that I share characteristics and kinship with. It would all most be as though I have an aspect of that animal with in me, but I also have a friend who is that animal that walks beside me all ways.

Does this make sense, I would love the opinions of those more learned on this subject.
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Postby Kat Lady » 10 Jul 2006, 17:24

How do you guys suggest going about finding one's guide? I have never encountered what you might call a companion on my journeying. Do you summon them? I don't know. I wonder why a spirit would spend its energy guiding someone...unless of course its actually an incarnation of a former/future self. That would make sense. Sorry... ranting...bah
I've not posted on this forum before and feel rather hesitant but am so fascinated by this thread I've just got to chip in...

I've always suspected that my guides are somehow aspects of my present self.  They seem to 'rule' different parts of my life experience: the three grove guardians for the three aspects of druidry in life, plus the wild woman, the wanderer, the child - and the beekeeper who seems to be about domestic things.  They act independently and turn up unexpectedly duirng journey work.  Tarn the child, for example, walked into my grove towards the end of the Ovate grade and I still don't know quite what to make of him/her.  I think of them as separate beings and also as the deeply buried parts of my psyche that I can't access in normal consciousness.

That's what I think at the moment, anyway!  

Toadflax
I agree and disagree with the above personally.

I find that while all aspects of me spiritually are seperate entities with in me I find that my totem or spirit guide is a seperate entity from me that I share characteristics and kinship with. It would all most be as though I have an aspect of that animal with in me, but I also have a friend who is that animal that walks beside me all ways.

Does this make sense, I would love the opinions of those more learned on this subject.
Let me add my opinions to this thread, if I may. As far as finding a guide, Iconoclast, there are various ways of finding guides; through meditation, through shamanic journey etc. Sometimes a simple, "Are you my guide? " works. As to why individual guides choose to guide, my question is why do you do the things that you do? Many of your daily duties may seem without a purpose to me or to others, and visa versa.(Like why do I volunteer to moderate this forum?) Only the individual can truly say why s/he does the things s/he does.  But I believe that many guides choose to be a guide to help others. Service is the key.

As far as guides being part of us or outside of ourselves, I can say that my experience has shown you are both correct.  I have totems and guides that are separate beings and have encountered a past and a future version of myself as guide. Time is just a term we choose to use to define the current space in which we dwell. If you believe all is circular, you at one point may meet a different version of "you". But usually, my experience has been that most guides are individuals with different personalities and outlooks that help us to see our way on this journey.
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.--Mark Twain

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Postby Wren MacDonald » 14 Jul 2006, 10:48

My experiences in journeying (or attempting to journey, or haphazardly journeying... ) have not been what I would call "traditional."  I am not a person that can sit there in lotus and tell myself my body is relaxed and thereby enter a dream state.  I would say the closest definition to what I do that I consider meditating is more like daydreaming.

That being said, any guides or guardians that I may have either a) manifest themselves as the people (different at times) that I daydream about, or b) have never revealed themselves to me.  I think most likely they take the form of whatever character has captured my imagination, but the "daydreams" aren't exactly guided visualization, as in, I don't usually go in thinking, "okay, today I'm going to explore (whatever)... "  I tend to just go where my mind flies.

Due to the spontaneous nature of my "daydreaming," I most of the time do no protection work or concecration beforehand.  Only on a few rare occasions have I "planned" a meditation session, and even fewer have I gone so far as to prepare beforehand as for ritual.

Do you think this is potentially dangerous, or am I just so naievely scratching the surface with my "methods" that I'm not really travelling anywhere?  My body does react to whatever it is that I'm picturing... many times I have been rudely "awoken" by finding that I've just slammed my head/hand/arm/leg/pick a body part into a nearby dresser or bookshelf from where I was sitting on the floor (or the floor, for that matter), and I didn't even notice that I was moving.  This was one of the things that made me start recognizing that I was in some sort of meditative state... for years I did this and never classified it as such.

Any thoughts?  I will try to be more mindful, but knowing me I know I'm not going to go to the lengths all the time (I do this every day... if not several times every day).  Thanks to any that answer.   :D  :oops:


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Postby Eoin Dubh » 15 Jul 2006, 07:51

When I started studying out of body travel, my teacher had me sit in a chair in my living room and do deep breathing. After three, six or nine breaths I was to move my perception out of my body to a corner of the room near the ceiling and observe myself sitting in the chair. It took a few weeks to fully kick in but it eventually worked and I could look at myself from any spot in the room. Just be sure to turn off the phone first!!!!!
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Postby Kat Lady » 15 Jul 2006, 15:18

I see comments on various types of "travel" here and just want to give some basic definitions so that we all are understanding the same basic similarities or differences. The definitions are not inclusive. I just tried to post some general terms so we could all perhaps have a common base to understand the discussion.

1) Meditation-the practice of focusing the mind, often formalized into a specific routine.(Wikipedia)
2) Visualization-the process of creating internal mental images (psychology term) (Wikipedia)
3) Journey/ Shanamic Journey-an ancient visionary technique used to enter the invisible realm of spirit for healing and guidance.(Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing)
5) Out of Body Experience-is a subjective experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one's body(Wikipedia)
6) Astral Travel-is an interpretation of out-of-body experiences (OBEs) achieved either awake or via lucid dreaming, deep meditation, or use of psychotropics. Proponents of astral projection maintain that their consciousness or soul has transferred into an astral body (or "double"), which moves in tandem with the physical body in a parallel world known as the astral plane.(Wikipedia)

While they all might be apples, they are different kinds for sure and I thought this might be a good point to break them out to perhaps differentiate the various types of "journeys" that are being discussed.
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.--Mark Twain

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Postby Seeker » 15 Jul 2006, 18:28

Excellent point, Kat! Great reminder...
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
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Postby kaniie » 17 Jul 2006, 02:24

wow. so, its definatly nice to hear everybody's different interpretations and experiences. hearing all is the best way to learn, and deciding what you believe and what works for you. but i like hearing everything.

SO, update.. the best I've been able to accomplish is a deep medatative state where I feel free and almost out of my body, but not quite. I don't think my mind is quite ready to give up completely, so I've been working with alot of mental preparation and positive reinforcement, telling myself constantly "you can, you will when the time is right" etc. The book I was reading, however, said that "you will be [shamanic] journeying in a matter of minutes to hours, depending on how you react to the exercise" but I've been trying repeatedly for weeks, and on and off for years- is it normal to take so long? or am i doing something completely wrong?

i was working with an OBE exercise book to help loosen my consciousness, and one of the suggestions was to tell yourself before you go to bed to allow yourself to have an OBE as you sleep - i did this the other night and, while i never check my phone when i receive a text during the night.. for some reason it never wakes me up- i was not awake, but yet out of my body checking my phone- only i couldn't read it. when i "woke" up i was still laying in the bed and my phone was untouched, but sure enough I had a new text. I'm not sure if that's the same thing as an OBE, or close, or getting there. Maybe its progress, and progress is always good. :)

anyway, my teacher suggested, because of my overly ADD mind, that i purchase some shamanic drumming tapes and practice with those. so i'm going to do that asap. i was wondering if anyone has any suggestions or if they know of any tapes i'd be interested in??

at least this thread has proven (to me at least) to be interesting. :) i've learned alot, and that's all that counts.

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Postby kaniie » 17 Jul 2006, 02:32

My experiences in journeying (or attempting to journey, or haphazardly journeying... ) have not been what I would call "traditional."  I am not a person that can sit there in lotus and tell myself my body is relaxed and thereby enter a dream state.  I would say the closest definition to what I do that I consider meditating is more like daydreaming.

That being said, any guides or guardians that I may have either a) manifest themselves as the people (different at times) that I daydream about, or b) have never revealed themselves to me.  I think most likely they take the form of whatever character has captured my imagination, but the "daydreams" aren't exactly guided visualization, as in, I don't usually go in thinking, "okay, today I'm going to explore (whatever)... "  I tend to just go where my mind flies.

Due to the spontaneous nature of my "daydreaming," I most of the time do no protection work or concecration beforehand.  Only on a few rare occasions have I "planned" a meditation session, and even fewer have I gone so far as to prepare beforehand as for ritual.

Do you think this is potentially dangerous, or am I just so naievely scratching the surface with my "methods" that I'm not really travelling anywhere?  My body does react to whatever it is that I'm picturing... many times I have been rudely "awoken" by finding that I've just slammed my head/hand/arm/leg/pick a body part into a nearby dresser or bookshelf from where I was sitting on the floor (or the floor, for that matter), and I didn't even notice that I was moving.  This was one of the things that made me start recognizing that I was in some sort of meditative state... for years I did this and never classified it as such.

Any thoughts?  I will try to be more mindful, but knowing me I know I'm not going to go to the lengths all the time (I do this every day... if not several times every day).  Thanks to any that answer.   :D  :oops:


Wren ^.~*
I've done this for years. In fact, I do it almost constantly. When I was young I was always in my own world, imagining all sorts of things. I also had a habit of going to sleep "traveling" in my mind's eye, or visualizing. I would often daze off at school and have no clue what was going on around but be inside my own world, instead.. visions and such that I could hardly control that just tended to happen. I do think this is a type of journeying of sorts, but not necessarily to any Lower/Middle/Upper worlds. I think its more a journey of imagination, through your mind, or other destinations of sorts. I think there's a much deeper typer of journeying- such as shamanic journeying where you actually are "in" those worlds, as if you'd be interacting with the world we live in, or OBEs/Astral Travel where you are outside of your body and also experience things how we would interact with the world around us. I also will react in sorts to my "daydreaming," as you put it... as I will twitch occassionally or "feel," in a way, whatever I am doing.

I am no expert, but from experience, I wouldn't say you're actually traveling to any exact place. Its more like deep visualization. But that's a good start :D. If you're content with visualization journeying, then just continue and believe in it. If you want to learn deeper methods (as I do, I soon grew discontent with only being able to visualize, I want to explore and do other things) then I'd recommend finding someone to teach you (my teacher has been absolutely instrumental) and read, read, read! If you've already honed an exemplary visualization skill, try visualizing a hole or opening into the ground of sorts and exploring it/traveling down it. It should become more realistic, in at least one of the five senses, and you shouldn't necessarily be conscious of your body in this existance. The cave should open into some sort of space, namely the lower world, and there is where you can find your power animal or guardian. Of course, I have yet to accomplish this but while dreaming once, so I can't really say much on the subject. Its still a work in progress. :D

But don't let anyone tell you what is real or isn't. Reality is only a perception anyway. The only thing that is real, is what is real to you.

Goodluck.  :dance:

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Postby Wren MacDonald » 17 Jul 2006, 07:14

I also had a habit of going to sleep "traveling" in my mind's eye, or visualizing.
This is how I go to sleep every single night.  I can't get to sleep otherwise.  This of course leads to sometimes not knowing when the visualization ends and the dreaming begins.  :wink:
I am no expert, but from experience, I wouldn't say you're actually traveling to any exact place. Its more like deep visualization. But that's a good start :D.
I think so, too.  I have done guided meditations a few times but not very often.  My favorite is one that I found in a book that suggested tape recording yourself reading it out loud so you can listen to it later when meditating.  It actually worked out well that way.   :D

I have had a couple of "astral" or "OBE" moments, but funnily enough these were not planned.  My goal is to be able to do this on purpose.   :)

Thanks for your suggestions, Kaniie, and good luck to you, too!   :D


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Postby kaniie » 17 Jul 2006, 22:16

Lol, like I said, I know exactly where you're coming from. I have had a couple of OBE/odd experiences but its mostly asleep (although, I know I'm not dreaming during the experience. I've had one where I got out of bed and saw myself still in bed, and the one about the phone..) but never on purpose. And what I'm aiming for isn't really an OBE, although I imagine the the skill to relax your consciousness that induces OBEs is definatly helpful in traversing the Lower/Middle/Upper worlds, so OBEs are a good thing too.

I'm definatly getting a bit frustrated though with my lack of results. :( About the only thing its helped me is an increase in focus skills, haha, which have helped in my horse riding. :D I use to get distracted during courses, but now that my focus has improved, my riding has as well. And while thats great, its not helping me get anywhere haha.

While visualizing/meditating, do you see things [in your minds eye] third person?? I dream/visualize everything in third person, which is one reason I think its hard for me to journey because Its hard to put my consciousness in my body in a journey, so to speak. Someone told me it was okay if it was in third person, though, so, I don't know. good luck! lol

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Postby Kat Lady » 17 Jul 2006, 23:21

I'm definatly getting a bit frustrated though with my lack of results. :( About the only thing its helped me is an increase in focus skills...
As with anything, you have to learn to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. Perhaps you are stuck at this point as there is more for you to learn?
And what I'm aiming for isn't really an OBE, although I imagine the the skill to relax your consciousness that induces OBEs is definatly helpful in traversing the Lower/Middle/Upper worlds, so OBEs are a good thing too.
The questions you should be asking yourself is what is it you seek? And why?

Any shamanic practice, including journeying, takes patience and practice. Cutting corners and rushing can lead to unsatisfactory or even disasterous results.
If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.--Mark Twain

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Postby Seeker » 17 Jul 2006, 23:29

Did someone mention the word..."seek"? hehe
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
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Postby kaniie » 18 Jul 2006, 05:45

Any shamanic practice, including journeying, takes patience and practice. Cutting corners and rushing can lead to unsatisfactory or even disasterous results.

I know that and I'm trying to be patient, its just the books always make it seem so easy to pick up and like I'm doing something wrong somehow. But I figure the harder it is the more satisfactory the result.

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Postby Donata » 18 Jul 2006, 14:46

Hi,

I agree with everything Kat has said.

I'll also ask, "What are you seeking?"

Astral travel/OBE's, or shamanic journeying ideally has a specific purpose. They may not be what you need at this time for your spiritual growth, which may be why they are difficult. None of these is necessary for us to do. They can aid in our understanding of ourselves, or they - ideally after practice and training - may be used to help others - this is what true shamans do since they are the healers and seers of their tribe/village, etc.

Some people are born aware of their psychic abilities, and I think this is more common today among young people than a generation ago. This can leave you more open to energy impressions of all kinds. This is why it's important to bring Light into your body daily, from both sky and earth, and fill body and aura with the Light, and then lightly seal your aura for protection for the day. You can think of your aura surrounded by a light net with tiny mirrors all over it, facing outwards, or you can think of your aura as an egg of Light, and its edge as an egg shell that keeps out negative energy while allowing in any positive energy.

Protection includes from any negative energy, stressful things, people who drain you in any way. If you do this at the start of your day, you don't need to worry about it again. Also, you may wish to place a circle of protection around  your bed at night to take care of interfering energy at night, such as nightmares.

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Postby kaniie » 18 Jul 2006, 18:42

I agree with everything Kat has said.

I'll also ask, "What are you seeking?"
Oh boy. The more I get asked this, the more I get confused. Haha. I suppose it started out with a really rough time in my life, where everything I believed in was failing me. Because of this, I naturally started seeking something different, something that works, something to help my life get back in balance. My ex and I had had lots of conversations about spirituality, I had always been interested in his beliefs but never embraced them. It was during this time that I asked him to share them with me, and ever since I felt a calling.

While he does practice Shamanism and Druidry, that's not the reason I felt called to that. I've always had a slightly more receptive state to those ideas and have what use to be an incredibly accurate psychic sense- but its been dulled from un-use. (I'm trying to work on that again too.) I love helping people- my whole life has been about helping people. Unfortunatly, I've always let them drain me in the process. I think Shamanism is a great way to help others, while helping yourself and protecting yourself. I bought the book By Oak, Ash, and Thorn by DJ Conway and I am absolutely enthralled in it. I spent most of last night reading, I could't put it down! She basically makes you delve really deep into yourself, and while right now I'm mostly confused, I like the prospect of finding answers. So, hopefully I have some soon. :D

I definatly need to get outside more. I do, but not enough to just enjoy nature, even though I enjoy it alot. I need to just sit out in it and draw it in and meditate and connect. I think I will. :) But thankyou.

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Postby Donata » 18 Jul 2006, 19:02

I'll suggest that 'shamanism' may be too broad a category for seeking a spiritual path. Many paths have shamanism or its techniques as a basis. Shamanism itself doesn't need to be a spiritual path - it's really  about a set of techniques which are primarily used to aid the tribe/ village/ or community.

If you are drained when doing healing, you are using your own energy. This isn't the best way to do this, as you've discovered, because it drains you, and it leaves you open to  picking up whatever you heal or remove from someone else.

Reiki is an excellent healing method which doesn't  involve using your own energy. With Reiki (and other systems of healing) you become a channel or pipeline or conduit for universal healing energy. You aren't the energy - you  allow it to flow through you. You have the responsibility to be as clear and pure a pipeline as possible, to stay focused, centered, and to be grounded. You aren't passive in this healing. You determine the healing purpose, you access the universal healing energy, and you focus it through yourself to the person you wish to receive the healing. However you don't use personal energy to heal and you don't run the risk of either depleting yourself or picking up anything from the person being healed.

It's similar to bringing electricity into the home. Your electric wires aren't the electricity, but they need to be wired correctly, be the right material, not faulty, covered to protect your home, grounded, etc. for the electricity to work correctly and perform the function you want.

You are the electric wire - you aren't the electricity.

BB
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Postby kaniie » 18 Jul 2006, 20:19

I realize that shamanic practices are not a form of any particular spiritual practice, but can be incorporated into all. I think personally I'm just digging into different spiritual probabilities, and the celtic ways personally appeal to me.

There's just something about the practice of shamanism, though, that appeals broadly to me. So that's why I'm giving it a whole-hearted try, and yeah, patience is a virtue.. and my patience is definatly getting better, and when it gets frustrating I just try to remind myself that wherever I am right now is where I'm suppose to be, and when the time is right whatever needs to be will be done.

I've read a little about reiki, and its interesting. I'll probably take up on your suggestion and pick up a book about it. Knowledge of every sort can never hurt. :)


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