How do you Start a Shamanic Journey?

How do you Start a Shamanic Journey?

You’ve heard about shamanism and are wondering where to begin. A shamanic journey is a good place to start. It’s time to leave your preconceived ideas at the door and dive in to one of the oldest traditions on the planet. So, how do you start a shamanic journey?

We’re going to explore the typical stages of a basic journey. You’ll learn tips to ease you into journeying. Let’s begin.

Ground Yourself

Spend time focusing on your breathing. Relax and ground yourself. Meditation is a great way to prepare for a shamanic journey. If you’re new to meditating checking out the free resources at our sister site, Mindful Rewilding. Mindfulness will help you to journey with clarity, furthermore, you’ll be able to maintain your focus. Switch off your devices. You don’t want to be interrupted when you journey. Come into balance and prepare for a profoundly transformational experience.

The Benefits of Shamanic Journeying

The act of drumming (or listening to drumming) has been linked to health benefits. That’s great news, because you’re going to be doing that on your shamanic journey. You’ll also find that when you journey you’re able to:

  • Access a relaxed state more easily
  • Heal old wounds
  • Growth and healing
  • Reduce mental chatter and rumination
  • Overcome limiting beliefs
  • Understand others more readily
  • Gain clarity around your life path
  • Create your own destiny

Set an Intention for your Shamanic Journey

Begin your journey with an intention. Where are you going ? Why? Are you going to a specific place? Are you going to discover something, or, ask a question? Keep your questions open. Try not to embark on your journey with a yes or no question. You’ll receive more clarity with a clear question. In addition, you might want to set a timer for your journey. If you’re listening to a drumming track it will usually last for 10 to 20 minutes.


Make sure you’re relaxed. You can sit or lay down for your journey. Most importantly, make sure you won’t be disturbed. You’ll find your own way of journeying as you progress. Grab a blanket and make sure you’re comfortable. There are no hard and fast rules. Shamanism is self referential. It’s not about dogma.

The Axis Mundi & Your Shamanic Journey

The axis mundi is a portal. It’s the place that you enter when you journey. Use your imagination to find that place. It could be a doorway, a tree, or somewhere else in nature. This might take time and that’s ok. This is where you’ll intentionally begin your journey, leaving ordinary reality, shifting your consciousness into a different state. Here is where you enter a non ordinary reality.

Many people like to create a cleansing ritual before they enter the axis mundi. Once you’ve grounded you can say a prayer of protection. You could also burn incense, sage or use your imagination to visualise a ritual, for example, submerging in a lake or laying down in a stream before entering the axis mundi. There are many ways of beginning a journey, explore a little. You’ll discover your own style with time.


When you journey you may want to drum or rattle. This is a common form of journeying to bring you into a more receptive state. You can listen to a drumming track if you prefer not to drum or rattle yourself. You may prefer using Tibetan prayer bowls, bells or chanting. Use whatever feels powerful for you. You’re unique and so is your journey. Find what works for you. If you feel that covering your eyes works for you, do that too.

The Journey

Bring your full attention to the journey. Use all of your senses. What do you see? hear? feel? smell? Do you notice sensations? Keep track of everything that you encounter. Remain open and become curious. What’s here? Be open to receiving information in every way possible. See if it’s possible to journey with a beginners mind rather than with preconceived ideas about how things should be. It’s normal to wonder if you’re simply making it up as you go along (and sometimes you might be). The more you journey, the more you’ll notice synchronicities. Things that come to you on a journey may make more sense when you research them afterwards.

Returning from a Shamanic Journey

If you’re listening to a drumming track, the beat will quicken towards the end of the shamanic journey. This signifies the journey is coming to an end. Return through the axis mundi. You may choose to create another cleansing ritual so that you leave the journey behind you. Wiggle your toes and fingers. Open your eyes. You’re back!

Shamanic Journal

It’s always useful to create a journal to keep a record of your journey. You can write or draw your journey. Write down as much detail as you can. If there are things that you’d like to research, for instance symbols, plants, names or words you don’t know, afterwards, make a note of those too. You’ll be surprised by how many of the things you encounter on a journey begin to make sense in your life afterwards.

Want to learn more about shamanic journeying? Check out our online shamanism courses page to discover more.

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