Shamanic Basics


Shamanism is a spiritual system based on first hand experience. Information from spirits is to help with life. In connecting to the spirit world, it's important to be grounded. The goal is to be more alive and to live in both realities.

A song to call spirits: "I have spirits, spirits have I (3 times); I, I, I." Another: "I circle around, I circle around the boundaries of the earth, (2 times), Wearing my long wing feathers as I fly."

Try to use all senses in dealing with non-ordinary reality. Be open to what comes.

If spirits give you a gift (like a song), it give you power to enact it. It gives you power and it honors the spirits who gave it to you.

Non-Ordinary Reality

Non-ordinary reality has 3 worlds with lots of levels. Essentially, it's one big circle, so that if you go down far enough into the lower world,you'll see the upper world. When journeying, you can pop between worlds; but you need to be firm about going to the world you intended to go to. If you see people you know on a journey, it's because they're there; people can be all over the place, and many are scattered. If you get confused about where you are, ask your power animal; if where you are isn't where you intended to be, get there using your will power and your power animal's help.

The lower world is huge. Power animals live in the lower world. Journey down through opening in this earth; follow the drumbeat; come out into bright light there. At any point of fear, use will power to come back or to do something to change the situation. In non-ordinary reality, you are not limited by your physical body: you can move very fast, shrink very small, fly, etc.

The middle world is like this one, without the dimension of time. Psychic finding is a middle world journey. Middle world journeys can help resolve incomplete relationships. In middle world tracking, go with your first impression. If in doubt, ask your power animal.

The upper world is where teachers are. You can journey up smoke, ride power animal up. It's very etheric. You know you're there when you have passed clouds, moon, and stars and go through a thin membrane.

In non-ordinary reality, drop your expectations and get what you get. Use your will power to move into the space, but once you're there, just experience it. "You get what you get."

Power Animals

Power animals are your helpers in non-ordinary reality, your allies for daily life and journeying. Everybody alive has at least one; some have 2 or 3. You've got to take care of your power animals, dance and honor them, or they'll leave and you'll get sick. Power animals can talk telepathically. They are always wild, not domesticated, animals. They can be mammals, fish, reptiles, composites, or mythical or extinct animals. Call on your power animal whenever you feel in danger. What you do for your power animals is lend them the experience of having a physical body. You also need to honor them to keep them happy: dance for them, give them things, sing songs about them, dialog with them, ask them how they want you to honor them, ask them how you can feel them more in your life. They primarily live in your heart. Power animals will leave if you don't take care of them.


Keep shamanic work separate from meditation, channeling, etc. at least for a while: get to know it. Get information directly from power animals and teachers, not just any old spirit wandering around out there. If you're not sure, ask: "Are you my teacher?" They won't lie. They may take you to another teacher or power animal. The way you know journey information is not the mind is by practicing and seeing what the information does in your life. The challenge is to stay with it long enough to know it. Shamanism is experiential. Check out the information you get. The longer you work, the more impact you have: start having personal power; stop giving it away.

Before journeying, drum and rattle to call in all helping spirits. Ask for a ceremony to call in the helping spirits, and perform it each time.

When you journey, have a clear intention/purpose. Never do any shamanic work for someone who hasn't asked for it. Pay attention to all your senses when you're journeying. Use willpower if any difficulty arises. Don't go with anything that isn't your intention. When you return, write down everything. Ask more than once about major questions. Be sure you have all the information and be sure you understand it correctly. Where an answer seems off, it's ususally misunderstood. Don't rush the process; don't use your own judgment. Never count on your own human knowning. Never assume you know best or do things on your own. Your power animals are there to help you and help you get it right. Everything you see after the drum beat starts is an answer to the question you asked. If you ask a question and get an answer you don't like, negotiate.

Never journey without your power animals. There are no evil spirits, but there are misplaced spirits. Never give away your power to anyone. Don't do anything you don't want to do. If you're strong with and honoring your power animal, you can protect yourself against intrusions. Your power animal will never take you anywhere it's not appropriate for you to be and will never harm you.

If you feel not really back from a journey, replay the return drum beats and state a firm intention to return.

Power animal retrievals

Journey to the lower world. Look for an animal, sending telepathic messages as plea to take pity on the person who needs a power animal and appear. When an animal shows itself 4 times, grab it, return up the tunnel, and blow it into person's heart and head. If you see 4 or more animals in a herd, you can view that as a power animal volunteering. Or you might see one animal from four different directions. Or you might see a cartoon figure of the animal or see some specific detail (like any eye). Or you might just intuit its presence or smell it or see the word for its name. Four times is the key. Generally power animals are very willing to come back, so this journey is usually easy to do. As for what power animals are ok, all mammals are ok. All birds are ok. Composites and mythical or extinct animals are ok. But insects are not ok (including ladybugs, butterflies, spiders). And fish and snakes are not ok if they are baring teeth and dripping venom.

Journeying to find a teacher

Journey to the upper world. Go up smoke of a fire, or go up a tree, or ride up on a power animal, or take a rocket ship. Go past the moon, stars, and sun; go through all clouds; go through a thin membrane (like plastic wrap). Find a being and ask "Are you my teacher?" If being says no, ask which way to go, or ask your power animal to take you to your teacher.

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Last modified on February 21, 2005 by Kay Keys (