Shamanic Power Animal Journey
By Ayal Hurst
all tribal cultures as far as I know, people understood that we are
inseparably connected to the world around us. To live in a harmonious
way, all of life was honored for the gifts they provided - the plants,
the animals, the rocks, the earth, and sky. For each individual, there
were supportive, protective, and healing powers to be found if one knew
how to connect with them. Each person had allies in the world of nature
as well as in the world of spirit. One way to find an ally in the world
of the animal spirits was to do what is called a power animal journey.
Here is the information on finding your power animal. You will need a
tapeplayer and a tape of drumming that is especially made for shamanic
journeys. This can be ordered from The Foundation for Shamanic Studies.
The tape ought to be at least an hour long. If it isn't, re-copy it
twice onto another tape to make it longer. When it is time to return
from your journey, the drumming will speed up, so only have that
speeded up part re-copied at the very end of the tape. If it is still
light outside when you do this journey, you may want to put a cloth
over your eyes to make it darker. Also, some people like to use
headsets to listen to the drumming. Get comfortable in a quiet place
where you won't be disturbed for at least 40 minutes. Light a candle,
and then do some slow, deep breathing to fully relax. As with doing any
sacred ceremony, you may want to set up a protection around yourself
and state an intention that only that energy which is your true Spirit
of Unconditional Love and Life Force energy be with you and given to
you. It would be good also to set up a cocoon of white light around
yourself before you begin which puts this in place also. You can ask
for guidance and protection from Great Spirit, the Creator, God, etc.
That way you are very clear what your intention is and what you will
only allow into your space. Lighting white candles is a good idea as
they represent light and purity. When you are fully relaxed, imagine
that you are walking along a path that leads to a special place that
you have actually seen before, a place that leads into the earth. This
can be a cave, a hole in the ground, a hole in a tree, a rock overhang,
etc. As you imagine walking along this path, use your imaginary senses
to really be there - smell the air, feel the ground underneath your
feet, notice the colors and sounds around you, feel the air against
your skin. Take it all in. When you get to that place which leads into
the earth, which is for you alone and no one else, enter into it, again
using all your senses to explore the area for a bit. Feel if the walls
are smooth or rough, wet or dry - if the air is cooler, etc. Then, you
will notice that there is a long tunnel leading down into the earth
from this entranceway. Follow it down deeper and deeper into the earth.
Allow the journey to take you as it will. Release any need to control
it. Let happens what happens and just stay present with the experience.
While you follow this tunnel deeper into the earth, hold in your mind
and heart the intention that this journey is for you to connect to your
power animal, your medicine ally. That is what you are there for.
Eventually, you will notice that the tunnel ends at another
entranceway. This entranceway leads you into the world of the Animal
Spirits. This world is consists only of a world of nature. Natural
landscapes are everywhere. There are animals everywhere - in the trees,
grasses, by the rivers, on the mountains, etc. Notice what it looks
like, what the landscape is like where you have arrived into this
world. Leave the tunnel and begin to walk out into this world. Again,
use all your senses as you explore this world. Notice what time of day
or night it is, what's around you, the sounds and colors, the smells,
the feeling of the air against your skin, how the earth feels under
your feet, etc. Walk in this world taking it all in, holding your
intention to meet your medicine ally, until an animal approaches you.
When it does, ask it if it is your power animal. If it says yes, you
may then journey on with it, learning about it, sharing with it,
bonding with it, and asking for any help or guidance or answers you may
need. If it says no, it is not your ally, continue walking until you
meet the right one. Ask your power animal to show you what happened in
that past life, and to help you resolve and heal the issues - to learn
how to come from the power of your Spirit, the power of Love. When it
is time to leave this spirit world, ask your power animal for a gift,
and give it a gift in return. Ask how you can call upon it when you
need to, and ask also if you need to keep what it is and what it shares
with you private. When it is time to go, say goodbye, and thank you.
Then, return to the tunnel and walk back up out of the passageway until
you return to the entrance where you entered into the earth. Walk back
along your path, and return to the room where you are visioning from.
Take some time to fully come back into your body, bringing ALL of
yourself back, filling up all of your body with yourself, all the way
to finger tips and toes and eyelashes. If you choose to, you can write
in a journal about what you learned and what guidance you were given.
Take some time to integrate this experience. Don't go out into the
world too fast or try to do too much afterwards. Drink water, and
remember to blow out the candles.