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Ookhan

First Journey

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I guess I’m throwing this out to the forum for general reaction and advice. I may have just had my first Shamanistic journey, or whatever I should call it. Afterwards I felt strongly compelled to write it down and post it somewhere… Sorry if it’s a bit long… I throw this out there to just solicit… I don’t know… interpretation? I’m not sure I need that now. Hopefully it will at least be of some interest to those working with this kind of stuff.

So I’ve recently been readying ‘the way of the shaman’ Michael Harner, and he has a sort of beginner’s intro shaman journeying thing where you listen to some drumming and visualize going down into the earth into a hole. I tried it once and didn’t really get anywhere. Just kind of laid there trying to imagine stuff. I was very skeptical of the whole concept afterwards. Kind of disappointed too.

I have this stump in my backyard that has a hole in the middle of it, and I’ve always noticed it and felt something about it, and when Harner suggests such a thing as a possible opening into the earth it immediately jumped to mind as an obvious choice, and I think that’s what made me actually try it.

Well earlier today I ate some marijuana, and as it was coming on, I had a pull to try it again. So went downstairs into the lower floor, put on his 30 min youtube shamanistic drumming thing, and thought I’d give ‘er another go. I laid back, put a shirt on my head. I immediately had an instinct to follow a sort of meditation I do once in a while, and a thing I cultivate at times, which I took from some mini-buddhist book, it’s to focus on cultivating an outward feeling of loving kindness that starts with a feeling in the heart area. It really works for me, and has actually had many positive effects in my life. I basically just tell my self to just open up my heart to whatever is there in my purview, and accept it all in all it’s fullness, but give a loving attention and feeling to it. I apologize if this sounds like some kind of Hello Kitty spirituality doo-doo, but find it almost like instant happiness, I just give up on all preconceived approaches, and just say, f— it, be open with your heart. So I decided to sort of try this journey by sort of feeling it this way.

This is my best recollection. I first sat in mediation and thought of my intention: I have been feeling generally weak lately, and wanted to explore some means of going inside with a vague concept of getting more power. I started thinking about the stump, and immediately felt that I could feel a strong pull to imagine going down it. So I I laid down, covered my eyes with a dark shirt and started the youtube drumming soundtrack. I was immediately then not feeling I could do it, so I sat back up, and started having good results.

I was feeling a bit blocked as I thought of the stump. Like, it wasn’t going to happen. Like, the laying down wasn’t working. So I sat up, and so it began. I immediately went down into the stump and started moving through the earth. After a while I laid down, and could continue laying down now.

I entered the stump and immediately felt very strongly in my body a visualization of some abstract, but semi-lucid felling of going down into the earth, not in a tunnel, but in a sort of floaty way where I was moving down into a dense material darkness with rapid velocity. In fact, I kind of controlled what I wanted to happen, and so at this point I was still kind of skeptical, because, I’m just sort of directing my imagination. I mean, I didn’t think this at the time, but I could have simply snapped out of it and started thinking about playing guitar, or imagining anything, and so in the back of my mind, I’m sort of accepting it, but also just not taking it all that seriously.

So I went flying down, and visualized myself coming out onto an absolutely immense internal open chasm, like an immense cave. I’m flying along the ceiling with a wonderful feeling, feeling the dirt and roots dragging along my back as I look down. Imagine something I guess around a couple of football fields, the bottom of which is a lake. I’m up, way up in the air looking down on the water. I decide to fly down and go into the water, which I do in an instant, dive down, go into the water, then fly back up all the way to the ceiling again. So then I decide to keep going. I crash through the lake and into the earth beneath and then just pour down at high velocity.

Just then, a dog I’m sitting starts barking upstairs. I remember that some parents might show up with their kid to visit the dog. I’m half paying attention to this, and half continuing my journey. The dog chills out. It’s not them,

I continue. Into the earth beneath. I think for a time I went into a tunnel, but then it was mostly through earth. I was able to zoom back to a wide view, to the point where I can see myself a small tiny thing, blasting through underground distance under the earth with great speed.

At some point, and I can’t remember where, but was actually starting to breathe very quickly in short, powerful breaths, in and out quite quickly, at some point I stopped. It was kind of involuntary, I just noticed that I was doing it.

I then thought (in a flash) you know, I’ve been having weakness, and I remember something about there being animals and creatures around here. Maybe I can do that look for a spirit animal thing…”. And then I imagined that maybe my high velocity and intensity is kind of attracting the attention of some of these beings (still sort of skeptical, but this is happening)

And then I get a flash of an image of a sort of shaman magic dude just for a quick moment, and I keep going. And then I think ‘you know, I should check that out, what was that?” And I see this sort of like what I would imagine to be a traditional super deep ancient traditional culture dude with some kind of costume on. He had this sort of chest plate protector thing made of some kind of natural material like tree bark or something, with I think a series of graphical lines running across it. He had a similar mask, with some kind of simple lines. His right arm he kept up, almost like a plastic toy traffic cop with sign; up at a right angle and it was holding some kind of fork or tool in that hand. So we sort of faced off, me feeling this all with this feeling I described before, and sort of dance around in circles. And then I thought about… who is this dude? And as we sort of march around in a circle I get the strong feeling that he is sort of a Shaman version of me down in this world below the lake. He seems a bit stuck here. So I grab his hand and will him to follow me, and I zoom him and I straight down down at super-man like speed until we come out the bottom into an area of brilliant light, close to a giant orb of light, maybe this is the center of the earth?

So I sense that this Shaman dude is in a state of great awe and gratitude, and I can see that he was stuck before, but that this light source is a great source of power for him. And then I feel it. The power of the source thrums through me, my whole body feels powerful and amazing and blissful. And so we dance around for a while, and then all of a sudden he grows to Gozilla-like proportions, and gets huge. A while later I did the same thing, with this supremely powerful feeling happening.

Then something happens to the recording, the drumming stops, then starts swelling back in starting very quite and slowly increasing in volume. I think… ‘aww youtube screwed up and it jumped to the next video or something” So I grab his hand and start zooming back up. And when we come to the area where I found him, between the crazy light source and the lake, I stop and float in front of him for a sec, and drink in the fact that this is me, the down here crazy shaman dude version of me that lives in this crazy zone of, what, my subconscious? I have no idea what’s going on here. So then we just walk into each other, and morph into one being. I try to stay present with what that feels like, and it’s that lovely feeling I have around my heart when I surrender to loving kindness, but it I’m feeling it concentrated at my skin/perimiter, almost like a hard shell of love-defense.

So I then fly upwards at very rapid velocity, and fly up, crash through the water, fly through the chasm, crash back up into the earth above, fly up to the surface where the stump is, I float up through the stump, “walk” over, pass through the doors and then rejoin me my laying down into me, and rejoining my body… I then immediately get up, stop the phone, and walk upstairs, find a computer, and start typing.

Upon completing this journey I immediately felt a strong urge to write it down, and throw it out to some shamanism forum for advice. I literally just came back into my body and got up and started typing. I’ve never posted to a shaman forum, let along read a single post before. So this is what I wrote. I’m throwing it out there with the question…

I’m taking from this experience a feeling I now have. And I can find this feeling of the shaman on my now. It’s kind of like an accompanying alternate shaman-dude version of myself. It is quiet, doesn’t joke about stuff. It’s serious. It’s a watcher, like it’s there, and when I think about it, I feel it in my body.

Craaaaazy! What do I do with this? Apart from cultivate this feeling...

 

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For me Marijuana is a drug of false epiphanies. It gives me feelings of innovative and astounding thoughts. The real epiphanies tend to be preceded by a lot of hard work and going against my own personal boundaries to become something more. Without that work I may fee like I end up somewhere, but I will just fall back into old habit patterns because I'm still tied up that way and didn't go about doing the work to untie those knots.

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The allies aren't without power and it does seem like you had a valuable experience. Being able to journey, to leave your physical self behind and move and explore the world around you is an integral aspect of all shamanic practices. Makers are journey people too, though our own method differs from that Harner approach. Not saying it's better or that the other is without power, we just go about it differently.

Really, my only issue with the Harner course is that it's like this definitive how to book that explains what to do, how to do it and what you can expect to see. It opens people up and I think that's a good thing, but the scope of the journeying is still largely metaphorical and built around the expectations and ideals of the community that teach it. That can be limiting simply because the framework for the journey has already been decided before you take it. Vision quests, finding your spirit animal, power animals and guiding spirits or whatever you want to call it can and does connect people to a larger definition of self, but it does that by creating a definition apart from the self. People find aspects of their greater energy and rather than owning it make some other name for it and in doing so relegate their own power to something apart from them and while I don't particularly care for that, it does seem to help some people and I do think that's a good thing.

If I were feeling ornery and I usually am I'd take what I learned from that experience and try applying it to things that exist apart from the harner methodology. You had a journey, now can you take it and go somewhere that means something more personally to you. Ask yourself what do you want to know, what do you want to see and then go about and have a vision. Try it without the weed too. If you can do it with it, you can definitely do it without. How people get there isn't as important to me as where they go and what they choose to do when they arrive. Also, just have fun with it. How cool is it that you had this experience..? Answers come in time and rather than try and force them if you let it, they'll just happen. It's another one of those damned shamanic paradoxes. Control by letting go. Trust your intent and your energy and it will take you where you want to go.

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