For as long as I can remember, I’ve been doing something that’s often called shamanic journeying. Shamanism is a spiritual practice that’s been found in many cultures, widely spaced around the entire world. It’s been practiced for millennia by cultures as diverse as the reindeer herders of Siberia, the many Native American tribes from both North & South America, in Africa, by the Aborigines in Australia, and yes, even in Europe in the pre-Christian days.
Essentially, a shamanic journey is a self-initiated visit to a spirit realm. A person meditates into a state of deep relaxation and openness, and then the soul or spirit is projected out from their physical body, and they travel to one of the multitude of spirit realms. How we see the spirit realm is entirely up to us, but certain things seem to hold true for all who practice, no matter their culture. The most prominent commonality is the presence in the spirit realm of a guide, a spirit who teaches the traveler important lessons about their life.
I have had such a guide, and taken such journeys, since I was a child. My guide taught me how to do this, and it wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I actually learned that what I’d been doing naturally all my life had a name: shamanism. I was shocked to learn that others were paying big bucks for weekend retreats where someone would instruct them in how to take a journey.
When I was a child, things tended to be simpler. Plainer. More often precognitive. I remember once, in perhaps the 2nd grade, when some bully had taken my beloved stuffed animal from me, a tiny owl. They said I’d never find it. But that night I had a dream that showed me where it was – stuck in a desk in a 4th grade classroom. I sneaked in the next day and retrieved it.
Now, my journeys are ones of self-discovery. Of learning the wisdom of old. Of learning of the nature of our spirits, our soul. In some, I even glimpse the Creator, the One, the Source, which I envision as a glowing shape of brightest light, radiating love & joy.
To me there is little effort, no need for drumming or chanting or anything else that others use as “cues” to help themselves “step out” of this, what we call reality, and into the spirit realm. I take a few deep breaths, “center” myself, close out thoughts of everyday things. I visualize a ring of blue-white protective fire around my physical body, and step out of it. Simple.
Once I step out, I have options. I can choose my form, as our spirits have no shape, and most of the time I journey as a wolf, a palest silver wolf with yellow eyes. I feel and experience everything as a wolf does. I feel my toes spread as I walk or run, shake off & feel the fur rise on my ruff and settle down as my shake makes its way to the end of my tail.
My guide often takes the form of a black wolf, charcoal, with more golden amber eyes. And he is not just my guide, he is my guardian (from a Christian standpoint you would say he is my guardian angel). Others who are spiritually inclined, and even a few who are not, have seen him, my big black wolf. He is very protective, and several people have reported being frightened of the sudden appearance, in this reality, of a black wolf, and have asked if he “was with me.”
There are few things that compare to the thrill of the hunt, and I have many times enjoyed chasing down deer with my Guide at my side, feeling the perfection that is the size & shape of a wolf’s teeth & jaw as I go for the throat of my prey and feel my canine teeth sink in behind the windpipe so I can crush it. It is very, very real, what I experience in the spirit world. I am always thankful, as I taste the blood of the deer in my mouth, to see the spirit of the deer rise, a ghostly blue form that quickly takes shape and runs away unharmed from our encounter.
Some journeys are not just hunts and mingling with the wolf pack I lead. Some journeys I never wear my wolf-shape.
All are about learning, being taught about the spirit world, about the nature of “reality,” about the nature of what we call “God” or “Goddess” or “Great Spirit.” Some, I visit with the spirits of those who have passed. Some, I fly as a hawk to another realm, a different spirit realm, and learn at the knee of an ancient wise-woman.
Journeying, and Shamanism, have been my path to spiritual knowledge for as long as I can remember. I know that it is not the path for all – I think we all find our very own path, like spokes leading to the center of a wheel, and the center is, of course, whatever you choose to call that Divine Being that created us all.
Blessings to you on whatever path you choose.
3 thoughts on “Wolfdreams: Shamanism”
Ash, we do have so much in common. You have worked on your abilities and studied I think more than I, but I’ve had shamanic journeys, and they were like you say, quite easy to get to. I was also shocked when I learned what shamanism is. Seemed so natural.
I wish I knew how to find my guide.
One journey, a friend helped me with, I talked to Free. After she had gone to the other side, only she didn’t speak, and a crow spoke for her. She was sitting beside the crow who was perched on a wooden post, and we were under the ground. She told me many things, but importantly, she said, “you can’t walk alone.” I met Ruthie not long after, a few weeks. Free stayed right by me until Ruthie came.
I had a dream the other night. Not the same kind, but I find out many things in my dreams. About me and other people. I see what people are hiding in my dreams. People I know anyway.
I dreamed my tongue was temporarily paralyzed. I needed to speak to help prevent something bad from happening. This is a theme in my dreams. I’m unheard. Then, in the end, there was a woman in the other room, whom I think may have been my younger self. She died from a kiss. Her spirit came in the room where I was, trying to speak but couldn’t. She entered my body. I shook all over, was half awake but still in the dream. Seemed like a nightmare. I wasn’t sure it was my younger self until the next day, writing it out. I’ve met my younger self in my dreams before. She is always asking me to forgive myself and be kind. This time she died. I asked her spirit why she didn’t go where people go when they die. (I didn’t know who she was in my dream) She had no answer and wouldn’t listen. She entered my body. When she was rested in me, I woke up, and I must say, stayed up for quite a while! She said my tongue might be paralyzed, but that she could speak.
I can also travel in my mind, although, it comes upon me and I’ve never been able to initiate it. I see many strange places, inside houses, and people living their lives. My mom can do this too. She can also relate to the spirit world, but my brother once told her that was the devil. I’m not sure she believes it, but when she talks about these things, he wonders what is wrong with her. He’s the one who you saw in the photo, and we don’t talk very often.
I am tired, but glad to have had a few moments to myself, to read your blog a little.
Peace and with love,
Michelle, I would so love to be able to spend some time with you – we are so very alike! It’s been kind of eerie, but since coming out with my spiritual side on my blog, I have found a very surprising number of people of our generation as well as younger who have a very similar path, and similar gifts & experiences. I think the Earth is at such a time of danger that we were born at this time to help in whatever ways we can.
I’m glad to know you are among the group of gifted people I know, though I shouldn’t have been surprised! Spirit family, that is what we are – souls who are family, perhaps born far apart, but who find each other, who share a deep connection.
Did you know that in Ireland & Wales they call your gifts “the Sight?” It is known to be passed down from mother to daughter. I can imagine your brother’s reaction – I was raised Southern Baptist. It’s hard with my family – we don’t talk about religion or spirituality much. My mother & I have discussed it a little, but for the most part it’s off-limits, as is discussion of politics! My girls are both very gifted.
I’m glad you saw Free – you two have a bond that goes very deep, beyond this particular life. Like I have with Shunka.
The dream with your younger self is very interesting. I agree with her that you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself – you did the best you could.
Peace, blessings, and love, Michelle!
I’d never heard of “the sight” but it sounds very interesting.
I’m going to try and get my son out of that hospital. I cannot, for the life of me, gain trust in the doctors or the hospital. They talk like politicians.
I’d like to write about it, but my fingers feel funny typing. I’m having a weird thing going on with my toes and fingers. Hurts. Swelling in my toes. I’ve met a healer though. Will see him on Monday. He’s a Taoist Alchemist. He’s going to help Neil. I found him via Mindspring. Boy, I couldn’t say any of this if this wasn’t a protected post. Not now.
I fear the hospital are trying to gain control over my son and his rights. I don’t think that is a good thing. They want to be able to force meds on him for as long as possible. The doc let it slip once for “years.” He’s gained a lot of weight in there already. I’m so sick about it all.
I believe if Neil and I could find the right community, that he and I both would be much better. I believe this deep in my heart.
I’m trying to stay with the process, trust it, and practice acceptance of the moment. Again though, no matter which way I look at it, or from what perspective, I still have a strong gut feeling that they are not to be trusted.
I told my son today to start demanding they help him with an outpatient plan, which is the law. I will ask for this on Monday. Disability Rights of NC will call again. An attorney this time, but am unsure if she will intervene. I sure wish she would. The attorney who represents Neil, well, he works for the hospital.
So, I’ve convinced them Neil and I ought not live together, but may need to go about convincing them differently. I think I may ask my mom if he could stay there part time. I have a healer set up for him, and a psychiatrist who uses vitamins and minerals to ween people off antipsychotics when they are ready. At least, he could get some treatment though, from a wholistic doctor.
There is a community in VA, but then, it might be West VA. I forget! They make hemp hammocks. Have you ever heard of a place that does that? There is only one place. It’s a commune. You give them your money. But, this hospital will attempt to take Neil’s Social Security if he stays. I hope they don’t.
I’m sorry, I hope you don’t mind me writing you here. I guess I could have gone to the email.
I think Neil has Shamanic abilities. Do you know about men that way. Can it be passed down to sons. When he was first diagnosed with schizophrenia, much of what they listed as symptoms was what I had taught him around age six!
“He stated his mother has a third eye” and “that she knows things he is doing when she can’t even see him.” Granted, he was ill, and needed help, and even though I cried at the time, thinking it was all my fault, now, I look back and think how freaking ridiculous it was for them to write that stuff.
We went camping when he was 12. He went to pee in the middle of the night. He came back silent. He couldn’t talk for a long time. Finally, he said he talked to an Indian who had a tiger with him in the woods. He said it scared him at first, but then, he wasn’t scared.
He still sees Indians in the woods, but he never talks about it. He sees fairies too. He only admitted this to me this recently. I was reading a little from the diary of Opal Whiteley, and she talked about how the grass did whisper and sing melodies.
Well, I’ll never blog again if I keep writing you. I have a post in the draft folder, Dear Doctors, Why Lie, but it’s password protected and I haven’t edited.
I also must write a letter on Neil’s behalf. I got a sample from mindfreedom.org. They psychiatrists treating my son does not like this group.
Be well, I hope you are doing alright as I write. I was thinking of calling you the other day. I hope to soon. I will call from my cell, and then, whenever you feel like it call me back.
In fact, you could call me anytime. (919-968-4298)
Today as I was editing a little on my profile, I listed you and Leslie, from IconDoIt, as my spirit sisters, although it didn’t show up on the profile page as a separate list from family. That was before I read your reply to me here.
And, I know, I have strayed far from topic!
I must go for now, MY SPIRIT SISTER!
PS Do you ever have pain from taking Nuvigil. Like in your feet or hands. Lately, I really need that drug. It does trigger the herpes virus, which for me, comes as cutaneous, on my ribs or hip. Doc says it looks and acts like shingles, but tested like herpes. I’ve had it since I was fifteen, but it makes me very sick. gosh, I must stop writing you.
Lots of love Spirit Sister!
One day we shall meet and talk and stay up late to see the moon. I would like to know how you found your guide in the wolves. Someone once told me my totem animals were all birds. I’ve dreamed I was animals, but never a bird. Okay, that’s it! Gotta go.