Toby Christensen, Shamanic TeacherAs I travel throughout the country I run into many people who are in search of answers to important life questions. In helping them find what they are looking for from a reliable source it is imperative to know four critical things:

  1. Where can we access accurate information?
  2. Does this method we use to access this information have a track record of success?
  3. Where is this information coming from?
  4. Does the practitioner (if one is used/ or if it is you, ask this to yourself) have grounded training to acquire this information and teach how to apply it with wisdom?

Some people I talk to receive guidance in a very frightening way. They simply open themselves to the information waves of the cosmic realm and begin regurgitating anything that comes to them. When asked…

  • Where did this information come from?
  • Who gave you the information?
  • How do you know you can trust this information?
  • What was your intention when asking for this information?
  • What specific question did you ask that this information is directed to?
  • And Where did you go to get it?

…the answer is almost always the same, “I don’t know, the information just comes in. I have had no training at all, one day I just started receiving information.” Well I don’t know about you, but this sounds a little shaky to me. I want to know where my information comes from and who is bringing it to me and how to use it helpfully.

As is above, so is below, as is within so is without, as is in the seen, so is in the unseen. In our ordinary world we have radio waves and microwaves and short waves and many other kinds of unseen communication energy bombarding us. If we are an unregulated receiver we can get allot of mixed and contradicting signals. It is the same when we open ourselves to the realm of non-ordinary reality. So as we seek a method of helpful healing power it is useful to know how to connect to the source that takes us where we need to go to get what we are looking for. If we are just an ”open channel”, anything can come through. Just think if we as a receiver were ”just open” and received a message from Air America and from the FOX network at the same time! What a mess that would be! What if we did not know where a message came from and we hooked into the Rush Limbaugh frequency instead of the Dali Lama because we, “…just let the information come in.” If this occurred, we could have a bunch of Buddhist monks fighting middle eastern countries for their oil reserves. Figure that one out!

We must know where information comes from and how to differentiate one source from another. One reason this is such an important issue is that many people are waking up to the world of Spirit, and in their sensitivity and vulnerability they are often lead along a very deceptive path by those who wish to lead and control. The wonder and beauty of Spirit is our ability to access our own information and the openness to know where and how to get it. The other wonderful gift we have are people like Malidoma Some’, Michael Harner, The Foundation For Shamanic Studies, Ancient Wellspring and others who have dedicated their lives to bringing the time tested methods of indigenous people to those of us in the west so that we can benefit from it. The most profound and effective method of accessing the wisdom and help of the Spiritual world is a method that transcends culture and time. It has been used in cultures all over the world and its history can be traced back over 25,000 years. The process is the Shamanic Journey.

I have been studying for many years with both indigenous teachers and anthropologists learning the ways of divination, healing and shamanism. I have been to Africa and have experienced divinations, healings and ceremonies by elders from many tribes. I have assisted a Lakota medicine man for several years in the Inipi ceremony, the Yuwipi ceremony, and the Hanblecheyapi. I have studied with several teachers from the Foundation For Shamanic Studies including the founder, Anthropologist Michael Harner Ph.D author of the book “The Way of the Shaman”. In every case each practitioner regardless of the modality connects with specific intent to the spirit or helper they are connecting to and have a specific intention for that connection. Not once in all my experiences have I ever felt unsafe or that the practitioner was out of control or unable to become aware of the ordinary world. The work of Spirit through the shamanic journey is a time tested wisdom technology that transcends faith, belief and the assimilation of information. It is KNOWING, and it works. As Michael himself puts it when asked about this work, “The shamanic journey is a method of soul or spirit travel, moving from the Middle World (the world we live in that has both ordinary and non-ordinary reality; both spiritual and non-spiritual aspects) to the Upper World or Lower World, both of which are entirely spiritual. The journey of the shaman is a method of traveling to these worlds for the purpose of healing, divination, and other serious missions.”

I always tell my students to develop a relationship with the spirit world in the same way you would develop a relationship in this world. Ask questions and spend time with those who you know can help you. Find out how they work and defer your tasks of the spirit world to those of the spirit world. The shamanic world consists of four basic realms. Middle World Ordinary reality which is the physical, three dimensional world we live in. Middle World Non-ordinary reality which is the spiritual dimension of the Middle World, the Upper World which is entirely spiritual and the Lower World which is also entirely spiritual. To enter these realms most cultures use the drum. The Shamanic journey rhythm is 5-7 beats per second which transports one into the altered state necessary to move into the spiritual realm. The practice of the shamanic journey is a powerful one. It is a place not only of information but of wisdom. When asked about this in a recent interview in Seattle Washington Michael Harner responded:

We need a lot of wisdom. We have a lot of information, but that is not the same as wisdom, and there is incredible wisdom available from the spirits outside of time, ancestral spirits, animal spirits, and other helping spirits. Also, in this Information Age, which is an outgrowth of technology and science, we’ve come to a crisis of confidence in the concept of faith. People want information that they can trust, and are somewhat dubious that they can trust information developed in another culture, thousands of years ago, to guide them in their lives today about spiritual matters. This provides a direct method for the shamanic practitioner, whose information is not based on faith, because the shaman is a person of knowledge. He or she interacts directly with the spiritual realms and does not engage in faith. The proof is the accuracy of the information received.

By embracing this wonderful and powerful technique our world can become a place of healing and empowerment. We can move into a place of helpfulness to others and get what we need in a safe and solution oriented wisdom way. To order “The Shaman’s Journey” CD to assist with your journeying skills, click on Products link above.