The Different Stages of a Shamanic Journey

Embarking on a shamanic journey can be a transformative and eye-opening experience. Shamanism, which has been practiced for centuries by indigenous cultures around the world, involves connecting with the spirit world for guidance and healing. While the idea of journeying into the unknown can be daunting for beginners, understanding the different stages of a shamanic journey can help prepare and guide you. In this guide, we will explore the steps to prepare for a shamanic journey, the different realms that can be encountered, and the spirits you may encounter along the way. Join us on this journey of discovery and enlightenment.


Preparation is a key component to a successful shamanic journey. The process involves setting intentions, creating a sacred space, and clearing energy. Setting intentions is the foundation of the journey. It involves identifying a specific purpose for the journey and establishing a clear goal. The next step is creating sacred space through the use of objects such as candles, crystals, and feathers. This helps to create a safe and protected environment for the journey. Finally, clearing energy is necessary to remove any negative energy and promote a positive state of mind. This can be achieved through the use of smudging, meditation, or sound therapy. By following these preparatory steps, the journey becomes easier and more impactful. For more information on shamanic journeying, visit /shamanic-journeying-faqs/.

Setting Intentions

Setting intentions is a crucial step to begin your shamanic journey. It sets the tone for what you wish to accomplish and helps you stay focused throughout the journey. When setting your intentions, it’s important to consider your personal goals, needs, and desires. You can set your intentions verbally or write them down before you begin your journey.

Here are a few tips to help you set your intentions:

Tips for Setting Intentions
1. Be Clear and Specific
Clearly state what you want to accomplish with your journey. Setting specific goals will help you stay on track and focus throughout the journey.
2. Use Positive Language
Frame your intentions in positive language. Focusing on what you want to gain rather than what you want to avoid or give up can be more empowering.
3. Express Gratitude
Expressing gratitude before your journey can help you set a positive and uplifting tone.
4. Be Open to Surprises and Insights
Setting intentions does not mean limiting yourself to specific outcomes. Remain open to any surprises or insights that may arise during your journey.

By setting your intentions, you are setting the foundation for your shamanic journey. It allows you to focus your energy and attention and increases the likelihood of achieving your desired outcomes. If you’re unsure of what intentions to set, consider exploring our article on shamanic intentions.

Creating Sacred Space

Creating Sacred Space is an important step in the shamanic journey process. The purpose of creating sacred space is to establish a safe and protected atmosphere where you can have a deeper connection with the spiritual world. There are different ways to create sacred space, but the most common one includes these steps:

Step Description
1 Clean your space
2 Set boundaries
3 Invite the spirits
4 Create a protective shield

Step 1: Clean your space – Before you create sacred space, you need to clean your physical environment. This means removing any clutter or items that may be distracting. You can also use sage or palo santo to smudge the area to remove any negative energy.

Step 2: Set boundaries – Once your physical environment is clean, it’s time to set emotional boundaries. You can do this by visualizing a protective circle or bubble around you.

Step 3: Invite the spirits – During this step, you should invite your spirit guides, ancestors, and other helpful spirits to join you. You can do this by lighting candles or incense and stating your intention to connect with them.

Step 4: Create a protective shield – The final step is to create a protective shield around yourself. This can be done by visualizing a white light surrounding your body or imagining a spiritual armor.

Creating a sacred space is essential to having a successful shamanic journey. It helps to minimize external distractions and create a safe environment for deep introspection. Remember to take the time to create a strong sacred space before beginning your journey.

Clearing Energy

During a shamanic journey, it’s important to clear your energy before beginning. This will help you to relax and clear your mind of any distractions or negative emotions. Clearing your energy means removing any negative energy that may be attached to you or in your environment that could potentially interfere with your journey.

Some effective ways to clear your energy include smudging with sage or other herbs, using sound with drums or singing bowls, and even taking a salt bath before the journey. It’s important to find what works best for you and your personal practices.

It’s also important to remember that clearing your energy is an ongoing practice. Negative energy can quickly accumulate, especially during difficult or challenging times. Regularly cleansing your energy is essential for your overall well-being and spiritual growth.

If you’re unsure how to effectively clear your energy, do not hesitate to seek guidance from a shamanic practitioner or mentor. They can provide you with tools and techniques that align with your individual needs and preferences.

In the next section, we will discuss the different worlds you can journey to during a shamanic journey, including the lower, middle, and upper worlds. To prepare for your journey, make sure to read our recommendations on how to prepare for a shamanic journey, so you can be fully ready for the experience ahead.

The Journey

During the shamanic journey, the practitioner enters into a trance-like state of consciousness, allowing them to connect with the spiritual realm and receive guidance from the spirits. The journey is divided into three different stages, Lower World, Middle World, and Upper World, each having its own unique qualities and spirits. In the Lower World, one may encounter animal guides or ancestors. The Middle World is where the practitioner can connect with nature spirits or spirit guides in human-like form. The Upper World is the realm of angels, teachers, and ascended masters. It is important to note that the shamanic journey can be challenging, and individuals may encounter obstacles or unexpected experiences. To learn more about the common challenges and how to navigate them, check out our article on common challenges in shamanic journeying.

Lower World

Entering the is the first journey that many people take in shamanic practice. This realm of consciousness is accessed through a tunnel or other entrance in the earth, and is associated with the ancient wisdom of the ancestors. It is a place where one can connect with spirit guides, animal totems, and other spiritual helpers, who can offer guidance and support on your journey.

The Lower World is often associated with the element of earth, and is filled with rich, fertile soil, deep forests, and running streams. As you journey through this realm, you may encounter a variety of creatures, including animals, birds, and insects, who offer their own unique wisdom and teachings.

One of the most important spirits to connect with in the Lower World is the animal guide. This spirit is often seen as a powerful ally and teacher, who can help you to understand the deeper aspects of your own nature. Some common animal guides include the bear, wolf, eagle, and owl.

Other spiritual helpers in the Lower World may include ancient ancestors or plant spirits, who offer their own unique guidance and healing. Whether you are seeking guidance on a particular issue or simply looking to connect with the ancient wisdom of the earth, the Lower World can offer profound insights and healing.

By taking the time to explore this realm through shamanic journeying, you can tap into a deep source of inner wisdom and guidance. If you are new to shamanic practice, the Lower World is a great place to start exploring the rich and diverse realms of consciousness that are available through this ancient spiritual practice.

Middle World

The Middle World is the realm where spirits that are connected to the physical world reside. This is the place where humans and animals exist, and where the spirits are believed to have a direct influence on our lives. During a shamanic journey, the Middle World can be accessed through an entrance, such as a hole in a tree or a cave.

Landscapes in the Middle World
The landscapes in the Middle World vary depending on the beliefs of the shaman and the person going on the journey. Some common places include mountains, meadows, and lakes. These landscapes are often presented in a very vivid and realistic way and can feel very immersive.

Encountering Spirits in the Middle World
The spirits in the Middle World can take on many different forms. Some common spirits that may be encountered include ancestors, angels, and spirit guides. These spirits can provide guidance and offer help to the person on their journey.

Challenges in the Middle World
Like the other worlds, the Middle World can present challenges for the person on their journey. These challenges can come in many forms, such as obstacles in the landscape or interactions with hostile spirits. Overcoming these challenges is an important part of the journey as it can offer profound lessons and insights.

If you feel that the Middle World is where you would like to start on your shamanic journey then this will be a powerful and deep experience. Discovering and understanding the power of your spirit guides can assist you with this. To learn more about understanding spirit guides in shamanic journeying, check out our article “Understanding Spirit Guides in Shamanic Journeying.” For more information about how shamanic journeying can be used for personal growth, see our article “Shamanic Journeying for Personal Growth.”

Upper World

The Upper World is the realm where spiritual beings like angels, spirit guides and ascended masters reside. Some experienced shamans visualize it as a sky world, while others see it as a mountaintop or a crystal palace. It is a place of enlightenment and spiritual growth, where one can receive guidance and knowledge from the divine.

During a shamanic journey, the shaman may call on the power of their spirit allies to access the Upper World. It is important to remember that communication in this realm may be more challenging for beginners as spirits here often communicate through symbols and metaphors rather than direct messages.

Here are some common experiences one might have in the Upper World:

Experience Meaning
Meeting an Angel The presence of a divine being offering guidance and protection
Standing on a Mountaintop Symbolizes spiritual attainment and the ability to see things from a higher perspective
Seeing a Crystal Palace Represents a sacred place where spiritual knowledge and wisdom is kept
Receiving a Symbol May be a message from the divine, but the interpretation may vary from person to person

In the Upper World, one may encounter beings offering healing and knowledge. Teachers in this realm may take on various forms such as animals, plants, or even objects. They may teach important life lessons or provide guidance on a particular issue.

To ensure a successful journey to the Upper World, it is crucial to set clear intentions before embarking on the journey. One should have a specific question or issue they wish to explore. It is also recommended to have a symbol or item to represent the Upper World as this can serve as a helpful anchor for the shaman.

The Upper World is a realm full of spiritual beings and teachings that can aid in one’s personal growth and development. It serves as a reminder to look beyond the physical aspect of life and to embrace the spiritual dimension.

Encountering Spirits

Encountering Spirits
During a shamanic journey, it is common to encounter spirits in various forms. One of the most common types of spirits encountered are animal guides who offer guidance and protection. These spirit animals can come in any shape or size and may have unique meanings or symbolism associated with them. Other spirits that may be encountered include teachers and helpers who offer wisdom, healing, and insight. These spirits may take the form of humans, angels, or even mythological creatures. It is important to approach these encounters with respect and openness, acknowledging that the spirits are there to help and guide you on your journey. Take note of any messages or signs that they may offer, as they may hold the key to unlocking deeper insights and understanding.

Type of spirits Description
Animal Guides Guides and protects, may have unique meanings or symbolism
Teachers and Helpers Offers wisdom, healing, and insight, may be human, angels or mythological creatures.

Animal Guides

During a shamanic journey, it’s common for beginners to encounter animal guides. These guides are spiritual representations of animals that hold significant meaning in different cultures and belief systems. Animal guides can also take the form of mythical or hybrid creatures.

When encountering an animal guide, it’s essential to observe their behavior and characteristics as they can provide insight into the journey’s significance. Each animal holds its unique symbolic meaning, and it’s up to the individual to interpret its message. For instance, a wolf might represent strength, loyalty, and intuition. A fox, on the other hand, might signify cunning, adaptability, and quick-thinking.

It’s possible to encounter more than one animal guide during a shamanic journey. It’s essential to trust your intuition when interpreting their messages and not dismiss any signs or symbols they present.

Animal guides can offer guidance and support, especially in situations where we feel lost or uncertain. They might also help us overcome challenges or obstacles by teaching us valuable lessons. Some animal guides might stick with us for a lifetime, while others might only appear once or twice during our journeys.

It’s crucial to show respect and gratitude towards our animal guides for appearing during our journey. We can honor them through offerings, rituals, or meditations. Additionally, we can integrate their teachings and lessons into our daily lives, allowing them to guide us even after the journey has ended.

Animal guides can provide valuable insights and guidance during a shamanic journey. They represent spiritual connections to nature and possess unique symbolic meanings that we can interpret to find meaning and purpose in our lives.

Teachers and Helpers

When journeying through the shamanic realms, it’s common to encounter spiritual beings who can act as teachers or helpers. These entities can come in many forms, including animals, plants, or even human-like figures. They may offer guidance, wisdom, or support throughout the journey or provide insights and perspectives to help you on your path.

Animal Guides

One of the most common forms of spiritual teachers or helpers in shamanic journeying is animal guides. These are often power animals that embody qualities or characteristics that you may need to cultivate or work on in your life. For example, a bear may represent strength and courage, while a wolf may symbolize loyalty and cooperation. By connecting with these animal spirits, you can learn from their wisdom and gain a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.

While animal guides are a common form of spiritual helper, you may also encounter other beings who offer guidance or support. These can include ancestors, angels, or spirit guides. These entities may offer messages or insights that can help guide you on your journey or provide comfort and reassurance during challenging times.

It’s important to approach these spiritual beings with respect and an open mind. You may need to develop a relationship with them over time, building trust and communication with each encounter. Remember, everyone’s spiritual journey is unique, and different entities may resonate with different individuals.

Through cultivating a relationship with your teachers and helpers, you can gain a sense of connection and guidance as you continue on your spiritual path.

Returning Home

After completing a shamanic journey, it’s important to return home with care and intention. The process of integration can be just as important as the journey itself. Begin with debriefing, taking time to ground and process what was experienced. Journaling or talking with a trusted friend or practitioner can be helpful in gaining clarity. It’s common to feel disoriented or have difficulty readjusting to everyday life, so self-care practices like meditation, spending time in nature, and rest can assist in this transition. Finally, it’s crucial to honor any messages or insights gained during the journey by taking actionable steps towards implementing them into daily life. Remember that the journey doesn’t end when the eyes open, but rather, the real work begins here and now.


Debriefing is a critical phase in the Shamanic journey since it helps to provide clarity and insights into the experience. During debriefing, it’s important to take note of your feelings, thoughts, and sensations that arose during the journey.

Some of the questions to consider during debriefing include:

  • What did you see during the journey?
    • Were there any significant images or symbols that stood out?
  • What did you feel during the journey?
    • Were there any particular emotions that were overwhelming?
    • Did you feel any physical sensations?
  • What messages did you receive during the journey?
    • Were there any teachings or insights that came through?
    • Did you meet any spirit guides or helpers?
  • How can you integrate what you learned during the journey into your everyday life?
    • Is there anything that needs to be shifted or changed in your life?
    • Can any of the teachings or insights be applied to your current situation?

It’s important to remember that the Shamanic journey is a personal experience, and the insights and teachings gained during the journey are unique to each individual. It’s essential to reflect on the experience and integrate any lessons learned into your daily life.


After returning from a shamanic journey, integration becomes a vital part of the process. It is essential to allow ample time to integrate the experience and reflect on its teachings. Integration means bringing the lessons learned during the journey and incorporating them into everyday life.

Integration can take time and may involve revisiting the experience multiple times. One way to integrate the experience is through creative expression. Whether it’s through writing, painting, or any other medium, creativity can help process and express the journey’s insights.

Self-care is also essential during integration. Taking care of oneself aids in grounding and processing the experience. It can be as simple as taking a warm bath, going for a walk-in nature, or practicing meditation. Remember to be gentle with oneself and allow for the necessary time and space to integrate fully.

It is also crucial to maintain a conscious connection with the spirits encountered during the journey. This connection can be through affirmations, offerings, or continuing to communicate with one’s animal guide or teacher.

Finally, it is common for questions to arise during the integration process. Seek out support from experienced practitioners or continue to connect with the spirits for guidance. Remember that the journey experience is unique, and there is no right or wrong way to integrate it into daily life.

Integration is a fundamental aspect of the shamanic journey process. Taking the time to integrate the teachings learned during the journey can lead to profound personal growth and transformation.


Embarking on a shamanic journey can be a profound and enlightening experience. It allows us to connect with the spiritual realm and gain insights into ourselves and the world around us. By following the different stages of the journey, from preparation to encountering spirits and returning home, we can acquire a deeper understanding of our inner selves and the universe.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that shamanic journeys should be taken with caution and respect. It’s crucial to have a clear intention and a safe and sacred space to embark on the journey. Clearing our energy and connecting with our guides are also crucial steps to ensure a successful and meaningful experience.

During the journey, we may encounter various spirits, such as animal guides, teachers, and helpers. These spirits can offer us guidance and wisdom, but it’s important to approach them with respect and gratitude.

After returning from the journey, taking time to debrief and integrate the experience is essential. This allows us to process and understand the insights we gained and incorporate them into our daily lives.

Overall, shamanic journeying is a powerful tool for personal growth and spiritual connection. By following the different stages and approaching it with respect and intention, we can experience profound insights and transformations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is shamanic journeying?

Shamanic journeying is the practice of entering an altered state of consciousness to access spiritual guidance, healing, and insight.

What should I do to prepare for a shamanic journey?

Before embarking on a shamanic journey, it is important to set intentions, create a sacred space, and clear your energy through practices such as smudging or meditation.

What are the different stages of a shamanic journey?

The different stages of a shamanic journey include preparation, entering the journey, encountering spirits, and returning home.

What are the three worlds in shamanism?

The three worlds in shamanism include the lower world, middle world, and upper world. Each world is associated with different types of spirits and energies.

What are some examples of animal guides?

Some examples of animal guides include the wolf, bear, eagle, and snake. Each animal guide has its own unique qualities and may offer different types of guidance and support.

Can you have more than one animal guide?

Yes, it is possible to have more than one animal guide. Some people may work with multiple animal guides at different times or in different situations.

What are teachers and helpers in shamanic journeying?

Teachers and helpers are spirits that may appear during a shamanic journey to offer guidance, wisdom, and support. They may take the form of people, animals, or other entities.

What is debriefing in shamanic journeying?

Debriefing is the process of reflecting on and discussing your shamanic journey with another person or group. This can help you gain clarity and insight, and integrate the experience into your daily life.

How can I integrate my shamanic journey into my daily life?

Integration involves incorporating the insights and guidance you receive during a shamanic journey into your daily life. This can involve making changes to your behavior, mindset, or environment, and may require ongoing effort and practice.

Is shamanic journeying a safe practice?

Shamanic journeying can be a safe practice when approached with caution, respect, and preparation. It is important to work with a trained practitioner or teacher if you are new to shamanic journeying, and to trust your intuition and boundaries at all times.


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