Shamanic Journeys: A Guide to the Various Shamanic Practices Around the World

Shamanism is one of the oldest spiritual practices in the world, with roots in many cultures around the globe. From North and South America to Africa, Asia, and Australia, shamanic beliefs and practices have evolved over thousands of years. Shamanic journeys, in particular, have become increasingly popular in recent years as a means of achieving personal growth, healing, and enlightenment. In this article, we will delve into the world of shamanic journeys and provide a comprehensive guide to the various shamanic practices around the world. So, let’s explore the ancient and mystical world of shamanism together!

What is Shamanism?

What Is Shamanism?
Shamanism is a spiritual practice that has existed for thousands of years in various parts of the world. Central to shamanism is the belief that everything in the natural world has a spirit and is interconnected. Shamans are spiritual leaders who act as intermediaries between the spiritual and physical worlds. They use a variety of techniques and methods, such as meditation, chanting, and drumming, to enter into altered states of consciousness and communicate with spirits. Traditional shamanic cultures have their own unique practices and beliefs, but there are common elements across all shamanic traditions such as journeying, ceremony, and healing. Some of the types of shamans include traditional shamans in indigenous cultures, spiritual vs psychedelic shamans, and shamanic healers with various methods and techniques.

Traditional Beliefs and Practices

Traditional beliefs and practices are the cornerstone of Shamanism. These practices have been passed down through generations and are steeped in culture and history. Shamans are the practitioners who use these traditional beliefs and practices to connect with the spiritual realm and to help those in need.

Core Beliefs: The core beliefs of Shamanism revolve around the idea that everything is interconnected, and all things are alive and have a spirit. Shamans believe that the physical world is only one aspect of existence and that there are spiritual realms beyond our comprehension. They believe that everything has a purpose and that there is a spirit or soul in everything.

Connection to Nature: Nature is an integral part of Shamanism, and the belief that everything is connected extends to the natural world. Shamans believe that nature has its own spirit and is a source of power and wisdom. They believe that everything in nature has a purpose and that humans should live in harmony with nature.

Rituals and Ceremonies: Shamanic rituals and ceremonies are an important part of traditional beliefs and practices. These rituals often involve the use of music, dance, and chanting to connect with the spiritual world. They are used to heal sickness, solve problems, and to find purpose and meaning in life.

Herbal Medicine: The use of herbal medicine is another essential aspect of Shamanic traditions. Shamans believe that plants have a spirit and that certain plants and herbs have healing properties. They use these herbs in their healing practices to treat physical, emotional, and spiritual ailments.

Animal Guides: Shamans believe that animals can act as guides and helpers in the spiritual realm. Each animal has its own spirit and represents different qualities or aspects of life. Shamans often use animal imagery in their practices and believe that connecting with an animal guide can bring insight and guidance.

Traditional beliefs and practices are the foundation of Shamanism. The core beliefs of interconnectedness, the importance of nature, and the use of rituals, herbal medicine, and animal guides are all integral to Shamanic practices. By understanding these beliefs, we can get a glimpse into the world of the Shaman, connect with ancient traditions, and appreciate the wisdom and power of Shamanism.

Shamanic Healing Techniques

Shamanic healing techniques have been used for thousands of years to help people regain physical, emotional, and spiritual health. The techniques used by shamanic healers vary depending on the culture, but they all have one thing in common – the belief that everything in the universe is connected and that illness usually arises from a disconnection.

Here are some common shamanic healing techniques that are used by different cultures around the world:

Technique Description
Smudging A purification ritual where herbs are burned, and the smoke is used to cleanse the body of negative energy.
Energy Healing Using the power of the shaman’s intention and possibly other tools such as crystals or feathers to move and balance the energy in the body.
Extraction A technique where the shaman removes spiritual blockages or negative energy from the body, usually using suction or a tool like a feather or knife.
Soul Retrieval A technique used to recover a lost piece of someone’s soul that may have been lost during trauma or illness. The shaman works with animal or spirit guides to locate and reintegrate the missing piece.
Divination Using tools such as tarot cards, runes, or crystals to gain insight and understanding into a person’s current life situation and potential future.

It’s important to note that shamanic healing techniques are not a substitute for modern medical treatment. However, they can complement traditional medicine by addressing the spiritual and emotional components of health.

If you’re interested in experiencing shamanic healing techniques firsthand, it’s essential to find a reputable shamanic healer who has undergone training in these techniques. You can find different types of shamans who specialize in specific healing techniques or cultural traditions, such as traditional shamans in indigenous cultures or spiritual vs psychedelic shamans. Also, shamanic music is often used during these healing practices, and there are many types of shamanic music to choose from.

Shamanic Practices Around the World

Shamanic practices are found all around the world and have been present in human culture for thousands of years. Traditional shamans in indigenous cultures have been known to use a variety of techniques, such as chanting, drumming, and herbal remedies, to heal individuals both physically and spiritually. In addition, shamanic healers in different parts of the world use various methods and techniques to channel and heal energies. For instance, Native American shamans and medicine men are known for performing healing ceremonies that involve smudging and connecting with spirit guides, while shamans in Siberia and Mongolia use trance-like states to connect with spirits. Different types of shamans exist, including spiritual and psychedelic shamans. These shamans use a combination of ancient practices and modern methods to help people achieve spiritual enlightenment or connect with their inner selves. Finally, shamanic music is an important aspect of many shamanic traditions and is often used to induce trance-like states during ceremonies and rituals.

North and South America

Shamanism has been practiced for thousands of years by indigenous cultures across North and South America. In North America, the Native American traditions consist of various practices and beliefs across different tribes and nations. Some of the most well-known shamans in North America are the Navajo medicine men, who utilize sand paintings and chanting in their healing rituals. Another tribe, the Cree, use drums and rattles in their shamanic ceremonies.

In South America, the most popular form of shamanism is Ayahuasca, a psychedelic plant medicine that is used in shamanic ceremonies. Indigenous tribes like the Shipibo in Peru and the Yawanawa in Brazil see Ayahuasca as a spiritual and medicinal tool, and use it in their healing rituals. The Ayahuasquero or shaman serves as the guide in the Ayahuasca ceremonies.

Apart from Ayahuasca, South America is also known for its traditional shamanic practices. The Q’ero people of Peru, for example, perform despacho ceremonies that involve offering prayers and gifts to the spirits for blessings and balance. The Mapuche people of Chile have machi or shamans who perform ceremonies to connect with the ancestors and spirits for guidance in daily life.

North and South America are also home to various types of shamans, including diviners, herbalists, and animal spirit shamans. These shamans have unique approaches to their practices and utilize their own specialized methods and techniques. For instance, some diviner shamans use bones, crystal balls, or tarot cards to gain insight into the future and past. On the other hand, herbalist shamans use plants and herbs for healing purposes.

Shamanism has numerous variations across North and South America, with each culture having its unique practices and beliefs. The different types of shamans and their methods and techniques have been developed to honor the spirits and connect with the divine.


The African continent has a rich tradition of shamanism with a diversity of shamanic practices. In Africa, the traditional shamans, known as sangomas, are the spiritual leaders of their communities, respected and revered for their abilities to communicate with the spirit world. The bushmen of Southern Africa have their own unique shamanic traditions, which have been passed down orally for generations.

African shamanism often entails communicating with ancestors and spirits through rituals, dance, and music. The shamanic practices vary depending on the region as well as the tribe, but some of the common techniques involve the use of trance states induced by drumming, rattling, chanting, or the ingestion of psychotropic plants.

One unique shamanic practice from Africa is divination. The technique involves asking ancestors or spirits for guidance and insight into one’s life. The divination process may involve the use of various divination tools such as bones, shells, or sticks.

Another significant practice in African shamanism is healing. Shamans often use a combination of herbal medicine, divination, and ritual to help heal different ailments. One of the essential aspects of this is addressing a patient’s spiritual or emotional needs, not just physical.

African shamanism offers a unique perspective on healing, divination, and communication with spirits. The practices also highlight the connection with ancestors and the community’s importance in African culture. If you want to know more about shamans in different parts of the world, you can read our other articles on types of shamans and traditional shamans in indigenous cultures.


Shamanism has been practiced in Asia for thousands of years, and there are still many indigenous cultures that practice it to this day. One such culture is the Siberian shamanism found in Russia and Mongolia. Siberian shamans are known for their ability to communicate with the spirits of nature and the ancestors, often performing healing ceremonies and leading spiritual journeys for those seeking wisdom and guidance.

Another type of shamanism practiced in Asia is Tibetan shamanism. Tibetan shamans, known as Bonpo, combine shamanic practices with Buddhist beliefs and rituals. They also use ritual objects such as bells, drums and other musical instruments, as well as the use of mantras, to connect with the spirit world and perform healing techniques.

In Mongolia, there is also a practice of Mongolian shamanism. Mongolian shamans, known as Böö, are divided into two main types: the White Shamans who perform healing and divination ceremonies, and the Black Shamans who are said to have more power and perform ceremonies related to death, the underworld and exorcism.

In Korea, there is a type of shamanism known as Muism, which involves communication with ancestral spirits and performing ceremonies to appease them. Muism has been practiced for over 5000 years and has even been recognized as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage of Korea.

Shamanism in Asia varies from culture to culture, but it often involves a connection to nature and the use of spiritual music and other tools to communicate with the spirit world and perform healing ceremonies.


Australia has a rich history and tradition of shamanic practices that are deeply rooted in its indigenous culture. The indigenous communities of Australia have a profound connection with the land, and this is reflected in their shamanic practices, which are focused on the spirits of the land, also known as ‘Dreamtime’ spirits. These practices are often referred to as Aboriginal spirituality or Aboriginal Dreamtime.

Aboriginal spirituality: The Aboriginal spirituality is based on the belief in the existence of ancestral spirits who created the world and continue to maintain it. These spirits are believed to be present in every aspect of nature, and humans have a deep spiritual connection with them. Shamans or ‘Kurdaitcha’ are the spiritual leaders of the community who perform rituals and guide the community in their spiritual practices.

Aboriginal Dreamtime: The Aboriginal Dreamtime is the sacred time of creation when the ancestral spirits created the world and all its features. The Dreamtime is believed to be a living force that influences every aspect of life and connects all living beings. As a result, many Aboriginal shamanic practices involve communicating with the spirits of the Dreamtime through various means, including ritualistic dances, chanting, and storytelling.

Shamanic Healing: The Aboriginal shamans use a range of traditional healing practices to restore balance and harmony to the body and mind. These practices include the use of plant medicines, such as eucalyptus leaves, to heal various ailments. The shamans also use bone pointing, a technique which involves pointing a bone at the area of the body that needs healing.

Connection with the Land: The indigenous Australians have a strong connection with the land, which is reflected in their shamanic practices. They believe that each plant, animal, and rock has a spirit that needs to be respected. This connection with the land is something that has been lost in modern Western societies, but it remains a crucial part of traditional shamanic practices.

Australia has a rich tradition of shamanic practices that are deeply rooted in its indigenous culture. The Aboriginal spirituality and Dreamtime are central to these practices, which focus on connecting with the spirits of the land and restoring balance and harmony to the body and mind. Shamans or Kurdaitcha are the spiritual leaders of the Aboriginal communities who guide the community in their spiritual practices.

Shamanic Journeys

Shamanic Journeys are an integral part of the shamanic practice, which involves accessing the spiritual realm to gain insight and healing. During a shamanic journey, the practitioner enters an altered state of consciousness, often induced by drumming, chanting, or other repetitive practices. The purpose of the journey may vary, from seeking guidance or healing, to connecting with animal or spirit guides. Prior to embarking on a journey, it is important to prepare oneself physically and mentally, through activities such as fasting or meditation. There are different types of shamanic journeys, such as lower world and upper world journeys, and each may yield different insights and experiences. The benefits of shamanic journeys may include increased self-awareness, healing of physical and emotional traumas, and connection with one’s spiritual path. It should be noted that shamanic practices may differ depending on the cultural context, and it is important to respect the traditions and beliefs of indigenous cultures.

Overview of Shamanic Journeys

Shamanic journeying is a key discipline in shamanism, which involves entering into a trance-like state to communicate with the spirit world. These journeys involve an altered state of consciousness and can be accomplished through various techniques such as drumming, dancing, singing, or the use of hallucinogenic plants or mushrooms.

During a shamanic journey, the shaman or practitioner can connect with spirit guides, totems, ancestors or other supernatural beings for guidance, healing, or vision. The journeyer visits the spirit world to gain insight into personal or collective questions, to find one’s true purpose, or to heal physical or emotional ailments.

Shamanic journeys are a powerful tool for spiritual growth and self-discovery. They can offer a deeper understanding of oneself, others, and the natural world. Through shamanic journeys, one can access the hidden realms of the unconscious, bridging the gap between the physical and the spiritual planes.

Shamanic journeying is a common practice across cultures and continents, and the techniques employed can have distinct differences. However, the basic principles remain the same. It is important to note that while shamanic journeying can provide guidance and healing, it should not replace professional medical or mental health treatment.

For those interested in learning more about shamanic journeying, it may be helpful to seek guidance from experienced practitioners or attend workshops and ceremonies led by traditional shamans in indigenous cultures or those trained in the practice.

Shamanic journeying can be a profound and transformative experience, connecting the journeyer to a greater spiritual reality and providing insights and wisdom for navigating the physical world.

Preparing for a Shamanic Journey

Before embarking on a shamanic journey, it is important to take proper preparatory steps to ensure a safe and fruitful experience. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a shamanic journey:

1. Set your intention: Before beginning your journey, take the time to set a clear intention. This involves focusing on what you hope to gain from the experience and what you would like to achieve. This will help you to focus your attention during the journey.

2. Create a sacred space: Arrange a comfortable and safe space where you can engage in your journey. You can smudge the area with sage or perform a ritual to create sacredness in the space.

3. Select your tools: You can enhance your shamanic journey experience using various tools such as drums, rattles, or crystals. Choose the tools that resonate with you and have a clear, positive energy.

4. Relax and clear your mind: Find a comfortable position and clear your mind. Use deep breathing exercises or meditation to quiet your thoughts. This will help you to enter a relaxed state that is conducive to journeying.

5. Call upon your spirit guides: If you have a relationship with your spirit guides, call upon them before beginning your journey. Ask them to protect you and guide you throughout your experience.

By taking these preparatory steps, you can ensure that your shamanic journey is safe, meaningful and transformative.

If you are interested in learning more about the differences between spiritual and psychedelic shamans, check out our article on spiritual vs. psychedelic shamans.

Types of Shamanic Journeys

In shamanic practices, there are different types of journeys that can be undertaken for various reasons. Below are some of the most common types of shamanic journeys:

Type of Journey Description
Lower World Journey The lower world journey is a shamanic journey that is used to connect with your spirit animal or guide. This is often done to seek guidance and wisdom from these spiritual beings.
Upper World Journey The upper world journey is another type of shamanic journey where the participant travels to the spiritual plane of the upper world. This is done to connect with higher powers such as angels, ancestors, or God.
Middle World Journey The middle world journey is a shamanic journey that is used to explore the physical world and seek out answers to specific questions or problems.
Healing Journey A healing journey is a shamanic journey that is focused on physical or emotional healing. The participant may journey to different places in the spiritual realm to receive healing energy or to connect with a spiritual healer.
Past Life Journey A past life journey is a shamanic journey that is used to explore past lives. This journey can be used to gain insight into current problems or to explore the mysteries of the soul.
Guided Journey A guided journey is a shamanic journey that is facilitated by a shaman or other spiritual guide. The participant is taken on a journey to meet their spirit guide or to explore a specific question or problem.

It is important to note that the type of journey taken will depend on the specific needs and desires of the participant. Some individuals may focus solely on healing, while others may seek spiritual guidance or explore their past lives. Regardless of the type of journey taken, shamanic journeys can be a powerful tool for self-discovery and healing.

Benefits of Shamanic Journeys

Shamanic journeys are known to provide several benefits to those who partake in them. These journeys can assist in overcoming personal issues, achieving greater spiritual insight, and connecting with one’s own inner self in a profound way.

One of the most significant benefits of shamanic journeys is their ability to provide healing to a person’s mind, body, and spirit. These journeys can help individuals release negative emotions, past traumas and attachments, and help them overcome emotional blocks that are holding them back in life. This, in turn, can lead to a greater sense of well-being and an overall improvement in one’s quality of living.

Another benefit of shamanic journeys is their ability to provide individuals with greater clarity and insight into their lives. By journeying to the spiritual world, individuals can gain new perspectives on their life circumstances, explore new possibilities, and gain a deeper understanding of their personal journey. This can be particularly helpful for individuals who are feeling stuck or lost in life and are seeking direction and guidance.

Shamanic journeys can also provide individuals with a deeper connection to nature, which is an essential aspect of shamanic traditions worldwide. By journeying to the spiritual world, individuals can gain a greater appreciation for the natural world and their place in it, and develop a stronger sense of responsibility for its preservation.

Shamanic journeys can provide individuals with a sense of transformation by allowing them to confront their inner demons and embrace a transformational experience. By journeying to the spiritual world, individuals can become more aligned with their personal power, access deeper strength and creativity, and understand themselves in a more profound way.

Shamanic journeys can provide a wide range of benefits to those who partake in them, including healing, clarity, spiritual insight, and transformation. By reconnecting to the spiritual world through journeying, individuals can gain a better understanding of themselves and their place in the world, leading to a more fulfilling and authentic life.


In conclusion, Shamanism is a spiritual practice that has been around for thousands of years and continues to inspire people around the world today. Through Shamanic healing techniques, practitioners are able to help themselves and others overcome physical and emotional ailments, and connect with the spiritual realm.

Shamanic practices vary greatly across different cultures, and each has its own unique set of tools, rituals, and beliefs. From the Ayahuasca ceremonies of South America, to the trance dancing of Africa, there are countless Shamanic practices that can inform and inspire our own spiritual journeys.

Shamanic journeys are a powerful way to connect with the spiritual realm, and can bring profound healing and insight. By preparing carefully for our journeys, and selecting a type of journey that resonates with our specific needs and intentions, we can open the doors to a new world of understanding and growth.

Remember, if you are interested in exploring Shamanism, it is important to approach it with respect and an open heart. Do your research, seek out experienced practitioners, and always prioritize safety and self-care. By approaching Shamanism in the right way, you can unlock a powerful and transformative tool for spiritual growth and healing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Shamanism is a powerful spiritual practice that has been around for thousands of years.
  • There are many different Shamanic practices found around the world, each with their own unique tools, rituals, and beliefs.
  • Shamanic journeys can be a profound way to connect with the spiritual realm and bring about healing and transformation.
  • It is important to approach Shamanism with respect, safety, and self-care, and seek out experienced practitioners if possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of Shamanism?

Shamanism is believed to have originated in prehistoric times and has been practiced for tens of thousands of years by indigenous cultures around the world.

Are there different types of Shamans?

Yes, there are various types of Shamans, each with their own unique practices and beliefs. These include Soul Retrieval Shamans, Plant Medicine Shamans, and Animal Spirit Shamans.

Can anyone become a Shaman?

While Shamanic practices can be learned, not everyone can become a Shaman. It is believed that Shamans are chosen by spirit and must undergo a spiritual calling and training process to become initiated into the practice.

What is soul retrieval and how does it work?

Soul retrieval is a Shamanic practice that involves retrieving fragmented parts of a person’s soul that may have been lost due to emotional or physical trauma. The Shaman guides the person on a journey to reconnect with these lost soul fragments and facilitate healing.

What are the benefits of Shamanic Healing?

Shamanic Healing can help with a variety of physical, emotional, and spiritual issues. This includes reducing stress and anxiety, improving physical health, and assisting with spiritual growth and connection.

What are some common Shamanic healing techniques?

Some common Shamanic healing techniques include Soul Retrieval, Energy Clearing, Sound Healing, and Plant Medicine Healing.

What is a Power Animal?

A Power Animal is a spirit animal that guides and protects a person during Shamanic journeys. It is believed that everyone has a Power Animal that is specific to them and can provide strength and wisdom.

What is the difference between a Shaman and a Medicine Man/Woman?

While both Shamans and Medicine Men/Women are spiritual leaders within their communities, Shamans are known for their ability to journey within the spirit realm to access wisdom and healing. Medicine Men/Women, on the other hand, focus more on the physical and medicinal aspects of healing.

What is the significance of drumming in Shamanic practices?

Drumming is a common tool used in Shamanic practices to help achieve a trance state and facilitate communication with the spiritual realm. The rhythm of the drum is believed to mimic the heartbeat of Mother Earth and can aid in grounding and connection.

How can I prepare for a Shamanic Journey?

Preparing for a Shamanic Journey involves setting intentions, creating a sacred space, and engaging in practices such as meditation or breathwork to quiet the mind. It is also important to have a Shaman or experienced guide to lead the journey.


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