Common Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your Shamanic Journey

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Shamanism is an ancient spiritual practice that has gained popularity in recent years. It involves accessing alternate states of consciousness to gain insights and wisdom. While shamanic journeying can be an incredibly transformative experience, there are several mistakes that people can make when embarking on this path. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of shamanism, the common pitfalls to avoid, and how to approach your journey safely and with intention. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or just curious about shamanic practices, this guide will provide valuable insights to help deepen your understanding and ensure a positive and empowering experience.

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Understanding Shamanism

Understanding Shamanism
Shamanism is an ancient spiritual practice that has been around for thousands of years. It involves connecting with the spirit world through shamanic journeying, which is achieved through the use of drumming, meditation, and other techniques. Shamanism centers on the belief that everything in the universe is connected and has a spirit, including animals, plants, and even inanimate objects. This belief leads shamans to use various tools and techniques to communicate with these spirits in order to receive guidance and healing. Shamanic journeying can lead to various benefits, including heightened spiritual awareness and personal growth. To learn more about the basics of shamanic journeying, check out our in-depth guide.

What is Shamanism?

Shamanism is a spiritual practice that has been around for centuries. its origins can be traced back to traditional indigenous cultures in various parts of the world, including North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Shamans are individuals who are believed to have the ability to enter altered states of consciousness in order to access the spirit world. In these altered states of consciousness, Shamans may communicate with spirits, including ancestors, animals, and plant spirits, to gain knowledge, healing, and guidance, which they can then use to help and heal others.

Shamanism is not a religion but a spiritual practice that can be used in conjunction with any religion or belief system. The practice is centered around the belief that everything on earth is interconnected and that all beings, living and non-living, have a spirit. The goal of shamanism is to maintain balance and harmony between earth and its inhabitants.

Although the practice of shamanism varies across cultures, a few core principles are shared. One of these is the belief in the existence of three realms of reality: the Lower world, the Upper world, and the Middle world. Additionally, Shamans believe in the use of power animals and spirit guides that assist in their shamanic journey.

In a shamanic journey, the shaman or journeyer enters an altered state of consciousness through various means, such as rhythmic drumming, the use of mind-altering substances, or meditation. From there, the journeyer can explore the spiritual realm in order to make contact with spirits and receive guidance.

Shamanism is a complex and diverse practice that varies across cultures and regions. For those who wish to embark on a shamanic journey, it is important to consider the authenticity and safety of the practice. One should also be prepared to set clear intentions, respect the process, and have a willingness to learn and grow. For more information, check out our article on preparing for a shamanic journey.

Benefits of Shamanic Journeying

Shamanic journeying is an ancient technique that has been used for centuries by different cultures worldwide. The practice involves entering a trance-like state to connect with one’s spiritual self and the spirit realm. The benefits of shamanic journeying are many, including gaining insight, healing, and personal transformation.

One of the benefits of shamanic journeying is gaining insight into oneself and the world around them. When an individual enters a trance-like state, they are more vulnerable and open to receiving messages from their guides and spirit animals. Through these messages, they can gain clarity and understanding about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This can help them make positive changes in their lives and lead to personal growth.

Another benefit of shamanic journeying is it can promote healing. When someone is holding onto emotional or physical trauma, it can manifest as pain and disease in the body. Shamanic journeying can help individuals access and release these traumas by connecting with their spirit guides and higher selves. Through this process, they can experience deep emotional healing and a renewed sense of well-being.

Shamanic journeying can also lead to personal transformation by helping individuals connect with their true purpose and calling. By accessing the spirit realm and connecting with their guides, individuals can gain insight into their passions and life purpose. This can lead them to make positive changes in their lives, such as pursuing a different career path or making lifestyle choices that align with their spiritual beliefs.

Shamanic journeying has many benefits, including gaining insight, promoting healing, and personal transformation. It is important to approach shamanic journeying with care and respect, and to seek guidance from a trusted shaman or guide. With the right preparation and mindset, shamanic journeying can be a powerful tool for personal growth and spiritual development.

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Mistakes to Avoid

Embarking on a shamanic journey can be a life-changing experience, but there are some mistakes that should be avoided in order to have a successful and safe journey. One of these mistakes is not preparing properly. It’s important to create a safe and comfortable environment, both physically and mentally. This means finding a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed, and taking time to relax and clear your mind before beginning the journey. Another mistake to avoid is using substances during the journey. This can interfere with the clarity of your experience and can be dangerous. Instead, it’s important to approach the journey with a clear and open mind, trusting the process and your intuition. Remember, the goal of shamanic journeying is to connect with your inner wisdom and receive guidance and healing. By avoiding these mistakes and following the proper guidelines and techniques, you can have a meaningful and transformative experience.

Not Preparing Properly

Not preparing properly for a shamanic journey can lead to a lackluster experience, or even worse, a dangerous one. To get the most out of your journey, it’s essential to prepare adequately beforehand. One of the biggest mistakes is not taking the time to create a comfortable environment that is conducive to your needs. You must be in an environment where you feel safe and can fully immerse yourself in the journey. This environment must be distraction-free, and any interruptions must be avoided.

Another common mistake is failing to set proper intentions. Intentions act as a roadmap for your journey, directing your focus and attention and helping to guide your experience. Without them, the journey can become aimless and unfocused. Take the time to consider what you hope to gain from your journey, and set clear intentions for yourself.

Additionally, neglecting your body’s needs can also harm the journey. It’s important to remember that a shamanic journey can be a physically and mentally taxing experience. Make sure that you have taken care of your physical needs beforehand. It’s recommended to eat a light meal and stay hydrated. You should wear comfortable clothing and avoid wearing any restrictive clothing or accessories.

It’s also essential to trust the process and let go of any expectations or preconceived notions about the journey. Going into the experience with an open mind can allow for a more profound and transformative journey. To have a safe and successful shamanic journey, it’s necessary to avoid using substances such as drugs or alcohol, which can significantly alter the journey’s outcome and disturb your awareness and sense of control.

Not preparing adequately for a shamanic journey can result in an unpleasant or even hazardous experience. It’s essential to create a comfortable environment, set clear intentions, take care of your physical needs, trust the process and avoid using substances that can hinder your journey. Proper preparation can significantly enhance the potential of the shamanic journey to heal and transform the mind, body, and spirit.

Forgetting to Set Intentions

One of the most common mistakes people make when embarking on a shamanic journey is forgetting to set their intentions beforehand. Setting intentions is crucial because it helps to focus your energy and gives you a clear understanding of what you want to achieve during your journey. Without intentions, it’s easy to get lost in the experience and miss out on the valuable insights and healing that shamanic journeying can offer.

To avoid this mistake, take the time to think about your intentions before beginning your journey. Consider what you hope to gain from the experience, whether it’s clarity on a specific issue, healing from emotional or physical pain, or simply a deeper connection to the spiritual realm.

You might want to write your intentions down in a journal or on a piece of paper that you bring with you into your journey. This will help to solidify your intentions and keep them at the forefront of your mind.

Another helpful tip is to create a ritual around setting your intentions. Light candles or incense, meditate, or do some gentle stretching to help clear your mind and focus your energy on your intentions. This can help to create a sacred space for your journey and increase the effectiveness of your intentions.

Forgetting to set intentions is a common mistake when embarking on a shamanic journey. To avoid this, take the time to think about your intentions beforehand, write them down, and create a ritual to focus your energy on your intentions before beginning your journey. By doing so, you will be better prepared to receive the insights and healing that shamanic journeying can offer.

For more information on shamanic journeying, you can read our articles on states of consciousness in shamanic journeying, the power of animal guides in shamanic journeying, tips for exploring the lower world, upper world journeys, the frequency of shamanic journeying practices, the healing power of shamanic journeying, and the difference between shamanic and astral journeying.

Ignoring Your Body’s Needs

Ignoring your body’s needs is a common mistake that people make when embarking on a shamanic journey. It is easy to get caught up in the experience and forget about your physical needs, but doing so can actually detract from the effectiveness of the journey. Here are some ways in which ignoring your body’s needs can hinder your shamanic journeying experience:

Problem Consequences
Forgetting to Eat or Drink Your body requires nourishment to sustain itself, and forgetting to eat or drink can lead to dehydration, weakness, and fatigue. This can disrupt your ability to connect with the spirit world and interfere with your experience.
Disregarding the Need for Rest It’s important to be well-rested before embarking on a shamanic journey. Ignoring your body’s need for rest can lead to feelings of anxiety, restlessness, and irritability. It can also interfere with your ability to let go and enter into a meditative state during the journey.
Ignoring Physical Discomfort If you are experiencing physical discomfort during your journey, such as pain or discomfort in your back or neck, it can be difficult to relax and focus on the experience. Ignoring physical discomfort can also lead to a negative association with the journey, making it less effective in the future.

To avoid these negative consequences, it’s important to listen to your body during your shamanic journey. Make sure you eat a healthy meal before beginning your journey, and drink plenty of water throughout. Take breaks if you need to, and incorporate stretching or yoga into your preparation. Additionally, try to ensure that you are well-rested before embarking on your journey, and take breaks and rests as needed during the journey. Finally, pay attention to any physical discomfort and address it before it becomes a distraction. By honoring your body’s needs, you can create a more effective and transformative shamanic experience.

Not Trusting the Process

When embarking on a shamanic journey, not trusting the process can be a big mistake. Many people get caught up in their expectations or doubts, which can prevent them from fully surrendering to the experience. This lack of trust often arises from fear or a need to control the outcome.

It’s important to remember that shamanic journeying is a spiritual practice that requires surrender and trust. Trying to control the outcome will only limit the potential for growth, insight, and healing that the journey can provide.

If you find yourself struggling to trust the process, remember that your guides and helpers are there to support and guide you. Surrender to the experience and trust that you are exactly where you need to be, and that the insights and healing you receive are exactly what you need at this moment.

If you have trouble with trust, you can take some time before the journey to do some meditation or breathwork to help calm and center yourself. This can help you to let go of any doubts or expectations and fully embrace the experience.

Finally, if you continue to have difficulty trusting the process, it might be helpful to explore this issue further with a shamanic practitioner or therapist. They can help you understand the root causes of your lack of trust and provide tools and techniques to help you overcome it.

Remember, shamanic journeying is a powerful tool for transformation and healing. Trusting the process and surrendering to the experience can lead to profound insights and growth.

Using Substances During the Journey

Using substances during a shamanic journey is a serious mistake that should be avoided at all costs. Not only can it be dangerous to your physical and mental health, but it can also hinder your ability to connect with your spirit guides and fully experience the journey.

Here are some of the substances that should be avoided when embarking on a shamanic journey:

Alcohol Alcohol is a depressant that can impair your perception and judgment. It can also interfere with your ability to relax and enter a trance-like state.
Marijuana Marijuana can alter your sense of time and space, making it difficult to stay grounded and connected to your body during the journey. It can also affect your memory and cognitive function, making it difficult to remember the details of your experience.
Psychedelics Psychedelics like LSD, mushrooms, and ayahuasca alter your perception, mood, and thought processes, which can make it difficult to distinguish between reality and the visions you experience during the journey. They can also have unpredictable effects on your mental health and well-being.

In addition to potentially causing physical and mental harm, using substances during a shamanic journey can also be seen as disrespectful to the practice and the spiritual beings you are trying to connect with. It can also hinder your ability to fully participate in the transformative experience of journeying.

It is important to approach a shamanic journey with a clear mind and free from the influence of any mind-altering substances. This will allow you to fully embrace the journey and gain the insights and healing that it has to offer.

How to Approach Your Journey Safely

Approaching a shamanic journey safely is one of the most important aspects of this practice. To do so, you should choose a safe and comfortable environment to conduct the journey. Make sure that you are not disturbed during the process, and that you feel at ease in your space. Another way to ensure safety is by working with a shaman or guide who is experienced and knowledgeable in shamanic practices. Additionally, preparing yourself mentally and physically before embarking on the journey is crucial. It is important to set clear intentions for the journey and keep an open mind while trusting the process. By following these guidelines, you can have a productive and safe shamanic journey.


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a Safe and Comfortable Environment

When choosing a safe and comfortable environment for your shamanic journey, there are several important factors to consider. Firstly, you need to find a location where you feel safe and comfortable. This could be in your own home, in nature, or in a purpose-built setting such as a yurt or healing center.

Here are some tips for choosing a safe and comfortable environment:

Location Choose a location that is quiet and free from distractions. Make sure you have enough space to move around and lie down comfortably.
Lighting Ensure that the lighting is dim and mellow. You could use candles, fairy lights, or a salt lamp to create a soothing ambiance.
Temperature Make sure the temperature in the room is comfortable and not too hot or too cold. You could use blankets or a fan to regulate the temperature.
Sound Select sounds that are soothing and relaxing, such as nature sounds or calming music. You could use headphones to enhance the experience and block out other noises.
Seating/Lying Down Choose a comfortable seating or lying down position. You could use a yoga mat, cushions, or blankets to create a cozy and relaxing space.

When embarking on a shamanic journey, it’s important to feel safe and secure in your surroundings. Choosing a location that meets your requirements and preferences will help you to relax and fully engage with the experience. Remember that each person’s needs are different, so take the time to explore and find what works best for you.

Working with a Shaman or Guide

When embarking on a shamanic journey, working with a shaman or guide can be incredibly helpful. They have the experience and knowledge to navigate the spiritual realms safely and can act as a support system throughout the journey. Here are some tips for working with a shaman or guide:

Research Beforehand: Before choosing a shaman or guide to work with, do your research. Look for someone who is reputable and experienced. Ask for recommendations from people you trust or seek out reviews online.

Establish Trust: When working with a shaman or guide, trust is key. You need to feel comfortable sharing your experiences with them and trusting their guidance. Take time to establish trust before the journey begins.

Communicate Your Needs: Let your shaman or guide know what your needs are before the journey. Do you have any health issues or concerns? Are you looking for a specific type of experience? Communicating your needs can help them tailor the journey to your individual needs.

Follow Their Guidance: During the journey, listen to the guidance of your shaman or guide. They may have insights and suggestions to help you navigate the spiritual realms safely and get the most out of your experience.

Debrief Afterwards: After the journey, take time to debrief with your shaman or guide. Discuss your experience and any insights you gained. This can help integrate the experience into your everyday life and give you a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you.

Working with a shaman or guide can be an incredibly rewarding experience. They can help you navigate the spiritual realms safely and gain insights that can benefit your everyday life. Just make sure to do your research, establish trust, communicate your needs, follow their guidance, and debrief afterwards.

Preparing Yourself Mentally and Physically

Preparing yourself mentally and physically is crucial for a successful shamanic journey. Here are some tips to help you get ready:

Aspect Recommendation
Rest Make sure you are well-rested before embarking on your journey as you will need a lot of energy and focus.
Meditation Consider practicing meditation to calm and focus your mind before starting your journey. It can also help you connect with your inner self.
Exercise Regular exercise can help you improve blood flow, oxygenate your brain, and release endorphins, which can help improve your mood and reduce anxiety. Engaging in physical activities can also relieve tension and ensure that your muscles are relaxed.
Diet Consider avoiding heavily processed and junk foods leading up to your journey. Instead, opt for lean proteins, fruits and veggies, and whole grains to keep your energy level high without causing stomach upset or other digestive issues during your journey.
Journaling Reflecting on your expectations and emotions before and after your journey can be very beneficial. Writing down your thoughts can help you gain clarity and insight that you can bring with you on your journey.

Preparing yourself mentally and physically before embarking on your shamanic journey can enhance the quality of your experience. It’s crucial to give your body and mind the care they need to be able to fully engage with the experience and derive maximum benefits from it. This will help you be in the best possible state to gain insights and connect with your inner self, which is the main goal of shamanic journeying.

Setting Clear Intentions

One of the most important aspects of embarking on a shamanic journey is to have a clear intention for the experience. This means knowing what you hope to gain from the journey and what questions or issues you want to explore.

It’s essential to set your intention beforehand and to keep it in mind throughout the journey. This will help guide your experience and ensure that you come away with meaningful insights and healing.

When setting your intention, it’s important to be specific and clear. Avoid vague or general intentions, such as “I want to feel better” or “I want to find answers.” Instead, focus on specific goals or questions, such as “I want to explore my relationship with my father” or “I want to find clarity on my life path.”

Setting clear intentions can also help you stay grounded during the journey. If you start to feel overwhelmed or disoriented, you can return to your intention and use it as a focal point for your experience.

Remember that your intention doesn’t have to be set in stone. You can revise it as needed or even set multiple intentions for the journey. The key is to have a clear idea of what you hope to gain from the experience and to keep that intention at the forefront of your mind throughout the journey.

By setting clear intentions before embarking on a shamanic journey, you can increase your chances of having a safe, transformative, and healing experience.

Keeping an Open Mind and Trusting the Process

Keeping an open mind and trusting the process are crucial components of a successful shamanic journey. Shamanic journeying can be a transformative experience, but it requires a willingness to let go of preconceived notions and expectations.

Keeping an open mind means being receptive to whatever experiences come up during your journey, even if they aren’t what you were expecting or hoping for. It’s important to remember that the journey is guided by your spirit guides and helpers, and they know what you need to experience in order to heal and grow.

This may require you to let go of control and surrender to the journey, even if it feels uncomfortable or scary. Resistance can block the energy flow and inhibit the healing process, so staying open and receptive is key.

Trusting the process means having faith that you are exactly where you are meant to be in your journey, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time. It’s natural to want to analyze and make sense of your experiences, but sometimes the meaning will reveal itself later on.

Trust that your spirit guides and helpers are guiding you towards healing and growth, even if it feels chaotic or confusing in the moment. Remember that the journey is a process, and it may take time to fully integrate and understand your experiences.

Keeping an open mind and trusting the process requires a level of surrender and faith that can feel challenging at times. But by letting go of control and staying receptive, you open yourself up to the transformative power of shamanic journeying. Trust in the wisdom of your spirit guides and helpers, and have faith that you are exactly where you need to be on your journey.


Embarking on a shamanic journey can be a transformative experience when done safely and properly. By understanding what shamanism is and the benefits of shamanic journeying, you can approach the process with a clear understanding of what to expect.

It’s important to avoid common mistakes such as not preparing properly, forgetting to set intentions, ignoring your body’s needs, not trusting the process, and using substances during the journey. These mistakes can potentially lead to negative experiences and hinder your personal growth.

To approach your journey safely, it’s crucial to choose a safe and comfortable environment, work with a shaman or guide, and prepare yourself mentally and physically. Setting clear intentions and keeping an open mind while trusting the process is essential to having a positive and transformative journey.

Remember, shamanic journeying is not a substitute for professional therapy or medical treatment. If you have any concerns about your mental or physical health, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in shamanic practices.

Overall, shamanic journeying can be a powerful tool for self-discovery, healing, and personal growth when done safely and with intention. By following these guidelines and avoiding common mistakes, you can approach your shamanic journey with confidence and experience its many benefits.

Do: Don’t:
Prepare yourself mentally and physically. Use substances during the journey.
Set clear intentions. Forget to set intentions.
Work with a shaman or guide. Embark on a journey without guidance.
Choose a safe and comfortable environment. Ignore your body’s needs.
Trust the process. Not trust the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a shamanic journey?

A shamanic journey is a method of exploring the non-physical realm, often guided by a shaman or guide, to gain insight, healing, or spiritual growth.

Can anyone go on a shamanic journey?

Yes, anyone can go on a shamanic journey, but it’s important to prepare properly and approach it with a clear intention.

Why is it important to set intentions before a shamanic journey?

Setting intentions helps you focus your energy and attention on what you hope to gain from the journey, and provides a guide for the experience.

What should I do to prepare for a shamanic journey?

Preparing for a shamanic journey should involve both mental and physical preparation, including meditation, relaxation, and clearing your space of distractions.

What are some benefits of shamanic journeying?

Shamanic journeying can provide a range of benefits, including spiritual growth, insight, healing, and a deeper connection to oneself and the universe.

What is the role of a shaman or guide during a shamanic journey?

A shaman or guide can help facilitate the journey, help you set intentions, and provide support and guidance throughout the experience.

Can I journey alone, or do I need a guide?

While it is possible to journey alone, it is often recommended to work with a guide to ensure safety and provide support during the experience.

What are some common mistakes to avoid during a shamanic journey?

Common mistakes include not preparing properly, forgetting to set intentions, using substances, ignoring your body’s needs, and not trusting the process.

How can I approach a shamanic journey safely?

Approaching a shamanic journey safely involves choosing a safe and comfortable environment, working with a guide or shaman, and preparing yourself mentally and physically.

Is shamanic journeying considered religious?

Shamanism is not a religion, but rather a spiritual practice that can be practiced by people of any faith or belief system.


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