One of the things that sets shamanism apart from other forms of spiritual practice is the shamanic journey. Think of a journey as a kind of active meditation, a means of traveling deep within to garner the counseling, insights and perspectives of a world without judgment or negativity. Typically, journeys are accompanied by a drum or rattle– said to represent the heartbeat of mother earth–which shifts the brain waves from alpha to theta and produces a mild trance state.
Shamans (or those who journey) are said to send their souls into the spirit world (also called the Otherworld and non-ordinary reality). They do so with the intention of bringing back healing or insight from the spirits. There are three different worlds within non-ordinary reality (NOR) and these are the lower world where ancestors and power animals reign; the middle world or the spiritual aspect of our physical earth world, which is overseen by the fairies (as well as nature spirits); and, the upper world, the place of ascended masters, spirit beings and angels. The appropriate etiquette for traversing the spirit world is to always travel with a guide (power animal or helping spirit), to accept the guidance or healing one is offered and to extend one’s gratitude for the experience and assistance given. The spirit world is an infinitely generous place where blessings abound. It is available to all of us, and scripted within our DNA is the capability to reach and navigate through it. Journeying is a powerful life skill no one should be without.
If the search for the Grail is about anything, it is about the search for one’s identity, and the search is never complete unless the searcher enters the Otherworld of spirit and eternity.
— Tom Cowan