NEW!! Listen to a recording of a Shamanic Journey led by Mikaya Heart.
“Mikaya Heart is appropriately named, because her heart is big enough to hold fast a secure and sacred space so that adventurous people may safely journey in unseen realms to the beat of her drum.”
Dayana Jon, I Opening Network.
“I have been on several journeys led by Mikaya and each one has been deeply useful, very moving and very centering. To say I am grateful for the insights I gained from the journeys is an understatement; they have impacted my life immensely and changed me in subtle, profound, and wonderful ways.”
Lisa Marie Porter, Texas.
“Mikaya Heart’s depth of wisdom and non-judgmental compassion make her a singularly talented guide for journeying in the psychic realms.”
Jesse Cougar, California
“Mikaya Heart’s work is about expanding awareness and connecting with the greater good, which enables her to embrace fear and enter the unknown. Her willingness to share her familiarity with spirit and her journey to the source is a gift to all of us.”
Zoe Balfour, teacher and energy worker, California.
Shamanic journeying is utilized extensively by shamans from indigenous cultures all over the world. They use the sound of the drum, or another instrument, to carry them to other realms of existence where they can do healing work that affects this so-called ordinary realm of existence. It may involve relating to power animals who help to get rid of negative energies that are making someone sick, or bring back parts of a person’s soul that were lost in the course of that individual’s life.
The same kind of journeying can be used by individuals. I strongly recommend it as a method of accessing the vastness of being, otherwise known as one’s inner wisdom. It is a little like a guided visualization, except that no one apart from yourself is guiding it. For that reason it is profoundly self-empowering. The journey is similar to the kind of dreaming we do when we are asleep. You might think of it like lucid dreaming, although it is easier for most of us than lucid dreaming, which requires a lot of practice. Just as you can ask for an answer to a question before you go to sleep, and then find the answer supplied either in a dream or simply as a knowing that is with you when you wake up, so you can ask a question and then go on a shamanic journey to find the answer. However, the usefulness of journeying is often simply about opening up to the existence of realities beyond this physical world we know so well.
Traditionally, people would go to one of three places when they journeyed: the upper world, the lower world, or the middle world, which is simply present reality. In other words, when you go to the middle world, you stay right here, and that means this is right where you need to be. The upper world is a landscape where you are high up, and often flying; the lower world is where you are down underneath, often underwater or under the ground. None of the three are any better than another. In reality, my journeys are frequently a mix of the upper and lower worlds. They often involve going to some fantastic kind of landscape where I meet interesting beings. Usually I can address these beings with my questions and receive profound answers, either in words or in symbolic actions. Once, as I was swimming underwater—where I found I could breathe easily—a swordfish came up and sliced me open (painlessly) up the middle. This action was repeated four times during the journey. Clearly I was being told I needed to open up.
People journey to other sounds as well as the drum—rattles, didjeridoos, and even singing. Tapes of drumming and rattling specifically for journeying are available, although it is often easier to take off when a live person is right there making the sound. I was once catapulted into another reality—or perhaps more accurately, another place and time—by the sound of a Tibetan bowl. I became the sound of the bowl, which was quite an astounding experience, and then the sound came with me, as an instrument of healing, to a place that needed that healing. A journey into another state of consciousness can be induced by other means than sound—our sleeping dreams, some daydreams, past life regression, hypnotic trances, and guided visualizations are kinds of journeying. A picture, a word, a smell—anything can suddenly transport us to another reality if we have the propensity to go there.
You can always control your journey—if you don’t like the place where you find yourself, you can decide to go somewhere else, and you never have to hang out with any being that you don’t like. It’s fine to let your imagination go; it doesn’t matter if you think that everything that occurs on your journey is simply a vivid imagination. It can still be very useful. You can use journeying to meet a power animal or a totem, or to find answers to questions. The bottom line is you are contacting your own inner source of wisdom.
I recommend journeying in a group, where you all get to talk about your experiences afterwards, since no group ever comes together by accident. You will find that whatever others have to say is often valuable and relevant to you. I have drummed many times for groups, and I usually do it for twenty minutes. I’ve also drummed for healers who are journeying to retrieve soul parts for others, which is sometimes a lot longer than twenty minutes.
It is not necessary to believe in the concept of journeying before you take one–it’s enough to be willing to give it a try. If you find it useful and interesting, you’ll want to do it again. Some people find that their rational brains will not let them relax into the journey. In that case, you need to set a very clear intention that you want to journey, firmly instructing your rational brain to take a back seat for twenty minutes.
Where are these journeys taking us? Most humans believe that this physical world we call Earth is the limit of our reality. We don’t have language to explain things that don’t fit into it. Are these really different worlds we are visiting, perhaps different planets—or planes of consciousness? Are they different realms of awareness? Are we time-traveling? Are we going through shifts of consciousness that allow us suddenly to become sentient of other times and places? Are they parallel realities, existing in different dimensions? Are other planes of reality, normally invisible to us, intertwined with this one? And what on Earth (or anywhere else) does all that mean, anyway?
I don’t know the answers to these questions. My rational brain cannot compute what occurs on these kinds of journeys. I only know that they are a wonderfully empowering source of wisdom and joy, and a very useful tool as we shift into new ways of being.