Journeying is the process of entering into an altered mental state with the purpose of connecting with the invisible
realms, by the use of monotonous sounds such as drumming, rattling, repeating vocal sounds, to name a few.
The Australian Aborigines called this non-ordinary state the Dreamtime. These are hidden realms that are only
available when we step outside of time.
A shaman can either journey on behalf of a client or can assist the journeying process for a client or group by inducing
altered states through music and chanting.
In many regions of the world, Shamans work with medicine plants such as ayahuasca, peyote or magic mushrooms
during their sacred rituals in order to assist them in the journeying process. As they access the invisible world they can
clearly see the original wounds of their clients and help them heal.
When one looks at shamanic traditions of native cultures around the world, there are three common levels that are
known. In the Andes of Peru these hidden worlds that the shaman travels to are known as the Uju Pacha or Lower
World, Kaypacha or the Middle World, and the Hanac Pacha or Upper World. There are numerous levels in both the
Lower World and also in the Upper World and they are outside of time.
The Uju Pacha is reached by journeying through a tunnel that leads into the earth. This world appears very earthy and
tangible to the shaman and is characterized by caves, seas, dense jungles, forests, and deserts. The beings inhabiting
the Lower World are the spirits of animals, trees, plants, and rocks as well as human spirits that are connected with the
mysteries of the earth.
The Hanac Pacha is experienced as more ethereal than the Lower World. In the Upper World the landscape might
seem vague and also very varied. There are crystal cities and cities of clouds. This level also inhabits a variety of helping
spirits that can help the shaman with healing individuals, the community, and the planet.
The Kay Pacha is the hidden reality of the world we live in. In the Middle World the shaman can travel back and forth in
time. It is also a place where the shaman can journey to looking for lost or stolen objects. The shaman can speak to the
spirit that lives in all things here, the spirit of the rocks, trees, plants, wind, water, fire, earth, etc. This is the home of the
fairies, elves, dwarves, trolls, and forest guardians that are present in so many myths and stories.
|Artist: Tom Gleich
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