The Shamanic Journey

I’d love to believe there is a magic; that we really can create our own reality, but I am so stuck in the hash reality of my mother and father’s world views and those of the culture around me. My father’s mantra: “Sometimes you have to do what you don’t want because that’s the way it is. (Doing what you don’t want seems to be an all the time thing) his imagination is not very broad when it comes to ways of living. My mother’s mantra: “Don’t expect to die young, you might just live a long life be broken and wait around hoping to die.” She’s not always like this, but tends to be when she is thinking about how difficult her life has been.

I wish there was magic, that what I really want could come true, especially when it doesn’t or didn’t seem all that far fetched, but when the harsh and bleak reality comes hammering down I can hear both my mother and father in my head saying, “see we told you, don’t take risks, you’re only going to get hurt, and that is the way life is you have to accept it.”  I feel my body sigh under the weight as I struggle against my responses of, “yeah, I guess you are right, and there is no magic, and love really is not enough.” It’s a bummer of a feeling, resolving yourself to this world’s unappealing and lonely reality. Sometimes I think, I wish I were crazy, like so crazy that it would be impossible for me to relate to normal society. I don’t wish hard because my cynic seems to only believe in: you get what you ask for when you really don’t want it. I’m getting away from myself here. Anyway, I went to a Shamanic journey thing whata macallit, mainly, because I do enjoy meditating, I find it calming, and I was curious what the shamanic thing was/is because secretly deep down I want to be a native American wise woman. I’ve dreamed of it since I was a kid. It’s not possible since I’m not Native American, but hopefully I can be wise.

A journey is done with intention, you ask a question ask for a guide. The woman leading the workshop helped us by having us pull out cards to give us an intention. It is sort of meditation, but instead of clearing your mind you are welcoming things in: your spirits or guides or whatever you want to call them. Some people see things, some people hear things, and apparently, some people feel things. Then there is the drumming. It is the drumming that helps guide you into a sort of trance.

I pulled out an animal guide card, and I got a Black-tailed Jack Rabbit, then I pulled a card for intention, and I got Fighting. The picture bothered me. It was an angry man in a suit of armor. He held his fists up, his eyes burned red with rage, and his mouth was curled into a growl. In the back ground was a mist rising up from the ground that formed into two people. They were horrible and fighting with their hands around the other’s throat. They were like thick smoke, and you couldn’t tell the genders, just the anger. If we felt we wanted to pull another card we could. I didn’t feel it, you know, like some voice whispering, yes pull a card, but I didn’t like the fighting card so I pulled another one in hopes it might be happier. I got Patience. This card was a beautiful pregnant woman with full breasts. She was in a soft gown and her hands were on her belly as she sat cross-legged. Around her were swirls of color that came off her long hair. Arching above her head was the moon in its different cycles. For some reason I didn’t like the combination of these cards or my jack rabbit guide. I’m not getting all hooey here like, oh the spirits told me not to like the cards or they mean something, I don’t think they meant something, just that I was wanting something, like a sign, and I didn’t think these were signs. (I have a judge in my brain that has a lot to say too).

We did the first journey and my brain went to town, “You wont see anything, you are just trying to see something, I’m uncomfortable, if you move it means you are not doing it right, you wont hear anything.” And so on. The funny thing was, and I did laugh or chuckle at myself a bit, is that the drum helps to distract the voices because of the rhythm; this is a scientific fact, I mean we all do have voices in our minds and they are not all ours, meaning they were planted throughout our life by our environments, this is also science speaking, and it is now known that our brain, particularly our left side, will lie to us. This concept makes no sense to me, but hey the brain is complex. My voices, instead of fading away with the drum, actually just started speaking in the beat, which I thought was kind of funny because it was as if my brain was trying to fool me or distract me from focusing by matching the rhythm. It worked, I didn’t see anything or hear anything, but I still thought it was clever. Clever little left brain I have. As I spoke to the shaman woman about my not seeing anything (and yes I was disappointed. I would like a little break from the reality as it has often been presented to me) she advised all these things I should say to my voices, but I’ve already been through that, what with head doctor and stuff, and meditation. So I said, yeah done it. Then she asked me something like, can I see the voices, like do images come into my mind? By now I’m frustrated, and I say, no I don’t have people for my voices, but I know where they hide in my body. She said, really what do you mean? I said, well I can feel where they hide in my body, and I know when they are coming out, and I can feel them move around. I know this sounds creepy, but it’s just something I feel, and in meditation it helps me to sort of visualize the emotions- it’s hard to explain. She says a lot of things that I can’t remember, and then she says, I think you are being called, like you know: I’m a shaman in the works, but I have to get all my voices in line before I can do anything about it. Yeah, I know, this sounds weird, but I’m just relaying the night here folks. Anyway, I’m not really wowed because I’m a cynic, but she tells me to lie down this time so my body can’t complain about being uncomfortable. So I did, and I must admit, I did have a different experience with the second “journey”. Nothing huge, and I’m sure if I worked at it I could totally discount the whole thing as my brain making things up which is funny because, uh, aint I my brain? It’s like I fight myself- OH hey! Like on the card, anyway…I was supposed to call my allies so in my head I said, I want my allies now damnit. I made up an image and thought, whatever I’ll take it, I just want to see something. Then I started getting little image flashes, nothing big, it was like dreaming, but a couple of things stuck in my head: I saw a hand and all around it was a glowing green light, in fact, I saw other images appear, and they all had this glowing green light. The drum started to sound like a woman singing, but I couldn’t make out the words. The strongest image I saw was another hand coming out of darkness, and it placed itself down on the ground or a ground, and then the arm showed, then another hand and arm, then the torso, and his legs. It was a very detailed. I could see the veins in the hands and the shape of the muscles in his arms, and I knew it was a man even though he didn’t have a back or a head, as if it hadn’t been drawn yet, but he had his shirt sleeves rolled up past his elbows. I forget what he was wearing on the bottom. His entire body, that I could make out, was in this green light, and then I said or heard, “There is a man and he is on his hands and knees.” Cryptic? Well hell yes it’s cryptic.

I decided not to waste my time analyzing the whole thing or even if it was a “vision” or just my brain, which truth be told, is one and the same, but it was still kind of neat. You know just having these random images coming into my mind not controlled or manipulated by my thoughts . It was relaxing that letting go of the thinking mind, even if just for a minute.

So there you go that was my journey experience.

Am I a shaman waiting to get out? Oh god, I don’t know, that just sounds a little too unpractical for my upbringing and mundane reality thinking mind, but hey if I believe in it one day, than awesome.


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