Shamanic Journey to Answer a Question
by Ron, Sibylline initiate
Purpose of ritual: Finding answers to a personal question and
look for strength and guidance in your query.
- Shamanic based
- flute music to cover outside noises
- One-person ritual
- 1 altar big enough for 6 caches
- Picture my sacred space as a northern forest, early on a cool fall
- Call on powers of the directions to help set atmosphere
- Call on totem to guide on journey
- Use drumming to help journey once tone is set
- Thank powers and totem
- Close circle
North side of altar:
Cup of rich soil (Dillo dirt) with musky odor.
Represents a forest floor rich with decomposed leaves, bugs, fertile
East side of altar:
Several pine needles - need to be fresh for the pine scent, but on something
so you can't touch them directly.
Brings the scent the wind would pick up blowing through a pine forest.
South side of altar:
Pine cone - dried and old, ready to germinate.
Essence of fire brought in by pine cones needing to be burned to grow.
West side of altar:
Crushed ice - small enough to pack and looks like snow.
Brings the cool water of an early fall morning.
Center left side of altar:
Left side seeds - any size or type, just seeds that have not yet been
Represents growth waiting to happen under the earth.
Center right side of altar:
Cotton -several balls that are wet arranged to look like clouds.
Represents a the dark heavy clouds that are present on a winter's afternoon
just before a snow storm.
Start with the north to work from the ground first. Hold the dirt and
close my eyes. Ask the powers of earth to join me. Try to smell the forest
floor just after the morning dew when the leaves are fresh with decay.
Feel how cool, wet, and comforting the surrounding ground can be. Imagine
myself lying on the forest floor, halfway buried in the dirt, becoming
part of the many living things around you.
Next, honor the east and revel in what the wind brings. Hold the pine
needles so that you can smell the scent, but not feel them. Close yourself
eyes again and ask the powers of air to join me. Return to the forest,
but hover slightly above the ground. Notice the cool wind blowing across
your face, smell the scent of the trees it brings, and feel the air move
around each and every one as they stand quietly.
Call upon the south and hold the pine cone. Feel the life it has buried
within and what it takes to allow it to escape. Ask the powers of the
south to join you and feel the power fire brings from both the sun giving
life, and how fire can re-start life. Imagine yourself as the energy coursing
through the leaves, through the pinecone and into the earth.
Call upon the west by packing a small amount of frost into your hand.
Ask the powers of the west to help you feel what fall provides as it brings
the cool rains that will soon turn to snow. Locate yourself standing below
a large canopy during a cold fall rain, listening to each drop hitting
the trees, the ground, and your body.
Now hold the acorn and imagine yourself buried deep in the earth waiting
to emerge into your forest. Ask the powers below to help you form your
forest world to include what it feels like from below. Feel the solidarity
and the patience it takes to move as a seed from below the ground into
a tree in the living world.
Finally hold the cotton and feel how everything comes together. Ask the
powers above to help see everything that has been brought together to
this point. Picture yourself floating above the forest feeling the pressure
of a cool fall morning as the clouds are heavy with the coming rain and
snow. See the ground holding strong as the wind and energy swirls around
the trees. Feel the moisture in the air and how above and below circle
the entire area. Once the setting is placed, sit on the floor in front
of the altar with a "floor chair" so you can be kind of sitting,
but relaxed enough that you can concentrate on journeying instead of lying
down. Find the underworld and meet up with your totem. Ask him what you
are trying to find out, and see where he leads you.
After the drumming reaches it's end, come back and thank the powers in
reverse order from how they were called. Imagine yourself in each place
that you were when calling the directions, to thank them for coming. Pay
particular attention to where you am and how you feel in each place.
That's it! Hopefully you'll get the answers you are looking for. But
if not, you'll get an answer to something you didn't realize you needed!