Oh my what a day it has been. I cannot stop giggling today! And it’s all because of last night.
Apologies to anyone who might got annoyed by all my laughing and giggling today at work, I’ve heard someone sighing and I think it’s because of all the noise I made, especially in the kitchen.
And apologies in advance to anyone who practises and enjoys shamanism. I don’t mean to insult anything or anyone. This is just my experience.
So last night, Sheba and I signed up for Journey Circle – music, movement & ritual for inspiration & guidance, an introduction to shamanic practices.
We knew nothing about Shamanism and that’s why we signed up for it. Try something new and different.
So we had no idea what to expect. We found out on the day that we needed to take a pillow, a blanket, a blindfold, a notepad and a pen with us (It was fun walking in town with our blankies and pillows).
That really sparked our curiosity and we really had no idea what was about to happen!
We were there on time, for once, anxiously waiting for the instructor to set everything up and get started.
As we walked upstairs we could smell the incense, a rather pleasant smell. It reminded me of home, my mum’s Greek Christian Orthodox censer.
We took our shoes off and sat in a circle, some on chairs some on the floor.
After a brief introduction of who we were and why we were there (there was a mixture of newbies like us who wanted to try something different and regulars), the instructor asked us if we met our power animal. All the regulars have already met them.
I didn’t know what to think of that but I kept listening. The instructor gave as a brief intro on shamanism (you can find more on wiki here) and told us all about the shamanic tree (the image describes it better than I could ever do) and what was to follow.
She then went on to the initiation ceremony. She played an ancient drum, singing bowls (similar to the clip below), then a maracas type of instrument, saying a little prayer towards each direction (south, east, west, north). And that’s when I first struggled not to laugh. It doesn’t take much to make me laugh on a normal day so for me not to burst into laughing was VERY tough. The first DIIIIINGGG of the singing bowl really tickled me. I’m still laughing thinking about it now.
After that, we were to go into our first ‘journey’. She was to play the drum whilst, blindfolded, we went into our heart sanctuary (we were asked to imagine a place we feel safe and happy like a garden, a beach etc) and explore.
The more advanced ones were to connect with their power animal (still at this stage I was not sure what a power animal was).
So I thought I’ll give it a go. You never know!
On the first journey, my head kept nodding to the drum’s rhythm and I struggled to control it. The drum does put you into trance after a while. I immediately left my ‘sanctuary’ and I was in this jungle running. It reminded me a scene of Hunger Games. And I think that’s what it actually was. A memory rather than entering a spiritual world.
After the 7 minute journey, a wood stick was passed on and we were to share as much or as little we wanted on what we just experienced.
And that’s when I first thought this might not be for me.
The things others have seen, how can it be real? It was clear to me that they just let their imagination run wild.
A lady connected to her power animal which was a wolf and then the wolf ran away from her, this other lady kept seeing this hawk that was avoiding her, another one met a female dolphin and swam together in the river, someone else was flying above the sea on a seagull.
Anyway I thought OK I’ll try a bit harder the second time, although I already knew.
The second journey lasted about 10 minutes. The ones who saw an animal were to talk to them and find out if that was their power animal by asking questions and if the animal wouldn’t talk to see if it followed them on all directions, if it did it meant it was their power animal.
Apparently your power animal is your spirit guide that heals you and protects you.
The rest of us were to go back to our heart sanctuary and try and find an animal.
Well during my second journey, I spent a lot of time trying to remember the name of the beach I imagined and then random memories kept popping up. I completely lost it.
The stories of what others saw got wilder. The wolf from this lady’s journey apparently was seen to this other lady’s journey. A girl was so emotional she couldn’t speak. The lady who saw the dolphin was now sad because the dolphin told her it was dying but it hasn’t told anyone but her, and when it dies it wanted her to take care of her dolphin babies.
On the third and final journey three of the ladies sat next to each other because apparently they were journeying together as each other’s animals met on each other’s journey.
Those who found their power animal went back to ask more questions, find out what the animal wanted and let them heal them. The rest of us were asked to be more proactive, seek our power animal and shout in our heads things like ‘where are you my power animal?’.
Well at this point I stopped trying. During my last journey I was thinking of what to have for lunch the next day, I tried to remember what clothes I was wearing on Monday and other irrelevant thoughts.
And the stories got even crazier.
The woman who kept seeing this hawk now saw a crow which had semi-precious gem stones in its mouth and then she saw a suede glove (I tried REALLY hard not to laugh at this point). She asked the instructor what that meant and she was told she needed to go back and explore more and ask questions.
The three ladies who journeyed together kept staring at each other shocked and they didn’t want to share much about it, one of them just said that it felt like a trance within a trance. At some point one of them was cleaning the other’s ‘aura’ or invisible coat, or at least that what it seemed she was doing.
Another lady imagined she was driving and this animal (can’t remember what animal) sat on her steering wheel and she started talking to it and apparently it said ‘hello, how are you?’
The other lady who saw the dolphin was now sitting next to the river around a campfire having dinner with the whole dolphin family.
The closing ceremony was similar to the opening ceremony, the instructor praying on each direction shaking this ancient maracas instrument, thanking father sky and mother earth.
These are just some of the highlights, unfortunately I didn’t note anything down so I can’t remember all of it.
But you get the idea.
Sheba and I burst into laughing as soon as we walked out. We did well not to laugh for two hours.
I’m sceptical but I don’t think the reason it didn’t work for me was due to any barriers I might have. For me this was not about entering a spiritual world but it was letting my imagination take over and imagine I’m talking to an animal which is there to protect and heal me.
I had mixed feeling afterwards. Although we laughed a lot it was a bit sad too. I realised through all of this that these ladies there were seeking for answers and comfort. And I could see through what they imagined what really troubled them.
A newbie actually figured it out. She imagined a white horse in one of her journeys and she thought it was because her mum, who passed away (who she saw on her first journey but the instructor told her that the spirit guide is always an animal, as you are to connect with nature to enter this spiritual world, so you can’t connect to humans) used to love horses. And that’s what it was.
Well, they are not harming anyone and this is actually helping them so good for them.
It’s not for me though.
I was a bit disappointed there was no dancing as the name of the event implied but I’ve tried it and it actually made me giggle all day today, so I’m happy I went.
But next time I think I’ll try something less deep. Any ideas are welcome.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!