Benefits of Shamanic Journeys

The Shamanic Journey is Fundamental

Shamans are known for their ability to enter an altered state of consciousness, called “shamanic journeying” to visit the spirit worlds. Professional shamanic healers understand the mechanisms for how energy moves, how illness operates, and how to enact healing. Shamanic practitioners who go on to become spiritual leaders serve as mediators between community members, the spirit realms, and the natural world.

A lot falls under the umbrella of the shaman. We can get caught up in all the different directions one can go in the study of shamanism. It is important to come back to the fundamentals from time to time and realize the root of the practice.

Shamanic journeying is that root. The attention and respect a practitioner gives to this method and concept is the foundation for all the dazzling and beautiful stories, healings, and teachings of shamanism.

Let us now travel to that root and explore the fundamentals of how the shaman’s experience of the cosmos informs their spiritual growth.

Our Ordinary Reality

We live in what shamanic practitioners call “ordinary reality”. From this vantage point we see a polarized universe. So much of what we experience and explain comes in terms of pairs of extremes: black and white, good and bad, higher and lower.

We understand space as a defined area that contains objects. We trust our five senses that tell us we can only inhabit one space at a time. Here in ordinary reality, we also see time as linear. Our past is behind us and our future is ahead. We cannot travel back in time, but we do fantasize about it.

We philosophize about the circular and parallel natures of time, but in ordinary reality we struggle to actually experience and truly embody these metaphysical concepts.

Suffice it to say, our ordinary world understanding says we are limited by time and space and we  can’t be in two places at once. This is the crux of why we struggle to deal with complexity in others and ourselves.

Shamanic Journeys into Non-Ordinary Reality

People practicing shamanism (both laypeople and professionals) break free from these limitations during shamanic journey trances. The other worlds they are visiting, also called “non-ordinary reality,” “invisible worlds”, and the “dreamtime”, are unbound by the physical laws of our senses.

The shaman traveling in non-ordinary is working outside of time and space. Everything happens at once and in many places. Paradox is a common and accepted experience. There is no need to choose sides or hold a given perspective. In fact, the need to have an opinion hinders, rather than helps, the shamanic journey process. This reality is known to be “non-polarized”, “non-dual”, or “unified”.

It is challenging to release expectations, past experience, and what we know, especially when our viewpoint seems irreconcilable with another. It can be hard to embrace an opposing viewpoint, but shamanic journeys have a miraculous way of opening our minds and hearts to other options. Non-ordinary reality brings paradox and complexity at its finest as well as a fantastic opportunity for learning.

Finding Universal Truths

Through the experience of the dreamtime and shamanic journeying, we learn that all is truth on some level, in some place, at some time, and that all individual and personal truths can exist at once. We also have the opportunity to experience universal truths that unite us all.

This helps us move further towards the state of non-attachment that Buddha taught about. Whether you are a Buddhist or not, you have likely encountered the benefits of releasing triggers. Allowing someone to have their truth without it being an affront to our own personal truth is a path many of us are on.

A Vessel of Spiritual Growth

I often discuss the field of shamanism as a container for anyone’s cultural or spiritual beliefs. I work with students of many faiths, some who believe in God and others who do not. In addition to a space where people can come to connect with the spirit world and their own inner guidance, shamanism is also a facilitator. It facilitates immense spiritual growth.

We so often think of spiritual growth as an upward trajectory. In today’s spiritual community, many state their path as one of going higher. We do things for the highest good and prize higher frequencies, but true spiritual evolution occurs in all directions and dimensions, both inward and outward.

In the shamanic landscape, we have an opportunity to experience, first hand, this multi-dimensional reality and grow in many directions at once. 

Answers, healing, and end goals can become the focus, even the obsession. However, the phrase “enjoy the journey” has never been so apt. It is important to not skip over the great wisdom and experience that the basic, fundamental technique of shamanism, shamanic journeying, can bring.


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Stacey Couch

About Author, Stacey L. L. Couch

Stacey Couch is a Spiritual Advisor who supports creative seekers learning as they go on the spiritual path. She serves beginner and life-long students of the soul. Her compassionate and collaborative approach honors the humanity and value of each person. Wisdom found in story, mysticism, and nature provide guidance and healing in her work. Through meeting with Stacey, lost souls find refuge. Connection to the Divine is realized. Belonging comes. She is the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. Learn More about working with Stacey
1 reply
  1. Sam
    Sam says:

    Great Article! I can’t agree more it’s a beautiful experience. I makes you grow as a person and experience something so different. I started out my journey 2 years ago at and it has changed me for the better. More people really should try it.


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