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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Shamanic Journeying: a Path to Self-Empowerment through Natural Ecstasy

Oct 07, 2015 01:22PM ● By Chetna Lawless

One of the greatest joys to be experienced is to merge with your own divinity and access the deepest part of yourself where you feel totally confident, relaxed, at peace and one with the universe. There are many paths that enable you to return to source and, in my experience, they all support each other. One of the most joyful, nourishing, enriching and empowering methods is the shamanic journey – a path of direct revelation entered through a state of ecstasy. 

            Did I really just say ecstasy? Does this mean you have to start using recreational drugs? Absolutely not! Our brains are hot-wired to enter the shamanic state naturally with very little prompting. To create that state, all we need is rhythm (e.g. drumming) and, if possible, some movement to help amplify the experience.    

            To be performed authentically, shamanic journeying happens during a state of ecstasy. And who doesn’t enjoy feel-good endorphins running through their bloodstream? Journeying creates ecstatic states where you experience chemical-free joy and relaxation. In this modern industrialised society, many of us experience stress and even depression. Journeying is a natural alternative antidote. Through changing your brain waves with percussion and setting an intention, your mind, body and spirit naturally come into alignment and heal themselves. 

            The added bonus of journeying is that you find your authenticity and confidence, thereby becoming immune to manipulations. Accessing the “God-spot” of your brain helps you tap into your own wisdom, as well as wisdom from your spiritual teachers and ancestors with no mediators (e.g. drugs, chemicals or other people). Instead, you plug into source directly. This is empowerment. The more we access our wisdom and power directly, the more in attuned we become to the earth, nature, ourselves, our families and the community, and the less susceptible we are to manipulation.

            There is a simple direct method of how to do this, and it is often hidden in plain sight. Anyone and everyone can access the shamanic state of consciousness. Using rhythms with a drum or another form of percussion such as a rattle, you create a rhythm of four to seven beats per second which entrains your brain to theta brainwaves. Alternatively, you can sing a repetitive phrase and create a drone which will also induce your brain into theta. This is popular with many Northern European traditions, often called “joiking” or “galdr.” 

            Many people ask me if it is necessary to take ayahuasca or other psychotropic plants. My answer is categorically “No.” This is one pathway and, for me, it seems like a valid pathway if you are born into the jungle and live where these plants grow. However, it is by no means the only pathway. These plants force open the veils, but if you are not prepared, they can leave you unable to close the veils by your own volition. Therefore, this approach makes you dependent on something external, and I experience that as dis-empowerment. I would rather be in control and decide how and when I enter and exit a shamanic state of consciousness. 

            For me, the most exciting part is working with people and not knowing what their inner wisdom will reveal to them. The joy comes from having a structure where individuals can journey to discover this for themselves rather than overlay a cultural specific system upon them. What do your guiding spirits and ancestors wish to share with you? Through shamanic journeying, you experience directly, often rediscovering your own roots and ancient ways. You become your own authority, listening from within, rather than passing the responsibility to another human being.   

            Authenticity comes from digging deep within ourselves and allowing the gifts and talents that have been suppressed. When we access theta brain states consciously and set intentions clearly, – using the ancient pathways and maps that shamans throughout the world on every continent have accessed – we tap into the deepest roots of our collective wisdom effortlessly. There are many levels of reality, and with shamanic journeying, we all have the passport and key to access higher levels of consciousness, exploring many different gateways and portals of wisdom, energy, love and grace.

            You can teach yourself to journey effectively with a book called Shamanic Journeying: a Beginner’s Guide by Sandra Ingerman which comes with a CD of drumming. Alternatively, if you do not like to learn from a book and wish to get a direct hit of the energy, you can learn one-to-one with a trained practitioner over a series of six sessions or in a weekend workshop. Spontaneous healings happen when you access shamanic states of consciousness. You heal yourself, this healing overflows to your family and friends. When practiced professionally, you can be of service to others. However, you must first experience this for yourself.

            When I think of the empowerment of journeying I often muse on this quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god!” When we are working shamanically, we are accessing latent gifts and talents, our angelic and godlike heritage. Becoming more authentic brings the greatest joy and opens our creativity.


Chetna Lawless has been working full-time with mystic and shamanic principles since 1987 when she co-founded the Laughing Rainbow Mystery School in the UK. She has trained with Sandra Ingerman to teach Shamanism and is currently assisting Sandra in her Shamanic Teacher Trainings in Scotland. She also has a thriving teaching and shamanic practice shared between her homes in Dorset, UK and Sarasota. For more information on her upcoming local workshops and healing sessions throughout the month of October, email [email protected] or visit  


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