One of the most important part of Shamanic practice is connection. I thought it best to mention that you also need to consider what it is your connecting too. It is never a good idea, in any spiritual practice, to open the door wide and invite any old thing in. You want to connect with energies and spirits that are committed to the principles of “the highest good of all.”
If you are starting down the shamanic path on your own, the first thing you want to do is find a helping spirit / spirit teacher. This spirit will be a type of guide that will show you the way through your shamanic work. You are looking for a guide that is concerned with your highest good. That is why some teaching organizations recommend going to specific places to meet your guide the first time. This way you can be sure of finding one that doesn’t have an agenda of their own.
Spirits you might meet if you journey in the Middle world are the same as meeting another human being. When I talk about the middle world I am referring to journeying to places on the earth or in our solar system. Spirits in the middle world are diverse. Some are good, some are not so good, some have their own personal agenda, and a few are interested in your highest good. You can learn a lot from interacting with spirits in the middle world, but you need to keep in mind that its always possible to meet spirits that have their own agenda. You should interact with middle world spirits, the way you would any human you might meet. Keep an open mind, but remember to always use your own judgement.
If you have found an evolved spirit as your teacher, that spirit can give you guidance about the best places to journey to find healing and information. If you ask them to, they can protect you from negative spirits. This is not the type of spirit that tells you whatever you want to hear. Nor would such spirits ever override any of your choices. In other words, they are here to support you, and they understand that your life is your life.
To find such a spirit you need to set your intention properly before you go on a journey. Your intention would be something like: Journey to meet an evolved spirit who can guide me for the highest good of all.
When your meet that spirit, your instincts should tell you if this spirit is the right one. However, if you are concerned, you can always journey to another spirit you know you can trust. You can then ask for confirmation that the spirit you are working with is working for your highest good.
Christians could journey to Jesus, an Apostle or an Archangel to obtain such confirmation. Catholics could journey to their favorite Saint. Hindu’s can pick a God they believe in. Atheists could journey to a historical figure that they trust. You can also journey to a trusted ancestor. Just make sure that ancestor has made the transition to the other side. When a person dies and goes to the light, they reconnect to their higher knowing. If instead they get stuck here, they can get stuck with old prejudices.
Once you have made the connection with your spirit teacher, you don’t have to trust them right away. Like any relationship, trust builds over time. As you interact with them more you will see how their advice works out for you. You can deepen your relationship over time.
When I teach a journey class I set up a strong energy around my students meeting an evolved spirit. This is like a protection I put around them that ensures that they meet the right teacher. If you are journeying on your own, your own strong intention should do the same thing.
It is not unusual for people to have more than one helping spirit, so you may find that you have different spirits to help you with different types of things.
Further Note, for Mediumistic People:
You know you are a medium or an empathic type if you strongly feel the emotion of others. Mediums tend to attract all sorts of spirits to them, because the spirits know that person has the capacity to sense them. Some mediums have difficulty telling which emotion is theirs and which is the spirits. For mediums, I recommend that in addition to finding a helping spirit, you should also find a more specific type of helper: a gatekeeper.
Any individual can find a gatekeeper for him or herself, but this is especially important for Mediums. Just as when you find an evolved spirit, you set a strong intention and then journey to find one. A gatekeeper’s sole function is to decide which spirits get to talk to you, and how they are allowed to communicate. All mediumistic people need good boundaries. The gatekeeper helps you maintain those boundaries. Once you have found your gatekeeper, you need to set up the rules you’d like them to follow. For instance:
No spirit is allowed in my body ever. -Or- Only this list of spirits is allowed to merge with me, and no other spirit.
If a spirit wishes to talk to me they are allowed to contact me between these times and on these days.
This is another situation where a spirit teacher will honor your choices, so you have to tell the gatekeeper what the rules are. The gatekeeper won’t assume, unless the rules were set up between you and that gatekeeper before you were born.
Some mediums may wish to get the help of a shaman when they are starting out. If you’ve had spirits in residence since you were a child, you may first need to work out your boundaries before doing any type of shamanic work. If you can’t tell the difference between their thoughts and your own, or your feelings and their own, your boundaries are not yet strong enough for you to go off and start meeting new spirits. If you have experienced strong emotions that seem to come out of no where, this could be a symptom that you are picking up other’s emotions (human or spirits), and it would be good to learn more about your energetic boundaries.
Lauren Torres – Lansing, IL
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