I'm going to try to post many of the experiences I've had as well as tips and advice for navigating the friendly universe of the innerworld.
These posts will be in no particular order. That's the way it goes. ;)
Background- Shamans have used rituals and substances for thousands of years to induce states of mind condusive to innerworld travel. It has been my experience that mind-altering substances can have an effect on the experience though they are absolulely not neccessary. All it takes is a relaxed body and a good imagination.
Shamans have used the inner world to seek answers to questions, meet allies, conquour dark forces, and retrieve power items. In my experiences all of these things have happened, but it is better perhaps not to expect anything in particular. I have been navigating the inner world for about 15 years. Always using the same portal which leads to a peacefull grove type area with a stream.
Let's go The first experience I had was with a shaman. We beat the drums for awhile to entice the spirits and to get us into the right state of mind. He lit some sage and scrubbed us of negative energies and we allowed in the good. We acknoledged all of the directions and some of the animal spirits associated with them. We then layed down and began our first journey. We had been given instructions before hand on how to meet our sprit animal. This, I will go to into detail in the next post. We explored our new territory in our minds. After 10 minutes or so he shook his rattle gently indicating that we find our way back to our cave and come back to conciencness.
Ritual Any amount of elaborate ritual can enhance the experience, but you can easially take a stroll through your new territory right now. You can do it while your walking across the street or sitting in your easy chair.
All right, we need to get into this. :)
---First time. Relax. Relax. Relax. Lay down in a comfortable position. Breathe in, build up your energy, breathe out. relax relax,.. Visualize a cave entrace. Walk into it. It should be pleasant and familiar. An ice cave, or a crystal lined cave, or granite. Whatever you want, you can always change it. Walk through the short cave tunnel and emerge into a pleasant daytime area. There will probably be some trees, some grass, and nearby there should be a river or gently flowing stream.
Look around, look at your hands, turn them over, feel your body, look around, feel the wind in your hair. Your immediate surroundings should be clear. Are there any birds flying around?
-Go walk down by your stream and dip a tow in the water if you want.
The more vivid the experience the better. This is your middle world and your home area.
If you leave and come back later, it will still be there. The more you go, the more familiar it becomes.
--Changes you make in the inner world effect the outer world.
One of the first things I ever did there was make a little hut with some braches on the slope next to the river. I dug out a flat spot and made a cozy little place to relax.
These types of things are just for fun, but can you see how they might strenghen your connnection to your new landscape?
After you have been there for awhile, you can leave through your cave.
you should try to use this always as your entrance and exit. It helps create a good strong passageway for you. If you don't use is once in awhile no big deal.
One thing I need to point out right away.
If by chance something comes along and wants to attack you. (Rare, but it can happen)
The example I like to use which I borrow from a book I once read. (can't remember title,, "Urban Shaman" perhaps, good read regardless.
If say, a tiger comes along and wants to eat you, let him eat you and come out the other end. :)
Nothing can harm you in the inner world, it is your dream. :)