I know I’ve been a bit quiet lately. I have been journeying, though, primarily exploratory journeys to get used to the practice of it, and to also get an idea of the “geography” of the Otherworld, so to speak. I don’t really want to talk about a lot of the details, since this is part of the more private end of the path. However, here are a few highlights:
–I have a consistent starting point where I begin all my journeys. Physically, it’s a place I have a good connection to, though not what I expected. I’ve found myself starting here every time, so I think it’s a good sign.
–My “world tree” is actually a mountain. I’ve located the general vicinities of the entrances to the Upper and Lower worlds, but I can’t actually get to them yet (I’ve been presented with them as puzzles). None of this is at all what I expected, but it works.
–I have at least one, possibly two local-to-the-Northwest totems who want to work with me. One I was pretty sure about; the other one was a big surprise.
–I’ve encountered both totems and individual animal spirits while journeying. The totems are definitely more powerful; however, the spirits should not be ignored or dismissed easily.
Journeying is definitely not the same as guided meditation, IME. Guided meditation, from what I can tell, takes me into a “neutral zone”, where neither the spirits nor I have a distinct advantage. I have a lot more control over what happens, what my form is, what I do, etc. and it’s a lot easier to enter and exit.
Journeying, on the other hand, has turned out to be a lot more intense, and I am definitely out of my element there. I’m on the spirits’ turf, so to speak. I find that I tend to take one particular form there, and shapeshifting is much harder. Also, traveling is more difficult. Whereas with guided meditations I’ve been able to easily bypass blockages and manipulate the landscape, there’s no doing that with journeying. If someone says I’m not going past them, then there won’t be any sneaking, or flying up and past–at least at this point. Things that were feasible in guided meditations, aren’t so easy with journeying.
The other thing that I noticed is that the totems in particular are “more themselves” when I journey, especially when compared either to evocation rituals here on the physical plane of reality, or even guided meditation. I’m trying to figure out how to describe this…it’s not just that they’re bigger and stronger. It’s that when I journey, I can observe more of who and what they are, because this is where they’re native to. Conversely, I am more limited; only part of me travels, leaving my body behind. I never realized just how much of myself is wrapped up into my body. I wonder if there’s a spiritual counterpart, something that gets left behind when a totem or other spirit leaves to go to a neutral place, or to visit here through evocation/etc.?
Aside from the journeying, I’ll still be practicing songs; I still need to do songs for Bear and Small Bear. The songs and journeying are creating a nice variety for me that’s keeping me more engaged, especially as I’ve been getting busier.
I always tend to think that the “world” associated with guided meditation is more like an autonomous zone of sorts–at least that’s how I tend to think of it. When in any of the other worlds, the totems and other entities are more in their element, on their own turf, so to speak. You are now largely in their zone–a zone where they primarily live and where they have the most influence. On their turf, as you said.
As for shapeshifting, it is much harder there, I noticed. I can and do assume more than one form in those places, but it takes far more concentration and discipline to doso, and sometimes some amount of preplanning. Otherwise, the “forms” I tend to default to are white canine-thing, or androgynous human-shaped thing. Tangent for another time I guess.
I wonder if there’s a spiritual counterpart, something that gets left behind when a totem or other spirit leaves to go to a neutral place, or to visit here through evocation/etc.?
Sometimes I see it as a sort of projection, or stretching. Hm. Hard to explain, because I’m somewhat trying to explain this in synaesthetic concepts. But I guess you can think of it as a radio signal that is always strongest at it’s source or something.
Yup, it’s pretty similar to the way I see it. Meditation is done from within the normative realm, looking beyond, perhaps.
Journeying, on the other hand, is done from within other realms. You are actually somewhere on the “other side” when you are journeying. It is only to be expected that things work differently there.
To be sure, things are a LOT more intense on a journey.
Solo–The radio signal comparison is a good one; makes sense in the context of what I’ve been experiencing. As for shapeshifting, I’ll probably practice that once I’ve got more footing there, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has a tougher time.
Dale–Thank you for the corroboration!