I did a bit of journeying about 12 years ago, and have felt a strong need to take it up again. I was shown in a journey what my power animal was by a local fellow who had been practicing shamanism for several years.Mainly iI use one of the tracks from a Micheal Harner CD. I have been back at it for about a month and started dancing and rattling to the four directions and elements before I begin. A prominent issue/judgement I have on my practice is that the journeys are not real vivid, and I experience a lot of uncertainty about what is occurring in them, and I come away with more questions than answers, I am working on relaxing about that and learning to trust that I am receiving something valuable from the practice in spite of my doubts and judgements.
Today I read the steps to dancing my power animal and experienced flashes of my power animal as well as a native american male whilst doing it. I found this odd at first, but realized that I have felt the presence of him several times before during journeys, as well as thinking about them afterwards.
I took a break after the dance and lay down to journey, imagining myself in a spot in nature that is not too far from me in real life. I usually go to a tree that morphs into the tree of life and my power animal is there and sometimes ask it to take me wherever it thinks is best, and this time I felt a direction to climb down the roots into the lower world, at which point I saw my lower legs in classic Native American buckskins and moccasins, of a yellow color, and when i jumped off the roots and hit the ground, I had shapeshifted into him. And he ran really fast and I wound up in the usual deserty, canyony area just outside the tunnel. We jumped into the air and shapeshifted into my power animal which flew in ever spiraling circles heading up until I disappeared into the center of the spiral, and was in some sort of inverted space where i saw various flashes of my animal ,the indian, and spirals, and a dna helix. It seemed to be about experiencing inner essence, and the oneness of all the things in nature. Lately I have been having a lot of thoughts about the current solar storms, and have been wondering if what some people have been saying that these storms are altering our DNA. I experienced these thoughts as well as the idea that This process is changing all species and elements on the planet, and is helping us relax into the loss of identities we have held for a long time and let new ones come, or not. This process was very subtle but there did seem to be a coherent message there in spite of what I find to be indistinct and very subtle cues. The majority of the time I felt i was being guided more by feeling than images or sensations.
The strongest sensation was one of stretching out into infinity almost in a straight line with no width. And when i did that it seemed that was where all the species and elements were getting their guidance, about what changes to make as we move through this transitional period.
Oops, i forgot to thank my helpers for the journey, so I just got up now and did a little rattling and dancing to thank them.
In between the Dance and the journey , I had the thought that the Native American man was someone who did a lot of ceremonies etc that was involved with my power animal and that he was some kind of knowledge keeper. then during the journey I got the experience that he was the animals human form. Not sure it matters so I'll just stay open to the possibilities about his "identity".
Open to any suggestions about how to improve my practice. I have never done a workshop so I am planning on attending one next month, I am hoping to pick up more experience and tips then. But it seems to be evolving just by doing it from reading and using the drumming track.