If anyone wants Lady Eva’s core shamanism tut, it’s below.
She is no longer here to offer support on it obviously but you can talk about it on the forum, and I (Mulberry) follow these ideas and can provide a spot of help if needed. My inbox is open, and if you’re new and can’t PM just yet, use @Mulberry to get me to PM you.
I truly don’t believe there’s any copyright issue (lots of people who study go on to teach without needing permission from the Foundation For Shamanic Studies) and this is rephrased not plagiarised as far as I know, but up until now we were being ultra cautious. Under the auspices of teaching not copying, here we go…
There a lot here: click the arrows to expand each part. Enjoy!
Part One: The Lower World
Core shamanism is a method of entering spirit realms whilst in a lightly altered state of mind (trance - but not Hollywood style) - it’s something I studied at length and I believe it turbo-charged all my psi senses and helped pull my practice together into a cohesive whole, from the ragtag bits and pieces I’d created or acquired as a child.
It’s taught in a number of locations in the UK & USA, usually as weekend workshops, and I’ve seen absolute beginners who’d never had a psychic experience in their lives go from nervous and skeptical on the Saturday morning, sitting in a circle in a roomful of strangers, to confidently locating and describing past events or spiritually significant things for those same people by the Sunday afternoon.
I believe in this as a good starting point, and typed out a tutorial (below) which I’ve sent to a few people on here - the only reasons I haven’t posted it publicly are 1. any tutorial generates ongoing questions by new members who find it, which is fine, but I can’t always commit the time, and 2. the people I did some training with, the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, had some kind of weird copyright, although this is taught openly by other teachers, but I’m not sure where the line’s drawn so I’m keeping this to PM for now.
Do not attempt to combine other methods with this, you will just hold yourself back, do this as given and once perfected, then and ONLY then, begin to work in pieces from other paradigms. Seriously!
(You can do other types of magick in the same day, just don’t attempt to merge this method with other methods, at the same time.)
Find a time when you have 30 - 45 minutes’ privacy, switch your phone off, and also be between meals so you’re neither too full nor distracted by hunger.
This method is about as close to safe as any form of magick gets, although you may wish to cleanse and banish etc. before you start out. A simple shower or bath, with the intention to cleanse your aura, should suffice.
Chill out, using some deep breathing and whatever else, and maybe dump any distracting thoughts about the everyday world into a notebook so they’re not in the back of your mind as you begin.
Have a journal of some kind to hand, to take notes after the journey is completed.
Don’t be high or drunk - although entheogens are traditionally used in indigenous shamanism, they’ll just get in the way now, you can experiment with that later once you have the basic method mastered and some spirit allies to help you out.
It’s a good idea to have a voice recorder running if possible.
Get a student mindset of learning and openness on, and stay with that - this method is not compatible, at least in the early stages, with competitive or aggressive ideas, or a mindset of attempting to dominate spirits. You’re going into “their” world, so adjust your attitude accordingly.
Play some shamanic drumming. Nothing fancy, a steady monotonous beat is best, ideally under 30 minutes to begin with. There’s plenty on YouTube.
Set your intention: “I am going to journey to the Lower World to meet with my personal animal spirit helper.”
In this method, intention is an important thing, and to begin with, state that intention and maybe write it down at the head of a page in your journal.
Close your eyes and visualise, which is to say IMAGINE, a tree - ideally one that you like and have happy memories of.
If you don’t have a memory like that, just imagine a tree that looks good to you.
Do not get distracted by random passing thoughts.
Do not “see” something else and let your attention wander, just keep looking at the tree.
Imagine walking towards the tree, and take hold of it if that helps.
Find a nice deep hole in the roots (even if it’s not there in your “real” tree you based it on).
Dive down into the hole and keep going, until you reach what will look most of the time like a different world beneath the earth.
It may be dark, like a totally black space with just hints and outlines of other shapes, or maybe what look more like retinal after-images. This is fine.
You may have sounds, scents, or other sense impressions, but nothing visual - this is also fine. Persistence will open your senses.
It may be lit by a diffuse golden light.
There will probably be a river or other kind of water channel, but don’t worry if you don’t see it.
Call for your animal - the term used in core shamanism is “power animal” - use this until you have enough experience to define things yourself, this term has the value of being used a lot, and therefore is imprinted into the fabric of this world in this paradigm.
If in doubt, ask the animal to show itself to you three different times - you might see a hoof/paw, then a face, and then an outline, for example.
Any three symbols of the same animal is a good sign.
Don’t try to guess what your animal is or will be, and don’t be disappointed if it’s not something “cool.”
And as with the tree, ignore any distracting impressions, human shapes, or anything else. You’re here for your power animal, the rest can wait.
- Don’t expect this to be spectacular, it’s not like in the movies when someone enters a dream or holodeck and it’s exactly like ordinary life.
(At this stage a history of drug/alcohol use which left you the next day trying to cope with a reality that barely made sense is a GOOD thing! You’re not used to these spirit worlds yet, so you’re operating under a similar kind of cognitive dampening and confusion. Don’t let the fact this feels like it’s “all in your mind” deter you - your mind is the interface, I have provided a method to verify what’s a “real” journey in the notes, below.)
Back to the journey:
Ask the animal spirit if it’s your ally.
If it confirms this and you feel good about it, ask it to join with you - it may jump up into your arms, or you may mount it, or some other connection which feels to your astral body like a link has been created.
Using intention, fly or travel back UP with your animal, holding the intention to return to the base of the World Tree where you entered.
Pop back out the hole in the roots.
Take a look around you, observe anything that’s different, but don’t get distracted.
Talk to your animal, even if you can’t hear it clearly yet, ask it to wait here for you and to guide you on future journeys.
It may give you a symbol (for example, you might think you see a symbol in your mind’s eye - this is when having a voice recorder running is invaluable), or a word, or you may even be able to converse with it.
At the moment, it’s safest to assume all conversations with spirits are the spirit doing its best to throw thoughts into your head and hit whatever vocabulary you have, so they may sound both weirdly coherent yet have odd usages of words, or even slang. Don’t worry about this, record what’s said without judgement.
You can either bid farewell to your animal and come back at another time, or, you can ask it back into your arms/mount it/etc., and imagine yourself walking back to your physical body, settling down in it, with the animal still in your arms.
This brings the energy of the power animal back into your life and is the basic initiatory action of core shamanism.
You can then sit up, journal what happened right away (this is strongly advised, don’t leave it to memory), then sit with your animal spirit in your presence, maybe ask it to empower and protect you, and to be waiting at the WT next time you journey.
You can politely ask it to depart if it becomes overwhelming, or continue about your ordinary life without anything so formal.
It’s perfectly normal to want to have some symbol of it in your life, don’t go wacky and get it tattooed or anything, but it’s fine to draw it, or print out a picture of an animal of that same type, or even buy a piece of jewellery or a t-shirt or something that represents it and becomes a focal point.
It may merge with you later on, or change into a different type of animal, all things are possible - but this is stage 1.
After the journey, take as many notes as possible - don’t assume that this was beginner stuff and not important, some of the things I saw in my very first formal journey are STILL playing out to this day!
If you feel ungrounded, try to get a short walk, ideally on grass in bare feet, eat something substantial, or do some mundane act like housework or phoning a friend.
If I can offer some tips, read that entire exercise through once or twice, taking any notes you need, then try a journey to get your own animal helper, and that act will begin to increase your power and psychic skills in itself.
I was fortunate enough to be able to afford to train in-depth, and since then I’ve done a lot of healing work which includes coaching people on their first journeys - in this method, there’s the basic concept of the World Tree (WT), which is your axis mundi.
This is the single most important aspect of core shamanism and is the interface by which you orient yourself in the different spiritual universes.
Below the World Tree is the Lower World, which I describe above - this is conventionally the first World visited by beginners in this paradigm, and it’s not an “underworld” or in any way hellish.
It tends to house earth-related entities, animal spirits of various kinds, and other “natural world” spirits, and it is possible to meet an entity form of your own Death there, but this isn’t a dangerous thing and can be educational - but it’s not something to begin with.
First you need to get your animal spirit, bond with them, and undertake a few more journeys to the Lower World. It’s legit to go there to explore, and you can also ask your animal spirit what it advises you do down there.
Once you feel honestly competent to undertake Lower World journeys on demand, and have a method of communicating with your animal spirit (hearing it clairaudiently, or maybe through symbols or strong intuitive impressions), you’ll be travelling to the Upper World, which is where various ascended masters, Higher Selves of both people and individual animals, and angels, gods, and numerous other entities hang out.
The final World to explore is the Middle World, but that’s best not visited until you have some experience because it contains the spiritual aspect of all the evil forces in our own reality, including the restless dead, malevolent spirits of madness and disease, and various portals to places that aren’t very nice.
The interface with the World Tree is just, technically, in the Middle World, but it’s a safe place and there are specific methods for entering the places where the troublesome things are likely to lurk, so don’t worry about it, but stick to the Lower World first, and work a lot with your animal, and then begin with the Upper World, which will provide you with mentors who can assist.
A lot of what you see will be archetypal, almost cartoonishly so in some cases, and don’t let that throw you - this is spiritual energy trying to convey form and function, via visual or other sensory short-hand. Talking books, chairs that walk, and all manner of other symbols are commonplace when using this method.
Note them down as seen, because with time you’ll recognise patterns in the way things appear to you, and be able to understand new events via your existing lexicon of symbols.
One hallmark of a successful journey is that while at the time the nagging thought “Is this just in my head?” may be present, when you get back, write up your notes, and think back to what happened, the vividness of the memories will be as strong as your memories of events in the everyday world, and unless you were distracted out of the journey, you’ll have next to no memory of your body here in normal life during the trance.
If, at any point, you freak out, just open your eyes, get up and go to a different room, do the washing up, go for a walk, or whatever - in the early stages you don’t register enough in those realities for anything to bother coming after you, and your own mind (awareness) is the interface, so once you shift your attention the link is broken.
I advise very strongly against attempting any baneful work whatsoever using this method until you have a few years experience in this paradigm under your belt: this isn’t a moral issue, later you can check in with your spirit allies and see what they say.
But some people have made the mistake of assuming journeying is like in the movies when the hitman gets up into a crawl-space and can rain down death unseen, and not only is it NOT like that, you can also get into a hell of a lot of trouble and end up basically imprisoned in a tiny pocket universe of your own, if you begin in this fashion.
Once that’s happened, you’re unlikely to be released, so don’t push your luck.
That covers the basics for the initiatory stage, this is what’s usually taught in the first part of the trainings and if you find it useful, once you have your animal spirit and can reliably communicate with them, travel next to the Upper World, Part 2.
Part Two: The Upper World
To begin with, the Upper World is, as I mentioned, where ascended masters of various types, ancestors, and the Higher Self of both people and animals can be accessed.
I’ll begin with the cautions I’ve found most important – the first one is, don’t bug Higher Selves - including your own.
- Make journeys to them only with a clear intention already set, and with a strong idea of what you need to get, and do it at a time when you won’t be distracted and have to repeat the journey.
This isn’t some arcane and redundant kind of moral advisory (like “don’t annoy the grownups”) but it’s because even though I reject the idea that we incarnate on earth to learn “lessons” the fact that HS’s are not walking among us, is self-evident proof that they’re not meant to be involved too much with our everyday lives.
That’s my broad advice, and I’ve got in trouble for doing it myself when I began with this kind of shamanic work – later on you may or may not find something different, but I’ve giving you guidance that works for the majority of people starting out on that realm, and which I learned myself.
That said, the Higher Self of deceased relatives and other people who’ve passed on are also accessible, and it can be healing to make one or two journeys, again ideally planned in advance and undertaken at a time when you’re prepared and not distracted, in order to speak to them, or maybe gain closure – I’ve done this, and it’s an immense privilege.
Getting into ascended masters, one of the areas where I feel core shamanism as taught takes a default (and incorrect) RHP stance is to assume that any and all spirits you meet in the Upper World will automatically know best.
These are usually beings who’ve utterly renounced the physical world, and no matter how much love they may feel, they cannot truly understand the pains and needs we have on our level, so should you ask them, for example, about money when you’re in a desperate situation, they’ll often answer with version of the advice to let go of fear, or to let go of attachment to whatever it is (your home, your car, your back teeth that need repair) and trust that all will be well.
It’s a bit like, I don’t GET soap operas and TV series like Breaking Bad or X-Factor or whatever that people rave about, so I can’t ever meaningfully understand or relate to the distress caused to someone who misses a key episode, and I plain won’t be able to give them advice (like where to torrent it or whatever people do) because it all has zero meaning to me, and to be honest I think people could/should do better things with their time. So I’m both ignorant of that experience, and also a bit judgemental about it! Which is often how these ascended types can come across.
They’re doing what they think is correct, but many people studying this method take that route and end up, if you’ll pardon the term, royally screwed, because once you start to renounce this level of reality, it will renounce you right back and your material situation will get worse, instead of better.
This then triggers insecurity and past traumas in a lot of otherwise healthy people, making them (as they fall into misery) easy prey for white-light healers and other types, so it’s a nasty little diversion to stay away from.
The main areas where these spirits are helpful is in understanding big-picture philosophical stuff, or asking for broad guidance on what will bring you a specific outcome where you’re not in desperate and immediate need (evocation and sigils etc - trad. black magick methods - are probably best for that).
They do have a good overview of your core nature and therefore of what might work best for you over the long term and it’s possible to get advice like that and then (always running it by your own good judgement and common sense) make choices that might not have occurred to you, as you sit kind of “in the trenches” of everyday life.
Further up into the higher levels, you’ll find angels, gods, and sundry other beings, and all available to speak to – remember that in this method, intention is the map, and the map is the destination, since the command “I intend to journey to (spirit’s name)” is going to direct you along the paths, usually short, to get there.
There’s no time, as such, in the spirit world, and also no space (they’re the same thing as I keep saying in mad science posts) and so the only geography you need to navigate is via and related to the World Tree itself.
So, with those important cautions out of the way, to accessing the Upper World.
Once again you need to visualise your World Tree and this time, climb up it – visualise it, and feel yourself going up.
At some point you’ll meet a membrane that appears above you, like climbing a ladder and encountering a ceiling.
You have to push through this membrane and that might take varying amounts of effort, but it will (and should) take some amount of work to do.
Unless you’ve met this membrane and pushed up through it, you’re not in the Upper World, and are being distracted by some of the levels of the Middle World, which is (broadly speaking) the parallel to our own reality, but also has sub-sections, some of which are best avoided at first.
If in doubt, head upwards again and again, keeping the intent “Upper World” firmly in mind, and finally you’ll get there – again this is something people learn and succeed at during a weekend workshop, so it’s not difficult provided you don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked or distracted.
- As with the first stages, using focus now and doing this correctly will pay off later, just as learning the correct form to do a new kind of physical exercise at first means you get very good at it later on, and ensures that you don’t risk pointless strains on your body.
You’ll probably find yourself in a world that’s very bright, there may be clouds, flowers, a kind of bluish light (whereas the Lower World often has a subdued golden light) and you may be greeted by a spirit, depending on what your intention was.
For example, on some occasions I’ve set the intent to speak to the Higher Self of my deceased parent – not a privilege I take lightly – and when I do that, they’ll be there waiting for me as I kind of stand in that world.
Other times you’ll feel like you want to keep flying up, and that’s normal too, just stay focused on your intent.
When that happens to me, I see the (for example) Higher Self of the person I’m doing the journey for in what appears to be a floating chamber, often like a miniature Greek Temple with 6 or 12 pillars and its own little floor and roof - I posted about this in the “Common experiences” thread.
There are also caves, forests, and huge council halls in that World, and they’re all locations you should arrive at reasonably quickly (intent held firm) once you’re through that membrane.
- You need to focus on your stated intent, “I wish to meet with (name or description of spirit)” as you do this, and basically, travel with certainty until you meet that spirit. And if in doubt, go up some more.
Once you’ve found them, comes the hardest, and perhaps in some ways, anti-climactic part – unlike grimoire trad. evocation, there’s no process of dire threats to demand the spirit prove their ID, you have to rely largely on intent, your spirit animal, and your feelings of intuition on who the spirit is – but as a follow up to my words of caution in the first tutorial, just as it’s best not to go into these worlds throwing baneful energy around, you’re also unlikely to be misled.
Take as much time as you need with them, and don’t be afraid to ask for them to give you answers in a way you can understand, if the meaning of their words or gestures isn’t completely clear.
Using intention, fly or travel back DOWN, right on down and through the “floor” (the membrane) then down the Tree, holding the intention to return to the base of the World Tree where you entered.
Take a look around you, observe anything that’s different, but don’t get distracted.
Imagine yourself walking back to your physical body, and re-enter it.
You can then sit up, and make sure to journal what happened right away (this is strongly advised, don’t leave it to memory) - take as many notes as possible, every time.
This should be all you need to make a successful UW journey!
Part Three: The Middle World
The Middle World is the energetic parallel to this world, which makes it the place where highly effective healing work and other more magickal-style work can be done, but also, it carries some degree of danger, because the spiritual forces and energies you will be interacting with can immediately affect your own energy body in the normal physical world.
For this reason, you are advised to prepare by asking your spirit animal helper whether you are ready: both strong enough with your journeying and also, mentally attuned enough, to travel into this World.
Things you may wish to learn beforehand include the ability to emit a blinding flash of light (or black lighting) from your body in the journey, to repel anything that attempts to get too close, and also, visualising yourself inside a protective barrier of energy, both of which are things you are unlikely to need in the other Worlds, but may potentially need here.
You can test these visualisations by creating them at the entry point where you initially see the World Tree, or, you can ask your spirit animal to help you train and develop these skills.
At this point you have experience with journeying and your primary teacher should be the spirit animal helper, which has intimate knowledge of your readiness and abilities.
If the answer is Yes, the method of entering the Middle World is deceptively simple: visualise the World Tree as before, and state your intention to travel into the Middle World.
Pay close attention that this stage to any spirits that may be nearby, and ask them if they wish to speak – pay attention to any communications, including in images, feelings, and symbolic actions they may perform.
If necessary come back out of the journey, and make a note of these.
With your spirit animal by your side, walk towards the World Tree, and visualise, to the right of the Tree, a door: it can appear by itself, or if you co-create it, choose a fitting appearance for it from your own mental bank of images.
Move towards the door and open it, and step through.
This means you have left the interface you co-created in the Middle World, but which was within your own internal universe, containing the World Tree, and have breached the barrier to be effectively a disembodied spirit, active in the ordinary human world.
What you choose to do here is up to you, some suggestions:
you may travel with intention to your own energy body, which may appear somewhat like a large building-sized human shape, semi-transparent, and travel within that to various systems and organs to pour healing energy into these;
you may wish to visit the past, and that can be done on this level (where time is still somewhat fluid) in order to meet with and comfort your past self at difficult times, which won’t “change the past” as such, but may begin the process of liberating stuck energy that is still wounded by past events. To do this, simply use intent and a strong visualisation of the event you wish to return to, and keep moving forward until you encounter the scene (which will possibly appear slightly misty and like in a dream, rather than photographic reality);
you can interact with spirits of nature here, meeting with the soul of these and communicating with them, to learn, acquire allies, or to heal them by channelling love and positive energy.
To return at any point, travel somewhat away from the area where you have interacted with spirits or your own energy, and visualise your door appearing again – pass through it, and visualise it firmly closing behind you.
At this point, for at least your first few journeys, you are advised to visualise white light emanating from your spirit body once you have passed through and closed the door (if you have a serious aversion to anything like that, use black lightning bolts that can burn anything unwanted) in order to cleanse any energy traces that have “stuck” to you – remember that the Middle World can enter your own life very easily, so take precautions.
Having closed the door firmly and cleansed anything that has stuck to you, return to your body and ordinary consciousness as before, and take as many notes of what you saw as possible.
Developing Your Skills:
Over time, things you see and experience may change and take on their own forms and functions, and this is fine, but the introduction to safely entering and leaving the Middle World given here is a necessary stage to ensure this development happens in a manner that’s manageable, and as safe as possible.
This completes the final level of the Three World model of Core Shamanic journeying; you can seek out teachers and learn advanced healing methods in this world and also in the spirit realms, and study other ways to use it.
It’s a good idea to routinely check in with your spirit animal, and any other mentors you come to trust along the way, and ask them to show you the thing you most need to know, and also, ask them to take you to locations where there is energy, power, and knowledge available to you.
Some of these journeys may be what are termed “shamanic dismemberment journeys” in which you will, ritualistically but painlessly, have chunks of the body you perceive in the spirit world hacked, burned, or even devoured from you (make sure to undertake these only with a trusted spirit guide at first): these are a recognised form of healing old unwanted energy patterns within yourself.
The basic concept used is that things manifest first in the spiritual, later in the emotional, then the mental, and finally, the physical reality, so healing and rebalancing yourself on the spiritual level can prevent something nasty making itself manifest later on.
At all times, experience acquired from actually journeying yourself will be preferred to opinions and philosophies, and you will find doing work for the benefit of other beings (including nature spirits and animals) advances your power and abilities, so once again be careful what you do at these early stages, and don’t try to start any astral battles or anything silly.
That’s a bit like being newly incarnated as a child, and as soon as you can walk, conducting a campaign of harassment and little squeaky-voiced threats, waving your chubby baby fists, against the biggest baddest gang lords in the rough area of town (who also happen to not think kids are cute) – over time you’ll have more abilities, but at first, tread softly and if in doubt simply leave the journey, cleanse, and return to normal consciousness.