Your first journey


This is a simple exploration down through the tunnel into the lowerworld. The
only mission is to travel the tunnel and perhaps see what lied beyond. Make sure
you thoroughly understand the instructions before beginning the journey.

To carry out the exercise, you will need a second person to act as a drummer or
a cassette recording of Shamanistic drumming.

Wait until you are calm and relaxed before undertaking any Shamanistic journey.
Avoid alcohol or any psychedelic substances for at least four hours before the
exercise. Eat only lightly or not at all during the preceding four hours.

Choose a dark and quiet room. Loosen or remove your clothing and lie comfortable
on the floor without a pillow. Take a few deep breaths and relax your arms and
legs. Lie there and contemplate your forthcoming mission. Then close your eyes,
placing a hand or forearm over them to keep out any light.

Now visualize an opening into the earth that you remember from sometime in your
life. It can be one you remember from childhood, or one you saw yesterday. Any
kind of entry into the ground will do. It may be a hole made by a burrowed
animal, a hollow tree stump, a spring or even a swamp. It can even be man made.
The right opening is one that feels comfortable to you and one which you can
visualize. Spend a couple of minutes seeing the hole without going into it. Note
its details clearly.

Now either start the cassette recording or instruct your companion to begin
drumming. The drumming should be a strong, monotonous, unvarying, rapid beat.
There should be no contrast in the intensity of the drum beats, or the intervals
between them. A drumming tempo of about 205 to 220 beats per minute is usually
effective for this kind of journey.Allow yourself ten minutes for the journey.
At the end of that time, the drummer should indicate that your time is up by
striking four sharp beats to signal that it is time for your return. The drummer
should then beat the drum very rapidly for about half a minute to accompany you
on the return journey, concluding with four more sharp beats to signal the end
of the journey.

When the drumming begins, enter your opening into the earth. Go down through the
opening and enter the tunnel. At first the tunnel might be dark and dim. It
might go underground at a slight angle, or it might descend steeply. Sometimes
the tunnel appears ribbed and often it bends. Occasionally, one passes through
the tunnel so fast that it is not even seen. In following the tunnel, you may
run right up against a natural wall of stone, or some other obstacle. If this
happens, just go around it or through a crack in it. If this fails, simply come
back and try again.

At the end of the tunnel you will emerge our of doors. Examine the landscape in
detail. Travel through it and remember its features. Explore until you are
signaled to come back, and then return through the tunnel the same way you went