Greetings from Texas! Hope all is well up North!
I’ve recently begun down a seidr shamanistic path involving trance work and journeying. I’ve been ravenous for information and combing in the interwebs for relevant blogs, texts, articles, etc. and came across your website. I was reading your post, “Defense Against the Dark Arts,” which I very much enjoyed having had similar experiences. I was particularly interested upon reading this,
“Most of the books out there that talk about things like (for example) receiving the call to shamanize, will mention that many become ill but don’t typically mention how. What kind of illness. It’s kind of vague.”
I was wondering if you had anything more specific regarding the illness associated with the call to shamanism. I haven’t been experiencing anything traumatic, but when I go into a trance or journey I’ve been experiencing physiological responses. At first I thought the nausea and dizziness were due in part to the way I was sitting, but I’ve adjusted that and it hasn’t gone away. I had thought there might be some physiological responses to the journeys, I wasn’t quite sure what, but I didn’t think they’d be negative so I’m a little worried I might be doing something wrong. Anything helps!
Thank you for reading this, by the way.
little bit of nausea, light headedness, headaches and dizziness are pretty common after trance and altered states. Even among experienced practitioners. This is sort of like being out of breath after going for a jog. Or you can think of as a reconnecting thing. It can take some time to get yourself sorted out. There are a few things you can do to help decrease how often this happens, or cut down the length of time it lasts. (In no particular order)
* You are already trying different postures, so that’s a good start.
* Take more time on the return trip. The faster you come back, the quicker you try to leave an altered state, the harder it is on you.
* Work on slow and gentle body awareness once you return. Relax you muscles. Stroke your body. Spend more time feeling your breathing and heartbeat. even do a few gentle yoga stretches.
* Have some juice on hand to help bring your blood sugar back up and to hydrate yourself.
* Take shorter trips. If you are using a timer of any sort (such as a drumming CD or having a gentle chime on your phone set to go off after X amount of time) set it for a little earlier.
If the symptoms are very severe, it’s possible that you are experiencing “soul loss” … basically leaving a little bit of yourself behind each time. This is generally a result of traveling too far, too fast and/or making a hasty return trip. If you worry this might the case, retrace your steps and see if you come across anything that you recognize are yours or yourself. Gather the bits back up again (after a thorough inspection) and put them back where they belong. (You can always swallow them if you’re not sure where they go)
Take more time on your return trips and do a “all of me is here” check. Think of it as like checking your purse before you go out. Keys? Wallet? Phone? Jacket? Give yourself a pat down, do an inventory. Is anything feeling a little off, feel like you might have forgotten something? Retrace your steps and see if anything got dropped along the way.
Also if this is happening a lot, you are probably going further than you are really ready for. Like going for a big long hike through a thick forest, the deeper you go in, the more little scratches and bug bites you get along the way (leaving behind little bits of blood, sweat and skin). Eventually, as you become a better hiker, you will learn how to walk through a forest and get hit in the face by trees less, how to get cut by thorns less and how to avoid areas with lots of bugs, or what the the best bug repellent is. So if this is an issue, stick closer to home base. Get to know that area really well as you build up your skills before venturing much further. I hope this helps!
Also do you mind if I post this on the blog (I won’t use your name) Cheers, Juni
Thank you so much for your email!
I really appreciate getting a response about things. After reading your suggestions, I definitely think I may be going too deep too soon and returning too quickly. I’ve been so excited about the journeys I may be pushing myself too hard and leaving things too quickly so I can write. That’s a problem I have in all aspects of my life; rushing. Oh! And I don’t mind at all if you post this on your blog. It’s been really helpful for me, so hopefully this could benefit someone else.