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Azvanna
08 Nov 2014, 20:28
Would people mind sharing with me their experiences of the spiritual plane? I'd like to know what you call where you went, how you went there and what it looked like. If it's not too personal to share, can you tell me also why you went there and how you expect to achieve your goal while there (eg emotional healing)?

monsno_leedra
08 Nov 2014, 23:25
That's a bit difficult to answer. Especially so in the aspect that ones concept of how the various plains of existence are set up and how they appear will vary due to a great number of reasons.

Consider that for many we have the celestial, chthonic and mundane plains within us and are constructed according to our own sense of spirituality, religion and even the physical influences such as mythology, folk tales, etc. We have aspects such as sacred space or sacred place that is defined against our world views. So for me for instance I see chthonic as being a place of earthly things such as death, birth, growth, etc. Things that occur beneath the surface of the land and secrets of that place. I see a celestial sense in that there is an aspect of me of that is the higher self and what some might see as more enlightened and aware. Perhaps even broader in how I view things. Then of course there is mundane reality that is based upon the physical plain upon which I live and manifest upon my own internal plains. What one might call their dream scape and yes even a sense of etheral and astral projection. A place where one might experience conditions such as Out of Body (O.B.E.) and even Near Death Experiences (N.D.E.)

Then there is the external world view. Often the plains of reality often mirrored reflections of the sense of Chthonic, Celestial and Physical. As to how many plains of existence are to be found upon each level who can say. The same can be said pertaining to how they will appear to you. The psychological plain of the dead that exists within will have many of the characteristics and make up of the external place we see the dead go to. Whether it is called Heaven Hel, Hades, Eelusian Fields, etc will reflect cultural, ethical, ethnic, moral imagery. While my internal Hades is a reflection of it while in the physical plain its ruled by Hades and Persephone and its imagery reflects the mythology and beliefs of the Hellenic influences that I believe that fleshed it out. Yet you can still experience O.B.E's, N.D.E.'s, Etheral or Astral projection of both the spirit, the mind or even ones awareness of things.

Why do I go to the various places? That's harder to say. From a shamanic perspective I go there to be guided, influenced and taught by my various teachers, guides, etc. How I get there differs for each. For some I pass the guardian of the gate and enter through the tree and pass into the earth via a rock tunnel that descends into the depths or I climb into the trunk and climb into the upper branches and foliage the creates the celestial plains and worlds. Other times it's an entrance into a giant cavern from the cave opening upon a cliff face or descent into the same giant cavern by shape shifting into another form such as an eagle as flying down into the opening from a high mesa opening. Sometimes its by falling into a circular void of spinning colors that makes me think of Bifrost as a bridge and you slide till you get pushed out upon some plain that connects to it. Sometimes its to step behind the four winds and be carried to some far off place in the air or to find yourself astride some mystical beast who carries you over mountain and field or into the depths of some sea or ocean. Sometimes it is because of something I seek and I go in exploration. Other times it is because a lesson a guide desires me to experience and I go though it may not be in human form.

Some times it is with great difficulty that we try to determine was it an internal plain that was journeyed upon or was it an actual external plain that was journeyed to? Sometimes its not a matter of where I went but a matter of when I went. Other times its a matter of how I went and in what form I possessed while experiencing something. Yes even to the point of going to the same place and time multiple times but in other forms to experience it from multiple vantage points.

So as I said it is difficult to describe the other worlds, other dimensions both inner and outer with respect to ones own body or the many plains of reality that make it up.

Rae'ya
09 Nov 2014, 05:32
Would people mind sharing with me their experiences of the spiritual plane? I'd like to know what you call where you went, how you went there and what it looked like. If it's not too personal to share, can you tell me also why you went there and how you expect to achieve your goal while there (eg emotional healing)?

There are two 'places' that I go when journeying... the Innerworlds and the Otherworlds.

The Innerworlds are what I call the internal landscapes that Monsno described above. They can be a reflection of what we imagine the Otherworlds to look like, a reflection of places in Thisworld, or they can be completely different. I find that when most people do guided meditations and core-shamanic journey, this is where they are going. It's an internal landscape, within our own subconscious or perhaps even interfacing with the collective unconsciousness. I get to my Innerworlds via meditation. I have a starting place, which I call the Grove, which I slip into very easily once I close my eyes and relax. The Grove is a little clearing in the mountainous bush (Australian bushland rather than forest) that is bordered on two sides by rocky cliff faces, one of which has a little waterfall that feeds a small billabong which extends into the third side, and on the forth side and behind the billabong is bush. In the cliff face is a cave mouth and in the corner by the cliff and bush is a little wooden half-log cottage with a front verandah. There's a rocky 'stairway' that cuts up the cliff face by the waterfall where I can scramble up the to the top of the cliffs. The cave is a doorway into some other internal planes, where my internal animal guides live. In the billabong there is an underwater cave system that acts as a doorway into a lake in the Otherworlds.

Things that I do in the Innerworlds are mostly self awareness and internal growth exercises. I visit on a regular basis to keep my spiritual momentum up. The waterfall has a cleansing effect on my energy system. I do most of my energetic hygiene and repair here, and visit with my internal animal guides, who are a series of what could be considered 'fylgia' that represent different aspects of myself. The cottage is where the energy bodies of my journey items are stored... in the real world I have the physical items with me, and in the Innerworlds I pick them up from the cottage before going into the Otherworlds (plus there are some items that don't have a real-world counterpart). The Innerworlds is also where I start my Otherworld journeys from... there are various doors and gateways within the Innerworlds which lead into the Otherworlds, just as there are doors and gateways in the astral plane of Thisworld that lead there. I've never had to retrieve a soul fragment, but if I did I would look for it in my Innerworlds.

The Otherworlds is what I call the external planes of existence, where the gods and various entities live. The parts that I've seen look much like the stories and mythology about them. I believe that there are hundreds of Otherworlds, not all of which are connected directly, but most of which can be accessed from Innerworlds or the astral plane of Thisworld. I haven't been to many places in the Otherworlds, but I get there via drumming myself into a trance state. The two places I visit regularly are the hall of the Nornir and the home of my teacher. I have direct access to the Hall of the Nornir, so I don't have to go via the Innerworlds to get there... I just trance myself into a room in the Hall and go from there. I could theoretically exit the Hall and find myself in Asgardhr, but I've never done that and I get the impression that the Hall is actually a separate place within Yggdrasil and not actually located in Asgardhr. I go there to learn from the Nornir, view the Tapestry and Pattern of Wyrd, and to lend my energy to Their work. The home of my teacher is a cottage on the edge of a large glacial lake. I swim through an underwater tunnel in my Innerworlds and come out in the centre of the lake. Then I have to swim to shore and walk along the bank and around a corner to reach the cottage. I go there to learn from my teacher, though I haven't been in a while as I've been neglecting my studies and she doesn't appreciate idle visits. I'm not 100% sure where in the Otherworlds this lake and cottage are, but I think they are in Midgardhr. My teacher does not seem to be Jotun, is definitely not Alfar or Dvergr, and the landscape isn't what I expect Vanaheimr to look like. Once I saw some people dressed in furs walking along the lake edge, dragging wooden pallets behind them, but I had just come out into the lake and hadn't swum ashore yet.

Most of my spiritual work is done in the Innerworlds rather than the Otherworlds. I haven't been given any jobs to do in the Otherworlds, and to be honest, my training and journey technique is not good enough yet for extended visits. At the moment most of what I do there is learn... which I would do faster if I kept up with my studies properly. :p

Jembru
22 Nov 2014, 13:05
Took me a while but I think this is the right thread to be in!

Journeying is something I used to do a lot, but I somehow got out of the habit. There was something that happened recently, a colleague telling me a simple anecdote of a spiritual experience she'd had, and it had a profound effect on me. It's the very reason I am back here at PF, and it has also led to getting back into my old habits.

I didn't know where to start, so my first journey, which took me to the middle worlds, was to ask which of my 'issues' to work on first. I was taken to a recent dream I'd had.. details I'd forgotten about from the dream came back, as well as a few images from different dreams with a similar atmosphere. I met a being I had not seen in my dreams, who called himself 'white death'. I was a little afraid of him, but he wasn't threatening. He told me I had a blockage between my base and sacral chakras that was blocking my kundalini energy. It seems a few of my concerns are connected to this (and it really makes sense too), so it really is an ideal place to start. I was also shown in this vision an owl. I've identified with Owl before, but this one had a very characteristic face. I made a note of it and looked it up later.

The owl was a Great Horned Owl, and I was able to find an article online specifically about Great Horned Owl as a totem. I read with astonishment as the author described its connection with kundalini energy! It also relates to cycles and rebirth, and I wondered if this was what 'white death' was all about.. are the spirits guiding me through the end of one cycle and the start of a brand new phase in my life? Even the fact that I work nights and am naturally more active and comfortable during the hours of darkness, seems to make Owl a perfect spirit companion for me on this leg of my spiritual journey.

This evening before I got out of bed, I decided to enter the spirit worlds a second time. I was very much aware that I was journeying rather than dreaming, but in every other regard it was as vivid as a dream. I remember my visions being fairly vivid, but journeys as vivid as this one were rare. It may have been because I was in that 'between stage' because I'd just woken up, or maybe this is how they will always be from now on.

I think I may have been taken to the lower worlds this time. I walked through what felt like an abandoned mineshaft. Actually, it was like a train tunnel for much of the time, but the walls were black and shiny. Visibility was low but I could make out minerals in the walls now and then.. they were just like in minecraft for some reason. I decided to imagine I was putting down torches like in minecraft to see if the place would light up. I heard the sound of the torches being placed, but they didn't visibly appear and the place stayed dark. This did however, trigger the zombie sounds from Minecraft and saying as I was in darkness, this was a bit unnerving. That said, I never really felt under threat at any time. It's hard to explain the feeling.

I eventually come out of the tunnel and soon reached what appeared as a fork in a road. There were several Great Horned Owls gathered together, and a dead one on the roadside that had been hit by a car. At all times in this journey I felt safe, and I was comforted to meet my new spirit friend again. The vision ended there though.. Dolly had decided it is time to get up and ran over me, jarring me from the vision.

The dead owl surely has something to do with this cycle of life and death. The mine has me slightly confused. Was it significant.. like representing the birth canal to reinforce this rebirth cycle I'm seemingly going through, or was it simply letting me know I was entering the lower worlds? Maybe I'll have a better idea next time I go there.

Oh and I have a question for those who are more familiar with the process.. in the past when my visions were less vivid, I had full control over what happened. If I wanted to be on a horse I'd be on one and so on. However, when they are as real as this last one was I can't seem to change things with my mind. Like when I tried to place torches down for example. Now and then in the past I have noticed I'm dreaming too and would try to play around in the dream creating things for myself, and the same happens.. it doesn't materialise, or it does partly but if I look right at it it isn't there (I think specifically to a time I tried to imagine a horse. I could ride the horse and hear its hooves on the ground, but if I looked down it wasn't there). Is this just how the spirit worlds operate, or is it simply a skill that I haven't developed yet that will come in time? One thing I can always do is fly though. In dreams I sometimes can't fly very high, but in journeys I can always fly with ease if I wish to.

Rae'ya
22 Nov 2014, 20:44
Oh and I have a question for those who are more familiar with the process.. in the past when my visions were less vivid, I had full control over what happened. If I wanted to be on a horse I'd be on one and so on. However, when they are as real as this last one was I can't seem to change things with my mind. Like when I tried to place torches down for example. Now and then in the past I have noticed I'm dreaming too and would try to play around in the dream creating things for myself, and the same happens.. it doesn't materialise, or it does partly but if I look right at it it isn't there (I think specifically to a time I tried to imagine a horse. I could ride the horse and hear its hooves on the ground, but if I looked down it wasn't there). Is this just how the spirit worlds operate, or is it simply a skill that I haven't developed yet that will come in time? One thing I can always do is fly though. In dreams I sometimes can't fly very high, but in journeys I can always fly with ease if I wish to.

In my experience, this is the difference between the Innerworlds and the Otherworlds. The Innerworlds is mostly controllable by us, and in it we can do whatever we put out mind to. This is why some people disparagingly call it the 'personal Disneyland' or similar. Those worlds are inside your own subconscious and are not the same as the external spirit worlds (which is why I have developed a different term to describe them). To me, the Innerworlds has the same tangibility as a guided meditation or a dream, and I suspect that it is where the majority of shamanists go when they journey. Which is fine... because that's where all the self development, growth, healing and meeting of spirit guides etc happens.

The Otherworlds is far more vivid, and you can't control anything... it's an external world of existence that you are visiting. Just like you can't control the world around you if you went to say, China... you can't control what happens in the Otherworlds. If you have the skills and tools, you can conjure certain things that you have pre-made from Thisworld into the Otherworlds, but otherwise what you have is what you took with you. The rules there are not the same as here... some things are possible if you have the skill... shapechanging, flight etc but otherwise it's a world that you have no control over. There's less opportunity for personal growth and healing there. Usually if you go there, you are there to meet someone, to witness something, or to do a job for an entity. Most deities, spirit guides and animal guides will meet you in the Innerworlds, but sometimes we have to go to them for whatever reason.

Dreams... some people say there is a Dreamworld, which is a bit like a collective Innerworlds and not quite as external as the Otherworlds. Some think we all go there in our dreams, some think it's a place that only some people have the skill to travel in. From what I've read, it's semi-controllable and is a bit of a twilight zone between the Innerworlds and the Otherworlds. Maybe that is where you go when you are dreaming, and the reason your dreams are so vivid? I rarely remember my dreams, so I have no conscious experience of the Dreamworlds.

To me, it sounds like you normally work in the Innerworlds, but that last 'vivid' journey was in the Otherworlds. You may also work in the Dreamworlds. Innerworlds work is full of symbolism... where the mine tunnel might 'mean' something. Otherworlds work is a landscape that has absolutely nothing to do with you. Sometimes we perceive a particular gloss over the landscape, because of the way that our brains interpret the non-physical information that we are getting. Sometimes you see what is actually 'there'. The other possibility is that the mine tunnel was the bridge between your Innerworlds and the Otherworlds... that it was the doorway through which you reached the Otherworlds (which would also explain the Minecraft stuff that was overlaying it). For me, the underwater tunnel that I swim through without seeming to need to breath is that doorway... I don't expect that I could breathe underwater without some level of shapechanging and when I come out into the lake I have that feeling of needing to breathe. So the mine tunnel could have been your doorway into wherever it was that Horned Owl brought you.

The feeling of safety could be a red herring though, so just be aware of that. You are not safe in the Otherworlds unless you have someone looking out for you... it's the exact same as you going to China unaccompanied. You might feel safe because of your confidence (and the fact that your subconscious is not sending you 'unsafe' signals in order to teach you whatever lesson you are in the Innerworlds for), but that doesn't necessarily mean anything when you are wandering around in a strange land. It's not recommended to go traipsing around in the Otherworlds without a guide... in this case it's possible you were pulled there by Horned Owl to witness something, so you had a guide in that sense. But sometimes shamanists get the confidence and skill to go into the Otherworlds on their own, then start wandering around acting the same as they do in the Innerworlds (trying to manifest things, imaging stuff away, treating entities like personal message-bearers). That's a good way to get yourself injured.

Jembru
22 Nov 2014, 21:25
Wow! Thanks for the answer. I'm at work and replying on my mobile, so can't say as much as I'd like to, but a lot of what you said feels right. I actually have my own spirit home which I call 'rotokia'. I've visited rotokia for many, many years, but unfortunately tend to 'play' there more than anything.. for example, fictional characters exist there.. gollum from lord of the rings, yoshimitsu from the Tekken videogames and I even have a pet zombie called 'skippy'. An older lady I used to hang out with once said to me of Rotokia 'you won't need that place one day'. Those words have really stuck with me, as it felt like she was trivialising something very valuable to me.

That said, I also received a spiritual training course from a lady called Jocelyn Almond, via the Fellowship of Isis. She taught me to create gateways to 4 worlds from rotokia.. the worlds of the Earth, Sun, Moon and Stars. These places still felt like Rotokia, but were more serious.. I felt more like the messages received there were meaningful.

Do you think I'd be better off staying within these worlds? The reason I'm travelling to what you term the 'outerworlds' is that the book I'm working through encourages it (Spirit in the City, Ross Heaven). I was working through his books before I lost my faith, so picking up where I left off. I also became interested in these worlds after reading the novel The Onion Girl.

Rae'ya
22 Nov 2014, 22:15
Do you think I'd be better off staying within these worlds? The reason I'm travelling to what you term the 'outerworlds' is that the book I'm working through encourages it (Spirit in the City, Ross Heaven). I was working through his books before I lost my faith, so picking up where I left off. I also became interested in these worlds after reading the novel The Onion Girl.

Basically, the 'Otherworlds' that your book is talking about is probably what I call the Innerworlds anyway. My experience is that authors who recommend shamanic journey in the core-shamanism sense are talking about what I call the Innerworlds.

I believe this is what causes so much confusion and elitism within the shamanic community. Modern shamanism is not dealing with the same spirit worlds that the indigenous peoples deal with, yet we 'think' that we are because no one really made that clear... because anthropologists are not pagan and so they think that what indigenous people are doing is all metaphorical anyway. So when Michael Harner bought core-shamanism to the New Age crowd, spiritual people assumed that it was the actual spirit realms that indigenous shamans interface with. But it wasn't... it was the same place that guided meditations have been taking New Agers and pagans for ages... our own subconscious internal landscapes, which may or may not connect to the collective unconscious 'landscape'. Before Michael Harner, it was just called the 'collective unconscious' or the 'Akashic Record' or 'going within yourself' or 'guided meditation'. But now we call it 'the Otherworlds' and split it into the Middle, Upper and Lower worlds, or say that we are journeying to the Realm of Fire/Earth/Air/Water or doing the 'Descent of the Goddess' or whatever. All of this is our own internal landscape, which our deities and spiritual guides will come to in order to communicate with us. Does that make sense?

So that's why I call them different things. Modern neo shamanists basically just say that 'core shamanism' isn't 'real shamanism' and leave it at that... but that's not strictly true and just creates issues with elitism and squabbling. Core shamanism is what I call Innerworlds work. Classical shamanism is what I call Otherworlds work. They are both 'shamanism', using the same techniques, they are just going to different places and with slightly different purposes. They each have their merits and to be perfectly honest, Innerworlds work is more useful to a greater range of people anyway.

So yes, if your purpose is spiritual growth, healing, self knowledge and all that sort of thing, then the Innerworlds is where you do that. I only recommend Otherworlds work if the spirits themselves want you there, or if you need to go there in order to visit your deities and guides in their own worlds. All those guided journeys and journeys to the worlds of the Earth, Sun etc is worlds that are constructed within the Innerworlds. Which is not to say that they aren't 'real'... just that... they are constructs of our infinite subconscious that are explicitly targeted at providing the lessons and healing that we need to work on ourselves. They will and should feel more 'serious' than your Rotokia (which is your 'Inner Temple'), because they serve a different function.

Part of me always hates talking about this, because I feel like I'm doing the elitist neo-shamanist thing that I always hated about the neo-shamanic community. I guess the difference here is that I acknowledge the importance and profundity of Innerworlds work. Instead of saying 'you need a REAL reason to go to the Otherworlds' (which is what I was told when I was learning)... I say 'what you are looking to achieve is actually better achieved in the Innerworlds, because that's not what the Otherworlds is actually about'. Instead of spirit workers who insult core-shamanists and say they are just playing in their personal Disneyland, I recognise that not everyone is a spirit worker and therefore doesn't NEED to be in the Otherworlds, which makes their personal Disneyland exactly what they SHOULD be doing.

To put it in perspective... I can journey in both the Innerworlds and the Otherworlds... I have done both and been to both and can recognise the difference. Most of my work is done in the Innerworlds, because that's the best place to go to achieve those goals. One isn't better than the other... they are just different. The hard part is leaning to recognise what authors are talking about when THEY talk about journey, shamanism and the Otherworlds.

Jembru
23 Nov 2014, 18:16
Before I start the inevitably long reply I just want to say that you're really not coming across as elitist in your replies in any way. You're laying out the facts as I need to know them, and letting me decide for myself. I admit that it is easy to think 'the exciting vivid 'real' visions feel more powerful and exciting in some way, so could easily lure someone to think THAT's where they want to journey. Your advice has helped me to make a more informed choice about where I should be spending my time in the spirit worlds. Strangely, this isn't something I usually do. No matter how far back you go in my posts on PF, you won't find much in the way of anecdotes form dreams or journeys. I may mention Rotokia (as soon as I finish this I'm doing a PF search for 'rotokia' ^^), but that's about it. Yet this time I really felt compelled to post, and I think it was the right thing to do!

It's not very clear, especially from this book (I read another book by Heaven, 'A Journey to You' about 10 years ago and that went into a bit more detail about the technique), but you may be right. If so, I'm not sure if HE understands the difference between the inner and outer worlds. He claims to have learnt from elders of various forms of shamanism but is particularly influenced by Vodou. That said, his techniques and explanation of the otherworlds is very similar to that of Tom Brown jr in 'Awakening Spirits', who was taught from just one Native American man he calls 'Grandfather'. The way he talks though, including the warnings about the middleworld and how our energy is like a beacon in that world attracting positive and negative spirits alike, makes me feel that he could be talking about these worlds as being outside of us. After all, while I know for sure there are dark places I'm yet to discover within myself, I don't think there are negative spirits in my inner worlds.. or I would hope not.

When I go to Rotokia and the connected worlds, I always begin in a replica of the forest that surrounded my lodgings during a field study I did for my zoology degree. It has changed so much in my mind now, that I bet I wouldn't recognise the real forest should I ever go back there (unlikely, but I'd love to one day). However, when I did Heaven's exercise, I didn't go through this forest. He said just to hold a very clear question in my mind and try to hold onto that question as that would become my road map while I'm in the spirit worlds. So that's all I did.. I asked my question, closed my mind and then let the vision unfold.

With the information you have given me, I think I would prefer to go to my forest first. Maybe I can start there and then after asking my question, imagine a door appears that I can then walk though and allow my guides to take me where I need to be.. even if that means the outerworlds for whatever reason.

At least I know the difference now and will be in no doubt when I find myself in the outer worlds. You know, I did say that I felt safe during those images, but despite that there was an eeriness I couldn't put my finger on. I didn't feel scared, but I felt somewhat off kilter.

I'm now slightly concerned about my vivid dreams though. Do you think I am wondering out of the usual place we go to dream? I can remember the first time it happened in detail. I was about 7 years old and had a nightmare in which my friend's dad had turned evil and was trying to kill me. He was driving at me in his car and I couldn't get away. The fear was so very real and I suddenly thought 'this can't be happening'.. then everything froze and I remembered I was in bed. I could remember what I was doing before I went to sleep, which nightdress I had on.. I just knew it was a dream. That time though, I just willed myself to wake up.. and did so.

Then years later it happened again.. a nightmare again but this time I don't remember the details. I realised I was dreaming and as Rotokia had appeared in my life by then, I wished myself to rotokia. Instead I went to a colourful fantasy kingdom inhabited by big friendly monsters like Sesame street characters. They felt familiar and they told me I used to visit them all the time in my dreams when I was a child. I don't think that was true (but felt true at the time), and I've never seen them since.

Then over time it started to happen a lot. Most often I would start flying in my dreams (I almost always fly in my vivid dreams, although I can't always fly well.. and in the early days I never flew well... as though I gradually improved over time!). The flying would trigger a memory and I'd realise I'm dreaming. That's when I usually start trying to control my vision. I'll try to go to Rotokia, to experience that place as 'real' as the dream feels.. but it never works. I only ever have limited influence over the dream, despite being fully aware of myself in the dream.

- - - Updated - - -

Woah, THAT was revealing. Only 4 posts came up when I searched for Rotokia, but check out this one...


I think I've written my opinions on astral projection a few times on this forum. I feel very strongly that this is an area that is soo prone to fabrication, that people's experiences of what is actually a p*ss easy technique, are stiffled by fantasies of their entire consciousness leaving the body to the extent that they experience everything as vividly as if they were in some kind of virtual reality game.

While I HAVE slipped into vivid dreams while doing astral work, on the whole, it just isn't like that. I get so frustrated with the obnoxious authors who exaggerate their experiences for the sake of making themselves sound like the über witch.

Vivid, picture-perfect images and tangiable 3 dimentional objects are how THIS plane, what I call 'the world as it is' operates. That's why many people call it the PHYSICAL plane. If you want that experience, go for a walk in the park.

So in my opinion, you have much more chance of tapping into the astral, which is way more subtle and symbolic, through what you're calling pathwork. I imagine when you were trying to astral project, you were quite possibly there, but because it wasn't like the reality the books promised, you couldn't see the wood for the trees!

Sorry to jump to conclusions, I just used to teach wicca and this problem came up again and again with newer seekers and the cause was almost always the numerous fabricated reports by wiccan authors.. If I ever meet Amber K I'd spit in her eye, and unless I'm mixing authors up, I think Fiona Horne has a lot to answer for too... There are so, so many more though. .

In light of my recent experiences can I just say 'HA!' It's true though, I used to get so frustrated with what I saw as fabrication (and I still believe it happens.. and dare say some people reading my posts here will think I'm on an imagination trip). Still, it shows that I've done a little bit of growing up since I posted that (it was posted in 2012 I think), which is nice to know!

monsno_leedra
23 Nov 2014, 19:37
Something else for consideration is the shadow self and its ability to manipulate your inner world journey.

While you journey many times your shadow self is also free to run around and go along for the ride or even take over the journey and take you on a surreal adventure that many times can seem more real than you are used to. Especially in the sense that your control over the situation is greatly removed as the shadow self is running it and bringing in things that its to be affecting / effecting upon you.

Where shadow gets really ugly is that the space you created to journey from is all safe and seemingly secure yet your shadow self has also created its own place there. Many times quite contrary to how you view the place for it gains strength from your fears, gains presence and influence where you loose them and it knows all your darkest secrets and how most effectively to use them against you. Sometimes for spite I think other times to make you face them and grow yourself and in the process accept the shadow self and its purposes.

Not to many books talk about it but just as you have a guide or such so to does the shadow side often have a contrary guide that aides it. Since the shadow is you there will be times you go along for the lesson that the shadow gets and it will be as real or surreal as the shadow self needs it to be. Though again you can and will often loose control for the part of you that is controlling it is not the part of you that might be fearing it for instance.

the other aspect that can sometimes screw with things is to be again on your own inner plain and encounter aspects of your own spirit that have broken off in some manner. Again you loose control over what is transpiring for you've stepped into a segment of the world that is limited and controlled by the fragment. It can be extremely difficult for there is a sense of de ju vu with it all but its also new in that the part that related to it is gone or removed. Especially so if it is something that you have locked away on your own but its presence is still to be found upon your inner world construct.

it can be a dark journey and set you against yourself as you experience it. In many ways its like looking into a mirror of truth and realizing that yes you do get joy and a sense of satisfaction from hurting others. that you are really a weak person when you try to show the world how strong you are, or inversely just how strong you are though to the world you appear weak from your actions.

Again just something to ponder and consider

Jembru
23 Nov 2014, 20:26
Hmm very interesting. I actually have done work with my shadow self, assuming we are talking about the same thing. The course I mentioned earlier, that I received through the fellowship of Isis, touched on sub-personalities, and then some years later I learnt about the shadow self and discovered that the sub-personalties had negative counterparts.

I don't know for sure that rotokia has been affected by my shadow self, but I've had some negative experiences there. The worst being when I was using it as an escape from my real life. I shut myself off from reality and lived through rotokia, even continuing conversations wth the characters in my waking life. This went on for several months, and the 'stories' in rotokia became darker and darker... Even twisted at times. I put it down to the fact that bad things will happen to you one way or another, because you need them in order to grow.. so if your inner world becomes your main reality, they'll come for you there. Not sure I believe that now though. So who knows, maybe that's what THAT was all about.

monsno_leedra
23 Nov 2014, 21:07
Shadow is not really a sub personality but has at least two facets. On one level it is the primordial self that controls our base functions. On another it is the self that we keep locked up and under lock and key. Yet the thing is on our inner plain those locks and keys are not there for it has full access to it as well, given that it is part of us. Shadow self really comes into play with the anima / anumus part of psychology and works in conjunction with the Id, Ego and Super Ego in that it is basically the opposite of what we would do or will do.

Sub personalities can get interesting in that soul or spirit fragments are often sub personalities that exist within us but are fractured aspects of us. Most often broken down I suppose into the basic notions of the inner child, the inner teen, the inner adult stage, etc where things in those aspects of life occur and for some reason we are incapable of dealing with whatever it was and we break it off or lock it away. The child who is abused and beaten becomes a spirit / soul fragment that forever retreats into its self and no longer grows for it is trapped in the situation of his / her abuse. I say his / her for a fragment does not have to reflect the gender of the body or the person.

Where they become lethal I think is that many times they can be both self aware and self determining of its own desire, almost a split personality. When confronted in journey work it can attempt to actually take control of the host body. Inversely a hidden one can also attack blindly against the host spirit when it is confronted and made to face its reality or realize its own entrapment within the inner world. That not even touching upon the notion that fragmented parts do not have to be human either when you consider the shadow self is also primordial in nature and holds all the animal instinct aspects of our humanity and evolution. So the snarling beast you encounter can also be the fearful aspect of your own fragmented self that simply acts upon the beast idea of being attacked or trapped and shows that face when encountered.

If you want to have a good face to face with the shadow look at your own home. There will be aspects or items present that you really can't say why you desire them and they seem to go against what you normally would think. That's also the shadow self manifesting and influencing upon the physical.

Rae'ya
24 Nov 2014, 00:17
Before I start the inevitably long reply I just want to say that you're really not coming across as elitist in your replies in any way. You're laying out the facts as I need to know them, and letting me decide for myself. I admit that it is easy to think 'the exciting vivid 'real' visions feel more powerful and exciting in some way, so could easily lure someone to think THAT's where they want to journey. Your advice has helped me to make a more informed choice about where I should be spending my time in the spirit worlds.

That's good to know, so thank you. When I was first learning, there were core shamanists and there were classical shamanists... the cores thought that the classicals were elitist and snobby, and the classicals thought the cores were just doing some pathetic imaginary playtime. The sad thing is that the community is still like that, for the most part. I just wish that more shamanists would talk about the difference in purpose, and where you should be trying to do what, rather than squabbling over who is or isn't a 'real' shamanist. There are a few classical shamanists that will actually recognise this, but it's still usually with a 'I'm a 'real' shamanist' sense of superiority.

I think you're right in that Otherworld journeys do have that higher allure because they are more vivid and tangible. But there's also the fact of people's inadequacies when describing things. We talk about visualisation as though you get an actual picture movie playing in your head, but for most people that's just not true. I find it sad that people are judging the validity of something by how tangible or external it is... when the reality is that you actually don't WANT to go to an external Otherworlds to find your lost soul fragment or to gain personal messages from your subconscious. This is where the fact that it's actually really difficult for most people to make it into the Otherworlds comes in handy... because the vast majority of people are in the Innerworlds, even when they think or talk about being in the Otherworlds. So they end up in the correct place for what they are trying to achieve anyway.


It's not very clear, especially from this book (I read another book by Heaven, 'A Journey to You' about 10 years ago and that went into a bit more detail about the technique), but you may be right. If so, I'm not sure if HE understands the difference between the inner and outer worlds. He claims to have learnt from elders of various forms of shamanism but is particularly influenced by Vodou. That said, his techniques and explanation of the otherworlds is very similar to that of Tom Brown jr in 'Awakening Spirits', who was taught from just one Native American man he calls 'Grandfather'. The way he talks though, including the warnings about the middleworld and how our energy is like a beacon in that world attracting positive and negative spirits alike, makes me feel that he could be talking about these worlds as being outside of us. After all, while I know for sure there are dark places I'm yet to discover within myself, I don't think there are negative spirits in my inner worlds.. or I would hope not.

This is exactly the issue, I think. We use the same words to talk about different things, and assume that they are the same thing.

The problem lies with the fact that not everyone is a literal polytheist who believes in literal other realms of existence. Modern shamanism techniques were appropriated from certain indigenous cultures who truly believed that there was an actual external realm/s where the spirits lived. Some of them are a mirror of this world (which I guess you could consider to be the Astral Plane) while some were completely separate worlds. To the original cultures who had shamans, the spirit world/s was a real, separate world... and the spirits were real, actual separate beings.

Then along came the anthropologists who studied them and wrote about them, and bought the knowledge to the rest of the world. But the anthropologists didn't generally believe in literal other worlds and literal spirits. They saw shamans who imbibed entheogens, tranced or meditated and came back with a message or a story of communication with the spirits. They didn't have the context of actually believing in soul flight, that there are other realms and that we can visit those realms with our astral bodies. So they interpreted it all through a psychological lens and assumed that it was all metaphorical, archetypal or some sort of hypnosis-like meditative vision that takes place within your subconscious. And thus Core Shamanism was born. Couple that with the modern day Castenadas and with what we call 'plastic shamans', who are the stereotypical non-Native charlatan who will train you to be a 'real Cherokee shaman' in a weekend course and you have a giant mess of misinterpretation, misunderstanding and shameless cultural appropriation.

I find it incredibly sad that a) we have this enormous disparity within the shamanic community in terms of respectful practice and shameful practice; b) that there is so little education out there as to the differences between those practices; and c) that this leads to core shamanists being tarred with the same brush as plastic shamans. Which then just starts the cycle of confusion and misinterpretation all over again.


With the information you have given me, I think I would prefer to go to my forest first. Maybe I can start there and then after asking my question, imagine a door appears that I can then walk though and allow my guides to take me where I need to be.. even if that means the outerworlds for whatever reason.

This is the standard process that most people use. Some guided meditations will have you start in a specific place, but usually the ones that are a part of an actual ongoing shamanic practice start in the 'inner temple' (whatever that may be) and go from there. You can construct permanent doorways in your inner temple, you can have doorways appear, or you can have a surrounding landscape that has doors and gateways appear as needed (eg you can wander off into the woods and find a path that leads you to X place one day, while the next place a different path leads somewhere else).

Generally, the inner temple is a place which is completely under your control and is changeable at your whim... and it's often modeled on some real-world or fantasy place that we are familiar with. How the Innerworlds landscape develops from there varies... you can consciously add on areas, areas can appear as needed, or you may find yourself in a landscape that is only semi-controllable by you and which can feel as though it didn't come from you... because it came from some deep part of you, from your subconscious, or as MonSno alluded do, from your shadow self.


At least I know the difference now and will be in no doubt when I find myself in the outer worlds. You know, I did say that I felt safe during those images, but despite that there was an eeriness I couldn't put my finger on. I didn't feel scared, but I felt somewhat off kilter.

When I was reading your post the first thing, this made me think about shadow selves and how sometimes the Innerworlds can feel not safe. Then I saw that MonSno beat me to it!

I agree with MonSno for the most part, but my experience is that how independent the shadow self is (and therefore how much independent control it has over Innerworlds things) depends on the person. There is also a certain amount of individual belief that plays into that as well... which largely comes down to whether you define the shadow self as the suppressed components of the Ego, or as the contra-gendered 'fetch' that is considered to be a part of the soul complex in certain belief systems. But otherwise... what MonSno said applies to a large proportion of people who are doing core shamanic Innerworlds work.

Innerworlds work isn't always safe and comfortable and fuzzy warm spirit guides. And if it is, then it's probably an indication that you aren't yet ready for the real work. Truly working on self knowledge and self growth involves some harsh lessons and can be very difficult at times. Some people get scared by what they experience and give up. I think this is where the stereotypical core-shamanic 'Descent into the Underworld' came into play... as a 'safe' way to face some of the difficult lessons. One thing that core shamanism has done is compartmentalised a lot of Innerworlds work (Upperworld, Middleworld, Underworld) and thus provided a framework through which to approach the whole process, which makes it both more palatable and easier to work through. Sometimes the hardest lessons are the most important though.


I'm now slightly concerned about my vivid dreams though. Do you think I am wondering out of the usual place we go to dream? I can remember the first time it happened in detail. I was about 7 years old and had a nightmare in which my friend's dad had turned evil and was trying to kill me. He was driving at me in his car and I couldn't get away. The fear was so very real and I suddenly thought 'this can't be happening'.. then everything froze and I remembered I was in bed. I could remember what I was doing before I went to sleep, which nightdress I had on.. I just knew it was a dream. That time though, I just willed myself to wake up.. and did so.

Then years later it happened again.. a nightmare again but this time I don't remember the details. I realised I was dreaming and as Rotokia had appeared in my life by then, I wished myself to rotokia. Instead I went to a colourful fantasy kingdom inhabited by big friendly monsters like Sesame street characters. They felt familiar and they told me I used to visit them all the time in my dreams when I was a child. I don't think that was true (but felt true at the time), and I've never seen them since.

Then over time it started to happen a lot. Most often I would start flying in my dreams (I almost always fly in my vivid dreams, although I can't always fly well.. and in the early days I never flew well... as though I gradually improved over time!). The flying would trigger a memory and I'd realise I'm dreaming. That's when I usually start trying to control my vision. I'll try to go to Rotokia, to experience that place as 'real' as the dream feels.. but it never works. I only ever have limited influence over the dream, despite being fully aware of myself in the dream.

I have zero experience with Dreamworlds work, so I can't really help you on this one. About all I can say is that it sounds similar to what I've read other people talking about with Dreamworlds... in terms of the vivid dream experience where things are controllable to a point but can still take some unexpected and uncontrollable turns. I've always wondered if Lucid Dreaming is a sort of Dreamworlds work... but I fully admit that dreams and the Dreamworlds never particularly interested me and so I've never bothered to research it in any depth.

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Where they become lethal I think is that many times they can be both self aware and self determining of its own desire, almost a split personality. When confronted in journey work it can attempt to actually take control of the host body. Inversely a hidden one can also attack blindly against the host spirit when it is confronted and made to face its reality or realize its own entrapment within the inner world. That not even touching upon the notion that fragmented parts do not have to be human either when you consider the shadow self is also primordial in nature and holds all the animal instinct aspects of our humanity and evolution. So the snarling beast you encounter can also be the fearful aspect of your own fragmented self that simply acts upon the beast idea of being attacked or trapped and shows that face when encountered.

I wanted to highlight this bit and say that THIS is why I really, really dislike the 'parts work' that is done in modern psychology. I knew a classical shamanist (who was already unstable to be honest) who ended up doing parts work with her psychologist and then ended up with what I absolutely believe was iatrogenic DID. It may be that her being a shamanist exacerbated it, but when she started working with her 'parts' as distinct personalities rather then soul fragments, they gained enough individual self awareness that some of them started manifesting as what used to be called 'split personalities'. She believed that one in particular was not a part of herself, but was a different 'entity' within her, and decided that she had always been there (despite the fact that the people around her had never noticed anything like that in the past).

I think that we need to be very careful with shadow work, parts work and treating our soul fragments as sub personalities. I think that a mentally healthy person probably wouldn't have any trouble, but that mentally and emotionally unstable people can get into real trouble when these things are consistently treated as distinct individual personalities. You can see it to a lesser extent with people who try to do shadow work, and have so much trouble reconciling that the shadow self is THEM that they end up with a Jekyll and Hyde type outlook where they push the shadow self further away, which generally just makes things more unstable.

But that's off topic, so I'll shut up on that now :p

nbdy
24 Nov 2014, 05:02
This is an interesting thread. It is my intention to reread it and mull it over, and perhaps I will have questions or a positive contribution to make. It might take a while.

monsno_leedra
24 Nov 2014, 08:12
.. I wanted to highlight this bit and say that THIS is why I really, really dislike the 'parts work' that is done in modern psychology. I knew a classical shamanist (who was already unstable to be honest) who ended up doing parts work with her psychologist and then ended up with what I absolutely believe was iatrogenic DID. It may be that her being a shamanist exacerbated it, but when she started working with her 'parts' as distinct personalities rather then soul fragments, they gained enough individual self awareness that some of them started manifesting as what used to be called 'split personalities'. She believed that one in particular was not a part of herself, but was a different 'entity' within her, and decided that she had always been there (despite the fact that the people around her had never noticed anything like that in the past).

I think that we need to be very careful with shadow work, parts work and treating our soul fragments as sub personalities. I think that a mentally healthy person probably wouldn't have any trouble, but that mentally and emotionally unstable people can get into real trouble when these things are consistently treated as distinct individual personalities. You can see it to a lesser extent with people who try to do shadow work, and have so much trouble reconciling that the shadow self is THEM that they end up with a Jekyll and Hyde type outlook where they push the shadow self further away, which generally just makes things more unstable.

But that's off topic, so I'll shut up on that now :p

Off topic still but I tend to think treating all the parts as sub persona's is also what lead to the idea of Otherkin and Theronthropes. People can journey, some at will some by chance and shapeshifting, shiftshaping can take many forms and many aspects can linger long after the journey process is done.

Jembru
24 Nov 2014, 13:26
Shadow is not really a sub personality but has at least two facets.

Oh I wasn't saying I considered it a sub-personality. It showed up at a completely different point in my studies. It was a few years after I'd long since moved on from the FOI, and was in a coven. Second Degree took two stages in this coven and the second stage was a 'going deeper' phase in which you began to meet the darker aspects of the spirit, starting with what we termed the 'shadow ego' (from Jungian psychology). Because I already worked with psychosynthesis I found that the best place to start for me to explore this shadow self was through what I termed 'shadow-subs' (my own expression). It was easier to identify my shadow-self through specific traits rather than attempt to meet her as a whole right away. The easiest way to do this was to look at people who's behaviour repulsed me.. a girl I had met who used self-harm. threats of suicide and other forms of manipulation to control people around her, another girl who had lied about being pregnant to make a guy stay with her who didn't love her anymore.. a guy who over-rated his language skills and without even hearing me speak labeled me as a poser.. these people felt ugly to me. Dark to the core. They aren't dark and will all of them have many positive traits, but they FELT dark.. because they were mirrors to the parts of me that are hidden even from myself. These people were keys to the shadow-subs and thus helped me to start building a picture of the whole shadow self.

Of course, this is because I don't see sub-personalities as separate entities on their own. I've identified 8 main ones which I place around a wheel so that polar ends are facing one another (like a colour wheel). So The Lover faces The Child and so on (I don't want to reveal too much here, sorry; it's personal work). All of these can become negative if over expressed (but these are not the same thing as the shadow-subs), the child for example can become selfish and demanding throwing temper tantrums. I balance (although should point out that I hadn't worked with them for a few years until very recently) these by expressing more of the lover. At that makes sense because the lover is more self-less, tuned into the needs of my loved ones. So you can see then, how my system works? They may well be capable of standing alone as individual entities but this is not how I work with them. As Rae'ya has touched on, it's probably not a good idea for someone slightly unstable to be splitting themselves up into little parts like that, and I'm afraid to say I am a little wobbly.

There's a lot to think about. I don't really identify as a shamanist, but working with spirits and a believe in the spirit worlds is integral to my beliefs. After losing my faith I needed to start exploring these places again, and daresay the vivid journey I recently experienced was a spirit reaching out and letting me know that yes.. these places DO exist and yes, it's okay to believe again. As such, the debate about exactly where I am going, or what school of thought I belong to, while interesting, isn't really THAT important to me. I just have to be aware that there are differences and to trust that my guides know where I need to be.

I've been back to Rotokia since and everything is as it should be. Tangible, colourful and in some ways 'vivid', but very much images in my head. There is something I forgot to mention though. The first vision, that was vivid but didn't feel nearly as 'real' as the second, was done to drumming. I'd never journeyed to drums before but as Ross Heaven recommended it I thought I'd find a track on youtube and give it a go. I wonder if that could have affected where I went during that journey?

I'm starting to think that the second one may have been a lucid dream. As I've already mentioned I can regain some consciousness in dreams but can't affect them.. and I had just woken up when I did this journey, it is very possible that I fell back to sleep but retained awareness that I was journeying. So now it comes down to 'where am I going when I have these lucid dreams?'



This is the standard process that most people use. Some guided meditations will have you start in a specific place, but usually the ones that are a part of an actual ongoing shamanic practice start in the 'inner temple' (whatever that may be) and go from there. You can construct permanent doorways in your inner temple, you can have doorways appear, or you can have a surrounding landscape that has doors and gateways appear as needed (eg you can wander off into the woods and find a path that leads you to X place one day, while the next place a different path leads somewhere else).

Generally, the inner temple is a place which is completely under your control and is changeable at your whim... and it's often modeled on some real-world or fantasy place that we are familiar with. How the Innerworlds landscape develops from there varies... you can consciously add on areas, areas can appear as needed, or you may find yourself in a landscape that is only semi-controllable by you and which can feel as though it didn't come from you... because it came from some deep part of you, from your subconscious, or as MonSno alluded do, from your shadow self.


This confused me in the past and now. I used to think I was the only person in the world who had a place like Rotokia. Then when I was 18 and old enough to join the Pagan Federations Network Northwest (I went to university in Liverpool that year), I started to meet other pagans for the first time. I met a lovely lady who introduced me to the fey and told me that Rotokia wasn't unique to me put that many, many people have created such a place. She called it her 'temple'.. and told me how it would collect dust if she left it too long, and people there would get angry with her!

It was a few years later that I added the forest. When I'd gone off the rails a bit (when I had blurred the lines between this world and Rotokia so much that I missed an exam because I was sitting on a pool table talking like Gollum), an elder witch advised me to create a safe point in the astral from which to enter Rotokia.. so that I could ground myself on my way in (there is a spirit called 'James' who acts like a bouncer on the door to rotokia. So the forest should really be my temple.

And yet when I was doing the course with Jocelyn I made the routes to the Temples of Earth, Sun, Moon and Stars, begin in Rotokia. So I've kinda confused the system somewhat.

I'm actually starting again through these Temples as I work to clear out whatever it is that's blocking my energy. So I'm thinking of changing it so I enter them from the forest. Maybe this is what my friend meant that day, when she said 'you won't need Rotokia one day'. Maybe the time has come to move my spiritual center out of Rotokia.

So much to think about. >.<

Jembru
24 Nov 2014, 18:47
I agree with MonSno for the most part, but my experience is that how independent the shadow self is (and therefore how much independent control it has over Innerworlds things) depends on the person. There is also a certain amount of individual belief that plays into that as well... which largely comes down to whether you define the shadow self as the suppressed components of the Ego, or as the contra-gendered 'fetch' that is considered to be a part of the soul complex in certain belief systems. But otherwise... what MonSno said applies to a large proportion of people who are doing core shamanic Innerworlds work.


Oh I forgot to mention this point (I was replying in a hurry before work and see I made a few sloppy typos ^^). I didn't realise how widespread all these ideas were (maybe I AM a shamanist after all, just not by design!). I do actually subscribe to the 3-selves view of the soul and am familiar with the fetch and its role. This was something I incorporated into my practices when I was exploring the Anderson Feary family of traditions. I've never come across the theory that THIS could be my shadow self, but I don't feel comfortable with the idea. I always considered it as my 'younger-self'.. more animalistic in ways, but also a blank slate, spiritually 'pure' as I was at birth.. and aware of the things I knew at that time, before my journey here progressed and defined my world-view. So I can kinda see how sometimes the fetch could seem alien to me, but on the whole I feel it is a positive part of my soul and an important go-between bringing images and messages from my deeper self.

I'm slowly making my way through some of your posts in the shamanism sub-forums. There is so much information I'm still to discover, and your posts are a great place to start and decide where I need to research further..

Rae'ya
24 Nov 2014, 19:09
There's a lot to think about. I don't really identify as a shamanist, but working with spirits and a believe in the spirit worlds is integral to my beliefs. After losing my faith I needed to start exploring these places again, and daresay the vivid journey I recently experienced was a spirit reaching out and letting me know that yes.. these places DO exist and yes, it's okay to believe again. As such, the debate about exactly where I am going, or what school of thought I belong to, while interesting, isn't really THAT important to me. I just have to be aware that there are differences and to trust that my guides know where I need to be.

You don't have to identify as anything. We shamanists tend to use the terminology because it helps sort out in our own heads who is doing what, that's all. I am particularly guilty of this, specifically because I recognise that core shamanism, Innerworlds work and many of the guided meditation and inner temple programs that may or may not be marketed as 'shamanism' are pretty much the same thing. So I use the terminology that I am familiar with. Just because you do it doesn't mean you have to identify as it. But it's one of the faults of human verbal communication... that we all use the same words for different things, or different words for the same things, or in some cases, both at once!


I've been back to Rotokia since and everything is as it should be. Tangible, colourful and in some ways 'vivid', but very much images in my head. There is something I forgot to mention though. The first vision, that was vivid but didn't feel nearly as 'real' as the second, was done to drumming. I'd never journeyed to drums before but as Ross Heaven recommended it I thought I'd find a track on youtube and give it a go. I wonder if that could have affected where I went during that journey?

The primary difference between drumming and meditation techniques is that drumming is an excitatory method and so tends to send you into trance rather than a meditative state. In most cases, trance is the altered state of consciousness (ASC) that makes it easier to travel externally into the Otherworlds. Meditative states usually turn one inwards, which lends itself to Innerworlds work. Having said that, trance states will also get you to the Innerworlds... it's just easier to leave your body via trance than meditation. At least, that's the way it works for most people. Meditation vs trance usually cause different changes to your brainwave frequency, which can influence where you are going but which also opens your mind to difference levels of experience. So Innerworlds work done via trance may feel deeper, more profound or less controllable than your standard guided meditation. Unless you are skilled at very deep meditation (which most people outside of really dedicated Eastern traditions or Western monastic traditions aren't) then trance states are likely to get you better serious long term results when doing Innerworlds work. And very, very few people can reach the Otherworlds via meditative states.

So yes, the fact that your journey was done via drumming (a trance state) than meditation may had contributed to the difference in experience. Did the ASC itself feel any different to you?


This confused me in the past and now. I used to think I was the only person in the world who had a place like Rotokia. Then when I was 18 and old enough to join the Pagan Federations Network Northwest (I went to university in Liverpool that year), I started to meet other pagans for the first time. I met a lovely lady who introduced me to the fey and told me that Rotokia wasn't unique to me put that many, many people have created such a place. She called it her 'temple'.. and told me how it would collect dust if she left it too long, and people there would get angry with her!

It was a few years later that I added the forest. When I'd gone off the rails a bit (when I had blurred the lines between this world and Rotokia so much that I missed an exam because I was sitting on a pool table talking like Gollum), an elder witch advised me to create a safe point in the astral from which to enter Rotokia.. so that I could ground myself on my way in (there is a spirit called 'James' who acts like a bouncer on the door to rotokia. So the forest should really be my temple.

And yet when I was doing the course with Jocelyn I made the routes to the Temples of Earth, Sun, Moon and Stars, begin in Rotokia. So I've kinda confused the system somewhat.

I'm actually starting again through these Temples as I work to clear out whatever it is that's blocking my energy. So I'm thinking of changing it so I enter them from the forest. Maybe this is what my friend meant that day, when she said 'you won't need Rotokia one day'. Maybe the time has come to move my spiritual center out of Rotokia.

So much to think about. >.<

I call it the 'inner temple' because that's the term I encountered way back when I was a teen Wiccan. At that stage I knew nothing about shamanism, but did some guided meditations and learned through books to cultivate an inner temple. I've seen the term used in core shamanism books, but sometimes it's just called 'home base' or something like that. In classical shamanism there's no inner temple, because you are in external worlds... your 'home base' is likely to be the home of your spirit guides or deities, or some secluded neutral zone that you've managed to find and feel confident leaving your things in (at risk of them being stolen, damaged or otherwise disappearing). Those of us who do both will usually have an inner temple in the Innerworlds, from which we can then launch ourselves (personally I find that MUCH easier than launching straight into the Otherworlds). Some people will astral travel and find a gateway from the Astral Plane.

Really, the inner temple or home base or whatever is just the area of the Innerworlds that is your safe starting place. The details are up to you... there is no correct or incorrect way to do this. It's your own subconscious... you can read a million books and learn a million different ways that your inner temple is 'supposed to work', but at the end of the day it's what YOUR internal landscape looks like that matters.

It also depends on what you need as to what is 'necessary'. I just close my eyes and are in my inner temple... I ground and cleanse and do my aural hygiene there in my Grove and find it a strange concept to need to ground on the way in. But then that's what my inner temple is... if yours is more of an escape from reality and filled with egregores that you've created which distract you from the work, then your needs may be different to mine. Sometimes part of the process of growth is to recognise when we've outgrown something and need something else. If you're in a place now where you feel you don't need that escape, then perhaps you have outgrown Rotokia and it's not going to help you through your current phase in life. The answer to that can only come from you, though. External people can make suggestions, but at the end of the day it's your inner landscape and your spiritual journey... and finding or constructing what you need now is actually a part of the self-knowledge and growth process.

Again, there is no correct or incorrect way to do this. You haven't confused the 'system', because there is no system (or really, there are a million systems lol). Where you start is up to you. Where your doors are is up to you. Where your temple is is up to you. Whether you deconstruct Rotokia and start fresh, stay with Rotokia, or move on but leave it there out of nostalgia is up to you. I know that creates difficulties for some people, because they feel the need to have a system or rules to make things structured... but getting caught up in the need for a 'system' can actually work against you. Some people jump from system to system, reading different books, starting courses but not finishing them, and generally jumping around in ways that are not giving them the chance to actually DO anything useful. My advice would be to not worry so much about how it SHOULD be, and let it BE. Pick one of your book systems and see it through to the end. Then the next time you read a book, instead of getting worried that this system isn't the same as the last one, adapt it. Authors write what works for THEM... it's not The Law to follow their images and systems exactly. Take the essence of what they are saying and see how it fits into your inner landscape. And if the book tells you to construct a door to the Temple of Night but when you open the door it's broad daylight and the sun is high in the sky... explore that, note it, see what you are learning and then try the Temple of Night next time.

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Oh I forgot to mention this point (I was replying in a hurry before work and see I made a few sloppy typos ^^). I didn't realise how widespread all these ideas were (maybe I AM a shamanist after all, just not by design!). I do actually subscribe to the 3-selves view of the soul and am familiar with the fetch and its role. This was something I incorporated into my practices when I was exploring the Anderson Feary family of traditions. I've never come across the theory that THIS could be my shadow self, but I don't feel comfortable with the idea. I always considered it as my 'younger-self'.. more animalistic in ways, but also a blank slate, spiritually 'pure' as I was at birth.. and aware of the things I knew at that time, before my journey here progressed and defined my world-view. So I can kinda see how sometimes the fetch could seem alien to me, but on the whole I feel it is a positive part of my soul and an important go-between bringing images and messages from my deeper self.

I'm slowly making my way through some of your posts in the shamanism sub-forums. There is so much information I'm still to discover, and your posts are a great place to start and decide where I need to research further..

Personally, I don't subscribe to that idea either, but it's out there. Those are the two main definitions of the 'shadow self' that I've seen (with a few weird and wonderful hypothesis in between). Personally, I subscribe to the shadow self as the suppressed and undesirable parts of the Ego, but not necessarily the 'evil mirror twin opposite' idea.

In modern Northern faiths, the fetch (fylgia in Old Norse) generally takes one of three shapes... either an animal (which mine is), a contra-gendered human/oid that may be considered the soul twin or soul spouse, or a glowing crescent shaped 'thing'. Usually it's a reflection of the self that can act and think independently, and which can act as aide, messenger or weapon.

Azvanna
25 Nov 2014, 13:40
This is an interesting thread. It is my intention to reread it and mull it over, and perhaps I will have questions or a positive contribution to make. It might take a while.

Me too! The thread is way out of my depth (always was). It's great to see people being so honest about what I would consider to be a really personal thing. I was just expecting really surface replies.

Jembru
25 Nov 2014, 14:26
Me too! The thread is way out of my depth (always was). It's great to see people being so honest about what I would consider to be a really personal thing. I was just expecting really surface replies.

I'm glad you don't mind the direction the thread has taken. As I've said, it's rare for me to be so open about my experiences, but I just really needed to share this time. It felt significant. I was actually going to put it in the 'dreams' thread, but then found this one and felt it was better here. I never expected to learn so much. This conversation as really set things in motion for me in a big way! That said, it may be time to take this to a new thread in the Shamanism sub-forum. We really need an 'ask a shamanist' thread. Any volunteers?

Oh and Rae'ya: I'm not ignoring your direct questions, I'm just waiting until I have the time and space to get my head straight and write a full response. I will be back! Maybe in a new thread though.

Rae'ya
25 Nov 2014, 15:18
The more the merrier :)

And wherever... whenever... I'll find a shamanism post and spam it up with my opinions and experiences. You know me...