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What Is Shamanic Journey & How Music Enhances the Experience

Posted by Narek Mirzaei on

A shamanic journey is a form of meditation or guided visualization that is a cornerstone of shamanism, an ancient healing tradition based on the belief in an interconnectedness between all things and the existence of a spirit world accessible through altered states of consciousness. The shamanic journey is undertaken to seek wisdom, guidance, healing, or assistance from spirit guides, animal totems, ancestors, or other entities in the spirit world. Participants travel in their mind's eye to the different "worlds" of the shamanic cosmos, typically categorized as the upper, middle, and lower worlds, each with its distinct characteristics and inhabitants.

Music, particularly repetitive drumming or rattling, plays a crucial role in facilitating shamanic journeys. Here's how music helps in achieving the altered state of consciousness necessary for a shamanic journey:

1. Inducing Trance States

The repetitive beats of drumming or the shaking of a rattle at a certain tempo (usually around 4 to 7 beats per second) can help induce a trance state. This specific rhythm resonates with theta brainwave frequencies, which are associated with deep relaxation, meditation, and enhanced creativity. In this trance state, the journeyer is more receptive to visualizations and spiritual experiences.

2. Focusing the Mind

The consistent rhythm of shamanic music helps focus the mind and prevents it from wandering, facilitating a deeper immersion into the journey. It acts as an acoustic guide, maintaining the journeyer's attention on their inner experience rather than external distractions.

3. Navigational Aid

Shamanic practitioners often describe the drumbeat as the "horse" that carries them into and through the spirit world. The tempo and intensity of the drumming can signal different phases of the journey, guiding the practitioner in navigating the spiritual landscape. For example, a series of rapid beats might mark the beginning or end of a journey, while a steady rhythm maintains the journey's pace.

4. Creating a Sacred Space

Music and rhythm help in demarcating the ordinary from the non-ordinary reality, creating a sacred space conducive to spiritual work. The act of starting the drumming signals the commencement of a ritual, psychologically preparing the journeyer to transition from their everyday state of consciousness to one more open to spiritual experiences.

5. Facilitating Healing

The vibrations from shamanic drumming can have a direct physical and emotional impact, promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and sometimes even eliciting spontaneous emotional and physical healing responses. The journey itself, supported by the music, can lead to profound insights and transformations that are deeply healing.

Tips for Using Music in Shamanic Journeys:

  • Choose the Right Instrument: Drumming is most traditional, but rattles, didgeridoos, and other repetitive sounds can also be effective.
  • Set an Intention: Before beginning, know what you seek from the journey. An intention can guide your experience.
  • Comfortable Environment: Ensure you are in a safe, quiet place where you won't be disturbed.
  • Practice Regularly: Like any skill, the ability to journey may improve with practice, as will your understanding of the insights received.


In Summary

Music, through its rhythmic and trance-inducing qualities, is not just an accompaniment but a vital facilitator of the shamanic journey, helping practitioners to access, navigate, and gain insights from the spirit world.

If you are a meditation/yoga teacher or creator, you can download our royalty free Shamanic Drumming Journey music track for your project.

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__Written by Music Of Wisdom team
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