FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions About Shamanic Journeying

Hello!!  I teach people how to connect directly with the divine using the tool of shamanic journeying. This is a form of deep meditation. I use a specialized drum beat (4 beats per second) to help you alter your consciousness so that you can access these spiritual realms filled with loving and compassionate spirits. You may meet a spirit animal or a spirit teacher in human form (like Isis, Buddha, Jesus, A risen master, or an angelic being). Curious to meet your own spirit animal using his ancient technology?  Subscribe in the yellow box above to get access to a guided shamanic journey. 

My basic 411 class on shamanic journeying is here– it includes: what shamanism is and what it ISN’T and how to connect with a helping spirit (an animal spirit or a spirit teacher in human form) for the first time.

Frequently asked questions about Shamanic journeying come up—so I thought I’d share the most common ones. Have a question you’d like me to answer? Email me here at sarah@followyourfeelgood.com . I may add it to the FAQ:).
How do I know if this is really a spirit I have perceived/met up with on a journey or if I’m just making this up?
This is probably THE most common question I get. The answer is that the “proof” can only come from you. Ask yourself how you felt after the journey. Did you feel more at peace or empowered? Did you feel less stressed about something? Or, when you applied the wisdom of your beastie or spirit teacher in human form, what were your results?
If you felt better and their wisdom or suggestions helped you somehow, this is the only “proof” I believe we need.
If it’s helping, why not continue to consult with them? Keep going back to visit your spirits using the drum. (Find a basic recording with call back I made here). If you do this, one day you may find (as I did) that you’ll receive extraordinary confirmation that the spirits are, in fact, REAL.
How often can I journey? Is it ok to do it every day?
Shamanic journeying has wonderful effects on our well being. After I practice, I always feel more relaxed, loved, refreshed and connected to all that is. Scientific research has been done (and published by Sandra Harner and others) that shows that journeying, just like deep meditation practice, has the benefit of enhancing our immune system. Your immunoglobulins, the proteins that help combat illness literally are elevated after a journey.
Connecting with the divine in this way literally protects our health in tangible ways.
You can certainly journey daily and there have been periods in my life where I have done this. Journeying at least weekly is highly recommended to maintain your relationship with your helping spirits.
I had an incredible experience when I went on my first journey. But when I tried a second time, it worked but it didn’t feel as magical….. and now I just want to repeat  that experience..how can I connect that deeply again? 
I’m so thrilled you had a beautiful journey like that! What an awesome blessing. My advice is for you to cherish that experience and to be willing to persevere in your practice without spectacular experiences. Many people go a whole lifetime and never taste the divine. The Buddhist teachers often admonish students to “chop wood and carry water”…in other words, we must be willing to endure the mundane daily tasks of life/meditation/spiritual practice without needing anything miraculous to happen.
If you do this, you may find that you will one day have another extraordinary journey.
The animal spirit I met didn’t seem to want to speak with me. They weren’t really communicating? It was kind of frustrating. Did I do something wrong?
The spirits are all very different in the way they communicate with us. They maybe quiet or talkative. They may “speak” in metaphors or puns. They maybe showing us something without words…through their movements or how they are being/behaving. You can always ask for clarification, “I don’t understand/ can you help me?”. Sometimes, sharing your journey with another open hearted person and asking them what they “make” of what happened. can be helpful.
And, in some cases, patience is needed. A return visit may being all the clarity you need.
I can’t seem to make myself travel down through the earth to get to the lower world to meet a spirit animal. I keep getting spit back out? Help?
Sometimes it happens that we feel claustrophobic at the idea of traveling downward through the earth. It can help to remember that you are traveling as consciousness- not as your physical body.
And some people have a much easier time traveling to the upper world at first.
So I would try a journey there- you may find it’s much easier to connect with a spirit that way (take this class to get guided there!). For a class that teaches you step by step to go to both realms, go here.
With time, one or the other direction will become comfortable and later on you can try again!
I asked my spirits what I should do about a difficult situation and the journey was confusing and I don’t feel any clearer afterwards. Why? 
When we ask the spirits “what should I do?” The results may be less than helpful. This is because the spirits are often not interested in telling us what we should do. In my experience, they are always interested in cheering us on once we decide what we’d like to do.
So, a better journey question may be: “How can I help this situation (or person)?” Or simply, “Please teach me what I need to know about this difficult situation”.
Can I drum for myself or do I have to listen to the recordings?
Absolutely you can drum for yourself and it’s often a very powerful way to journey. I suspect drumming actively keeps our logical brain busy so that we can “let go” and allow ourselves to access this other consciousness.
Simply familiarize yourself with the specific speed of the best (listen here: ) and be sure to do a “call back”…I use a series of 4 cycles of 7 drumbeats to signal that it’s time to return back to the middle world.
Buying a drum is a wonderful way to deepen your practice. I recommend you journey to the spirit of your drum and get to know it. Ask the drum how it would like to be kept. You can “feast” your drum by making a beautiful meal and making a small plate of food for your drum’s spirit to “eat” and place them both outside in nature for a few hours.

No budget for a drum?  Simply use a rattle and shake it very close to your ear at the 4 shakes per second rate (approximately) and see what magic unfolds. I love doing rattle journeys!

If I get a drum- what should I buy? Or is it better to make your own?
This is a multipart answer!
I have made my own drum, which is marvelous. You’ll want to be sure that the animal hide is procured in a respectful way.  If you are near Minneapolis, Wayne Manthey often holds drum making classes- I highly recommend! Making a drum is beautiful because you begin to build a relationship to this sacred object-  which is not just “material” as we typically view them- but also has a spiritual aspect to it. We would say, in shamanism, that your drum is a being. And this amazing being can help you!
If you know of a drum maker in your community- by all means engage with them to have them make a drum for you if that feel good!
That being said, the drums I use most often in my work and the ones I travel with are vegan synthetic head drums from REMOThis is a REMO drum I really like and has a lovely sound.  Now being synthetic you may say:  BUT, Sarah,  THAT DOESN’T SOUND VERY SACRED…? But, its the relationship that you build with your drum that will make it sacred for you.

The main benefit of these synthetic head drums is that they will sound wonderful no matter what the weather. If you have you deer hide drum or bison drum and its muggy out- you’re going o need a blow dryer or a nice fire to dry it out- other wise the sound will be MEH.

The REMO drums can be decorated (as you can see mine at top of post is decoupaged by me)- and I just had one painted for me by a talented artist and shamanic healer Emily Christenson- you can see her work here and get in touch with her if you’d like a drum painted for you. I love mine so much!  (see image below)

No matter what, I highly recommend making a journey directly to the spirit of your drum to meet it and find out how it would like to be honored and how it would like to be played!

I hope these FAQ’s have been helpful! 

If you’d like 1:1 mentoring in journey work please visit my work with me page.

Much love, Sarah

This drum was designed with psychompomp work in mind, helping spirits cross over from this world into the spirit worlds.