This is an overview of my explorations into the layers of our world that are perceived by the spirit sense.
Journeys always begin in the central layer. This is what we can detect with our physical senses, the “real world”.
The bottom layer is very closely related to the central layer. When the physical senses dull and our perception of the central layer fade this is where we typically first find ourselves. It is the “inside” of the central layer. It is the energy of the world we live in that we cannot detect with our physical senses. Rocks, water, trees, animals, the air itself: these things take on an altered version of themselves.
For me, things glow with different intensities and colors. One thing that takes getting used to is there is no sense of weight. I don’t perceive the effects of gravity. I still move around, but it’s more like “floating” places instead of walking to them.
An important thing to know is this: the spirit sense, while connected to us, is not bound to our specific physical location. So when you begin your journey, the world you are perceiving will not always be the same place as your body, and it can feel very foreign to you. Most often you will find yourself in remote, natural locations, far from human civilization. You may be in a wooded grove, a seemingly endless field, or even a cavernous room. The location is influenced by intent and purpose.
You will also note that not all energies here have a detectable counterpart in the central layer. For example, you might see a rabbit spirit or an owl spirit but that does not mean that it is connected to a rabbit we could see in the middle layer. But these spirits are no less close to us than if they were.
You can communicate with pretty much anything. However, some things are more relevant to your journey than others. I usually let myself be drawn in the direction I need to go rather than making a decision to move there.
This is where you will meet your power animal. This is a spirit that chooses to be your companion and guide. It may not look like an animal, either. But you will recognize it none the less.
You can read about journeys all you want, but the knowledge of how to navigate is really tailored to your own experience. We have a shared understanding of how to relate to things in the central layer, but initially, we have no experiences to build on for this place. We have no personal trainers to join us. Your power animal will be the teacher you first rely upon.
Aside from teaching you, it will help you with your purpose. All things seek equilibrium and as a shaman, you are part of the process of healing. It can feel overwhelming if you try to see everything that needs to be done, so you will have to quickly learn to stay focused on the task at hand.
This is the layer you will spend a lot of your journey time in. Sometimes you may even encounter spirits that seem human. They can be connected to you, but usually they are connected to the place. Either way, like everything you encounter, it has purpose.