Drum, Rattle & Soul: My Journey into Shamanism by Phil

What is Shamanism? Phil, an enthusiastic shamanic seeker shares his experiences fresh from his journey into Shamanism.

I’ve always been intrigued by shamanic practices but never personally considered trying them for myself. However, I’ve also always wanted someone to be able to share their journey into Shamanism here, so that you as the reader could still learn more.

So it blew my mind away when Phil synchronistically reached out to me a few months, sharing that he was interested in writing about his experiences with Shamanism, to post the articles on My Spiritual Shenanigans.

What else could you and I have asked for, than a kindred spirit open to sharing their story and journey with us? I’m super grateful to him for putting this piece together. I hope you learn much from this and his future stories to follow.

Here’s Phil and his journey into Shamanism.

The Backstory

The calendar year was 2019 and I had hit the wall. I was sore, freezing and on the verge of becoming emotionally numb. Low vibrational energies and death surrounded me almost every day. How did I get here? The previous year, I had tried to manipulate and control every possible outcome in my life. How do you think this worked out for me?

I had been working at a pork processing plant and while I had plenty to be grateful for, in my ways I hit rock bottom. I was professionally dubbed a ‘hog-pusher’ and would push and store the carcasses in a massive multi-room cooler to chill overnight.

This was not the kind of work I imagined myself doing well into my 30’s. Previously I had been on my own spiritual journey of amazing discoveries and synchronicities.

Various practices like yoga, meditation, energy healing and books about spiritual development helped me navigate some rough waters. I overcame a lot of adversity to get to this point. I had no idea (or direction for that matter) how to get through this.

The Breakthrough

As winter had turned to spring of 2019 I took action and did a session with a spiritual counselor. Their work was thorough and something was repeated back to me that I deeply sense. My inner fire was burning low and was risking being extinguished.

silhouette of man standing near window, sadness, tired, burn out

Each day was blending together from one to the next and I was burned out on every level. In fact I had began to think the universe may have been conspiring against me.

Maybe, all the adversity I’d overcome was a fluke. Or even worse a sick joke played on me in an unjust universe. That is how distorted my vibration was and when things were beginning to look their most bleak…it called me!

It? An angel? An entity? An animal? It was a book and that book is called The Lost Art Of Heart Navigation: A Modern Shaman’s Field Manual by Jeff Nixa. Unbeknownst to me, it would change my life forever and get me back on the right path.

The way I saw him helping people touched me deeply. Everything about the story just appealed to me…I had to find someone who did similar work that was local to me. Thankfully, that didn’t take very long.

The Climb

Before I continue with my journey into shamanism, I would like to reiterate that I am still a novice at this point. I am but a conduit to get you connected to experts in the field like Michael Harner, Sandra Ingerman, Jeff Nixa or the late Kenneth Meadows.

My practitioners of past and present have made the decision to remain anonymous and I respect their privacy. But what I can do here is share some of my experience with them and intertwine it with wisdom from said experts.

I went through my first guided journey in May 2019 and it hit me right away. The setup, the visions and the aftermath were beyond description. On the drive home I had felt something that I thought eluded me. I felt complete and the fire was back burning stronger than ever.

I had gone through a process known as Soul Retrieval which is essentially reconnecting lost pieces of your soul that were lost through trauma and emotional distress over the years. In order for Soul Retrieval to work you need to understand the basics of Shamanic Journeying which I will describe for you right now.

In my eyes a Shamanic Journey is similar to a guided meditation. While many can practice meditation in silence I prefer to have what is known as a sonic driver.

I can deepen my own mediation through sound whether it be music, singing bowls or nature itself. You need a sonic driver that can either be a single drum or a rattle (in some cases both).

man playing percussion instrument on grass field near forest, journey into shamanism, shamanic healer

Other sonic drivers and even chanting can be included but usually the drum and rattle work best. The rattle and/or drum keeps a steady beat and can be performed by yourself, a practitioner or done through an audio track with headphones.

Many different modes of ceremony can take place before the journey including smudging, the lighting of a candle, creating an altar of crystals, blocking out all natural light etc.

Each expert in this field has their own variations and I recommend checking them all out to see which one works best for you in your journey into Shamanism.

When I journey indoors I prefer to be lying down under a blanket and if I am outdoors I prefer to journey sitting on a rock or with my spine erect against the trunk of a tree. Play around to find what works.

Once the sonic driver gets into a consistent rhythm you tune into your breath and relax like a meditation. You allow your mind and body to relax so you enter an altered state of consciousness.

One thing that has to take place before the journey is that you have to decide which of the three ethereal realms you will journey too and you will write down a question or declare the intent of your journey. Here is a brief description:

Lower World

Journeying to this world will connect you with your power animal who will guide you along with helping spirits who will show you the answer to your question in the form of a vision.

You will lower into this realm through a desired spot in nature from the physical realm. Where and how differs between each individual and don’t worry as the Lower World is not to be feared nor will it attract low-energetic beings and entities. It is a realm of inner wisdom.

Middle World

The middle world is the realm closest associated to our physical realm here on Earth.

I personally do not have a lot of experience journeying into this realm yet in my journey into Shamanism but it is used to communicate with spirits that live and connect to all things in our physical reality. It can be used to locate lost objects or to communicate directly with nature as a couple of examples.

Upper World

This realm has to be reached by journeying in the form of ascension. In my own experience this realm is above the Earth and space as we know it. It’s what we could call an ethereal realm like ‘the heavens’.

shamanic worlds, three worlds of shamanism, journey into shamanism

I personally climb a long tree trunk to reach this area on my journey. This is the realm that is home to celestial beings, angels and other divine spirits. It can be a great place to meet your Higher Self to gain wisdom of the highest good and to obtain spiritual healing. It is used to help out with connecting to your highest form of being.

The Return

The Real is the primary reality of the Universe. It is the way the Universe is. It is how the Universe works from the inside! No longer is it necessary for you and I continue the search for the mystery of who and what we are. It was here within us all the time. We just looked everywhere else but here. It is this recognition since ancient times that has been called enlightenment.”
Kenneth Meadows: 2002
Shamanic Spirit: A Practical Guide To Personal Fulfillment (Chapter: The Path of Love And Harmony Pg. 221)

If I hadn’t entered into the world of Shamanic Journeying in spring of 2019 I don’t know where I would be today. Not only did I regain my inner fire and eventually here in spring of 2021 sign up to a Shamanic training program but I was able to return to my heart’s path and navigate through these crazy times in the pandemic era.

My current teacher has said this profound quote more than once and I will gladly paraphrase. Basically life is a video game and your spirit is the controller. Your physical self is the avatar navigating its way through the game.

Shamanic journeying to navigating through life is like what the original Game Genie was to the eight bit NES.

I grew up in the late 1980s as a Nintendo kid. It was a borderline obsession of mine for a period of time. But I have to admit some of those games were super hard and took some of the fun out of gaming for me.

shamanism is like a video game

The Game Genie was this expansion pack with a booklet that gave ‘cheat codes’ to some of these Nintendo games. I loved it and made gaming so much more fun knowing that I had unlimited opportunities to get it right.

This device was somewhat controversial at the time as many said it turned kids into mindless cheaters and defeated the purpose of gaming. The reason I bring this up is that since I began Shamanic Journeying, here are some things I learned in the other realms that actually manifested in the physical world:

  • It navigated me to a job that kept me busy and paid during the worst of the pandemic.
  • It has repeatedly shown me people who to connect with, learn from and outright avoid.
  • Shamanism has strengthened my relationship with both my spirit and power animals.
  • I reconnected with two long deceased relatives and was able to give a final goodbye after gaining real world advice from them.

It brought me back to my purpose and has reignited my passion to eventually get fully trained and help others reconnect with their purpose and reason for being.

Shamanic work is sacred. There is so much more I would love to share about my experience and the wisdom I have obtained from other professionals and my personal instructors. However that is not for this time.

I am here to share what I feel is important for someone reading who was at my stage in the journey in 2019. Before I conclude I want to briefly identify some things that Shamanism is not.
  • Shamanism is not a traditional religion.
  • It’s not exclusive to indigenous people only – anyone can learn and journey.
  • It is not a permanent substitute for psychotherapy and western medicine.
  • Also, it’s not all a figment of your imagination when you see visions in your journeys.
  • And it’s not necessary to journey with the aid of psychedelics or hallucinogenic drugs.

I share my personal journey into Shamanism not out of ego or vanity but as an example of how one can find their way back home from the wilderness. Even if that wilderness is behind concrete walls and steel panels.

I am a novice yet I feel like I’ve learned so much and I look forward to bringing you further writings from each stage of my journey. In due course of time, I’ll return to write again in this forum when I am more deeply immersed in my training.

I can be Super Mario trying to defeat Bowser;
I can be Link trying to defeat Gannon;
and, I can be Megaman trying to defeat Dr. Wily.

And you can be on a similar path of the hero’s journey; slaying your dragons and living your best life to be in service of yourself and others. Only if you explore and take the leap.
Phantom Phil
Phantom Phil

Phantom Phil hosts the mysterious, paranormal and spiritual podcast Unexplained Inc. and his show is a member of the Void Podcast Network. Phil has experience blogging on his site The Phantom Hub. He is also currently in the middle of Shamanic training and while is nowhere near being an expert is thrilled to share his discovery and journey into this mystical healing modality with you

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The Untold Truths About The Law Of Attraction, By Kingsley

Can you really manifest your reality? What are some LOA myths? Here are some untold truths about the law of attraction, shared by Kingsley.

I’ve always moved in and out of the idea of using the law of attraction to create my reality. The love-hate relationship comes from battling between what’s true and what’s not about this theory. Kingsley was really kind to reach out and volunteer to share with us some of the untold truths about the law of attraction. Here’s what he says.

We all have the ability to MANIFEST whatever we desire. The TRUTH is, we CAN create ANY reality for ourselves—either deliberately (consciously) or by allowing (unconsciously).

One thing I have grown to learn and appreciate is: EVERYONE is practicing Law of Attraction—consciously or unconsciously. This is not reserved for some “special people.”

Even before I’d heard of it I had been manifesting things—my diving deep into Law of Attraction is just a bonus!

Before now, I used to think that the “experts” had it all to themselves and that it was all peachy-keen for them! Upon closer inspection, I found out that they too had their own challenges. The only difference that counts in manifesting is your “tool.”

The sharpness of your tool determines the speediness of your manifestations. By tools, I mean your “beliefs, thoughts, attitude, feelings and choices.

Those whom we call Law of Attraction “experts” have “sharper tools.”

There are those who are not experts; but are manifesting maven on their own right; they know how to work the magic of “behind the scene” to get what they want. And I fall into this second category.

One of the most important yet untold truths about the law of attraction is that NO ONE is excluded from the hiccups of this 3D!

Here is what Katy Perry said:

“When I am in between records, sometimes I doubt myself. I’ll be like ‘Did I just get lucky, or did I mass-manipulate the world into thinking that seven songs were worth a number-one position?’ And then I go back into the studio and I start writing, and the true essential oil of who I am comes bubbling back up and reminds me that it’s always been inside of me, that nobody can take this away no matter what comment anyone makes.”

record, music, life coaching

Now, when it comes to manifesting our dreams, we face barriers. Sometimes, it’s not about the money. It could be a barrier from the energetic aspect: beliefs, thoughts and subliminal whatever… we are all from the Stars; and made in the image of God/Source/Almighty of which are Highest Vibrations all-round.

Why can’t we always be reflecting and radiating the Higher Vibrations?

Why do the gremlins and gargoyles trip us up with unworthiness philosophy, negative thoughts and such when we are on our way to manifest our dreams?

And why do we have to contend with the gremlins and gargoyles in order to be in a place of Higher Vibrations which makes it easier for our dreams to manifest? I wonder about this.

For example, a lion gives birth to a lion and the young lion reflects 100% the characteristics of its source of life without deviating; why then is it hard for us humans who are higher in intelligence than animals not reflect, manifest and radiate vibrations of God/Source/Universe.

Sometimes, we battle with self-sabotage and limiting beliefs just because we are aiming to manifest a dream or thinking big to sprout the life we love.

The TRUTH is Source Energy is all-encompassing. It’s the “all-that-is” and so naturally, all must include everything… yes including the gremlins and gargoyles!

We are part of Source or the Universe. We are Infinite Spirit Beings, and part of our infinite experience is playing this Earth Game as human beings.

As physically incarnated human beings, we have free will to create our reality here.

A distinguishing characteristic of this Earth Game (as opposed to many of the infinite games or experiences we can and do have as infinite beings) is FREE WILL.

Naturally, with all this Free Will in the Earth Game, we experience a wide variety of results. Some behaviours we consider to be bad or even horrendous, understandably so. But from the perspective of Source Energy, it’s all part of our growth.

When you encounter someone behaving in a way that does not feel loving, how do you respond? It takes a solid spiritual backbone to respond with love to someone who has strayed far from love. And yet, this is our challenge in this very challenging Earth Game.

support, love, community, spirituality

Yes, we are all here co-creating together in the same reality sandbox, and yet… each being’s reality is personal to them. It’s a paradox. Embracing paradox is a fantastic skill that allows you feel more peaceful, not pushing for resolution.

Acceptance and Love are higher vibrational states that ripple outward and give other people permission (if they’re wanting it) to choose Love over Fear to manifest whatever their desire is! All we can do is be the ideal versions of ourselves, and by doing so, we can inspire other people who are ready to be inspired.

About the gremlins and gargoyles within—the negative thoughts, limiting beliefs and such… it’s our entanglement with others, and that’s part of what makes the Earth Game so challenging.

All these thought-forms exist, but are not necessarily our own! They are not actually personal to us. They are part of the collective consciousness.

We can embrace each thought as “truth” for us, or let it pass like clouds in the sky. It takes intention and practice to cultivate sufficient awareness of the mind’s contents. The challenging nature of this Earth Game is what makes it so popular! We come here with a sporting attitude, as spirits. Finding your way back to what’s true; to let your true self BE and shine through.

Our Higher Selves know all about all of this stuff and they’re totally fine with it. Though we suffer greatly while inside the Earth Game, when we leave, it’s just like stepping off a crazy rollercoaster. So the sooner we adopt that laid-back Higher Self attitude, the happier we can be in the Earth Game, right here and right now.

If we can view ALL experience through the eyes of Source/Universe, rather than through the filters of human “judgmentality”, then we see only beauty and spiritual expansion, and we experience acceptance and appreciation of all of it. Not that it’s easy to do so 100% of the time. It’s to be expected that we waver and pop in and out of these different perspectives, because that’s part of the game too!

A lot of time, we hear Law of Attraction “experts” tell us “Ask. Believe. Receive,” but I want to let you know that it does not always happen that way!

It is really difficult to describe what has to happen in the Etheric Realm first before our dreams can manifest here on earth physically.

dream interpretation, untold truths about the law of attraction

And I remind you that the Intangible PRECEDES the Tangible! “Everything, every moment is a manifestation of something…”

The art of manifestation of our dreams and desires into reality is Alchemy. It cannot be measured.

For example, if someone set their intention and uses a vision board with the necessary vibrational alignment; in the end he manifests his desires. It is the same as someone who sets his intentions and submits the request to the Undines or someone who sets her intention and puts the request to the Gnomes. What matters most is that in the end, they all manifested their desires!

Different approach; same result—hence the old saying: “there are many ways to kill a rat. As Ikkyu (the Japanese philosopher) so eloquently puts it: “Many paths lead up the mountain; but at the top, we look at the same bright moon.”

The Universe is unlimited! And it can deliver our “goods” in different ways.

Whenever you set your intention you MUST always use this affirmation to close it up: “I accept this_____ or something even better.”

For instance, you set the intention to buy a Lexus Jeep. Don’t just focus on that Lexus Jeep; close it up with the above phrase. Now, what if the Universe wants to give you a Ferrari? I am sure you certainly will not reject a Ferrari!

Even if you don’t have the means. Remember the Universe works in diverse ways. A relative or an uncle in a faraway land could just be nudged by the Universe to shower you some love and he could wake up one morning and say “Ah! My dear cousin let me send him Ferrari!” Anything is possible!

If you have set your intention to manifest anything, please DETACH from the outcome.

“Manifestation unfolds in PERFECT Divine Timing; everything is in God’s clock.”
-Sarah Prout

Be grateful for what you have first. Don’t tell the Universe how it should come! The Universe knows better than you. Desperation, neediness and attachment are REPELLANT energy.

You must also remember Divine Timing. When you have set your intentions and your “goods” has not yet arrived, understand these points:

  • Maybe you are not well aligned vibrationally. That is where the “tools” comes in.
  • The Universe wants to give you something even better and it is cooking and conspiring it from the Etheric Realm where the magic starts. Remember, if it does not happen in the Higher Realms first, there is NO WAY it can happen here physically
  • Maybe not yet time. Due to the fact that there are some sorts of resistance preventing you—maybe karma, negative (family) patterns, etc which you must clear so that you can manifest your dreams.

As you go about manifesting your dreams, remember to take inspired action and surrounding yourself with likeminded people who will support you in manifesting your dreams.

No one has achieved success without the mentoring, support and wisdom of others because it takes a village to raise a child.

“A person is a person through another person.”
-Brenda Fassie.

divine intervention, ask god for help, ask and ye shall receive, untold truths about law of attraction

The Secret did not cover all the fact about manifesting. I have read it. It only presented Law of Attraction as the be-all-end-all of creating our reality and manifesting our desires. But I am putting it to you that Reality Creation/Manifesting is a two-way process.

You decide what you want to manifest and your Higher Self/God/Universe/Angels decide how and when it will come.

Here is what Abraham said (a non-physical entity channeled by Esther Hicks) “You cannot make anything happen. Universal forces have been kept in place for all of that. Your job is to determine what you want.”

Now, don’t get it wrong. Abraham is not saying we cannot create our own reality. Rather he is saying that WE MUST co-create with the Universe to have the reality we want.

And how will you be able to manifest without the help of the Universe?

For you to be able to manifest your desires or sprout the life you love; you must BEFRIEND your Higher Self, Angels, Spirit Guides, Universe, God or whatever name you want to call it. They dwell in the domain of the “how.” The how is where the power is and they KNOW the road more than you do!

Concluding Thoughts

I loved Kingsley’s heartfelt reflections above, and to add to the untold truths about the law of attraction, I would like to remind you this:

We are all headed home. This Earth life isn’t our permanent abode. So invest only so much energy in trying to create your physical reality. Focus more to heal yourself internally, to manifest growth at deeper levels. So don’t just manifest a condo in Miami, manifest the right people to party there with and the right lifestyle to flourish.

The most beautiful way to create your reality, is to no longer have the need to do so. And the only way to reach that stage, is to go inwards and reconnect with your infinitude. Remember dear one, you are the creator, whether you know it or not. 🙂

More by Kingsley: Developing the Eyes of Kwan Yin


Kingsley Osajie is an emissary of light passionate and determined to raise the consciousness of Planet Earth and Humanity to a Higher Dimension. His mission is to heal and enlighten the world through his
writings. Kingsley is an Inspirational, Spiritual, Personal Development and Life blogger.

Active Surrender: The Root of Empowerment, by Loren Swift

What does it mean to surrender in spirituality? How is the idea of active surrender revolutionary in our healing? Loren Swift explains.

Every time someone said “surrender” to me in the midst of a spiritual crisis, it felt like I was being asked to give up my hopes or dreams. That I was wrong or what I wanted didn’t matter. It took a while to realize surrendering has nothing to do with accepting defeat. I love how Loren talks about the art of active surrender in this beautiful piece she wrote for us.

It really resonates with me, and I couldn’t have put it in more eloquent words! I also admire her ability to combine spirituality and science into her approach.

Note that her words are deeply healing, and require you to slow down with them, to really integrate their depth. So, unwind to this post with a warm beverage, and let her wisdom soothe you!

“To surrender into our hearts is to live fully at choice and to be fully empowered.”
-Loren Swift, The Earth Keeper’s Handbook: Assuming Leadership in a New World

When power and control are highly valued modes of being, the notion of surrender can seem a weak position. But maybe our definition of power and our need for control are out of sync with a fluid, more fulfilling life.

Control is an aspect of domination, which Vasundhra also calls a sign of wounded masculine energy. It’s a method to keep unwieldy and undesirable factions at bay, disenfranchised and powerless. Whether those undesirable parts be on the inside or outside of us.

power, confidence, strength

This power-over approach stems from a lack of trust that our needs matter, or that the world is kind, generous and will provide for us.

A sense of separation ensues, along with scarcity, fear and isolation from the earth and community and the natural abundance that life is.

By this time, the idea of surrender has become extremely frightening. It’s as if we must be in control in order to survive the hostile environment surrounding us.

This mindset is a vestige of the Newtonian-Cartesian model of physics of over 300 years ago. It is a mechanistic portrayal of life that assumes everything is comprised of discreet, inert and spiritless parts. The sense of being separate from nature and at odds with the natural processes we emerged from and depend on, follows.

The Cartesian model still informs our thinking and assumptions about the world and ourselves. We are overdue for an over-haul.

In fact, we are not separate from the earth or the surrounding environment, or from one another. Our intense need for belonging and social connection, our interdependence not only with others but also with the natural world, upend the illusion of separation.

we all crave connection to nature, active surrender as a spiritual act

In contrast to the mechanistic model of the universe, the current scientific model depicted by quantum physics proves that everything is connected.

We live integral to one big, multi-dimensional, vibrating fabric of energies and consciousness. We belong to the creative life force, we are made of it, and therefore, we are necessarily imbued with creative powers.

So, we are anything but helpless. Surrender is an empowered act into the centre of our being, the place that touches in to all-that-is.

Surrender, as I use the term, is the choice to follow constriction, defensiveness or fear when we sense it in ourselves. Rather than to numb ourselves, deny or otherwise avoid it.

One of the reasons we tend to constrict rather than to surrender into what is, is because surrender often includes softening and feeling our emotions, which can lead to opening our heart.

And this is exactly what we need to do to heal and become whole. The heart is the seat of empowerment. It is the center of our true intelligence; emotional, spiritual and intuitive. The heart knows what is so sooner and more accurately than the rational mind, which carries on with the learned programming of our upbringing.

Our habitual reliance on the narrow band we call “rational thinking” frequently steers us wrong. It takes us down familiar, dead-end roads. The wisdom of the heart sees right through to the essence and understands what is instantaneously.

Our task, then, is learn how to listen to our hearts. It starts with learning how to be with what is. Active surrender is a direct path to this ability to be present and connected with what arises in any moment.

When we approach ourselves and our emotions with tender attention, we allow for gentleness in our discoveries.

Emotions are the lifeline of connection and understanding with ourselves as well as everyone else. To deepen self-connection, it is important to develop and integrate a compassionate observer-self. And to observe ourselves with kindness.

looking in mirror, observe yourself, self awareness, active surrender, spirituality

The choice to hold ourselves and others with kindness and consideration unravels the experience of separation. It brings us back to our innate knowing and the authenticity of the heart. Our liberation depends on our reawakening this inner wisdom.

Freedom is gained through effort. But it isn’t the effort of fighting against something. Rather, it is through actively surrendering into love.

To gain full freedom nonviolently, that is with compassionate presence, shifts the dominant paradigm internally and externally. When we soften and allow all aspects of ourselves and others room to be, we move from separation and exclusion to connection and inclusion.

This is a revolutionary path. The Earth Keeper’s Handbook offers practices that support our nonviolent liberation into love. Once we stop, notice, reflect, feel and acknowledge our internal experiences, then we have access to a whole new world of possibilities.

Concluding Thoughts

It is simply the limitations of our beliefs and expectations that keep us bound to lesser possibilities. We can use the spiritual act of active surrender to gain freedom from the limiting programming we’ve received.

When we surrender into our hearts, constrictions and limits melt and are transformed in the alchemy of love.

Loren Swift
Loren Swift

Loren has a deep appreciation for the scientific, the psychological and the mystical. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in counselling from Oregon State University. Previously, she was a licensed psychotherapist working in the field of addiction recovery and dissociative disorders in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has been a certified Nonviolent Communication trainer since 2005 and has worked as a life coach for nearly 20 years, integrating her various backgrounds to support couples and families in finding tenderness, joy and connection through mutual understanding and to support collaborative group endeavours for systemic change.