“Shamanism represents a universal conceptual framework found among indigenous tribal humans. It includes the belief that the natural world has two aspects: ordinary everyday awareness, formed by our habitual behaviors, patterns of belief, social norms, and cultural conditioning, and a second non-ordinary awareness accessed through altered states, or ecstatic trance, induced by shamanic practices such as repetitive drumming. The act of entering an ecstatic trance state is called the soul flight or shamanic journey, and it allows the journeyer to view life and life’s problems from a detached, spiritual perspective, not easily achieved in a state of ordinary consciousness.
Basically, shamanic journeying is a way of communicating with your inner or spirit self and retrieving information. Your inner self is in constant communication with all aspects of your environment, seen and unseen. You need only journey within to find answers to your questions. You should have a question or objective in mind from the start. Shamanic journeying may be undertaken for purposes of divination, for personal healing, to meet one’s power animal or spirit guide, or for any number of other reasons. After the journey, you must then interpret the meaning of your trance experience.
Drumming is a simple and effective way to induce ecstatic trance states. When a drum is played at an even tempo of three to four beats per second for at least fifteen minutes, most novices report that they can journey successfully even on their first attempt. Transported by the driving beat of the drum; the shamanic traveler journeys to the inner planes of consciousness.” -Michael Drake