It might be helpful to start off explaining briefly what a Shamanic journey is.
In a nutshell, a shamanic journey is when a shaman reaches a state of trance through the rhythmic beat of the drum, whereby the shaman or shamanic practitioner is able to enter non-ordinary reality in order to obtain information from spirit and guides.
My intention is to journey for the collective and offer insights that pertain to those who come across my writing.
Just to be transparent about my process, I would like to add that I do not know the spiritual meaning of any of the objects or the symbolism behind the animal totems that come up during my journeys off the top if my head. I read up on it afterwards.
Truth be told, even if I look something up multiple times, I don’t ever remember their meaning because my brain takes a break as my intuition and heart take over during journeys and meditation.
After I do my brief research I make sure to enter the alpha phase and allow the interpretation to flow through me, like a stream of consciousness and try to stray from rationalizing. The fun part for me is that it all ends up coming together, sometimes even in a rational way!
It’s especially fun to witness the same theme pop up throughout a journey.
As I was preparing for this week’s journey, I felt a sense of excitement, similar to the stirrings of the beginning of Spring.
I closed my eyes and called in my Spirit guides and Power Animal and was lead to the lower world this time.
The landscape that I enter is generally the same. I climb down the root of the same tree each time and climb down through a tunnel, to find myself in a forest. A few steps ahead there is a trail that leads to a lake on the left of me.
I usually walk by this lake anyways, but this time a skunk ran up to me, and sassily lead me around the lake, as she was handing me gifts along the way.
The gifts I was handed by the skunk, one by one, were at first a bunch of reeds.
There is a lot of significance surrounding reeds in many ancient cultures, which I found fascinating and was completely oblivious to.
I came across quite a bit of symbolism from different cultures, but what resonated with me the most in terms of my journey were the concepts of flexibility, fragility, manifestation and protection.[i]
Given that one of the other gifts, the pearl, also signified protection, it made sense. It was almost as if I was being prepared to go on yet another journey within this journey.
The potency of this time of year for manifestation is also strong, I find. As winter slowly edges towards an end, we may find ourselves toiling away, trying to finish projects and deadlines so we can enjoy the upcoming rebirth of our mother.
The interplay between fragility and flexibility is also in tune with the ongoing theme for this journey, which is the merging of seeming opposites, in order to create wholeness.
As the skunk confidently trotted along in front of me, I received the message that she signified the path of light and dark merging and to embrace darkness in order for this marriage to transpire.
As I looked down at her black and white back, this concept became even clearer.
The download I was receiving continued to offer the message that walking down a certain path could potentially be dangerous, as you are following behind a skunk, who could at the drop of a dime spray you.
At this moment she turned to me and gave me the piece of pearl she had in her paw. The message continued as such; “but you have to trust the path that is unfolding in front of you. Just make sure you protect yourself, with this pearl”.
The pearl signifies a few different things, but what struck me the most was: protection, purity, balancing karma, wealth, luck and experiential wisdom.[ii]
I would say those are some pretty solid things to acquire collectively!
Shortly after the pearl I was handed a purple jade, which is also associated with purification of ones aura, in order to protect by keeping negative energy at bay. It is also a stone of joy and has uplifting qualities. Additionally, it aids in discernment, which is essential for staying on track and creating healthy boundaries. [iii]
As we continued, I was also handed the number 42. To be honest my mind naturally goes to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy whenever I see this number and what I really want to say is that it is the meaning of life, howeverrrrr, I will digress and actually share what 6 stands for.
I am no numerologist, but the overall meaning is that 6 stands for Family, Harmony, Home, Idealism and Healing.[iv] There are deeper intricacies to numerology, from what I have heard and read. If numerology resonates with you I would invite you to delve deeper into the meaning of this number, but for the purposes of this journey, keeping it simple and succinct will suffice.
The notion of home, in my opinion here, points rather to the feeling of finding home within; reaching the contentment of full and radical acceptance of self and feeling at home in your own skin.
This state when reached signifies harmony and is the result of healing triggers, trauma, and old, even ancestral wounding. The idealism comes into play here in the form of trying to achieve healing through superficial perfectionism, which can be dangerous. The notion that there is some sort of ideal or preconceived idea about how healing needs to look like can lead to bypassing portions of self and leading to imbalance.
When it comes to family, the message that I am receiving is that the same healing within you needs to be extended to those you love, whether it’s your biological or chosen family.
Oftentimes, the ones closest to you are a reflection of the parts of you that are still unhealed so it is vital at this point to see how your internal landscape is being reflected back at you, not as a punishment but to trigger you into awareness so that you can shed light onto the hidden dark aspects of yourself and accept and love that as well.
This self-love will very quickly emanate outwards and heal those around you too, as your triggers dissolve and in turn the reactions of others towards you dissipate as well, creating harmony and healing.
Of course, these concepts can be interpreted in many different ways, and perhaps only parts of it will resonate, as we are all on different chapters of completely different journeys. However, I believe if you are reading this then there is a message here for you as well.
Try to pay attention to what triggers you, even as you read this article.
Lastly, my skunk guide handed me a pentacle which represents the trail of Venus – the planet of love and harmony. The fact that I was specifically told to focus on the trail of Venus made it clear to me that it’s about the journey (as most of us already know) and that it takes time to achieve love (towards self and others) and harmony in your own life.
This reiterates a lot of what I mentioned above.
The pentacle also helps protect us in our worldly and spiritual endeavours. The five corners signify the five elements; earth, air, fire, water and spirit.
Once the skunk was done offering me her gifts, we walked around half of the lake and took a seat.
Suddenly an owl swooped down and flew right above us, and let go of a massive key that fell onto my lap. I was stunned and unsure what to do with this key. I looked around in hopes of finding some sort of door but there weren’t any in sight.
Both, the skunk and owl nudged me towards the lake. I quickly caught on that there was some lock that this key opened inside the lake.
I dove in, and as I had anticipated I was lead to a portal, which the key opened. Physically I didn’t actually go anywhere else, I remained in the lake.
Dimensionally, however, I became suspended in true objectivity and detachment. Reality became nothingness, spaciousness.
It was as if everything on a molecular level had expanded and was larger than life, so large that I could float through the vibration. I even dissolved at certain points.
I am the co-creator and was about to create my reality the way I desired.
As are you.
With this detachment we are to look at our darkness – to be able to see it as a part of the whole, detached from the binary opposition which comes with a slew of stigmas and expectations. True objectivity is what is needed from us, in order to evolve – to stray from conditioning and untrue energy we have placed upon darkness. To stop seeing darkness as negativity, to stop punishing the parts of us that are needed to become whole.
After basking in this surreal sensation of a dissolving three-dimensional reality, I slowly started coming back.
At first I was grounded by being showered by green jade crystals with one purple one, presumably the one I was gifted at the beginning, in the middle of it all, on my heart.
Green jade, as I found out later is also associated with the planet Venus and signifies grounding, safe journeying, and financial abundance. [v]
I was told to spread the green jade to those who haven’t reached the state of being their own witness, the state in which they can detach themselves from their body and watch how life unfolds around them as they take part in it, without being consumed by it all, in hopes of keeping them safe, grounded and open to manifesting abundance.
Lastly, I was given a rose quartz for shelter and to offer love, healing and protection to those who are open to it. This stone also correlates with Venus.[vi]
Knowing my journey had come to an end I slowly got out of the lake, thanked all my guides with great reverence and gratitude and retraced my steps back to my tree roots which took me back to ordinary reality.
I wanted to add the significance of the skunk and owl before closing.
I looked up the meaning behind both animals in Ted Andrew’s book, ‘Animal Speak’ and was amazed to find out that the two animals actually are contrary to one another in a balancing way, which, considering the theme of the journey was light and dark merging to create wholeness, I found rather astonishing.
Ted Andrews goes on to mention how the skunk represents confidence and demands respect. They are fearless and peaceful and additionally signify sensuality due to their connection with the sense of smell.
The owl also is associated with seduction as well as fertility and furthermore other feminine associations around the Moon, amongst much more.[vii]
It seems the theme of my last journey, which mentioned fragrances associated with sensuality, is being mirrored in this one as well. And why wouldn’t it be?
Wholeness is intertwined with sexuality and full expression and empowerment of our masculine and feminine power. We create life and love and harmony through our natural expressions of beauty and the skunk reminds us to do it fearlessly and with endless confidence.
What all this comes together to mean is that we are entering a period where we will be able to truly manifest our dreams, without limitations. But before this happens, we need to own and be accountable for our healing so that we can create harmony and collectively vibrate on a higher frequency.
What we are being called to at this point is to authentically look at our darkness, and to extend love to the dark corners that we so easily dismissed until now. The journey may look daunting, but you’re protected, so keep trekking along with confidence and self-assurance.
[vii] Ted Andrews, “Animal-Speak,” pp. 172, 312, 313