The introductory class was held September 9th, 2011 on the main campus of Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois.In addition to our teacher, Lauren Torres, there were six women students and two men, including me. Lauren explained that we would have an initial discussion and then make our first journey. We would lie on blanket we brought, place a covering over our eyes; she would lower the lights and then beat her drum to help us journey. She started with a discussion of how to journey and stressed that everyone’s journey would be unique to the individual. She told us that it was important to bring harmony and balance into our lives if we decided to proceed with a regular shamanic practice. Note: that was the same advice I got on my August 3rd journey.

Lauren had set up an altar on the classroom floor. On top of a couple of blankets she placed large black stones (lingams), large crystals, and many other shapes and sizes of stones. She did this to help bring positive energies into the room to help with our journeying. After answering our questions, Lauren had us lay down on the floor on our blankets and get comfortable. She told us she would keep beating the drum while we journeyed. When the journey was over she would stop, then beat it in a series of seven beats to let us know time was up. Our intention on the first journey was to meet a power animal who would take us to a place where we would receive energy. Since we had no more questions, she told us to start, lowered the lights and beat her drum.

The drum was loud. It seemed to penetrate through my body and enhanced my ability to journey. I went to the lower world. The beaver met me outside the cave and we went inside. I wasn’t sure which power animal would lead the way until the fox suddenly jumped up and started running down an underground corridor. I ran after him to keep up. We traveled down a gently sloping path which turned different directions. Finally we came to a large underground chamber. I understood this was the place and sat in the middle of the chamber. Soon a fine, pink colored smoke enveloped me. Then it changed to black and then white. It swirled around me. I could feel energy entering my body. I stayed there until I heard Lauren’s series of seven beats reminding us to come back. After we stretched and sat up we each described our journey. Each journey was different. Everyone enjoyed it and felt refreshed.

Next blog: Journey to meet a new teacher.