A Beginner's Guide
by Sandra Ingerman
Sandra Ingerman, one of the most well-known shamanic teachers in the country, is a licensed marriage and family
therapist and mental health counselor, specializing in traumatic stress and stress management. She is also
recognized for combining shamanic techniques, such as soul retrieval and shamanic journeying, into her private
practice. Her shamanic training came through Michael Harner, the founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in
California, an organization whose purpose is to foster shamanism around the world. Formerly, Ingerman was the
Educational Director for the foundation. Today, she heads Medicine for the Earth, an organization that teaches
people how to transform personal and environmental pollution using shamanic and energy techniques.
Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner's Guide provides the tools for individuals to learn how to do basic
shamanic journeys. These are altered states of consciousness that take a person into non-ordinary reality where he
or she can find answers to important questions about life. A short 88-page book details what shamanism is, the three
worlds that a person can enter during a shamanic journey, how to meet and work with power animals and guides, and how
to frame a proper question. Accompanying the book is a 60-minute CD with three drum tracks for shamanic journeying.
I have been trained in Harner's Core Shamanism and have led drum circles before. Therefore, I was very interested
to see how Ingerman would frame the shamanic journey technique. The book was thorough but very concise. She clearly
explained what happens during a shamanic journey and used anecdotes to illustrate her points. And, the CD with the
drum tracks does a good job of re-creating the live drum experience.
But the best part of this new work is Ingerman's instruction on how to frame a proper question. I have never seen
such detail in a shamanic journeying workshop before. She also includes an entire chapter on different kinds of
journeys and what questions to ask in each one. Most instructors deal with finding a power animal and exploring the
three worlds. More advanced instructors and practitioners ask for aid in dealing with a life choice or a personal
healing. Ingerman has questions about an individual's personal history, such as asking to meet an ancestor and
chatting with him or her. Other journeys deal with ways to restore harmony and balance in one's life after receiving
medical or psychological help. She even includes ways of asking for help with social issues, connecting with nature
and natural objects such as plants or crystals, and getting help creating rituals for transitions and goal setting.
Sandra Ingerman's Shamanic Journeying: A Beginner's Guide is essential for anyone desiring to learn to use
shamanic techniques for inner healing and growth. Very highly recommended.
NOTE: Reviewer Janie
Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!and co-author of
The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book.