Going to the Edge and Back


A journey may seem like an individual adventure, however, everyone who reads this journey will benefit because the lessons and healings are for each other. As I learn and heal so you can. There is much insight for you from my journeys, as shamanic journeying is a powerful therapeutic tool giving you an opportunity to travel into the timeless, pathless land of non-ordinary reality. I hope it will bring you healing and enjoyment. Happy Summer!

Shiela Baker is a practicing and teaching shaman, a psychotherapist, and a PTSD specialist.

My shamanic journeys begin in a canoe at the edge of a river with my male ancestor on my right and my female ancestor on the left. In the bow in front of the canoe is my guide and behind me is my protection. Once I have this sacred group in place I set my intention and the journey begins. A monotonous drumbeat shifts the brain into a theta state where we have access to non-ordinary reality. And so it begins.

My male ancestor, the bear, is on the right and this time he is with a bunny. A Native American grandmother, my female ancestor, is on the bank of the river and is creating a necklace of daisies. Heron is in the front and is acting as my guide in this journey although Hawk is in the bow as well. The crystal formation is behind me as my protection. I set my intention: “Show me what I need to know.” This open-ended request brings much more information than a question with a yes or no answer. And you may as well know as much as possible to make your life as gracious and easy as possible.

Bear and Bunny on the riverbank are holding hands circling a birch tree with initials carved into it. I cannot see the initials but they are singing “Ring around the Rosie.” My view is from above where I notice tents set up along the edge of the winding river. I can see from aloft how to get to the mouth of the river where it joins the ocean. Instinctively I know I am to go the windy river way, and not in a straight line as the crow would fly.

Travelling along the river we come to a smaller encampment where there are only three tents. I am shown the first tent where a couple is camping. Moving along to the second tent I see myself and I am with my dog who is no longer on this plane. In the third and last tent I am alone but the tent has been prepared for especially for me; I can rest here.

Departing this last tent where I am alone I see a huge sun coming up over the horizon. I get back into the canoe and paddle towards the sun then wait at the mouth of the river. I cannot decide whether to go to the left or right riverbank so I paddle straight out into the ocean.

Heron in the front of the canoe opens her wings wide blocking the sun then quickly turning flies up and over me. Her feet touch the top of my head. Hawk remains in the bow but I notice that I am afraid. I fear falling off the edge of the world as we seem at the very place where the sun meets the earth. But I calm myself and just wait. The sun, still enormous, appears to fly up and over me. And I am left in the canoe at the edge of the world. I have not fallen off the earth, the sun has merely passed over me.

I watch as the sun moves across the sky and we are just watching time pass. Our journey ends with the canoe returning to the edge of the river where we began. Bear and Bunny are still dancing around the birch tree. I thank everyone for helping me along the way in this journey.

Understanding the metaphors in a journey is profoundly helpful and moves your life forward in divinely inspired ways. Years ago I asked five archetypes for their help in deciphering the information.

They are the visionary, which is you as you have set an intention and asked to receive guidance. The second archetype is the enlightened spiritual warrior who is willing to take action or wait a bit for the highest and best for all beings, hence the enlightenment and spiritual piece. The third archetype is the teacher because when you ask for help there is always a lesson. The fourth is the healer, when you learn a lesson you have an opportunity for a healing. And the final archetype is the magician, how are you going to make this practical in the real world.

So, this is my interpretation but as you read the journey see what pops up for you. We each have a different perspective and view of things which is why we need one another to give a bigger picture. I am the visionary setting the intention of “show me what I need to know.” As the enlightened spiritual warrior I paddle even though I am afraid of falling off the world, because I cannot see beyond the horizon I imagine that there is nothing there and I will fall. As the teacher I learn to go to the edge and allow what is outside of what I know to be revealed. As the healer there is something comforting to return to where I began and have my ancestors singing fun songs from my childhood. As the magican I can go to a park and watch children, I can ask one of my playful friends to play ring around the rosie, I can put my arms around a tree.

What do you notice in this journey from these perspectives and how can it be helpful and healing for you? Shamanic journeys are a powerful therapeutic healing tool and journeying is easy to learn. You can take an online class with me.

Bliss, Shiela


About Author

Shiela Baker, a practicing and teaching shaman, is a therapist, nurse, PTSD specialist and holds a Masters’ Degree in Dance Movement Therapy. She shares her knowledge in three books. Look for her recent book, Journeys of Transformation, coming this autumn. Shiela has been teaching shamanism since 1997. She uses many tools to help the soul’s evolution and provide relief from trauma including shamanic tarot, the akashic records, soul retrieval with after-care, yoga, shamanic counseling, and home and business blessings. Please visit www.shielabaker.com, or call 206-904-9404

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