Michael Harrner's Shamanic Journey Multiple Drumming Bridgewalker Drummers



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Michael Harrner's
Shamanic Journey Multiple Drumming
Bridgewalker Drummers
Shamanic Journey Series, No. 7 Foundation for Shamanic Studies
a nonprofit incorporated educational organization
Program for length of journey desired:
1. - 30-minute multiple drumming with callback (Track 1
2. - 15-minute multiple drumming with callback
Note: It is assumed track one continues into track two for the above times. Actually they are both
about 15 min. So I added “Track all” which is both joined
Unified, driving, shamanic journey drumming by four drummers led by Mo Maxfield. The
Bridgewalker Drummers use cottonwood double-headed roundframe drums. The drums range
between 14"-16" in diameter and 8"-14" in height. The disciplined drumming in unison produces a full range of the auditory spectrum.
Playing both tracks 1 and 2, the journey is approximately a half-hour long, a length of time that has
been found to be generally optimal for shamanic journeying. If you wish a shorter journey of fifteen
minutes, simply program your CD player to play only track 2.
At the end of the journey, the drums are beaten four times to signal that it is time to return; then the
drums are beaten very rapidly for the return journey. Finally, the drums are beaten four times again
to signal that the return journey is ended and you should be back in the room where you started.
Persons engaged in power animal retrieval work should not wait until the drumming is ended to
return, but should do so whenever they feel it is appropriate.
This is not music, but is to be used as instructed in Michael Harner's book, The Way of the Shaman
(HarperCollins, 1980, 1990). Do not be discouraged if you do not achieve success the first time;
repeated practice may be necessary to achieve results.
These are some pointers to help you journey successfully:
1. Use headphones;
2. Do not try to journey to the drumming if you are tired or sleepy, or have taken alcohol or mindaltering
substances within the past 24 hours;
3. Lie down in a quiet, dimly lit or dark room and disconnect the telephone so that you will not be
4. Cover your eyes with a bandanna or other piece of cloth;
5. Before starting, be very clear about where you are going (e.g., Lower World), and for what
6. Adjust the volume so that it is loud enough (it should be equivalent to someone beating the drum
within a few feet of you, but not so loud you experience discomfort);
7. Use your pre-selected departure point known to you in ordinary reality (as described in the book);
8. Employ the simultaneous narration technique (described later) in order to maximize the
vividness of your journey;
9. Keep a journal of your experiences.
Do not play the recording in a moving vehicle, while operating heavy machinery, or if you have
epileptic tendencies.
High-quality headphones are recommended to achieve the maximum range and fidelity of sound.
You can use a high-quality loudspeaker system instead of earphones, but the speaker sound will
interfere with recording your journey experiences using the simultaneous narration technique, and may
also disturb others.
Michael Harner developed the first shamanic journey drumming tape in 1979. He did not expect,
however, that playing a recording would be as effective as a live drum. Then, while working with
shamanic counseling clients in the early 1980's, he discovered an improved way to journey to the
drumming tape, a technique now known as "simultaneous narration." Using this method, many
persons get results fully equivalent to those obtained with a live drum, and some consider the
results superior.
In the simultaneous narration method, the journeyer narrates the journey aloud simultaneously as
he or she experiences it. Surprisingly, simultaneous narration usually makes journeying easier and
often at least twice as vivid as when the person simply remains silent. An additional optional
feature of the simultaneous narration method is for the journeyer to wear a lapel microphone
connected to a tape recorder (separate from the CD player providing the drumming through
headphones). This not only provides the person with a permanent taped record of the journey
experience, but also permits an immediate review and analysis of the experience and the
information gained. The simultaneous narration technique is an integral part of Harner Method
Shamanic Counseling, a personal problem-solving system. Training in this specific method is
given by the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in its Harner Method Shamanic Counseling
Training course.

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