Michael Harner, anthropologist and author of The Way of the Shaman, has been studying and practicing shamanism since 1961. Shamanic healing is distinguished from other methods of healing by its use of an altered state of consciousness. This can be obtained with or without the use of mind-altering substances. The shamanic state of consciousness is a type of daydreaming state utilizing visualization. The content of the dream recorded in The Book of Revelation in the Bible is typical of initiatory shamanic journeys.
Drumming or rattling is often used to help entrain the brain to this altered state. The shaman may dance to help guide his assistant to drum the appropriate beat. The drumming also helps keep the shaman linked to the ordinary world during his journey.
The shaman will enlist the assistance of power animals from the “lower” world and spirit guides from the “upper” world. “Upper” and “lower” refer to the evolutionary level of the beings. The spirit guides from the upper world can include beings such as angels and ascended masters such as Jesus. Those who engage in interactive visualizations with these upper world beings could be said to be engaging in a type of shamanism. This is, in my view, a stronger process than simply calling on these upper world beings in prayer.
The angels and ascended masters have said that if humanity wishes for the assistance of those in other realms, the law of free will requires that their assistance be requested. Shamanic journeying is a way of requesting that assistance interactively.
I believe that shamanic journeying is a process highly appropriate for the healing of the planet because the shamanic state of consciousness allows for communication with the spirit of the planet as well as with the spirits of the plants and animals thus allowing for their participation in the process. It is a great method for enhancing the perception of the Oneness of All.