During a recent shamanic gathering I'm attending, it was suggested to me that I have a certain talent for navigating in the "other" realms, which tickled my plumicorn and inspired me to write about that very topic, which some of you might find illuminating.
It really didn't dawn on me until that moment, that others might not find it so obvious how to travel around in other realms, but it does make sense, as it's vastly different from what we're used to on this particularly dense plane we spend most of our time in.
For me, it was never really too hard, as my Gemini side is very much a thinker and a creator, which are two very important skills in other realms. You really need to be able to use the energy known as "thought" to be able to will yourself to go where you want to go. In this realm, you don't have to stop and think about how to walk when you want to go somewhere, you just decide you want to go to the store and get up and go. It works the same for most other things we do, cooking, cleaning, studying, etc..
Most of this is possible through muscle memories that you've been developing since you were born. When you want to pick something up, you just do it because your hands and arms already know what to do.
In other realms, it's not completely different. You'll need to develop the muscles memory in your ethereal body, just like you did with your normal body (I say "normal" for lack of a better word. I'm sure there is one, it's just not in my vocabulary yet). If you've never done lucid dreaming, astral travel or shamanic journeying before, these muscles might be especially weak. You could also just have a natural ability to know what to do, or you might have inadvertently built your muscles through dreams you might or might not remember. Most of us though, need to build up our astral muscles and get used to the way things work for you.
I want to emphasize that last part, as there are plenty of different experiences. Most folks will find theirs pretty similar to anyone else's, but there are many different ways to navigate and travel in other realms and yours could end up blossoming into a whole new way.
Now, as I said before, traveling in other realms comes to me quite easily, but that doesn't mean I haven't had my own trials and troubles. When I first tried to astral project, one thing or another keep pulling me back into my physical body. Sometimes it was fear, other times it was over analyzation, other times it was lack of proper surroundings. One thing or another keep me from getting out into the ethereal realms.
When it comes to lucid dreaming, I have those since I was about 7 years old, before I even knew what lucid dreaming or shamanism or any of this stuff was, but I remember quite clearly, how hard it was to move or will myself to do something I wanted to do. I often find myself stuck in one place in one position, observing events unfold in front of me, unable to do anything about any of it. I can remember several dreams where I'd wake up screaming because I couldn't move or go anywhere and it was scary in a very real way. In those lucid dreams I couldn't even get anything to come out of my mouth, not even the tiniest whisper. But the more the dream came, the more I was able to say or move, even if it was only the tiniest bit.
I remember after a very vivid lucid dream I had as a preteen, where I got stabbed right in the belly button and woke up feeling like the knife was still there, I began my search into learning more about dreams like that. This is when I learned about the idea of lucid dreaming and shamanic journeying, and began to try new things to be able to attempt to move and navigate in these real dreams. It was about this same time that I learned to look at my physical hands and then learn to do the same in the dreams, as a way of knowing I was fully aware in the dream and as a way of developing some semblance of control over my dreaming body.
Before long, moving around became easier and then the lucid flying dreams began, which were a whole new ballgame for me. Some of those experiences were more frightening than not being able to move at all. If you can imagine yourself learning to fly unassisted, imagine that the first time you get a decent levitation going, you don't know how to go back down and end up floating up and out into space and beyond. Panic is an understatement. It takes a minute to even wake up in your physical body, and there were a few times I couldn't even do that until I came back down. Even with all the terror, the thrill of really flying and going anywhere I wanted was such an ecstatic feeling that even my physical body would orgasm in response (which is a topic for another time).
Honestly, it was the flying that triggered the realization of how movement worked in the other realms. It was a matter of Will. I had to will myself up off the ground, and will myself to go up or down or forward or back. I couldn't just think about flying and have it happen, I had to put intention into it. The same had become true for me in any journey, whether it be a dreaming journey, a meditation journey, a long distance healing journey or shamanic journey. All the same principals applied: will + intention = movement.
It's important to remember that "movement" and "navigation" can mean more than just walking, flying, falling, etc.. Some folks are easily able to walk, but they find themselves stuck in an empty room with brick walls and no doors or windows. What then? You might be able to move in the room you're in, but how to you move out of this room? This is another type of movement issue, but the same principals apply. Many folks will find themselves stuck in there because all they can think about is that there's no way out. That's the catch though, isn't it. It's like meeting your power animal. If your intention is to search for your power animal, you'll spend most of your time looking for them but not finding them. Alternatively, if your intention is to find or meet your power animal, then you will find them. It's the same with the room. If you're only think about finding a way out you might stay stuck in there until the end of your journey. Alternatively, if you were to look for a way through the room, you might suddenly find that the walls are more of a membrane than actual solid brick, meaning that you could walk through the walls and then you'd hand no need of doors or windows.
Another example might be that you find yourself in a situation where you can't see anything. Maybe you're in a dark cave or place where there's just no light. Who knows? But if all you think about is that you can't see and that you want to see, your going to stay blind for a while longer. Instead, if you thought about what was blocking your vision, you might be able to overcome the issue. Maybe you've got a blindfold on? Maybe you need a flashlight or candle or another source of light? Or maybe you simply need to leave the area your in and find another place. You could walk around to find an exit, fly up to see if there's an exit, walk through the walls or borrow down into the earth and find another place.
I think by now you get what I'm saying. When it comes to moment in the other realms, you need to be creative and not get yourself stuck on thinking about what isn't working. Then once you've figured out what you want to do, you will yourself to do take that action.
Let's summarize this for those of you who don't read the prologues.
1. If you can't move your body in any direction and nothing is impeding your movement, think about what you want to do (walk, jump, fly, twitch your toes, etc) and then will yourself to do it.
2. If you can't move because something is blocking or impeding your movement (like a wall), think about other intentions you could use to find another way out, through or simply beyond where you are.
3. If you're still having troubles beyond these, get creative. What would happen if you just closed your eyes and willed yourself to be somewhere else?
Share your experiences below in the comments! The more we share, the more we know collectively =)