I first have to say that the shifting of consciousness can be done many ways. I'll talk about the multitude of methods in another article. One of the methods is through chemical substances. This approach is controversial and very possibly illegal by the laws of the land. I don't condone breaking the law in pursuit of what I'm going to speak of. While the use of illegal substances is a handy short cut to shifting consciousness, their indulgence is not necessary and sometimes is harmful to the future of the shamanist's visions. While "to each their own" is the mantra of the day, I'd very much recommend investigating legal means before moving outside those society approved boundaries.
The concept of shifting consciousness is a big topic and I will focus on just one aspect of altered senses. My musical experience is an example of synesthesia. Dictionary.com defines synesthesia as:
- A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color.
- A sensation felt in one part of the body as a result of stimulus applied to another, as in referred pain.
- The description of one kind of sense impression by using words that normally describe another.
The root of experiencing vibrations is incredibly important in shamanic understanding. Life is made up of vibrations. The varied interpretation and communication of vibrations is the shamanist's tool. Most of these vibrations cannot be measured using conventional equipment. The shamanist senses the subtle vibrations of realms of reality: physical, energetic, astral, and mediumistic. The shamanist is challenged to translate each of these realms into a sensory input that is properly interpreted. The additional challenge is knowing how to communicate with equally understood vibrations. The vibrational foundation of the world is available to the shamanist to explore and use.
A brief definition should be supplied for each realm of reality. The physical realm takes in those things that can be clearly investigated with conventional sensory organs and equipment. The physical realm can be seen, heard, touched, smelled and heard with the five senses. The physical realm is the one most available to the greatest number of people. The energetic realm is very large by my general use of the word. Emotions, "vibes", and psychic influences can be placed into this realm. Though I spend a lot of time here, I have to admit that the energetic realm is immense, open to many individual explorations. The astral realm is perhaps even larger. This realm takes in the multitude of realities. Some realities intersect with others, providing glimpses and opportunities to visit. The astral realm holds incredible vistas to which humans merely visit, for to truly live here would forfeit the human existence. The last realm, the mediumistic realm, is the least understood and most feared. In this realm lay the doorways to time and those things thought to be deceased. Perhaps the mediumistic realm perhaps does not exist on its own. It may be a combination of other realms, but I feel the signs that the departed, and their echoes, exist separate from the energetic and astral realms. In time we will all pass over to this. The shamanist has the role of caretaker for those who do pass over, as well as other roles involving the mediumistic realm. The combination of all the realms provides the backdrop to the shamanist's vibrational experience.
Each realm has a different set of rules, though these are not dogmatic, so perhaps pattern is a better word than rule. The inhabitants of the shamanist's world have their own languages just as people do. Each layer of reality has it's own frequency. A shamanist must tune themselves to these frequencies just as one would change the settings on a radio. Sometimes the communication is one way. Sometimes it is two-way. The communication style depends on the abilities of the shamanist and their relationship with the realm to which they are interacting with.
So how does the shamanist visit the realms of realities and their rules of interaction? The shamanist is a human being, and as such, has the five physical senses. I very much believe in a sixth sense. This sixth sense can be thought of as intuition. It is more. The sixth sense does include "other knowing" or "other sight". I believe this is just the beginning. With the possible exclusion of the physical realm, the vibrations of the other realms of reality must be experienced through a form of synesthesia when direct sensory input is not possible.
The method of crossing over senses is largely dependent on the shamanist. Each person has his or her own preferred method. While perhaps the most common are hearing voices or seeing pictures, the non-physical realms are seen, heard, tasted, felt and smelled. The vibration to which the shamanist is interacting also influences methods of synesthesia. The energetic realm may be felt as a physical sensation. The mediumistic realm may reach out with pictures or words. There are no set rules to how the vibrations of each realm will impact the shamanist.
I would like to share some personal experiences of synesthesia. It is common for me to shift my consciousness when attempting a physical healing during a massage. The goal is to facilitate the relief of discomfort or tension. The most apparent level of this discomfort is on the physical realm. I acknowledge this and then move onto the energetic level. Physical sensations of "stuckness" or discordant vibration are interpreted as energetic issues. Colors are seen as a gauge of the relative health of the energetic. This is the rub. The physical and energetic are connected. There are at least seven different layers of existence in the arena of the human body. The physical and energetic are two. There is a cross-sensory interpretation of the physical when I view it on the energetic level. I may then pursue the astral or mediumistic realm while working with the client. In the past I've spoken to a person's past self, future self or higher self. These aspects of them self can have dispassionate information that is not available to the person in front of me. Communications with those aspects of the person come in the form of pictures or words most of the time. The correction of the patient’s condition is also cross-sensory. I evoke a color, sound, or image onto the malefic area. Changes in the state of the area are communicated back. A proper facilitation of healing brings the person into a cross-sensory perception that equates to a more perfect health.
Synesthesia, the crossing of sensory perceptions, is a valuable tool for the shamanist as they explore the vibrational realms of reality. The importance of cross-sensory perception is that it allows for those realms not available to the physical or mental sense to become open to the shamanist. Though the realms that the shamanist will visit can be put into loose categories, there is no actual demarcation when the shamanist experiences them as realities based on range of subtle and varied vibrations. The only differences the realms may have are the patterns of existence defined by the realm's unique properties and the shamanist's relationship to the realm. The experiencing of the realms via cross-sensory perceptions is a beginning. The shamanist's relationship with the landscape and inhabitants is the next juncture. The shamanist will explore vibrational realms via cross-sensory visions. Their relationships in and with the realms then guide the shamanist's reach and influence.