The mystics of every religion and earth-based spiritual practice have a secret to share with us. And it is this: To enter into a conscious relationship with the unseen worlds and receive their wisdom, one must first make an offering of intent. At the core of that offering is the willingness to release the illusion that your rational mind is all powerful.
To be receptive to the dimension where the gods, goddesses, archetypes and angels reside, you have to let go of control. You have to become psychically porous. This is why mystical practices such as shamanism are referred to as “ecstatic” spiritual techniques. To be “ecstatic” is to stand outside of mundane consciousness and be forever changed, even if subtly, by that alteration of one’s view of reality.
Cross-culturally and throughout dozens of millennia, there have been countless techniques for announcing to the spiritual realms our desire to engage: chanting, praying, fasting, dancing, clapping, shaking, drumming, singing and breath work, among them.
In contemporary shamanic practices (thank you, Sandra Ingerman and Michael Harner for distilling these ways for us), the primary form of preparation for entering into ecstatic states is through “calling in” spiritual power, primarily through drumming and rattling. The steady beat of these instruments slows the electrical activity of the brain, relieving us of intellect-dominated perception.
To be a mystic is to prioritize a passionate and direct engagement with the invisible worlds of spirit, eschewing the empty husks of dogma. Being “a mystic” is, I believe, an involuntary calling rather than a recreational option. However, there is in every person, who feels a yearning for an indefinable more, a touch of the mystic. Calling in power opens the door between the conscious and unconscious dimensions of the psyche, softening ego identity boundaries, increasing receptivity to non-rational reality. No wonder it is a primary tool of the mystic.
Most of us have opened that same door between the worlds a thousand times, but how often do we do it with a conscious intent to expand beyond the habitual confines of our everyday identities? The next time you desire entry into the realms of imagination, spirit and creativity, call in spiritual power as an intentional offering. What you send out with love and intention will flow back to you with astonishing abundance. And then the journey begins.