Spiritual journeys and astral travel are practices found in different forms of spirituality such as witchcraft, hedge riding / hedge witchcraft, shamanism and folk practices.
For these spiritual journeys, there are different realms and worlds that the practitioner can work in for different purposes and reasons such as for wisdom, healing and magick.
Here we’ll explore what spiritual journeys are, the different kinds of journeys and underworld journeys from a magickal / witchcraft perspective that can be adapted to any personal practice.
In spiritual journeys, a practitioner can work in different realms that are mainly divided into three main worlds:
- Upper World
- Middle World
- Under World
To begin, let’s cover what these three worlds contain before getting to the main subject about underworld journeys in witchcraft.
The Upper World
In the upper world, the energy and beings have a higher vibration than the two other worlds.
Here beings such as angels, archangels and ethereal spirits can be found in this world; some may say this is a world that is associated with “love and light” and can connect to celestial energy such as the stars and cosmos.
To work in the upper world, we must ascend and elevate our consciousness and awareness.
The Middle World
The middle world is where we reside, live, work and exist as living people, plants, animals and even crystals and rocks. This is where the elements of earth, air, fire and water co-exist.
Everything that we want to physically manifest and take shape happens here in the middle world.
To work in the middle world, we must become aware and may even bi-locate our consciousness or awareness to travel and create in this world.
The under world is commonly known where the dead and ancestors reside; this is also where the deepest shadow work happens and where healing trauma begins.
Working in the under world can be cathartic and healing, a place of solitude and refuge from the daily struggles of life.
To begin work in the under world, we must descend down to the depths both within the consciousness and the psyche.
Spiritual Journeys in the Worlds
The purpose and goal of spiritual journeys will depend on the world that you’re working in.
If you’re working in the upper world, you may decide to focus on working on your spiritual purpose, your soul’s purpose, your life’s “master plan”, working with deities / angels / archangels or seeking guidance from your spirit guides or loved ones in spirit who have passed within your life time.
If you’re working in the middle world, you may decide to focus on elements and matters that relate to your environment, your living situation, your work / career, your current relationships, etc.
If you’re working in the under world, you may decide to focus on deep psychological or spiritual healing, soul retrieval, communicating with the dead or ancestors, working with underworld deities, past lives or shadow work.
Underworld journeys may often be more intense and therapeutic types of spiritual work that require time and self-care to proceed with.
If you’re familiar with working with shadow work, dark goddesses, dark gods or dark moon magick, you may be already working with or ready to perform underworld journeys.
To know more about working with dark goddesses, get the Working with the Dark Moon & Dark Goddess e-book.
A well-known version of an underworld journey is the Descent of Inanna – the Sumerian goddess that descended through the seven gates to the underworld to visit her grieving sister, Erishkegal.
For some practitioners, a symbolic ritual of passing through the seven gates of the underworld to meet Erishkegal can be a moving experience. (This ritual is described in Journey to the Dark Goddess: How to Return to Your Soul by Jane Meredith.)
While underworld journeys may be easier during the waning half of the year (especially close to Samhain), working in the underworld can bring healing on a deeper level through connecting with ancestors or working with spirit familiars / guides anytime of the year.
While many spiritual practices focus on raising the vibration to reach higher frequencies, in order to reach the underworld the frequency and consciousness must be brought down to a lower level.
Through meditation and visualization, this technique can be achieved to reach the depths of the underworld for spiritual journeys.
Spiritual Journeys & Guides
Spiritual journeys can be done with spirit guides, animal guides or deities to assist you with the work that you want to do in that world.
Some guides will work and accompany you through each of the three worlds while some may choose to stay only within a certain world.
Developing a relationship with a particular guide in one or more worlds may take time, however you can work with the guide for specific purposes and journeys in the worlds/realms.
To know more about spirit guides, check out Your Guide to Spirit Guides e-book.
Working in the Underworld
To perform an underworld journey, here are some common steps that can be taken:
- Create sacred space / cleansing your space
- Meditate (reaching an altered state of consciousness)
- Consciously descend (through a gateway or portal)
- Perform the work (e.g. communicate with spirit guides, familiars, the dead, dark gods/goddesses)
- Consciously ascend (returning the same way or a different way than you descended)
- Return to full awareness
Spiritual Underworld Journeys in Witchcraft
If you’re looking for an introductory guide from a witchcraft perspective for underworld spiritual journeys, be sure to have a closer look at the Underworld Journeys in Witchcraft e-book.
This introduction e-book will show you:
- How to do an underworld journey
- How to access the underworld
- How to create your astral temple / astral sacred space
- Working with guides in the underworld
- Plants and herbs (poisonous and non-poisonous) associated with the underworld to enhance your practice
- Crystals to work with for your underworld journey
Here’s an excerpt from Underworld Journeys in Witchcraft e-book:
An underworld journey is the process of going through a meditation and gaining access to these depths of the underworld, often for a purpose or reason that’s spiritual in nature.
During an underworld journey, you may encounter spirits, ancestors, animals and deities that may be able to assist you or you may choose to go to the underworld to uncover and learn more about yourself including shadow work or to perform a soul retrieval for yourself or another person.
An underworld journey is different than performing a journey in the upperworld as the energy and sensations in the underworld are much different.
Some may experience feelings or energy that is dense, void, heavy or empty compared to the energy of the upper realms which may be of a higher vibration.
The underworld energy is often heavier and denser which is sometimes easier to relate to from a middle world perspective.
However, as we primarily exist in the middle world to live, breathe and function, we experience both the underworld energy and the upper world energies simultaneously in the middle world.
An underworld journey begins with the intention and reason to begin the journey, then preparations are made to start the journey, then a meditation is done to allow the practitioner to gain access.
Some underworld journeys can be intense and if you’re not prepared for the journey or for how far you want to go, there can be residual effects that can take place in one’s life.
However, often these are indications of issues currently happening in one’s life and the underworld journey can stir it up like shaking up water mixed with dirt. Eventually the dirt will settle to the bottom of the glass or container, but until then it will be a messy, turbulent mixture.
For more about journeys to the underworld, check out Underworld Journeys in Witchcraft e-book.
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