The Three Worlds of the shaman are also referred to as Cosmology. The root of cosmology is cosmos; cosmos is the Greek word for order. The Cosmology is simply identifying the Multiverse. It is simple and yet it can be challenging to put into words the spiritual ideas you have come into contact with.
Cosmology is the human understanding of the origins of the universe. In all cultures it is an attempt to come to terms with and make sense of the world. Across cultures and within cultures, people’s beliefs about the origin of the universe (cosmogony), the structure of the universe (cosmology), and their place in the universe (worldview) vary greatly.
According to that cosmology, it was the Primordial Shamans who gave the Sun its fiery headdress and with it the power to light up the world. Birds are allies of the shaman, whom they assist in his role as mediator between human and nonhuman realms. By knowing the language of birds, the shaman is endowed with great power. Birds are a transformation of the divine Sun.
Other examples include: Christian – a single God created the universe, Muslim – Allah, a single god, created the world, Hindu – 330 million gods live in a universe that predates time. Many traditional cosmologies teach of the circle of life ~ meaning all things material and immaterial are equal and interdependent; seeing themselves as part of nature. They saw the world as sacred and acted in awe of it. Christians and Muslims believe the earth is unimportant in the afterlife. Earth is an energy body, we reside on Earth, the Mother of all energy bodies, Earth is connected to other dimensions, other energy bodies. Shamanism is an ecstatic practice which makes access to the Upper and Lower Worlds possible.
Ecstatic refers to the shaman’s specialty; the ability to consciously move beyond the physical. These flights are known by different names; we commonly refer to it as a journey. I am particularly fond of the term, voyage… shamanic voyage, it does have a nice ring to it. Anthropologists refer to it as soul flight; Carl Jung refers to it as the active imagination. These voyages take us to the nether realms, higher levels of existence or to parallel physical worlds or other regions of this world. It takes consideration and practice to readily accept that the voyages are not of an inner imaginary landscape, but rather our voyages take us well beyond the limitations of the physical body.
In many of these cosmologies the universe was divided into three major areas; the sky, the earth and the Lower world. We pass from one cosmic region to another – from earth to the sky or from earth to the lower world. We seek to learn and understand the mystery of the breakthrough in plane. Against our logic, but quite logical to spite us, is this communication among the cosmic zones is made possible by the very structure of the universe. By understanding the cosmology and topography of our own flights we also understand our own inner landscape.
“He commands the techniques of ecstasy – that is, because his soul can safely abandon his body and roam at vast distances, can penetrate the underworld and rise to the sky. Through his own ecstatic experience, he knows the roads of the extraterrestrial regions. He can go below and above because he has already been there. The danger of losing his way in these forbidden regions is still great; but sanctified by his initiation and furnished with his guardian spirit, a shaman is the only human being able to challenge the danger and venture into a mystical geography.”