In deep imagery as we understand it in the Personal Totem Pole Process, the emphasis is on relating directly to the imagery guide and in fully partaking in the experiences that occur in the imagery journeys. A journey begins with the practitioner leading the journeyer through a relaxation process. The aim is to help shift the journeyer’s attention away from where it is currently focused and into their body experience. From there it is easy to shift attention to the window of imagery.
In a deep imagery journey. our first action is to call for an inner guide, usually an animal, inviting it to come to us. Experience in Imagery journeys is deepened by our active participation with the inner animals rather than by simply observing the animal, thinking about it or interpreting it symbolically. Thus the primary tasks we have as journeyer, are to communicate with the animal, listen to its response, and allow space for further interaction.
Greet the inner guide and thank it for coming. ,Asking the animal some open- ended questions, such as “What do you need from me?” “What needs to happen now?” “Is something ready to heal?” all allow a deepening of the Imagery journey and enable a truly interactive and relational experience.
By remaining curious about our own process, responsive to our imagery guides and keeping the journey outcome open-ended, the deep imagination
has the space it needs to bring us to where we most need to go for our own growing, be it emotional, psychological, or spiritual.
“It is alright to understand it metaphorically but the animal needs also to be related to in the immediacy of its existence, not merely as if it were ‘a message about.’ To treat the animal as if it were only a metaphor about other aspects of one’s life is to miss the fact that it is also the living nucleus of the connection to those other aspects.”
E.S. Gallegos, The Personal Totem Pole Process, 190