The Three Worlds
The three worlds found in core Shamanism are respectively: The Lower world, The Middle world, and the Upper world.
Though this seems intensely vague, we will be going deeper into each of these worlds, the teachings you find, the beings, and why these non-ordinary realities exist.
Before I go any deeper into this post, I would like to preface with this: If you have not read the “What is Shamanism?” Page on my website, or the “What is Shamanism: A deeper understanding” on my blog, please read that before going further, I promise things will make more sense.
The Lower World
In astronomically recent times (aka, the past 2000-2500 years), the Lower world has been misrepresented on a mass scale by different religious organizations across the globe. During the Christianization periods of history, the Church adopted certain beliefs to sway Pagans into joining. This included many of the 8 major feasts and sabbats, like Yule (which became Christmas), Ostara (which became Easter), and Imbolc (Which became Candlemass).
This also includes the changing of the Horned God to represent the ruler of the lower world, which took on the shortened version of the name Helheim (Norse mythology for the underworld), Hell. Through these changes and representations of duality, the Church had used this as a way to persuade pagans to join the movement.
I want you to realize that I am not demeaning the Christian Church or other religions, I myself find great wisdom in the Holy Books, I believe in many things and that includes these books. But from a historical stand point, this is my research.
Let’s get back to it though. The lower world often drums up imagery of fire and flames if you come from a predominately Christian background (Like myself, I once thought of this as well). But that is simply not true.
The Lower world is found “below” the middle world, and like most I find myself using the roots of a tree or a cave dwelling to reach it. Once reaching this realm, the LW is in fact very similar to ordinary reality. Trees, rocks, caves, animals, and insects. Everything down here though, are spiritual representations of our world.
You can talk to practically everything here. And everything you meet has a teaching or a lesson of some form. All you must do is ask.
So, what can you do here in the lower world? Pretty much anything, ride on the wings of an eagle, ride on the back of a bear or wolf, talk to an ant or even become one.
It is this realm that we find our Power Animals or what other people call Spirit Guides, animal guides, animal protectors, etc… But it is also here that you can call to and talk with the Ancestors.
The Middle World
Here, right here, is the middle world, but it does not exist within the physical realm of sight. It exists just beyond our eyes and in the realm of the spiritual.
The Middle world can be quite formidable and is only recommended to be traversed by those who have a great relationship with their guides and have some experience in the Lower and Upper Worlds.
The Middle world (in my perspective and understanding) is same but different. The objects that are in our world appear here, and in their spot, but are transparent and, again, to me look almost pale blue, and the rest of the world is “shadowy” as if… the moon has cast its silvery light everywhere. It’s not bright, but it is at the same time.
Here you will find not helping spirits or guides, but the spirits and souls of the lost and of those who have not yet crossed over (Another post will delve into this deeper). This is not somewhere where you will ask for help, but rather to find someone or to help a spirit cross the veil. As a Shamanism Practitioner works, it is in this realm that we help others, and spirits cross over. It is also in this realm that we work to heal the living.
While the UW and LW exist outside of our perception of time and space, the MW is the only place that time and space governs. The spirits here have an understanding for it, even after their passing.
So why does the middle world exist? Honestly, we don’t know WHY, we just know it does. It is there to hold space for those not ready to cross the veil. It is used by spiritual workers and light workers to help heal as well. The Middle world is almost like the spirit of reality itself, if you can think of reality as a personified being.
The Upper World
The upper world is seen as this heavenly place. Usually white, clouds, billowing beautiful structures, and helping compassionate guides and teachers that take on bipedal or human form are found here.
In my perception the UW is in the clouds, has beautiful glowing quartz crystal clusters, angelic light, the angels. Though some people have told me their perception includes galaxies and stars, and a beautiful planetarium feel.
In Norse mythology the Upper Worlds can be described as the home of the Gods, Asgard; the Greeks, Mount Olympus; Christianity, Heaven; Celtic, Gwynvyd. Throughout the world, the heavens is the place of God or godly spirits like angels and guardian Angels. It is the home of infinite knowledge and the place of the upper chakras and the way to Ascension. The Akashic records also resides here.
Why the upper world? The upper world provides a place for the Angelic realms to reside. It represents the path of truth and the path into ascension into the next dimension of living. Though in recent times, it is found that the veils between the three worlds are thinning and angels and animals can now be found in both the UW and LW, they still mainly reside in their respective homes.
Why what? I’m thinking you’re asking why the three worlds and not just one, or maybe even nine?
In reality, there is only one. Within Unity, and the belief that we are returning into unity, all the realms and ways of living is one. But to our human perception we cannot fully understand and comprehend life as being one, so the spirits have provided a way into which we no perceive the world, both physical and spiritual.
Like I had mentioned above, the veils between realms are thinning. This is just a way within the shamanism and spiritual communities to say that we as humanity are starting to return to unity and are growing into a consciousness that allows us to perceive this in its full understanding. This is beautiful but doesn’t exactly answer your question.
In short, the three realms provide a means to understanding the universe in its entirety. We may and can split these down further, but the basics are the three worlds. Our understanding of the universe will always grow and change, but it will always remain the same, infinite being that loves each of us.
May you go forth in love and light,