Travel in the Spirit World
Leaving a shamanic circle is an extraordinary and extremely dangerous act. Doing so means entering the phantasmagorical Spirit World, a vast region without direct connections to the physical world and with ever-changing features. At first the Spirit World seems gray, vague, and indeterminate—as if floating in a dream. There is no sense no order or arrangements. Vast, amorphous things float about seemingly at random, occasionally coalescing or splitting. Some landmarks can be discerned, but the landscape shifts and changes; flowing and melting like ice under the hot sun. The Spirit World is like a fever dream or hallucinogenic experience; a place of ever-changing manifested possibilities. It is almost as if every dream anyone ever had would become tangible—at the same time. The Spirit World is semi-consistent in places, insanity inducing, or inspiring in others.
Journeys in the Spirit World can be very confusing, but at the same time revealing. The Spirit World is especially dangerous because it does not have any firm or easily recognizable boundaries that separate regions where incredibly powerful and dangerous entities dwell. The spirit landscape is formed from embodied spirits—embodied life forms and spirits of nature, but their distribution seems random and irregular. For instance, sometimes a single tree is an entity, while sometimes an entity takes care of a whole grove or forest. Sometimes an entity is of a little pebble, sometimes of a huge mountain.
Spirits are visible everywhere and they are often frightening to see. It is common to see wispy, snarling illness spirits, smell the unburied dead, hear the wail of ghosts, and sense large, formless things that feel like curses. Time passes in the Spirit World at a highly variable rate and distances are also highly variable. While there are eddies and back-currents of time in the Spirit World, one cannot reliably use them to return to a specific time or place. Shamans avoid such time streams, as they are exceedingly dangerous and unpredictable.
Moving through the Spirit World is a very dangerous navigation of the demesnes of spirits. Some of these are hostile to each other, causing waves of danger and devouring pain; some are cooperative, moving like schools of fish inside larger fish.