The last time that I wrote about practical shamanism I wrote about journeys into the lower world. Let's go the other direction this time. Recall that in a journey to the lower world shamans travel down through an opening in the earth. Not into the dirt, but into another dimension or world.
In the shamanic cosmology the universe is divided into three regions, the lower, middle and upper worlds. In an upper world journey shamans use smoke, a tree, a bird, a vine, a sunbeam or rainbow, the wind or anything else that will take them up into the sky. Some shamanic practitioners view the Pole Star as an entry point into the sky. Other view the stars as holes in the "great tent" of the sky. Twilight and sunrise are viewed by some as a crack between worlds. I encourage you to develop your own cosmology and shamanic view of the universe.
In any event, if you are going to journey to the upper world you will have to ascend. I often let Spirit take me up or down by sitting in my canoe on a river, during trance state, and rather than paddle the canoe I let the current take me. Sometimes it takes me to the shore and I do a middle world journey, sometimes a whirlpool appears in the middle of the river and it takes me into a lower world journey and sometimes (to be honest, my favorite times) my canoe with me sitting inside of it falls over a waterfall. However, rather than screaming down the waterfall my canoe lifts me up and we fly to the upper world. Aren't trance states wonderful?
You are not traveling into the sky. You are traveling to the upper world locate on the other side of the sky. You might ask you power animal to travel with you or you may meet your power animal at the entry to the upper world. Your power animal will conduct you through your experiences in the upper world. You may meet your spirit guide or other higher-vibrational beings in the upper world.
Use drumming like you did in your journey to the lower world to help induce the trance state, and to bring you back to ordinary reality at the end of your journey.
I'm Dr. Dave, an eclectic shaman. I lived and worked in Bolivia and Peru for over six years, where I and was trained by Andean Shamans, and today practice eclectic shamanism.