Using shamanic tools creates a connection with the spiritual side of us, which separates us from our normal connection to the material or physical world. This should always be done with clear intention, positive energy, a protected space and a ritual act that begins and ends the experience. Beginners should be especially careful to choose an appropriate place for the practice, making sure to exit the altered state before moving on to daily routines.
Advanced practices, such as vision quests, sweat lodges, ayahuasca or other hallucinogenic substances, should only be engaged in with a qualified person, who has been trained in all the traditions and safety measures necessary. A professional shaman will have special tools to guide a spiritual connection and elements of nature will be provided for protection. Common tools across cultures are medicinal plants, music, baths, feathers, flowers, shells, fire, stones, symbols and special prayers passed down through generations.