The human need for ecstasy--the ability to be free of the limitations of ordinary consciousness--is as imperative as the need for food. Renowned anthropologist Felicitas Goodman claimed that being deprived of ecstasy was the fundamental cause of all forms of addiction. Indigenous cultures and the civilizations of antiquity were aware of this and developed specific rituals to induce and channel trance energies to detoxify and nourish the subtle body in order to experience the ecstatic reality that gives life to matter. The body postures seen in ancient art from Mayan, Egyptian, African, Native American, Sumerian, and other ancient and indigenous traditions are a doorway to inducing this kind of ecstatic trance. People who assume these postures in a ritual context are able to experience expanded and transformative states of consciousness. Following up on the groundbreaking introduction of this practice in her first book, Ecstatic Body Postures, Belinda Gore provides a new series of 20 sacred postures and exercises that allow for a deeper understanding and utilization of these shamanic practices. She shows how to use the energy awakened by these practices for healing, shapeshifting, initiations into the mysteries of death and rebirth, divination, spirit journeying, and restoring balance to the cosmic patterns disrupted by destructive human activity. To help reach these deep, ecstatic trance states, the author also provides a 60-minute CD of shamanic trance rhythms to accompany the journeys.
Belinda Gore, who holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, has been teaching workshops on ecstatic trance throughout the world since 1987. She is the president of the Cuyamungue Institute in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she carries on the lifework of her mentor, Felicitas Goodman. Belinda Gore is the author of Ecstatic Body Postures: An Alternate Reality Workbook, and she lives in Columbus, Ohio.
Acknowledgments Introduction Part 1 Longing for Ecstasy 1 Living Ecstasy 2 Defining Ecstatic Trance 3 Why We Use Ecstatic Body Postures 4 The Basic Method for Entering Ecstatic Trance Preparing Oneself Establishing Sacred Space Quieting the Mind Stimulating the Nervous System Using a Ritual Posture Part 2 Experiencing Ecstatic Trance through Ritual Body Postures 5 Healing Postures The African Healer Posture The Couple from Jenne Posture The Lady of Atotonilco Posture The Standing Woman of Jalisco Posture 6 Divination Postures The Egyptian Diviner Posture The Horned Man from Colima Posture The Mayan Oracle Posture The Tala Diviner Posture 7 Metamorphosis Postures The Cernunnos Posture The Chichen Itza Posture The Fish Woman Posture The Olmec Medicine Man Posture 8 Spirit Journey Postures The Bird Woman of Egypt Posture The Sleeping Lady of Malta Posture The Poppy Pod Woman Posture The Tsimshian Shamaness Posture 9 Initiation Postures The Inanna Posture The Ishtar Posture The Sekhmet Posture The Shawabty Posture Notes Bibliography How to Use the CD and Ritual Postures to Enter Ecstatic Trance