Forum di sciamanesimo, antropologia e spirito critico
Nei momenti più bui, ricorda sempre di fare un passo alla volta.
Voler ottenere tutto e subito è sciocco
Nei momenti più difficili, ricorda sempre che le abitudini stabiliscono un destino.
Stabilisci quelle che ti danno energia e crescita.
È solo nell’ora più profonda del Duat, nella Notte oscura dell’anima che possiamo vedere noi stessi.
E capire come superare la notte.
Non rifuggire l’oscurità, impara a vederci attraverso.
Tutto passa e scorre, il giorno diviene notte e la notte giorno.
Ciò che è bene per te ora domani diverrà un ostacolo e un impedimento, o un danno, e viceversa.
Tutto finisce e muta, come la pelle di un serpente.
Impara ad essere la volontà pura di vivere e non la pelle morta di un intento esaurito.
Tutto ciò che non supera l’alba del tuo nuovo giorno, non deve essere portato con te.
Il mondo è infinito, non giudicare perdite e guadagni come il piccolo pescatore che non ha mai visto l’Oceano.
Sconfinate sono le possibilità della Ruota.
Impara a fluire e solo allora senza occhi, senza orecchie né pensiero, vedrai, sentirai e capirai il Tao.
(Admin - Shamanism & Co. © 2011 - All rights reserved)

Forum di sciamanesimo, antropologia e spirito critico

forum di sciamanesimo, antropologia, spirito critico, terapie alternative, esoterismo. Forum of shamanism, anthropology, criticism, alternative therapies and esoterism

Condividere | 

 Shamanism, Entrainment, and Psychedelic-Trance

Vedere l'argomento precedente Vedere l'argomento seguente Andare in basso 

Maschile Capra
Numero di messaggi : 2142
Data d'iscrizione : 04.02.09
Età : 37
Località : Roma

MessaggioOggetto: Shamanism, Entrainment, and Psychedelic-Trance   Mar 5 Gen 2010 - 16:59


Shamanism Entrainment and Psychedelic-Trance
Brian Kelch
May 6, 2004

Shamanism, Entrainment, and Psychedelic-Trance

In this paper I will describe the function of sound in catalyzing non-ordinary
(altered) states of consciousness as well as its role in the navigation through these states.
Altered states of consciousness are often described as traveling to different psychic
spaces known as the otherworld, dreamtime, hyperspace, or spirit realms. First, I will
describe how different indigenous shamanic cultures used sound to travel to the “spirit
world”, and where they would get information, songs, or powers to help their community
in healing or divination. Next, I will explore new theories of entrainment applied to sound
to show the link between altered states of consciousness and rhythmic drumming. With
the indigenous and scientific background of sound and consciousness, we can then
explore the growing electronic dance movement, specifically “psychedelic-trance”. I will
attempt to show that this modern underground movement is a carrier of esoteric
information about sound, community, and consciousness that has been known and passed
on for thousands of years. This movement integrates tribal rituals with modern
technological advances in sound production to induce group spiritual journeys resulting
in community, ecological and spiritual celebration and insight, and often transcendence.
Anthropologists have used the word shamanism to classify the least certain
practices of “primitive” peoples. Shaman is originally a Siberian word. Saman, in the
Tungus language, is a person who beats a drum, enters into trance, and cures people.
There is debate on the etymology of the word (Narby, 1998, p. 14). In the middle of the
twentieth century, Claude Levi-Strauss was the first to write an essay explaining that the
shaman is far from mentally ill, as most anthropologists previously believed. In fact,
Levi-Strauss showed that the shaman is a kind of psychotherapist; the difference being
that “the psychoanalyst listens, whereas the shaman speaks.” According to his essay, the
shaman is a creator of order who cures people by turning their “incoherent and arbitrary
pains” into “an ordered and intelligible form”. From 1960 to 1980, the leading
anthropologists considered the shaman the creator of order, the master of chaos, or an
avoider of disorder. According to anthropologist Jeremy Narby, this categorization
reflects the gaze of the anthropologist, regardless of the angle (Narby, 1998, p. 15). The
debate continued on the role of the shaman. A book by religious historian Mircea Eliade
was, and still is, the only attempt at a world synthesis on the subject of shamanism since
its first publication in the early 1950s.
Eliade’s Shamanism gives a cross-culture analysis on what a shaman is and is not.
He shows that a shaman is at once a magician and medicine man, healer, psychopomp,
priest, mystic, and poet. The simplest definition that Eliade gives is “shamanism =
technique of ecstasy” (Eliade, 1996, p.4). He stresses that shamans are medicine men (of
which there are many), but all medicine men are not shamans. A shaman specializes in a
trance during which his soul is believed to leave his body and ascend to the sky or
descend to the underworld. Once there, a shaman can communicate to different spirits,
which he does for the variety of reasons mentioned earlier, including healing, divination,
and general gathering of information. Spirits in these other realms can be thought of as
spirits of people, nature, or mythical entities. All realms visited by shamans are seen to
be just as real, if not more real, than the material world we are familiar with. “More real”
in that lack of knowledge of these other realms leads to a constricted and, in a way,
delusional conception of reality. Anthropologist Michael Harner explains,
“The shaman has the advantage of being able to move between states of
consciousness at will. He can enter the OSC [ordinary state of consciousness] of
the non-shaman and honestly agree with him about the nature of reality from that
perspective. Then the shaman can return to the SSC [shamanic state of
consciousness] and obtain firsthand confirmation of the testimony of others who
have reported on their experiences in that state.” (Harner, 1980, xix)
The shamanic worldview recognized the material world, yet has a more expansive
and inclusive worldview. Shamanic cultures recognize the reality of a place, thing, spirit,
or idea purely based on their experiences with them despite any material proof or
explanation. This idea is similar to the radical empiricism of William James. The
western scientific world, on the other hand, generally dismisses anything that cannot be
explained through physics (the monotheistic god of western science). The fact that
shamans have and continue to exist at all is proof of their ongoing effectiveness.
Indigenous societies have an unprecedented knowledge of plants, animals, and the land
they live with. A shaman who didn’t heal a sick person or who incorrectly indicated the
location of a herd of animals for hunting would not be a shaman for long.
From the western perspective, altered states of consciousness have a pathological
connotation. The reasons for this are complicated and beyond the scope of this paper.
Suffice to say it has to do with the rise of Christianity and the alienation of the masses to
mystical realities due to the church reserving all direct communication with the divine to
priests, demonizing all others to be heretics. Altered states of consciousness have also
been demonized through the government and chemical corporations’ civil war on drugs.
Modern dominator culture functions with the Marxist idea of the alienation of all of our
physical and intellectual senses into one sense: the sense of having. This is actually an
illusion of fulfillment that the Buddhists attribute as the cause of all suffering in the

The reality is that all people go through different states of consciousness
throughout their daily lives. This includes the different shifts of consciousness in
waking, sleeping, and dreaming. Different foods, being hungry, and being full after
eating all produce different states of consciousness. Being in love and having sex are
both considered to be catalysts for changes in consciousness. Most athletes report that
they enter different states of consciousness in the peak of their performance. People
speak of getting angry as “losing their mind”. Actually, it is difficult to think of anything
that doesn’t in some degree affect perception, cognition, and consciousness.
There is evidence of many animals purposely altering their consciousness. A
book by ethnobotanist Giorgio Samorini explores the phenomena of animals from all
over the world that intentionally eat substances that alter their consciousness. Some
animals that purposely inebriate themselves are elephants, felines, reindeer, caribou,
goats, and cows, as well as snails, birds, and insects. Samorini proposes that these
altered states of consciousness in animals provide a sort of deconditioning that allows
new behavioral patterns to be established in a species (Samorini, 2000). Ronald Siegel’s
text, Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise, is an extensively researched
report on the history of animals and humans altering their consciousness for a fuller
understanding of their reality. For example, children will spin in circles, stand on their
heads, or hold their breath in order to alter their perceptions. Siegel concludes that the
search for intoxication is the primary motivational force in the behavior of living beings.
He even states that “intoxication”, in animals as in human beings, has “adaptive
evolutionary value” (Siegel 1989, 211). It is unfortunate, however, that Siegel chose to
use the inaccurate word intoxication to refer to these different states of consciousness
since most psychoactive compounds have little or no toxic physical side effects.
Indigenous cultures are a good indication of the safety of using different plant
concoctions or shamanic methodologies. Almost all of these methods for gaining access
to various worlds or states of consciousness do not have dangerous long-term
consequences when used properly. This is proved by the fact that indigenous cultures
have been using these techniques for many thousands of years.

Shamanic Techniques for Traveling Between Worlds

There are many different methods that shamans use to travel to the spirit world.
Many are used in conjunction with each other. One of the most prominently used
techniques is the sacramental use of entheogenic (or hallucinogenic) plants, fungi, or
cacti. These plant teachers are seen as containing, or giving access to, the spirit world.
This effective method for traveling between worlds will not be discussed in detail in this
paper. Rhythmic drumming (or other percussive instrumentation) and singing are the
other most widely used techniques that shamans use to “travel” between worlds.
Through extensive research and fieldwork, anthropologist Michael Harner devoted his
life to the study and teaching of what he calls “core shamanism”. In the spirit of Eliade,
Harner compiled techniques that he found to be common throughout the world for
effective shamanic journeying. He wrote The Way of the Shaman and is founder and
director of the Foundation of Shamanic Studies. His workshops teach a method unique to
Harner, while still being faithful to established shamanic practices and techniques
worldwide. He successfully teaches people to enter what he calls a shamanic state of
consciousness through the use of rhythmic drumming.

Under Harner’s guidance, the neo-shaman (as opposed to an indigenous shaman)
lays on the ground with eyes closed, or blindfolded, as she listens to a partner or
electronic recording of constant monotonous drumming. The blindfold is because most
indigenous shamans do their journeying at night where they are better able to see visions
without being blinded by images in the material realm (like seeing stars at night). The
drumming is between 205 and 220 beats per minute, which is common among most
shamanic cultures. (The reason behind this will be discussed later.) In an intentional, yet
not forced way, the neo-shaman uses the rapid monotonous rhythm of the drum to help
them travel mentally into another world where they encounter different creatures, both
real and mystical, human, animal, with unexpected lessons to teach or things to
communicate. There are those who argue that this is just imagination, but the argument
means nothing since all realities are primarily constructed in the mind. This theory is
consistent with eastern meditation based religions, western esoteric traditions, and many
other modern and ancient spiritual traditions throughout the world.
The experiences that people have during their first successful journey in Harner’s
workshops are nothing short of miraculous. In their descriptions, there is an absence of
any qualifying expressions such as, “I imagined that…” or “I fantasized that…” People
had experiences which they found to be real in a new way, and which they described
afterward as among the most profound in their lives (Harner 1980, 33). I attended one of
his workshops and had an amazing experience of traveling to another “dimension” where
I saw and communicated with different “entities”. This place was a strange co-creative
mixture between my own imagination and intention, combined with a seemingly chaotic
mix of surprising, unexpected events with an underlying intelligence. I was surprised by
how real, clear, and educational the experience was. One of the most important aspects
to consider about altered states of consciousness is the idea of set and setting. This
concept was developed by Timothy Leary and may be his biggest contribution to the
study of consciousness. His theory is that a person’s set (assumptions, beliefs, intention)
and setting (environment, music, people, etc) are the primary factors in experiencing an
altered state. This is important in shamanism. Beating a drum rhythmically will not cause
a shamanic journey. It just acts a catalyst to help move into that state of consciousness.

Sonic Driving, Entrainment, and Altered States of Consciousness

Anyone can experience a shamanic journey with the right intention and some
rhythmic drumming. What is it about rhythmic drumming that catalyzes an altered state
of consciousness? Harner says,
“The repetitive sound of the drum is usually fundamental to undertaking shamanic
tasks in the SSC [shamanic state of consciousness]. With good reason, Siberian
and other shamans sometimes refer to their drums as the “horse” or “canoe” that
transports them into the Lowerworld or Upperworld. The steady, monotonous
beat of the drum acts like a carrier wave, first to help the shaman enter the SSC,
and then to sustain him on his journey.” (Harner 1980, 51)
This phenomenon is usually referred to as sonic driving. Andrew Neher conducted
studies in the early 1960s resulting in two papers entitled “Auditory Driving Observed
with Scalp Electrodes in Normal Subjects” and “A Physiological Explanation of Unusual
Behavior in Ceremonies Involving Drums.” He concluded that drumming produces
changes in the central nervous system affecting the electrical activity in “many sensory
and motor areas of the brain, not ordinarily affected, through their connections with the

sensory area being stimulated.” Harner concludes that a single beat of a drum contains
many frequencies, which in effect transmits impulses along a variety of nerve pathways
in the brain (Harner 1980, 51-52).
The reason that rhythmic drumming produces changes in states of consciousness
is due to a trend called “mutual phase locking” or “entrainment”. This is a universal
phenomenon in nature and can best be illustrated through examples. In George Leonard’s
book Silent Pulse he explains
“In 1665 the Dutch scientist Christian Huygens notices that two pendulum clocks,
mounted side by side on a wall, would swing together in precise rhythm. They
would hold their mutual beat, in fact, far beyond their capacity to be matched in
mechanical accuracy. It was as if they ‘wanted’ to keep the same time.” (Leonard
1978, 13)
Entrainment can be observed in all oscillating frequencies of nature. Leonard continues,
“Whenever two or more oscillators in the same field are pulsing at nearly the same time,
they tend to ‘lock in’ so that they are pulsing at exactly the same time.” He believes this
is due to the fact that nature seeks the most efficient energy states, and cooperative
pulsation requires less energy than opposition.
Oscillators are not something that exists only outside the living realm. Actually,
it can be said that living things are oscillators in that they pulse or change rhythmically.
Simple single-cell organisms oscillate at many different frequencies at all levels,
including atomic, molecular, subcellular, and cellular. If you look through a microscope
at two individual cells pulsing at their own separate rhythm and then move them closer
together, a sudden shift occurs before they even touch where they are pulsing together,
perfectly synchronized (Leonard 1978, 15). In the human being, there are many more
Tornare in alto Andare in basso

Maschile Capra
Numero di messaggi : 2142
Data d'iscrizione : 04.02.09
Età : 37
Località : Roma

MessaggioOggetto: Re: Shamanism, Entrainment, and Psychedelic-Trance   Mar 5 Gen 2010 - 17:00

complicated and interconnected rhythms within our sophisticated organism. Different
levels can be entrained with our physical environment including the rhythms of the sun,
moon, seasons, day, sleep-cycle, work cycle, and the list continues infinitely. The trait is
often observed among female college roommates whose menstrual cycles will
synchronize. Entrainment can even be found through the rhythms of language. The
brainwaves of people having a good conversation will oscillate synchronistically. The
Boston scientist William Condon has shown that the brainwaves of students listening to
their professor’s lecture will largely oscillate “in harmony” with those of the lecturer and
will perceive the class atmosphere as “good” only when this takes place. This trend has
also been found in sermons by prominent preachers whose brainwaves synch up to the
audiences’ (Berendt 1983, 117). This is why people talk about “being in tune” or “being
in synch” with each other. There are many more examples of entrainment on different
levels of reality, and much more research is yet to be done, but now we can turn our
attention to entrainment in music.
Music, and drumming in particular, is an organism that is made up of rhythm and
harmony. The previous discussion of using shamanic drumming to enter into an altered
state of consciousness can be explained through the notion of entrainment. A constant
monotonous rhythm, as used in shamanic drumming throughout the indigenous world,
will entrain the brainwaves of those listening to the drumming to oscillate at the same
frequencies as the rhythm. The drum is especially useful at entraining the brain because
of its low frequency, which means that more energy can be transmitted to the brain by a
drumbeat than from a sound stimulus of higher frequencies. Neher, who scientifically
studied sonic driving, states “the low frequency receptors of the ear are more resistant to
damage than the delicate high frequency receptors and can withstand higher amplitude of
sound before pain is felt” (Harner 1980, 52). Shamanic drumming is usually at a
frequency of between 205 and 220 beats per minute. This corresponds to the theta wave
EEG frequency of between 4 and 7 cycles per second.
The brain has different frequencies that it fluctuates between throughout the day.
Greater than 13 cycles per second corresponds to the thinking, active, waking state of the
beta range. The 8 to 12 cycle per second range is called alpha and is a relaxed, eyes
closed, almost meditative state. Then comes the theta state at 4 to 7 cycles per second.
Less than that is called delta, which corresponds to Stage I, or REM sleep. The theta
range is the twilight, half asleep, imagery stage of consciousness where the customary
censorship of the conscious mind is absent. According to Leonard,
“The waking dreamer, in fact, sometimes seems to have access to all the wells of
memory and creating, perhaps to some sort of group consciousness. Elmer and
Alyce Green of the Menninger Foundation have reported a number of
extraordinary psychic experiences during the theta state.” (Leonard 1978, 5)
This is the state of consciousness where many prominent thinkers, artists, authors,
scientists, and mathematicians receive their inspiration. From a personal perspective,
when I studied mathematics, I could work on a problem all day, but more often than not, I
would solve the problem after lying down to bed, almost asleep, and not consciously
thinking about it. There are many things yet to be explored in the study of theta
brainwaves. It does, however, seem to play a significant role in the intentional voyage to
altered states of consciousness in shamanic drumming. With altered states of
consciousness, the main ingredients are a catalyst and an appropriate set and setting.

Modern Electronic Dance Music

Through the use of modern advances of technology, a genre of music has been
developed to expand the consciousness of those who listen to it under the right
conditions. Generally, those conditions are outdoor venues in front of enormous towers
of speakers surrounded by hundreds of dancing people, controlled by a disc jockey whose
job is to keep the music continuously moving. The music is called psychedelic trance and
was originally developed for all-night dance parties on the beaches of Goa, India where
travelers and psychonauts the world over would congregate to share the most mind
expansive music available. Although psy-trance has evolved over the last couple of
decades, the modern form can be generally categorized with the caveat that psy-trance is
like jazz in that breaking out of the categories is part of it nature. Psy-trance, like
shamanism, generally has a fundamental, deep repeating bass line created primarily to
entrain those who are listening to it. Typical psy-trance is somewhere between 135 and
150 beats per minute. Again, this corresponds to the low-frequency high amplitude theta
brainwave state. There are, however, some very important differences between the
shamanic monotonous drumbeat and the highly complicated rhythms of psy-trance. The
most important of these differences is that psy-trance music is designed with the intention
for people to dance. Dancing further allows the whole organism of a person to get
entrained to the music as mind and body are synchronized through sound. Music is one of
the few experiences that can touch a person on all levels of consciousness. It is a
powerful sensory stimulus that can work simultaneously on the body, mind, and spirit
(Cottrell 2000).

Psy-trance is created almost entirely electronically where the artist can manipulate
sounds and combinations of sounds in infinite combinations. Sounds can be created from
scratch through the manipulation of the actual waveform. Rhythms can be created to be
exactly in time with each other (although it is often useful to have the beats slightly
modulating off-time for fullness). The main tool the artist has to work with is the fact
that she knows and has control over the “location” of the listener within the music
through the principal of entrainment. This fact alone allows the artist to create rhythms
that seem to encircle, split apart from, or melt into the listener.
Time is an essential component here. Being entrained at a certain tempo will
eventually feel as though the beat is not moving since it is moving at the same speed as
the listener. Think of the physical theories of relativity. If the listener is “traveling” at
140 beats per minute, it can be metaphorically compared to moving in a train at 140 miles
per hour. Thus a rhythm overlaid on the fundamental entrainment bass line that is
moving at 70 beats per minute will seem to be moving backwards. This is like looking
out the window of a train and seeing another train moving slower than one’s relative
position. The same principal can be used for all rhythms moving at different harmonic
tempos to the bass line where the listener is entrained. New patterns and rhythms emerge
out of the intersection between other levels of rhythms making the perceptual time
variation more complicated. This is similar to the long traditions of polyrhythmic
drumming popular in Africa and throughout the world.
An aspect of electronic music that is not possible in any acoustic, “organic”
instrumentation is that of the melting together or fragmentation of different
“instruments”. To clarify, different instruments in a musical group each have a different

sound to make, different notes to play, and each form different rhythms that interweave
and dance harmoniously with the other instruments. Electronic music is more
complicated in that different “instruments” can each make any sound, note, pitch, or
rhythm as any other instrument, thus allowing the different levels to fade or melt into
each other. This same principal can be used to have one “instrument” or level of sound
fragment, to form multiple other levels of sound. Thus a whole new meta-level of
patterns and rhythms can be formed with the merging, expanding, and fragmentation of
different instruments. This is like adding another dimension of meta-rhythm to
polyrhythmic drumming.
An important effect of most music and particularly psy-trance is the perceptual
effect of synesthesia. According the American Psychological Association, synesthesia
refers to “a curious phenomenon of perception in which sensory images or qualities of
one modality, such as vision, find themselves transferred to another modality, such as
taste or hearing” (Marks 2000, 121). This is important because people define their reality
by their sense perceptions. However, there is much in our world that our senses are
inaccurate or incapable of perceiving. For example, humans cannot sense heat like coldblooded
reptiles can. Humans cannot see ultraviolet light, unlike insects that can see
patterns on flowers that are invisible to us. We only perceive a small spectrum of colors
and sounds. These are actually just frequencies of electromagnetic energy that the sense
organs pick up, encode, and send to the brain where they are assembled into the colors or
sounds we perceive (Coren, Ward, Enns, 1999). Even physical matter is actually just a
collection of energy that is made mostly of space, yet we perceive it differently.

Synesthesia allows a person to experience their senses from another perspective, which is
no less accurate, and thus gives a fuller look at the nature of the phenomenal reality.
Synesthesia may involve any of the senses, but in a disproportionate number of
cases sounds are the inducing stimuli, and visual sensations or images the secondary
consequence. In other words, this type of synesthesia can be called visual hearing. Some
suggest that hearing may be a potent inducer of synesthesia because the auditory nervous
system shows a high level of neural activity (Marks 2000, 127). Within the realm of
visionary hearing, where sounds evoke shapes, sizes, or colors, there are several
principles that describe how the secondary visual sensations or images depend
psychophysically on the inducing sounds. There is usually a direct correspondence
between the pitch of the sound and the lightness, or brightness, of the associated visual
image. Another characteristic of visual-auditory synesthesia is found in the relationship
between pitch and the spatial features of size and shape. Low-pitched sounds generically
produce photisms with rounded, relatively large shapes (angularity), whereas highpitched
sounds produce photisms with more angular shapes and smaller sizes (inverse
relationship). Lastly, there is a connection between loudness and brightness, which is in
direct proportion (Marks 2000, 129).
Since synesthesia is most common in some sort of altered state of consciousness
and is primarily focused on visual-hearing, psychedelic trance uses the entrained state
and the infinite variations of sound possible with electronic instruments to create a sort of
moving aural soundscape. What makes this interesting in synesthesia-inducing music is
that sounds, and thus images, do not have to be continuous. For example, repetitive
rhythms create a sort of planar visual perception, which can move, fold, and pulse
depending on the mood of the artist. Chunks of sound from this plane can suddenly
disappear and spatially reappear somewhere else. Since hearing is binocular, much of
our spatial orientation is due to echo sound location. With stereo sound, the artist can
make different sounds appear to originate from different points of space relative to the
listener. Even sound illusions are possible through the use of computers and new fractal
theories transposed into music. For instance, an illusion called Shepard’s tonal staircase
is a series of complex tones generated by a computer that when listened to in sequence
seemed continually to increase in pitch (i.e. each step between tones was perceived as
being a step upward in pitch). In fact, the series ends where it begins and the continuing
rise in pitch is an illusion. This can only be replicated with the use of complex equipment
(Coren, Ward, Enns, 1999, 350).
There are many additional specific and amazing results of the psy-trance
movement. The atmosphere at these sorts of parties is nothing short of transcendental.
When hundreds of people are all dancing in the thick sea of rhythms, all entrained to the
same frequencies, amazing things happen. There is a sort of group energy, or psychic
space that develops at these events. The outdoor venues, usually taking place at night,
allow the sound to be loud enough to physically feel without ear damage. The darkness
also allows the synesthesia visions of sound to be more defined. Dancing creates a sort
of communication between the soundscapes and the listener.
Something needs to be said about the use of psychedelic, mind-manifesting, drugs
at events that specialize in this type of music, although it is far beyond the scope of this
paper to go into any detail on the subject. Psychedelic drugs are physically non-addictive
compounds that act as an immediate catalyst into temporary altered states of
consciousness. These are powerful tools that have been shown to produce genuine
mystical experiences in people taking them with the proper set and setting (Pahnke 1963).
Psychedelic substances allow a person direct communication to the infinite dimensions of
the mind. Scientifically, psychedelics are to the mind as the telescope is to astronomy,
and similarly to Galileo’s situation, the modern dominator culture would rather imprison
the researcher instead of look through the telescope and seriously consider what it sees
(Pinchbech 2002).

Some Closing Remarks

Paradigm changes happen as new generations of people who carry the ideals and
practices of the new paradigm gradually replace the aging representatives of the old
paradigm. Psy-trance events are more than parties. They are a gathering of the new
paradigm community of spiritually and ecologically minded people of all ages
celebrating communion. These events provide a safe ritual environment to enter altered
states of consciousness whether the catalyst is psychedelics, music, trance-dance, or all of
the above. In these states a person is particularly susceptible to the effects of music to
change, or even create their reality (remember set and setting). Synesthesia among users
of psychedelic compounds is more prominent thus giving more power to music and the
creating of visual-soundscapes. Shamanic cultures have been using these substances for
thousands of years. They have been used in conjunction with shamanic drumming
throughout the history of humankind adding to the morphogenetic field of electronic
music culture. The same is true for trance-dance (known to catalyze altered states of
consciousness) and polyrhythmic drumming. The psy-trance artist can thus map these
altered states of consciousness through sound. The rhythms will help “move” a person
through imagery that the music co-creates with the consciousness of the listener /
A psychedelic trance artist, or DJ (in a new sense of the term), functions as a sort
of modern shaman. She will enter an altered state of consciousness to map it and bring
back information for healing or divination. The information brought back is the actual
musical soundscapes, which are specifically designed to expand consciousness and help
navigate through this altered state, which can be tremendously healing. Dancing for
hours is physically healthy by both stretching the muscles of the entire body and getting
an aerobic workout. Mentally exploring altered states of consciousness gives a broader
view of reality and what lies beyond the web of our senses. There are many new fields
emerging exploring the healing powers of sound. This is possible because sound
vibrations can physically enter all parts of the body. Different systems within the body
vibrate at different frequencies, and applying specific frequencies of sound to these areas
can help them harmoniously synchronize through entrainment. Even mental healing can
take place with different sound frequencies to entrain brainwave states to different levels
as well as synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain. There is much research being
conducted in this field. The evolving psy-trance scene is on the cutting edge of sound
exploration and may be considered as a modern, technologically driven equivalent of the
original spiritual guardians and interdimensional psychic travelers known as shamans.

Works Cited

Berendt, Joachim-Ernst. The World is Sound – Nada Brahma: Music and the Landscape
of Consciousness. Rochester, VT: Destiny Books, 1983.
Coren, S., Ward, L.M., and Enns, J. Sensation and Perception, fifth edition. Harcourt
Brace College Publishers, 1999.
Cottrell, Amrita. Healing Music – A Closer Look. 2000.
Eliade, Mircea. Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. Princeton University Press,
Harner, Michael. The Way of the Shaman. San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1980.
Leonard, George. The Silent Pulse: The Search for the Perfect Rhythm That Exists in
Each of Us. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1978.
Marks, Lawrence E. Synesthesia. Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the
Scientific Evidence. 121-147. Washington D.C.: American Psychological
Association, 2000.
Narby, Jeremy. The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge. New York,
NY: Tarcher/Putnam, 1998.
Pahnke, W.N. Drugs and Mysticism: An Analysis of the Relationship between
Psychedelic Drugs and the Mystical Consciousness (doctoral dissertation).
Cambridge: Harvard University.
Pinchbeck, Daniel. Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of
Contemporary Shamanism. New York: Broadway Books, 2002.
Samorini, Giorgio. Animals and Psychedelics: The Natural World and the Instinct to
Alter Consciousness. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 2000.
Siegel, Ronald K. Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise. New York, NY:
Dutton, 1989.
Tornare in alto Andare in basso
Shamanism, Entrainment, and Psychedelic-Trance
Vedere l'argomento precedente Vedere l'argomento seguente Tornare in alto 
Pagina 1 di 1

Permesso di questo forum:Non puoi rispondere agli argomenti in questo forum
Forum di sciamanesimo, antropologia e spirito critico :: SCIAMANESIMO :: I TEMI DELLO SCIAMANESIMO - THEMES OF SHAMANSIM :: Shamanic Trance - La trance sciamanica-
Andare verso: