Ritual Postures, Ritual body Postures, Ancient Ritual Postures

The Singing Shaman Posture

By Paul Robear  

Felicitas calls The Singing Shaman is called a celebration posture. Like almost all postures it also os considered a healing posture. We often choose to come together in this posture when we want to express good feelings in a ceremonious way, send up a plea for guidance, or connect our ordinary reality with the vast realm of the spirits. For those of us lucky enough to have regular contact with a group of singers or a group of friends we can howl with, the pleasure of this posture can well be imagined. The physiological changes that accompany giving voice in a group provide refreshment and renewal of spirit. The oldest examples of this posture come from the Cyclades Islands in Greece, but many other ancient figures in this posture have been discovered in Melanesia, New Guinea, Alaska, and Central America. This posture can also be seen whenever Barbershop Quartets gather. In that setting, men grasp their lapels and burst forth in song.

The Posture:  The Singing Shaman is one of two postures in which the voice is used, holding an “aaaahhh” sound during the trance. This posture generally is used used during celebration or ritual.
Stand with feet parallel at hip width, knees softly bent, fingers are gently rolled as if we are holding a robin’s egg in each hand, and place the hands midway along the sternum with the first knuckle of the little fingers touching each other. The head drops sightly back, mouth open and make the “aaaahhhh” sound when the rattling starts, allowing any sounds to occur but not forcing them. there are no rules for sounding in this posture. Usually after beginning with “ahhh” sound, voices begin to take their own shape, from harmonious and everyplace in between.