Ritual Postures, Ritual body Postures, Ancient Ritual Postures

Posture Verifications

As instructors it is our responsibility at the Cuyamungue Institute to maintain the standard of posture verification establish by Dr. Felicitas Goodman.  This is the very heart of the work of Dr. Goodman in which we have been entrusted to maintain;  a database of postures that meet the criteria.  The long term impact of the re-discovery of ritual postures cannot be know, however we do know that to water-down the discovery, with postures that don’t lead to the ecstatic experience of the alternate reality, will weaken the very teaching we represent. The work is alive, and evolving so together we are entrusted with following the spirit of the work, while maintaining the path established by Felicitas.

Here are the fundamental steps that must be followed for the safe use and verification of new potential postures:

The ancient arts we decode as ritual instructions are the core of the unique work offered by the Cuyamungue Institute (CI). As instructors and representatives of this work and this institute, it is our responsibility to maintain the standard of postures that we may add to the posture canon. Our founder, Dr. Felicitas Goodman, established a protocol for posture verification. This work is alive and evolving. We are growing it as a community, entrusted to follow the established protocol in testing new artifacts and posture candidates. . We appreciate your contributions to our growing body and archive of research, and joining The CI Research Team.
Under the guidance of a CI Certified Instructor, all prospective new postures need to be explored, researched and documented. Here is the protocol to propose, test, document and submit a new posture:
  • Going back to the beginning of Dr. Goodman’s re-discovery, we focused on the pre-agricultural mindset, hence MOST postures are from hunter-gatherer and horticultural societies.   However, our research also evolved to include a few Egyptian postures and also other examples such as the Sumerian goddess Inanna and the Babylonia Ishtar have been found to bepowerful postures as well.
  • Document as much information as you can find about the artifact that inspired the posture. This includes its history, current location and ownership, when and where it was found, its originating culture, era, and range. How many artifacts depicting this posture are known? Is it a variant of a known posture with key differences? Photos from multiple sides, with close-ups of key features are helpful. Credit the image source. Identify features that signal this may have been used in rituals or by the religious specialists of that culture. This may include the face of the artifact having the “look of inward gaze”, similarities in the poses of known postures, shared iconography or symbols seen on known postures or serving as a clue to the type of trance journey, archeological evidence associated with shamans, or historical eye witness accounts.
  • Write up the instructions for holding this posture, from head to toe. Note if props are needed, such a chair or low stool for sitting. 
  • Test the posture multiple times, with various groups of participants. Document each participant’s experience. In leading a group using the experimental posture, simply demonstrate the posture yourself. Sharing the image of the artifact and its history and culture takes place only after the sharing of experiences. This is an important step in keeping the resulting data pristine and free from “leading” and prior expectations.
  • Share the posture with other instructors, asking them test the posture according to the protocol with their groups and to document the resulting experiences, and share that data with you.
  • Submit your findings to the CI Board of Directors. in writing, with photos of the artifact, and suggested category and name of the posture. We will test this with our regular advanced posture sessions to add further documentation. We can then schedule a time to confer with you and discuss the results. 
Following these steps for the submission of new potential postures will help maintain the coherency and viability of the CI Canon of Postures. As Dr. Goodman bequeathed her intellectual property to the Cuyamungue Institute, the 501-c-3 non-profit research organization headquartered in the USA, it is the mission and responsibility of the CI Board  of Directors, and all of its instructors and facilitators to collectively maintain the database and canon of all postures, and to follow the established mission and protocols. Quality is our goal not quantity. Poor experiences from postures weakens our database and our teaching. Let’s all work together to honor and fulfill the original vision of this work established by Dr. Goodman.

Postures that have not yet completed these steps are considered “Exploratory Postures” are not recommended for use in introductory workshops. For optimal experience for those new to this work, we only use the the certified cannon of postures.

Exploratory Postures not yet verified should not be published or shared with the general public (beyond your exploratory groups) in any books, magazines, videos, or any form of media, or in any way that associates or suggests exploratory postures have been accepted and added into the CI canon of postures, until verification has been completed.
Thank you are contributing to the evolution of this work and for your continued support and dedication to strengthening the database of postures.
Should you additional question about posture verification please contact the Board of Directors.