Cuyamungue Institute: Q&A Continuing Education Series "Conversation 4 Exploration"

 As an educational institution, we recognize to thrive, we must take an open approach; and so we invite scholars of parallel research in related fields to help broaden the scope of our work and exploration. And of course we continue exploring the many aspects of our own work, sharing and expanding knowledge about the practice of Ecstatic Trance Postures. We encourage your participation and welcome your comments and questions, both for our guest topics and around your ETP experiences; this is helpful to everyone in our CI Circle. We call the Conversation 4 Exploration. Open to all – Free event.

    UPCOMING GUESTS –    – What time/ How to particpate?   Sundays 9am Pacific / Noon Eastern
Join us…  
<—-  You only need to register once. Attend one or all of the following events!

All presentations are FREE!  Should you want to support this work, please consider joining our CI community circle and become a supporting member

Sunday June 13: Altered State of Consciousness: The Full Spectrum
GUESTS: Christine VanPool, Professor of Anthropology
Fredrick M. Smith, Professor of
Religious Studies, Sanskrit and Classical Indian Religions
There is significant breakthroughs happening in the field of “Altered State of Consciousness” (ASC) and we as an Institute are so fortunate to have a worldwide community participating helping us explore ASC experiences through the ancient practice of Ecstatic Trance Postures. As part of the ongoing our mission, for the last year we have invited scholars of parallel research in related fields to dialogue with us and help broaden the scope of our work and exploration. Time to review what have we learned.
 
Every ‘lane’ in the wide spectrum of altered states of consciousness is supported by its own particular physiological shift. So declared CI’s founder, Dr. Felicitas Goodman, early on in her work. To better understand Ecstatic Trance Postures, for the last year we’ve been comparing the similarities and differences of other ASC modes, via the range of experiences, physiological shifts, cultural history, and more. Professor of Anthropology, Christine VanPool and Prof of Religious Studies Fred Smith join us to add further perspective on our recent conversations on spontaneous mystical moments, the entoptic phenomenon, the near death experience, plant medicine, energy medicine, hypnosis, and  lucid dreaming as well as additional modalities such as meditation, sensory deprivation, ‘runner’s high’ and more. And we will examine symbol and art, in the widest sense, as carriers of cultural identity, layers of information, and cues to the physiological shifts supporting trance states. We feel that decoding art work as ritual instruction is just the beginning of all that art and symbol may contain. We invite you to join us to as we review some of the key elements of the ASC experience, and we will share fascinating new research, and hopefully reveal some clues to your own journeys into the “Alternate Reality.”
Ethnomusicology Research in Progress

Lawson Malnory Ethnomusicology MA student at Arizona State University.
Lawson has been attending Cuyamungue Institute events and working with Laura, Paul, and others in the CI family since October of 2020. Lawson is conducting a study on sound inducement in trance and other altered-state experiences which involves a short (10-15 minute) survey wherein participants will listen to and then rate a series of sound samples. The study results will be featured in Lawson’s Master’s Thesis and will help to better understand how sound supports our experiences of ecstatic trance and other phenomena.
Lawson will also join the panel discussion on June 13th. You are invited to take the survey at the link below. No personal details are collected and your participation remains anonymous.
Participate in Lawson’s survey at https://asu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9LlsRl25nOmF4Vg

Sunday June 20: The Skywatchers: Ancient Solar Calendar
Ken Zoll, Executive Director at Verde Valley Archaeology Center

One group of prehistoric farming people of Central Arizona have been identified by archaeologists as the Sinagua. They occupied the area from about A.D. 600 to 1400. It has been shown that the Hopi of northeastern Arizona are culturally affiliated with the prehistoric Sinagua culture. The sunwatching techniques by the Hopi have been well documented, so similar associations were likely present in Sinagua society. This study is the result of several years of visiting various ancient Sinagua sites to identify and document evidence of sunwatching practices.

The V Bar V Heritage Site is the largest known petroglyph site in the Verde Valley of central Arizona, and one of the best-preserved. The rock art site consists of 1,032 petroglyphs in 13 panels.

Ken Zoll is the Executive Director of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde, and a site steward with the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, charged with the monitoring of several prehistoric sites in the Verde Valley. Ken is also a volunteer docent at the cultural heritage sites in the Coconino National Forest. His archaeology specialty is ancient astronomy practices and he has conducted many studies within the Coconino National Forest and for the City of Springerville Arizona. He is a certified instructor in ancient astronomical practices with the Arizona Archaeological Society and is a Director of the Society for Cultural Astronomy in the American Southwest.

Sunday June 27: The Fourth Phase of Water
Dr. Gerald Pollack, PhD University of Washington
Dr. Gerald Pollack, author of The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor, will share revolutionary secrets on the nature of water that have profound implications for our health, the origin of life and cell biology, and speaks to the seeming miraculous design of our life-supporting Universe. And, satisfactorily explains how capillary action manages to raise water up a 100 foot tree! He describes how water transforms itself from H2O to H3O2 when in contact with living tissue, as water molecules line themselves up in layers with a gel-like consistency, and dramatically different properties. As an electromagnetic charge builds, the water structures an “exclusion zone” the repels impurities and where light activates our cells as a kind of battery. 
 
Dr. Pollack, is a world-renowned scientist and professor of bioengineering and head of the Pollack Laboratory at the University of Washington. His fundamental discoveries have inspired several new technologies and a spinoff company, 4th-Phase, Inc. to bring them to fruition. His award-winning books also include Muscles and Molecules: Uncovering the Principles of Biological Motion and Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life.  With water making up 90% of our bodies, let’s celebrate the Water of Life, in all its guises. 
Sunday July 4: Music & Trance: Investigation into Sound-Trance Induction
Jörg Fachner, PhD, ARU, CIMTR, Cambridge, UK.
Music has been used since ancient times in healing rituals. It has been played for people to induce altered states of consciousness (ASC), which change the focus of attention, mood, and thoughts about the world and the self. Music and altered states are connected in various ways concerning context, personal set, socio-ecological setting, and cultural beliefs. Discussion is ongoing as to whether music itself induces the changes via a “trance mechanism” or whether the setting and rituals connected to music are responsible for the induction of ASC. The authors conducted an explorative attempt to represent interdependencies of set and setting, sound and trance through electrophysiological correlation in the topographic spontaneous EEG. They opted for a sound trance induction with the sound of a body monochord (a bed-like stringed instrument producing a droning sound) in the context of a group ritual. In comparison with uninfluenced rest, they found individual changes in spontaneous EEG. Trance reactions to sound were seemingly more determined by the person’s susceptibility to hypnosis as measured by the Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory than by sound alone.
Sunday July 11: Near-Death Experience in Indigenous Religions

Gregory Shushan, Ph.D

Gregory Shushan explores the relationship between NDEs, shamanism, and beliefs about the afterlife in traditional indigenous societies in Africa, North America, and Oceania.  Dr. Shushan has been Perrott-Warrick Researcher at University of Oxford’s Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion; Scholar-in Residence at the Centro Incontri Umani (The Cross Cultural Centre), Ascona, Switzerland; and Honorary Research Fellow at the Religious Experience Research Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Sunday July 18: Ancient Navigation of the Pacific:
Oral Tradition of Navigating by
the Sea, the Stars, and Birds
Steve Thomas

As a young man piloting a small sailboat across the Pacific, Steve Thomas developed a fascination with ancient methods of navigation. He learned of a seafaring culture which, 6,000 years ago, used ancient navigation arts to guide initiates unerringly across the Pacific with no compasses, no charts. By the time of Christ, these navigators had populated Oceania, nearly a quarter of the Earth’s surface. Thomas ventured to the tiny coral atolls of Micronesia in search of these mysteries, this ancient language of the sea. There he found the last navigator, Mau Piailug. One of the few surviving palu, he belongs to a dying breed who used only natural signs – stars, waves, birds – to guide their sailing canoes across thousands of miles of open ocean. Thomas and Piailug voyage together on the frail ship of human memory in an attempt to preserve for future generations an ancient, mysterious, and beautiful kinship with the sea before it is lost forever.

History; After college Steve crewed on a sailboat racing out to Hawaii, brought the boat back to Seattle, then spent a year in the Mediterranean as first mate of a 103’ schooner and as a boatbuilder in Antibes, France. Then, he sailed a 40’ sloop from England to San Francisco via the Panama Canal, Galapagos, Marquesas and Hawaii. In the early 1980’s, he journeyed to the remote Micronesian island of Satawal to learn the ancient skill of star path navigation under the late master navigator, Mau Piailug. Steve’s research resulted in the critically acclaimed book, The Last Navigator, and a one-hour documentary for the PBS’s Adventure. It was in 1989, in between research trips to the Alaskan Arctic for a second Adventure book and film, that Steve got a call from the series publicist, who also worked for This Old House, whose producers were conducting a nationwide search for a new host ….. which he was chosen and hosted for 12 seasons.

Recent Topics and Guests

Sunday June 6: How Do Mystical Experiences Shape our Worldview?
Paul Robear & Laura Lee
We view our experiences with Altered States of Consciousness (ASC) as a means to temporarily ‘drop the blinders’ to glimpse the larger Universe. We’re able to put our focus on our shared, consensus reality on pause, and view an Alternate Reality. What do we find there? What are your experiences telling you, be it with Ecstatic Trance Postures spontaneous mystical moments, or with the various ASC and consciousness raising techniques in your repertoire? What does it tell us about what’s missing from our conventional, shred worldview, and where it needs to expand? When might we as a society get there? What will it share with our early ancestors? How will this new view, this new story, read? Will a better world come about once we do so? Let’s hear your personal stories and insights, and we share ours.

Sunday May 30: Mythology. Sci-Fi and the Subconscious
Burt Webb, Science & Sci-Fi Writer, Blogger, Advocate
Mythology’s Current Turf – Sci-Fi: Mythology has always been, I think, one avenue for our collective subconscious to speak to our conscious minds. The same human nature, the same archetypal characters, the same life challenges and dilemmas are on display in science fiction, just as in mythologies old and new. Add a few new star systems, a few imaginative laws of physics, let ‘the old gods’ battle ‘the new gods’ with the emergence of technology, the media, scientific knowledge and resulting possibilities — and Sci-Fi becomes is an exercise in mapping our future selves, while holding up the mirror to our current selves. We will examine the sub-text, the stories beneath the stories, as Burt delves into stories you know, stories you don’t know, but themes you’ll recognize.
Sunday May 23: Lucid Dreams. ASC and Personal Growth.
Dr. Keith Hearne (BSc MSc PhD)
What Are Lucid Dreams? Lucid dreaming happens when you’re aware that you’re dreaming. You’re able to recognize your thoughts and emotions as the dream happens. Sometimes, you can control the lucid dream. You may be able to change the people, environment, or storyline. Surveys show that roughly 55% of adults have experienced at least one lucid dream during their lifetime, and 23% of people experience lucid dreams at least once per month
 
Dr Keith Hearne is an internationally known psychologist, from Britain. Dr. Hearne discovered (in his PhD research, completed in 1978) a way of enabling lucid-dream subjects in the sleep-lab to signal out from within the dream by making coded eye-movements – so circumventing the profound bodily paralysis of dreaming (REM) sleep, which had previously prevented such communication. The state of Lucid Dreaming is awareness within a dream & the ability to take control. Lucid dreams are an unusual type of dream in which you become perfectly conscious, with full critical faculties, within the dream state. This advance opened a huge new area of dream research, into ‘inner space’.  We will explore dreams from ancient times to the present and explains different stages of sleep. and the implications. Dr Hearne’s original sleep-lab records and ‘dream- machine’ are on permanent display at the SCIENCE MUSEUM in London. 

Sunday May 16: Parallels between Hypnosis and Trance States
Sinziana Paduroiu, Cosmologist and Hypnotherapist
We will explore the shared space between hypnosis and trance states we experience with the Ecstatic Trance Postures. With hypnosis, we bypass the critical mind so that the suggestions delve into the subconscious where automatic behavioral patterns live. The trance is induced with a specific goal in mind, e.g. healing, discovery, stress relief or reprogramming some automatic behaviors and/or beliefs. Hypnotherapeutic techniques, and “shamanic journeying” trance techniques run parallel with a spectrum of healing that is entered through the altered state. 

Shamans use trance to obtain information, which they then use to help and to heal community members. Nearly all societies are known to engage in practices that lead to altered states of consciousness. However, the methods, functions, and cultural context vary widely between societies. Since contemporary hypnosis may very well go back to prehistory and have its origin in shamanism, we will compare the induction steps shamanic rituals typically consist of with those employed in most forms of contemporary hypnotic modalities. Also, we will discuss the physiological/mental changes observed in both ecstatic trance and hypnosis, looking at the results from biofeedback, neurofeedback, and personal experience, attempting to integrate all this with the current proposed models for consciousness

Sunday May 9: Life After Life
Dr. Raymond Moody & Lisa Smartt
We will explore the evidence for life after life, and the last spoken words of many about to cross over. Dr. Moody is the leading authority on the ‘near-death experience’—a phrase he coined in the late seventies. Dr. Moody’s research into the phenomenon of near-death experience had its start in the 1960’s. The New York Times calls him “the father of the near-death experience.”  Lisa Smartt, MA, is the author of  “Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We’re Nearing Death”  and has worked closely with Raymond Moody, guided by his research into language, particularly unintelligible speech. They have co-facilitated presentations about language and consciousness at universities, hospices and conferences.

Sunday April 25: 

The Ancient Language of Sacred Sound
The connections between the Earth’s resonant frequencies, Sacred Sites & Human Consciousness
GUEST: David Elkington

The Earth resonates at an extremely low frequency. Known as “the Schumann Resonance,” this natural rhythm of the Earth precisely corresponds with the human brain’s alpha wave frequencies–the frequency at which we enter into and come out of sleep as well as the frequency of deep meditation, inspiration, and problem solving. Sound experiments reveal that sacred sites and structures like stupas, pyramids, and cathedrals also resonate at these special frequencies when activated by chanting and singing. Did our ancestors build their sacred sites according to the rhythms of the Earth?
Exploring the acoustic connections between the Earth, the human brain, and sacred spaces, David Elkington shows how humanity maintained a direct line of communication with Mother Earth and the Divine through the construction of sacred sites, such as Stonehenge, Newgrange, Machu Picchu, Chartres Cathedral, and the pyramids of both Egypt and Mexico. He reveals how human writing in its original hieroglyphic form was a direct response to the divine sound patterns of sacred sites, showing how, for example, recognizable hieroglyphs appear in sand patterns when the sacred frequencies of the Great Pyramid are activated.
Looking at ancient hero legends–those about the bringers of important knowledge or language–Elkington explains how these myths form the source of ancient religion and have a unique mythological resonance, as do the sites associated with them. The author then reveals how religion, including Christianity, is an ancient language of acoustic science given expression by the world’s sacred sites and shows that power places played a profound role in the development of human civilization.

Sunday May 2nd, 2021:

Spirit Journeying Meets the Hero’s Journey

The well trodden path of self-actualization, Realization, Collective Wisdom & Inspiration
Paul Robear & Laura Lee

The Hero Journey is so universal, so applicable to all levels of our life, and our story. It’s also a model that works on several levels within the spirit journeys of our trances. We’ve hung many a workshop on the frame of the Hero’s Journey, and we’ve often described the passage from our ordinary reality to the alternate reality as stepping over the threshold, in Joseph Campbell’s language, into the magical realm. That, and all the steps of the hero’s journey fit our process beautifully.
 
Paul and I will look at Ecstatic Trance Postures in this context. There are many ways view the call to adventure, the initial hesitation, setting out of the journey, crossing that threshold, navigating our way around the threshold guardians, meeting our mentors, facing a dark night of the soul, receiving the gift, and finally, going home to share that gift with our community. This story arc is so widely used. Each of our own stories is writ with our self at the center, the hero of our journey. We can delight in the multi-faceted and varied ways, with twists and turns and loops as we take this journey, in large and small cycles, again and again. And with every Ecstatic Trance Posture session. In celebration of this spiral dance, we have a visual celebration of the spiral in our journeys, in ancient art, architecture, landscape, nature, and more.
Sunday April 18: SHAMANISM, RITUAL & THEATRE
Thomas Riccio, Professor, Visual & Performing Arts, University of Texas, Dallas
With work spanning the contemporary and the shamanic indigenous roots of Theatre, Thomas will recounts his work with indigenous cultures in Alaska, Africa, Russia, China, exploring their ritual traditions through theatre and performance. Here we are exploring the memory and knowledge of Shamanism through theatre. We will explore the language of theatre that crosses all barriers, that reaches deep into our collective past, while singing to us today, as we ask, is this too the language of the Spirits?
 
From generation to generation indigenous performance stories, songs, dances, acting, props, costumes and mask traditions were passed on with adjustments and evolution taking place over time. Thomas finds his way to the roots of a culture’s myths revealing the power and origins of a culture’s expression.”
Sunday April 11: Relations to the Faery Realm
John & Caitlin Matthews, mythologists, Oxford, UK
Healing the Faery Accord: The old stories speak of relations between our realm and the fairy realm, when interactions were friendly and neighborly, before a rift. What is the “Wisdom of the Sidhe’ (Sith, Sí, Shee, Sighe) and what does it share with the IndoEuropean roots of the Vedic Siddha, Siddhi, and Sadhu, and with Seers — those who see through the veil? (Is there a difference between fairy and faery? The current usage difference is that fairy is the mythical creature, and faerie is the world of fairies.)
 
The Matthew’s many titles include The Secret Lives Of Elves & Faeries: From the Private Journal Of The Rev. Robert Kirk and A Fairy Tale Reader: A Collection of Story, Lore and Vision, The Lost Book of the Grail: The Sevenfold Path of the Grail and the Restoration of the Faery Accord and The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures: The Ultimate A–Z of Fantastic Beings from Myth and Magic.
On Sunday, April 4: The Universality of the Sacred
Paul Robear & Laura Lee, Directors, Cuyamungue Institute 

CI’s Ritual as Art Exhibit & Performance: “An award-winning modern artist, Mel O’Callahan, invited us to collaborate on her upcoming exhibit after reading Goodman’s books on ritual. We advised, long-distance, on our ritual objects, their use and representation, so that upon arrival in February 2017, we could effectively adapt CI’s ritual’s choreography to the exhibit, which also served as altar and stage for the performance. From our own first couple week’s performance, to teaching a one-day workshop to 100 Parson Art students, to working with volunteers, to meeting with the press and participating in a panel discussion, we worked with the student volunteers who would take our place for the duration of the three-month exhibit. We found that ritual is a universal language, known deep in our souls, be you witness or participant.”

March 14, 2021
Call of the Wild:  The Human-Animal Bond throughout Time
Guest: James Tyrrell, Safari Ranger/Photographer/Blogger, Londolozi Game Reserve, Skukuza, South Africa
We once lived among the wild animals, knew their stories and habits, enjoyed a respectful and perhaps mystical relationship with them. Africa’s Safari rangers, guides and trackers are those now who know them best. What might a close up look and stories of encounters with these beautiful beings stir up from our ancestral memory banks? James Tyrrell has stunning photos and fascinating stories to share of living among South Africa’s wild lions, leopards, elephants, white rhinos, hyenas, hippos and more. (Note that lions, rhinos, elephants and camels once roamed North America, too) More Information / Register to Attend
 
James earned an honors degree in Zoology, snowboarded and climbed Colorado’s mountains, surfed Australian and Indonesian waters, and wandered across Africa, his home country, before settling down at the Game Reserve Londolozi, Zulu for “Protector of all living things” in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park. If an African Safari is on your bucket list, consider this a preview visit, and chance to appreciate our fellow members of the Web of Life. 
March 21, 2021
The Mystical Origins and Leading Edge of Science 
GUESTS: Clive Prince, Lynn Picknett, Sinziana Paduroiu
The first stirrings of the Scientific Revolution were inspired “by the same unashamedly metaphysical and magic-oriented philosophy” write historians Clive and Lynn in “The Forbidden Universe: The Occult Origins of Science and the Search for the Mind of God”. In the search for “God’s handiwork,” who are the key players, the pivotal breakthroughs, and how, along the way, did we become “materialist-rationalists”? Where is the leading edge of science heading, and where must physics meet up again with metaphysics? 
 
Today, while science excels at mapping out ordinary reality, we must ask how well it can map out non-ordinary reality. Dark energy, dark matter, dark to our eyes and technology, as it does not emit, absorb or reflect light, is non-ordinary, as yet undetected, and yet, permeates everything”.
 
Sinziana Paduroiu, cosmologist, co-authored with Clive “The Dark Side of the Universe” joins the panel. She updates on the latest chapter on this and other curiosities of our observable Universe, noting that the 5% of the Universe that we have mapped is so complex, so multi-layered, we cannot expect the other 95% to be simple. Which leads us to ask, how does Newton’s Physics, Einstein’s Relativity, and Quantum Physics merge into one continuum?  What do our trance experiences reveal about the Alternate Reality and other hidden dimensions of our mysterious, majestic Universe?
March 28, 2021
Animism In a Living Universe
Guest: Anthropologist Christine Van Pool, University of Missouri

CI’s founder, anthropologist Felicitas Goodman, incorporated animism into the ritual of Ecstatic Trance Postures — she invited the spirits to participate in our rituals for without their help, we cannot enter the Alternate Reality. Goodman “activated” rattle and spirit masks by “feeding” them blue cornmeal and blessing them. Christine will elucidate the long tradition and global practices of animism, and the worldview where all is animate and alive and sacred in an intelligent Universe.

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Recent Topics and Guests

February  14, 2021
Voices in Balance – Authentic Communication… Inspiration by Shakespeare
GUEST: Ellie Nichols

The Bard endures for the many attributes of his genius, one of which is his memorable, daring female characters, which Ellie will elucidate through performance and discussion. Shakespeare’s representation of women, and the ways in which his female roles are interpreted and enacted, have become topics of scholarly interest. Strong, attractive, intelligent, and humane women come to life in Shakespeare’s plays. They not only have a clear sense of themselves as individuals, but they challenge accepted patterns for women’s behavior. Ellie says “My work revolves around gendered communication and how the patriarchy can challenge authentic relationship. As a performer, I the work through Shakespeare’s plays, with a deep dive into the text to reveal what the bard can teach us about female voices, male vices and authentic communication—how do things shift when we say what we mean, and we mean what we say?”

February 21, 2021
Role of Spirituality for Social Cohesion
GUEST: Todd VanPool Professor of Archeology University of Missouri
A moment’s reflection attests that religion and violence are sometimes woven together in history’s tapestries. And at the same time sometime it is religion that facilities the end to violence. Todd VanPool long with is wife Christine researched native traditional peoples and their history From Central Arizona to Central New Mexico to Chihuahua Mexico, looking at the role of religion and spirituality played in these cultures. It was after the fall of Chaco there were there was lots of violence and that it took the the power of their religion and traditionally held spiritual beliefs that not only to help to mitigated the violence but to created a new social cohesion for the whole are of the southwest the US.
February  28, 2021
The Physiology Correlates of the Shamanic State of Consciousness 
GUEST: Meredith McCord & Jill Schumacher.
This universality of trance experiences suggests a biological basis for achieving a trance state. But with all the history of shamanism, and for all its significance to the human experience, we actually are just beginning to understand the neural underpinnings of altered consciousness in the trance state. Trained as biofeedback professionals,  Meredith and Jill decide to create their own study. The project was inspired by their own personal experiences as long time practitioners and instructors of Ecstatic Trance Postures and as health care professionals’ they were inspired to conduct further experiments, with some very interesting results to share.
 
Meredith has been a professional nurse with 35 years of acute care nursing experience. She received her Baccalaureate Degree of Science in Nursing from University of Madison in Wisconsin and Masters of Science from Rush University in Chicago, Illinois.
 Jill has been a professional nurse with 37 years of acute care nursing experience. She received her Baccalaureate Degree of Science in Nursing from St. Louis University and Masters of Science from Rush University in Chicago, Illinois.
 
Creators of the “Return of the Nightingale Project”, a project is dedicated to celebrating and honoring nurses for the everyday essential contributions that they make to individuals, families, society, and the world at-large.

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Recent Topics and Guests

January  31, 2021
Ecstatic Trance / ASC experiences connection to Past Shamanic Cultures
GUEST: Christine VanPool
Comparing the current experience of Ecstatic Trance – ASC (Altered States of Consciousness) with that of ancient shamanic cultures. Shamanism, an ancient spiritual practice of indigenous cultures throughout the world, has been used for physical, psychological, and spiritual healing since the Paleolithic era. We will look at its universality in ancient civilizations and the connection to the increasing popularity and acceptance in the present day. Assisting us in putting into perspective the direct experience of ASC visions, emotional healing and spirit journeys in our Ecstatic Trance Posture Experiences. 
January  24, 2021
Tracing the Mother Goddess through History
GUESTS: Clive Prince & Lynn Picknett
Clive Prince is a historical researcher specializing in religious mysteries, secret societies and the occult, with many media appearances to his credit. With long-time collaborater Lynn Picknett their work has been featured in documentaries for the BBC and National Geographic. Their latest book is When God Had a Wife: The Fall and Rise of the Sacred Feminine in the Judeo-Christian Tradition. We will trace the roles of much-loved goddesses in our early history and their place in evolving worldviews through history.

 

January  17, 2021
Consciousness, Brain Science and Mythology
GUESTS: Burt Webb – Science researcher, writer and blogger
We will explore the connecting points between the Science of Consciousness and Spirituality, and
neuroscience and altered states of consciousness. Burt draws from astronomy, biology, computer science, nanotechnology, physics, psychology, parapsychology, consciousness studies, psychedelics, sci-fi and social issues. He starred in the award-winning short film, Eat the Sun about a high-tech religion, edited and published fifteen volumes on sociology, and wrote a novel, Rare Earths and a non-fiction book, Mindfields about cognitive biases. He also blogs on nuclear power at nucleotidings.com, and the space industry at spacereport.com.
January  10, 2021
Celtic Mythology: Shamanic Roots of Western Spirituality

GUESTS: John & Caitlín Matthews
John & Caitlín Matthews are respected researchers and authors in the Shamanic, Celtic and Arthurian traditions and have opened many doors to a re-appreciation of the mythic heritage of the Western World. We will explore the continuation of early shamanic traditions that still shape and inform Western mysticism and spirituality.

December 27, 2020
Beyond the Information Age
Guest: Brian Jennings

Journalist Brian Jennings shares insights born of a long career programming news and talk for radio networks. He has stories and observations on the evolution of the media and the role it plays in our lives, the role storytelling, finding one’s voice, lessons growing up on a farm, why he describes himself as a “born-again Druid” and why he finds the topics we cover compelling and worthwhile.

Brian’s Recent Reports:
Rimrock Dig. For almost a century, the dominant theory in archaeology claimed that the first people to live in North America came via a land bridge across the Bering Strait, from what is now Asia to Alaska and down into the continental United States. However, Brian Jennings takes us to a new dig site just east of Bend that is debunking that theory and showing that Native Americans were here long before others migrated from Asia.  LINK TO REPORT
 
North America’s Oldest Evidence of Man? Dig uncovers treasures that could be the oldest in the Western Hemisphere
BY Brian Jennings LINK TO REPORT

      Missed a live event? We have posted a few select presentations.

December 13, 2020
Entoptic Phenomenon: Patterns from Brain to Trance to Eye to Rock Art

Guest: Christine vanPool – Professor of Anthropology –  University of Missouri

“Entoptic” derives from the Greek for ‘within vision’ and indicates that “the images come from anywhere within the optic system, between the eye itself and the neural cortex where signals from the optic nerve are interpreted. Since it originates within the visual system, entoptic imagery can only be seen by the observer.” We’ll cover its earliest 1845 observation that people in a wide range of altered states report seeing entoptics, to South African rock art researcher David Lewis-Williams’ 1980’s conjecture that the geometric patterns in rock art and on cave walls are entoptic forms. We’ll compare those “notes of the trance journeys of our ancestors” writ on stone to what our ETP participants currently and over the years have reported.

December 20, 2020
Solstice / Mythology / Celebrations

We’ll begin with a visit with the Program Director who opened the door for Laura’s radio talk show career, and celebrate the Solstice and the Holidays with astrophysicist Tony Hull’s photo essay of our star’s complete annual journey across a spectacular New Mexico horizon, with the 4th installment. Continuing our search for the hidden patterns that shape us, we’ll examine how stargazing lies at the core of the world’s mythologies, still present in our daily life, such as the names of days of the week and the months. We have Celtic mythologist John Matthew’s report on how the long tradition of Solstice celebrations of the return of the light morphed into Christmas. Also the rare Saturn/Jupiter alignment and Barbara Hand Clow’s message of hope. What do we most want for Christmas? world peace! So come celebrate with us this Sunday — Happy Holidays!

When exactly is the Solstice? At the same moment for all of us, everywhere on Earth. It can range from the 20th to the 23rd, and 2020’s December Solstice falls on Monday the 21st at 2:02 AM PST / 5:02 AM EST / 10:02 Universal Time (UTC). Imagine the sun as a pendulum, swinging slowly on our sky’s dome to the farthest southward point for the year, pausing momentarily before heading back the other way. In the Northern Hemisphere this is the year’s shortest day and longest night.                              

November 15, 2020

Energy Medicine: A Panel Discussion
Christine VanPool, Maria Dolzer, Barbie Maraviov
Our ETP experiential sessions work so beautifully with our community spread around the globe. How does this work at a distance? Is there more to the Universe than Science has recognized? What might we learn from other energy medicine modalities that also work at a distance? What’s the common denominator? What role does the Placebo Effect have? We’ve asked members of our CI Community who practice both ETP and long-distance energy medicine, to discuss their work, Maria Dolzer with Healing Touch and Barbie Maraviov with Reiki. Joseph Goldfedder, acupuncturist, brings in his experience with, and science of, energy meridians and archeologist Christine Van Pool shares insights from historical and neurological studies.

 

November 22, 2020

Gratitude’s Gift to Our Brain, Health, and the World 

We give thanks on Thanksgiving, and thanks is a not good thing to give, it gives back! We’ll look at the brain mind science of why an attitude of gratitude is healthy physiologically and a key to “the science of happiness”. What practices bring gratitude into our lives? We’ll touch on many — and given how often in our trances we come away filled with peace, calm, acceptance, universal love, joy, that ecstatic sense of being One with the Universe. Ecstatic Trance may have the longest track record in history, and a deeply embedded role in early worldview and communities.
November 29, 2020

Sacred Song & Trance
Judy Lemon

Judy returns to share more stories of her extensive, ongoing work with a South American shaman, and brings something experimental and experiential — she will sing a traditional medicine plant song and we’ll see how effective it is, alone, in taking us into a trance experience. 

Recent Guests

Fred Smith
November 8, 2020
Trance States in India

Frederick M. Smith – Professor, Sanskrit and Classical Indian Religions University of Iowa.

I asked Fred if the Rishis, the Vedic sages of old, went into an altered state to pull down their wisdom, and he confirmed that in the earliest texts, this is clearly stated. He will read us a few examples, a summary of what they say, compare divination methods, and share stories of his time in India observing various rituals and worldview of the indigenous cultures. We’ll also ask, what was the Golden age, and when? Where are we in the timeline now, and what’s ahead?

The focus of his research is looking at ritual, practice, or text over centuries or millennia. Example of this are his studies in the performance of Vedic ritual in modern times, which utilize several millennia of texts in addition to his own “Vedic fieldwork,” or in the textual history of deity or spirit possession, supplemented by both modern ethnographic writing and his own forays into the field.

IMG_2459
October 4, 2020

The Case for A Creator: We Can’t Say There is & We Can’t Say There Isn’t 
Perhaps that’s the only certain thing we can say. (I was reminded some find the word “God” offensive.) So we examine a few arguments on both sides. The conversation begin with two people well read on the historical arguments. Steven Hecht’s wrote a thesis on evolutionary theory, earned an MA in religion, and is currently immersed in the Book of Genesis. Sister Margaret O’Rourke goes deep into, yet well beyond,  Catholicism. We have a few surprise guests joining the panel as well, to round out The Case for A Creator.

October 18, 2020
 

Guest: G B Cornucopia. Served as Park Ranger at Chaco Culture National Historic Park
G B Cornucopia has been a park ranger at Chaco Culture National Historic Park for three decades. He first came to Chaco as a visitor and seeker of dark skies in 1986. An avid astronomer, he found Chaco an ideal location for both naked eye astronomy and deep sky investigations through telescopes. Encouraged by his fellow visitors’ interest in the night sky he helped develop astronomy programs as a park ranger, leading to the establishment in 1988, of a permanent donated observatory near Chaco’s visitor center.

Guest: Cherilynn Morrow Astronomer, NASA Educator
Award-winning NASA educator in astronomy and climate science has provided archival research and field support for an archaeoastronomy research team in Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico.  Her posts have been many: At the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, England she contributed new insights into our Sun’s rotation and the solar cycle. As a Physics & Astronomy professor at Georgia State University she made physics more accessible to a wider field. She designed and taught space science and mathematics at the Colorado Space Grant College, and served as Visiting Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters with the goal of engaging the scientists, research facilities, and data resources of the space science community in support of national education. She believes the integration of music and the arts with science education can transform, as well as inform

September 6, 2020 –  Anthropology and Trance States

Guest: Christine vanPool – Professor of Anthropology –  University of Missouri 
We are thrilled that the work of CI is under investigation by both in theory and in practice by anthropologist Christine Van Pool. We’ll discuss the contributions to the field of CI’s founder, and what new insights today’s advances in the field may shed on this work, and what this work may contribute to new understandings in anthropology. 

Christine says, “various shamans, mediums, and mystics around the world believe that our physical eyes hide the “real” world: a spirit world. In other words, we are blinded by our normal senses. Often it is trance states that our senses are open and the veil is lifted. Hundreds of groups around the world believe that spirits are real; they can be helpful, harmful, or indifferent to humans… Many believe that the cosmos has its own spirit breath, which is a common belief among the Eastern Pueblos of New Mexico.”  ZOOM Registration

September 20, 2020
GNOMON: Equinox Sun and Shadow, tool of Measurements

Guest: , Tony Hull – Professor of Physics and Astronomy at University of New Mexico
Of all the scientific instruments in the world for precise measurements, one of the oldest and simplest is a vertical pole when set perpendicular to the  ground and used to measure shadows cast by the sun. Tony elucidates the ancient use of gnomons to pinpoint time and the directions, and shares more adventures in archeo-astronomy.  Some of the most magnificent ancient megalithic sites may have used this tool to design and build in perfect alignment with the solar calendar. We will recognize and celebrate the Equinox together and learn how to set up our own Gnonmon.  ZOOM Registration