Ritual Postures, Ritual body Postures, Ancient Ritual Postures

Cuyamungue Institute Interview Series
Conversation
4Exploration
 Join the conversation as we talk with the leading edge in the arts and sciences and go exploring — its a big universe out there! Every guest helps us fill in a piece of the Grand Puzzle of Life, with every conversation those eternal questions — who are we, where did we come from, where are we going — come into sharper focus. We make the most of our Information Age, when we can peer further and deeper, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, to better understand and celebrate our world and our place in it — and make a difference.

And as an educational institution, we recognize to thrive, we must keep growing and broaden the scope of our work to the latest discoveries and theories in neuroscience, anthropology, archeology, archaeoastronomy, eco-spirituality, ecology, philosophy, psychology, mythology, shamanism, ritual, the heroes journey, the roots of theatre, deep history, art history — the full range of the arts and sciences — That’s why we call it Conversation for Exploration. Here’s where the “aha moments” await, along with an international community of fellow explorers. Our Free Events are open to all. And you can catch up recent discussions on our YouTube, Facebook and Podcasts — hope to see you there!

    UPCOMING GUESTS –    – What time/ How to particpate?   Sundays 9am Pacific / Noon Eastern
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Sunday December 5: Economic & Technologic Side to Eco-Spirituality 
Hazel Henderson, Futurist and Economic Iconoclast
William Halal, Prof of Tech & Innovation, George Washington U
We will talk with two friends who cover the same turf to reveal the bumps in the road ahead and maps for navigating the big rethink that is underway. Hazel Henderson is a pioneer in ecological, and economic spirituality. She’s been stirring it up for decades, with call to action and to rethink our paradigm. Her book titles clue us in — 
The Power of Yin, Celebrating Female Consciousness
Planetary Citizenship: Your Values, Beliefs and Actions Can Shape A Sustainable World
Building a Win-Win World: Life Beyond Global Economic Warfare
Paradigms in Progress: Life Beyond Economics
 
When I interviewed Hazel in the 1990’s for my local Seattle station about the forests of Washington state, she posed a question that has stayed with me. “Why is a tree, in a forest, providing habitat, diversity of ecosystems, recreational opportunities,” she asked, “why is it not assigned a monetary value until its cut down and sold? why are we blind to its value as part of a forest?” Or our air and water, which gets to the heart of why our priorities and values are out of balance.
 
Hazel wrote the foreword to William Halal’s new book, Beyond Knowledge: How Technology Is Driving an Age of Consciousness. He opens with the observation that the noosphere of Teilhard de Chardin — this emerging global consciousness — is already here in the technological sense, citing the statistics. (Not quite what Teilhard was envisioning, back in the 1950’s) William Halal, Professor Emeritus of Management, Technology & Innovation at George Washington University, says “As an aerospace engineer on Apollo, an Air Force officer, a Silicon Valley manager, professor of technology & innovation, and founder of TechCast, I have always been fascinated with the revolutionary power of technology driving us into a high-tech global order. My work is devoted to helping us figure out where this profound transition is heading, what it all means, and how we can get there.”
Sunday Dec 12: The Role of Cerebral Spinal Fluid in ASC
Mauro Zappaterro, Quality of Life Therapist & Researcher
Mauro’s focus is on “optimizing human performance through regenerative medicine, nutrition, mind-body exercises, mind-training, and biofield therapies,” he says. This includes new research into the role of the cerebral spinal fluid in expanding states of consciousness. This connection is not easy to find, and I began a search after hearing three mentions to CSF in various contexts, all to do with ASC. Mauro told me that very few have asked this question, and he’s glad to share what he has discovered with our community.  
 
He earned his MD and PhD at Harvard Medical School, where he first researched the role of the Cerebrospinal Fluid in brain development. He continues to investigate CSF as a potential fluid to convey source information to the body. Board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, his researches and designs new programs and techniques to help alleviate pain, improve function, and increase quality of life. He has published numerous scientific papers and medical book chapters on the CSF, disability and pain management, as well as children’s books for all ages. 
Sunday Dec 19:  Astrobiology and Consciousness
Edwin Turner, Professor of Astronomy, Princeton University
We and all of matter are made of the ashes of stars, whose life cycle from birth to explosive death we’ll follow with Ed Turner, and we won’t stop there: The origin of life on our planet, and out there with Astrobiology. The nature of consciousness and why theoretical physics describes time very differently than our direct experience. And, the limits of reductionist science. Here is another scientist who appreciates thinking outside the box, balancing, as he puts it, “being critical in methodology, while unfettered in imagination.” As a member of the Galileo Project, we’ll also get an update on their search opening up a new field: ’astro-archeology.” 
 
We really enjoyed astrophysicist Avi Loeb, from Harvard — challenging the orthodoxy to embrace anomalies and follow where the evidence leads.  Avi’s good friend and fellow astronomer from Princeton, Edwin Turner, will tell us about the life cycle of the stars — their birth, their life, their death — lest we forget that we are born of the ashes of stars, that in their death throes the lighter elements they burned, are forged into the heavier elements that make life possible — an appropriate time i think to celebrate the stars, mythically as winter nights grow longer we await the return of the light — that’s what Christmas trees represent — the tree of life with a star at the apex — stars in all phases of their life cycles support our life, we who are made of star dust, literally. and metaphorically..
Sunday Dec 26: The Return & Rebirth of the Green Man
David Elkington
We have turned the corner of the seasons. The days are getting longer. Time to dive into their mythic role as the days lengthen. “As the ghosts of winter fade with the return of the light, the Green Man (also occasionally referenced as the Green Woman) pours forth his/her influence upon us, speaking with joy and love for those who love our Earth”, says David, “and with terror for those who do not. We see that in the root word of terror/terre.” David points to ritual designed to activate our pineal gland and sync our biorhythms with the seasons, and to the Green Man’s influence seen far and wide in his counterparts: Robin Hood, dressed in green, Isis, “the original Maid Marion” and Osiris/Orion, painted green by the Egyptians to denote his role as the vegetative god of rebirth. Expressed in music, To accompany the spirit of the Green Man, David recommends a listen to Benjamin Britten’s Spring Symphony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dw-sW83vF4o

Recent Topics and Guests (Most are now on YouTube… click here)

Sunday November 28: Archeological Curiosities & Anomalies
Michael Cremo, Freelance Researcher & Author

Anomalous data and finds in any field ask us to pay closer attention. With several new archeological finds and dating methods, the time line has been pushed back for the earliest dates for transoceanic voyages and the peopling of the Americas and Australia. Our ancestors, and the other, now extinct hominids were more sophisticated and capable than we had recognized. Michael Cremo, author of “Forbidden Archeology” looks at the most controversial finds that seemingly hint at an unbelievably ancient timeline. While we don’t subscribe to the worldview that he suggests such finds point to, we’ve asked him to detail the finds that he says are the hardest to dismiss outright.

Sunday November 21: The Ancient Rituals Symbols & Myths
Behind our Annual Holidays
Richard Schwab, Mythologist
Richard returns to uncover the remnants of the ancient festivals, symbols, and myths at the core of our holiday season. The sequence of the year’s holy days give our traditional celebrations a surprisingly deep history. We are still engaged in ancient rites — they’ve just been a bit disguised. The symbols and motifs and myths that led to Santa’s red suit and sleigh pulled by flying reindeer, the Christmas tree lit with blinking lights and topped with a star, the mistletoe, green branches and wreaths we bring inside our homes, and more. With so many tuned to endless rounds of football, we’ll also look at these rituals.

Sunday November 14: Ritual and Trance, the Yin-Yang Balance
Thomas Riccio, Professor Visual & Performing Arts, Theatre, University of Texas, Dallas
Continuing our exploration of the shamanic origins and transcendent power of live theatre, Thomas Riccio returns with a report on his work with the Miao’s shamanic rites in the mountains of southern China, his recent projects in Prague and the Zeus Cave in Crete, and how he uses ritual trance postures to explore and work up a performance expression.
 

Deep in the mountains of southwestern China a spiritual tradition said to be thousands of years old still flourishes among the Miao people. It is a tradition that combines ritual and trance to balance and sustain a community of humans, spirits, gods, and ancestors. Both ritual and trance work to transcend physical reality to reveal, articulate, and reaffirm the structures and spiritual forces that surround and influence the material world. At the center of the Miao spiritual practice is the badai (father offspring) and the xianniang (transcendent maiden). The badai, who are male, are healers, diviners, and masters of an elaborate system of rituals. Although they do not trance in a classic shamanic sense, their sensorial rituals enact a dramatic journey into the spiritual world for their community creating a collective, trance. The xianniang, who are female, do trance, and work in conjunction with badai, conferring with spirits and ancestors to determine the need and timing of the badai rituals. Together they provide the yin-yang, a balance of male and female energy to maintain and balance their village. This talk will outline their working methodologies and how they uniquely serve and sustain their human and spiritual communities to this day.

Sunday October 31: The Coincidence Project
Bernard Beitman, University of Virginia
The veil thins this time of year, the better for the other realms to speak to us and through us. And coincidence is on the rise — it’s one of many ways the Universe signals to us. Bernie Beitman’s Coincidence Project is a repository of real life, self-reported incidents. How does he define coincidence, synchronicity and serendipity? What are the hallmarks of each? What messages might they contain? How often do you note odd coincidence occurring in your life? Bring your best stories! Bernie’s book is “Connecting with Coincidence: The New Science for Using Synchronicity and Serendipity in Your Life”
Sunday October 24: Tracking: Restoring this Ancient Oral Tradition
Alex Van Den Heever – Tracker Academy, South Africa
“There are only four or five authentic, genuine Bushman trackers left,” says our guest, tracker Alex Van Den Heever, who seeks to revive “the indigenous knowledge that was once a part of our landscape”. It’s a most ancient oral tradition, and those keeping it alive are tracking animals through the bush for research and for ecotourists to shoot, with cameras. And documenting it lest it disappear. I’ve long been curious about the range of the knowledge, skills and senses employed to pick up the often minute, barely-there clues trackers read, and the concentration, powers of observation, intuition, and endurance it takes to decipher the habits, movements, and location of their quarry. What new insight can this lend to our earliest ancestors, their traditional knowledge, their deep attunement to their environment? What is that experience like? Are some parts of our eyes, ears and brain picking up clues beyond our conscious awareness? What skills might we apply to our own journey through the ‘wilderness’ of modern life? Alex shares all this and more, drawing from his years in the bush as a ranger at Southern Africa’s Londolozi game reserve and co-founding the Tracker Academy with fellow tracker Renias Mhlongo, offering an ind-depth, year-long course. Alex is the author of Tracker Manual: A Practical Guide to Animal Tracking in Southern Africa and Changing a Leopard’s Spots
 
The life lessons that this skill set imparts hits home for all of us. “Every human is born to track,” says Alex. It’s in our DNA, well honed from our days as hunting and gathering, “humanity’s first and most successful strategy. Today we track what is important to us… our health, wealth and happiness. Knowing what to track, who to track with and how to get back on track represent the most important decisions of our lives.”
Sunday October 17: Oktoberfest’s Hidden Rituals
Guest: Brigitte Veiz, psychologist, Gestalttherapist, Dramatist
What happens when a psychologist analyzes Munich’s favorite beer festival? Brigitte Veiz put two years of research and decades of self-expererience on the Oktoberfest and on Germany’s many different Volksfests into the socio-psychological diploma thesis for her PhD: “The Oktoberfest: Mass, Ecstasy and Rituals”. She details the hidden mythos behind the fun, the songs, the symbols, the beverage, the traditional costumes and why 6 Million people have been coming to the festival each year, why the Dirndl dress and Lederhosen are ritual garments, why Oktoberfest begins in September, the mythic ties to Dionysus the God of Ecstasy and Trance, why the “Bavaria” statue appears as the Goddess of the festival and all of the psychology behind the mass rituals in the 12 big beertents, each accommodating 10,000 revelers. Though cancelled this year, we can celebrate the 211th anniversary of the festival’s origin date, October 17, 1810, it’s enduring popularity and deeper meaning. We will note, too, how ancient Egypt celebrated an annual beer festival in honor of the goddess Sekhmet. 
Sunday October 10: The Galileo Project:
Search for Evidence of Extraterrestrial Technological Artifacts
Avi Loeb, Astronomer, Harvard University
“It would be arrogant to think we’re alone in the Universe,” says Harvard Professor Avi Loeb, a theoretical astrophysicist who concluded, amid all the conjecture on the anomalous, shiny elongated space object (dubbed “Oumuamua”, Hawaiian for “scout”) that wandered through our inner solar system in 2017, we should not rule out alien technology. To him it looked and behaved like a light sail. His book, “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth”, details why. It was a controversial stance, one that led to private funding for Avi’s “Galileo Project” — in honor of that other daring astronomer — with new strategies to detect life in the Cosmos. We’ll talk about his philosophy of life, the role and limits of science, tackling life’s big questions, and the mission and hopes for his project.
Sunday October 3: Art & Iconography of  NW Coast Native Culture
Lee Brooks, Gallery Curator & Rande Cook, Native Artist
The power and spirit of the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest has a long, deep history, and continues today. Tribes in British Columbia, Alaska, Washington and Oregon each have their own history, culture and religious traditions, represented in their art, stories, songs and dances. Lee Brooks, curator of Arctic Raven Gallery has long championed Native art and artists, and brings Rande Cook to share the iconography and deep meaning and history of his art and culture. We’ll see a dazzling array of carvings and sculpture of wood, stone, bone, shell from many native artists, and more and learn the deeper meaning.
Rande says “Growing up, I observed and discussed the traditional art forms with my grandfather. Through my grandparents, I learned about the values of life and culture, responsibilities of being a chief, and the importance of being a strong leader for my people. In addition, I am passionate about being a father, a partner, and being involved in the well-being of my community and Mother Earth.  WATCH Video clip introduction
Sunday September 26:
Female Shamans: Spirituality & Healing Practices in Peru
Bonnie Glass-Coffin
Professor of Anthropology /Affiliate Professor of Religious Studies at USU.
Bonnie shares her deep look into the female shamans of Peru and their spirituality and healing practices, past and present. She also leads an initiative to find common ground among the different faiths and spiritual paths, and this include non-human consciousness! She also has insight on tackling life’s big questions. Male shamans, she concludes, rally forth into the spirit world to do individual combat with the sources of spiritual illness, whereas female shamans try to involve their patients more directly in their own healing
 
Bonnie Glass-Coffin, PhD, is a visionary and a bridge builder who believes that educating the whole person (head and heart) should be at the core of a liberal arts education. She has been inspired to build these bridges because of the transformative experiences that she has had while studying with Peruvian shamans for more than 30 years.  
Sunday September 19: Gathering of the Goddess:
From Pre-history to Today

Across the world and throughout history societies have worshipped the Goddess as the supreme site of fertility, motherhood, and the creation of life. The scope and antiquity of goddess worship are remarkable. Female sacred images are associated with some of the oldest archaeological evidence for religious expression and they still have efficacy in the contemporary world. The earliest proof comes from archaeological finds—paintings and figurines of women with exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics, which emphasize fertility. Famous pieces, such as the Venus of Willendorf are Upper Paleolithic (30,000–10,000 B.C.E.) help us reconnect with the goddess tradition. These types of female votive figures were widely produced and worshipped by very early civilizations such as the Indus Valley Civilization, also called the Harappan Civilization (2500-1500 B.C.E. in modern day Pakistan and Northern India), and ancient Sumer (3500-2025 B.C.E. present-day southeastern Iraq). We will look and compare dozens of images which reflect the energy, power of history of the Goddess.

Marija Gimbutas, a leading scholar in the study of early goddess worship, wrote The Language of the Goddess, considered a significant work in the field, she suggests that these figurines and their associated symbols, found throughout the Neolithic period as well and into the Bronze Age (2000–1400 B.C.E.) in Crete, could represent a goddess religion that was passed down through time.

In the second hour, we will be joined by Mare Cromwell, the founder of the 1000 Goddesses Gathering, a worldwide event now in its 5th year, as a call to honor the divine feminine.

Kurt Wenner, 3D pavement art
Sunday September 12: The Metaphysical Message of Geometry & Perspective
Kurt Wenner, Renaissance Artist 
To find sacred aspects within Western art, we turn to Kurt Wenner, who will explain the creative secrets and metaphysical message of geometry. A self-taught artist who learned classical drawing from the artistic ideals of Renaissance masters by studying and drawing Greek and Roman sculptures in the Vatican Museums, he honed his skills joining Italy’s long tradition of pavement artists. Creating large classical compositions on the streets of Rome in pastel, he was soon recognized as a master of the art form for his innovative 3D pavement art. Kurt’s prolific compositions of classically inspired figures and architecture convey the metaphysical message embodied in the geometry of the masters. Kurt says, “The creative principles (often referred to as “symmetry,”) of unity, duality, polarity, equilibrium, and proportion, form the basis of geometric diagrams. These creative principles reflect the intelligent nature and creative potential of the universe. All geometric diagrams express these organizing properties, but sacred geometry highlights the metaphysical aspects of geometry. Kurt holds the Kennedy Center Medallion for his outstanding work in arts education.
Brantley Baird & Tori Baird
Sunday September 5: Footsteps of Ancients at Rock Art Ranch
Brantley Baird, Tori Baird

Several of the postures we use come from petroglyphs, and we recently toured one of the world’s largest collections, dating from 5,000 BC to 1400 AD. Near Winslow Arizona, over 3,000 petroglyph grace the walls of a small, easily accessible two-mile long canyon that runs through Rock Art Canyon Ranch, the home and 5,000 acre cattle ranch of 83 year old Brantley Baird. It’s long been a sacred site, where hunting and gathering groups and semi-nomadic farmers left their mark, with hogans and sweat lodge still used by local tribes. Brantley and god-daughter Tori also offer access to archeologists and to the public of on-site tours of the canyon’s rock art, the pots and artifacts he found on the land, and pioneer relics, as well as to us with their photos and stories.

Sunday August 29: Ecstatic Trance &
ASC: Reviving the Practice and the Language

While the wide spectrum of ASC and the ecstatic trance state of our own work has a 50,000 year track record, over time our culture lost both the practice and the language around it. Is the common meaning of the term “ecstatic trance” and “religious trance”, used by the previous generations of anthropologists from our own Dr. Felicitas Goodman to Mircea Eliade, in transition as more and more of us are adopting and adapting practices to engage in these states? Are we ‘hardwired’ to seek such states? What can we learn from the 1960’s survey of the beneficial attributes of visionary states funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (to which Dr. Goodman contributed by translating many of the ethnographies studied) and why did the West divorce itself from these practices? Why were shamanic states ever viewed as a pathology? How are ecstatic states being revived and enjoyed today? What will bring ASC back into the mainstream? We are joined by Todd and Christine VanPool, Dept of Anthropology, University of Missouri

Sunday August 22: The Power of our Personal Story
Richard Schwab, Mythologist

Myth and story is one way our ancestors kept wisdom traditions alive and intact. “Story is the operating system of human consciousness,” says Richard Schwab. He has worked with prisoners to uncover the mythical threads in their own lives. For the Joseph Campbell Foundation and Center for Symbolic Studies he has studied mythology and folklore motifs as applied to our lives and ‘rites of passage’ journeys. His TEDx talk was on the use of story in today’s world. Today he is designing online means for empowering a better understanding of our own story, to bring our passions and gifts into the world.

Sunday August 15: Magic, Ancient Wisdom, and Modern Science
Dean Radin Ph.D  Chief Scientist at the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS)

“Magic is a natural aspect of reality, and what was called magic two thousand years ago is turning out to be scientific fact today” says Dean, chief scientist, Institute of Noetic Sciences. His book include The Conscious Universe, Entangled Minds, Supernormal and Real Magic: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe, and 100-plus academic articles appear in peer-reviewed journals. A widely recognized and trusted authority on consciousness studies, Dean’s work is helping to expand the current paradigm and gain wider acceptance for work such as ours. Radin has spent the last forty years conducting controlled experiments that demonstrate thoughts are things, we can sense others’ emotions and intentions from a distance, and intuition is more powerful than we know.

Sunday August 8: The Quantum Concept of Consciousness.
Brenda Dunne

Brenda worked alongside Robert Jahn at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab (PEAR) where they co-wrote three major textbooks on consciousness-related anomalies and conducted mind-over-matter experiments, notably on low-level psychokinetic effects on electronic random event generators.
Today as head of the International Consciousness Research Laboratories (ICRL) Brenda joins over 80 scientists exploring the role of consciousness in the formation of physical reality.

Sunday Aug 1 – Sustainability: Past and Present
Morgan Brown, Sustainability Consultant for Government & Business
Our ancestors practiced sustainability as a survival and longevity strategy, inherent in a worldview in which the web of life was revered. How did we get so far off track? Is our current trajectory inevitable? With all the science, technology, and tools we now have to correct course, why aren’t we further along? What does a sustainable future look like? What sweeping changes will it bring? We see from history that a civilization’s resiliency and longevity depends on striking a balance with nature. 
 
We examine the complexities of the technology, politics, economics, philosophical and worldview barriers to making the changes we must with Morgan Brown. A green entrepreneur and consultant to government and business, he shares real-life insights and examples from his extensive work with solar, sustainable water systems, public transport, sustainable living and renewable energy systems.  

Sunday July 25:
Anthropology of Gender:
Gender in Ancient Societies

Mikaela Deimeke. Cultural Anthropology Graduate Student at University of Missouri-Columbia
We’re undergoing a cultural revolution, with gender playing a key role. Women reclaiming power roles at all levels of society. Gender fluidity with new pronouns. “Two Spirits” embodying both genders. Anthropology reveals gender’s many roles in history, from “access to resources, clothing and appearance, identity and personality, status and power, and social roles in different communities” says our guest. She is studying ‘Two-Spirits’ who embody both masculine and feminine spirits. “Traditionally, they participated in both male and female gender roles, which makes these individuals liminal beings that have the ability to mediate between this world and the spirit world, with high status. Many individuals Two-Spirit identity begins with the spiritual world, being called through some sort of supernatural sanction (i.e a vision or dream) while others show a proclivity for both male and female tasks early on in life. Two-Spirits held a prestigious role in their communities prior to extensive influence from outside cultures. They held roles as mediators, healers, helpers, and many other things.” Mikaela is joined by her anthropology professors Todd and Christine VanPool.
 
Sunday July 18: Ancient Navigation –
the Oral Tradition of Navigating by the Stars
Steve Thomas
An ancient Language of the Sea, reading the stars, birds, and waves, called Steve Thomas to study with master navigator Mau Piailug. Arriving in Piailug’s village on the tiny coral atolls of Satawal, Micronesia, Steve was soon initiated into this secret oral tradition by the last of the wisdom keepers. For six thousand years, this was how hand-built canoes steered true over the vast Pacific: the “talk of the sea”, the highly secret “talk of light”, the color and the seat of wisdom, the navigation chants, memorizing 15 stars’ paths of rising and setting, watching birds and sea creatures, reading patterns in the waves, identifying the islands of departure, reference, and destination, and working with the spirits of navigation. “It’s all born of the sea, of detailed observation of Nature’s signs, “ says Steve, “an athletic knowledge, one you must do to learn.” Steve devoted a year of book research, a year spent with the elders, filmed a voyage for a PBS documentary, and two years writing The Last Navigator: A Young Man, an Ancient Mariner, the Secrets of the Sea”. He recounts his adventure with team members Jet Dee, archival sound engineer and Thomas Raffippy, translator. They’ll share historic photos of elders Piailug, Aeoweiung, and Pwitack, recordings of navigation chants, folk lore, ethics, stories and more from the 40-year old archive documenting these cultural heroes who continue to inspire a new generation with this ancient, mysterious, and beautiful kinship with the sea. 

Steve Thomas is also an Emmy Award-winning TV Host of This Old House, Renovation Nation, and Save Our History. Builder, family man, skier, sailor, adventurer, navigator, dog lover, and oyster wholesaler
Sunday July 11: Near-Death Experiences & the Afterlife of the Ancients

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 4: The Science of Sound & the Underlying Patterns of Nature
Jeff  Volk

 A lively conversation on Jeff’s four decades carrying forward the art and science of making visible, the invisible hidden patterns of Nature. As publisher of the seminal works, Dr. Hans Jenny’s groundbreaking books Cymatics, Vols. I & II as well as video documentaries, Jeff broadens our understanding of how audible sound can create harmonic, geometric patterns as found in intricate life forms, and in the art and architecture of the world’s wisdom traditions. He also makes clear its relevance to our lives, and how it expands our notion of what exists around and within us. Time to stretch our concept of the Cosmos and our place in it!

 

Besides being an author, producer and publisher, Jeff Volk is also an evocative poet.  Jeff’s 1992 documentary, Of Sound Mind and Body: Music and Vibrational Healing, won the Hartley Film Award through the Institute of Noetic Sciences. It quickly became IONS’ most popular membership premium, which encouraged him to begin producing the first “sound” conferences, exploring the manifold effects of music and sound on consciousness and healing. He continued to produce The International Sound Colloquium annually throughout the  90’s, and then re-directed his focus to the business of publishing, which he continues doing to this day.
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. —–>    Two Minute Teaser on Video.
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 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 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.

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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