Ancient Navigation: The Oral Tradition of Navigating by the Stars

GUEST: Steve Thomas   As a young man piloting a small sailboat across the Pacific, Steve Thomas developed a fascination with ancient methods of navigation. With team members Jet Dee, archival sound engineer and Thomas Raffippy, translator, they’ll recount their adventure on the tiny coral atolls of Satawal, Micronesia with Mau Piailug. One of the last masters of the ancient navigation tradition of reading stars, waves, and birds, Piailug’s ancestors unerringly guided their sailing canoes for 6,000 years across thousands of miles of open ocean to populate Oceania, spread across nearly a quarter of the Earth’s surface. Steve, Jet and Thomas share historic photos of Piailug, Aeoweiung, Pwitack , recordings of navigation chants, folk lore and stories, from their nearly 40-year old archive documenting the cultural heroes that continue to inspire a new generation with this ancient, mysterious, and beautiful kinship with the sea. Micronesia’s is an oral tradition. As the old navigators have passed away, so has any opportunity to learn the Talk of the Sea, and the highly secret Talk of Light, both of which were taught to Steve. Steve’s research resulted in the critically acclaimed book, The Last Navigator, and a one-hour documentary for the PBS’s Adventure. Steve 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.

The Science of Sound & the Poetic Patterns of Nature

GUEST: 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. To explore books and videos related to Cymatics and sound therapies published and produced by Jeff Volk, visit:

Subtle Energies & The Fourth Phase of Water

GUEST: Dr. Gerald Pollack, University of Washington
Dr. 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

Skywatchers: Ancient Solar Calendar

GUEST: Ken Zoll, Executive Director at Verde Valley Archaeology Center.
Methods of timekeeping are as old as the hills, which were often employed as solar calendars marking the passage of the year with the Solstices and Equinoxes. Just outside Sedona, Arizona, on a long vertical rock face with over a thousand petrolgyphs, Ken Zoll decoded an ancient solar calendar. It was left by the Sinagua, ancestors to the Hopi, who too charted the sun’s annual trek across the sky with a calendar marking when to celebrate, when to plant, when to harvest. They symbolically tied this sacred ceremonial site to their sacred mountains, by knapping a vertical rock edge to cast a shadow in its outline.

Ken takes us on his personal journey of gathering the clues to identify and document the story of the Sun Watchers of a thousand years ago. His books include Heart of the Sky: Ancient Skywatchers of Central Arizona, Understanding the Rock Art of Sedona, and Sinagua Sunwatchers: An Archaeoastronomy Survey of the V Bar V Heritage Site and the Sacred Mountain Basin

Symbol, Art and Altered States

GUESTS: Fredrick Smith, Professor of Religious Studies, Sanskrit & Classical Indian Religions
Christine VanPool, Professor of Anthropology
Fred and Christine joined us and together we examined sound, 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 compared ritual and the deep power of art for transcendence as used by ancient cultures around the world. While our work is in the field of Ecstatic Trance, Fred offered an example of fascinating example of a possession trance states. We are also joined by Lawson Malnory, Ethnomusicology MA student at Arizona State University who is conducting a study on sound inducement in trance and other altered-state experiences which involves a survey wherein participants will listen to and then rate a series of potential sound induction samples.

Mississippian Culture: Solar Calendar of Mound Builder

Guest: C. Hunter McConnell. Cam McConnell decodes a 1500 year old disc from the Spiro Mound part of the vast Mississippian network of villages and trade routes as a celestial calendar. The iconography of symbols and animals depicted on the disc. Cam has deciphered the meaning of the intricate disc suggesting that it used as an advanced astronomical clock. Anthropologist Christine VanPool joins the discussion and adds her research as well to the this presentation.
How Do Mystical Experiences Shape our Worldview?
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 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? 

A lively discussion looking at the the significance of integrating the mystical to develop and restore ourselves and embrace the world of a mythic life.

Life After Life. The Near Death Experience.
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.

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.
Faery Realm – The Hidden Ones. Origins, Mythology & Communication
GUESTS: John & Caitlin Matthews.  While fairies have been relegated to folklore, or considered fantasy, some researchers now consider the origins to be religious/spiritual experiences, spirit journeys, and transformations. A fresh perspective appears looking from the context of the anthropology of religion, animism, mysticism, and consciousness. The history of faery mythology can be traced to pre-Christian, pre-Celtic, and pre-Iron Age in origin. The association of the daoine sìth with the síd mounds of the gods and ancestors is well-documented, and a tell-tale sign of their antiquity.
Husband-wife mythologist team John & Caitlin (pronounced “Kathleen”) share their deep research into the Faery Realm, with fresh insight from new translations of early stories and our current eco-crisis. We’ll also look at the Celtic “Wisdom of the Sidhe’ (Sith, Sí, Shee, Sighe) those who see through the veil/vale.
What we see preserved in this lore can tell us not just about the gods, with whom the fairies, or daoine sìth, can be said to have become conflated with, but also how they were – and are – worshipped and honoured, and approached or communicated with (or avoided as the case may be).

THE Lorian Press (For the Sidhe Titles)
Books by John & Caitlin Matthews (Uk & Europe only – unless you want to pay huge postal charges!) 
The man who makes Sidhe Portals is Ron Hays.

Guest: Thomas Riccio. 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 discover that the language of theatre that crosses all barriers, and reaches deep into our collective past, while singing to us today, prompting is to 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. Bio: Thomas Riccio is a performance creator, writer, and director is Professor of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Texas at Dallas and Artistic Director of Dead White Zombies. Riccio works in the area of ritual and indigenous performance, creating performances and conducting research in South Africa, Zambia, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Russia, Alaska, Korea, India, Nepal, with the !Xuu Bushmen and the Miao of China. The Republic of Sakha (Siberia) declared him a “Cultural Hero.” Published internationally, most notably by TDR. Since 2005 he has worked with Hanson Robotics as Lead Character writer and Creative Director.

Animism In a Living Universe.   Guest:Christine VanPool, Anthropologist, University of Missouri
What is animism? Broadly defined, animism is the belief that everything has a spirit: trees, birds, rainstorms, rocks. Animism encompasses the beliefs that all elements of the material world have life. It is a foundational aspect of the sacred traditions of indigenous peoples worldwide. Most of the world is made up of an­i­mists. Al­most all of Af­ri­ca, South­east Asia, ru­ral China, Ti­bet, Ja­pan, ru­ral Central and South America, indig­e­nous Pa­cif­ic Islands–pret­ty much ev­ery­where embraces an­i­mis­tic be­liefs–ex­cept West­ern Eu­rope, the Middle East, and North America.

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.

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)
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.

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?”

And there are those who say the work of Shakespeare speaks of shamanism. Shakespeare is a visionary artist who utilized the pageantry of theatre to offer a glimpse into the unconscious. The American writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell, believed that artists have taken up the role of the shaman. Both art and shamanism use the realm of metaphor where feeling is expressed and where healing happens.

Ecstatic Trance / ASC connection to Past Shamanic Cultures.
Guest: Christine VanPool – Professor Anthropology University of Missouri
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.

Acoustical Experiment in a Templar Chapel: Activating Sacred Sites.  Guest: David Elkington.
Exploring the acoustic connections between the Earth, the human brain, and sacred spaces, David shows how humanity maintained a direct line of communication with Mother Earth and the Divine through the construction of sacred sites. We’ll revisit the St Catherine’s Chapel Cymatics Experiment that we participated in with David, and go deeper into his research of how ancient cultures the world over knowingly, cleverly set up temples to better tune into Earth’s resonance, via the natural tuning of our brain waves. COMPLETE Article on the St Catherine’s Chapel Cymatics Experiment:

Trance States in Ancient India. Frederick M. Smith – Professor, Sanskrit & Classical Indian Religions.
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.

Energy Medicine & Trance. Our Ecstatic Trance Posture 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.

Chaco Canyon: Mysteries & Magic with GB Cornucopia and Cherilynn Morrow. 
Guest Speakers GB Cornucopia and Cherilynn Morrow. GB was the Principle Interpretive Ranger at Chaco Culture National Historic Park for 33 years. Cherilynn Morrow is an astronomer, solar astrophysicist, and former NASA Educator.

Between them, they have put in 50+ years studying the message writ into the design and placement of Chacoan’s structures. With a beautifully illustrated slide-show they present an overview, the advanced stonework, and Solstice and Equinox alignments and well as research into the special acoustical properties of one section of canyon wall. Here we find additional relational alignments perhaps denoting use as a ceremonial space, at the ‘center of the center’. Though this culture did not leave a written record, there are clues to a sophisticated, elegant, and far-reaching cosmology in what they left behind. Naked eye astronomy and the view of the night sky at the few remaining dark-sky locations help us understand the importance of the cosmos to ancient peoples worldwide.

Not yet had the chance to visit New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon? They recommend these two videos. Both offer stunning visuals and a good introduction and overview to this extraordinary site.

“Exploring Chaco Canyon: Mysterious Ancient Site and the Archaeological Wonder of the USA”
A young man and his cell phone delivers a fast-paced and engaging overview of Chaco Canyon (42 mins)

“The Mystery of Chaco Canyon” narrated by Robert Redford. Featuring Native voices, aerial photography, archaeoastronomy and the Sun Dagger. (55 mins)

Anthropology & Trance States. Christine VanPool, Professor of Anthropology.  Christine VanPool, Anthropological Archeologist, on the contributions to the field made by Anthropologist Felicitas D. Goodman, founder of the Cuyamungue Institute, and what new insights today’s advances in the field may shed on this work. This Cuyamungue Institute Q&A / Lecture Series with special guest Dr. Van Pool, Professor of Archeology at the University of Missouri, was recorded via Zoom on 09/06/2020. For the entire list of our YouTube and Podcasts visit

Where Science & Spirituality Meet. Steven Hecht, philosopher joins Sister Margaret O’Rourke, Catholic Nun and a few scientist/mystics to explore the meeting point of science and spirituality. Why having a personal relationship with a higher power need not limit our conceptualization, and how direct personal experience can inform us. Science finds organizing principles underlying universal laws of physics and life, is this a glimpse of a Creator’s handiwork? This Cuyamungue Institute Q&A and Lecture Series was presented via Zoom on 10/04/2020. For more: and for the extensive list of books and film mentioned:

Illustrated Tour of A New Story for the Universe. Brian Tucker takes us on a mythopoetic and beautifully illustrated journey of new findings in science prompting an exciting rethink of our place in the Universe, encompassing the underlying patterns of the Universe that evolves with us in exciting new ways. This Cuyamungue Institute Q&A and Lecture Series with special guest Brian Tucker was presented via Zoom on 08/16/2020. For more visit

Anthropology & Trance States 
Christine Van Pool, 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 anthropological archeologist 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.

Illustrated Tour of A New Story for the Universe. Brian Tucker takes us on a mythopoetic and beautifully illustrated journey of the new findings in science that demand an exciting new rethink of our place in the Universe.

Solstice Aligments: Tony Hull. Adjunct Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of New Mexico. Tony is our featured speaker for this hour in our on-going educational sessions. Enjoy Tony’s lecture, with slides, on the Solstices, the importance to ancient cultures, and the profound yet simple tools our ancestors used to align ceremonial sites to the heavens. Tony will show you how you can build our own Solstice Marker of any size, with a few simple items found easily around the house or your backyard.

SIX MINUTE Introduction to the work of Dr. Felicitas D. Goodman and the Cuyamungue Institute. The Cuyamungue Institute is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization committed to transforming consciousness through the ancient wisdom of Ecstatic Trance Postures. The Institute promotes public awareness and teaches the powerful use and effectiveness of these postures throughout the world. The Institute continues to cultivate new avenues of learning, using a prescribed method by which ordinary individuals are able to enter an expanded state of consciousness, and promote the safe use of this method. We are also dedicated to preserving our 472 acres in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a sacred center and worldwide archival and research headquarters.