December 2016

Paul Laura ChristmasLetter from the President
by Paul Robear

Season’s Greetings! I hope you are having a great time with friends and family for the holidays.

What a magical time of the year! This is a time when Nature herself coaxes us to hibernate a bit, to rest, relax, and then celebrate the return of the light with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the yearly cycle. We dress the representative World Tree with lights, to mark that turning point when the days lengthen, soon to activate new seeds of life to spring forth. A fitting time to pause and reflect on our own growth, and to reinvigorate and take aim for our goals ahead.

2016 has been extremely productive for the Cuyamungue Institute (CI). It was exciting to meet people from around the world who came for this year’s Initiatory and Advanced Trainings, Instructor Training, Men’s Conclave and Masked Trance Dance.  The depth and advancement of Ecstatic Trance Posture research and experiences was a powerful reminder of the how blessed Laura and I are to be here, sharing this work.

And the goals ahead at CI? We have been joined by several volunteers this year, and we are all busily mapping, planning, and readying new projects. More on these soon!

A big thank you to all! Each year the work of the CI seems to grow in stature and sophistication with workshops, training, meetings, brainstorming sessions, and conference gatherings. It was in 1978 that Dr. Felicitas Goodman officially established CI, so 2017 marks our 39th year — as the most recent circle in the long chain extending back to 40,000+ year old shamanic traditions. What a valuable tool for experiencing direct knowledge, expanding ideas that shape and enliven consciousness, propel growth, and spark creativity. Our ancestors sure knew a thing or two….

As we head into another year of advancing our mission — to make Ecstatic Trance Postures accessible and relevant in today’s world — we need and appreciate your support. We know there are many worthy non-profit organizations to consider, and we would be delighted if you remember CI in your holiday giving plans.  The Cuyamungue Institute is a registered charity and 501(C)(3) nonprofit, so donations are tax-deductible and we provide tax receipts. And we hope you will also gift yourself with attendance of a CI event!

In This Issue

  • 2017 Workshop Season – we are now taking registrations.
  • The Direct Experience Approach… Going Native – by Susan Josephson Ph.D
  • Bonding, the Turtle, Atacama – by Mary Judith Ress, Santiago de Chile
  • Santiago Chile – Masked Trance Dance – by Belinda Gore

Scroll down for links to articles.

Once again, thank you for your continued support of CI !


Paul Robear
President / Executive Director
Cuyamungue: The Felicitas D. Goodman Institute

2017 Workshops, Events and Training at Cuyamungue:

Each workshop contains a specifically designed series of ritual postures to provide the context for a journey of self-discovery. We go deep within utilizing the Cuyamungue Method – which includes a established ritual journey method. Introductory workshops are are prerequisites for advanced classes.

Here is the announce workshops and events for 2017 at the Cuyamungue Institute, so you can get the jump-start on making your plans to join us. There may be adjustments to dates, times and details, and additional events and workshops will be added. Contact us prior to booking flights and making travel arrangement. Feel free to ask questions.

June 1st – 7th , 2017 – Volunteer WeekIf interested, ask us for details
June 9th – 11th , 2017 – Board of Directors Meeting
June 21st – 25th , 2017 – Initiatory Training
July 8th 2017 – Cuyamungue Explorers Club
July 19th – 23rd , 2017 – Initiatory Training
August 9th – 13th, 2017 – Initiatory Training – Advanced Course
August 22nd – 27th, 2017 – Instructor Training
September 5th – 10th , 2017 – Masked Trance Dance
September 19th – 24th , 2017 Men’s Conclave
September 26st – October 1st , 2017 – Volunteer WeekIf interested, ask us for details

The Direct Experience Approach –  Going Native
by Susan Josephson Ph.D

Editors Note: Being the daughter of  Dr. Felicitas Goodman, Susan Josephson shares a unique perspective of the research and work her mother, Dr. Felicitas Goodman, the founder of the Cuyamungue Institute.

handsMy mother, Dr. Felicitas Goodman, felt professional pressures to be scientific. There was a line between studying indigenous religion as a scientific anthropologist and converting to the indigenous worldview.  If she stepped over that line, “went native,” she would loose all academic credibility.

As Edith Turner pointed out in her article “the Reality of Spirits” (from the June Cuyamungue Newsletter) in the old model anthropologists thought they could only objective study indigenous people if they refrained from having direct experience of their spiritual life.  The native’s spiritual experiences were hallucinations and superstitions not to be taken seriously by the anthropologist.

Dr. Goodman started her research that way.    ————–> Full Article

turtleBonding, the Turtle, Atacama
by Mary Judith Ress,
Santiago de Chile,

It´s not easy for me to enter into an animal spirit.
During the last Masked Dance Trance, I was chosen by Bear.  Bears run in my lineage:  they were sacred to the Celts. When my mother lay dying in her hospital room, she pointed out to me that there was a bear in the corner.  He was there keeping her company, she said.
I believed her.

I kept my beautiful bear mask until it fell apart, then I burnt it in a quiet ceremony, as prescribed.

This time, I am summoned by Turtle.  Deep into trance, I waited for my animal spirit to call me.  As usual, I saw only eyes—the eye of my huge protector who is always there.  Then, just for an instant, the eyes of small critters who looked at me with such love and compassion that a sob bubbled up.  ————–> Full Article

chileSantiago Chile – Masked Trance Dance
by Belinda Gore

This was my fourth visit to Chile and we have just completed a beautiful Masked Trance Dance at the retreat center known as Tremonhue in the Maipo Canyon region outside of the capital city of Santiago.  Many people here learned the Cuyamungue Method from Margaret O’Rourke, an American woman who served in Chile for over 30 years as a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet. She learned the Cuyamungue Method from Felicitas during several “home visits” to the United States, and returned to teach a variety of workshops in Chile.  ———————-> Full Article

Thanks for reading! Please forward this to your friends and acquaintances who will enjoy learning more about us, and please let me hear from you! I am most happy answer any and all questions about the Institute or the Cuyamungue Method. We welcome all correspondence. Not already subscribed? Subscribe Here.

Email me directly at .

Paul Robear
President / Executive Director
Cuyamungue – The Felicitas D. Goodman Institute

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