February 2015

Letter from the President – February 2015
by Paul Robear

I’ve been reaching out to researchers around the planet who are doing independent research into fields of consciousness and trance states. In this issue I am happy to feature David Reeves, a cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT) from England who has done extensive research into the practice of hypnosis of ancient times.

The induction into trance states has been used for thousands of years, with evidence reflected in the artifacts of ancient civilizations from Africa to Australia and South America. In Egypt, hieroglyphs and art in the Tomb of Isis show worshipers experiencing hypnotic sleep. It’s interesting for us to note parallels in Dr. Goodman’s work regarding artwork that depicts what we use today as Ritual Trance Postures.

Also in this issue Alan Neville takes us on a closer look at the life, customs, history, and religion of indigenous cultures to the North. Of particular interest is that many native cultures believe that, at the beginning, humans and animals could morph back and forth between either form. Is this another way of describing the trance state wherein we become one with the animal spirits?

It is with sadness and deep respect that we honor the passing of Dr. Erika Bourguignon, Dr. Goodman’s mentor. A cultural anthropologist well known for her ground-breaking work on trance and altered states of consciousness., she published seven books and more than eighty articles. She arrived at Ohio State University in 1949, and became a founding member of their Department of Anthropology, where Dr. Goodman got her degree.

Have questions or comments or research of your own to share? Reach me directly at paulrobear@cuyamungueinstitute.com. We welcome all correspondence.


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

I am happy to share the following news and articles.

In this issue:

  • Article: Hypnosis in Ancient Civilizations by David Reeves
  • Article: Shamans of the North by Alan Neville
  • Article: Shaman Vision – What is Shamanic Vision?
  • Obituary: Erika Bourguignon – premier anthropological authority on trance, and altered states of consciousness. It was her mentorship that inspire Felicitas Goodman, the founder of the Cuyamungue Institute.
  • Workshops and Events at the Institute.

SCROLL DOWN for Articles and Links


Hypnosis in Ancient Civilizations by David Reeves

Ever since the late 18th century when Frans Anton Mesmer brought the use of hypnosis (mesmerism) as a therapeutic tool to the attention of the public, therapists have been using it as a powerful tool to help them with suggestion therapy. If we look back into ancient history, we will find that the trance like state that we call Hypnosis has been used for thousands of years. In fact, from the study of primitive peoples’ religious and healing ceremonies there exists the elements essential to place people into a hypnotic state. By rhythmic chanting, monotonous drum beats, together with strained fixations of the eyes, the village shaman or priest is able to induce catalepsy of the body. This helps to give the shaman the appearance of having magical and mystical powers given to them by the gods.  ————> Complete Article

Shamans of the North by Alan Neville

Many natives believe that at the beginning humans and animals were the same and could morph back and forth between either form. They believe that throughout time they made a full separation in to two different types of entities. This, then, essentially supports their point that humans and their animal friends need to have a profound admiration of each other and protect each other’s way of life.

This curious, unitary view of human and animal genesis prevails throughout the Canadian Subarctic…both men [Athapaskans in general] and animals . . . possessed essentially the same characteristics’ when the world was new…’In the beginning of the world, before humans were formed, all animals existed grouped under ‘tribes’ of their kinds who could talk like men, and were even covered with the same protection.’…acknowledging that after the passage of untold generations the two were still, after all, spiritually akin.  —————-> Complete Article

Erika Bourguignon  1924 – 2015
cultural anthropologist on trance and altered states of consciousness.

Erika Eichhorn Bourguignon was an American anthropologist known primarily for her work on possession trance and other altered states of consciousness. In 1973 Felicitas worked with Erika on a comparative study of 488 indigenous societies around the world. They found that 90 percent used at least one culturally institutionalized method to experience an altered state of consciousness. This became a significant clue that launched Felicitas on the path to re-discover the ritual postures.  While Erika focused on possession trance states, Felicitas shifted her focus to what she termed “ecstatic” trance, a very different experience upon which the Cuyamungue Institute’s work is based. Read about Erika life and contributions here.   ——–> Complete Article

2015 Upcoming Workshops, Events and Training at Cuyamungue:

May 1st, 2015 Maypole / Mayday celebration NEW! A traditional European dance and celebration

June 17th – 21st, 2015 – Initiatory Training

July 2nd – 5th 2015Trance and Travel To New Mexico

July 19th 2015 – Cuyamungue Explorers Club

July 22nd – July 26th, 2015 – Initiatory Training– Phase II – advanced course.

August 11 – August 16, 2015Instructor Training

August 18 – August 23, 2015Masked Trance Dance

August 25 – August 31, 2015: Research Journey to New Mexico

September 2 – 6 2015:  Men’s Conclave

How to Submit an Article: As part of expanding our Cuyamungue Institute community, you are invited and encouraged to participate. Share how you use the Cuyamungue Method in your chosen field. We are also open to other topics, with the emphasis on the posture work, and research and or experience. More information

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Also consider making a donation by clicking here. Ongoing research and new applications of this work is only possible with donations made by people like you. Laura Lee, our Director of Outreach and Development, is available to answer your questions. Contact her at lauralee@cuyamungueinstitute.com 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.

Email me directly at paulrobear@cuyamungueinstitute.com .


Paul Robear

President / Executive Director

Cuyamungue – The Felicitas D. Goodman Institute

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