Where the Spirits Ride the Wind: Trance Journeys and Other Ecstatic Experiences.

Felicitas documents the effects of body posture on trance experience. Intrigued by the physical changes that take place during trance states, she began to record the observations of students who entered a trance-like condition while concentrating on the sound of Goodman’s rattle for 15 minutes. Whenever she led a workshop in trance journeys—whether in Berlin, Vienna, New Mexico or Ohio—her subjects’ journeys always lasted for 15 minutes, but where they went and what they saw, heard and learned, maintains Goodman, depended on the particular body posture they had assumed.

“The book is clearly written for the general reader and includes many descriptions of trance experiences. It may serve as a good introduction to the nature and appeal of the shamanic revival in modern Western cultures.” ―Theological Book Review

“… a case study in experiential anthropology that offers a unique mix of autobiography, mythology, experiential research, and archaeological data to support a challenging thesis―that certain body postures may help induce specific trance states.” ―Shaman’s Drum

“This is a spellbinding and exceptionally readable book by an extraordinary woman.” ―Yoga Journal

“And suddenly the understanding of my own vision washed over me like a mighty wave… For life or for death, I was committed to that mighty realm of which I was shown a brief reminder, the world where all was forever motion and emergence, that realm where the spirits ride the wind.” ―from the Prologue

Goodman reexamines our notions of the nature of reality by studying the ritual postures of native art assumed by her subjects during trance states. For readers desiring to discover this world of ancient myths, she has included a practical guide on how to achieve such ecstatic experiences.  Amazon.comWhere the Spirits Ride the Wind: Trance Journeys and Other Ecstatic Experiences

Ecstasy, Ritual, and Alternate Reality: Religion in a Pluralistic World

Felicitas traces the origins of religion to the dawn of human history, when religious behavior was accompanied by gesture rather than full-fledged modern speech. She also does a systematic comparison that shows that religion vary according to whether people are hunter gatherers, horticulturalists, agriculturalists, nomadic pastoralists, or city dwellers. Felicitas offers a “unified field theory” of religion as human behavior. She examines ritual, the religious trance, alternate reality, ethics and moral code, and the named category designating religion.

Good explanation on the evolution of spiritual traditions in relation to the way we interact with our environment.

“An important book which deserves the careful attention of serious students of religion.” ―Religious Studies Review. Ecstasy, Ritual, and Alternate Reality: Religion in a Pluralistic World

You can support the Cuyamungue Institute with AmazonSmile.

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers. 

My Last Forty Days: A Visionary Journey among the Pueblo Spirits

From her own visionary experiences, noted anthropologist Felicitas Goodman has woven together an adventure story of a special kind—with a ghost as the protagonist. It is a tale of death and dying, yet full of light and joy, a heartwarming celebration of the immortality of the human soul. The story is told by the ghost herself, who is on a quest for a permanent home in the alternate reality of Pueblo-Indian mythology, whose inhabitants include animal spirits such as Old Man Coyote, Grandfather Bear, Sister Snake and Spider Woman.
An “ethnography of the imagination” and a heart-warming celebration of the immortality of the human soul, My Last Forty Days is an adventure story with a rather unusual protagonist—a ghost. Celebrated anthropologist Felicitas Goodman combines the fruit of many years of research among the Pueblos with her own visionary experiences to fashion a moving tale of death and dying that remains buoyant with life and hope. My Last Forty Days: A Visionary Journey among the Pueblo Spirits

Ecstatic Body Postures: An Alternate Reality Workbook

Felicitas D. Goodman has studied and worked with religious trance and trance postures for over twenty years. Written by one of her students, a trained psychotherapist, this book summarizes the results of hundreds of workshops conducted by her and introduces the reader to the rich resources of information found in the alternative reality.

Specific body postures reappear in the art and artifacts of world cultures, even those widely separated by time and distance. What are these images of unusual postures telling us? Medicine people, shamans, priests, and priestesses of indigenous cultures have passed on this sacred body of knowledge for thousands of years. Ecstatic Body Postures: An Alternate Reality Workbook

Ecstatic Trance: New Ritual Body Postures

Ecstatic Trance contains in-depth information on the work of Dr. Felicitas Goodaman. Here she and her student provides 60 ritual body postures and describes them in precise, accurate detail, with clear illustrations. These are age-old postures (one dates back 32,000 years and was inspired by a cave painting) along with newly-researched postures, published here for the first time. Learn these postures and access, energize, and integrate your creative potential. Practicing these postures also leads to new insights into healing, inner development, and rebirth. And combined with appropriate rhythmic stimulation–music and dance, for example–the postures can engender a profound change in consciousness, leading the participant to experience altered states of reality including visions and ecstatic trance states. The postures themselves do not promote any one belief system or dogma but are elements in an overall shamanic worldview. Ecstatic Trance: New Ritual Body Postures

Pueblo Spirits: in the Life of Felicitas D. Goodman

Written by Susan Josephson, daughter of Dr. Goodman, PUEBLO SPIRITS is a true story (in graphic novel form) about spirit encounters and Native American religion in the Southwest. It is based on the life of the internationally known anthropologist Dr. Felicitas D. Goodman. Dr. Goodman is famous for her research on altered states of consciousness, and her discoveries of body postures that help people achieve trance experiences of an alternate reality. PUEBLO SPIRITS tells the story of Dr. Goodman’s quest for contact with ancient Pueblo Indian spirits in New Mexico and how that quest nearly cost her life. This version was authorized by Dr. Goodman before her death.  More information Pueblo Spirits: in the life of Felicitas D. Goodman