Ritual Postures, Ritual body Postures, Ancient Ritual Postures

Archives: Videos

Decoding Ancient Artifacts: Research into Mesoamerica’s Pre-Columbian Art & Shamanic Cultures

Christine VanPool / Todd VanPool
Popular professors of archaeology and anthropology at the University of Missouri, Christine and Todd’s field work and research into Mesoamerica’s pre-Columbian art, iconography, pottery and shamanic cultures looks deeply into intention and meaning. CI’s research has long focused on evidence, including direct experience, that body positions as depicted in select ancient artifacts can be decoded as “ritual instruction” for Spirit Journey experiences. Todd and Chris report on our collaboration, a study of specific postures they see represented in Mesoamerican pottery and art.

The original research was the insightful work of anthropologist Felicitas D. Goodman (founder of the Cuyamungue Institute) as she looked to some of the world’s collection of early and indigenous art — and decoded selected artifacts as “ritual instructions”.

Star Myths of the World – David Warner Mathisen

What the breakthrough Hamlet’s Mill begun, Mathisen’s Star Myths of the World carries forward, with more links between the world’s mythology, and a shared system of celestial metaphor. He will decode how this ancient system works, and the mythic ‘language of the stars’ and its “vocabulary” and “grammar”.

David Warner Mathisen, author of seven previous books investigating the connection between the myths and the stars, explores the evidence that the world’s ancient myths, scriptures and sacred stories from virtually every culture on our planet are built upon a worldwide system of celestial metaphor, using the infinite realm of the heavens to convey profound truths about the Invisible Realm: the Other Realm, the realm of spirit, the realm of the gods. dramatic evidence which reveals the connections between specific constellations and celestial features in our night sky and the various characters and events in the ancient myths. He will share the ancient myths in the language they are actually speaking: the language of the stars.

Cycles in the Universe – Harmonics Theory – Ray Tomes

Ray Tomes developed a “Harmonics Theory” as an explanation for observed patterns of cycles and structure of the Universe. Says Ray: “G’day, I’m Ray Tomes. I practice Vipassana Meditation and study cycles (the type without wheels). Retired at 42 to work out the formula for the Universe. Effectively its a giant musical instrument, and everything in it (including us) is just vibrations. Really!” Milankovitch, hormonal, financial, evolutionary: From the macro to the microcosm, we can find cycles everywhere. What drives cycles? How are we governed by them? How might we work with cycles? Ray Tomes deep look into the nature of cycles finds a ‘harmonic theory of the universe.’

Ray Tomes is the Science Director of the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and Director of associated Cycles Research Institute. Ray does research in cycles relating to Theoretical Physics, Paleoclimatology, climate, Economics and everything else.

Ray’s career was in computer software development including system software design, economic modeling, investments. He spent 15 years full time on cycles research and has spoken on cycles and related topics at conferences and seminars around the world. He developed the Harmonics Theory as an explanation for observed patterns of cycles and structure of the Universe. His current project is the development of CATS (Cycles Analysis & Time Series) software, and collecting and organizing large quantities of time series data and analyzing this data to test and confirm Dewey’s findings in an organized way. Interested in all aspects of cycles especially climate change and causes.

How to Think Like a Neandertal – Thomas Wynn & Fredrick Coolidge

How to Think Like a Neandertal
Thomas Wynn, Professor of Anthropology Fredrick Coolidge, Professor of Psychology. Neandertals built complex structures, used feathers and ochre for ornaments, buried their dead with ritual, and with tools and teamwork, tackled the biggest game of all, the mammoth. Despite their reputation as being primitive ‘cavemen’, Neanderthals were very intelligent and accomplished humans. Extensive archaeological remains of stone tools and living sites (and, yes, they did often live in caves) indicate that Neandertals relied on complex technical procedures and spent most of their lives in small family groups. Thomas ad Fred sift the evidence that Neandertals had a symbolic culture–looking at their treatment of corpses, the use of fire, and possible body coloring. They also explores the brutal nature of their lives, especially in northwestern Europe, where men and women with spears hunted together for mammoths and wooly rhinoceroses. Also new research has revealed just how knowledgeable and effective Neanderthal healthcare was.

Co-authors of How to Think Like a Neandertal, archaeologist Thomas Wynn and psychologist Frederick L. Coolidge decipher the latest fossil, archaeological and DNA evidence, from genes for red hair, speech, and more, on the cognitive development of our ancestral cousins. What do we know of their speech and vocabulary, use of symbols, spiritual sense, tools and art, family life, adaptation to ice age conditions? Of our shared genes, and cognitive development? Wynn and Coolidge also co-wrote The Rise of Homo Sapiens.

DIVINATION: Divinatory Practices of Ancient India – Fredrick Smith

DIVINATION: Divinatory Practices of Ancient India
Frederick M. Smith – Professor Emeritus, Sanskrit and Classical Indian Religions University of Iowa. Divination has a sense of foretelling, predicting, or prophesying. It is an integral part of every shamanistic tradition and lineage from the most ancient times. It is vilified in the modern world as unscientific and superstitious, and associated with conjurers, illusionists, and popular magicians. But a renewed discussion of its history, its uses, and its importance in virtually all cultural, religious, and shamanistic systems, as well as its correspondence with recent thinking on synchronicity and perspectives on the harmony and flow of the natural world should enable us to think about it a bit differently. It is impossible to cover every divinatory practice in one talk, from astrology to tarot to dice to oracular possession to sorcery and prognostication of all kinds. I will discuss divinatory practices drawn from my own study of ancient Indian texts, including medical and texts on shamanic healing, and extensive fieldwork in India, which I hope will lead to a discussion of why apparently disparate parts of our available environment inform each other in ways that might be much more natural than supernatural. My point is that the shaman sees that forms, ideas, and entities flow into each other through the formless, that they are strands of the same cloth that mesh with each other because they are part of a whole and formless fabric.

Meaningful Coincidences: How & Why Synchrony & Serendipity Happen – Bernie Beitman

“Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see.” … C.G. Jung. We all note when those wonderfully odd, magical, meaningful moments of synchronicity and serendipity happen in our lives, but few of us have made as deep and broad a study of this phenomenon as Berry Beitman. With his new book just out, “Meaning Coincidences: How and Why Synchrony and Serendipity Happen” we look further into the energetic web that connects us, dissect the “anatomy of a coincidence” into its types and patterns, and predispositions. We will examine various explanations, from statistical analysis and probabilities, to personal agency, inbuilt “GPS” and the larger Universe giving us a nod. “Coincidences are signposts, not commands,” Bernie reminds us, “and there is no one right way to respond to a coincidence…, no guaranteed outcomes for following such promptings” and cautions that the ambiguity of such occurrences may be serving as a screen for one’s own projections. As well as Bernie’s most puzzling cases, practical uses, and tips writing and telling — and let me add, journaling

African Twilight: Vanishing Rituals & Ceremonies – Angela Fisher & Carol Beckwith

Two best friends set out to explore Africa. Forty years, 300,000 miles, and 45 countries later, their vast and visually stunning archive, on photo and film, of the daily life, the rituals and ceremonies of over 200 African cultures is helping preserve these ancient traditions. As women, Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher were granted unprecedented access to witness and document sacred rites and ceremonies. They note: “We feel privileged to photograph these cultures that possess a wealth of knowledge that should be celebrated, shared, and honored. It is our life’s passion to document and create a powerful visual record of these vanishing ways of life for future generations.” We’ll hear the stories that go with the images in their slide show presentation.Paul and I attended their museum exhibit “African Twilight”, and among their many books of photography is African Ceremonies, their defining body of work, a double volume, pan-African study of rituals and rites of passage from birth to death, covering 93 ceremonies from 26 countries. This book won the United Nations Award for Excellence for “vision and understanding of the role of cultural traditions in the pursuit of world peace.”As an intrepid team of explorers, they are committed to preserving sacred tribal ceremonies and African cultural traditions all too vulnerable to the trends of modernity.

They will be joined by African American academician Dr. Kellie Kirksey, an internationally renowned keynote speaker and holistic psychotherapist, who has trained mental health professionals in the areas of group facilitation, multiculturalism/diversity, social justice, holistic wellness, alternative healing, cognitive restructuring and more for over 25 years with, clarity, passion, authenticity and humor. Dr. Kirksey is the founder of Creative Wellness Solutions, LLC which seeks to cultivate global peace and harmony.

Multicultural Wellness: Cultivating Global Healing Together – Dr. Kellie Kirksey

Every aspect of wellness not only affects all of our lives, but impacts the world around us. In our multicultural world the need for healing and deep connection is universal. Let’s work together as global thinkers to create a path forward for global peace and harmony. Dr. Kellie Kirksey focuses on bringing the healing ways from many cultures to the mainstream. She is a self-described global traveler, speaker, poet, tree hugger, yoga teacher, holistic psychotherapist, family lover, drummer, dancer, spa promoter, heart centered hypnotherapist, live happily life consultant, essential oil enthusiast, wellness promoter, and has presented workshops and wellness circles nationally and internationally. A few places that have touched her life profoundly have been presentations and community building in Botswana, Johannesburg, Italy, Senegal, Spain, Mexico, Dominican Republic, India, Canada, Venezuela, Tenerife and most recently to Hong Kong and Thailand exploring ecotherapy and moving meditation. Kellie is the author of “Word Medicine: Affirmations and Poems to inspire and support our Journey”

Songs of Prophecy, Ceremony & Traditions – Loran Olsen

Loran Olsen, Professor Emeritus of Music & Native American Studies, Washington State University.
Music serves a culture in various ways — as a container for cosmology, mythology, folklore, customs, celebrations, ceremonies, rituals, histories, prophecies, to accompany daily life’s activities and special events, and practical knowledge. Loran Olsen, musician and Professor Emeritus of Music and Native American Studies at Washington State University, shares a sampling from the Nez Perce Music Archive which he founded in the 1972.

Loran draws from the collection of over 600 recordings, the oldest on wax cylinders from 1897. He will recite and translate the words and meaning, and put the collection into context for us. He will demonstrate how one song was sung, and changed, over the decades, how Protestant hymms were incorporated, how these songs were recorded from 1897 on, and how, he says, the collection “indicates in a subtle way the external influences impinging upon Nez Perce culture over the stressful years of acculturation and shows how artistic elements survive by changing their function in a changing environment.”

Origins of Paranormal Experience: New Perspectives – Brandon Massullo

Brandon Massullo takes a novel approach to studying the paranormal. He looks, and listens deeply, to eye witness and first person accounts, and looks at what they have in common. He suggests a number of conditions combine to set the stage for an apparitional experience, centering on the one common denominator, we humans, especially those biologically-wired and environmentally sensitive. Our emotional and internal energy can be a catalyst. Having paranormal experiences does not mean you are crazy, hallucinating, or imagining it, he says. That this phenomenon defies easy study by science does not make it less real.
You’ll appreciate the academic approach Brandon has lent his investigations over 20 years. He has been a participant and featured speaker in paranormal forums, events, and the journals Frontiers of Psychology and the Journal of the Society of Psychical Research. He has worked within the Neurological Institute for the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, conducting behavioral health consultations and currenty is director of behavioral health for Ohio’s Wooster Community Hospital. He earned a Master of Science degree in psychological research methods at the University of Edinburgh, researching individual differences and environmental sensitivity in relation to paranormal experiences.