Dancing to Ecstasy

Altered states of consciousness, or trance states, are just as normal as the waking reality most of us experience every day. Trance can enhance creativity, deepen relationships and bring you closer to your spiritual center. Sure, these states can be accessed with drugs or by putting the body under the intense stress of narcotic or opiate addiction. But you can also alter the way you experience the world naturally by learning to "get high" by controlling your own brain wave patterns with music, trance dancing, drumming, lucid dreaming, meditation & guided visualizations, chanting, brainwave tweaking "mind machines", or some of these other ancient and modern mind-altering modern and ancient shamanic techniques.

Stewart Wavell suggested in 1966 that one day trances will become as accessible to us in western civilisation as the electric light, and that this will open ‘immense new possibilities’. He felt the consequences of this will be felt in diverse fields from space travel to pop music - a prophetic statement in view of what is currently occurring in the rave culture. Wavell refers to trance as ‘a state of liberation’, freeing the trancers from the bounds of ordinary reality, from ‘the prison of the senses’, and Wavell suggests that perhaps through trance it will be possible to transcend space and time. This could well be why there is a particular awareness in rave culture of ideas such as evolving consciousness and spirituality; for example in 1996, raves in Johannesburg have had names such as Spiritual Awakening and Operation 1: Consciousness . A new rave culture magazine was launched in South Africa in December 1995 called Evolver, combining in this title references to both Ecstasy and Evolution. brainwave chart The mind runs like a machine, at cycles per second, and depending on the slowing down of the brain cycles you can change your "state of mind" and that is all altered states are!

BETA runs at about 15-40 cycles per second and is the usual state we are in.
ALPHA runs at about 9-14 cycles per second and is considered an Hypnotic state which includes; REM, access to memory, Light Trance, Clairvoyance and Clairsentience.
THETA runs at 5-8 cycles per second and is Yogic and Deep Meditation, and Mediumistic Trance.
DELTA is Sleep, typically 2-3 cycles per second.

Meditation, yoga, dancing, chanting, drumming, listening to certain sound patterns or watching specific patterns of flashing lights can alter consciousness. Working with your dreams, especially lucid dreams, can also expand consciousness in waking life. I've just started a section for Mind Machines (light and sound machines, biofeedback & the amazing Journey to Wild Divine interactive computer game.

The Journey To Wild Divine shamanic computer game

Eventually I hope to make separate sections for each of these trance inducers and mind trainers but 'til I get around to it ;-) here are some books and CDs to inspire and guide you. If you'd like to learn more about one of them, clicking on the picture or title will take you to the item in Amazon's online catalog.

Mind Expanding Music & Guided Journeys

CDs by James Asher
James Asher's earth centered world beat music, inspired by African drumming, Aboriginal chants & ancient middle eastern & Indian sacred sounds, is both danceable and traceable :-)
James Asher Shaman Drums CD James Asher Feet in the Soul CD James Asher Drums on Fire CD James Asher Tigers of the Raj CD

CDs by Gabrielle Roth & the Mirrors
Gabrielle is an inspiring musician, trance dancer & teacher. I love all her CDs.
Totem Gabrielle Roth CD Trance rave music CD Initiation Gabrielle Roth CD Ritual CD altered states of consciousness Luna CD gravers
Also check out her video package, Ecstatic Dance

CDs by David Hudson
The Australian Aboriginal didgeridoo is an incredible trance-enhancing instrument especially in the hands of a master player like David Hudson.
David Hudson Rainbow Serpent The Art of the Didjeridu CD The Australia Sounds of Earth Steve Roach Didgeralia Aboriginal music David Hudson

African style dancing and belly dancing have also triggered altered states for me. These videos are excellent introductions:

African Healing Dance by Wyoma

The Sensual Art of Bellydance - Basic Dance by Veena & Neena Bidasha
(there's also a more advanced video but I haven't tried it yet)

legal highs Brainwave Suite - Dr. Jeffrey Thompson

This collection of four CDs or cassettes provides wonderful ambient music to meditate by.
Just listening, preferably with headphones, can alter your consciousness as it gently nudges your brainwaves into configurations that promote relaxation & intuitive understanding. Played right before bed, you'll probably sleep deeper and experience some very interesting dreams.

yoga breathing Yoga Trance Dance:
A High-Energy Movement Meditation to Liberate Your Creative Life Force

by Shiva Rea & Geoffrey Gordon

Relaxing, energizing, inspiring, liberating... highly recommended. There are 2 CDs: one with instructions over the music, and one with just music.

trances shamanism shaman drumming
CDs by Frank Natale, author of "Trance Dance", and Professor Trance and the Energizers.
This music is mind bending and just plain fun, whether you're dancing alone or at a party with friends.

shaman drums shaman journey shamanic journey

Mickey Hart, drummer for the Grateful Dead and now solo/freelance-colaborative artist, has the heart and hands of a shaman. This is great stuff!

Power Animal Journey
Power Animal Journey
A beautiful guided meditation with drumming by Kay Cordell Whitaker.

Shamanic Journey Drumming Drumming to Journey By
2 excellent CDs for those who wish to try shamanic journeying but don't have drums or a drummer:
"Drumming To Journey" by Kay C Whitaker and "Shamanic Journey Drumming" by Rysdyk & Knowlton

Jeff Kowal SOMA CD dark ambient music Vidna Obmana ambient tribal CD Terma Nick Parkin Tuu tribal space music

The Gate by Terra Ambient,
Forgotten Gods by Suspended Memories (featuring Steve Roach, Jorge Reyes & Suso Siaz),
SoMa by Steve Roach and Robert Rich
The Serpent's Lair by Byron Metcalf and Steve Roach
Crossing the Trail by Vidna Obmana
Terma by Nick Parkin and Tuu
The recordings above mix ambient textures and tribal rhythms for music that's hypnotic and intoxicating.
Some are more spacey, some more darkly primitive... click to check out soundbytes and find the perfect mix for you.

Master musicians playing Tibetan singing bowls, whether made of the traditional seven metals or of natural crystal,
have created some of the most beautiful & strongest psychoactive music I've experienced.
Some of my favorites are "Seven Metals" by Benjamin Iobst, "Sounds of Light: The Pure Tones of Crystal Singing Bowls" by Crystal Voices, "Crystal Portal Singing Crystal Bowl Journeys" and "Journeys to Wholeness" by the Crystal Vibrations Music Ensemble the "Tibetan Bells" series by Henry Wolff & Nancy Hennings. For more information, visit my new Singing Bowls page

Just want to get a good night's sleep?

Try SleepPhones, soft headphones that can be worn while sleeping. They're actually a soft headband with a speaker built into each side and come with a binaural beats-based CD of 2 "get to sleep" programs and one "wake up gently" program. I use my SleepPhones with a CD player but you can also use it with an ipod.

lucid dreaming DVD Dream Gates : A Journey into Active Dreaming by Robert Moss

This set of six audio tapes is designed for those drawn to the mystical, shamanic side of dreaming... especially conscious, lucid dreaming. The author shares personal experiences and guides the listener through exercises to enhance and deepen the journey into Dream. I play these tapes over and over again; there's always something new to discover here. This set is great inspiration for experienced dreamworkers and a wonderful introduction for those just beginning to explore the world of dreams.

lucid dreaming CD The Way of the Dreamer 8 programs on 3 DVDs by Robert Moss

I love the Dream Gates tapes so much, I've nearly worn them out so I was thrilled to discover this new addition to the Robert Moss dreamwork catalog. Programs include the introductory Dreaming a Life and The Power of Active Dreaming plus six additional programs for intermediate to advanced dreamworkers (or "frequent flyers" as Robert puts it :-) Lightning Dreamwork, Dream Re-Entry and Tracking, Dreaming the Future, Dreaming with the Departed, Dreaming with Spiritual Guides and Dreams of Healing. Viewing these programs feels like sitting in on a classes with a Dream Shaman... inspiring and exhilerating and sure to get your unconscious creative juices flowing and bubbling to the surface. Highly recommended!

brainwave entrainment for altered states of consciousness Beyond Being: Altered States Collection

By studying the neural activity of people experiencing altered states, researchers have been able to pinpoint complex and distinct brainwave patterns associated with intense experiences such as lucid dreaming, out-of-body experiences, heightened insight, emotional detachment, dissociation, intense happiness, feelings of "floating" and bliss. Beyond Being uses sound patterns to affect your neural rhythms and reproduce these complex patterns in your brain. In doing so, this audio collection gives you easy access to some of the rarest and most intense mental states known to mankind. All you need is a regular CD player. Headphones or special speaker arrangements are not required.

Download audio files that help induce altered states at World of Alternatives. Programs include Astral Projection, Stress Management, Chi Generator, Instant Meditation, Out of Body, Lucid Dreaming, Remote Viewing, Shaman, Chakra Tuning, Past life Regression, Energizer, Epsilon Wave, Endorphin Release, and Alpha, Theta or Delta Meditation.

Mind Expanding Reading

ecstatic dance Maps To Ecstasy - A Healing Journey for the Untamed Spirit by Gabrielle Roth & John Loudon

safe & legal ecstasy Ecstatic Body Postures: the Alternate Reality workbook by Belinda Gore & Felicitas Goodman

trance dancing Trance Dance: The Dance of Life by Frank Natale

altered states of consciousness The Trance Workbook: Understanding & Using the Power of Altered States by Kay Hoffman

shamanism Angel Tech: A Modern Shamans Guide to Reality Selection by Antero Alli

lucid dreaming Conscious Dreaming: A Spiritual Path for Everyday Life by Robert Moss

lucid dreaming Dreaming True: How to Dream Your Future and Change Your Life for the Better by Robert Moss

lucid dreams Lucid Dreams in 30 Days: The Creative Sleep Program by Pamela Weintraub & Keith Harary

legal highs without drugs Planet Drum by Mickey Hart

hypnotic sounds Spirit Into Sound by Mickey Hart

trance drumming The Way of the Pulse: Drumming With Spirit by John Diamond M.D.

legal highs without drugs Stoned Free - How to Get High Without Drugs by Patrick Wells & Douglas Rushkoff

Search the Amazon.com catalog for more books on trance... or anything else :-)
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