Benefits of Practicing Ecstatic Trance

Initially the benefits of practicing ecstatic trance are for personal healing and spiritual growth.  The various shamanic postures as described by Felicitas Goodman and the Cuyamungue Institute are postures found in the art of ancient and contemporary hunter-gathering peoples, postures that have specific influences upon the nature of the ecstatic trance experience.  Some postures are for bring into the body a healing and strengthening energy.  Other postures are for divination, for finding answers to specific questions.  Then there are the postures for metamorphosis or shape shifting that bring alive within us the powers of our spirit guides, guides needed to provide us with direction in our healing and spiritual growth.  Some of the postures that Felicitas found take us on spirit journeys, some into the underworld, the worlds of our unconscious mind and the spirit world beyond our personal unconscious.  Other postures take us on journeys into the world we experience daily, sometime into the past and sometimes into the future.  Some postures carry us into the upper world, journeys that provide us with experiences of higher spirituality.  Then there are those initiation or death-rebirth postures that provide us with experiences of when some limiting aspect of us dies, allowing the birth of a more healthy way of experience the world.  Stories of this healing and personal growth can be found in my book “The Power of Ecstatic Trance: Practices for Healing, Spiritual Growth, and Accessing the Universal Mind.”

     But beyond these experiences of personal growth, a soul retrieval sequence of postures for recovering aspects of ourselves that have been lost because of faulty teachings of our parents, teachers or other authority figures take us to new levels of personal growth.  Many of these stories of soul retrieval I describe in my book: “Ecstatic Soul Retrieval: Shamanism and Psychotherapy.”

     Then I have found personally that after a number of years of regular practice with ecstatic trance new trance experiences have taken me back in time to visit or commune with my ancestors, experiences that have led me to better understand myself and provide me with teachings that have been forgotten over the centuries, stories that I retell in my book “Baldr’s Magic: the Power of Norse Shamanism and Ecstatic Trance.”  While journeying to the homes of these ancestors I also discovered that the spirits of these places, spirits of the land, have something to teach me as I retell in my book “Beowulf’s Ecstatic Trance Magic: Accessing the Archaic Powers of the Universal Mind.”

     Global Climate Change is a great concern to me and I have found that ecstatic trance gives new insights for providing solutions to this concern.  These solutions need to come from more than just what we can do but from ways in which we need to change personally, way in which we live and relate to the Earth, our Great Earth Mother.  These basic changes in the way we live come from learning to understand and value the ways our hunter-gathering ancestors whose lives were at one in experiencing and venerating the Earth.  The stories of the ways we need relate differently to the Earth, stories that take us beyond the belief that we have dominion over the Earth, a belief that has led us in our greedy to abuse the Earth, are told in my book: “Trance Journeys of the Hunter-Gatherers: Ecstatic Practices to Reconnect with the Great Mother and Heal the Earth.

Nicholas E. Brink, PhD Author of 

  • Ecstatic Soul Retrieval (publisher – Inner Traditions / Bear & Co.)
  • Power of Ecstatic Trance
  • Baldr’s Magic
  • Beowulf’s Ecstatic Trance Magic
  • Trance Journeys of the Hunter-Gatherers
  • Grendel and His Mother (publisher – Routledge)
  • Applying the Constructivist Approach to Cognitive Therapy: Resolving the Unconscious Past (Routledge)

Available from Postmark Books in Rosendale, NY or your local bookseller –