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

Felicitas D. Goodman, Author, Gerhard Binder, Illustrator Indiana University Press $19.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-253-20566-7
Anthropologist Goodman ( Speaking in Tongues ) 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. One position conjured up sensations of flying; others took subjects into an underground realm; in some the journeyer was transformed into an animal. From the ``Tennessee diviner'' to the ``healing Bear,'' the postures are derived, according to Goodman, from ancient, even prehistoric traditions, known to us through cave drawings, anthropological description and other sources. Yet much of what the trance journeyers have to say about their experiences often sounds the same, calling into question Goodman's basic thesis. Illustrations not seen by PW . (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Hardcover - 242 pages - 978-0-253-32764-2
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-253-01464-1
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