Alex Soyouth

Alex Soyouth

Trance ‘n’ dance - Back to the future?

Throughout the history of mankind, most human cultures have been gathering in collective rituals, either pagan or religious, that were almost invariably associated with music and very often with dancing. Psychedelic parties incorporate many elements of traditional rituals, as well as new elements. There are striking similarities such as: outdoor locations, natural cycles occurrences, collective dancing for many hours to loud rhythmic music, specific artwork and clothing, use of sacred plants, references to other realities. To a certain extent, modern psychedelic festivals can be seen as a hybrid of ancient spiritual practices fused with the most cutting-edge technology of today. A unique multisensory atmosphere is created, acting as an « archaic technique of ecstasy » that propels participants into other realms of consciousness and sets a framework for collective ecstatic experiences. This is sometimes referred to as "techno-shamanism" or "neo-tribal rituals". Nevertheless, most modern trance parties lack ritualistic features that could maximize their positive impact and minimize the potential harm. As a result, those parties can be healing and mind-expanding for some people, whereas being delusive and fueling ego-games for others. We will review examples from shamanic traditions and psycholitic therapy to draw out a set of simple and yet very useful guidelines for a safe and beneficial use of trance techniques. With proper design and awareness, modern ritualized trance celebrations can provide a new outlet for collective creative expression and spiritual development, which incorporates the fruits of the archaic as well as the futuristic technology. Under certain conditions, it could also provide grounding to a youth in crisis and support a positive shift in society and individuals, tailored to the main issues of our times.

All Zambus are welcome to this workshop facilitated by Alex Soyouth, a brain researcher interested in music & consciousness, and a psychedelic artist having contributed to events such as Universo Parallelo, Boom Festival, Goa Gil Mt-Fuji and Mystical Experience for the occasion of Albert Hofmann‘s 100th birthday.

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