Techniques of Trance / Ecstasy
The word "trance" comes from the latin "Transistus", it means a passage, to go over, he who passes through.
Trance is, literaly, an entry - to the other world. The tradicional techniques formed to produce the trance, were often intimidating or painful initiations, self induced mutilation inducing psychological stress, and physiological and chemical changes in the body, the music of drums, songs and chants, dancing, sensory and social deprivation, alertness and general fatigue, lack of food, change in breathing, drugs, exposure to extreme heat and cold, concentration in a single point, meditation, shock, the use of the ritual sex, and others ways.
A brief research of these archaic techniques, is enough to show the variety of methods and the universal need ( and in many cases it still is ) to access to the others worlds. in cultures older than ours.
The music of the drum is the key technique to induce trance. The shaman drum is a specialized instrument. Normaly with an oval shape, and it is covered with horse skin, reindeer, or an other diferent kind of animal, its wood frame was traditionally formed by the world tree, marked with magical and protective symbols. This instrument is the vehicle or "horse" of the shaman, that sends him into a journey to the axis of the world, where we can cross the border to the other worlds.
In ancient times ( and still in many places and cultures today ) when the shaman falls into trance, someone ( his helper ) would put the shaman drum in the back of the shaman, as a sign that the shaman could not be troubled.
Certain rhythms of the drum can affect the patterns of the brain waves to the one who is listening, helping to promote altered states of consciousness.