Seidways: Shaking, Swaying and Serpent Mysteries by Jan Fries
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Jan Fries is one of those writers who manages to drive it all home with the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Of course the whole truth is something that we may never find. Still we do our best. This book which can be looked at as part two of Helrunnar, looks at achieving a trance state through the medium of movement and shaking.
Most of the book is dedicated to showing how different groups of people used shaking and dancing to indicate that they were in a trance and hence their soul was traveling through the spirit world. Various groups from around the world have used shaking and swaying. Our most noted would be the practitioners of Voodoo. When the practitioner is entranced it usually a sign that the participant has been taken over by a deity or Loa. The Skakers are another group of people who shook when in a trance and this meant usually that Jesus had entered them and was speaking through them. Other references are made to Ancient Druid practices and other Asian communities that use shaking and movement.
Of course shaking is not for everyone, and when practicing it one should be cautious and well prepared. One should be wearing comfortable clothing for moving around. One should not eat too much or drink too much liquid as that could make your stomach churn. Eating too little could cause you to feel light headed and sick. Best practice is to abstain from eating two to three hours before doing this and good idea to have a water bottle on hand that is sweetened with dextrose to keep your sugar levels from getting too low.
Included in this practical section is a meditation on connecting the earth dragon with the sky dragon. Then there is some discussion on shape shifting and the Martial Arts in the far east and how shamanic techniques may have been used to formulate the five animals of Shaolin Kung Fu. Animals movements can help people enter into a magical state of consiousness. A practice that the Viking Berserkers used to practice.
Another exercise that Jan Fries gives over comes on the tale end of Tliesyn and the Cauldron of wisdom. While II will not go into the story here I will say that using a poem of taliesyn using the words Iam could help one enter into a trance state. The book is not loaded with exercises and the author is going to let you make up your own based on what works for you.
Jan Fries is not into Dogma. He knows that cultures and people move about and influence each other. When that happens they borrow techniques and stick to what works. Even if you don’t shake you will enjoy this one anyway.
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