Collins English Dictionary defines trance as ‘a state of ecstasy or mystical absorption so intense as to cause a temporary loss of consciousness at the earthly level’.
Of course modern use of the word tends to include impressions of raves and mind-bending electronic music played in sweaty venues to an audience most of whom are high on synthetic substances.
However whilst the trance state is a powerful entrance into communicating with the spirit world’s the traditional approach has been to employ more natural tools such as chanting and drumming.
In her book Trance Dancing With the Jinn internationally acclaimed belly-dancer and teacher of Middle Easter dance experience Yasmin Henkesh explores the living tradition of trance dancing. From Egyptian Zara ceremonies to Sufi whirling dervish techniques she reveals trance-induction practices that can result in contact with inner plane spirits.
In her introduction she emphasises her belief that the nature spirits from all over the world are keen to create a deep sense of connection to mankind and live in hope that we can cement better relationships with a realm of beings who have theirs and our environmental interests at heart. From the outset she offers specific practical advice to her readers on how to begin trancework and to “prepare for a journey into the realm of the invisibles.”
The history of trance goes back into the earliest history of mankind but Henkesh begins her evaluation of trance by starting with a look at its ritual use in Ancient Egypt.
From trance history she moves into trance science where she covers such subjects as the effect of trance on the brain. All of this is preparatory work for a deeper level of understanding of the trance state and the beginning of the process of communication with the spirit realm that results from the training of the subtle senses. The inhabitants of this realm, or the Jinn as the author refers to them are then revealed through the Sufi tradition in particular but then broadens this out to include the history of the Jimm on a more general level.
Kinetic Trance Techniques
In the third part of Trance Dancing With the Jinn the author dives into the real work of trance induction and how to prepare for what the author refers to as “feeling the God within”. This begins with a pre-induction ritual and moves into the use of yogic and bodily postures as a way of inducing trance before explaining the correct way to cool off and return from a trance state.
The book closes with an appendix, glossary and index.
Our Review of Trance Dancing With the Jinn by Yasmin Hennish
Who can fail but to wonder at the inherent beauty of spiritual groups such as the whirling Dervishes or indeed by the mesmerising motion of any tribal culture who incorporate dance and trance into their spiritual work with inner plane spirits?
If you are in the slightest bit interested in how to breakdown the barriers between physical and spiritual states then this, I am sure, is a book that will truly fascinate and intrigue you.
Beautifully constructed with great care and forethought this is a publication that impresses on every level. Well illustrated and evidently formatted to be as clear and engaging as possible it is delightful journey into a subject that has so often remained clouded in mystery.
Very few books on practical spirituality work as well as Trance Dancing With the Jinn and even fewer publications of this size manage to thoroughly engage the reader from start to finish. Delightful and exotic, factual and entertaining it is superb piece of work on every level.
Review copy kindly supplied by PGUK, London.