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  • Writer's pictureSara McFarland

Ancestral storytelling

"Story is far older than the art and science of psychology, and will always be the elder in the equation no matter how much time passes. One of the oldest ways of telling, which intrigues me greatly, is the passionate trance state, wherein the teller "senses" the audience - be it an audience of one or many- and then enters a state in the world between the worlds, where story is "attracted" to the trance-teller and told through her. This is the storyteller furthering soul-making.

The trance-teller calls on El Duende, the wind that blows soul into the faces of listeners. A trance-teller learns to be psychically double-jointed through the meditative practice of story, that is, training oneself to undo certain psychic gates and ego apertures in order to let the voice speak, the voice that is older than the stones. When this is done, the story may take any trail, be turned upside down, be filled with porridge and dumped out for a poor person's feast, be filled with gold for the taking, or chase the listener into the next world. The teller never knows how it will come out, and that is at least half of the moist magic of story."

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women who run with the Wolves

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