PART VI: ANCIENT SECRETS
by Anthony Forwood (2011)
45: The Magic of Ceremonies
The rituals and ceremonies of the priests centered around the idea of appeasing various gods, spirits, and demons, who were often associated with the characteristics of the different types of natural forces as they were commonly understood. These rituals and ceremonies, in which entire communities were often expected to take part in, involved many elements that are known to induce altered states of consciousness in which hypnotic trance and suggestibility are common results. Such trance-like states among an entire group facilitates the creation of a coherent unity of purpose, a group mind in which the occult psychic powers that were used by the priests were multiplied and thus added force to their invocations and magical rites. Public ceremonies were common for the purpose of building psychic energies and directing them for the enactment of powerful magic that required the combined energetic forces of the multitudes. This involved much emotional excitement and suspense in the participants in order to evoke this energy. Rhythmic drumming and the corresponding body movements of dance instilled an altered state of consciousness that moved the minds of the people to a unified state of psychic potential that was then used to perform the magic surrounding a particular ceremonial ritual or incantation.
The show of magic in the form of incantations of spirits and other paranormal phenomena during these ceremonies were necessary not only to keep the masses in awe and respectful of the power of the priests, but also to help in keeping alive the group belief that is required at the deeper levels of the subconscious in order for these events to manifest as strongly as they often did.