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'Battle Trance'

Forums ► Misc Topics ► 'Battle Trance'

'Battle Trance'
Post # 1
'Battle Trance' is an altered state of consciousness that I have currently been working with quite a lot. The name is due to the psychological state combatants may experience when in a situation of which they have to fight.

In such a state, aforementioned combatants are not susceptible to the feeling of fear, or pain. Also often in such a state individuals of a group may act 'as one', a single organism despite the multiple individuals. Frequently, they also may lose their sense of individuality when the state of 'battle trance' is induced.

Personally, when I become entranced my desire is not to lose my individuality, or act as a collective organism (since I often preform this in solitary), but rather more for the loss of fear and pain mentioned previously.

What is the purpose of inducing battle trance outside of a combatant situation? Well, I seem to find it a fantastic way to dispose of bottled up anger or similar negative emotions, thus relieving stress from my personal being. Once the trance is over, one may feel relaxed, refreshed, with a clear mind, or perhaps quite similar to how you feel after centering or grounding. Since I preform this in the home gym, a punchbag is the object on which I release mentioned emotions.

Battle trance can be induced in several ways, involuntarily or not. Purposely, certain types of music, usually heavy and rhythmic -depending on the individual- can provoke it, or when preformed in a group, behavior often used in rituals such as chanting, dance, drumming, stamping of the feet, battle cries and so on can help you achieve the state of battle trance. Specific drugs and alike substances can be used, but for obvious reasons this is not recommended.

Joseph Jordania, an ethnomusicologist and evolutionary musicologist, is said to be the first to coin the term for the state. He proposed that the battle trance was developed via the forces of natural selection, during the earlier stages within the evolution of hominids, as to prevent and defend from predators.

In the context of battle trance within military and other combatant use, a woman named Barbara Ehrenreich stated:

''"The difference between an ordinary man or boy and a reliable killer, as any drill sergeant could attest, is profound. A transformation is required: The man or boy leaves his former self behind and becomes something entirely different, perhaps even taking a new name. In small-scale, traditional societies, the change was usually accomplished through ritual drumming, dancing, fasting, and sexual abstinence - all of which serve to lift a man out of his mundane existence and into a new, warriorlike mode of being, denoted by special body paint, masks, and headdresses.''

Unfortunately little information on 'battle trance' can be provided on the internet that isn't plagiarized from Wikipedia. Books that may be of value on the subject, or shed some light on it, would include:

Barbara Ehrenreich-
Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War

William McNeil-
Keeping Together in Time: Dance and Drill in Human History

Joseph Jordania-
Why do people sing? Music in Human Evolution
(Specifically pages 98-102)
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Re: 'Battle Trance'
By: / Knowledgeable
Post # 2
Nice post. I know very well how trance causes us not to feel pain, I used it when I went into labor with my daughter and it worked fantastically. It also relaxes the body and causes it to slow down which facilitates healing. I'm extremely good with pain on a normal basis (to a point where I tend to not notice small injury until I see the blood or bruise) and I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I meditate and/or enter trances on an almost daily basis.
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Re: 'Battle Trance'
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 3
Nice post i somehow relate that to so called berserking into the Scandinavian Tradition (used also pretty much by vikings ).I think that being in state of trance does allow you to feel less pain at least while into that state i have tested that on myself .Same can be seen with people who have gone in trance working with spirits or loas .Traces of trance uses are found in many paths and same results have been observed (that is valid for some religions too ) . If combined with being brought to emotional and physical limit it can be related with the hormones such adrenaline .I also have experimented with the idea of a group of people acting as one it appears that if the life of the group is in danger the ego take step back as long as the group can focus and control thier emotions before lost of control make them run as headless chickens .After all we are social animals and there is something called egoless collective conscious ( and unconscious ).This type of behaviour can be also noticed into flock of birds they always fly as one and if one change direction instantly all of the rest follow no matter how big the flock is .I relly liked this thread well done .:)
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Re: 'Battle Trance'
Post # 4
Thank you both. :)

Interesting, WhiteRav3n. I have found the same with myself, and I too thought that it may have something to do with meditating and inducing trance regularly. Very good idea on trancing to relieve some of the pain when you was going into labor.

Thank you Artin: I shall look into 'berserking'. Perhaps it is an earlier example of battle trance being used. As for experimentation with ECC and a group of people acting as one, I admit, I do this rarely, only on occasions with my physical coven for ritualistic purposes. Also, great simile with the birds, it is a great example of this.
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Re: 'Battle Trance'
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 5
I have read that vikings used to be much feared ,because their ability to go berserk .Basicly the state drives you much more stronger ,faster and also you are kinda hard to stop ,because you do not feel that much pain ,cold or any other not so pleasent thing that you may incounter on battlefield .
Also if you have ever noticed it is mentioned in the Personified profile ,so you can ask her .We have never talked about that but i am pretty sure she knows much more about it .
I have gone in such state few times and it really make you very very strong i broke one door with kicks and raming it with my shoulder when i was child and i am not physically strong .Seems like people who can easy go in trance can get to go in trance when reaching thier emotional limit too such being super angry or when let say thier child is in great danger .There are reported cases of women lifting something as heavy as car to can their child be pulled out of it .We do not use all capacity of our brain ,emotions or all capacity of our muscle tone but when pushed to the limit in challenging situation this states are used as last resort .
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Re: 'Battle Trance'
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 6
Yes, this is very similar to the idea of berserkergang/Berserking. If you don't mind, I may shoot you a mail! I would love to talk about your techniques. I always describe it as putting yourself in a fury/frenzy, and it can get out of hand quite fast (especially if you are trying to over-do it). It's supposed to be an uncontrollable-like state, which is ironic because to do it safely you should be in a controlled and safe environment. My experiences in this state have proved to be extremely useful- but I wouldn't say it is for everyone.
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Re: 'Battle Trance'
Post # 7
That would be wonderful. :)

Haha, yes, it's most definitely ironic. But as you said, this state is most definitely not suitable for everyone. Especially those who lack maturity and control.
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Re: 'Battle Trance'
By: / Novice
Post # 8
The Vikings did also use a moshroom to help them to go into berserker stadium. It's consithered as poisinus, but facing being killed on the battlefield do to if one was scared or other things, it could be not to bad I supose.
Tho to go berserk or raging can have it's drawbacks. Specialy if the lack of as a group isn't present in the group. One are in a rage where one don't se the difrent on friend or foa.

In some places in Africa, the usage of cath. (think that's how it spelled)
Is given to the soilders to make them go into a simulare frenzy.
Used to this day.

On a more 'spiritual' side of it.
Ther are many difrent places and people/society's that uses trances to go into another state where pain and such Arnt a problem.
Rituals where they lett the spirits take over and such.
As I reemember at the moment. There is festivals in Thailand as one of the places.
Native Americans (can't reemember wich tribes) have the ritual when they become a man where they go into trance and hang on hocks.
The list goes on.
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Re: 'Battle Trance'
Post # 9

I enjoy reading this I related it first With Japanese culture In teh Bushido as well as the Norse berserking. Thank you for shareing

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Re: 'Battle Trance'
Post # 10
Thank you for that contribution, Myrdin.

No problem, Kartos. :)
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