Balinese Trance Ceremony

“Witnessing trance isn’t an every day occurrence but in the realm of the ceremony and the sacrifices performed it seemed totally normal.”

Around 6PM at the beach I stumbled upon a ceremony. People were in deep trance, some requiring restraint, others convulsing less violently. In the near distance, surfers went upon their usual business of ocean worshipping in a different fashion.

Two birds were beheaded after ceremonial rituals followed by people cleansing in the ocean. Before long it was all over, and left those of us who had witnessed the ceremony wondering just exactly what we had seen.

I learned this was a yearly ceremony called Odalan. In this case, performed before Nyepi, The Silent Day.

Living in Bali one can be privileged to observe unique cultural rites, but this was the first time I had witnessed such intense trance. I’m looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of this state of altered consciousness.

-NK

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