Shamanic journeying imagery, constructivism and the affect bridge technique.

Adam Rock, Peter Baynes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Shamanic journeying imagery arguably occurs across cultures and historical epochs. However, to what extent is the content of the journeying imagery a construction of the shaman's cultural milieu, belief structures, autobiographical memories, and so forth. The present article finds the literature inconclusive on this question. It is suggested that attempts to answer it face a fundamental methodological problem: how to detect contextual influences on imagery that the shaman cannot report on because they are outside his/her present consciousness and memory. The authors propose a partial solution: Watkins' (1971) Affect Bridge, a memory "uncovering" technique used in hypnosis. A non-hypnotic version of the technique developed by one of the authors for inquiry into shamanic journeying imagery is then described.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-71
Number of pages22
JournalAnthropology of Consciousness
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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