Uwe Mass

Uwe Maas


Suster Strubelt

Süster Strubelt

Learning to dominate the state of possession-trance: Women´s Iboga-initiation and aftercare in Gabon

In Mabandji women´s initiation intake of Iboga is imbedded into an elaborated ritual, aiming at the dominance of possession-trance, a state where the mind is supposed to leave the body while another mind enters.  The induction of a possession-trance by musical means is the central part of the female ritual: the candidate has to get into contact with her spiritual double or supportive upper self which makes itself known by directing movements and producing sounds. During the first trance the candidate normally loses control, falling down and moving violently. Gaining experience, she will be able to enter and exit trance states on her own and perform dance choreographies in a semi-conscious state.

Healing methods using states of possession-trance are considered very effective in different cultures to treat (often traumata-induced) states of dissociation and psychosomatic illnesses. We found similar approaches to train possession-trance in the Mabandji cult, in the Brazilian Candomble and even in apostolic churches in Mozambique. The method is based on the spirit`s manifestation via movements. The modification of uncontrolled movements into a socially accepted performance seems to enable control of undesirable trauma/stress-related psychic and even somatic reactions. The strictly non-verbal approach makes therapy easier for clients with problematic events in their past.

Could elements of this method be used for aftercare and – as in the Mabandji-cult – even to control presumably dangerous reactions of fear in the first days after taking Ibogaine?

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!