© 2020

Art, Ritual, and Trance Inquiry

Arational Learning in an Irrational World

  • Draws on the trance-based learning within education that is being championed by Indigenous-based educator Four Arrows

  • Each chapter ends with a trance and/or an arts-based example as entry point to the content

  • Includes a brief historical overview of the place of altered states of consciousness in cultures drawing from the work of anthropologists, educators, physicists, and theorists (Bourguignon, Goodman, Gowan, Mindell, Schechner)

Palgrave Macmillan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxxvii
  2. Barbara A. Bickel
    Pages 49-72
  3. Barbara A. Bickel
    Pages 73-92
  4. Barbara A. Bickel
    Pages 117-135
  5. Barbara A. Bickel
    Pages 137-156
  6. Barbara A. Bickel
    Pages 157-171
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 173-190

About this book


This book provides insights into the practice of trance-based inquiry through arts-based research, serving as a beacon to guide the way to thresholds of ancient, yet novel, transmissions. Embedded in lived experience and theory, this book introduces the reader to the liminal space of place and trance-based inquiry processes entwined with creative artworkings. The interweaving of art, ritual, and trance-based inquiry opens sacred spaces for learning and unlearning that bring spirit into form. Each chapter presents examples from women artists and culminates with experiential practices drawn from the author’s decades of creative peregrinations to assist artists, teachers, and researchers in transmitting a conscious way of practicing and creating with trance. 


arts-based inquiry holistic education STEM Trance-based learning Indigenous education

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

About the authors

Barbara A. Bickel is Emeritus Associate Professor of Art Education at Southern Illinois University, USA, and Co-Director of Studio M*: Collaborative Research Creation Lab Intersecting Arts, Culture, and Healing based in Calgary, Canada.


Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Art, Ritual, and Trance Inquiry
  • Book Subtitle Arational Learning in an Irrational World
  • Authors Barbara A. Bickel
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Movement across Education, the Arts and the Social Sciences
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Movement across Education, the Arts and the Social Sciences
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Education Education (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-45744-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-45745-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXXVII, 190
  • Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 35 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Creativity and Arts Education
    Education, general
    Alternative Education