According to Wikipedia, brain waves were first discovered in the early 1900’s. Alpha waves were discovered first (thus the name). The other three types of waves were discovered later. In descending order, beta waves (14 to 30 cycles per second) are where we spend our waking or fully conscious state; alpha (8 to 13 cps) occur when we are relaxed with our eyes closed; theta (4 to 7 cps) are the level where people have psychic experiences like astral travel; and delta (0 to 3 cps) occurs when we are in deep, dreamless sleep or unconscious (source:

Although ancient people did not express thoughts about brainwaves, they understood the importance of entering into a trance state in order to experience what they referred to as the spirit world. They entered the theta state through rituals that included the use of drums and/or rattles beaten at the theta rate. Perhaps this was accidental. Perhaps it was at the urging of helpful spirits. Regardless of how it happened, it became a common practice for people throughout the world thousands or tens of thousands of years before electricity and modern medicine were invented. Modern science is only recently catching up to this ancient knowledge and it has yet to officially recognize the importance of the theta brain wave connection to the spirit world.

As with all shamanic practices, spirit walking is evolving over time. In the past it was used to primarily to find food and the other necessities of living. But times have changed. The quote which follows is from Awakening to the Spirit World, page 19:

“By comparison today, we see a wide range of people integrating shamanic practices into their lives. More and more people of today’s world are beginning to realize that the path of direct revelation brings us into relationship with the world of things hidden, through which we may learn that everything that exists is alive and has a spirit (and a voice), and that there is a field of energy that connects us to all of life. This awareness is shared by tribal shamans at one end of the human continuum and by quantum physicists and Zen Buddhists at the other.”

How will we use this knowledge? While it is up to us to decide, the most obvious, and beneficial, conclusion is that we must use it to improve ourselves and our world. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new age where the concerns of materialism and ego will be set aside in favor of creating a world where the needs of all people are met, where all people work together for the common good of mankind. I hope so. If I knew how to add audio to this post, I’d end with John Lennon’s song, Imagine.

Let me know if you enjoy reading about Ancient Wisdom (below). Thank you.