In the Mediterranean shamanic traditions dance is aimed at achieving ecstasy. Ecstasy, from the Greek “ex stasis” (to be outside) implies the liberation from the identification with a separate body and individuality and access to a state of unity in consciousness. This state is never absolute because at the end of the dance the practitioner returns to their ordinary identity and everyday reality, but this is a conscious return. Their life from that moment will change because through the dance they created a bridge between two realities, a passage that allows them to reach the ecstasy at will.
Mediterranean shamanic dances are free, without structural rules. Dionysian dancers (satyrs and bacchantes) often used a rod (thyrsus) surmounted by a pine cone, in order to balance the body, but more properly as an example of the vertical axis and the typical release function of the sacred cone. The ecstatic posture par excellence involves the disarticulation of the body, the reversal of the head and the arms and elbows behind the shoulders.