About Somafera

Many ancient cultures throughout history have shown evidence of strange practices and sciences that have never been duplicated by modern civilizations. The ancient vikings had elite warriors called berserkers who were stronger than other men and much more difficult to damage. The ancient Greeks had women who entered trances and spoke prophecy from them. The Chinese Spirit Boxers fought in a battle madness that made them a match for invaders bearing superior weapons. African diasporic religions have holy men and women who commune with the gods, and walk on fire and eat glass as proof of it. Although each of these practices was unique, and grew out of the native traditions of the people who created it, they nevertheless all have something in common: the practitioners enter a heavily altered state of consciousness and then use that altered state of consciousness to enhance the functioning of their bodies and brains.

Individual people, as well, have been able to access these states of consciousness even outside of a tradition. The mother who lifted a burning car off of her children, for example, and soldiers who kept fighting long after receiving what should have been mortal wounds, and mad scientists who were able to see so far past the limitations of the technology of their ages that they created wonders beyond belief. Seeing the astonishing abilities that are part of the basic human birthright, if accessed in the right way, we started pursuing a serious scientific investigation of these traditions and individuals many years ago now. We investigated many different angles of the phenomena: neurological, hormonal, spiritual, historical, and experimental. In the course of our investigations we involved experts of many different sorts.

Each of these traditions has been investigated by curious modern people at one point or another, but prior to the late twentieth century few had ever noticed the similarities between these practices. When we began our investigations, therefore, we noted that there was no term for this kind of practice in general, just a bunch of culture-specific terms for their own versions. So we came up with something to describe these practices in general: somafera. It is a combination of Greek and Latin translating as “the body wild”. It is the art and science of altering the body’s physiological state to enhance its functioning in certain ways.

Because these practices mostly developed before the scientific revolution, they are largely described from a personal, subjective (rather than impersonal, objective) point of view. They are described in terms of spirituality, and of effecting a physical change via changing the state of one’s spirit. This pre-scientific point of view is why the practices are largely ignored in today’s world. As we have begun to understand these practices, we have started developing a more scientific description of them. We noticed that there were different types of somafera: types that concentrated on the body, and types that concentrated on the mind. For this reason we separate the concept of somafera into two main subcategories, depending on the focus and purpose of the type of somafera state. The type that is meant to enhance strength, speed, pain tolerance, and endurance for purposes of combat or physical labor we name the berserkergang, or the gangr, after the old viking terms. The type that enhances the speed and abilities of the mind we refer to as madspace, from a work of popular fiction.

For much more information about all aspects of somafera, visit the website. 

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55 thoughts on “About Somafera

  1. I hope things go well with you as they do for me. Just to let you know that the Left Hand of Darkness’s accuracy (a comment on your somafera website) may be because of Le Guin’s wide reading but I always assumed it was because her parents were the leading anthropologists experts in native north american life in the early parts of the 20th C cf Ishi: The Last of His Tribe by Theodora Koebler,, Ursla Koebler Le Guin’s mother and therefor likely the knowledge is accurate because of actual description of the state involved in native american tribal life. Similarly the great Canadian storyteller /biologist Farley Mowat’s report of Inuit ansestoral tales called The Snow Walker includes several hints of the reason that Inuit (or Eskimo) were entirely peaceful was because they knew the state far to well to believe it was safe in every day life to let the anger consume you or take you over and not because it was not effective.

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    • Heilsa,

      I always figured I’d be hearing from you again eventually. I am glad to hear things are well with you. They are with me. I continue making progress my various projects. Thanks for the reference. I shall have to track down that work. Especially given the great detail she provided, it may mean her parents had discovered a lot about the state, then.

      Farley Mowat… he was that Never Cry Wolf guy, right? I saw the movie like six times when I was a kid.

      Not surprising the Inuit would know the state. The Tunguska, in a similar environment, were certainly driven to.

      So what have you been up to?

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  2. Ok so I have a question. Wen I try to go berserk my body in a way is tense and is tingling and my head has a sort of distinct pressure on the forehead. Could these be signs that I berserked? Also wen I meditate I feel that same pressure but it evens out and spreads throughout my head. Is this a sign that I deactivated my conscious mind and am in my subconscious? And finally im having trouble understanding wat is meant by fusing my subconscious subconscious content with that of my conscious. Can u tell me how this is supposed to work?

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  3. Thnx I read the post and imma explore and work at it. There have been times I do it and do have the ability to even say I’m in berserk but I have the things I described so I guess I have partial success rates. As far as meditation goes I’m just having trouble determining if I successfully disengaged forebrain activity so I been studying ur sites and forums and wen I do all of them I get the same basic thing a sorta slight tingling throughout my body as well as pressure on my forehead. Would that also be a sign of elevated wod and disengaging of forebrain?

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    • Seriously, you cannot put so much reliance on signs. It will mislead you. Instead, try training, in strength, speed, or accuracy, and try to berserk when you do. If you notice that you have had great success, much more than normal, at your exercises, then try to make a note of what signs you had. That is a much surer way to learn the signs that are relevant to you.

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  4. Wat I also realized is wen I do my more successful berserk attempts ( I don’t acknowledge I feel a different then usual but I feel it) is that Its kinda like my eyes are open yet it as if I can easily fall asleep. Would that also show progress

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  5. I been wondering are there any other speed feat besides the ones on the other site? Because I don’t have a place to do the hanging rocks feat. Anything else that will help I would be greatful to use

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  6. Hey ,
    Finally found the site.I used to follow the posts in the old site but then it stopped.
    Anyways , I just wanna ask ,if you know you have this what’s the next step to do .
    I don’t want to ignore it , been there done that. The rage just quite doesn’t die. So I know I have this what should be the next step for me. To develop it and make it work for me.
    Appreciate the help

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  7. I have been experiencing things similar to those said here and at wayland’s other site , uppsalaonline and I think there might be a connection but even if not , I am interested in learning more. Also , I have one question , how does one meditate the right way ( unless there are differences in meditating between different people

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  8. One final question I have is what should my point of uberfocus be wen going berserk? Should it be focused on getting the wanted results? like say I want to beat my enemy, would I focus on to wat extent I want to defeat him or defeating him in general?

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  9. So I have been trying the white wall way of meditation , and I was wondering if music could help. Mainly because it helps calm me down because I am almost always stressed out . But I was wondering if being stressed is “good” since I can’t concentrate on meditating.

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    • It varies from person to person and moment to moment. Sometimes on the task only. Sometimes on memories or ideas that call out emotions. Sometimes on other things. A big part of training lies in working out how to feel out what to use each time. All I can say is, practice with different ways.

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  10. So I have been experimenting with different ways to berserk and im wondering if I can do it by literal hyperventilation for wod raising? Also I tried it earlier and wen I did it I was tensing up and tingling and I was feeling uncomfortable in certain parts of my back and arms. Would that be a sign of me starting to overwork my sympathetic nervous systom?

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    • Hyperventilation is a useful tool for it. Alone, however, it is not good. You need to keep mixing it up, and using a hodgepodge of different techniques. Hyperventilation, tensing, rhythm, pain, etc. Such things as you mention could be signs. They also might not be.

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    • If you can be aware of feelings in that moment, then you are nowhere near the point of overload. Stop looking for signs! At this stage, that will lead you astray. Think only of the plowing, and never of the harvest.

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  11. The rise of superman by Steven Cotler all about flow state. More science and examples that tie in well to this awesome shit.

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      • take a look at pce yoga. They say it is based on runic exercises. I tried it out of curiosity (and because it was offered for free). And it is in my oppinion a powerful tool. They are also trying to measure the effects scientifically.
        pceyoga.com – on the top right you can choose english language.
        Look also at wim Hof.
        He uses breathing, coldexposure and Focus to do his feats. eg: climbing Everest up to 7500 m in nothing but Shorts.
        He is also very into the scientific part of it. and he is talking a lot about triggering adrenaline at will, using the reptilian brain, going into the deeper Levels of consciousnes.

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  12. Haha every time I come on here I feel like a piece of crap for asking dumb questions but recently I’ve been noticing that as as I did my training my strength outside of elevation has been increasing greatly as well. So I guess my question is: how much of an increase do you believe the training has on regular strength and speed if any?

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    • No such thing as a dumb question. This is a place for learning, and we are all at different stages on our journeys.

      There are two possible explanations for what you are observing here. One is that, even if you are training in the berserker stuff exclusively, you are still doing a lot of exercises that condition and work out muscles, so you can get a lot of mundane benefit from it.

      Secondly, if you get really used to the elevation techniques, they can become so easy and instinctive for you that you can elevate small amounts, almost subconsciously, even in daily circumstances.

      Hope this helps.

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  13. So recently I injured my jaw training. Ill be healed in a few days. But I’m trying to speed up the process with healing. Do u have any tips on visualization or focus to help with the healing process?

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    • Sorry to be so late in my reply, but I have been away for the holidays.

      For future reference, it is critical to use gestaltic visualization for healing. This is an important enough topic that I am going to do a post on it. You can read the details there.

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  14. Does anyone know of any berserker person in England whom would be willing to talk or possibly train with me.

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  15. I can say that stress triggers the gangr state within myself, so much so I almost lost control and picked up a knife and used it on someone. I’m still in denial of what I am and need mentoring and reassuring that it’s okay to be this way.

    I try to repress my berserk nature which has now led to internalised anger causing health issues. Hence why I am asking for help please.

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  16. So this has been on my mind for awhile. I know that berserks gain strength and speed while in the state and are naturally capable of such qualities wen not in the state, but does muscular structure play a role in the increases and influence how u go about the practice? Like I’m a confirmed ectomorph(tall, very lean, high metabolism and I don’t gain weight easily) would such a reason give justification for me to give strength training priority in this practice or is that irrelevant?

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  17. Berserkers feed on anger to produce large amounts of adrenaline (yes, pain causes anger). The more anger released, the more the rush until the barrier is crossed and one would doubt anyone would view them as human after that point. It can be such a rush that one feels invincible and will not know friend or foe or even when to stop. A base instinct to destroy in a detached state of mind (the feeling of guiding another while you watch). After battle one would be weak for expending so much energy that they would be lethargic. They were always a weapon to deploy at the front of the line so that the troops behind would be in less danger. Remember, muscle was a way of life as everything from swinging an axe and carrying a shield to everyday life required it. Learning control is learning to control your anger, funny that people see a beserk as angry even when the beserk believe themselves to be calm. Yes, it bleeds through from time to time, but not crossing the barrier means the beserk does not cross the line. A true beserk will not get drunk as it breaks control and releases adrenaline to combat the alcohol. They tend to be detached because feeling can result in a loss of control. They tend to be a solitary people. Even when one spends a lifetime controlling themselves they can still scare people without trying. You will never see a beserk in a fight because it always results in a death (theirs or the opponents). They are never jealous as that would spell doom for one at an early age. Strong will and resolve are controls. Control can also be routine, dedication, meditation, education to name a few. They can be compulsive ( a side effect of even small doses of adrenaline). At a young age they can be influenced to choose something they value above all else and they will protect it with their last breath (Societies was of imposing control?). When you know you are a monster, you keep the monster on a leash in your mind because to do less puts lives in danger and at the end of the day no sane person wants others to suffer.

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    • The leash approach is dangerous. Control is the easy answer, but also the wrong one. Sooner or later, you end up in a situation where you lose control, because life is unpredicatable. And, because you have pissing off the beast for so long, it is then REALLY out of control. I have seen berserkers try to live by this philosophy of leashing the beast. It turned them into randomly violent, high strung people who could not tolerate change or stress.

      It is FAR better to make friends with the beast. To find balance. To learn to be both, not either/or. When the beast in you trusts the man in you, then it will listen when the man counsels restraint. When the man in you tries to dominate or exile the beast in you, the beast becomes the man’s enemy, and seeks always to overthrow him. Sooner or later, it succeeds.

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    • “A true beserk will not get drunk as it breaks control and releases adrenaline to combat the alcohol.”

      Not true. I have met many, many berserkers from all around the world. Most drink. Many drink very heavily, especially those in the armed forces. Abuse of alcohol is bad, when you are a berserker. Proper use, on the other hand, can have its benefits, such as relaxing, reducing stress, blowing off steam… all things a berserker needs.

      “They tend to be a solitary people.”

      Many are. Many others are actually quite gregarious.

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    • Yes, meditation is good, but try the following guided meditation:

      Get into a trance state, as deeply as possible, by focusing on the following set of visualizations and intonations:

      When inhaling, visualize the various thing the rune stands for. For instance, when meditating on Feh, visualize gold, fire, cattle, and other forms of personal wealth and power. After inhaling, briefly visualize the rune itself, in lines of flame. When exhaling, intone the rune itseld, in a low, resonant monotone. Keep your mind empty. After exhaling, visualize the flaming rune again. Repeat.

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  18. Are there any training methods for increase mental processing speed. For those who may not have space for hanging rocks?

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  19. Hello, I am very new to the concept of Berserkgang and am trying to understand how to begin my journey, I’ve read that I have to meditate for at least a month, and prepare a ritual to first put me into a Berserk state of mind. But I’m having trouble finding out how to start.

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