"We honor those who have come before us, and must give
special recognition to Jerzy Grotowski, one of my own teachers,
who originated the term paratheatrical two and a half decades ago.
We must also honor those who continue in this lineage and take on the
task of transmission. And transmission is what this book is all about.”

from the foreward by MATT MITLER Director, Theatre Group Dzieci

Towards an Archeology of the Soul outlines the principles, techniques, and ethos of a comprehensive paratheatre medium developed by Antero Alli since 1977. Combining methods of physical theatre, dance, vocalization, and standing meditation in a ritual technology for Self-initiation for accessing the internal landscape of autonomous forces in the Body -- towards their expression in physical movement, vocal creations, gesture, action, and interaction. This is a practical workbook with articles and interviews by noted ritualists, performers and those who have done this work with Antero. Published by Vertical Pool (272 pages; illustrated; paperback).

Three reviews by James Wagner, Phil Hall, and Scotto Moore



Section 1: The Syllabus
ORIENTATION: Ritual Technology for Self-initiation
THE FORM: Lab Session Infrastructure (preparation)
THREE LEVELS OF WORK: Initiations, Shadow Work and Distillations
LEVEL I: INITIATIONS: Immersion, Surrender, Self-Access
LEVEL II: SHADOW WORK: Exposure, Confrontation, Catharsis
LEVEL III: DISTILLATIONS: Extracting, Refining, Articulating
Cellular Movement, Character Development, Mythos
Staging Designs for Seven Performance Rituals
RITUAL TECHNIQUES: Developing Skills in this Medium
also: Vocal Creations (includes three sounding cycles)
GROUP RITUAL FACILITATION: On Effective Ritual Design in this Medium
DANGERS INHERENT TO THIS PROCESS: Perils & Pitfalls of Archetypal Evocation
Irritation, Inflation, Grace as Impediment, The Alchemical Nigredo
GROUP RITUAL DYNAMICS: Asocial Intent, Function of Shock, Animamundi
Ritual Glossary: Paratheatrical Terms & Definitions; Relevant Reading

Section 2: Lab Reports
INSIGHTS & REVELATIONS: Excerpts from the author’s ritual journals
LAB PARTICIPANTS’ STORIES: Personal Myths and Visions
Non-Sectarian Crucifixion Archetypes

Section 3: Dreams & Psychic Projection
DREAMING RITUALS: Non-interpretive Dreamwork for the Active Body
THE ANIMA SHRINE: A Soul-Retrieval Ceremony for Men
THE TEMPLE OF THE ANIMUS: Lab Report by Serene Zloof

Section 4: The Living Earth
GEOMANCY: Divining the Earth’s Spirit by Richard feather Anderson
TEMPLE CONSTRUCTION: Ground Designs & Tellurian Currents by Kevin A. Lewis
WILDERNESS RITES OF PASSAGE: Ritual as Personal Response by Julian Simeon
BUMP CONSCIOUSNESS: The Planet as Stabilizing Influence

Section 5: Artist Interviews
GUBOO TED THOMAS on Aboriginal Dreamtime Ceremonies
ELIZABETH COGBURN on Ecstatic Rites & Warnings
PAUL OERTEL on the Voice as Instrument
KEITH BERGER on Group Performance Dynamics
FRED CURCHACK on Solo Performance Work
DAVID ROSENBLOOM on the Alembic of No-Form to Form



Send PayPal payment to: verticalsource@gmail.com
SHIPPED WITHIN THE USA $25 (inc. Priority Mail) SHIPPED OVERSEAS, add $25. per book
Note: in PayPal, send as "Friends & Family". Include email, mailing address, book title

Non-PayPal orders
Bank check or Postal money order payable to: Antero Alli
Mail to: ANTERO ALLI, PO BOX 19382, Portland OR 97280.
Please include your name, mailing address, email, and book title


about the author

click image for paratheatre bio

ANTERO ALLI has been developing his group paratheatre medium since 1977 which has been documented in his books, "Towards an Archeology of the Soul" (2003) and "State of Emergence" (2020) plus numerous videos. His 2005 docufiction feature, "The Greater Circulation", incoporates paratheatre performances as part of a critically acclaimed cinematic treatment of poet Rainer Maria Rilke's, "Requiem for a Friend". His experimental feature film, "The Invisible Forest" (2008; 111 min.) explores the radical ideas of French Surrealist playwright, Antonin Artaud. Antero is the founder/artistic director of ParaTheatrical ReSearch and the author of numerous esoteric books.


paratheatre video, links

FOUR STAGES OF WORK (2020; 10 min.)
A group demonstrates what typically occurs in the
first hour of a 3-hour session: 1) The physical warm-up
2) Non-directional jogging 3) No-Form practice
and 4) Conscious projection/Sourcing.

Essays and articles

On Paratheatre and related topics

Paratheatrical Video Documents
(1991 to 2023)


Vertical Pool site map