with Ani Williams
by Diane M. Cooper
Text ©Ani Williams 2002
Reprinted with permission of
Spirit of Ma’at Magazine
Diane: How did you begin using sound as a healing tool?
Ani: Through many years of playing music— since I was 15—I noticed that it brought me great joy and did the same for others. I also saw that music could be a creative medium in that it could change your state, it could inspire and lift you up, or soothe and de-stress you.
About thirty years ago, I began studying eastern spiritual and music traditions. In the Hindu text called the Mahabharata, it says something to the effect that listening to sacred sound (shabda) was the quickest path to conscious awakening.
Those words really hit me as the truth. I then came across the Sufi teachings at about the same time, and read a wonderful work called ‘Music’, by Hazrat Inyat Khan. In it, Khan says that the voice is a barometer of the soul, and by listening to someone’s voice you could tell the state of his physical, spiritual, and mental being.
With further study of ancient and indigenous cultures and the Egyptian use of sound, I found that, indeed, sound could be a way to regulate one’s life. Those cultures with this knowledge arranged their rituals around nature’s cycles, and they had specific songs and dances to help create celestial and terrestrial harmony.
In Egypt, in the temple of Denderah, you have depictions of musical instruments carved in stone. You find harps, drums, flutes, singers, and Hathor, the goddess of music and beauty. Then in the same temple you also have the zodiac portrayed on the ceiling. And on one wall there is a hieroglyph that translates: “The sky and its stars make music in you.”
After that I became aware of a movement during a period of the 1600s to 1700s in Europe, in which scientists and mathematicians were practicing something called musica speculativa, which means “music as a mirror of creation.” One of these researchers, Johannas Kepler, said, “The Greek word Kosmos means a creation that is harmonically and artistically arranged with elegance and beauty divinely ordered.”
Through my study of these ancient cultures, I learned that we have some natural speaking patterns and tones in our voices that we use more than others. Each person has a unique voice print, and in this voice print there’s a story, a history, a genetic patterning that can be read. It is a pattern of how you are physically and how you are emotionally. It can even reveal creative potential and blockages. The frequency patterns in the energy body, emotional and physical body can be discovered through the patterns in the voice.
What’s really, really exciting—and the reason I mentioned musica speculativa—is that not only is the human voice a mirror of the person’s current condition, it’s also a mirror of the cosmic blueprint at the moment of birth. For instance, if Saturn is in the east, Pluto is off to the west, and the Sun is overhead at the moment of somene’s birth, you can take all those positions, and the positions of the rest of the planets at birth. Then we note the constellations they were in, and the corresponding frequencies of those positions, and map the sound patterns—and this map will mirror the individual’s voice tones.
Diane: That’s wild!
Ani: Yes, it is wild. So this whole thing about the Music of the Spheres is very real. It is tangible and something we can actually hear in our voices and then work with for healing. This system of Songaia Sound therapy works with the specific frequency patterns of each individual. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ system. Every person has a unique symphony singing and emanating from them, which is informing matter and energy.
Goethe, the famous German mystic philosopher and poet, said that sacred architecture was “frozen music.” So that’s another way of looking at this celestial sound patterning as it comes into the terrestrial realm. All the ancient architecture that was built based on sacred proportions, mirrored the Cosmic patterns.
Many of the proportions of architecture in the temples in Cambodia, the sun and moon pyramids at Teotihuacan, and the Egyptian pyramids are based on 72-degrees. We also have the number 72 relating to the human heartbeat and to the cycles of time. Every 72 years the precession of the observed star patterns drifts one degree. So again we have the mirroring of the celestial patterns on the Earth. The number 72 is also very important in astrology.
Diane: What about the Bible verse which says “In the beginning was the Word”? The idea that God “spoke” the universe into creation?
Ani: If you go to the Bible in the beginning of the Gospel of John, it references a Word, but it’s more than a Word, it’s a vibratory rate of creation, often using ancient mantras and specific sounds, especially the vowels to create—sound plus intention. That’s the ancient alchemical formula for creation, “sound plus intention=healing.” In indigenous cultures, the sound of creation in their stories is always a song.
It’s really funny that scientists in this modern technological era have reduced the song of creation to a big bang!
Diane: So are you saying that we could actually tone, chant, and sing our creations into manifestation if we knew how?
Ani: Absolutely. Quite a few years ago it dawned on me that all Creation stories begin with a sound. I thought, why in the world are we stumbling along blindly without utilizing this tool of Creation, this creative force? So instead of looking at the Creation stories as something that occurred a long time ago, I began to hold every moment as an opportunity to choose a new reality.
But its interesting. In the first centuries A.D., the Druids and early Christians practiced something called “perpetual choirs,” where they were constantly feeding harmony into their realm to maintain the natural order. The same thing was done eons ago in China. In today’s world, The Tibetans still maintain that practice of perpetual chanting. Plato believed that creating conscious communities that only used harmonious musical modes could be totally sustainable.
At the time of the changing of the ages from Aries to Pisces, sound again became very important in many different traditions to create a new paradigm for the New Age. Now we are coming into the Age of Aquarius. In the system I use, the tone ascribed to the sign of Aquarius is A-sharp (A#), which is related to the nervous system and electrical fields. A# is 55 hertz is the tone of electricity.
So here we are in an age where there is a prevalence of electrical fields in our environment, and we have that same frequency of A# which relates to the Age of Aquarius. And at the same time, many people have nervous systems that are stressed out. Interestingly, the tone A# relates to minerals, especially the trace mineral silica, which supports the nerves.
Each Age has its dominant tone. It all relates to frequency and mathematics.
Diane: It seems to me as modern technology advances that the European races have lost their indigenous music.
Ani: Yes. And with the genocide of indigenous cultures, you also have the destruction of their rich wealth of knowledge and healing.
For example, when people would come to see a Zulu medicine man, he would not ask when their symptoms first occurred. Instead, he would ask them when it was that they stopped singing!
The whole cosmology of the Australian aboriginal people is arranged around songs corresponding to the landscape and how the contours of hills and valleys rise and fall. Their songs form tone patterns and rhythms which correspond that particular place. There is a totally harmonious union or “entrainment” between the sound of the place and the ancestor representing the place—the shape of the land and the shape of the song.
Every ancient culture was based on sacred harmonics. The Ancients understood that if you forgot the songs, you forgot how to live in the environment, how to be healthy, how to maintain a harmonious social structure. Without song knowledge, you lost everything essential to knowing how to live.
Diane: I’ve heard so many times about how in order to attract the essence of a place you must sing its song.
Ani: That’s how aboriginal women would pull in a husband—they’d learn his song. But that’s delving into ancient song magic.
Diane: I think the woman who are reading this just perked up.
Ani: (Laughs) I found a study in a tabloid in England where they were comparing the effect of the song of a male warbler bird to the popularity of rock stars. The warblers that had the strongest song attracted the most females. You know, it’s a funny way of putting it, but it is actually true.
Also, when people have not been expressing through their voices and consciously connecting with their physical bodies and spiritual selves, their voices are normally thinner. They lack tonal depth and resonance. You can hear it in the speaking voice. If people are not grounded, they can have a thin quality of voice, or even talk in a higher register. I’ve worked with people who were victims of severe abuse or rape and the voice stayed closer to that of a child. It never matured or deepened.
Japanese monks know that when you chant daily you develop more harmonics and resonance in your voice, so that every time you use your voice you’re healed, other people are healed, and all your communicative interactions with others come from a place of more harmony and empowerment, centeredness. Developing our voices allows us to be ‘heard’ and helps manifest what we are here on earth to accomplish.
In some of the research we did several years ago at the University of Washington and Mexico City, we found that within a minute of toning or chanting a mantra the brain state totally altered and went into deep Theta, which approximates deep meditation. Even thinking about toning brought on this state. The colors in the energy field and the aura changed into beautiful, deepening tones. Where there was imbalance before, now there was a balancing of the auric field and tremendous changes in the whole system.
Toning and singing synchronize the brain rhythms with the heart rhythms, which ultimately increases immune function. So whether its humming, chanting, singing, or doing mantras, some kind of toning practice every day is really essential for health. It’s an ancient practice for healing, clarity and awakening.
Within cultures like the Yaqui of northern Mexico and southern Arizona, it is said that “song is the intelligence of the universe”—it’s the way we connect with all of creation. The Yaquis used song to make daily connection with all aspects of nature.
The Hopi do this as well. In the summertime, they sing and dance the rituals for bringing rain for the crops. It’s just basic to their lives.
Indigenous peoples used to navigate their canoes in the Northwest and the South Pacific by singing songs. Seven rounds of a particular song or chant might mark the time it would take to get from one place to another. Also, watching the stars or feeling the change of water temperature would assist them. They would use all of their sensory connections with the elements.
Diane: How does modern music affect the body?
Ani: It depends on what kind of music you’re listening too. Since we’re so stressed out in our technological age, there has been a growing polularity of music for relaxation, a need for quieter, more soothing sounds.
Diane: Would you say that whether a particular kind of music brings great pleasure might be different from race to race and culture to culture? I’m thinking about rap music, for instance.
Ani: Yes, it depends on our orientation and conditioning. But generally, music that has deep bass and strong rhythms is going to stimulate the solar plexus and down to the base chakra, it is going to awaken those centers. It’s going to keep the body in a ready-to-roll state. And if the brainwaves are in Beta or a fight-or-flight mode, the body is releasing cortisone, which creates more stress and a ready-for-action state of being.
The type of music we need is dictated by our state. A depressed person might need to listen to upbeat music and dance.
What we need in the world now is music that will refine the energy centers and allow them to open—music that opens the heart so that we can change the state of our world.
Diane: How does it affect us that so much of our modern music is digitally produced? A lot of recordings don’t even use instruments any more.
Ani: It’s true, and it’s an important question. If you have a digitally produced music, not created from an actual acoustic instrument, and you listen to that constantly, and you also listen to rhythms that are mechanically produced and not naturally varied like those of a human drummer, you can become like an automaton—your moods can be regulated and your body can be entrained to unnatural rhythms and frequencies. And that is the hidden danger of a lot of modern music.
The most destructive aspect of digital music is that it is arranged purely mathematically without the natural harmonic structure. When we pluck a string, we have a natural overtones that ring out and essentially—if you want to consider the mathematical principles—goes on forever.
We also have the most perfect harmonic in sacred music, which is the 5th, and that’s also one of the dominant harmonics from a naturally plucked string that makes it sound so beautiful. The 5th harmonic is what relates most closely with the harmonic structure of Creation—the shape of sunflowers, branching trees, and so on. You can’t get those natural harmonics in digitally produced music. They are getting closer to it, but they don’t have it yet, and I don’t know that they ever will.
So when we are just listening to digitally produced sound, there is a part of our being that is not getting harmonically embedded with the natural harmonics of creation.
Diane: Also, wasn’t there a time in history when the church denied people the use of their voice, along with denying them music and the theater?
Ani: Yes, that was done periodically throughout history. At the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, the church fathers got together and decided that women were not total human beings, and were banned from speaking or singing in church. Also, musicians, artists, and theater performers weren’t allowed to participate in baptism. There was so much regulation, and it’s been there for so long, that it is ingrained in our deep soul memory, and most likely our DNA.
Even in today’s time, we are told not to sing or speak as children and not to voice our true emotional feelings. When we finally get into school, we’re told we have to be quiet all the time, and then we get into the choir and we’re told we’re singing out of tune. And it goes on and on.
Men also have these prohibitions, but it’s more common with women. I’ve been told so many times not to speak out, or that I didn’t know what I was talking about. A lot of this is changing now, and of course I don’t keep my mouth shut anymore. (Laughs)
But people need to remember how to connect their true feelings and emotions with sounds and give those emotions a voice. It might not always be appropriate in all places. . . We might have to go off in a corner or out in nature or out in the car with the windows rolled up. This simple process of giving a voice to our emotions is a powerful healing tool. I use it in my private Voice Analysis sessions.
Diane: You mentioned earlier about using music to heal and balance a person’s health. Tell me about your work.
Ani: In 1992 I studied with Sherry Edwards, a pioneer in voice spectrum analysis, which is a method of analyzing the tone patterns in the voice. Basically, Sherry found a connection between the voice tones of an individual and certain trauma and stress that they had experienced. Specific tones were associated with these traumas, and those same tones could be used for healing them. This is similar to homeopathy, in which we use a minute amount of arsenic in the remedy arsenicum to treat toxic food reactions.
We analyze the voice with a digital tuner or computer program—both are available—and we map the voice to see what tones are stressed or missing, and then apply those tones not only to release the stressful issue but to gain a strengthening of the system and an integration of tonality.
Let’s say that a person comes for a session and you find they are missing half of the spectrum of tones—which, by the way, is very common. Where would you begin?
You could start by checking the missing voice tones with their chronic issues and their family’s genetic tendencies. For example, if a genetic deficiency of magnesium is creating a tendency for depression or bone loss, you would apply the frequency that relates to magnesium, and also have them eat a diet rich in magnesium.
I studied with Oded Mamsura, a brilliant man from Israel, who was one of the first to teach with Sherry Edwards in the early 1990s. Sherry had discovered that there was a correlation between voice patterning and astrological sun signs. Oded took the work of voice analysis a step further by putting what Sherry had done together with an ancient science called “Medical Astrology.” And he found that they matched or mirrored each other.
It’s exactly what the Egyptians were saying: “The sky and its stars are making music in you.” The patterns at the moment of birth are reflected in human voice patterns.
So after studying with Oded Mansura, I found that a stressful aspect between planets at the moment of birth would show up in the voice patterns. Let’s say, for example, that a person has Saturn exactly squared Pluto. We look at the tones related to those planetary positions, then look at the voice, compare them, and come up with the most powerful frequencies to work with.
So in other words, if half the tones are missing in the voice, when we have a planetary chart, we can identify the best tones to recommend, which will open more creative and healing potential. In working with the planets and the voice print, we can find the exact healing frequencies.
Diane: And then what happens?
Ani: After the analysis, specific tones are recommended. I recorded a series of twelve separate sound meditations for the 12-tone musical scale, the Songaia Sound CDs. A person tones the frequencies that are missing in their voice to create balance and integration. For instance, you might be missing the tone of C. That relates to being ungrounded, not being connected, loving the body and not being in our power. It can point to issues in the blood and large muscles, such as the heart. It can relate to systemic conditions such as candida, chronic fatigue, and also cancer or AIDS. A missing C tone can also relate to not being able to manifest one’s creative gifts, or realize one’s goals.
By bringing in the C tone, you might find that you feel more whole, powerful, grounded, and in control of your life energetically. So it works on an energy level first, but ultimately it affects the physical as well. Sometimes there is an instantaneous change in the physical, with a reduction of pain and stress. Heart rate, pulse rates, and oxygenation rates can change instantly. Headaches may go away, physical pain and discomfort can melt into the sound.
To get a lasting effect one needs to use this regularly every day. Using the sounds with consistency, there have been cases of people reducing their brain tumors. I have had women raise their thyroid levels, just using their sounds. Most of my clients are using their tones to liberate their life potential and assist in releasing emotional patterns.
Diane: Cool. How would you sum up your work?
Ani: In both my music and sound therapy practice, I’m using sound for both personal and planetary healing. If we use sound consciously and with regularity, we can continually recreate our state of being. Harmonious sound can elevate humanity and help heal our world.
|Ani Williams does private one-on-one sessions and conducts workshops on Songaia Sound Medicine and Voice Analysis. She performs her music worldwide and has more than 20 albums of sacred music, including the “Songaia Sound Therapy” CDs, which use specific tones for integrating one’s stressed or missing tones.|