“…to penetrate the mysteries of music is to prepare for initiation into
those fathomless mysteries of man and cosmos.”
— Joscelyn Godwin, professor of music at Colgate University.
A Musical Universe
We live in a musical universe. Even the word itself is telling…uni-verse, meaning one song. Everything in creation is singing, and all of Earth’s life forms can be identified by their frequencies. String theory, which is being called the Holy Grail of modern physics, gives us an explanation: The fundamental particles of matter once thought of as one dimensional particles, are actually tiny vibrating strings. Similar to the strings of a violin, each particle of creation has resonant frequencies at which they tend to vibrate. String theory presents us with a unified field of singing strings, many tones within the one song.
“Received by the Harpist of the Gate, the Adept has entered by the virtue of music….and here is a magic whose fragrances liberate the initiated hero’s soul from all the bonds accumulated by reason….He approaches the meadows of dream, the ladders of incense, the glades of the Western constellations…
Before the eyes of his spirit, the hieroglyphic alphabet of the Intelligible World scintillates in scattered stars against the crystal horizons. The fragrances of music are columns of magic smoke. A young lake of perfumes, blossoming with water-lilies, rises out of the subterranean night and becomes for him the whole sea.
And here a note springs forth in purity from the invisible sources of the land of life. It is the fountain of the infinite. It is a new language. Like the light, it is the daughter of the breath which gave it birth…
And the Adept…now holds in his right hand the key of power and of happiness. By the irresistible force, rightly directed, of the harmonics of sound….he can flatten the menace of Jerichos’s impregnable walls, or raise serenely, like Amphion with the sound of his lyre, the walls of Thebes whose stones came and placed themselves in rhythm and in meter, one on top of the other.
By the science of the rhythm of the universe, he has become the equal of the Demiurge on the first day of creation.”
— Extracts from a treatise on the Egyptian afterlife by Mardus, ‘La Toute-Puissance de l’Adepte’,
‘The Mystery of the Seven Vowels’ by Joscelyn Godwin, Colgate University.
Ancient cultures perceived creation as a heavenly harmony mirrored in the earthly patterns of life. The advanced cultures of Egypt, China, Greece, and not excluding Celts, Druids, Mayans and other indigenous people, sought to find a harmonious order in the movements of the stars, planets, Sun, and Moon. Ancient people designed and constructed their temples, chapels, and stone circles based on heaven and earth’s natural cycles. Their ritual songs, dances and artwork were woven into a symbiotic pattern with the whole of creation.
The Australian Aboriginal culture, which is our planets longest continuously existing culture, has a 50,000 year history of using music to maintain the natural order. They perceive the landscape as a series of ‘songlines’, each representing an aspect of their cosmology, and they sing these songs to keep the life energy of the earth and the people in balance. They say that without song knowledge, without knowing the songs of the various species of life, we cannot survive.
John Michell, English author and visionary poetically describes the ancient pilgrimage paths of the tribes of Britain, which wound past shrines and mystery centers:
“Their guide was the earth spirit. On the high places along the axis of the line, beacon lights were tended by hermits, who were the servants of Hermes…every district they passed through was known as the scene of certain mythological episodes, and they were illustrated in the hills and folds of the local landscape, brought to life by the interplay of shadows and the light of the sun or moon. As the mythic journey unfolded, it was accompanied by a song …the pilgrims’ way composed of sun, moon and starlight, hills, vales and springs, local spirits and phantoms, mythological events and the songs of an unbroken linear chant.”
Today, what are our own pilgrimages, and how often do we spontaneously sing or dance? Do we sing to our children, or listen to the healing song of the wind through leaves, or the changing of birdsong as summer moves into autumn? Have we become so disconnected from our universe that we are unaware of where on the horizon the Sun and Moon are rising and setting during the changing seasons? Do we pause to give thanks and breathe in the light of sunrise and moonrise, acknowledging our light within? Have you noticed whether Venus is the evening star or the morning star now?
I once had a dream in which I was at the base of a Southwestern mesa just before sunrise. I saw a very old Hopi grandfather dragging his weathered, aging body slowly and painfully up the side of the mesa, and I asked him where he was going. He told me he just wanted to see one more sunrise, to breathe in and sing to the sun as it rises up, lighting and coloring the beauty across the land.
As our world becomes more and more complex and stressful, the distractions are endless, and the simplest things in life become our very lifeline. The medieval alchemist and physician Paracelsus was of the opinion that too few of us look up at the starry skies, “… from which a constant stream of enlightenment is flowing which is leading mankind to new sciences and new arts. If all would open to the influence of this light, they would create a more beautiful, more heavenly life.” ‘The Cosmic Octave’ by Hans Cousteau.
Planets And Temples That Sing
“Whatever the gods do, they do by song….
All things are summoned by this praise song and encouraged to come joyfully into being.”
— Marius Schneider, Cologne University musicologist,
‘Cosmic Music’, edited by Joscelyn Godwin,
I was awakened just before dawn recently by a soft music playing. I thought it unusual at that early hour and looked everywhere to find the source, and then I looked up at the Eastern sky I was treated to a beautiful crescent Moon joined by Venus. I did my best to translate the music I heard to my harp, a morning song for Venus! (The planet Venus has long been associated with beauty, love and music.)
“Music is the harmony of Sky and Earth … it is the favorable occupation of the Holy and has the power to perfect the heart.”
— ‘The Magic of Tone and the Art of Music’ by Dane Rudhyar
The 19th century luminary Schopenhauer said that when one puts an ear to the very heart of nature, the will of nature is heard, and can be reproduced in a series of tones, and that music reveals the very essence of the cosmos.
Newgrange, Ireland constructed about 3500 BC, is a highly sophisticated astronomical observatory. Newgrange receives the first rays of the Sun as it rises on Winter Solstice through a long, narrow passage way, illuminating the innermost chamber. Few may be aware that Newgrange is also a Venus alignment. Every eight years, the light of Venus illuminates the passage and inner chamber of Newgrange just before sunrise. The lintel over the entry is also carved with eight X’s. (See ‘Uriel’s Machine’ by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas).
During a field study in 1995 conducted by Robert G. Jahn, Princeton School of Engineering and Science, and Paul Devereux, British author and researcher, they found the dominant frequency inside the inner chamber of Newgrange resonated at 110 Hz, or an A tone, within the speaking or chanting range of a male voice. After comparing the patterns of the sound waves from their tests in the chamber, Robert Jahn noticed that the spiral shapes carved in the stones was strangely similar! (‘Acoustical resonances of assorted ancient structures’ a paper by Robert Jahn, Paul Devereaux and Michael Ibison).
According to the Swiss acoustical researcher Hans Cousteau, the frequency of the sidereal period of Venus resonates at an A tone. Did the ancients hear or sense the tones emanating from the planets? If they chanted in the tone of A, the chamber and stones at Newgrange would resonate more strongly and perhaps create a dimensional bridge to the heavens, receiving the light of Venus to nourish the Earth.
“The sky and its stars make music in you”
— Hieroglyph at Denderah, Egypt
In the temple of Denderah Egypt, built in the 1st century BC, we find a significant interweaving of musical and stellar themes. This is the temple dedicated to Hathor, Goddess of music, birth, death, and life transitions; she is the Guardian of the Gates and the frequency of beauty is the tool she wields to facilitate these changes.
Standing in the hypostyle hall of Denderah, one is surrounded by harpers, flute and tambourine players, dancers and singers. As I stood with my small harp next to one of those ancient harpers and played and sang, the figures on the giant pillars seemed to light up and come to life, as the reverberations of the strings and voice echoed their ancient song. Further on in a small chapel of the temple one finds an ancient zodiac painted on the ceiling, like a mandala of the heavens, depicting the twelve signs of the zodiac and the associated rulers, such as the lion for Leo, a scorpion for Scorpio, Maat’s scales for Libra, and so forth. As above, so below, and the song of creation continues shining from the stars in this temple of beauty.
“Music is nothing but knowing the order of all things.”
— Hermes Trismegistus in ‘Asclepius’
An interesting note on the acoustics of Denderah: The field research of my colleague Antoine Seronde and myself in Egypt in 1991 indicated the tones D and A as two dominant frequencies in the natural acoustic response observed inside the temple chambers. (‘Myth and Music in Ancient Egyptian Temples’, A. Seronde 1995). The tones D and A form a perfect 5th harmonic, an interval familiar to our ears in Gregorian Chant and sacred music from many cultures. Once again we find the connection between the principles of beauty, harmony and temple acoustics.
Musical Harmonies in Nature
“Pythagoras said that the universal Creator had formed two things in his/her own image: The first was the cosmic system with its myriads of suns, moons and planets. The second was man, in whose nature the entire universe existed in miniature.”
— Manly P. Hall, ‘Melchiziedek and the Mystery of Fire’.
The search for definable patterns and effects of planets and stars has been termed by the 16th century visionary mathematicians and astronomers as Musica Speculativa, or music as a mirror of the cosmos. A leader in this movement was German Johannes Kepler, whose vision of a musical geometrical universe, Harmonices Mundi, drove him to discover the musical intervals and frequencies of the planets and their effects on human life. He based his calculations on the elliptical orbits of the planets and the intervals between the planets and the sun.
“The supernatural power of the seven notes intoned by the Hierophant derives from their ability to touch off correspondences on other levels than the physical. At their highest, they are a distant echo of the vowels which sounded forth in the sevenfold laughter of the Creator God (Goddess), and became the Seven Spirits before the Throne of the Apocalypse with their Seven Thunders, Voices, or Vowels. In the solar system, they are reflected as the characteristic vibrations of the seven planets…In former times, when the world was ruled by the wise, the secrets of activating these energies acoustically were known and put to use.”
— ‘The Mystery of the Seven Vowels’ by Joscelyn Godwin, Colgate University.
More recently, Scottish researcher and mathematician Lawrence Edwards has studied the rhythmic growth patterns of many species of flower and trees leaf buds in Britain. Over a period of thirty years, he documented the influence of various planetary transits on nature, and found, for instance, that during a transit of Saturn, the beech tree’s buds would swell more than at other times. (‘Vortex of Life’ by Lawrence Edwards, edited by Graham Calderwood).
Robert C. Jansky worked for a research laboratory involved with Nasa’s Space Program and the U.S. Navy’s Missile Program. He also worked for the National Institute of Health, and the U.S. Navy Medical School at Bethesda, having a degree in biochemistry and bacteriology. Jansky had heard rumors at Nasa that they consulted astrologers in planning the time and date of its rocket launches. This ‘rumor’ nagged at him for years and led him to study the effects of the planets on humans and health and ultimately to his extensive publications on Medical Astrology. “I am optimistic that medical science will, in time, recognize its value as a valuable diagnostic tool in preventative medicine.” Robert C. Jansky, ‘Essays in Medical Astrology’
How does all this heavenly music really affect us and how can we use music for healing and enhancing our lives? Are the planets, Sun and Moon literally singing in you?
Musical Voice Prints
“Voice is the barometer of the soul. The person who has found the key-note
of his/her own voice has found the key of his/her own life.”
— ‘Music’ by Sufi master Hazrat Inayat Khan
In 1992 I attended an introductory workshop in Phoenix given by Sharry Edwards, who had just completed a University of Ohio degree and years of research on sound and the human voice. After hearing her presentation, I signed up for her intensive course on Signature Sound, which included training in Voice Spectrum Analysis. Sharry discovered that she had an unusual ability to hear the sound frequencies emanating from individuals. She found that when she sang the exact frequency back to the person, it dramatically affected them, in some cases causing the person’s blood pressure to drop, or chronic pain to disappear. Edwards’ hearing was tested at the university and found that she was hearing far beyond the normal human’s range.
“The body is held together by sound and the presence of disease indicates that some sounds have gone out of tune.”
— Dr. Deepak Chopra
Over her more than thirty years of research and practice, Edwards discovered that everyone has signature sounds, one or more tones that are emanating from us and are our keys to health, creativity and soul awakening. With a digital tuner or computer program, a person’s voice is tested to find the tones that are present and ones that are missing. This voiceprint tells a story, and helps the practitioner know what organs and systems of the body need support, or which tones will help to set free locked emotion or creativity.
Each tone relates to specific physical functions, nutrients, and mental and emotional issues. The tones that are found to be missing are fed back to the person in a musical formula of sound frequencies that the individual listens to and tones…the most effective method is actively toning one’s signature sounds for faster results.
“Voice is the key to find locked emotion in the body—to release,
we must use the same note that locked it, the point of emotional trauma.”
— Fabion Maman, author and teacher
Tone formulas are chosen from a series of twelve sound meditations, each tuned to a specific note in the music scale, recorded on the Songaia Sound Medicine CDs. These sound formulas incorporate all natural harmonic instruments, each with a long association with healing: Harp, Tibetan bowls, didjeridu, whalesong and overtone vocals. (See www.aniwilliams.com). The goal is tonal wholeness and integrity, which corresponds to the Anglo-Saxon word ‘hal’, the root meaning of our word heal.
One of the strangest aspects of Edwards’ findings was that a person’s signature tones or missing voice tones corresponded with the position of the Sun, Moon and planets at the moment of birth, like a blueprint of sound frequencies. The sound pattern in the heavens was mirrored in the energy field of an individual at the moment of birth….on earth as it is in heaven!
By incorporating this system for the last fifteen years, I have found the planetary patterns offer an accurate way to find the most effective tones for individuals, especially those who are disabled and unable to vocalize or are too young to do a voice analysis. The voice print and the planetary tones are overlaid to give a clear picture for specific tones that are most beneficial. Also incorporated in this voice work is the science of Medical Astrology, how the planetary aspects affect physical and emotional health patterns. (See Robert Jansky mentioned above and ‘Medical Astrology’ by Eileen Nauman, Blue Turtle Pub.)
Ancient Sound Evidence
These connections between the movements of planets and human behavior and health are not new. The following is an example from ancient China, where it was understood that the same principles affected music, the motions of the stars and planets, and the biological functions of the body:
“Correct teachings find all their principles in musical tones. When the tones are correct, men’s conduct is correct. Sounds and music are what agitates and stirs arteries and veins; what circulates through the life-essences and gives to the heart harmony and rectitude.
Thus the note ‘kong’ moves the spleen and brings man in harmony with perfect holiness; the note ‘chang’ moves the lungs and brings man in harmony with perfect justice; the note ‘kio’ moves the liver and brings man in harmony with perfect goodness; the note ‘tche’ moves the heart and brings man in harmony with perfect rites; the note ‘yu’
moves the kidneys and brings man in harmony with perfect wisdom.”
— ‘The Historical Memoirs of Su-Ma-Tsien’, 100 B.C. from
‘The magic of Tone and the Art of Music’ by Dane Rudhyar
The Greek philosopher Pythagoras c. 500 B.C., described by Aristotle as a wonder-worker, enlisted the medicine of music for purification of the body and emotions. Pythagoras created mystery schools which combined the sciences of music, number, geometry, architecture and astronomy. He is credited with the development of the musical scale of the planets and the monochord (see image above), however it is likely his years of extensive studies in Egypt had given him much of this knowledge. Pythagoras’ holistic healing programs incorporated healing herbs, a vegetarian diet, and musical formulas to direct and balance the passions. It is said that he composed musical potions with the lyre and voice based on cosmic harmonics to heal maladies of the physical body, the emotions and the spirit.
The Musical Brain
“Every disease is a musical problem; every cure is a musical solution.”
In his 2007 book ‘Musicafilia’, physician and neurologist Oliver Sacks speaks of the power of music to reorganize the body-mind; to coordinate movement in people with Parkinsons, aid speech in stroke victims and organize the minds and memories of those suffering from Alzheimers. Some might remember the amazing movie ‘Awakenings’, which was based on the book of the same title by Sachs.
Since 1992, I have participated in research projects conducted to test the effects of sound on the brain and the human energy field. One series of these tests was at the University of Washington in Seattle with Dr. Juan Acosta to observe how sound might affect brain states. While a person was either listening to or toning with Songaia Sound CDs, we found that within a few minutes, the brain began to exhibit low Alpha, Theta waves, and some Delta, the states associated with deep relaxation, meditation and healing. We found that even imagining the toning or chanting created the same changes in the brain state. Dr. Acosta found that shamans, healers and dowsers also entered this same state when contacting subtle realms or sending healing energy.
Further tests conducted using Songaia Sound CDs with autistic and disabled children with therapists in childhood neuro-development and also a dolphin therapy project in Mexico City showed marked improvement in the children’s motor skills and sensory communication.
“Synchronization of wave forms occurs between the dolphins and Songaia music. It is a state beyond separation. This is why the autistic children are coming out of isolation.”
— Dr. Fritz Zimmermann, Delfina Terapia, Mexico D.F.
“Our children suffering from limited motor response and autism were dramatically impacted by the use of Songaia Sound in our sessions. We saw coordinated movement where there was none previously. The children who normally did not speak were able to vocalize along with the music. It has made a positive movement in our continuing therapy program.”
— Patricia Villegas, O.T., P.T. in Child Neuro-development in Mexico D.F.
Sound healer and psychoacoustics researcher Tom Kenyon explains in his book ‘Brain States’ how we can enter the lower (slower) brain states using specific types of sound and music: “Theta activity both decreases our experience of the external environment, while opening the doors of perception into an inner world of sensory-based experience. It is as if the outer world disappears, and instead, a vivid and seemingly real inner world of attention opens before us”.
Tom recommends, as I do, self-generated sounds of toning or chanting as a daily body-mind tune-up and for instant relief from emotional or mental stress. Recent brain research has also shown that during extended periods of Beta, or active waking state the brain’s potassium to sodium ratio becomes out of balance, limiting brain cell osmosis, which creates mental fatigue. Our brain resets the sodium and potassium levels during a 5-15 minute period of being in Theta state. (According to data collected by Integen, Inc. an online brain science think tank). Songaia Sound CDs and toning support Theta state activity in the brain, according to our research at the University of Washington; if we connect the dots, toning may balance the cells as well as the vibes of the brain!
“Sound touches us with an eloquent and universal language that speaks to our very cells.” ‘Brain States’ by Tom Kenyon (See www.tomkenyon.com for books and CDs).
If we look at a chart of the brain states of Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta (see diagram) we can see that the brain states are arranged in complete octaves of music. Each brain state range is comprised of one set of 12 notes, C through B, in other words, Do Re Mi Fa etc. completing a chromatic music scale.
The Musical Brain States
©2007 Ani Williams
Songaia Sound Productions
So, if the brain is musical and the stars are singing, how out of synch are we as we race through our days, listening to digitalized, fabricated sounds and being bombarded by cell phone and computer waves? Humanity now depends on digital recordings, radio, iPods to provide our music, which has removed the natural healing experience of rhythm and pure harmonic tone, which keeps us in harmony with the cosmos.
Several years ago I was giving a workshop on sound therapy in Portland Oregon and a woman attending had just returned from Africa, where she was studying with a Zulu medicine man. She said that when a person would come to him for healing, he didn’t ask when their symptoms first appeared, but he asked them, “When did you stop singing?”
“Toning releases the imprisoned splendor.”
— ‘Toning—The Creative Power of the Voice’ by Elizabeth Laurel Keyes.
© Ani Williams, 2007