Cultures throughout time have honored sound not simply as an auditory boon to humanity, but as something deeper, more sublime, which can lead us into union with the cosmos. The Huichol shamans of Mexico revere the Blue Deer, for it is said he sang our earth into being.
Chanting is the key to transcendence, for it offers us an opportunity to unite with God, to create the sacred sounds which allow us to craft our own reality. The decadence of its simplicity is just that — chanting, making sound, becoming a human singing bowl, requires neither great skill nor valiant effort. Sound is our most treasured right — to sing, to connect, to harmonize our voices with all that is.
To be like God, we must only chant. It is our divine birthright and our greatest of untapped human powers.
What is Chanting?
Chanting is a sound repeated with intention to transmit a certain frequency. By repeating these seed syllables, or bija, we begin to vibrate from the inside out, becoming quite literally our own tuning fork. This frequency bypasses our human limitations and allows us to see through the illusions of the world with greater clarity.
The Language of Chanting
Each tradition contains its own sacred sounds which act as seeds or keys to unlock the mind. Sanskrit, for example, was not a language meant for communication; rather, it was a transmitter of energy. Guru Prem Singh Khalsa offers that “a mantra is a projection of the mind (Man=mind, Trang=wave/projection) to divinity." In the Kundalini traditions, the bija are considered a command language, in which sound moves energy. Chanting these ancient sounds that created our universe can then reconnect us with her primordial grace.
Chanting Across the World
My first introduction to chanting came by way of an Egyptian Mystery School. Theirs was a closely guarded legacy in which teachings were only passed down orally, never written. The mantras, or hekau, of those old traditions were sung not as offerings to the gods, but rather as ways to link with them. Each sound is precise, connecting us with the ceremony at hand and invoking the presence of the gods.
Mantra is a word specific to the Buddhist and Hindu traditions that ranges in meaning from "instrument of thought" to "thought behind an action" but essentially refers to a sound, word or group of words that have spiritual or psychological powers, usually when repeated. Since we are working outside of the limitations of language, we can use the term herein to simplify.
You can find sacred sounds used in many ancient traditions and the mantras are still as potent today as they were then. Below is a brief illustration of these chants from of a few sacred legacies.
Tibet: Om Mani Padme Hum
Egypt: Ga Nu Sa Mes a Sa Hu
Kundalini: Sa Ta Na Ma
Hindu: Om Na Ma Shivaya
Most fascinating to me is the similarity of these seeds. “Om,” “Sa,” “Na,” “Hu,” among others, can be found in the Buddhist, Hindu and Egyptian lineages, despite their differences in theology and geography.
The shamans of the Americas also engage in powerful chanting. Called Icaros, it is these songs which invoke gods and allow the shaman to merge with the plant spirits to offer healing, insight and enlightenment.
Recognizing the wisdom of these ancient ways, the Catholic church sought to capture some of this power on their own through Gregorian chants – although in Latin – which carried the same desired effect of shifting frequency.
These sounds have power — they are power — for they give us a way out of human thinking.
Their translation is often diluted and the sounds mean nothing to our logical and linguistic brain. The sounds are therefore able to penetrate deeply into the subconscious, inviting us to explore our connection to God.
Toning Versuu Chanting
In my Kundalini class, I suppose I am the screeching cat. Such beautiful melodies ring from the throats of my teachers and classmates, but I keep reminding myself it is both intention and dedication that count the most.
Tom Kenyon is a sound healer who uses the power of his voice alone to heal. His is not a solitary path; the use of sound as a healing tool has been widely documented. What is of more hope, is that he teaches toning in which no harmony nor ability to carry a tune is required! In fact, the weirder and more nasal-sounding, the better. It is through the use of these nasal frequencies that the pituitary and pineal glands may be activated for greater purpose.
Toning is the making of a powerful sound, whereas chanting is the use of these powerful and specific sounds or syllables.
This heart-centered practice allows the voice to command energy, rather than having knowledge of the specific mantras, as the yogis have taught. Both paths are valid and can be explored and combined through your own intuitive guidance.
Power of Chanting
Isis was a clever and determined Goddess. She knew the use of sacred words gave her magical powers, including the ability to affect the universe. She tricked Ra, the god of all gods, into giving her his secret name and was thereby able to attain all of his powers.
While not a chant, the story of Isis illustrates just what is at stake when we engage in these sacred and powerful sounds.
Dolores Cannon discovered in her past life regressions that sound was used to build the pyramids. Rather than using manual labor to move stones and erect these structures, ancient sound techniques chanted by many at once would have effortlessly moved these stones into place.
It seems there is still much to be discovered about the power of chanting, but we can surmise through its powerful effects on our own self-exploration what further implications might suggest. We do know sound has been treated as sacred in most ancient practices and can be a highly effective tool in shaping reality.
It may seem chanting is most prominent in a spiritual practice, yet we also find that chanting is prevalent in our modern society. For example, take David Wilcock's assertion that one 24-hour period of everyone experiencing joy could change the world. In November 2014 — just 6 months later! — Pharell Williams brings us “Happy” in a 24-hour continuous video. As we all celebrated the lightness of this song, we also projected into the universe a powerful affirmation of joy. Singing this catchy tune in unison, we engaged in unconscious chanting, thereby shifting the Earth’s vibration.
As another example, Guru Jagat shares Lady Gaga's song “Bad Romance,” in which she sings these bija “ra ra ah ah ah, ra ma ra ma ma.” She is sending potent sounds for others to sing, thereby amplifying its power.
Pharrell offers the plus side with clear intention: the word “Happy” isn't ambiguous, while “Bad Romance” may be a bit more misguided. These are activating words, and for those who don't use them in alignment with God and truth, we could be contributing to an unseen agenda. Specifically, “Ra A Ma” is a method for invoking the supreme god of light. If this is the Illuminati manipulating or planting lyrics, it’s a pretty clear summoning of Lucifer, the Lightbringer.
I love Lady Gaga and respect her hugely as an artist but David Wilcock and others have fairly well laid out the use of an underhanded agenda in popular media. These are examples of engaging in sacred spaces without consent — and we must be cognizant of what we are participants of.
Benefits of Chanting
When we chant, we engage in a psycho-spiritual and physical exercise, altering our cells.
Physical changes: Reduces stress, improves cognition, lowers heart rate, helps tune inward to become aware of distress in the physical body before it becomes illness.
The Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation has encouraged the use of the Kirtan Kriya to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, stating, “clinical research has shown that practicing Kirtan Kriya for just 12 minutes a day can improve cognition and activate parts of the brain that are central to memory.”
Alleviates depression, reduces stress.
Moves us into unity consciousness, shifts us into co-creator mindset with the universe, reprograms the subconscious mind.
While the health benefits are immense and are now being widely researched, the spiritual gifts are where I get giddy. By chanting these nonsense sounds with no attachment to meaning, we are subtly replacing the subconscious fears and self-judgment with tones of love, peace and the sublime.
“Mantras have power. They are the mind vibration in relationship to the cosmos.”
Sound as the Frequency of the Universe
If we can recognize that human beings create sound, then we can recognize that a specific frequency is emitted from every living thing, including Earth herself. The frequency of the Earth is known to resonate at 7.83 Hz, as discovered by German physicist W.O. Schumann.
One of my favorite ways to connect with galactic energies is through the use of the sound of the planets. By entering a mediative state and listening to these sounds, we can easier connect with intelligent thought forms of the planets, thereby expanding our galactic reach and initiating greater cosmic connection.
Try Chanting for Yourself
Experiencing these inner frequencies of vibration is the only true way to understand their power. Here are a few to try:
Om or Aum
Take long breaths, making the vowel sound of a long “o” until the lips close to hum the long “m.” Meaning: everything, the seed of all creation, beginning and end.
Sa Ta Na Ma
Done as a song with specific hand movements. Touch the thumb and forefinger on Sa, thumb and middle finger on Ta, thumb and ring finger on Na, and thumb and pinky on Ma. It is traditionally sang, whispered, mouthed silently, whispered again and finally sang for a total of 12 minutes. Meaning: Sa- beginning, Ta- life, Na- death, Ma- rebirth. Contains primal power to help us navigate through life.
Ong Sekhet As
Pronounced as it sounds, but As is pronounced Oz. Meaning: purity, freedom, inner knowingness, assurance and confidence. Chant for the goddess Sekhmet.
An Invitation to Raise Your Voice
Understanding the innate power of chanting, the subtle use of words and power, we are being reminded it is time to use our voices and the full potency they contain. With a world rapidly changing around us, a simple practice can affect not only our present self, but can also be directed to healing of the planet at large. Be not shamed, sweet love, by your froggy voice, but use it as an instrument of divine creation to birth a world you desire in your heart.