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this collection, Leila Castle has gathered together women--including
Ani Williams--writing about spiritual initiation, identity, and transformation.|
Their pilgrimages are inspired by places sacred to many traditions worldwide--among them Old European Goddess, geomancy, Tibetan Buddhism, Native American, Peruvian shamanism, and Mayan.
Their stories explore interdependence and autonomy, connection to the earth, and developing a new spiritual voice.
They relate journeys to far-off Australia, Hawaii, and Africa, as well as to rural England and New Mexico.
Sometimes they write about becoming a person vastly different from the wife, mother, artist, student, or academic individual who started the journey.
is the beginning of the chapter written by Ani
Williams about her experiences with sacred sites and sound in
North America, Mexico, Egypt and England . . .
Her Song Changes Everything
by Ani Williams
has come, the earth has come,
It is rising, it is rising,
It is humming, it is humming.
- Porcupine's song,
Northern Cheyenne medicine man
Every canyon, mountain, and plain, every
stream, wood, and meadow has its own unique sound signature, a symphony
of sounds sung by the wind and the waters, trees, insects, birds,
and animals. The Earth is also singing in inaudible sounds, those
beyond our normal human range of hearing, yet these frequencies
are still having their effect on all of life. Each element, every
species is sounding, and together they form a chorus of tones, a
symphony of life energy.
When we remove any part of this chorus--if we as humans alter the
natural beauty and form of the Earth, or participate in the destruction
of flora or fauna--the natural song of the Earth is altered, and
all life forms are affected. Thus, we have changed the natural resonance
of our beautiful home planet in a very short span of time, the greatest
changes having occurred during this century and the industrial era.
In addition to changing the frequency of our world by altering its
form, the opposite is also true: sound has the power to affect and
change matter. It is this very theme that we find retold in numerous
creation myths of indigenous peoples, and in all the world's great
religions we hear of the creative word or sound issuing forth to
create the Earth and the heavens, the moment of creation.
The creation myth of the Yavapai Apache tribe of Arizona so poetically
describes this sound-creation connection that I include an entire
story here. It covers several primary points of this work. First,
that the creatress and chantress, first woman of the Yavapai-Apache,
Komwidapokuwia, is listening to the song of heaven, and then sings
for all of life--receiving and then giving the gift of song. Second,
her body is made of the heavens; the celestial and terrestrial integration
empowers her song; she shakes her rattle and everything changes.
Because she embraces heaven and earth, there are no limits to her
creative potential. Third, she has the courage to stand and sing
her songs; she trusts what she hears and speaks for all spiritual
life; her songs are life itself.
The Song of Komwidapokuwia
Pukmukwana, black stone powder grinding around,
Wove and talked into existence the girl Komwidapokuwia.
She came into existence and sang like this:
In the white morning
In the white morning
The small star in heaven wove.
In the morning, the small morning
It wove and made heaven.
After she had sung a little while, it became
White all over the world.
The girl came forth and stood and sang.
Heaven was used for her body.
She shook her rattle
And from its power it became white
All over the world.
That was White Morning Road.
Pukmukwana had woven and talked
Into existence the girl Komwidapokuwia.
Star powder heaven was used for her body
She came forth and stood and sang:
My talking and singing are life.
I speak for spiritual life
All over the world.
I speak and all the world
Lightens up to heaven.
This is the way I sing
When I listen to the songs of heaven
Small heaven with white circles her chest was woven of,
She sang to make different all the world.
This she sang for the sake of the shamans.
She sang and flowers bloomed in the sky.
This is her way of singing:
My songs were made for the beautiful sky.
My word went out into the sky.
The world stood still.
Everything was still.
My song changed everything.
If we apply this beautiful creation story
to our lives, to become more conscious of our role in
co-creation, we must first awaken our faculty of listening deeply,
to receive. Only then are we capable of giving something of quality
to , benefit life. And to be able to give, we must also be able
to trust what we receive and have the courage to stand and speak
for all life. We all have tremendous creative potential in our voices:
what we say, the tones we use, and most important, the intention,
the thoughts and feelings behind the sounds we project.
And the chapter continues . . .
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