Shamanism & Sound

"The use of sound by shamen is very common; it is believed that such frequencies have medicinal powers"

Sound is used by healers and shamen to transcend the ordinary and aid connection to transformative states of awareness. Such sounds have been practiced in many traditions and religions throughout the ages as a tool to help us understand our connection with each other and with the universe around us. These sounds can be both primal and highly developed forms of communication that move and inspire us, enhancing our spiritual state and enabling deeper connection with all things.

Sound based practices exist in many shamanic and medicine traditions across the world, as well as tantric and yogic philosophies. They can be found within classical music, and nearly all belief systems and faiths. Several major religions are intricately tied to the concept of sacred sound and contain many significant rituals and ceremonies with sound at their core.

Seed Sounds

Devotional Music

Divine Sound Medicine

Types of Shamanic Sound

– These are rhythmical repetitions of prayers, songs, sounds, or words. They can be uttered either aloud or silently. They exist in most spiritual traditions and have been used since the ancient times in various shamanic practices. These sacred sounds can be vocalised in many different forms, such as throat singing, clicking and whistling and often encompass the shaman's ability to embody the spirits of their ancestors, or express an animal or plant consciousness in order to manifest it's unique medicine. In South American Shamanism these are called Icaros. It is also believed that through chanting the shaman is able to shift their state of consciousness to enter non-ordinary reality.

Mantras – While “man” means the mind, “tra” means vehicle of transportation. So, “mantra” is a means to transport your mind into a deeper state of concentration. A mantra concentrates 10,000 different ideas with just one, thus enabling you to focus your scattered thoughts and bring them into unified awareness. Many mantras are written in Sanskrit, such as 'Om Namah Shivaya' but they are found in almost every language, including Hindi, Latin, Hebrew, English, and more. In Christianity, the word 'Allejulah' is a sacred sound that can be repeated. The Jews recite 'Barukh atah Adonai', while Sikhs chant 'Waheguru'.

Seed Sounds – Om is believed to be a sacred seed sound that is the source of the entire universe. It is also known as the Brahmnaad, and the sound was recorded by the Sheffield University, UK as the sound that our Sun emits. Many forms of the primordial sound are recited in different religions: as Hum by the Tibetans, Ameen by Muslims, and Amen by the Christians. The National Centre for Biotechnology Information recognizes OM as the elemental sound that offers physiological rest and mental alertness.

Duas & Prayers – Dua is an Arabic word that translates to invocation or appeal, and it is an act of worshiping through request. With duas, you can express your submission to the Almighty. Some examples of dua include Allahu Akbar and Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. Duas or prayers allow the practitioner to be one with God, and we can find their use in every religion. For example, the Om Jai Jagadish Hare is a very popular Hindu prayer. Similarly ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me’ is another very popular prayer for repentance and mercy.

Devotional music – 
Shamanic devotional music often involves the playing of sacred instruments such as the drum, rattle, singing bowls and flute, for the healing vibrations they produce alongside the power of the human voice - often called medicine songs, which are inspired by the spirits. Many forms of devotional music are beautiful and creative compositions entwining voice and instrument together for spiritual practices, ceremony, healing circles and for therapeutic effect. Every major religion has its own forms of devotional music. Some major examples include Bhajan, Qawwali, Dapha music, Sufi music, Gospel music, and Kirtan.