The Lost Power of Singing
Many people underestimate the power of singing, and the power of songs. Also, in many Anglo societies people are taught to believe that only the best singers should be singing. If your voice isn’t good enough, you shouldn’t sing in front of other people.
Unfortunately, this means that many people never experience the power of singing and songs. It doesn’t require a beautiful voice to experience the benefits, either.
In terms of spiritual practice, there are many healthful benefits to singing, and positive purposes for singing. Here are some of those benefits:
- Singing is a very powerful way of filling yourself with good energy.
- Singing can help you change your emotions, or your state of mind.
- Shamans use songs to help groups harmonize their energy with one another.
- Singing can help you connect with a higher power, such as angels, or guardian spirits, or the divine (in whatever way you name it.)
- You can use singing to bring good energy into a room. In some spiritual practices, songs are used to invoke or invite. For instance there are songs for rain, or songs for inviting a power animal to be with you.
- Many shamans have a healing song that they sing when they work with their clients.
- Songs can be used to bless another person or a group of people.
- Singing can connect you to the deeper knowing that is inside of you.
- Songs can help you release or express feelings or stuck energies you have found it difficult to release or express by thinking or talking about them.
- Songs are capable of healing you.
The reason singing is important, and shouldn’t be overlooked (even if you think your voice is horrible!) is because its a very powerful way of working with energy. We are all working with energy all the time, whether we know it or not. We get affected by the emotions around is, we get drained by our busy days. There people around us who make us tired, and there are beautiful places that fill us up.
Singing allows us to intentionally work with the state of our energy. It allows us to connect with positive healing and positive emotions. It allows us to change how the energy moves through our own body (even if only because we are completely engaged in the song.) It allows us to commune with other people and the world around us, bringing our energy into harmony with one another. Singing allows us to begin to understand something that was only deeply known, or unconsciously known to us.
While shamanic songs can be unique to individual healers and groups of people, they really aren’t different from any spiritual song. Often, the shaman will go to the spirit world to obtain the lyrics or melody of the song. They may have an occasion or a purpose and they will consult with the spirit world to be inspired by a song that fits well with what they want to do.
Many powerful spiritual songs come through divine inspiration. The song writer will say, the song just came to me, or I could hear that melody in my head. The shaman’s song is very similar, although the inspiration didn’t happen by accident. They intentionally went to the spirit world to find the song. Perhaps all songwriters have an awareness that their moments of divine inspiration came from somewhere else, and the only difference for the shaman is that they may be a little more aware of this fact.
The most important part of a shamanic song is whether it is effective. The purpose of the shamanic song is to connect to, and bring in different energies. The purpose of the singing that song is to shift one’s state of mind and the state of the group that is singing. The song doesn’t have to be beautiful, or perfectly written. The power of the song is the doorway that it opens between the shaman or the individuals and the power of the spirit world. That doorway is actually opened by the singer(s), not the song itself. Some songs are more effective at helping you open that door.
Examples of Shamanic Music
In the United States, there are a variety of songs that are known by shamanic practitioners, or people who have taken shamanic workshops. These songs are useful in helping you feel connected to something greater then yourself, to invoke healing, or to bless other people.
Here are some examples of a few shamanic songs. I will include a few lines as part of the example.
May You In Beauty (A blessing song)
May You Walk In Beauty
In a Sacred Way
May You Walk In Beauty
Each and Every Day
Sanctuary Song (Connecting and Invoking Earth Energies)
Earth Please Make Me
Pure and Holy
Tried and True
Thunder Beings (group energy)
Behold, the time has come
The time has come to unite as one
Behold, the time has come
To Encircle the Earth with our Love
Thunder Beings on a Shamanic Song List This link will download songs (.mov files) if you have that allowed on your browser.
You can see from these examples there are different purposes to songs, and that simple lyrics can be very powerful.
Two Songs for You
While writing this article about Shamanic singing, I asked the spirit world for a song that I could give you. I asked for one that would be what many of the people who found this article would find the most healing and the most helpful to support them. Two songs were suggested, and many of you will recognize them.
You’ll Never Walk Alone
The spirits first wanted me to make sure you are aware of a particular song from the Musical Carousel. While many people are aware of this song, some you may never have heard of it, and some who have, may not have realized that the message of this song is true for you.
You’ll Never Walk Alone by Rogers and Hammerstein
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho’ your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone,
You’ll never walk alone.
If you find you are drawn to this song, then obtain it and sing along with it. While you sing, open yourself to feeling the truth that you are not alone.
The truth is that our sense of separation, of complete isolation, is an incorrect belief that has cut many people off from understanding that you are closely woven into the world around you. If you believe you are cut off, that belief can become a block to support which is truly available to you. It is almost like the belief of isolation becomes a blindfold that prevents you from seeing when support is offered to you, or to feeling a type of invisible support that can be with us when we need it.
Life can be very difficult, but that difficulty can become unbearable once you have been convinced that you are truly alone. (There are various cultural stories which attempt to convince you of this.) The singing of a song can allow you to begin to believe, even if you aren’t sure you are capable of believing differently than you do now.
If you are still at a point, where you cannot feel comfortable singing, then speaking the words along with the song, will work just as well as singing along.
This song may have different traditional meanings, than the one I will share. One of the ways this song can be used, is to honor the place you are now and also to honor the movements of your life. Following the movements of your life, flowing with the turns of changes, can bring you to the place where you belong. In fact, the place where you belong may be here and now. To sing of being in the place where you belong, is a very powerful thing to do.
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.
Here is a YouTube link to Simple Gifts with Yo Yo Ma and Alison Kraus
Finding Shamanic Music
However, some of the visitors to Shaman Links may be interested in where they can obtain shamanic songs. Here are some links:
Woman with Wings (.net) – has many of the songs listed above on their CD Songs Without End. This CD must be ordered through traditional mail
An example on YouTube: I Circle Around (the boundaries of the earth)
While looking into songs, I found a different Women With Wings (.org), a group of woman who created spiritual songs for group singing. This Women with Wings focuses on the spiritual empowerment of women. Between their multiple CDs, you can find many empowering songs to sing.
Recordings by Canadian Centre for Shamanic Studies on SoundCloud
Shamanic Songs and Ritual Chants by Flight of the Hawk – Link to Amazon where you can listen to song previews.
If your looking for drumming for shamanic journeying:
Please feel free to comment below on any sources of inspiring music, that help you connect with community, your deeper soul, spirit, or the earth around you. Many Blessings.