The Voice of the Land
By Cinnamon Moon
By Cinnamon Moon
© Cinnamon Moon
The Voice of the Land is a harmony of sound emitted from all of nature. There are many voices that comprise this larger one. The voices of trees, plants, stones, wind, animals and the elements themselves. It is important to learn to decipher this Voice and to be able to distinguish all those that join in to create it so you will know the oneness that is so often overlooked. Shamans have long spoken with the lifeforms of the earth and they have gained much wisdom. These are the voices of the spirits. The method of the speech is subtle, it does not come in an auditory fashion only, but brings with it sensations, feelings, urges, nudges, and emotions.
Listening brings awareness and can be profound as you discover that it opens the doors of enlightenment. Once you go inward to the Silence, center, and focus, you will find that it is much easier to direct your attention to the outward sounds letting them come to you one at a time and then unite in their song. It transforms your awareness and you begin to hear the Voice of the Land. It begins to speak in ways you never imagined. It is attunement, oneness, and the mundane becomes profound. Within the land itself there is a fundamental resonance. Your senses are able to take in these vibrations and instinctively cue you to changes. If you try, you can begin what would be termed selective listening. In this your process is to decipher individual animals, birds, insects, breezes, and even scents.
Some environments are strong while others are vague. These sounds change according to the time of day, season, or climatic shifts. An abrupt cessation will indicate intrusion. All the animals become still and listen to what is approaching. A flurry of birds or scurry of animals will both serve to indicate danger. Once this has passed the symphony always resumes. It is a signature easier to decipher in rural areas than those of urbanization, but it can be found in both places.
Like the acoustics of a recording studio, or an amphitheater, rural locations allow you to synthesize the song and identify specific areas through the various harmonies they possess. In attuning to a site, these sounds are an iatrical part. Through the ears the shaman learns to listen to the song or melody, through the voice s/he joins the chorus, and through the rattle, flute, or drum, s/he links to the rhythm. These are all phases or aspects of spiritual attunement.
Each location has its tone. If you have ever entered a church or temple while it is empty you have experienced its still voice. The hollow waiting to be filled will resonate its own silence or echo its voice when filled. To hear a choir resonate and fill that silence is to hear its voice. In nature, just as in the temple, there is a silence and a voice. Nature is Spirit's cathedral. Look then to the land for this experience. It has a strong effect on meditative states. Learning to quietly listen aligns the harmony of the land with your spirit and you will come to know the oneness. It must fill you and touch your soul. In order for this to happen you must become the choir loft. You must empty yourself and listen so that you can become filled-a process that is indeed very magical.
In natural Ley temples the architecture and sounds play an important role. They stimulate the senses and open you to receive their energy. Each dimension has its octave vibrating to the energies that exist there. This is why the Voice of the Land and its songs are so intricate to spiritual ceremonies and emphasis is strongly placed on the resonance of vowels as the shaman joins the chorus. In certain Ley centers the manner in which multiple Ley Lines merge with the rock formations has an effect upon the sound of that particular site. These sounds invoke the energy to rise up and its voice becomes intensely clear. Earth songs vibrate within the soul-you will 'know' when yours has been touched-it stills the heart, and frequently takes your breath away. Listen then to the song of the trees, animals, elements, and nature, to the rocks, rivers, and mountains. Let them sing to you. Go with the current, the season. The song-flow of nature. Learn to love the details and become as familiar with them as you are with yourself. Be aware that at dusk and dawn that voice is silent for a few moments-it is as if all of nature were enveloped in prayer.
Sacred sites have been known to possess phenomenal sounds. A good example of this is Ringing Rocks State Park in Pennsylvania along the Delaware River. It is important that you know they exist. When you focus on the sounds of nature what you hear draws a clear picture of the vicinity. There are many places to hear the strong Voice of the Land and one of the most hypnotic is through the elements. Not only do these sites possess a song, but they are often conducent to the voice of the Wind as it passes through them. There you can hear messages that reach out to you from beyond time, from the past or the future. I had an experience in the ruins at Chaco Canyon while seated in a Kiva (a circular pit-like structure used as a ceremonial worship place and to represent the womb of Mother Earth...its lower half is in the ground while the upper half is above ground - once roofed). There the voice of the Wind spoke to me and brought with it the sounds of children laughing and playing, soft muffled voices of people coming and going about their daily business. I closed my eyes and heard them distinctly for over ½ hour. I opened my eyes and saw the tracings of sun-kissed hands placing the clay bricks that made the Kiva...I saw it being built superimposed on the ruins. It was amazing. I'd stepped back in time through that voice.
The element of Air is filled with the songs of birds, insects, animals and the Winds themselves. Everything the Wind touches is given voice. You can hear a great difference between the whisper of a stand of pines, the soft gentle conversations of a mixed woodland, or the much louder voice of a larger forest that contains a very strong presence. Breezes whisper at the tops of aspens, underbrush rushes, trees roar, and the deep tones of the higher altitudes with their mountainous passageways sound the rock formations, canyons shush their voices or rage with the Winds, caverns and caves echo and it all comes together. Smelling the scents of the seasons allows your senses to become activated. A storm will announce itself on the Wind if you are wise and pay attention. Often Winds will precede a storm by several hours or even days, sending lingering gusts that build in crescendo and rattle your windows to get your attention. There is a taste to the air itself that becomes earthy.
How many of these things have you overlooked or taken for granted? Have you ignored the voices of nature? How many are you familiar with? Personally I have always loved the voice of a good thunderstorm-just as it gets the attention of the land and touches deep to the roots of the great oaks to awaken them, it strikes a base chord in me and I connect. The element of Air will notify you when you need to come out of a meditative state and pay attention to your surroundings if you are attuned to it.
Think of the element of Fire, or better yet, build one in a safe spot, for through both audio and visual effects it is both strong and entrancing. Listen to the sharp crackle of logs as they catch and burn, the muffled tones of the charred wood when it falls, and the soft pop of the sparks as they rise into the air. Smell the scent of the wood as it burns and let it activate your senses. Feel the heat as it spreads outwardly and touches you. The silent whisper of a candle flame is very different from the raging roar of an uncontrolled forest fire, or the explosive eruption of a volcano, learn the differences. The shaman knows the power of Fire, and frequently uses it to bring on states of altered consciousness or trance. You can do the same thing by simply gazing into the flames and letting them take you into a state of altered consciousness. The element of Fire will take you deeper into nature.
The element of Water allows you to hear many sounds. The hiss of a geyser, the rush of a waterfall, the babbling of a brook, the shout of rapids, the soft trickle of a small stream, the slow melody of a meandering river, the gentle lapping of a lake or pond, or the raging roar of ocean waves. You can hear the soft rains, a raging storm, the pounding hail, the shifting intensity of a storm's moods. Each is very different. Each sound will speak to you in its own way. Simply by walking along a shoreline or relaxing near one you will find that this element will allow you to enter into altered states in a soothing dreamy fashion or strong call that draws you within it. It is very easy to become "lost" in Water. Learn, too, to smell the dampness of this element, the saltwater or fresh waters, the taste of the rains, and allow it to awaken your senses.
Through the element of Earth you can hear the whistling of caves, the ringing of rocks, the echoes that reverberate through canyons, the sounds of rage in an earthquake or the threat of the muffled aftershock as it rumbles across the land. You can feel the vibrations of herds of animals as they run and hear them change direction or draw closer. You can feel the rhythm of thunder as it reaches deep into the Earth and calls all of nature to attention. You can hear and feel the solidity of a mountain or a flat plateau, the Wind through the mesas, the stillness of the desert. Let yourself smell the soil be it damp, dry, musty, sweet, or spicy, it will awaken your senses. This element will take you into the foundations of grounding after you have stepped from a state of enlightenment, or it will create them so you can seek it.
These are the voices you need to know. They can help to take you places, for when the elements combine with the Voice of the Land a great deal of insight is granted you and you are able to perceive great wisdom. Along with them the musical scale of resonance in vowels affects your body. You can chant them softly or loudly and actually feel the resonance as it passes through you. Each note has a healing property corresponding to the various Power Centers of your body. You can feel the note resonate there. It can heal, awaken, and lift you to new heights. These centers relate to the colors of the Chakra system, a subject in and of itself. You can, however, practice making these vowel sounds and holding them as if they were a mantra chant. They exist in the Ley centers and in the Voice of the Land.
As you come to work with sound and understand the Voice of the Land you will begin to see or hear it speak to you in ways you did not know it could. You can join in with it and play instruments or sing, you can chant or be silent and one with it. In that oneness will come a union that allows it to teach you many things. A doorway opens and you may enter another world. One that will present you with new perceptions and learning. Thus when the shaman says: "the land has told me of this" they speak the truth, but they have not heard a voice as those of the mundane world perceive it. The shaman has spoken to the land, listened in silence, and heard its voices through the senses, through telepathy, through impressions that are just as real, just as valid as any conversation you might have elsewhere. The shaman may ask a question, will be still, and will receive a reply. S/he will be led to places where the answers lay hidden. A plant will rustle itself to draw the attention necessary, a Wind will cut a path along a different trail to be followed, the animals will call from an area that holds interest. The voice will come in many ways and if you have the ears to hear it will speak to you.
To further exemplify this I like to use the voice of a forest. Seeing the forest as a living entity unto itself, one can readily recognize this voice when it speaks easier than most others. It is familiar to us. Think of the sounds of a forest as you walk through it. Depending upon your awareness level, this voice can speak so softly that you do not hear it at all or it can literally shout at you. For instance, the trees will explode with a flock of birds leaving an area when threatened by danger and calling their warnings. It will grow unnaturally still when intruders are present. You can tell when you have been accepted by the forest by its embrace spiritually, but auditory sounds will also speak to you. Birds will pick up their songs, animals will continue to scurry, and business will be as usual. If you are a hunter and there to threaten the creatures of the forest there will be a stillness, it is as if all around you stays silent while you pass. This is only one voice. Each Standing Person in the forest can speak as well and each species will have its own message. Listening to them they will tell you of all they have seen and know. The Standing People do not move but they do see their surroundings in greater detail than those of us who pass through them. They see the smallest things out of place or the harmony and balance of nature within it. They can teach us how to get along with others and share our space, or of the history of a location, or the changing of the seasons and round of the year. They can speak of centuries past or the present and the cycle of life as we all pass through it.
The Voice of the land has its own cadence, its own symphony, and has been referred to as the geomantic harmonies. Listening brings awareness and can be profound as you discover that it opens the doors of enlightenment. Joining in with the voice can bring you to the oneness of your inner spirit and your environment. Working with it narrates the pages of the book of life. This attunement allows you to speak with the land, and this is something that will astound those who do not understand the mystery. It is the shaman's secret and the one everyone tries so hard to understand...the one they always ask about. How do you hear these voices you say speak to you? How do you know what they are saying? What do they tell you? Where do they come from? Are you crazy? Nope. You have just learned to listen to nature, to the Voice of the Land, and to Spirit. You just know how to really listen and to hear what is being shared. It's there for all of us, we just need to tap into it. Once we learn this technique listening to the animals and becoming one with them, becoming them, allows us to hear even more. Have fun everyone!!!
Spirit to spirit and heart to heart,