by Stephen Vierra (CSEE’s newest Board Member)
Quantum physicists will tell you that the reality we experience everyday is made up of different frequencies of vibration. High vibrations and low vibrations, creating the very substance of the universe that we live in. Nothing is static, and everything is always changing. Shamans have a very similar idea, only from a different perspective. Shamans will tell you that the reality we experience is made up of song. High notes and low notes, creating the very substance of the universe that we live in. If everything is made of song, then it would stand to reason that we are made of song as well. What a lovely notion, to imagine the universe as one grand song.
Shamans the world over believe that The Power of Song is quite powerful indeed. Shamans use The Power of Song to influence, and to harmonize with the fabric of reality for calling in allies, connecting with nature, praying, setting intention, blessing, protecting, grounding, and most importantly, healing. Everything in nature, you and I included, has its very own song. These powerful healing songs are known as Icaros, and they are considered to be a Shaman’s greatest tool.
Shamans know that when the power of voice is offered, the universe responds to its vibration. Different notes illicit different responses. All Shamans have their own Icaros for a myriad of purposes, and attribute the spirits of the plants they work with as the teachers of these songs. It is referred to as “catching a song.” In Shipibo culture, Icaros are represented visually through intricate geometric patterns that can be found depicted on their community’s buildings, clothes, and all throughout their artwork. They believe that singing these songs of nature can bring balance and harmony to our planet. When these songs are sung to people during a healing ceremony, the goal is to restore the balance of the geometric energy pattern, or song of the person that is being healed. The songs, as well as the strong will of the Shaman, are used to bring about this balance.
So how do you “catch” your own Icaro? Dieting with plants to learn their song is one way, but there are many exercises that may be a little simpler for a beginner. Like anything it takes practice, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t come to you right away. The important thing is to be persistent, even if you don’t consider yourself to be musically inclined. We are all musically inclined to some degree; some may just be a bit more in tune to their ability. Start simple, and build upon a basic foundation.
Find a nice area out in nature where you won’t have any distractions. Scan the area, and find something that you connect with in the space. It may be a plant, a tree, a rock, Pachamama, or anything natural in the area. Once you have chosen something that resonates with you, take some time to connect with it. Quiet your mind, and introduce yourself. Ask the spirit of whatever it is you haven chosen to teach you its song. Relax, and let go. See what comes in. Get the sound flowing by taking a deep breath, and holding the note of each vowel individually starting with “A.” Try and hold the sound for at least 10-15 seconds. Notice what is activating inside of you, and where the sound is emanating from, as you push it out into the universe. How does it make you feel? Move onto the next vowel, “E.” Notice the changes in which you produce the sound. How does it feel? Continue this process with each of the vowels. Maybe after a few times through, try and put them together. Maybe you start to mix and match the vowels together to get different sounds. There is no right or wrong way; the idea is start getting the sound flowing. With enough practice, you may be able to start receiving words to add to your new Icaro. When you are finished with your lesson, give thanks to the spirit for helping you, and continue to build on what you have begun.