The word ‘voice’ is used in so many ways in our world. Often times we use this word to mean the expression of one self, or the communication of an individual idea or thought.
But there is great power in the voice in its most visceral form. There is power in the ‘voice voiced.’ The ‘voice’ as the written word or even as speech, can actually be one step removed from the person herself, and from core life energy.
A great passion of mine is exploring intuitive voice and song – which I do individually and in group, for myself, and with others. SpiritSong (developed by Shawna Carol) is a powerful intuitive ‘toning’ that we practice in the monthly circle MoonSong that I offer. And my own explorations in voice are taking me to develop a new way of expression I call “The Elemental Voice”.
When singing as a way of expressing voice, there can be a comfort in singing with a group, being one of ‘many voices’. Chanting brings an energy all its own, and the joining of many voices together can stir up an energy beyond any one of us as individuals.
By the same token, there can be a great DIS-comfort in singing alone, or standing in front of others an singing individually. For many of us there is discomfort in ‘standing out’ itself. And some of us have learned a distrust in our own singing voices, having gotten the message at some point that if we didn’t sound ‘good’ or melodic, then we shouldn’t sing at all.
In our MoonSong circle, we have a time set aside for individual SpiritSinging, where women stand alone in the center and allow an intuitive toning or song to simply come through. And whether we are in the center for just a moment or two, or whether it is for several minutes, stepping into that center can feel like a very vulnerable place.
In MoonSong, we practice deep listening, and form a circle of compassion around each woman who steps into the center. Still, the ‘exposure’ felt in offering one’s raw, naked voice can be profound. Shaky, uncertain and wobbly, we stand and with courage open our throats to whatever comes through, letting go of control or even attempting in any way to have it ‘sound beautiful’.
And yet, in that vibration of uncertainty – as we listen tentatively for what spirit, song, feeling may be coming in, as we wonder whether anything will actually show up or not – in that wobble that we are able to catch a current. We feel into the larger rhythm, the waves of life. And then we find that place that a sound can ride.
And without judgment, without ‘performance’, and in the raw exposure of self, spirit finds its voice.
The witnessing of this energized embodied voice is a powerful moment. It is real and visceral,
healing and deep. For me as a facilitator, it is a humbling moment, when all my doubts about why I do what I do fall away.
The Song is bigger than the singer. It’s bigger than me, or any one of us. It’s bigger than all of us combined.
Women stand in the circle with eyes wet with that opening, hearts cracked open in relief. What we offer in our songs extends out much further than the skin of our bodies can hold.