Guest Author - Lauren D´Silva
I recently invited Jules Heavens, the Soundweaver, to facilitate her Singing the Bones workshop with some of my students. She arrived with a car full of huge gongs and an array of other fascinating looking instruments.
Whilst Jules set up ably assisted by my partner and my children I went to run some errands. I returned to hear amazing shimmering music reverberating from the house. I knew we were in for a magical day then.
As I stepped through the door I was surprised to find that it wasn’t Jules playing, it was my 11 year old son, who had never touched a gong before! Jules was astounded too. She said she’d never met anyone who’d taken to the gongs with such confidence and so naturally. She assured me that to get the sounds he’d been making usually took months of practice. I took my children off to spend the day with their father and my son enthused about the gongs and declared he wanted one for Christmas!
Once happy that the room was ready (it felt and looked beautiful) Jules joined us all for a cup of tea before we started. The evening before I’d completed the third of a trio of past life clearings that I‘d been guided to work through. This last life had been by far the most traumatic and was emotionally distressing to look at. I’d wondered whether I should wait until after the Sound workshop, but felt that I needed to get it done and allow the sound to clear some of the negative emotions it released.
I warned Jules I might be a bit more emotional than usual. She told us that it was interesting that I and many others had been led to do deep levels of clearing in the first few months of 2009 as there had been important astrological alignments that were ushering in the Age of Aquarius. She’d been told that the previous day, 14th February 2009, the alignment in my own sign of Aquarius was just as sung in the hit 70s musical Hair and that this was seen as significant by astrologers.
“When the Moon is in its seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars”
We went into the teaching space and sat around in a circle on the floor. Jules passed around her talking stick and asked us to introduce ourselves and say why we were present and what we hoped to gain from the day. It was good to hear that I wasn’t the only one there who’d been told that ‘I couldn’t sing’. I actually love using my voice and feel strong and confident using mantra, but I’ve always felt uncomfortable singing in a group. At weddings and funerals I’m the one just mouthing the words and feeling a bit ridiculous!
Jules explained that the scale of music that we use in the West is only one scale and that not everyone’s voice suits it. She demonstrated an older Celtic scale that felt far more familiar and welcoming to me. Jules comes from a standpoint that everyone can sing and that expressing your voice through song is freeing. All that is needed is for the person to find their own range, rather than trying to fit in with everyone else.
Over the day we were led through a variety of exercises. One of the first involved using sound and movement as paired work and I teamed up with my partner. Fortunately we went into another room to do this as we dissolved into fits of giggles, which I think was a welcome release of the heaviness of the past life. When we returned we saw the others doing the exercise beautifully.
Jules taught us a set of sounds and movements to go with the chakras. These are different from the seed sounds I teach and I liked combining the sounds and actions. I was a little alarmed because the sounds ascended the scale as we moved upwards through the chakras, feeling, “I can’t sing that high,” and then I found that I could, which was amazing!
Later we worked on singing our names. This felt intensely liberating and I used my magical name as it felt right within this trusted group. It was interesting that our songs all started off a little weak or shaky, but grew in strength as we worked on them. This was an exercise that brought lots of tears to some of us as we let go of old blocks and began to call our power back.
At the end of our day we were invited to simply lie back in a gong bath. As Jules played her gongs and bowls we were treated to a complete immersion in sound and it felt as though we were literally being washed by the vibrations. I could have lain there for hours!
You can contact Jules Heavens through her site. She trained with author of Your Naked Voice, Chloe Goodchild amongst others. Many of the exercises of our day are covered in this excellent audio guide and if you like the sound of this (pun intended) and can’t see Jules or Chloe in person then I highly recommend you get hold of it.