By Paul Robear
The Singing Shaman is a celebration posture, and does so much more, it celebrates life and the cosmos in stunning ways. We often choose to come together in this posture when we want to celebrate, in a ceremonious way, and connect with the ancestors, the spirits, on a cosmic scale. For those of us lucky enough to have regular contact with a group of singers or a group of friends we can howl with, the pleasure of this posture can well be imagined. The physiological changes that accompany giving voice in a group provide refreshment and renewal of Spirit. The oldest representations of this posture are the 5,000 year old sculptures from the Cyclades Islands in Greece. Many more are found in Melanesia, New Guinea, Alaska, and Central America.
We can also see this posture, in part, when we are so moved by rapturous emotion we bring both fists to our heart. Notice how the men in a classic Barbershop Quartets grasp their lapels as they sing in harmony. Those who trace the body’s energy channels and meridians point to the little fingers as having a direct relation to the heart. If we had the eyes to see the activation of energy, it may show us how vocalizing in this posture opens the energetic channels, and revs up the flow. We find that certainly in the reports and journal notes from this posture.
STAND with feet parallel and pointed forward, shoulder-width apart.
KNEES: Loose and slightly bent
BOTH HANDS: Roll into loose fists and place on center of upper chest at the sternum/breast bone. Little fingers touch at the base of a V and place thumbs alongside index finger.
ARMS: Folded arms rest against torso
HEAD: Tilt head back slightly and close eyes
MOUTH: Open mouth with relaxed jaw
VOCALIZE: The head drops sightly back, mouth open and make the “aaaahhhh” sound when the rattling starts, allowing any sounds to occur but not forcing them. there are no rules for sounding in this posture. Usually after beginning with “ahhh” sound, voices begin to take their own shape, from harmonious and everyplace in between.. Tone throughout rattling or drumming. Start with “aaahhh” and allow what changes in vocalizations occur without effort.