Welcome to

incantations

week 1: eclipsing

by the grace of our beloved blue moon

the breath & the tone


Homework - week 1. 

Journal prompt: Consider your happiness threshold. How much happiness do you allow yourself, on a subtle relational level? Are your thoughts about others making you happy? Are your thoughts about yourself actually serving your growth or are they just dragging you down? Consider how much joy you are allowing yourself on a practical level. Are you suppressing long-lost grief because of societal pressures? What are your reasons or excuses for keeping these "stink" thoughts? Are you honoring yourself? Protecting? Hiding? 

Throughout the next week, in the morning, journal about the little things you can do that day to up your level of balance, empathy, joy, and friendship. Notice how your thoughts that day serve your practice to be your "greatest sorcerer's self."

By the end of class today, you will have the tools to create an enchanting mantra to incite ruthless evaluation and disciplined action towards your "greatest sorcerer's self". Say the mantra daily after your journal entry!

week 1 - Lesson 1.

Electric Fire technique

Expand lung capacity & become a clear conduit


An advanced practice for Highest Yoga Tantra initiates.

This ancient Tibetan breathing technique from Vajrayana Buddhism, Tummo (feminine courage), is found in the last of the Six Yogas of Naropa. The practice embodies the fierce goddess - going within with the electric-fire of lightning in the heart. This technique builds inner-fire by building the electrical charge in the body.

You'll enjoy longer durations of meditative states, an awakening of the subtle energy body, increased endurance, mood elevation, increased control of adrenal responses, balanced pH levels in the body, and countless other benefits.

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Poetic theory: Electricity connects to the clearest conduit, the tallest tree, a lightning rod, an enlightened being. When we increase our electric charge and practice compassion for all things, we become a clear conduit, making us more attractive to the electricity in other people's hearts, as well as distant lightning storms, birds, dragonflies, etc. Practice this technique to become a powerfully influential and intuitive sorcerer. 

This light version is just an introduction to the profound power of the electric fire.

For more in-depth instruction, sign up for private coaching.

 


1. BREATH

Inhale fully (100%) for 35-55 sequential breaths. When you exhale, just release naturally (don't push the air out all the way out). The idea is to create friction within your core, like a bellows blowing a flame in your sacrum. You may feel dizzy or experience muscle contractions in your mouth and hands. You may feel tingles. It's all O.K. Witness the energy bursting through your body like a dragon. Witness the sensations in your body. As you breathe, try to keep your shoulders relaxed while stretching your chest and upper belly muscles.

With practice, you can eventually make the breath circular:

People with vaginas: Imagine the breath entering through your cunt with passionate sweetness as you flex your perineum, locking the passion into your inner fire and adding to the friction... then imagine the breath exiting out through your heart in a passionate release.

People with penises: Imagine the breath entering through your heart with passionate sweetness as you flex your perineum, locking the passion into your inner fire and adding to the friction... then imagine the breath exiting out through your cock in a passionate release.

2. WITNESS THE VOID

After you last "quick breath," exhale naturally and just wait, without inhaling. Witness. Don't force it, just relax all your muscles. Witness the void of your body without inhaling. You might explore timing yourself to see how long it takes before your next necessary inhale. Recording retention times gives you a map of your progress. You'll find, with practice, your retention times effortlessly get longer and longer. The wisdom of Shunyata (emptiness) is called into the hollow space of breathlessness as you simply witness.

Alternative Brahmavihara practice: 

Add more relaxation to your body and increase your retention times by adding the practice of the four jewels. Center your attention on your heart and hold another being in your field of awareness. Allow your heart to soften with passionate sweetness as you consider the being in light of the four jewels:

Loving-kindness (Pāli: mettā, Sanskrit: maitrī) is active goodwill towards all;

Compassion (Pāli and Sanskrit: karuṇā) results from metta, it is identifying the suffering of others as one's own;

Empathetic joy (Pāli and Sanskrit: muditā): is the feeling of joy because others are happy, even if one did not contribute to it, it is a form of sympathetic joy;

Equanimity (Pāli: upekkhā, Sanskrit: upekṣā): is even-mindedness and serenity, treating everyone impartially.

When we dedicate our heart practice to others (including adversaries), we call in wisdom and heal negative karma. Adding this heart practice is valuable to increasing your inner-fire and recalibrating the nervous system.

3. BLISSFUL INHALE

When you are ready to breathe again, inhale fully and hold for as long as the fire feels healthy - do not allow yourself to become too dizzy before exhaling. Witness the electric fire like two snaking dragons, or electric fountains, climbing up from your sacrum, into your gut, up through your heart, into your throat, through your third eye and out through your crown.

Advanced practice: 

When the electric fire snakes out through your crown, imagine that a legion of guides, guardians, divine beings, Buddhas... imagine them exploding with joy for your success, their blissful love raining down above your head. The nectar of their bliss drips down into a flowing fountain that snakes like two dragons down through your crown and into your body. Witness your body as the divine vessel for the two dragon energies.

4.  REAL-IT-IN EXHALE

When you are ready to exhale, imagine your exhaling breath zips your energetic body closed, drawing your expansive spirit body back in from your crown down to your roots. When the dragons do their work, our energetic body becomes very expansive. Practice reeling it back in at the end of each round.

4. REPEAT

Repeat this process (steps 1, 2 & 3) two additional times. For best results, do three rounds each morning when you wake up. Practice on an empty stomach when possible.

WARNINGS: Do not do this while swimming, underwater, in a shower, or anyplace where suffocation could happen. Do not do this while driving. You'll feel lightheaded and dizzy. Do this at your own risk. 


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Week 1 - lesson 2.

Warm-Ups

Rousing the phoenix


After the inner-fire meditation, our body is smoldering with an electrical charge that begs to ascend into a thunderhead. The voice is your phoenix, the catalyst. It rises up from your charged core into your burning heart. As we lift our voices, our tongues lick the heavens with the flames of our heart song.

The phoenix sleeps hard and heavy. It must be roused from its slumber by gently prodding its true beastly will. Don't force it. Honor it by allowing it to relax and wake slowly.


This technique is a great warm-up before vocal performances, incantation rituals, public speaking, and meeting the day. If you struggle with "stuck voice," keep practice this ritual before you leave your bed each morning.

  • Give yourself a stretch and a squeal.
  • Explore sounding your voice high and low with multiple yawns. Give each yawn your full presence and witness how it pleases your voice to express in high and low yawns and squeaky stretches.
  • As you stretch, sound the feelings of resistance. If you feel like grunting or squeaking like a rusty hinge, do it!

 

Sound what feels good. This wakes up the voice and honors the nature of your inner beast. Notice, when you relax into stretching and yawning, your voice can swing higher, lower and louder than you might expect. Practice throughout the day whenever you feel inspired to wake your voice and play with your range.

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Prepare to take notes. As we review each vocal technique and style, create a single character or shape to represent each technique. Your character may be simple like a triangle, wavy line, double line or figure 8, or more complicated like a Japanese artist's seal. Make it something you can easily remember for future association. We'll use your character later when designing a sigil.

week 1 - Lesson 3.

Cultural Flava's

gritos mexicanos

The goal of a grito is to express joy and excitement with a nod to laughter. The first sound is typically held as long as possible, leaving enough breath for a trailing set of laughing sounds.

Pretend like you've just had a shot of tequila. Holler the "Ah ha ha ha hayi" sound, as though you're laughing, but sustain the first note. 


Ululations

Ululations are conducted much like the word sounds, "ULULULULULULiiiiii!" Articulate the phrase as quickly as possible, as loudly and as high in pitch as possible. Ululations are used in Balkan and Middle-Eastern flourishes. 

Trills and Meends

Trills are similar to an ululation, but without the consonant sound and more like a quick shake of a single note or rapid alternation to the note above. Pretend like you're a goat. Say "Ba ah ah ah ah." Try running through the vowels as a goat and explore pitch. Trills were very popular in England around the late 1800s. Think Snow White, singing over the wishing well, or Tony Tim singing Daisy Bell.  We also hear trills in old American blues music, classic Mongolian music, and Indian Music.

In Indian, Alankaar vocal ornamentations, a sliding undulation between two consecutive notes is known as a meend.

Runs & mordents

Runs are a sequence of notes sung quickly, often without lyrics, to play the part of a musical instrument. Runs are a hallmark of R&B and jazz music.  In esoteric, tribal musical stylings, mordents and runs were often used in the absence of musical instruments. 

Vibrato

Simply, an oscillation in pitch. Vibrato is a common vocal flourish that became very popular in American jazz as a derivation and culture counter to the English trill. Its slightly slower in pace. Today, it's a common flourish, pervasive in American jazz, R&B, Middle-Eastern and Celtic vocal stylings. Start with a "ya ya ya ya" and make it faster, and/or subtle, using the back of your throat to make the sound, rather than the front portion that makes the Y. Some people find success by nodding their head "Yes" to drill the technique. 


Yodels

If you haven't been able to yodel, try pretending like you're Scooby Doo, moving from the lower diaphragm (chest voice) to the upper part of the throat (falsetto). Or try moaning like your Mom just gave you a bunch of chores, sighing down in pitch, "Oh Mama!"

Just to relax into the high parts, let out a YEHAW, like a true Texan. Repeat: "Oh Dee Oh - Dee I Dee Ay - Hay - Yay Yodel oh Ho Dee...." (Smile on the Dee) to hit the note easier. 

Yodels are not just inherent in Country and Western music. They're also very common in Flamenco music to emphasize extreme passion and heartache. And in Bavarian music, yodels were used to call to fellow sheep herders across mountainsides. Low yet loud chest voice compels the higher pitch to project further, maximizing volume.


Jazz & POP ornamentation

In American jazz, we get lots of sliding - Good Morning Heart Ache. The human voice is one of a very few "instruments" that can achieve an actual "glissandi" slide, in addition to the trombone and saw.  In Be-bob we accent offbeat, achieving a jazzy cadence. 

In Pop and R&B ornamentation, we practice runs - flourishes of extra notes. As opposed to jazz, pop uses less sliding and more exaggerated punch on the notes, giving it the poppy feel. 

Week 1 - Lesson 4.

Tonal Magic

Sounds literally make geometric shapes. Similarly, our words influence the shape of our world by charming perception and planting thought-seeds to take form. For thousands of years, the Vedas were sung because ideas are easily remembered through melodic rhyming. Rhymes create less room for recollection error. A rhymed melody can violate one's daily life by arresting the mind with euphonic patterns. We can disrupt patterns in our own daily lives by creating catchy limericks that influence our subconscious to align with our conscious will. Consider using a rhyme when you create your "greatest sorcerer's self" mantra.

The holographic sound in our heads can induce deep states of hypnosis. We each have our own path to tonal magic. Let yourself be moved by the following techniques.


3-01.

Anatomical influence

Chest voice / full voice

This is the conversational voice we use when we're doing things like ordering a drink at a noisy bar or cheerleading. Usually, we are just projecting or yelling but we can yell in a key.  When they say, use your diaphragm, they mean, "Use your full-voice."

Falsetto / Head Voice

Falsetto or head voice is sung using the upper part of the voice before the lower larynx is engaged. When we sing our gritos, bee-gees style, or ye-haws, we are using head voice or Falsetto. Falsetto can easily achieve the higher notes while singing softly, whereas the chest voice would have to amplify to achieve the same high note as a falsetto voice. 

volume for control

Every person has a threshold where the voice shifts from full to high. You can move the threshold by changing your volume and shifting the shape of your soft palette. Volume profoundly affects the way the voice moves between falsetto and full voice. Skilled singers train in the space between full voice and falsetto, using volume to shift pitch and mood.

Folks who have trouble hitting low notes may rely on a soft chest voice to achieve their goals. Alternatively, people who have trouble hitting high notes may increase the volume of their chest voice to hit the highs. 

Try hitting really high notes with a softer Falsetto. Or really low notes with a softer chest voice.

Now flip it and explore the difference.

Try hitting really high notes with a louder Falsetto. Or really low notes with a louder chest voice.


lavish Nasal Stylings

The soft pallet is the back of the lower part of the mouth, where the tongue descends into the throat. You can sing with the muscle in the soft pallet spread wide to create a nasally sound. Explore singing with the wide soft pallet to achieve the sound of a disgruntled Popeye. It is more challenging to sing falsetto (head voice) with this style, however, once you've figured out how to achieve falsetto in this style, you can easily hit very high notes like female Indian singers or cartoon Popeyes. Pretend like you're a Japanese school-girl and laugh maniacally.  Famous singers who use this style include Stevie Nicks, Buddy Holly, and the munchkins. 

Jeweled Throat Stylings

Some folks don't like their nasally sound and want a richer, more rounded tone, like Kermit the Frog. Notice how your soft palette changes shape from a wider, more flattened shape in your throat (nasally) to a more hollow, round, and vertical shape (throaty). The throat is more closed off from the middle and top (where it reaches your nose). This shape prevents a nasally sound. Famous singers who use this style include Billy Holliday, Duke Ellington, Kermit, and Feist.

If you have trouble eliminating the nasal quality from your tone, pretend you're an Emu. "Gu, Gu, Gu, Gu," make the "G" clearer to bring consciousness to the nasal-region. Explore shifting pitch using the "G" consonant.  Notice how the soft pallet relaxes when the lower-back part of the tongue makes the G sound. But don't be afraid to deliberately embrace the nasal styling to inhabit key archetypes and channel valuable energies!

Overtone Hypnosis

Choose a fundamental note using your chest voice - try switching slowly from O to E and practice in either an enclosed space or a space with white noise so you can hear yourself better because the overtones are harder to hear from your own head and easier for others to hear. 

Eventually, with practice, you may learn to isolate the movement to just the back of the tongue (without moving your lips). O to the E sound creates a subtle harmonic of the fundamental note.

Holographic sound magic

When we strike a pure note from a singing bowl or tuning fork and we sing in proximity, additional harmonics will naturally unfold. Each note literally makes a geometric shape in space.  These shapes are the foundation shapes of ancient mandalas. 

When we combine a perfect pitch shape from our voice with the perfect pitch tone of a singing bowl, the pairing shapes create harmonics that refract between your voice/head and the bowl. Practice toning different notes with your singing bowl and notice the additional harmonies shifting through your periphery. We call this holographic sound.

The ancients divined wisdom and prophesy by receiving guidance from other-worldly beings through these holographic sound portals.

a note on Cymatics

Sound waves actually make geometric shapes that correspond to Yantras and mandalas. If you are inspired by sacred geometry, it is recommended that you research the physics behind sound and let yourself be moved by the implications.

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