Light your candle and place it before you to consecrate your space for practicing magic.
Electric Fire technique
Expand lung capacity & become a clear conduit
This ancient Tibetan breathing technique is the last of the Six Yogas of Naropa. It honors the fierce female deity, Kali. Tummo literally translates to Tum (Courage) and (Mo) the feminine. This technique builds inner-fire by building the electrical charge in the body.
You'll enjoy longer durations of meditative states, deeper breath for longer vocal notes, increased endurance, mood elevation, increased control of adrenal responses, higher body pH levels, and countless other benefits.
Poetic theory: Electricity connects to the clearest conduit, the tallest tree, a lightning rod, an enlightened person. When we increase our electric charge and practice compassion for all beings, we become a clearer conduit, making us more attractive to the electricity abound: other people's hearts, distant lightning storms, birds, dragon flies, etc. Practice this technique to become a powerfully influential sorcerer.
This is the light version. To learn more, sign up for private coaching.
Inhale fully (100%) for 35 sequential breaths. When you exhale, just release to about 30% (don't push out all the way out). You may feel dizzy or experience muscle contractions and tingles. It's all O.K. Focus on the energy, following it through the sensations in your body. As you breath, try to keep your shoulders relaxed while stretching your chest and upper belly muscles. Make the breath circular. Use a mudra, index finger to thumb, to help capacitate the charge.
People with vaginas: imagine the breath entering through your vagina and exiting through your heart.
People with penises: image the breath entering through your heart and exiting through your penis.
Everyone: Allow your perineum (root muscle) to flex and lock on the inhale and allow your exhales to be gentle and sensual.
If your throat feels chapped from the breathing, slurp the air in through your whistle shaped lips and exhale with the back of your throat somewhat closed off, as if you were fogging a pane of glass.
After you 35th breath, exhale naturally and wait. Notice the effects of the oxygen alkalizing your body. Notice the thoughts you have as you scan the electricity coursing through your body. The goal here is to stay as relaxed as possible. You can increase your soft relaxation by imagining a ball of white light in your heart, expanding out to envelope your friends, lovers, adversaries, and strangers with loving kindness and equanimity.
You might explore timing yourself to see how long it takes before for you need to inhale. Recording retention times gives you a map of your progress. You'll find, with practice, your retention times effortlessly grow longer and longer.
3. Final hold
When you finally need to breath, inhale fully and hold on the inhale. You'll feel the fire. With practice you can draw the fire up from your root, into your belly, up into your heart, through your vocal chords and out through your third eye and crown. The fire is like a flaming dragon that likes to slither up and around. You may notice tension: muscles that have been tight for years. The dragon's fire may smooth or spasm then relax these muscles. It's all O.K. Don't force your holds too much. Don't pass out!
Release and breath normally. Witness the effects of the practice on your body and mind.
Repeat this process two more times. (Steps 1, 2 and 3) For best results, do three rounds each morning when you wake up. Practice on an empty stomach when possible.
WARNINGS: Do not practice under water, in a shower, or anyplace where suffocation could happen. Do not practice while driving. You may feel lightheaded and dizzy. Practice at your own risk.
Rousing the phoenix
After the inner-fire meditation, our body is smoldering with 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.
techniques and archetypes
mimic the moon
Our non-dual reality begs the conversation about the vast and varied characters that color our lives. These characters infiltrate our subconscious mind, absconding our psyche in dream-like states. Careful observation and mimicry of archetypal expression helps to bring our sub conscious desires into the light of consciousness. As we grow more keen to identifying the key vocal expressions of the characters in our lives, we gain a better understanding of how these spirits influence our subconscious. We discover the patterns in their inflection, the vulnerability in their dissonant tones, the authenticity in their vocal posturing. We discover the subtle dramas of each teacher as they offer lessons of the archetype.
Take out your note pad. As we review each vocal technique, create a single character to represent each flourish. It can be as simple as a triangle, wavy line, double line or figure 8. Make it something you can easily remember for the association. We'll use your character later when designing a sigil.
and spiritual chocolate
Time to pretend! Time to channel. You are no longer you. You are an empty vessel. You don't have to worry about anyone judging you because you are no longer you. Some of the most powerful performers, wizards and vocalists in the world fake it till they make it. Even Beyoncé uses this technique - she's actually Sasha on stage. The great Lamas of Tibet encourage inhabiting the spirit of an enlightened being as a first step to becoming enlightened. So this is kinda like, "What Would Jesus Do?" except we're going cheese-balls and fiddlesticks with the art of "Hamming it Up."
You are now a Bee Gees Brother
Sing out a "Hee, Hee." Keep it soft, breathy, light. Give it that silky, Velveeta cheese disco charm. Run through the vowels (long and soft) and feel that sweet spot tickle your fancy. Keep it real cheesy. Explore descending in pitch, starting soft and high moving down to loud and low. Notice how the play of cheesy channeling mitigates the tension of hitting those high notes.
Watch Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon play to this style on SNL.
the world just got really nasty
Let out a bewildered "EEEEW!" Give it a more pronounced swing, like you're really offended. Now try it Bee Gees style.
You're now in the mood to make love and you've got a gold tooth and bed of roses to prove it. Go down, real low down, slow and soft. Let out an "OOOH" and an "Ahhh". Keep it Velvety. Keep it Velveeta.
You're now a bag of popcorn
Make your voice raspy. So raspy that it grates on a single pop, one or two at a time, kinda like the ghost from the movie, The Ring. Now speed it up, moving from the nasty low, up to the cheesy high, "eee-hee." Explore starting a phrase with this rasp to heighten the nastiness of the funk. Explore singing, "I'm gunna love you right." using the Popcorn technique.
Think of a thing that needs to change in the world. Sing, "We got to..." and end everything you say with a breathy "ah", like an Evangelist preacher. "We got to cast some Magic Spells... AH!"
Add emphasis to the verb in volume, pitch, duration, and diction. If the phrase is particularly long, explore racing through the first portion until you reach the verb. "We got to summon up the spirit of the ever loving Holy rollin' lightning lover and CAST some Spells... Ah!" Then add a subtle pregnant pause before finishing out the sentence slowly, deliberately, with spiritual chocolate conviction..ah. "We got to summon up the spirit of the ever loving Holy rollin' lightning lover and CAST some spells... Ah... (pause) so we can save (Pause) our blessed sacred heart..Ah!"
Try it while squinting an eye or shaking your head subtly with passion. Notice how adding strategic pause draws emphasis to the words, like a tease and release.
Now you have the key components of the Sexual Cheese archetype.
Think of a unique magical gift that you, as yourself, possess or hope to possess. "I've got the power..." Sing through that sentence with sexual cheese and spiritual chocolate. Start the phrase with the raspy pop-corn voice. Add particular emphasis to the verbs. Swing that pitch up to emphasize that power.ah. Then bring down to a delicious ending.
When you sing it again and again to a point where you're really having fun with it, capture that genie in a bottle. Pull out your voice-memo app on your phone (or any recording device) and record yourself singing your power phrase in the Sexual Cheese and Spiritual Chocolate Style. If you are inspired, share it to the Incantations Facebook group so everyone can be inspired by how silly and playful you are as you claim your power.
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 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, an sliding undulation between two consecutive notes is known as a meend.
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, its 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 ore 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.
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 heart ache. And in Bavarian music, yodels were used to call to fellow sheep herders across mountain sides. The counter of the low 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 off beat, 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.
Sound literally makes 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. With rhymes, theres 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. 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.
Chest voice or full voice
This is the conversational voice we use when we're doing things like ordering a drink at a bar. Usually we are yelling but we can also speak or sing from this part of our voices. When people say, "use your diaphragm," this is what they mean. Folks who have trouble hitting low notes or feeling heard in a loud room can rely on chest voice to project the sound when the pitch is lower.
Falsetto or 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.
Skilled singers train in the space between full voice and falsetto, exploring volume to shift up pitch and mood. Try hitting really high notes with a softer Falsetto. Play with the effects of volume on the two spaces. Yodel and yawn!
lavish Nasal Stylings
The soft pallet is the back of the lower part of the mouth, where the tongue descends into the throat. Many people sing with the muscle in the soft pallet spread wide which creates the nasally sound. Explore singing with the active 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 guttural tone, like Kermit the Frog. Notice how your soft palette changes shape from being more flattened in your throat (nasally) to more hollow, vertical shape (throaty). The throat is more closed off from the middle and top. Famous singers who use this style include Billy Holliday, Duke Ellington and Feist.
If you have trouble eliminating the nasally quality from your tone, pretend you're an Emu. "Gu, Gu, Gu, Gu," make the "G" clearer to take it out of 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.
Overtone Hypnosis & Holographic sound
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 you'll isolate the movement to just the back of the tongue. O to the E sound creates a subtle harmonic of the fundamental note.
When we add the pure note from a singing bowl or tuning fork and we sing in proximity, additional harmonics will naturally unfold. Practice toning different notes with your singing bowl and notice the additional harmonies shifting place around your skull. We call this holographic sound.
a note on Cymatics
Sound waves actually make geometric shapes that correspond to Yantras and mandalas. It is strongly recommended that you research the physics behind sound and let yourself be moved by the implications.
honoring the beast
euphony in tongues
Take the melody for Happy Birthday. Sing it slowly, in as many fake languages as you can possibly imagine. Enjoy exploring the accents, pace, volume, ornamentations and most importantly, meaning. Notice how the removal of our native language tends to free the intention up for more authentic vocal resonance. The words tend to sound better in our own natural and we genuinely express the feeling behind happy birthday. This is because its coming from a place of more creative freedom.
your clearest channel for the medium
What a boring world it would be if we all charmed the heavens in the same way? Our choirs would all sound beige. Consider that your perspective, your angle, your style, is the most conductive medium for electric connection you could hope for.
“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life's cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
Oh blessed imitation! While a large portion of this course will focus on mimicry and imitation, our ultimate end is supreme reverence for the divine beast within. Shamelessly releasing this beast in vulnerable sound will consecrate our truest will in a marriage with our true nature. Here, we'll explore a handful of enchantment styles. As we review each style, notice the sensations in your body. Let yourself be moved by the style that is most haunting to your soul.
embellished melodies, flourished accents, styling of the ages
Examples: Ella Fitzgerald, Mike Patton, Grace Slick, Leon Redbone, Bessie Smith
The vocalist is a master of their inherent instrument. Rich melodic prowess, intricate embellishments, flourished accents and timeless styling of the ages are all hallmarks of the vocalist's enchantment style. They spend much of their magic crafting time drilling pitch and refining technique, inducing rich states of hypnosis in the kaleidoscopic charm of tone, refracting holographic around the skull.
This enchantment technique is particularly effective when working with individuals with PTSD, autism or Aspergers or people who are easily over-stimulated. Hypnotic repetition provides a grounding framework that calms an over-active nervous system. If you're enchantment style is the performer, focus intently on training, drilling, recording and editing your own vocals and consider private coaching.
Possessed by charisma, potent with conviction
Examples: Axel Rose, Madonna, David Bowie, Prince, Eartha Kitt
The Performer has a clear understanding of the power of their conviction. They mean what they say. Importance is placed on being moved by their spirit, riled to the heavens. Communicating the heart of the message is more important than the quality of the sound. They fill their space with presence and pizazz. Endurance training is a primary focus, supporting wild, unabashed spirits as they are channeled to connect.
This enchantment style powerfully captivates large crowds and diverse parties. The power of the Performer's stage presence ensnares dulled-senses and easily distracted audiences. Great for festivals, bacchanals and protest rallies. The performer is keenly aware of the space they do not inhabit. They master the art of the tease.
There are two types of performers to review:
- Poised - These Performers work with choreography often. They build on their pregnant pauses and engage the crowds head on with calculated movements and strategic connection and tease. Think, Madonna's hand gestures, Eartha Kitt's eye contact, Bowie's stoic gaze.
- Impassioned - These Performers get so caught up in the spirit of their conviction, they refuse to control the demon's effects on their body. You can tell these performers by their uncivilized flailing and involuntary bodily reactions. See Elvis' rogue leg, Axel Rose's undulation, Prince's head shakes.
If you're most inspired by this performance style, train your endurance by singing while riding bikes, treading water or hiking. Instructing vinyasa yoga classes will train your voice to maintain composure in odd positions. For more in-depth performance art training, consider private coaching.
poetic journeys, reflective ballads, articulate discourse
Examples: Salt-N-Peppa, Leonard Cohen, Fairport Convention, Mc Frontalot, Lilly Allen
Storytellers draw attention to the story over themselves as performers, focusing on phrasing and inflection and character accents. Stories almost always enchant via conflict, analogies and sensory engagement. Lyrics paint sensual experiences in theatric poetry. This is the oldest form of vocal enchantment. For thousands of years, the Hindu and Indus cultures passed down their sacred Vedic stories in song before the ballads were documented in Sanskrit. Ballads are a hallmark of American folk music, bypassing illiteracy and informing slaves and immigrants of their family histories. Now, the hip-hop movement builds on Storytelling more than any other genre. Wit and poetic prowess are essential to powerful storytelling.
Storytelling is a prime enchantment for education and attentive audiences with a keen ear for cadence and flow. Listening rooms, speak-easies, hip-hop jams, class rooms, and campfires are appropriate venues for the Storyteller. Folks most inspired by this performance style should focus on phrasing, freestyle poetry, arrangement and songwriting skills. For more in-depth Storytelling training, consider private coaching.
Strategic dissonance, Precise theory, Percussive diction
Examples: Rahzel, Andrew Bird, Azam Ali, Sting, Ruben Van Rompaey, Cab Calloway
The Musician builds on the vast and varied sounds that emanate from the face and body. Indian Bol singers capture the sounds of the tabla in phrases like "Tickety" and "Rim" to mimic the sound of the drums. Beat Boxers mimic 808 kits, record scratches, and DJ effects to embellish their enchantments. Ultimate the sounds emanating from the Musician occur as inhuman. There is yet another type of Musician in the context of vocal chaos magic.
The alternate vocal Musician builds on music theory to convey a cultural style that may traditionally be conveyed by actual musical instruments. We see this in jazz singers who mimic complex sax melodies with vocal "skat, du-dat" sounds. East Indian vocalists use embellishments to mimic the Sitar and other instruments. Most Indian music is modal, with a single melodic line and no harmonic parts. The modes are called raga, and each raga is a complicated framework of melodic rules.
This highly hypnotic enchantment often relays as inhuman. It's best employed to enhance meditations and yogic practices and fascinate communion with elements. Witnessing a Vocal Musician's call-and-response with an actual musician is awesome. Classic Go-Go form: entice crowd engagement by calling vocal embellishments and inviting the crowd to repeat in unison, a la Cab Calloway.
When we deliberately observe and inhabit our archetypes, they are exalted and brought into balance. When we give our broken, missing, and dangerous archetypes a platform for expression, they are less likely to create out of turn. For instance, when we cast a magic spell, if we are unconsciously rejecting a part of ourself that deeply needs to be expressed, that archetype's creation is likely to dominate our spell. If you are getting "bad" results in magic, its likely that one of your key archetypes needs compassion and a constructive platform for expression.
These abandoned inner-archetypes are a lot like sideshow freaks. They don't fit in, but they exist for a very important reason. If we can get to a place of embracing these broken and abandoned inner-freaks, we can bring them into balance.
Introducing the Freak-Charmer Method
According to Carolyn Myss, we create through twelve primary archetypes. Four of the twelve are common among everyone: Child, Victim, Saboteur, and Prostitute. The remaining eight are discovered through rich inner work.
Take some time to create a gesture or hand movement that exemplifies one of your twelve common archetypes. Think of a short rhyme, a jingle to represent your chosen archetype. Compose the jingle as if the archetype is actually moving through your life. For instance, the prostitute might traditionally sing something like,"If you want to buy my wares, follow me and climb the stairs." But in your life, the prostitute might say something like, "I'll work all night with the corner office in my sight." His/Her voice may be slinky and sly and raspy from too many cigars or blow-jobs. Give your archetype's voice color with accent, tone, pitch, dissonance and pause. Think about what makes them sad, joyous, belonging. Dwell on their hidden motivations and create a sound from that motivation. Allow yourself to be moved by this archetype.
What would they want to sing and rhyme to make sure it gets stuck in your head everyday? What needs to be remembered? What kind of freak-show does your archetype need to perform?
Knights of the round table
Now you'll choose 8 more archetypes that you feel have been with you throughout your life, good and bad. Read the list aloud. The most resonant archetypes will stand out visually. They'll stand out in your voice. While some may seem negative, you decide what negative really means.
An Abridged list of Archetypes
Of your chosen eight, choose the archetype you have the most negative or shameful feelings about. Take a few more breaths using the electric fire technique, focusing on giving this Archetype your full attention. Ask your heart what this archetype most needs to express.
the blessing & invocation
Return to the page in your book where you made your characters. Take nine electric fire breaths, focusing your intention on the archetype that you feel needs the most love. On the last exhale, sound out from the part of yourself that needs the love.
Let that part make any sound it needs in order to feel deeply and thoroughly heard by the rest of you. Create a phrase or lyric, complete with flourishes that resound exactly what the archetype needs for authentic expression. Use your tongues language. Let the beast sound naturally. When you settle on a phrase, repeat it again and again, exploring flourishes or pauses that give the phrase more and more authenticity and vulnerability. Imagine you are sounding to a sentient lightning storm that will strike when you sound most authentically.
Write your phrase down. You can use the english alphabet or your own alphabet. Use the characters you created to articulate the flourishes. Continue sounding the phrase as you write. Write the phrase again, but this time, cut out all characters that feel excessive, leaving only the shapes that feel most true to the expression. Repeat again and again, refining your shapes.
Finally, write the shapes and characters on top of one another, making sure to give each line the space it needs to communicate your conviction as you sound. Simplify or embellish as needed.
When you feel you've created a sigil that fully expresses your Archetype's most authentic expression, hold it to your heart and breath. Your sigil will act as satellite for all the love you may recieve.
Becoming the storm
Place your sigil in the center of the room. Take nine electric fire breaths. The electricity is building into a thunderstorm in your heart. Your voice is the phoenix, thunderbird, building energy as you focus on the reverence and gratitude you keep for everything you may love and grieve. When you make your next sound, sound with all the love you have to give. Join hands. Gaze at the sigils in the center of the circle. Sound again, with all the love you keep.
Return to your spot in front of your candle. Take a bow to honor yourself and the courageous work you've done. Take a bow to honor your fellow tribe members. Take a bow to honor the universe's natural tendency to support your compassionate magic. Blow out the candle.