By Zacciah Blackburn

By Zacciah Blackburn

Historically, sound has been used as a point of focus and invocation in meditation, prayer, healing, and ritual throughout the world. As with so much that is mystical, our culture has lost touch with the nature of sound as a healing vehicle. Yet more and more healers and musicians are focusing on the healing power of sound.

As I see it, there are two principal aspects to sound in healing and ritual. The first is the use of sound in the form of chant or mantra to create an energetic structure through which intention may be invoked, channeled or built into a healing mechanism. The second is the carrying capacity of the sound, either as a river through which energy may flow, or as a vibration or resonance, which can be a healing mechanism.

Throughout most traditional cultures, sound is and has been used as a point of focus for creative intent and invocation of divine energies. The African or Native American shaman, drum or rattle in hand, invokes celestial allies for healing through chant, song, and prayer. Entire Native American villages would chant ancient rites to the corn maiden at planting time, or an Israeli village would bless a newly married couple through song and dance. African-American gospel choirs pour out their hearts in song, reaching remarkable states of ecstasy and joy. And an East Indian playing sitar, focusing through power of meditation and specific ancient scales, might invoke the balance and harmony of a specific deity (or energy stream). Sound is a vehicle through which one may call to, merge with or express the creative divine.

We can begin using the power of sound for healing by giving voice to inner mysteries, unfelt feelings, and creative energies within us. By paying attention to the sounds or vocalizations a particular wave of energy within our body wishes to make, we can create a truly healing process for ourselves, and, eventually, for others. This process requires us to release the doubt or inhibition that keep our creative, expressive powers at bay.

By sounding that creative impulse, which is our expressive self, we can move beyond all of our agony, pain, fears and prejudices—the limiting thoughtforms we have created within ourselves, in this and other lifetimes. Sound can resonate and discharge the emotional energies locked within our tissues, our cellular memories, our emotional and energetic bodies. All of those devastating habits, which we created in response to traumatic circumstances or lack of nourishment, have embedded themselves in our fibers, and diminish the very core of our being.

Within each of us is abundant energy, love and grace. Through releasing the noise and confusion of the outer self, one can hear the deeper, more intimate self sounding and resonating. At first it is ever so timid and quiet; but with each breath, with each courageous expression of that true self, we can feel waves of joy and hope break through the pain and doubt we have built around us, revealing limitless beauty and wisdom from within ourselves.

The Nature of Thoughtforms

and Their Effect upon the Etheric Body

To help us understand this process a little further, let us look more deeply at the nature of our energetic bodies and the creation of limiting forms of energy within them. While it is often said that we create our own reality, the nature of that reality is so complex it seems difficult to comprehend just how that might be. Yet, when we understand thoughtforms and how they work as a creative force, it is clear that using creative will and intent to develop a positive, light-building field of energy around us is a major key to our continued well-being. Such an energy field is an electromagnetic grid that attracts or dispels other energies around us, depending upon the nature of its intent.

The thoughtform is the elemental nature of the creative potential of thought. It is the energetic substance created by all thought, desire, and action. On an energetic level, we constantly tap into raw (pure) energy and mold it with the resonance of our thoughts, desires, and actions.

We also tap into and “channel” lifestreams of energy which resonate with various qualities of existence, both creative (expansive), and diminishing (contractive). Intelligent forces of the more subtle spirit realms work consciously and unconsciously with us through these streams of energy. These interactions may take place in the emotional, astral, or other fields of our bodies. They may interact on a more tangible plane, as we invoke them in saintly acts of kindness or generosity, or in debilitating acts of alcoholism or abuse.

Thoughtforms are the residual energetic effect of our thoughts, desires and actions and of our interactions with these energetic streams of consciousness. These thoughtforms will create illuminating flames or blinding shrouds of energy within our subtle bodies, dependent upon their resonant quality. If the residual effect of the thoughtform is of a binding or limiting nature, it can be removed only by a compensatory action, energetic in nature, which has a quality opposing or balancing it. Because the essence of thoughtforms are vibration, the sound healer may find a resonant sound with which to heal, extract, or balance it. However, if the nature of the wound is related to these conscious negate-ive streams of energy, a more skillful approach is required, in which the healer must have a conscious relationship with healing energies of a divine nature.

No matter what the modality, interacting with these negate-ive energies, without the conscious awareness of these processes, or the skills to complete them, can be dangerous for the practitioner. Indeed, these energies interact with and complicate our lives more deeply than most of us can imagine. Because of this, we each need to focus on practices of clarifying our thoughts and actions and strengthening our energy fields.

Through previous patterns of creative thought (energy), we are attracted, through birth, to parents who will help develop a grid of energy that will maximize our own potential and growth. It is not until we begin to take responsibility for our lives and our choices that we can see this clearly. By focusing on the content of our daily thoughts and actions and seeking to fill them with the highest and purest form of good we can imagine, we slowly create more light-filled energy bodies. We see new credence in the old adages “love thy neighbor...” or “judge not, lest ye be judged”, etc., whether from Eastern, Western, or Native templates of knowledge.

Why Heal The Etheric Body:

The Nature of Creative Will and Intent

The physical body is but one level of expression of our spirit-self. Beyond it are 6 primary etheric fields of energy, which comprise our expressive self. These fields or energy bodies are interwoven through the 7 major energy centers or chakras within the body, and are interconnected with the divine centers of heaven and earth through spirals of light energy which course through the bodies and the chakras.

The sound worker sees an inextricable link between sound, light, and creative intent. Once we understand the nature of our energetic self, we see the importance of the quality of our thoughts and actions and how they interact. Thought is a tangible, creative, field of energy. When our thoughts resonate from fear, inhibition, doubt, confusion, anger or jealousy, they create limiting or binding grids of energy around us, restricting the more creative, expansive energies of joy and love.

These grids, or patterns, are magnetic fields of energy and attract potential situations to us, to allow us to make choices to help us grow. I emphasize potential, for we work within a school of free choice, and there is a high degree of fluidity due to the interactions of all beings’ free choices, which create the ever-unfolding formation of reality. Psychics can read this potential and give us a probability based upon how definitively those grids are in place, but the concept of free choice is always in place, and rules our aspect of the universe.

The creative tool of our expression of self is our intent, or will, and the focus of that intent via our thoughts and actions—the choices we make. Consciously or unconsciously, we use that intent in the creation and unfoldment of our daily lives, and we can use it, at any given moment, to alter the course of previous choices within our lives. Old thoughtforms embedded in our energetic fields affect us, if we do not make conscious changes. They may effect our clarity of consciousness, our emotional well being, our relationships and our successes. They may emerge as physical symptoms: repetitive sore throats for those afraid to speak up and express their feelings or experiences, chronic fatigue for those who have had non-nurturing relations with their parent of opposite gender, ovarian or breast cancer for those subjected to sexual trauma. These are but a few of the patterns that may emerge.

The Use of Creative Will and Intent in Sound Healing

The sound healer uses intention to create a channel through which divine energies or “higher resonances” may be poured into the recipient’s energy field. The primary focus of intent is on being a clear vessel, to allow the greatest good to manifest for this individual’s well being. Once the soundwork has begun, the focus of intent may become more specific. For instance, the healer may see an ingrained pattern of thought (energy) within the recipient’s energy field that constricts energy flow and may be manifesting as a limiting behavior or illness in the recipient’s life. The healer can call upon specific energetic tools to remove or transform it. Or the focus may remain more general, creating the doorway through which divine energies may enter the more tangible planes and work within the recipient’s field for the greatest good.

The sound healer may also work with thoughtforms or elemental energies which are not of this person’s making. These may be projections from other peoples’ intentions—repressive parents, for instance, or hostile relations, or projections from other streams of consciousness of a lesser realm. Victims of violence or alcohol, drug, or sexual abuse often have trauma linked to these diminishing patterns of energy, which linger and eventually manifest through the energy body into the emotional and physical.

The recipient must be a willing participant, wanting to receive light energies and to release/heal unwanted thoughtforms. The greater the level of focus on healing the recipient can manifest, the greater the potential for positive outcome will be. The recipient may need to take some tools to reinforce new patterns of behavior or energetic qualities within the self.

The point of focus in my work is usually either in the Ajna center/third eye, on the forehead (technically, this is in the center of the brain, near the pineal gland, not external to the forehead, or the eighth chakra, above the crown of the head. From the Ajna center I can direct specific light-energies into the body through the vehicle of sound, or, in some cases, through hands-on work, utilizing specific tools. The eighth chakra is a powerful interdimensional point linking the primal soul and divine seat. Within the eighth chakra, the focus is more specifically upon illumination, opening the doorway through which conscious divine energies may more easily enter, with greater power and awareness than my more conscious self can unfold. This requires much more surrender of self, thus the quality of light pouring through becomes more bright and pure.

The intent of the healer is to focus on the purest energies for the recipient’s needs. Intent opens the doorway. Sound becomes the vehicle through which the light moves, and offers an extraordinary point of focus for the healer’s intentions. In my work, the sound may come from an instrument: a crystal or brass bowl, a tingshaw (Tibetan brass cymbal), a flute, rattle, or Native ceremonial drum. But more often I am the instrument, opening the voice to a sacred mantra, a chant, a sound or series of sounds, a song, a prayer, or what I like to call “dialects”. These “dialects” are a form of divine invocation or prayer, a sacred language, a speaking in tongues, in which the energy becomes most pronounced.

Whatever the instrument or modality, the sound through its resonance rearranges the molecular structure of cells, lifts thought and energy into an elevated dimension, and carries a higher energy through it which interacts in the energy field in a variety of ways. It may function like a set of tuning forks, in which the pure resonance of one tuning fork will set up vibration in another. Or the sound may act upon the crystallized blockage of energies in the energetic body as a pure tone might upon a crystal glass, causing it to shatter, or quicken and release. The sound may be sensed as a pure stream of energy, like a waterfall, cleansing the energy field, and re-energizing it, in a shower, or in waves, of peaceful light.

Coupled with the intent of the sound resonator (healer), specific qualities of light or specific energetic streams may be invoked to help remove binding or shrouding energies, and to recharge the energy field with light. In modern physics, we find that the principal difference in sound, light and matter is one of vibrational frequency, or resonance. The interrelationship of these is more like a broad spectrum of energy than three separate forms.

In many creation tales, sound is the elemental form of creation. In Hinduism, the sound of “Om” resonates as the elemental causal form of all creative manifestation. The ancient mystical Cabalistic roots of the Judaism teach us that each of the 22 letters of the alphabet not only symbolizes, but carries and emits through its enunciation, with pure intent, one of the principal aspects of the universal energy. Their interaction in words is significant to their interaction in universal flow and unfoldment. This was so clearly understood that it was considered sacrilege to enunciate the cryptic word for “God”, the Anglicization of which is Jehovah, or Yahweh.

In Christianity, many sources indicate Jesus taught esoteric thought to his disciples in far greater detail, in private settings, than his more popular metaphorical stories to the public would indicate. Many of these sources also say he was an initiate in the ancient mystery schools of the East, receiving teachings in the great temples of Egypt, and travelling to India, where tales still exist of “Saint Issa”, who returned to his people in Jerusalem 2000 years ago, only to be crucified.

The Book of John, written by one of Jesus’ principal disciples, opens with the verse, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John I:1-2). To me, the nature of this verse is extremely specific. The “word”, the sound, is the first manifestation of creative vibration, or intent, and holds in its resonance the very essence of the Divine. This implies an innate understanding that the very resonance of sound, of “the word”, draws power to it, and carries power through it. We have often heard of “the power of the spoken word,” but we may not have given much credence to it. It is our thought, our will and our intentions that give power to the spoken word and to sound in all of its forms and uses. Sound is a profoundly powerful tool. The nature of its power rests in the conscious and unconscious intent of those who create it.

Zacciah is a sound healer, a poet, a parent, musician, and teacher. He is founder and director of the Center of Light in Vermont, where he practices sound therapy, and teaches meditation and the metaphysical nature and transformative process of our existence. He has studied the nature of sound, and has been a maker of musical instruments since 1973. He performs meditational music occasionally in the Valley area, and has released two tapes of inspired musical meditations. He also performs workshops in schools and for organizations on the history and development of simple musical instruments of the world, and on the Native American Medicine Wheel. He can be reached at The Center of Light, 2 Fairview Ave., Springfield, VT. 05156. Phone & Fax (802) 885-6937, E-mail:

This article is an edited version of the full article, which is available on line:

C 1991, R. Zacciah Blackburn

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