Many people underestimate the power of singing, and the power of songs. Also, in many Anglo societies people are taught to believe that only the best singers should be singing. If your voice isn’t good enough, you shouldn’t sing in front of other people.
Unfortunately, this means that many people never experience the power of singing and songs. It doesn’t require a beautiful voice to experience the benefits, either.
In terms of spiritual practice, there are many healthful benefits to singing, and positive purposes for singing. Here are some of those benefits:
The reason singing is important, and shouldn’t be overlooked (even if you think your voice is horrible!) is because its a very powerful way of working with energy. We are all working with energy all the time, whether we know it or not. We get affected by the emotions around is, we get drained by our busy days. There people around us who make us tired, and there are beautiful places that fill us up.
Singing allows us to intentionally work with the state of our energy. It allows us to connect with positive healing and positive emotions. It allows us to change how the energy moves through our own body (even if only because we are completely engaged in the song.) It allows us to commune with other people and the world around us, bringing our energy into harmony with one another. Singing allows us to begin to understand something that was only deeply known, or unconsciously known to us.
While shamanic songs can be unique to individual healers and groups of people, they really aren’t different from any spiritual song. Often, the shaman will go to the spirit world to obtain the lyrics or melody of the song. They may have an occasion or a purpose and they will consult with the spirit world to be inspired by a song that fits well with what they want to do.
Many powerful spiritual songs come through divine inspiration. The song writer will say, the song just came to me, or I could hear that melody in my head. The shaman’s song is very similar, although the inspiration didn’t happen by accident. They intentionally went to the spirit world to find the song. Perhaps all songwriters have an awareness that their moments of divine inspiration came from somewhere else, and the only difference for the shaman is that they may be a little more aware of this fact.
The most important part of a shamanic song is whether it is effective. The purpose of the shamanic song is to connect to, and bring in different energies. The purpose of the singing that song is to shift one’s state of mind and the state of the group that is singing. The song doesn’t have to be beautiful, or perfectly written. The power of the song is the doorway that it opens between the shaman or the individuals and the power of the spirit world. That doorway is actually opened by the singer(s), not the song itself. Some songs are more effective at helping you open that door.