Sensing subtle vibrations is very much at the heart of modern dowsing. Whether it’s the terrestrial earth-energy type, or the more widely appreciated input from light, touch or sound, we are picking up and processing vibrational input all of the time.
Dowsers tend to be particularly aware of the impact of these energies on the human psyche, and of that interaction with the human ‘being’.
Tony Nec and his wife, Jane Satchwell, run the Sound Healing Academy from their home near Lostwithiel in Cornwall. They specialise in using sound – and in particular the naturalistic tones of the bowl, bell, gong and drum – to effect healing for their friends and clients. In these strange times, a session like this feels like the gentle patter of harmonious rain in a depopulated social desert.
Tony described how sound appears to have been used throughout history, and indeed pre-history, to enliven the energies and activate the ambience of inhabited and sacred sites around the world. From the decorated cave havens of Neolithic people to the magnificence of megalithic stone structures and the intriguing secret chambers of the great pyramids, sound seems to have been an integral part of the coming into harmonic resonance of Gaia with her menagerie of creatures.
As part of the explanation of how vibrations can be sensed in different ways, Tony showed an interesting video of cymatics in action – the phenomena whereby sound waves create patterns in the material world. While this is usually demonstrated by the use of a sand layer on a beaten drum skin, here we saw how the sound of throat chanting can also produce astonishing and varying images, not unlike giant snowflakes, on a taut stretched surface.
He also made the interesting point that many cave paintings depict surprisingly lifelike reproductions of the animal form, and in the energised womb of their enclosed dwellings, using the sounds of those beasts may have enhanced the connection of humans to them – either to improve the effectiveness of their hunting, or for more spiritual purposes. In the days before modern anthropology, the conceptual line between ‘human’ and ‘other’ would have been much less definitive, and experiences in common, such as the creation and perception of sound, could well have played a greater part in mutual exchanges.
As an archaeologist with a special interest in acoustics, Jane was able to indicate how such sound therapy or vibrational enhancement may have worked in practice. Her own experience at, or rather in, the West Kennet long barrow was very illustrative of the immersive effect of sound in sacred sites. I am sure friend of the south west dowsing community, Peter Knight, would have much to add to those observations.
Tony also explained how incoming sound vibrations have a direct impact on the human (and, presumably, the animal) brain. This can be demonstrated by the use of increasingly available technology, which measures electro-chemical brain activity at various wavelengths. Beneficial changes in neurological activity will doubtless have a knock on effect on the mental health of the listener, and on their ability to cope in uncertain times. So, it is not surprising that so many people find sound healing to be such a valuable component of both their psychological, and indeed their physical, wellbeing.
The core of the workshop was an on-line ‘sound bath’, using some of Tony and Jane’s instruments in a variety of sequences and combinations. I have to admit that I had been a bit concerned as to whether this would actually work, given the limitations of some members’ broadband connections, and that some of those participating are clearly using devices more reminiscent of the IT equivalent of the ‘cats-whisker radio’! But, I need not have worried – and the universe was quite clearly happy for it to work. It might not have been Exeter Cathedral or even an Eden Biome, but it did come over surprisingly well. From all the expressions of calmed awareness and comfortable relaxation on the faces of the assembled thumbnails, it was apparent that this was just what the doctor ordered on a cold, wet, windy and decidedly gloomy day Valentine’s Day in lockdown.
The Q & A session at the end also unearthed some interesting facets of the sound healing work. When asked how different people could respond to such a wide range of sounds, Jane felt that as the harmonic range was so extensive, there would be something for everyone in each ‘performance’. Meanwhile, a debate about the change of the tuning of the musical scale in 17th Century from 432hz to 440hz brought out that both harmonic systems were potentially healing, but for different purposes. Songs tuned to 440hz tend to work on the third eye chakra (wisdom), while 432hz tends to stimulate the heart chakra (compassion).
Many thanks to Tony and Jane for a fascinating and enjoyable zoom session. From the feedback, both at the time and subsequently, many of the huge ‘audience’ found the session very much to their liking, and several have already signed up for the Sound Academy’s free online introduction to their work.
They produced an online session that was both well-presented and professional, yet managed to incorporate something of the ambience of it being a fireside chat with their friends – not an easy circle to square.
Thanks, too, to Tony’s sound man, Mark Barnwell (we’ve never had a ‘sound man’ before, so this was yet another first for the south west dowsing collective zoom sessions!). It’s definitely worth checking out Mark’s Spanish guitar music. One of his tracks Avocado has apparently been streamed more than a million times.
Contact details for Tony and Jane are:
The Sound Healing Academy 12 Polscoe Lostwithiel Cornwall PL22 0HS United Kingdom