building a beautiful and bountiful world in collaboration with nature

Archive for December, 2012

Singing Strength to the Garden

Bird Song

Bird Song (Photo credit: e_cathedra)

I remember reading a story quite a few years ago about an anthropologist who was staying with the Hopi in Arizona.  On a blistering hot summer day, he came across an elderly Hopi out in his field, singing to his corn.  The singing, the Hopi explained, brought strength to the corn, helping it to withstand the intense heat of the desert.  I don’t know what words, tone, or tune the Elder sang, but I assume that a specific set of sounds were traditionally used to help the corn in the heat.

The idea of singing strength into corn is not as fanciful as it might seem at first.  Sound is vibration, and vibration is both structure and energy.  The science of cymatics has demonstrated that certain sounds create certain geometric shapes and patterns, and sound therapies are increasingly being used in clinics and hospitals around the world.


Example of Cymatics, Sound creating form. (Photo credit: evan grant)

Studies have shown that house plants generally increase in vitality when exposed to classical music, while too much heavy metal can wilt them. Sonic Bloom is a system of foliar feeding plants in the early morning hours while serenading them with selections such as Vivaldi’s Spring – though a healthy symphony of natural birdsong will accomplish the same effect.  The sounds cause the plants to open the stomata on the underside of their leaves, drinking in the morning dew or any nourishing foliar feed applied at the time.  Plants have no ears, but clearly they are sensitive to sound vibrations, responding in many different ways.

My own use of sound in the garden has been minimal, but I’m starting to experiment.  Inspired by the book Free Your Voice, by Silvia Nakkash and Valerie Carpenter, I’m bringing my voice out to play.  Humming, toning, freestyle chanting, and simple made-up melodies are a new part of my gardening repertoire.  Whether breathing out a long ahhhhh, playing with mimicking the sound of the rain on the roof, or warming my heart with a rhythmic ah-ray-ray-ray-ray-ray, I’m having fun entertaining both myself and the landscape I live in.  It doesn’t all sound good, but it’s surprisingly satisfying.

One of the books of the New Testament tells us that creation began with the Word, with sound.  The human larynx is shaped like a vesica piscis.  In sacred geometry the Vesica Piscis, whose shape is also found in the female yoni, is the gateway through which manifestation/creation happens.  As Unity becomes Duality, the possibility of three, then four, then more arises.  Every human has a larynx, and we may well be harboring more creative power than we like to admit.

Vesica Piscis shape

Vesica Piscis shape (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Breath, tone, sound.  New tools to play with – if you aren’t already.  Happy Creating.