Updated: Apr 18, 2021
Grandmother Snow Moon
One day last May I walk in the sacred grove of hawthorn, ash, oak and elder, home to fox, hare, a riot of songbirds and, seasonally, horses. Although they have not yet arrived in their summer pasture, I can see where the horses have trodden a path through the shade of the leafy summer canopies to stay cool. I see where the game trails of deer lead through the thickets of sloe and hawthorn. I smell the musk of Fox and hear the blackbirds rustling in the thickets. I step into the tiny circle of moss covered trees - ash, oak, elm - that I call the portal. It is only large enough for me to step into and turn around in; a small nest for Ritual and singing, leaning against the trees in a squat to touch the earth, or standing, to look up into the branches.
In the days before this encounter, I have begun to feel/hear a kind of vibrational song tone that I have called Frequencies. It is like hearing a glimpse of the song of a particular creature or place, or the Golden Web of Life. In the portal, I have the inspiration to ask to hear the Frequency of the Otherworld, where Ancestors, more than human creatures, dream figures and Soul kin live; where the gods and goddesses dwell, one might say, the Holy in the Wild. Taking a breath and giving a breath as offering, I listen. I feel my heart opening into the Hologram, the great Web of Life, the presence of Mystery awakening in me. Listening, lending my voice to the Frequency I let the sound move through my throat. The note becomes a full body resonance letting me hear my own heart in its embrace as the one sound becomes an entire opening, a portal itself, a Frequency.
I leave the tree portal sounding the Frequency as l walk, following it like a golden thread through the grove. An unassuming but powerful healer of the mint family is standing on the path I am called to take, with her purple flowers like small lips, puckered for a kiss - Self-Heal, Prunella Vulgaris. She is shining at me like a star and I stop spellbound. I hear her singing her Frequency as if she were calling in response to the Otherworld Frequency I had been sounding. I bend down to greet her and share breath with her, letting her Frequency move through my heart and throat, reverberate through my cells. It is the inner intimacy of the sharing of consciousness, as if through the song the waves of sound entering me is also a visitation of her essence. It is like being caressed by a lover on the inside, inside my heart.
Since that meeting, I apprentice myself to her and to the healing work of Frequency and herbal medicine I have been given to do. But it is slow going, and often brings doubt or a kind of fear of singing my Frequency, my true song, into the world. A not-knowing or a kind of not-trusting that my listening is skilled enough to hear the voice of the More than Human creatures and my ability to lend my voice to Earth’s Frequency is true. “Sing”, says Mystery, say my ancestors, say humans I share my improvisational recordings with. I feel my own Soul Frequency longing to caress the wild world, the Golden Web, as Self-Heal gently caressed my heart. “Singing is remembering” says the witch-healer in me. “Don’t sing” says the one who wants to keep me safe in forgetting, keep me from offering my medicine. This one wants to keep me quiet, small, likeable and not too loud. “Sing only songs others have written” this one says, or “sing only where no humans can hear” or “don’t practice music theory or voice exercises” or “don’t show off”… David Whyte expresses this longing, fear, pain, release, survival silence and soul song exquisitely in his poem:
THE FIRE IN THE SONG
The mouth opens
and fills the air
with its vibrant shape
until the air
and the mouth
become one shape.
And the first word,
your own word,
spoken from that fire
grieves you now
you made that pact
with a dark presence
in your life.
He said, “If you only
I’ll make you safe.”
And he repeated the line,
knowing you would hear
“I’ll make you safe”
as the comforting
sound of a door
closed on the fear at last,
but his darkness crept
under your tongue
and became the dim
and you grew
in that small place
too frightened to remember
the songs of the world,
its impossible notes,
and the sweet joy
that flew out the door
of your wild mouth
as you spoke.
Frequency is the practice of and remembering “the songs of the world” and of singing home parts of yourself lost in the inner wilds or frozen in time. Frequency is a healing of our forgetting, a re-membering ourselves to the great cosmic Songweb of Life. Frequency is a sound path, a vibration in the body and the world, a way of literally tuning in to the field of Earth Community Consciousness. A way of shifting consciousness in order to travel between the worlds and a way of sharing consciousness with the more than human world. Frequency is a song of Soul which travels through the heart and out of the mouth making visible that which is invisible. It is a way of weaving connection, restoring the threads that connect us to our relationships, both human and more than human. Singing the frequency is, as Briony Greenhill, my singing teacher says, singing the “Song of Now”.
Frequencies are also the “language” of the Golden Web of Life which means there is way of knowing and communicating beyond human language that is frequency based. It is a de-centralising of the human. Also, Frequencies are a way of receiving information from the Web, much like a spider sits in her web and feels the vibrations of the world, elements and others on the filaments of her Web, her hearing of the Song of Now. How can we listen to the voices of the wild others and hear their song, their Frequency so that we can offer our human voice to gift it back to them? It is prayer and Ritual Reciprocal Relationship. When I tune in to the right Frequency I feel a shift in my body and my consciousness. It is as if the veil lifts, the portal opens and I am in unitive consciousness with the sacred Other with whom I am with.
Sacred Grove, Prayer to the Boar Crones
As a practice each morning, I sing gratitude to the 7 directions, my ancestors, the mountains and wild creatures here, to my own heart and for the path I am given to dance with the gifts I am given to carry. I sing as offering out on the land to and with the forest, the meadows and sky, to sun and moon, and the wild ones. In this springing time, I am singing to and for the wild boar that live here, especially for the Great Sow; the one whose fecund, fertile, hairy, earthy energy pulses with a wild rawness of erotic and fierce boar energy. There is a family of 8 who live in the hills here and I am blessed to see them sometimes. More often I smell them, their earthen piggy, musky scent. I continue praying, making offerings of breath, voice and apples from last year’s harvest and courting the Great Sow to hear her Frequency. In dream she is teaching me her language, in waking I go every day to the Sacred Grove portal to sing to her. Still, I feel I have not yet heard her Frequency, it is not yet ringing in my own body. I cannot yet hear my own heart held within her Soul Song.
When I am in the forest or out on the land, I often sing my Soul frequency and the frequency of the day, the place, a wild Other, and allow an improvisational song to evolve out from it. The song of Now. These songs are both prayer and practice. (In the future will be a cd of songs given to me and co-created by the Wild and my Muse.) Here is an improvisational song prayer to the full moon as I was tracking her and opening myself to her frequency.
Deer are hushing over the field, jumping, springing through the teeth of your light
It is the predator’s night
It makes for easy killing when you can see your prey
And who will you kill tonight, moon; whose heart will you pierce with your beauty? Who will you seduce through the veil over the threshold with your song?
Oh moon, let me remember your song, pierce my heart with your beauty and let me slip over the threshold into the night, into the starlight
Into the old ways, never before seen
Oh let me remember and let me make an offering of your songs; that others may remember, let us remember that we have forgotten
Let me pierce hearts with your beauty, let me see clearly in your light
Let me guide them over the threshold, through the veil, with your song
Let us remember a lunacy
Let a great lunacy overtake us, ’til we are all pierced by your beauty, slipping through the veil singing your song
weaving us back into the fabric of the night, into dream, oh goddess of dream time, oh dark goddess who shines the light, oh beautiful predator of our hearts, siren songs
Make me drunk on your beauty and never return…
In reverence of the Holy in the Wild and may this be an offering for all, that we may re-member. I invite you to arise on Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus morn on Thursday 1 April, indeed in any and every morn, and greet the day with song. If you can, go out and sing your gratitude and prayer while moving within the larger body of Earth Community, of what we call “the wild world”; songs of praise, courtship, wonder, beauty, grief, longing… You may even hear the Frequency of your own Soul and sing it out into the world as an offering and a greeting, like the birds do in the morning. You may open your heart-ears to the Frequency of a creature you meet or a place you are in relationship with, and offer your voice as the magical “making visible that which is invisible” instrument singing their Frequency back to them. I pray that we all begin to hear and sing these Frequencies through time and space from Soul to Heart, from the Heart of the World and the essence of each creature; that our voices are an offering in Ritual Reciprocal Relationship with the Holy Heart of the World. May we sing ourselves home to the Sacred Grove, feeling our hearts resonating once again with the Song of Now of the Golden Web of Life and in reverence of the Holy in the Wild.
Sara McFarland is an improvisational nature-based singer, SoulStoryteller and performance artist, naturopath, ritualist, Wild Mind and Soul Initiation Guide, and wilderness mentor. Sara spends her time apprenticing in Reciprocal Ritual Relationship with the Holy in the Wild following the whispers of her Muse. Guided by her own Soul's holographic, crazy Wisdom and Beauty she listens to the melodies that Earth and the Ancestors sing through her. Sara lives in Woelferbuett, Rhoen, Germany.
Image and Video by Sara McFarland
Thank you Sara McFarland for your offering to Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus 2021. Sara is also a contact for Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus in Germany.
If reading this, you too would like to be more involved/participate in Earthsongwave Dawn Chorus, please contact us through www.earthsongwave.com