We’ve spent the last few weeks exploring the world of sacred geometry, and diving into a few different shapes, and their meanings, including the seed of life and the tetrahedron. For this blog, I thought we would expand on the idea of sacred geometry, as it pertains to sound and sound healing. This is wonderful timing, since our next gong bath and drumming event is coming up, just in time for the Winter Solstice.
Sound waves, just like all waves of energy in our Universe, can manifest themselves in specific shapes and designs. In scientific terms, the physical visualization of sound waves is called “cymatics,” and you can spend hours looking at the amazing photos and videos of this. Perhaps you’ve seen an example of this on the internet somewhere! Many people have recorded videos of what happens when sound is applied to plates of sand, water, or other malleable elements. To see a fun demonstration of this, check out the video on the right!
Or this one (below) is a fun, albeit stylized version of this concept. The behind-the-scenes is also quite interesting!
Sacred geometry refers to the Divine patterns through which all creation manifests. You can see these designs in everything in the natural world, from honeycombs to flower petals, and music is no different. While most of us cannot detect the sacred patterns in our music (these patterns are easier seen than heard), when we can find a way to create a physical or visual representation of this music, the beautiful designs emerge.
The intermingling of sound waves can produce awe-inspiring and complex patterns, that we can categorize using the basics of sacred geometry. Certain music scales and harmonics can be “graphed” into a gorgeous arrangement, which is merely dependent on the notes’ frequencies, in relation to one another. The chromatic ring scale (called Z/12Z) is one example of how music can be visualized as a manifestation of sacred shapes, and illustrates the points where certain musical harmonics share an energetic frequency. See the image below (which was taken from here).
And for the geeks out there, when you look at the sine and cosine complementary wave components, you see a dual ring design, which is the 2-D version of the sacred geometric shape, the double torus. The double torus is a powerful shape (produced by the Coriolis effect) that can be seen in the formation of galaxies and our own solar system! The combination of two rings in this fashion creates, in the middle, a very significant shape called the Vesica Pisces. This section of union between two rings represents the creation of all life; from our first journey through our mother’s birth canal, to a seed which sprouts into a mighty oak tree.
I’ll leave the geekery behind now, but for those who want more, you’ll see that this Z/12Z musical scale can be expanded out into the major musical chords, known as the Cycle of Fifths. In this pattern, you’ll see a series of Vesica Pisces!
The basic concept of sound healing is to tune or re-calibrate the body’s frequencies, using an external frequency, which is typically created by an instrument. To understand how this works, it’s important to understand that everything in the Universe is made up of energy waves, including our cells. Our bodies can absorb the sound waves in our environments, and try to match their resonance. As you can imagine, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing, depending on what kinds of sounds you regularly surround yourself with. Since many of us spend a lot of time around electronic devices (which emit sound waves, whether or not your ears can detect them!), and other sources of unpleasant noise, receiving regular sound healing is very beneficial.
Many sound healers use large gongs, and this is for good reason. A large gong produces a wide range of sound waves at different frequencies, which our body can use to “tune up” our organs, muscles, and every cell we have! While it can be hard to get good cymatics from a gong, here is an example of the types of designs one can see when a large gong is struck, like it would be during a sound healing event (video at left).
All instruments emit their own unique frequencies, and each note carries its own frequency as well. There are many different ways to experience sound healing, including gong baths and drum circles, but also by playing your own music, listening to a CD, using singing bowls, or even your own voice! However, now that you’ve seen the physical patterns that these notes can create, it makes the experience even more fulfilling. You can visualize the beautiful shapes of sacred geometry in your own body, as you listen to the music, and see your cells slowly shifting and healing in response.
Other examples of the intersection of sacred geometry and sound can be found in Solfeggio Tones, and even the ancient Gregorian Chant! For centuries, we have been using certain combinations of notes to invite healing, meditation, and spiritual insight. And when we map out these notes and sounds, we can see that they correspond to the mathematical formulas which sacred geometric shapes are made from. Pretty incredible!
The truth is, there is so much happening beyond our own perceptions, particularly when it comes to sound waves and other “invisible” forces. However, using the incredible scientific tools that we have available to us, we can start to see a fraction of what is actually happening on an energetic level, to create changes in the matter within us and around us.
I don’t know about you, but learning about the intersection of sacred geometry and sound healing makes me want to play my singing bowls and chimes, and go to a concert! Our upcoming Winter Solstice meditation, featuring gong and drum sound healing, quickly sold out. I look forward to seeing many of you there. For those who aren't joining us, stay tuned for our next sound healing event.