Sound healing is a modality that uses vibrational frequencies to harmonize an individual’s mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies, balance energy fields, clear blocks, increase relaxation and support a return to homeostasis. It is an ancient healing approach that was and continues to be practiced by Indigenous peoples all over the world using percussive instruments like drums, wind instruments like didgeridoos, and even the sistrum of ancient Egypt.

Incantation is the deliberate organization of written or spoken words or sounds recited with the intention to bring about a desired outcome such as in a ritual or an alchemical process. When used to bring about a positive transformation, incantation is a kind of sound healing. The combined use of percussive instruments and incantation was practiced in ancient Sumer as we see in the mythology of the Goddess Inanna.

Inanna’s Incantation

The frequent use of repetition in the mythology of Inanna creates an incantatory text. Indeed, many of her myths and hymns follows a rhythmic pattern of undulation that mirrors the birthing process of a woman in labor. The repetition commands our attention, forcing us to pause and listen. In reading the repeated words, we begin to tune into the deeper message. It can cultivate an altered state in the reader through which to connect with higher dimensional support. When read aloud, Inanna’s myths are portals into a different time and space. For example, the myth The Huluppu-Tree begins:

In the first days, in the very first days,

In the first nights, in the very first nights,

In the first years, in the very first years,[1]

These lines lead into an explanation of the Sumerian creation myth. We learn of the Cosmic moment that Heaven and Earth were separated. The story then segues into Inanna’s coming of age myth as she develops from a young girl, into a woman and gains her Queendom.

In the passage that follows this use of repetition, we are brought right into the moment of genesis. We time travel through the words to our origin. As an alchemist and a High Priestess, Inanna has the capacity to conjure. We see this, for example, in her ability to change her surroundings and command nature and the weather in her role as Goddess of Thunderstorms and Rain. Similarly, the sensation created by reading about Inanna is in keeping with her ability to transform.

The deliberate use of repetition is powerfully incantatory. Inanna wants to be experienced physically, not merely read about. She wants you to feel her so she can be present in the world through you. In reading Inanna’s myths, you may notice a desire to slow your pace, regulate your rhythm, and bring awareness to projecting the words with authority. This is how Inanna heals. She comes alive through your personal and visceral experience of her. The regular use of repetition as well as the many references to percussive instruments used in her celebrations and by her worshippers, highlights that she wants you to cross space and time to connect with her. In the hymn The Holy One, for example, we see her people play drums at the start of a ritual procession toward her temple. The drumming not only sets the ceremonious mood, but it can shift our frequency allowing us to connect with the Divine and keep our Goddess ever present.

Exploring the Effects of Sound Healing and Incantation

Why is that we are drawn to the soothing sound of waves when we wish to experience calm? Does it pull us back into the amniotic rhythm from within the womb wherein we felt safe and held? Is it that incantation, mantras, the power of words and tones, sounds and rhythms, ultimately align us with our own internal rhythm, attuning us to our own heartbeat and the heartbeat of Mother Earth? The immersive quality of sound can elicit all of these associations and more!

Today we have access to sound healers who offer a range of interventions that might include sound baths, using gongs and singing bowls, as well as drumming in a one-on-one or group settings tailored to our individual needs. These techniques literally bathe us in sound and vibrations that bring healing to the whole system, like being bathed in a private musical performance curated for our unique needs. In a similar way, tuning forks can be utilized to transmute stuck energy by increasing energy flow and circulation¾in effect transforming this stuck energy into a more melodious form. The ritual art of using mantras, chanting and prayer is also a form of incantation and can be used to help transform your life in the most magical way. The experience of sound on our energetic system is profound and can impact us in a very concrete way.

Sound Your Power

Consciously harmonizing our own individual sound bite to contribute to healing ourselves and the universe is a wonderfully accessible healing modality. We experience the power of the spoken word daily. We know that it can both heal and do harm. Many of us are aware that we must be mindful of the words we use to accurately represent our intensions. Similarly, we must take responsibility for the frequency we contribute to the world around us. Doing so allows us to add to the orchestra of life. Maintain a frequency that resonates with your heart so you can do your part in harmonizing humanity. Explore the power of sound through sound healing, mantras, prayer, and positive incantation designed and intended to raise our vibration.

Below are some incantatory prayers that may support this process. Simply go to a space where you will have a few minutes of privacy and can make some noise. If you have a singing bowl, a drum, a rattle, or a chime, use this sacred instrument and begin by sounding the instrument to help support the shift from your thinking mind into the feeling of your heart. Sit for a moment and allow the vibration to settle and take effect, aligning you with your own rhythm. Then, select one of the prayer statements below and repeat it aloud three times. Take your time. Honor your rhythm and volume. Feel the words come to life. Once complete, sound your sacred instrument again and let it anchor in what you have just commanded. Allow the vibration of the instrument to come into stillness and bow in honor of your capacity to bring about a positive shift internally and externally.

Possible Incantatory Prayer Statements:

  • All my relationships are alchemized into love.
  • I am an instrument for healing, enlightenment, empowerment, and clarity.
  • I am love and love is expressed through me to support and heal the earth.
  • I release what is no longer serving me and call back all my power.
  • Peace is restored within and without in all directions of time.

[1] Wolkstein, Diane., and Samuel Noah Kramer. Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1983. p. 4



*Inspired by the wisdom of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna, this blog is an invitation to live as she does, like an Unapologetic Heroine.

Seana Zelazo, LICSW is a psychotherapist, spiritual coach, and intuitive channel committed to helping us live unapologetically, by restoring balance within and without through the wisdom of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna. She is the author of The Way of Inanna: A Heroine’s Guide to Living Unapologetically.